Domestic Violence Sends Guy Into Outer-Space
MARS (AP) Mr. Elton John of Hollywood was allegedly forced to become an astronaut when his spouse packed his bags pre-flight zero hour nine AM. He was quoted as saying, “I miss the earth so much, I miss my wife. It’s lonely out in space on such a timeless flight.” But male friends who knew him well claim he’ll soon be as high as a kite. Asked why his children didn’t accompany him on the trip, John responded, “Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it’s cold as hell.” But thanks to modern technology, rather than a typical drawn-out angry divorce, John will remain a Rocket Man burning out his fuse up here alone. As for any future return flight home, John had this to say, “And I think it’s gonna be a long long time till touch down brings me round again to find I’m not the man they think I am at home. Oh no no no I’m a Rocket Man.” When pressed for an exact date of arrival, his voice echoed and trailed off in a plaintive tone: “And I think it’s gonna be a long long time…And I think it’s gonna be a long long time…”
Black Friday Sale Dupes Woman Into Odd Purchase
(Stairway To Heaven)
LOS ANGELES (AP) An unidentified female victim who was sure “all that glitters is gold” recently bought a Stairway to Heaven. When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for. One witness, a Nordstrom salesperson observed, “There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure ’cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.” Friends expressed concern, citing they never knew the injured party to exhibit shopaholic tendencies. “Maybe she was having an affair with the Rocket Man and this was her only access to reach him,” one neighbor speculated. The woman’s own husband contacted local authorities in the middle of the night to add, “There’s a feeling I get–when I look to the west, Ooooh, and it makes me wonder.” When asked to be more specific, he reiterated, “Oooooh, it really makes me wonder!” Upon further interrogation, including whether his wife ever scoured estate sales or shopped online for other modes of transportation to heaven, the haggard mate of the victim could only recall one instance when his beloved was obsessed with obtaining a lead zeppelin. “Ooooh, and it makes me wonder,” he repeated once again, dazed and confused. “One things for certain … her buying a stairway to heaven means our credit cards will be maxed out for decades.”
Pair in Forced Marriage Make The Best of Things
(I Got You, Babe!)
PALM SPRINGS (AP) A young naive couple found out the hard way that being in love isn’t everything. “They say our love won’t pay the rent,” stated Mr. Bono. “Before it’s earned, our money’s all been spent,” lamented his exotic looking wife who volunteered only her first name, Cher. The unknown perpetrator of this forced union is wanted in 13 other states for additional human trafficking crimes, but managed to give the couple the following advice before he absconded, “Don’t let them say your hair’s too long, cause I don’t care with you I can’t go wrong.” During times of extreme grief or fear, rather then resenting each other for their lost dating years, the committed duo remind one another, “And when I’m sad, you’re a clown. And if I get scared, you’re always around.” But the main way they’ve sustained their romance has been singing ad nauseam to each other, “I got you, Babe.” Blech.
Labor Dispute Results in Crowded Nightclub Joy
(The Piano Man)
NEW YORK (AP) At 9:00 on a Saturday as the regular crowd shuffled in, many patrons allegedly inundated a helpless pianist with random musical requests. Some were sad, some were sweet, and some were incomplete as people struggled with their memories, substituting “La la la, di da da La la, di da da da dum” for actual lyrics. Even the bartender, who was identified only as John and who gave free drinks, was quick with a joke, or to light up a smoke, seemed to hold the compassionate piano player accountable for his own unhappiness and the fact that he couldn’t break free from the nightclub to become a movie star. “Bill, I believe this is killing me,” he was quoted as saying. Other innocent bystanders included a real estate novelist, a waitress practicing politics, and some businessmen slowly getting stoned. One witness claimed the piano sounded like a carnival and the microphone smelled like a beer, but this could not be substantiated. In fact many customers ordered the drink special of the night, called “Loneliness” and this seemed to evoke a common sentiment that if the pianist would only sing them the right kind of song with the melody they were in the mood for, everyone would be feeling alright. The manager finally appeared and gave a smile, aware that it was his establishment that helped everyone forget about life for a while. It was unknown whether the Piano Man later sought therapy for the extreme pressure he felt during this incident.
Depression and Suicide Over Specks of Dirt
(Dust In The Wind)
I have officially been blogging for 3.5 years now and the people who are my biggest fans (and my best supporters!) are those I haven’t even met (yet!) and who’ve never watched me grow up and feel no particular attachment to my success. That’s right — all my cyber friends really go out of their way to cheer me on. But what about my adoring family and all my real world “in the flesh” friends, you ask? They absolutely cannot be bothered to give my blog the time of day. In fact, I just eavesdropped on this conversation the other day from two people who love me very much.
My Grandmother: So what does our girl do all day long again? She’s a Bragger? A Blotter? A Blooper? A Blabber?
My Mother: She’s a Blogger!
My Grandmother: And for this we sent her to college? What does she put on her blog anyhow?
My Mother: They’re called pillars or poles. Something like that.
Me: (bursts into room) Posts, Ma. I put posts on my blog.
That’s actually not so bad. We don’t really expect people who aren’t in this field to understand what it is we do. That’s fairly innocent. But did you know that not only are the people you’re closest to in real life not supportive, they’re downright hoping your blog gets shut down?
Why Real People Want You To Quit Blogging!
- SLOTHFUL: If you don’t write stuff, they won’t have to pretend to read stuff! Your family and friends are incredibly lazy. Just let that sink in for a moment. At family reunions, I hand my brother printed out pages of my blog because I know he won’t ever bother to click on the links I text him. And this way I can oversee which parts he likes by monitoring his facial expressions as I peer over his shoulder while he reads. “What?? That line about how controlling our mother is doesn’t even get a chuckle?” I chastise. “I think it warrants a guffaw at the very least.” The Laugh Police is out in full force.
- FEARFUL: They don’t want to be IN your blog. That’s right. We’re in need of material and they’re the ones we have daily contact with. My family and friends preface everything they tell me now with, “And this stays between us! So don’t even think about sneaking it on your blog even if you change my name, my gender, or my profession.” My 15.5 year-old daughter refuses to learn to drive unless I give up blogging. I am bribing her to get behind the wheel, my pen poised.
- NO CONTROL: You’ve entered the blogosphere and are socializing with a whole new set of people named, “Food For Thought” and “Diary of a Scatterbrain” and frankly the people in your normal daily life can’t come along to these Posting Parties. They will wonder if someone who goes by “Biff Sock Pow!” is a harmless comic book character or looking to do you real harm.
- SOUR GRAPES: They’re jealous because they secretly wanted to start their own blog but you already beat them to it — so now it looks like they’re just big fat copycats without an original idea in their head. Work with me on this one, will ya? It could be possible.
- MAGAZINES: They’re old school and believe the only real way to ingest information, entertainment, and knowledge is to turn tangible pages in their hot little hands. Every time I get published, it never fails that my mother asks, “Which magazine? Cosmo? Glamour, People?” And I always say, “It’s going up on an online blog, Ma. But it gets a million hits a year!” Only to hear her retort, “I hope they have good insurance. Those hit and run drivers, I’ll tell you. They cause lots of damage.”
- MEMORY ISSUES: There are a percentage of your friends who can’t even remember your name, let alone what you wrote on today’s post. They’re wanting to avoid the grilling and interrogation that inevitably happens if they become a regular reader. When I was married, I regularly quizzed my husband on what he thought of my topics, the title, the hook, the ending, and if he found anything that needed fixing like typos or punctuation. I desperately wanted his input but he couldn’t recollect a thing about my blog. It got so bad that he finally told me he was resigning as my editor because he had “Correctile dysfunction.”
- JUST ANOTHER NUMBER: Your family and friends don’t want to turn into a run of the mill statistic. They know you watch your Google analytics like a hawk and you can see when or IF they’ve tuned in to your blog. And if they did read it, but failed to leave a “like” or a “comment” — well that’s a crime punishable to the fullest extent of the relationship. That’s right! If they’re going to give you the silent treatment on your blog, you’re not going to speak to them in real life.
- FOLLOW THE LEADER: Many people bristle at the thought that they’re gonna become one of your “followers.” “Really??” My cousin recently told me. “I watched you grow up, a goofy little girl who stuttered and wore “waiting for a flood” pants with your Farrah Fawcett hairdo which by the way you somehow still wear today? Farrah Fawcett went down the drain in the 80’s, ya know. I should follow you? I’d rather play Simon Says!”
And there you have it. Nine creative reasons why the people in your life want you to delete your blog. And a few more interesting explanations (justifications) would be left in the comment section below, by all my well-meaning friends and relatives — but NONE of them will ever read my blog!
Important Note: if you have real life relationships who genuinely WANT to be the wind beneath your wings with regards to your blogging craft, but they’re not sure how — immediately direct them right HERE because this is brilliant advice authored by a Christine Carter, (a highly supportive cyber friend of mine!) that will guide them on exactly how they can help you and perhaps more importantly, WHY they should help you.
Remember the children’s book where an eleven-year-old aspiring writer named Harriet carries around a notebook in which she feverishly jots down personal observations about her classmates, (and the moment-by-moment events that happen to her) in the hopes that one day this practice will assist her in achieving a “real” writing career?
In fact, Harriet WAS already a real writer and WE are all Harriets. Now here’s how to convince everyone else in your life to view you that way, so you can get the respect all writers deserve.
9 EASY WAYS TO BE THOUGHT OF AS A RESPECTABLE WRITER BY YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
- Forget that the IRS differentiates between writing as a hobby and writing professionally. Everyone knows that IRS actually stands for “Inside Reality Sometimes.” They should recognize everyone as professional writers — how else are we able to pick up a pen and WRITE down the required information in the blank spots on their W-2 forms?!
- When someone says to you (in that challenging voice) “If you’re a writer, prove it by showing me something you have published,” you have three choices. 1. LOGIC. Simply retort, “Prove I’m NOT a writer by showing me something that I have NOT published. 2. PSEUDONYM. Tell them your material is highly controversial (and racy!) and thus you prefer to write under an alias. If they press you for your Pen Name, tell them it’s either “Bic, Papermate, or Sharpie.” 3. ANONYMOUS. Google famous writings that are not credited to any particular author. You’ll have numerous bodies of work available to brag about penning. Just off the top of my head, there’s The Diary of a U-boat Commander or The Debate Between Bird and Fish or think really big and lay claim to The New Testament, (other than the authentic Epistles of Paul.)
- People might ask, “Well you may be a writer, but are you an actual author? And what’s the difference anyhow?” First look askance. Practice this expression dutifully as both writers AND authors need to be able to look ‘askance’ in just a quick glance. Next sigh under your breath, “Hah. Mere semantics!” Don’t leave out the “mere” part of this response because their shame in asking the question in the first place won’t be nearly as copious. “Copious” is another word you can bat about. Then pause to jot something important down in the notebook you always carry around with you (right, Harriet??) and never look up again. The something important can be, “Buy fat-free sour cream.”
- Talk about working on Rough Drafts a lot. Why are they so rough? Elaborate on that. Boast that after you finish your rough draft, you’ll then need to start on a Tough Draft. Non-writers will nod with empathy, but other writers will see thru this nonsense and call you on it. But you don’t care because you know they’re just furious with you for claiming to have written The Debate Between Bird and Fish before they could.
- Put memes about writing on Facebook at least twice a week. Here’s a good one.Because everyone always knows that real authors create characters that take on a life of their own. And man is that scary! Have you ever had a death threat from a guy you invented who wears a striped hood and goes by “Will Billy Williams?” I mean his first, middle, and last names are all really the same thing! Eek!
- Writers earn awards. They may be obscure but nevertheless they can be totally legit. Take my award for example –lots of people questioned if it was actually real. That means the opposite will hold true. You can create your own bogus award and nobody will even bat an eye. Just make sure to frame it and have someone hang it prominently. Tip: The more colored mats you put around it, the bigger the frame it will fit into and the more wall space you’ll occupy in your mother’s living room.
- If you want lots of people to hire you to write for them, you should give yourself the title of “Freelance Writer.” That means nobody has to pay you to lance their boils while they read your stuff. This is a huge benefit to them. Just don’t go overboard and call yourself “Lancelot” because people will only hire you to write at knight.
- Ghost Writer! If there’s still nobody that’s buying that you’re a writer, you need to resort to being a Ghost Writer. First of all, talking about your haunted keyboard will be enough to get you booked on Dr. Phil and when you read your stuff aloud in coffee shops during open mic nights and people “Boo” you — well that will be especially fitting, won’t it??
- If all else fails, you can change your name to Louise Fitzhugh, the author of Harriet the Spy and the wonderful woman I owe a debt of gratitude for inciting my lifelong passion for writing as a little girl.
- Decide that you need a new hobby, but because you’re a raging alcoholic and also because you have terrible knee injuries, home beer-brewing or bodybuilding would be risky and painful. By default, blogging seems a sobering and safe pastime.
- Announce to everyone and their uncle that your exciting mystery blog (more colorful and explosive than fireworks!) will burst into the World Wide Web on July 4th, 2017.
- Starting July 1st, send countdown emails to everyone you know. “4 More Days Until Mystery Blog!” then “3 More Days Until Mystery Blog!” etc. until finally it’s just “1 More Day Until Mystery Blog!”
- Become nervous with all the pressure and expectations you’ve built up and on the day of your blog’s birth, scramble for a good domain name and any interesting content.
- Call your new baby simply, “My Mystery Blog!” and make your first post a list of good places to view fireworks across the country. There! That oughta hold ’em until July 5th.
- Realize you need someone to host your blog, but nobody has the good manners to offer. Don’t be a rude guest and blatantly ask someone to host it for you. Briefly consider hiring Hostess, but then you’d have to write about Twinkies and Cupcakes. Conclude you’ve read enough Martha Stewart magazines to be able to Self-Host.
- Install WordPress even though you’ve never even installed carpet, tile, or a kitchen sink before. But don’t worry about installing any of those “plugins” — after all, it’s not like you need an outlet for a toaster. And certainly skip over anything that has the word “Yoast” in it. If they can’t be bothered to correct their typo in the word “Toast,” why should you be bothered to prepare bread with jam? Just have a bagel and cream-cheese instead.
- Choose whatever theme you prefer. Just avoid flying toasters as that’s passé.
- Contemplate whether you want to allow comments or not. Go ahead and permit comments, but make sure the people who leave them must first prove they are human by solving for X if Y = Yoast. To the 10th power.
- Find your blogging niche, which is just another way of saying “write what you’re passion about.” It can be anything except for Passion itself. Being passionate about passion is like being curious about curiosity. You’re not Alice in Wonderland.
- Define your ideal reader and then promptly forget about your blogging niche. From now on, you’ll want to solely cater your writing specifically for your new Followers. Example: Your very first subscriber goes by the name of, “Eat to the Beat!” They’re probably into food, so blog about recipes. However they might also be into music so write about Billboard’s Top 40. Your next follower’s name is “MamaBelly” so be sure and make your post about getting pregnant. However “MamaBelly” could mean they want to lose weight, so cover your bases and review the 5 Best Low Carb Diets. Your third and fourth subscriber’s names are “Raindrops on Roses” and “Where the Sun Don’t Shine” so play it safe and just blog about the weather. Keep incorporating a wide variety of topics in each post until every single reader feels you’re speaking directly to them. Never write just for yourself — you’re the last person who will be reading your blog.
- When people begin to remark it’s impossible to predict your subject matter, remind them that’s why you are “A Mystery Blog.” Tag your stuff with words like, “Guess What Now?” and “Mishmash” and “Hodgepodge.”
- Figure out the best time of day to post a new blog, taking into consideration all the different time zones of your 8 followers. Evening hours work best if you want your blog to be considered a cure for insomnia.
- Decide you’ve lived your life a bit too safely, never running a red light or telling a single white lie. Google lots of awesome photo images for your blog posts and then cut n’ paste without paying for them or giving proper attribution. Stay up late at night flirting with disaster and tempting fate each time your blog is viewed.
- Hire a lawyer to plea bargain on your behalf for Copyright Infringement.
- Admit that this whole thing is far more work than you thought and invite a friend to co-author your blog with you. But always place your initials in parenthesis after an especially witty sentence so that readers will continue to know it’s really still YOU they’re laughing at. (LMM)
- Never visit other blogs. Once you begin reading their stuff, you will be distracted from writing your own. Or worse, accused of trespassing. It’s “a blog eat blog world out there” so mind your own business! If you do peruse other blogs, take care to leave zero evidence behind. Even a short “this was great!” comment can enable the blog owner to retrace the breadcrumbs back to your blog and then the jig is up. Didn’t your mother ever read Hansel and Gretel to you?
- Invite businesses onto your site so you can make money by keeping a percentage of what they sell. Hookers will fight over who gets to stand in front of your blog advertising “their wares.” But that happens on popular street corners as well. A good pimp will settle disputes.
- Don’t write articles with titles on, “How NOT to Do Something.” This will be confusing, deceiving, and contradictory. Should people do as you say but NOT as you do? No! Should they NOT do as you say and NOT do as you do? Yes!
- And lastly, check your statistics obsessively because they will tell the entire story of your success. If you see a lot of search terms having to do with raging alcoholics and terrible knee injuries, congratulate yourself on choosing the best hobby for you . . . BLOGGING!
Yup, Summer is Upon Us! Here’s how NOT to Plan a BBQ Get-Together!
- Feel guilty remembering last July when you were grilling steaks in your backyard, the newly moved-in next-door neighbor popped his fat head over the fence and yelled, “Mmm, something sure smells good!”
- Resolve to invite anyone who lives within “Wafting Aroma” distance.
- Rethink leaving notification flyers under everyone’s welcome mat on their front doorstep because that’s what pushy realtors and obnoxious cable companies do. Instead hang “Everyone is Welcome to Our Backyard Cookout” posters on group mailboxes.
- Hide your shock when the postman personally delivers bills/letters to your porch and then asks if it’s okay to bring his cousins and their kids?
- Overhear through your open window two mothers chatting on the sidewalk below, “Do you know her? I don’t either. How lame. Maybe she has no other friends.”
- Realize you wrote “Potluck” on the invites to promote camaraderie and teamwork, but now everyone will probably just think you’re cheap. Also since you didn’t do that organized Martha Stewart trick where you divide the alphabet into A-L = side dish/drinks and M-Z = main course/appetizer, there will now be 17 containers of Costco white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on your dessert table.
- Knock on individual doors because you forgot to put RSVP info in your flyer. Act surprised when the first neighbors (The Coopers?) thank you for inviting them, but then they remark they’ll only come if they’ll know someone else there. Reassure them that the O’Donnell family will definitely be attending, because you know they like them. Break a sweat running to the O’Donnell house and casually mention the Cooper family will be at your BBQ and you hope they’ll come too?
- Pray that the Coopers and the O’Donnells never EVER bring this topic up in conversation with one another.
- Go in your backyard and fret that your plants are dying, your lawn furniture is tattered, and everyone else’s property is surely a better place to hold a BBQ than yours. And what’s there to do back here after scarfing down burgers? Absolutely nothing.
- Re-landscape, buy patio seating, and put in an underground swimming pool with a built-in waterslide.
- Make the case to your husband that you need to repaint your home’s interior as neighbors need to walk thru your entire house to get to the backyard because if they go via the side gate, it stinks due to trashcans. Keep talking about Benjamin Moore “Swiss Coffee Shoreline” color palette when he interrupts and says he’ll simply relocate the garbage barrels inside your garage.
- Phone a marriage counselor when the divorce papers are delivered.
- Field phone calls from your siblings and parents who complain they were looking forward to a quiet family reunion BBQ but now you had to go and invite a bunch of strangers so now they’re not coming.
- Traipse around the entire neighborhood canceling your event when the local weatherman claims an unseasonable rainstorm is hitting San Diego this weekend.
- Ask what looks like your mailman’s grandma to please pass the butter for the corn-on-the-cob and then tell the mailman’s cousin’s children that you’d appreciate if they’d use their indoor voices while sitting at your formal dining room table.
Do’s And Don’ts To Get Along Swimmingly At a Community Pool!
This season you may be visiting a group swimming pool, so here’s my official list of Do’s and Don’ts, which you are encouraged to take with a grain of salt. (Or if your pool isn’t a saltwater based system– a capful of chlorine.)
- DO arrive at the community pool with proper identification and whatever keycard you need to get through the gate. DON’T shout out to nearby sunbathers on lounge chairs from behind the bars, “Listen! I really do live here. I can prove it. Maybe you know my neighbors, The Coopers or The Odonnells? You can call them to verify my residency. Ready? 760 – 944 …” And DON’T rattle off a list of neighborhood trivia (like previous fires, burglaries, times car alarms go off in the morning, or who the mailman is sleeping with) as further evidence. If you’re desperate (and you really do reside in the development) DO make your best puppy dog expression at the individuals sitting under the umbrellas nearest the fence and offer to share your oatmeal cookies or fudge brownies with them if they let you in.
- DON’T bring oatmeal cookies or fudge brownies to a pool! It will exacerbate the current ant problem. But DO bring “Ants on a Log” (the old peanut-butter on celery sticks with raisins to get kids to eat healthy) because the ants will view this snack as a prophetic bad omen and march off the premises.
- If it’s forbidden to play “Marco Polo” (and it should be!) DON’T tell your children it’s okay to start shouting “Parco Molo!” at the top of their lungs instead. Just DON’T. Also while swimming, DO offer friendly salutations to people you recognize strolling by, but if they casually inquire, “So how’s the water today?” DON’T automatically answer with that tired cliché, “Like a bathtub!” There are many other ways to describe a warm pool so DO be creative. DO say, “Like a beach in Hawaii” or “like toasty hot cocoa.” DON’T say, “Like about 85 kids recently peed in it.”
- Remember license plate holders that proudly declared, “My other car is a Porsche?” DO post a sign on your chest claiming, “My other bathing suit is a string bikini!” DON’T recline on your back overtly reading scandalous books with inappropriate covers for others to gawk at. But DO make phony dustjackets that say, “Dog-Paddling for Dummies” or “10 Wholesome Short Stories to Read at Public Swimming Pools” to slip over your provocative novels, because you shouldn’t have to miss all those juicy chapters!
- DO use the outdoor shower that’s usually provided before you jump in the pool because that’s its primary purpose, to clean off your yuckiness. DON’T assume the shower was built for your personal grooming habits after your swim, which means DON’T bring a deep-conditioner, a razor, a loofah brush, an acne facial mask, a fogless mirror, and a luxurious bathmat. DO bring a rubber-ducky cuz that’s just plain cute.
- And finally, DO let that family (with the really sad eyes and a bag full of oatmeal cookies and fudge brownies) with no key or ID into the community pool, because it’s probably my six kids and me. And I swear (on my other bikini) that we really do live here!
Welcome to today’s much anticipated (at least by the interviewer herself) Q & A session with the renown “Little Miss Menopause.” The questions will be asked by Stephanie D. Lewis, (SDL) essentially the exact same person as Little Miss Menopause (LMM) although if you believe in different personas, then this is a totally legit interview! So here we go . . .
SDL: Welcome Little Miss Menopause! It’s so nice to have you here. And you needn’t waste readers’ time by responding, “thank you for having me!” so let’s just get into our first question, shall we? How did you come to call yourself Little Miss Menopause?”
LMM: Well before I was a blogger, I wrote for an organization called, “Wine, Women & Hormones” and they paid me to make hot flashes, muffintops, and memory loss funny. I thought mid-life symptoms were the extent of my humor so I started this blog titled, “Once Upon Your Prime” and then I further boxed myself in by naming myself after the female change of life.
SDL: Way to go. I suppose it’s lucky you weren’t writing for a company about puberty or you might have been called, “Little Miss Menstruation!”
LMM: Ha. I’ll be the funny one. Okay, we’ll split the one-liners equally. Next question?
SDL: How long have you been writing for?
LMM: I had a feeling you’d ask me that. I kept a diary from about 7th grade on. It was Snoopy brand (fittingly!) and had a lock with this silver minuscule key, but I always assumed that because I peeked inside everyone else’s diary, mine was also being heavily perused — so I’d purposely weave in these really entertaining fictional anecdotes. It turns out my family respected my rights and nobody ever violated my privacy.
SDL And so you you started intentionally leaving it unlocked, right? To tempt people. When that didn’t work, you actually left a post-it note with, “Please read!” on top, right? But still nobody picked it up.
LMM: Yes, yes! How did you know all that?
SDL: Because you’re boring, predictable, and also I was kinda there. So let’s see, next question . . . how did you manage to break into writing for The Huffington Post?
LMM: That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone to a BLogHer writer’s conference in 2014 where Ms. Huffington was the keynote speaker.
SDL: Cornered her with the ole boring diary, did you?
LMM: No, I pretended I was already a Huff Post columnist but that I’d recently been unfairly let go. I pleaded for another chance and promised I’d be funnier. So I got myself rehired when I was never really hired in the first place!
SDL: And if you were never hired, you could never be fired either. You steal a lot of stuff from Seinfeld’s character Kramer, doncha?
LMM: Speak for yourself. So what made you decide to interview me? Or shall we just drop this whole reporter pretense and ask, what made you decide to interview yourself, Stephanie?
SDL: The idea came to me last week that everyone deserves the chance (even if they’re not famous) to have stimulating questions thrown at them. I waited around to see if anyone would ask me anything, but only my kids approached me with a certain amount of curiosity. They asked me what was for dinner? I finally decided there was nothing wrong with doing this myself. It’s part of my personal Self-Care which I just wrote about in the entry below this one. (Small plug!) Now mind you, I didn’t have to disclose that this was a self-interview because nobody would have figured it out, but I pride myself on being brutally honest.
LMM: Yes, I’m sure Arianna Huffington would concur. So might this interview thing also be in honor of finally hitting a certain number of followers that has been your long time goal? And if so, what’s that number?
SDL: I’m not going to disclose how many followers I have, are you crazy? Some people would think it’s too high or too low. Just like my weight, I wouldn’t tell you that either.
LMM: I already know what you weigh, fool. Remember? I am you. You are me. Ohh yeah, that’s right . . . we use one of those scales that doesn’t show our weight, it only specifies if we’ve gained or lost. Which is like a doctor not telling you what your diagnosis is, only if you’re getting better or worse. Don’t you think? Of what use is that?
SDL: I’m kinda getting sick of you. And somehow you’ve turned this whole thing around so now you’re the one interviewing me. Let’s just cut to the chase and issue our challenge already.
LMM: Alrighty. If you’re reading this and you’re feeling brave (and quirky!) try interviewing yourself on your own blog. C’mon! What have you got to lose? It’s fun and everyone should do it. Just like masturbation.
SDL: OMG. I am so relieved that my persona said that last line, and not me! How totally embarrassing. Anyhow, if you take me (us!) up on this self-interview challenge, feel free to come back and post a link in the comments section. Thank you! And thank you for your time Little Miss Menopause.
LMM: No, I’m thanking YOU!
SDL: Nope, thank YOU! Now sign off.
LMM: No, you sign off. I want the last word.
SDL: Unbelievable. Seriously?? Goodbye.
LMM: Aha … Gotcha!
SDL: Could you be a more Immature persona??
What would happy couples do without bestselling author, Gary Chapman? That’s who wrote the The Five Love Languages (8 years on the NY Times Non-Fiction List!) where he asserts that each person has one primary way of perceiving love. Here are your only choices according to Mr. Chapman:
- Gift Giving
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
But what would you do without Little Miss Menopause to break it down and give the list a quickie tweak to simplify things for you?
- Gif Giving — Try sending some of THESE)
- Quality Thyme — You should probably spring for the very best parsley, rosemary, and sage that you can find too. Try your local farmer’s market! Definitely the way to spice things up, but do pass on the garlic and onions.
- Birds of Affirmation — I would suggest a parrot, an African Grey, or a Myna bird. In a pinch you can try training male parakeets to talk. Just teach them to greet your lover warmly with the following phrases to give your mate the affirmation he/she is seeking: “Polly doesn’t wanna cracker, Polly wants YOU!” or “Pretty Birdy” (works best if your significant other is named Betty or Billy and is slightly hard of hearing) and also, “I can talk, but can you fly?” (which isn’t necessarily affirming, but will give your sweetheart something to think about while they wait for you to finally move on to the 4th love language.)
- Acts of Cervix — This is an advanced love language and should be saved for the final stages of pregnancy. But if you’ve reached that point then by all means, go ahead and communicate in this most articulate fashion. Instantly dilating your cervix to 10 centimeters says, “I think you’re gonna be a dynamite father and I’m ready for us to be a team with this baby!” Failure to dilate and needing an emergency c-section might send the message that, “Uh, I’ve changed my mind about this whole parenting thing with you. Can we walk back up the aisle and reverse the marriage as well??”
- Psychic Touché — This might be the most important love language of all. You need to somehow communicate the meaning of “Touché” (“Wow, you got me! That’s another point for you! Aren’t you the most clever one tonight?!) through your sheer mental powers alone. When you can convey this one simple word (with just that hauntingly familiar look in your eyes) all the way across a crowded laundromat during a power outage while experiencing a hot flash, you’ll know you have mastered this communication skill down pat. But be very careful that it doesn’t get misinterpreted as, “F*ck off and die!” because they’re very close together on the spectrum and the latter won’t make you appear quite as loving.
- * BONUS 6th SECRET LOVE LANGUAGE! — Poor, deprived Gary Chapman. Because he obviously never thought of including just plain old, “Wild n’ Crazy Sex” — (No simplification or tweaking needed.) And now . . . Touché!!
Readers: If you know someone Jewish who feels kinda slighted when they go to Disneyland during Christmas, I’ve given them their turn at feeling welcomed in the theme park, right HERE.
The plane you’re flying on begins to get slightly bumpy:
a) It’s just a little normal turbulence due to this sudden windstorm.
b) The pilot just discovered his beautiful fiancé is in love with another man and now he doesn’t want to live anymore. And he’s taking us all down with him!
As you sip a Diet Coke, a new health report comes out proclaiming artificial sweeteners have now been proven to cause dementia:
a) Uh huh, and next month they’ll say people with higher IQ’s drink six diet colas daily.
b) As you choke and sputter on the carbonated amber toxin, you can feel your brain cells dying off one by one, and you no longer remember your own middle name.
Your coworker pays you a compliment by saying how funny you are:
a) You say “thank you” and return the favor by remarking that she always brings a smile to your face as well.
b) Start a humor blog complete with an online store that sells mugs and tee-shirts with humorous original sayings on them, but first design a greeting card line called, “Cracking You Up!” while simultaneously securing an agent familiar with booking into the comedy circuit.
It’s been an hour and your kid hasn’t responded to your text.
a) He’s probably distracted having fun.
b) Somebody’s got him in an old basement with bad reception and he’s covertly trying to activate his “Find Your Phone” app so you can send the authorities just as his Android is roughly yanked from his frail hands while a deep voice growls, “Your mother will never hear from you again… unless it’s in her dreams!”
The receptionist leaves a voicemail saying the results from your routine blood work are in and asks you to return her call.
a) What a great office — they’re so careful about the privacy laws and not leaving overly detailed messages.
b) Something tragic showed up in your hemoglobin (probably from drinking diet sodas) and this woman didn’t have the heart to leave the specifics in a recording so you’re going to have to go in for a face-to-face meeting and as the doctor tells you to please have a seat in his large back office, he’ll glance to his desk at the framed photos of his own sweet children, and say a little gratitude prayer that it’s you and not him.
The busboy in the restaurant keeps staring at you as he clears the dishes from the next table:
a) You must remind him of someone he once knew.
b) He’s fantasizing about asking you out on a date, but it’s going to hurt his feelings when you decline unless he gets promoted to a waiter, but that will never happen since he looks like the type who arrives late to work every day and he’ll get into a motorcycle crash before he ever straightens out his act because he has issues proving his masculinity to his father.
At the check-out stand in the grocery store, the credit card you pulled out has suddenly vanished:
a) You’re getting so careless nowadays, you must’ve put it back in your wallet before you even used it.
b) Okay, so where’s the camera? You’re on that new show where the magician catches people off guard with clever tricks making them think they’re losing their mind because they don’t know they’re being filmed. You knew you should’ve straightened your hair this morning!
At the pediatrician’s office, you observe all the children on the floor, playing with other kids and sharing toys that belong to the doctor.
a) It’s great to see little ones so well-adjusted and socializing early in life.
b) Why don’t all parents wear shirts with little beads, buttons, bells, and whistles sewn on the front so their children can sit happily in their laps and self-entertain — thereby avoiding all the germs in places like this? They’d sell like hotcakes online and you can call them “Activi-Tees”
At a wedding, the fish entree is not seasoned to your liking:
a) You send it back because rumors of chefs spitting in the food are largely unfounded.
b) You’re certain the salmon was laced with cyanide and this plate was actually meant for the man seated on your right because he’s been having an affair with the beautiful fiancé of the chef, who used to be an airline pilot but lost his job when he flew erratically into a windstorm because of a jealous rage.
QUIZ RESULTS: Subject to your imagination, but mostly “b” answers suggest a career as a writer, inventor, or paranoid parent.
*Credit for the phrase, “Inflammation of the Imagination” goes to Dr. Bradley Shapero.
“Well shake it up baby … twist and Whisper!” Huh? Shhhhhhh, you’ve just entered The No-Shout Zone! Right HERE is an old perfume television commercial with the slogan, “If you want to capture someone’s attention, just whisper!”
And evidently our librarians knew what they were talking about, (and HOW to do their talking!) when they insisted we all speak in hushed tones — and thus eventually associate whispering with the pleasure of reading books. But did you know there’s now something called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) which is a very STRANGE phenomenon that has hundreds of women profiting from making online videos where they do nothing but seductively whisper as they role-play being flight attendants, hairdressers, party planners, eye doctors, and personal shoppers?
Now mind you, this is not supposed to elicit any kind of sexual response in us. Instead, it’s supposed to give a highly pleasant tingling or relaxing sensation like when you’d have a sleepover with a friend and the two of you would draw letters on each others backsides to guess what you were spelling. Some say it’s a “climax of the brain.” Okaaaaay….Here’s a much better explanation right HERE. But that depends on your definition of “better!” Crazy, right?
AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO FINDS THIS KIND OF WHISPERING AS OBNOXIOUS AS FINGERNAILS ON A CHALKBOARD???
Forgive me for spoiling all your fun, but I can’t stand the way she forms those “wet” sounds with her mouth, her long pausing, (get on with it already!) and also the overly familiar way she behaves with her hairbrush. In general she’s bizarrely overly intimate with her listeners. My adverse reaction could possibly hearken back to grade school when Jenny Mayron would lean into my desk, cup her sweaty hand around my ear, (so the teacher couldn’t hear) and proceed to whisper some stupid secret that was completely obliterated by the disgusting feeling of her warm, moist, stale breath on my skin.
However an argument might be made that I’m just simply jealous of these Whispering Women because I cannot do what they do. That’s right, according to my children, I lack the ability, and am utterly incapable of any discreet whispering.
In a movie theatre:
Me: (Whispering) Do you think he’s really dead? Or do you think he’s going to pop up later and attack his ex-wife? And will that be before or after he cuts off her child support?
Daughter: Do you think you could talk any louder? So next time the entire audience can hear you, and not just the six rows around us?
In a restaurant:
Me: (Whispering) Don’t look now but that kid from your football team who can’t catch a ball to save his life, just sat down three booths behind you.
Son: Oh my god, Mom. And you could be our announcer high up in the booth at our game without even using a loudspeaker!
So for the sake of getting some much needed practice with these skills, and also because I’d like to experience what it’s like to bring tingling pleasure to other people just by merely using my voice, I’ve decided that the following scenarios warrant whispering.
Me: (Whispering) Didn’t you see my brake lights? You teenagers shouldn’t even be allowed to drive. And it’s a brand new car! What are you going to do about this??!!?
Teen Driver: (On cellphone) Dad? I think I just rear-ended the Low-Talker from Seinfeld.
Me: (whispering Little Richard’s Song)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)
Don’t forget to say you will
Don’t forget to say, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah . . .
Do you sometimes wonder how certain (relatively inconsequential) things in life get decided? I mean who was the one specific individual that arrived at the ultimate conclusion? I’m not even talking about who makes all the major, significant determinations — (YOU can be in charge of making that particular list!) I just mean the odds n’ ends type of stuff that needs a final verdict. Let’s delve deeper, shall we? Because here are 12 things that nobody really knows who is in charge of!
Who’s In Charge Of . . . ?
- Selecting the specific kind of pornography for the men who use the “deposit” room at sperm donor or infertility clinics?
- Deciding that 1970’s Chia Pets (with their annoying “Ch Ch Ch Chia” commercial jingles) should now be a “health” seed that we must sprinkle on frigging EVERYTHING we eat?
- Figuring out the number of seconds a doctor leaves the examination room so a patient can fully disrobe and put on that silly paper gown? (As an aside: Who told doctors to rap on the door three times first, when they’re just gonna barge in on you half-naked anyhow? For once I’d like doctors to knock, then wait patiently while I yell, “Be right there. Will ya hold your horses already? I’m just taking something out of the oven!”)
- Singing the alphabet in a singsong voice so that the five middle letters sound like just one long one… “elemenopee?”
- Substituting the inane phrase “reaching out” for the old sensible word, “contacting.” When someone thanks me for “reaching out” on the phone, I wanna burst into Neil Diamond’s syrupy lyrics, “Hands, touching hands, reaching out…touching me, touching you!”
- Prescribing what the average “room temperature” should be in a house? Because this individual is solely responsible for a great many of the arguments I have with my ex-husband. (Identify yourself!)
- Firing the classic national Time Lady? C’mon you remember her? You’d call the telephone number and a familiar recorded voice reassured you it was 5:32 EXACTLY. She’d throw in the outdoor temperature as a bonus — (so my ex-husband and I could squabble over the indoor one.) And while I’m at it, who also decided who the voice of Siri should be?
- Determining at what age a woman should stop wearing a mini-skirt?
- Checking if a bride actually has something old, new, borrowed and blue?
- Choosing which side of the bed a husband and wife get to sleep on? And why can’t they alternate nightly?
- Stating that a “portion size” of Reddi Whip Cream is a mere two tablespoons? (And shouldn’t the measurement be calibrated as “squirts in the mouth?’)
- Deciding which foods (salmon, I’m looking at you!) get to qualify as “Good fats?” (And why can’t Reddi Whip make the cut?)
Readers, leave me a comment about something you often ask, “Sheesh, who the heck was in charge of THAT?” (But don’t blame me — I was only in charge of six children.)
In an age where amusement park rides (“Pirates of Caribbean”) and board games (“Clue”) can become movies, comic strips (Lil’ Orphan Annie) become Broadway musicals, books (“Gone Girl”) become cinema thrillers, and novels become a controversial Netflix television series (“13 Reasons Why”) I’ve decided WHY STOP THERE?
Songs Becoming News Stories!
(Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”)
In a New York bar on a Saturday night as the regular crowd shuffled in, many patrons allegedly inundated a helpless pianist with random musical requests. Some were sad, some were sweet, and some were incomplete as people struggled with their memories, substituting “La la la, di da da La la, di da da da dum” for actual lyrics. Even the bartender, who was identified only as John (and who gave free drinks, was quick with a joke or to light up a smoke) seemed to hold the compassionate piano player accountable for his own unhappiness and the fact that he couldn’t break free from the nightclub to become a movie star. “Bill, I believe this is killing me,” he was quoted as saying. Other innocent bystanders included a real estate novelist, a waitress practicing politics, and some businessmen slowly getting stoned. One witness claimed the piano sounded like a carnival and the microphone smelled like a beer, but this could not be substantiated. In fact many customers ordered the drink special of the night, called “Loneliness” and this seemed to evoke a common sentiment that if the pianist would only sing them the right kind of song with a melody that they were in the mood for, then everyone would be feeling alright. The manager finally appeared and gave a smile, aware that it was his establishment that helped everyone forget about life for a while. It was unknown whether the Piano Man later sought therapy for the pressure he felt during this incident.
Recipes Becoming Poetry!
(Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Baking time will be less than a half hour at 350 oven power
First grab 1 tsp salt, baking soda, and 2 1/4 cups flour,
Add in 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and be sure it’s 1 cup butter
You’ll be dropping by spoonfuls, no need for cookie cutter!
Don’t overbake, you want them soft and chewy to the lips,
And they won’t taste right if you don’t add chocolate chips!
Poetry Becoming Dog Tags!
If you’re reading this, it means I’m lost.
Maybe there’s a street I shouldn’t have crossed.
But the worst is over ‘cuz now I’ve been found. . .
And you’ve saved me from ending up in the pound.
So pick up the phone and give my owner a holler
And tell them you read this rhyme on my collar!”
Lyrics Becoming Essays!
(Katy Perry’s “Firework” – Graded by Little Miss Menopause)
Kati Perry “Firework”
8th Grade/Eng Comp 101/Period 4
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?(Careful beginning any persuasive essay with a question — if the answer is “No” you’ve just lost your reader.)
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin like a house of cards, (archaic phrase, nobody knows what this is except for the popular TV show.) one blow from caving in? (overly dramatic, credibility?)
Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under? Screams, but no one seems to hear a thing. (morbid tone, not in keeping with rest of your paper, Ms. Perry)
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you ’cause (you must type out ‘because’ in formal essays) there’s a spark in you. (more supporting evidence needed) You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, just own the night like the Fourth of July. (awkward sentence structure!)
‘Cause baby you’re a firework, come on show ’em what your (you’re) worth. Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” (use proper dialoguing format here.) As you shoot across the sky-y-y. (cliche) Baby you’re a firework. (cite your source) Come on let your colors burst! Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” (Choppy!) You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down.
Boom, boom, boom even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through. You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down. Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Etc, etc.
(D+ You tried Katy, and this is a much better effort than your “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” term paper, but your closing argument paragraph is redundant, nonsensical, and frankly better suited for a song lyric. I’m recommending you repeat English Comp 101.)
Movie Dialogue Becoming Resumes
Skills and Experience:
- Phoning Home
- Building it so they will come
- Showing the Money
- Looking at you, Kid
- Rounding up the usual suspects
- Putting my lips together and whistling
- Seeing dead people
- Depending on the kindness of strangers
- Never using wire hangers. EVER!
- Martini making, shaken not stirred
- Making your day
- Keeping the force with you
- Not putting babies in corners
- Not giving a damn, but in a very frank way
Readers, join me in the fun of mixing and matching our crazy media! Why not leave me a comment with your own creative blend?
You may think our logic is slightly flawed,
Certain we know best, even better than God.
Our kids wear sweaters when we’re really the ones who’re cold.
And good luck throwing us Surprise parties without us wearing a blindfold.
Need to know everything — we’re obsessed with discovering stuff.
You may admonish, “Mind your own business!” but never have to say, “Get off your duff!”
It’s not enough to just know the outer you, we want to know your internals.
That’s exactly why it’s fine for us to snoop thru your diaries and journals!
And if we’re extra polite, saying thank-you and please quite often,
We think you won’t bristle at our demands, in fact we think you’ll soften.
But look at the upside to being one of us — we’re meticulous with wars we’re waging.
We fight about marriage, work, schools, friends, and we’re totally against our own aging!
‘Micromanaging’ — such a vulgar term, we’d never EVER do it!
But alas our “helpful hint” is taken the wrong way, folks just misconstrue it.
So if we cannot manipulate our world at large, you, or even our own mate’s lives,
At least we’re gonna stay in charge of our kid’s health… with the prevention of hives!
Um, that last line was stupid, but controlling peeps are stubborn,
Even over words, language, rhymes, we must try and govern!
And there’s one more thing we’re planning to subtly orchestrate . . .
Bestowing a new name on US, one that promotes a euphoric state.
‘Cuz calling us CONTROL FREAKS is rather harsh, ugly, and bleak.
How about just saying we have special powers due to our technique?
So from now on, “Universal Supervisor” replaces “Control Freak” as our new term.
Can we all just agree on this? I really need to know you’ll confirm!
And ‘cuz we’re certain that most of you find our control issues something to condemn…
Therefore nobody who is “One of Us” will admit that this is actually them.
But I’ll raise my hand proudly (sorta!) because once you get to know me . . . I’m really quite a gem!
Lastly before I leave you, I’m not beyond using guilt to influence and apply a little pressure,
If you don’t leave me a comment, nobody will know you exist or that you’re such a WordPress treasure!
Have you detected the newest fad in eating? The trendiest ingredient of the millennium is now getting its own dedicated restaurant. A few of them, in fact! In Brooklyn, New York, “Avocadoria” just opened on April 10th. And in Amsterdam, “The Avocado Show” has already been serving nothing but these green gems for a while now. And don’t forget Avocado Athens, in Greece.
Little Miss Menopause (of course!) felt compelled to go undercover for a review, an interview, and to get all the facts on why these Avocado Advocates were so passionate about something that when mushed up, looks like it belongs in The Exorcist. As I deplaned in NYC, I changed into my only green shirt with this graphic I made for the front.
Me: Thank you for granting me an interview in between mashing, dicing, slicing, spreading, scooping, chopping, pureeing, mincing, and blending.
Owner: Don’t forget whipping.
Me: I never read Fifty Shades. So tell me WHY the avocado?
Owner: Why NOT the avocado? Avocado lives matter. And avocados have been greatly misunderstood. Not knowing if it was a vegetable or a fruit. And having it be just a $2.50 item listed on the menu under “Sides.” An avocado ain’t no side to nobody.
Me: Of course it’s not.
Owner: It’s the main course here. In fact, there’s nothing in my restaurant that isn’t made out of avocado.
Me: Is that so? Nothing? I heard you even spread it on sandwiches in place of mayo or mustard, true?
Owner: Absolutely! There’s nothing in our sandwiches except avocado.
Me: But what about the bread?? Aha . . . caught you!!
Owner: Where you been girl? Avocado loaves!
Me: That’s not a thing.
Owner: Oh it’s soooooo a thing!
Me: Hmm, okay well how about this? If I were to order guacamole . . .
Owner: You’d be one boring, sheltered girl.
Me: Never mind that. If I were to order guacamole, what would you serve me to dip in it? Got ya there! You’d bring me tortilla chips, wouldn’t you?? You would!
Owner: Nope. We slice avocado into little half-dollar size circles and deep fry them in . . .
Me: OLIVE oil! Busted!
Owner: Extra Virgin Avocado oil. Didn’t see that coming, did you?
After I left the interview feeling totally beaten, I had to admit the place was packed, the ambience was
green and creamy, clean and dreamy, and the chef had it so easy. Just one ingredient for their entire menu! The wheels began to turn for me . . .
I know! I’ll open a restaurant that serves only Yams. I’m tired of people mixing up yams with sweet potatoes. I’ll call it, “I Yam Nuts!” Oh wait, then I’d have to serve cashews and almonds and pistachios as well. But not peanuts. They’re a legume.
As I walked, I brainstormed more mono-food eateries. “Cafe Capers” or “Okra-Homa” or my personal favorite, “Twinkie Twinkie Little Star,” but I’d have to talk to Hostess first.
Ironically on the street with the Avocadoria restaurant were a bunch of apparel stores, but selling one specific item. The signs proudly proclaimed, “Solo Socks” and “Only Underwear” and “Just Jammies” and “Merely Madras.” This was getting really weird.
I walked into “Scarcely Skirts” and tried to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.
Me: I’d like to buy a pair of pants?
Owner: Sorry, we only carry skirts.
Me: Oh, I’m sure you must have something else besides skirts here. I know! I’d like to buy some hangers.
Owner: We don’t have any hangers.
Me: Then what’s suspending all your skirts from the clothing racks??
Owner: Get out, Little Miss Menopause. You are obviously in need of some mushrooms. Go next door and order some shroom tacos at “Fungus ForAllOfUs.”
I have a new plan. There must be some way for me to capitalize on this new segregational commerce trend. And I’ll start with “Avocadoria.” In the vacant space next door, I am going to open a restaurant called, “The Anti-Avo.” We’ll cook everything under the sun. Except for Avocados. I’ll be an Avocado Avoidant.
Customers will become so enraged by what they see the culinary world becoming, that they’ll embrace grub integration once more. So won’t you join me in the
food good fight, hop onto this grassrutabaga grassroots cruciferous crusade where all nourishment and noshes will once again coexist in peace and harmony.
Last night I tossed and turned (a Caesar salad’s got nothin’ on me!) while cursing at my fitted sheet, which ironically is totally UNFIT to be slept on. This is the SIXTH set of bed linens I’ve purchased that have been pre-programmed by the manufacturer to drive me slowly mad by having a corner insidiously slip a half-inch every hour until it PING, snaps off the mattress entirely.
How do I know this? Because any manufacturer of a simple household product who thinks a huge selling point would be to put in large printed letters on a colorful sticker, right over the price tag, the message — “100% Percale! Now with 800 thread count!” is definitely out to get me. You see they know if I’m still moving forward to purchase this product (even after questioning what “Percale” might be and receiving a dire thread count warning), then I’m actually someone who is compulsive enough to recheck and confirm their number claim by totaling up the sum of threads on my fingers.
Okay, so really Mr. Inventor Guy? Seriously?? You can go on Shark Tank with your bladeless windmill, a shoelace-tying robot, plus figure out a way to grow guacamole right inside the avocado so there’s no messy mashing (Okay, I made that last one up, but wouldn’t it be cool?) yet you can’t devise a fitted sheet that stays securely on a bed mattress, without waking up the (already neurotic) occupant with a startle??
So I did what any desperate insomniac would do. I took to the internet for advice. On a website called Question.com I posted this:
Help! How can I stop the sheet from popping off my mattress?
Within seconds an answer appeared, but in photograph form.
Okay so that person must be a former treasure hunt, map-maker who believes “X marks the spot” is the solution to everything in life.
When I finally figured out that what I was looking at was the BOTTOM of the mattress, I explained to the helpful (NOT!) responder that mine was king-sized (and far too heavy to ever flip over!)
Immediately my grandmother (who must diligently read this obscure question/answer website in between her bridge games?) suddenly posted an image of what I can only guess are the garters she uses to hold up her stockings, except grandma has four legs now??
After that, a bunch more “answers” came fast and furiously but not via cryptic photos. There were heated debates about my California King mattress being far too wide for just my regular King-sized sheets. It must’ve been presumed that because I live in San Diego I definitely own a California King mattress?
Next came the comics. On the internet, comedians always come out of the woodwork, (which I guess in the case of bed problems would be out of the headboard) except none were funny. Here’s an example anyhow.
“Hi! I’m Paul. I don’t have anything to say about how to fix this issue you’re having, but I misread the question as, ‘How can I stop the sh*t from pooping off my mistress?’ Haha.
Uh, Don’t quit your day OR your night job, Paul.
Next came all the “handy helpful hints” which are from women named Heloise. They fall under the general theme of using other common household objects to fix the original household object. Like this:
And you just know that once the Safety Pin Brigade begins, it can’t be long before The Duct Tape proponents come out in droves. Followed by The Velcro People.
Next I patiently wade through answers from sheer genius, analytical types . . . (but who can’t spell to save their life)
And to this person I graciously respond, “No sheet, Sherlock?!”
There were many more answers (92 responses in total) to this age old dilemma and soon I realized that everyone had their own special way of handling the old “fitted sheet slipping off the corner” conundrum and I began to feel a certain camaraderie with all these fellow bedmates. I ended my “thank you’s” by bidding them “Sweet Dreams!” and cautioning them not to “let the bedbugs bite.” We shared pictures of our adorable children who had also been subjected to this same irritating fate.
And in this “it’s a small world” moment I was feeling that surely we must all have more in common than just our sheets coming undone from our mattresses, and so I posted a totally new and completely unrelated question.
“Help! After doing laundry, how do you neatly fold the fitted sheet and win the war in your linen closet?”
And just like that, we all intensely bonded over who had the best YouTube video showcasing a live demonstration.
It’s quite a relief knowing I will never lose another night’s sleep wondering who My People are, because I am now a confirmed member of the “Get a life” tribe.
And to all a good night!
Little Miss Menopause
Tonight we’ve invited a non-Jewish family to our special Passover dinner to share our culture and traditions. Obsessed with The Wizard of Oz, they’ve politely requested (for their children’s sake, of course!) that we liken the holiday to their favorite movie so they’ll better understand and appreciate our customs. Uh oh! I don’t think we’re in Egypt anymore!
But hey, it might be interesting to at least find a few parallels, metaphorically speaking, right? Let’s see . . . Dorothy (like Moses?) led her people (The Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion) through a path to freedom on what could’ve been (if the director was a bit more innovative!) a road paved with crispy boards of Matzo instead of yellow bricks.
Later on in Emerald City, a major plot twist occurs with the significant parting of that fateful curtain (and pay no attention to the man behind it!) which exposes the Wizard as ultimately weak and small, incapable of great feats. Now liken that to the meaningful parting of the Red Sea, revealing the great and powerful miracles of God. No never mind, there’s just no comparison!
But a case can possibly be made that the Wicked Witch was sorta like the Pharaoh, torturing and inflicting pain on everyone around her – even her own slaves, those Flying Monkeys. And then she is ultimately destroyed by an act of water (“Help me, I’m melting, I’m melting!”) and this is a good thing. Similarly, a tremendous amount of water played a huge role in the demise of the Egyptian army when the Red Sea closed up on them – and this was also a very good thing! I’m not sure where this entire analogy is even going and maybe it just doesn’t hold water. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) “Oh, what a world…what a world!”
But let’s continue with an easier creative stretch! The Munchkins can be Jewicized by simply calling them “Menschkins.” (A mensch means a person of integrity) And the little dog Toto, too! (AKA “Todah,” means “thank you” in Hebrew.)
“Poppy! Poppy will put them to sleep!” Can refer to what the Wicked Witch of the West says as she casts her spell on the poppy field . . . OR it signifies every grandfather who tells boring stories at Passover dinner that begin with, “When I was a kid . . . ”
Well enough of my contrived allegories. Let’s move on to music! I’ve always thought adding rhythm to any family holiday enriches the experience, so in addition to the traditional passover songs, (Dayenu and Go Down Moses) we just might sing the following:
Sung Like the Scarecrow to the Tune of “If I Only Had a Brain!” (No doubt pressured by his Jewish parents to get into Yale!)
There was this brand new Pharaoh,
Had us all over a barrel,
And always gave us flack,
Then from bread we must abstain,
But you won’t hear us complain,
Boiled eggs are the perfect snack.
And the pyramids were built,
So to heck with Jewish guilt . . .
Now if we only had some grain!
Sung Like Glinda to the Tune of “Come Out, Come Out!”
Pull him out, pull him out, whoever you are,
And see the new baby who’ll become a Jewish star.
He floated so far, glided half of a mile,
Meet the special young boy who was drawn from the Nile!
He drifted in that river, it flowed very fast,
And later in his role, Charlton Heston would be cast.
Sung like Menschkins to the Tune of “The Lollipop Guild”
We represent the Matzo Ball League, the Matzo Ball League!
And in the name of the Matzo Ball League . . .
We forbid you to eat bread products for 8 more days!
Sung like Dorothy to the Tune of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
Somewhere out of Egypt, way up high,
There’s a land that I’ve heard of, up on Mt. Sinai.
Somewhere, out of the desert,
A flaming bush will burn.
And through those Ten Commandments,
All the idol worshippers will learn.
(yada yada, repeat again until next lines for big finish!)
Now if happy little children can find
The matzo hidden in the venetian blind . . .
Why, oh why, can’t I ???
Okay, okay, so I guess there’s only one thing left to try and integrate for my Passover dinner guests, and that’s how to address those scary Ten Plagues? I suppose we could start by chanting three of them, “Locusts and Boils and Hail . . . Oh My!
Happy Passover to all my readers who celebrate.
I don’t know about you, but I get tired of people pulling dumb stunts on me (pretending apple juice is urine) or visual gags (glueing quarters to the sidewalk) on April Fool’s Day. I much prefer word games. And if they’re set to music and have a catchy beat, all the better!
That’s why every April Fool’s Day I tell the various people in my life that extremely famous songs were written with me in mind. It’s an innocent joke but you’d be amazed how many will buy it, until I can’t contain myself and burst out laughing.
Here are some tips to pull off your own, “I’m The One Neil Diamond Meant When he Crooned, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” hijinks!
- Tall Tale Tunes: Otherwise known as Story Songs will work really well for this particular joke. You know the kind where the lyrics teach a lesson or impart a moral? I must admit every time I heard, “Centerfold” by J. Geils Band, I really wanted to be the character in that song. The innocent girl that was “pure as snowflakes” in high school, who was “slipping notes under his desk while he was thinking about her dress!” And then years later, when he’s looking thru the pages of a girlie magazine, there’s his homeroom angel on the pages in-between . . . Whoa, Babam!! Well – – you guessed it, I once told my ex-husband that I went to school with the lead singer of this band and bragged that “Centerfold” was written specifically about me — to assuage the mad crush he had on me, of course. To this day, my ex is terribly flattered I picked him to marry (out of what must’ve been hundreds of offers!) and he’s never once asked which magazine I posed for. (If he did, I’d tell him it was Popular Mechanics.)
- List of Story Songs: Here are some other suggestions of these kinds of songs you can claim are written about you: Bye Bye Miss American Pie (What? Wouldn’t it be a kick to be the person solely responsible for the day the music died?) Stairway to Heaven (All you have to be is a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold. Easy Peasy! Oh and you make him wonder…you really make Led Zeppelin wonder!) Cat’s in the Cradle (if you’re a guy, this one is perfect! Tell your wife you would have mentioned you were the son in Harry Chapin’s song a long time ago, but you thought she’d cry at your wedding when you refused to invite your dad because your smile never dimmed as you said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah. Y’know I’m gonna be like him!”
- Name Songs – – Man, do you have it made if there happens to already exist a song with YOUR exact name in it. In fact, women named Wendy seem to have all the luck. Tell him you actually are THE Wendy that Bruce Springsteen was Born to Run with, not to mention a personal invitation to strap your hands across his engines. Mmmm. Wendys can also claim that they’re the one referenced in Prince’s song, Kiss, or “Wendy” the song by Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame. And even Elton John with his title, “Wake Up Wendy.” Or get fanciful and tell him you’re the Wendy from the musical, “Peter Pan.” But if you really wanna stretch it, tell him The Association wrote their song, “Windy” about you. Ready? Just google your name and see if you already have a song out there — bingo, instant April Fool’s material!
- Naive Targets: There are no songs with Stephanie in them, so I always choose extra gullible people for this type of musical prank. For instance my brother is the perfect kind of innocence for me to easily fool with. (When we were younger, I told him I had my own Candy store inside my bedroom wall and as proof I’d produce a Hershey bar– I also mentioned that a blue furry monster sometimes used our downstairs bathroom and the way to know when he recently peed in the toilet was the water turned the exact shade of his fur when you flushed. I always said this after our mom put those navy colored Clorox drop-in disks in our commode!) So last April 1st, I told this overtrusting brother of mine that many of the Beatles songs were indeed about me and that our parents kept changing my name thru the years to preserve my privacy. He bought that I was Sexy Sadie, Lovely Rita, Hey Jude, Long Tall Sally, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and even Michelle, Ma Belle — though he knew I wasn’t ever french. He may have been gullible, but apparently I underestimated his math skills because one day he pointed out that I was just being born in 1964, the very same year the Beatles burst onto the American Scene. Oh well.
- Straight Face: If anyone doubts your sincerity during this April Fool’s joke, all you need to do is perform your own personal rendition of Carly Simon’s, “I’m So Vain, I probably think this song is about me, don’t I? Don’t I?”
If you’re a female and would like other April Fool’s Day options (albeit a bit racier) just click RIGHT HERE for my last year’s post.
Parker Brothers used to hold the monopoly on making a big media production over retiring an iconic object. In February they took a vote and announced which piece would leave their famous board game. It turns out that seams aren’t the only thing ripped from archaic sewing rooms because THE THIMBLE was voted to be torn from Monopoly’s token collection when it was deemed esoteric (Personally I think the word “esoteric” should have been retired from our vocabulary long ago!) and given a big “thumbs” down. The thimble, really?? Well, I’ll be “darned.”
Oy. Do we really care about any of this??
Of course we don’t. At least not anymore. Because this earth-shattering news just paled in comparison to the latest vivid revelation . . .
Today (on National Crayon Day, doncha know?) Crayola finally disclosed (while holding us in suspense for as long as it takes to scrub Burnt Sienna off our bathroom wall after our child throws a tantrum) which classic color will be swiftly retired from their 24-pack.
Turns out DANDELION has been weeded out and put to pasture!
Well color me surprised! Can you really garner this much attention over retiring something? And now people are really getting worked up because it’s been proclaimed that the replacement crayon will be “blueish.” But that’s as descriptive as Crayola cares to get (for now!) because . . . (drum roll!) it seems that WE all get to submit an explicit suggestion for the blue crayon’s new unique name!
Frankly, I’d just be tickled pink if simple tricks like these worked in my life to garner me some respect and fanfare.
It’s worth a go . . .
ME: Hey kids, guess what? I’m retiring an object from our silverware drawer. You’ll never guess what it is, but care to try??
YOUNGEST SON: Wait, we have a silverware drawer? Where is it?? I just grab forks for my scrambled eggs straight out of the dishwasher.
OLDER SON: What?? You get served scrambled eggs! I just get a bowl of Cheerios slapped down in front of me.
DAUGHTER: And ewww, you take stuff from the dishwasher?? Those crusted, baked-on dishes have been sitting in that Maytag appliance since mom was pregnant and we threw a shower for you. And you’re 13-years-old now. Not a baby anymore.
ME: That’s it, I knew you guys would guess it! That’s exactly what I’m retiring from the silverware drawer — his tiny baby spoon! Shall we call Gerber? Channel 7 news? Parker Brothers? And now let’s think of a fun name to call the new utensil that will take its place! For a prize of course . . .
I watched as one-by-one they grabbed Oreos, shoved them in their mouths, and filed out of the kitchen, eying me in that way they did when I remarked that Adele’s song “Hello From The Other Side” was about a ghost in the afterlife.
However (to be fair) later on I received a cryptic text from my 15-year-old that said simply, “Spork!!! Now what do I win?”
Ugh. Next try will be with my boyfriend…
ME: Honey, there’s something very important that I’ve used a lot, but now that I’m menopausal, I think it’s the right time to say goodbye to it.
HIM: Well it can’t be your gym shoes.
ME: I’m retiring my diaphragm.
HIM: Interesting. Won’t you need that to breathe??
Everyone’s a comic. After I retired aspartame from my diet (and replaced it with Sucralose) and nobody seemed to notice, (or care) I took one last shot at an official announcement.
Because three times is a charm.
ME: Hey everyone, I’ve finally made a decision. I’m gonna retire something that’s long overdue to be gone. Can you guess what it is?
EVERYONE: Your so called humor blog??? “Once Upon Your Prime!” OMG! That’s fantastic news. And don’t worry, we’ll all visit it every year in the old folk’s home out in the blogosphere. Yay! So let’s have a big party! We’ll even eat your cake with Sporks! Anything you want. But we just can’t wait to celebrate bidding good riddance to that bland, bloated, blabbermouth blog of yours!!!
Great, that’s just great. But at least now I have a suggestion for the name of the new crayon that’s replacing Dandelion. “Bland, Bloated, Blabbermouth Bloggy Blue!” What do ya say, Crayola??
Or in other (non-alliterative) words — yep, you can create simple memes that will drive more traffic to your blog! And you don’t need a pair of 8-week-old kittens (like I just so happen to have!) in order to do so. But having original photography on a riveting subject will definitely help you get around those pesky copyright issues.
The ability to think up a correlating funny cliche, pun, or witty wordplay also REALLY helps boost the meme’s popularity. Plus at the end of this post I will put a link to my favorite custom meme generator that any dummy can figure out how to use, as aptly demonstrated here.
But first, the most important matter at hand….a few posts ago, I took a vote on names for two tiny litter mates that I was adopting. They’re here now and I’m introducing them officially as “Ritz & Bits!” (Because you’ve heard of Animal Crackers, right?)
Ritz & Bits (along with eliciting lotsa joy, play, innocence, and tons of creativity in the form of great excuses for why my kids are incapable of doing litter-box chores!) have inadvertently brought more followers to my blog than anything I’ve ever written. And all because I turned their cute photos into memes AND remembered to put my blog name at the bottom before posting on Facebook or Tweeting.
Below are some more memes that I made in my sleep. Okay, that’s simply an expression to convey how easy it was because I do NOT sleep anymore. Between the insomnia, the writing deadlines, the strange prowler noises I hear, and now little alien beings that pounce on my tiniest foot movements, I get zero shut-eye.
But (above) I seem to have inherited a pair of furry house-slippers, albeit mismatched colors!
Above they’re only six weeks old but I’m pretty sure the one on the right helped me conquer my phobia with white mice because I swore he looked just like one.
Here they’ve taken up blogging so I’ve got competition . . .
And together we’re collaborating on a sequel for Dirty Dancing and remaking this famous scene . . .
Now below is an example of what NOT to do. As darling of a meme as this could have been, I wrecked it by trying to cram more clever into its wordage than additives in my kittens’ organic food. Instead of piquing interest and luring readers to my blog — the reaction was, “Huh? Weird much? Steer clear of anything this oddball writer posts!”
On the other hand when you have show-stopping eyes, you don’t have to write anything much at all in your meme, but you can never go wrong with simplistic — as you can see below.
And sometimes you’ll miss the obvious . . .
Above I should have just said, “Who’s up for a quick round of CAT-TERGORIES?” But that’s the beauty of a meme, you can rework it until it finally goes viral.
Not to imply that any of these have gone viral. But like I said, if increasing blog followers is your goal – – then definitely make some memes! And then sell some product on your site to take advantage of the extra traffic, making it all worth your while ($$!) I’m planning to sell the little jingle bells you see my kittens wearing on their collars, only for children to wear around their necks because . . . well the need is obvious.
I also have a little (jealous) dog who’s a female and I was certain she’d be very maternal with the two new family members. So no more mention of kittens, Lola’s cute enough to have a meme of her own too, right?
Oh well, I tried to keep the kittens out of the memes.
Now just to make it clear that this blog hasn’t been taken over by a Crazy Cat Lady, I will give you an example of making a meme that doesn’t make people murmur, “Mmmm, How sweet!” or “What deliciousness!”
Now go meme away YOUR life and don’t forget to put your blog name on the bottom so you’ll reap the benefits. Just click HERE to start! Any questions? I’ll answer you purrfectly in the comments section, without scratching your eyes out….I promise.
Alrighty, so interestingly enough WE (that would be you AND I) are no different than popular products that companies advertise. Why? Because we all want to be well-received by the public and we like to think of ourselves as having a solid warranty, right?
I don’t know about you, but I never looked at things quite in that light when I first attempted to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — so now I have to do a major “rebranding” of myself as a person.
And maybe so do you?
You know, like how McDonalds used to just make America fat, but now they look like Starbucks and serve salads! And how Target used to be just another low-brow discount store but now it carries Fiorucci, Mizrahi, Giannulli, and Fusilli. (Note: these’ll make you hungry for Italian food, but only the last one is actually pasta — the first three are high-profile designers!)
Here are some tips for using each of the popular online networks to do a major personal revamp! It is worth mentioning that you can project an entirely different image of yourself on each separate one. For instance, I can use Twitter to rebrand myself as a well-regarded author (who doesn’t look like Starbucks, or serve salads!) and then Instagram for depicting myself as an ultra-fun friend! And Facebook to get the word out that I’m the latest sex symbol to put Marilyn to shame. (Uh, that’d be Marilyn Manson!) Basically you can characterize yourself however you want, so use your imagination!
And Now Without Further Adieu . . . (What’s adieu and why is it always escaping being held hostage?)
TWITTER: If you lose your train of thought after 140 characters like I do, then Tweets are perfect for the reinventing process! Also due to the abrupt nature of the post, you should intentionally cut yourself off mid-sentence to invoke intrigue. i.e. Here’s a recent one of mine implying I’m a sought after author — “Meeting with my agent today for a power lunch and heavy negotiations about . . . ” (Oops, ran out of characters!) Nobody needs to know it’s actually my health insurance Agent and I’m trying to get a dental plan added on!
SNAPCHAT: Also ideal since what you post vanishes after 10 seconds, which is coincidentally the maximum timespan of my memory! I like to put out a photo of me dancing on tables (with my bra on top of my head) or swinging from chandeliers (which are actually Polaroids from my college sorority days!) but by the time all my highfalutin decorator friends zoom in to scrutinize the texture of the tablecloth or the brand of the chandelier, the whole thing magically disappears! Meanwhile, the lingering effect is me as fun party girl that everyone now wants to invite to their next shindig.
FACEBOOK: Posting extremely frequently is the key here so you’ll get comments and likes literally around-the-clock. It also helps to have every day be your birthday so you have a constant stream of well-wishers. For instance, each night at midnight I go into FB settings and modify my date of birth to the following day. Instantly, all my Facebook Friends trip over themselves to leave their best regards in the comments section, complete with custom kitten memes and colorful cakes with candle pics, etc. I use this particular “365 day a year birthday” technique because I want to create the image that I am a “Born-Again.”
INSTAGRAM: Liberally use hashtags here. Trust me, you won’t get a reputation for being a cannabis dealer but you may constantly order hash-browns at brunch restaurants. Also to stand out, whilst everyone else is posting their silly selfies, you should post shelfies because this will project an image that you are still a bookworm in a Kindle Kingdom. Celfies (photos of you munching lotsa celery) are a good way to make people believe you’re a health nut or a Vegan.
PINTEREST: I make specific boards by tagging certain “guilt-inducing” photos to give my grown kids (who’ve flown the nest without nary a backwards glance!) some subliminal suggestions. I created one with lots of crafty projects of old, skinny, wrinkled, gray-haired sock puppets on crutches. I titled it “self-portraits.” So far nobody has come home for a visit, but I remain optimistic. Another board has pictures of adorably decorated baby nurseries with sad-looking dolls in the crib. I’m hoping that will propel me into “Nanna” status before I’m too old to see or hear any grandchildren. Another album has hundreds of photos of ET phoning home. Cleverly subtle, yet maybe too subtle — so far my cell hasn’t buzzed once.
LINKEDIN: I like to use LinkedIn to represent myself as being highly qualified to do anything and everything. Did you know you can make a resume for playing with kittens? Because that’s one of my top-notch skillsets.
TEXTING: Yes! You can even use your cellphone for revising your stale reputation. It’s all done through an act I like to call, “Mistaken Texts On Purpose!” I am sure at one time or another you’ve received an odd message and afterwards the sender immediately wrote, “Never mind that! Meant for someone else.” Meanwhile can you unsee it?? Of course not. So use this method to intentionally transfer information to someone whose opinion of you needs to be readjusted. Your ex broke up with you because you’re a loser? Send this “accidental” text to him/her. “Hey! Can you ask the bank to hold off on closing escrow on my beach home, the lottery officials said my first 80 million will transfer at the close of business hours today. Thanks.” Followed by a, “Sorry! Disregard that last text. Hope all is well!”
WORDPRESS BLOG: Use WordPress every chance you get to throw your followers off track. You want to keep writing strange, quirky, “so bad it’s definitely putrid” posts so that when you hit the New York Times with your bestselling novel, everyone will be so surprised you could knock them over with a feather. Then go on Etsy and use it to market colorful, unique feathers.
As a retired event planner, I feel obligated to throw a few shindigs now and again to keep my party skills sharp — and the Oscars gave me a good excuse to have a little gala in my small in-home theatre last night.
The first dilemma was a forced imposed guest limit due to constraints of having only eight “official cinema” seats. Because of “chair scarcity,” each seat became valuable real-estate and thus my desire to fill it with non-flaky people (who would actually rsvp in a timely manner and follow-thru with showing up) was escalated.
I decided to make this a casual Ladies Only get-together so I invited a group of compatible women who knew one another from book club and to make it more fun, I wrote, “Come in pajamas!” One by one, as rsvp’s slowly trickled in and were mainly “No’s” (What’s this? Nobody mentioned I would be cooking!) I would re-invite someone new to replace the original declining guest — again wanting to insure all 8 seats were filled was my goal.
Soon it became almost an entirely new guest list where nobody really knew one another like they did before, but I told myself the Oscars would keep us entertained.
I also thought it would be fun (again being overly ambitious with prior party planning creativity) to hold a contest to predict the most winners (with a prize) and to have a “Dear Oscar” activity with guests anonymously writing down their personal dilemmas (think Dear Abby) and me reading them aloud during commercials when we’d chime in with advice.
Simple so far, right? Easy Peasy La-La Landeasy! Here’s how it all went down:
*Lady #1: Hi! Glad I made it. What a cute movie room this is. Um … all purple? Well I’m just grateful I can stay in my nightgown! I brought shrimp cocktails for everyone.
Me: How nice. I should have mentioned you’re the only one from the original guest list. The other women are actually now Jewish and don’t eat shellfish.
Lady #2: (sniffing, looking #1 over) Also we actually took the time to put our clothes on.
Me: Oh, that’s not her fault. Excuse me . . . Sweetie — please don’t do that to the chair. It’s not a leather recliner.
Lady #4: Hmph, well I have a bad back, however I’ll try to stay until Best Supporting Actor, only because I love Jeff Bridges.
Me: But that’s the very first award. Sheesh, can you at least call in for ‘backup?’ No pun intended, but I really want all 8 chairs occupied.
Lady # 6: Do we have to fill out these Oscar ballots? Ever since the November election, I get nauseas voting.
Lady #1: That’s the shrimp smell. I stashed the platter under my seat.
Lady #4: You mean the cheap-o seats that won’t lean back.
Lady #2: Dear Abby, err Oscar — How to handle it when someone comes to a party dressed inappropriately?
Me: I told you, NOT her fault. Her invitation said ‘Pajama Party.’ And please don’t read your question aloud, they’re supposed to be anonymous.
Lady #5: Shhhh, I can’t hear who the nominees are for Best Depressing Film.
Lady #6: Don’t worry, A Dog’s Purpose will win that. The cute little guy gets reincarnated and keeps dying.
Lady #3: That’s not a thing!
Lady #6: Well, I happen to believe in getting recycled even if you have a tail!
Lady #3: No, I meant there’s no ‘Best Depressing’ category.
Lady #7: Her screen is depressing. Is that just a white bed sheet?
Me: Excuse me, but who are you? And do you ever get told you resemble Jeff Bridges?
Man #1: Hi! My wife had a bad back and called me to be her replacement seat-warmer.
Lady #2: Dear Oscar, There’s a woman here breaking many of the Lord’s commandments. She eats shrimp, she’s scantily clad amongst a married man, and she’s only seen Schindler’s List once. What to do?
Me: Please, I’ll read all those questions during commercials. Yoo hoo over there! Sorry, but that popcorn machine doesn’t work. It’s only decoration.
Lady #7: Really? Wow. Okay I’ll take a large Sprite with extra ice, plus Junior Mints and nachos without jalapeños because I get heartburn.
Lady #5: Heartburn was a good movie with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.
Lady #6: I correctly predicted Special Effects, Makeup, and Best Original Score. What do I win?
Lady #3: There’s a man hiding in that corner. He seems like a real prize.
Me: I will hand out a cute gift basket I created when I tally up the votes at the end of the show.
Lady #4: Seriously? That will take hours. Especially if they change their minds about the winners.
Me: All winners are final at the Oscars!
Lady #7: I saw this supposed “cute gift basket” in the guest bathroom. It’s just leftover Valentine’s junk.
Lady #1: Okay everyone, say Meryl Streeeeeeeep. Smile!
Me: Stop! No photography!
Lady #1: Is that a Jewish law too??
Me: No, I don’t want any pictures on social media.
Lady #7: Cuz she’s ashamed of having a theater with uncomfortable seats.
Me: No, I don’t want all my other POLITE friends to feel slighted at not being invited.
Lady #5: Hey, that’s a good title for your blog: ‘Slighted at Not Being Invited!’
All Ladies: OMG. If you’re going to blog about this, we’re leaving. We thought it was just ladies and so we didn’t put any makeup on.
Lady #2: And some of us have no clothes on!
Man #1: That’s totally cool. But I hate to say it, this Oscar show is messed up big time. They just announced the wrong winner for Best Picture.
All Ladies: OMG. Your sound system is the worst. Warren Beatty would’ve announced the correct winner if we watched it in our own homes.
Me: Dear Oscar, Please remind me the next time I think about planning a party — there’s a GOOD reason I retired.
* All names have been changed to numbers (not for anonymity) because the author was extremely proud to have accomplished filling all 8 purple (yes, purple) seats above!
Here is a cautionary tale about what can happen if you have OCD and kittens become involved.
It began innocently enough — **a strange cat with no collar wandered into our house and my kids were thrilled to have some temporary pet variety, (we only have one small dog) but they were told the key word was TEMPORARY.
My Kids: Please??? . . .
Me: We absolutely cannot keep him. He belongs to someone else. And we are under NO circumstances ever getting a cat, so just put that idea out of your heads.
But I never said anything about kittens. Fast forward to current day when the adult cat left us, and a certain 13-year-old boy (who somehow inherited my obsessive/compulsiveness) scoured the internet for days on end searching for available kittens, then wrote pleading emails nominating our family’s candidacy as the perfect new owner. We visited 6 different litters (but ONLY because I like to see people’s home decorating styles) and now lo and behold — we’ll be bringing these TWO balls of fluff (pictured everywhere in this post!) into our household.
But we cannot have them FOR ANOTHER MONTH. Apparently they’re too small and must stay with their mother until they’re weaned. Have you ever?? I can’t even. What a wicked breeder! Clearly that’s just a made-up excuse so their lucky family gets to enjoy this adorable kitten stage as long as possible, using up all their cuteness before they finally come to us.
Okay, so it’s Valentine’s Day. Try newly falling in love with someone really soft (or two someones!) and then being apart for four full weeks. It makes you crazy wondering how they are doing, if they’re eating right, if they’re warm enough, why they never write or call, etc. Note: You may have to be a Jewish mother to relate to this.
Meanwhile the owner of the kittens (and the nursing mama cat) has no clue I fanatically stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, downloading the proud photos she posts of these little critters. I need these updated pics to keep me from (and believe me, I NEVER use this expression) “pining away.”
This woman also doesn’t know I’m very close to going all Glenn Close on her, picking her unsuspecting child up from school, taking her on a few roller coasters, in the hopes that she will befriend my kids, then frequently invite them over to her house to visit OUR kittens. And when I go to pick my children up, of course I’ll always be invited inside for tea.
All these complex schemes formulate in my OCD brain because this lady has a million different reasons why a strange (but loving) family of six shouldn’t visit her home on a daily basis. The nerve.
My Ex-Husband: There’s an obvious solution, Stephanie. Simply call her up, explain you desperately miss the kittens and you’re willing to take in the mother cat until they are weaned. Boom–Instant kittens!
Me: Already tried that, Smartiepants. She told me all new mothers feel insecure and therefore want to keep the same familiar people around them.
Ex-Husband. Interesting. Each time you gave birth to our kids, you told me to get lost.
My next plan? I just found out she uses Merry Maids, so I’ll be disguising myself as a cleaning lady, sucking up MY two kittens with a Hoover vacuum and then I’ll just be on my Merry way!
Alright so to help me obsessively pass the time until we get these two kittens, please vote on name options for this new little dynamic duo in the comments section. Thank you!
- Sugar and Spice
- Trix and Kix
- Hocus and Pocus
- Monty and Zuma
- Ritz and Bitz
- Tic and Toc
- Nook and Cranny
- Tisket and Tasket
- Peek and Boo
- Mango and Tango
- Snap and Crackle
- Tiddly and Winks
- Bagels and Lox
- Vice and Versa
- YoYo and Jacks
- Scrabble and Boggle
- Topsy and Turvy
- Abra and Cadabra
And because this is a humor blog, if you think some of these names are wretched, I get to say, “Gosh, it was just a joke!” New suggestions welcome as well!
P.S. Did you know there’s a handy Children/Kitten contract that will stand up in court? Seriously! It’s all signed and notarized — so if certain children do not feed felines, change litter boxes, and even do other chores around the house while maintaining their current GPA, they can be sued and will suffer the loss of all electronics! Disclaimer: But under no circumstances will the kittens need to be forfeited. But nowhere does it say the children cannot be. 😉
Footnote ** The author is no stranger to bringing home stray animals and her father used to say, “Thank God elephants never get lost!”
Valentine’s Day is a myopic, narrow-minded holiday solely dependent on Hallmark, hearts, flowers, chocolate, and guilt. That’s why I’ve come up with the innovative idea of merging Valentine’s Day with different national holidays so you get the added bonus of other celebrations and traditions to back up your intense sentiments.
Because sometimes LOVE is just not enough!
Forget Food Combining, I’ve Got Holiday Combining! Ready??
Feb 14 + Dec. 31st – You say you want a resolution? Well then write down some of your New Year Lover’s Resolutions that you’ll vow to keep this time. I’ll start you off…1. Even though now Little Miss Menopause is advocating Holiday Integration, I will no longer combine my mate’s birthday gift with our anniversary gift. 2. I will no longer snoop through my significant other’s pockets to see what they’ve been up to. I will be more hip and snoop thru their cellphone instead. 3. In restaurants, I will no longer annoyingly eat off their plate because I will already have swapped it for my own meal, since they always order better anyhow.
Feb 14 + Martin Luther King Day– Call up the love of your life and say, “I have a dream! That one day we will go out for Frozen Yogurt and instead of each of us ordering a separate small-sized chocolate and vanilla, we will integrate both delectable dairy desserts together using that important middle lever, rejoicing as we watch both light and dark flavors swirl together into one harmonious large-sized cone!” If your partner finds this unacceptable, (or inquires as to the color of your toppings) resist the urge to call him a bigot and instead change your romantic speech to, “I have a scheme!” Then proceed to outline a devious plot regarding your mother-in-law.
Feb 14 + GroundHog Day — Work with me here, ok? Forget Punxsutawney Phil. Too hard to pronounce. In fact Change “Hog” to “Horse” and substitute seeing his “shadow” for seeing a “saddle.” Now we’re talking major romance! Blast Aerosmith’s hit song,”Back in the Saddle Again!” (stay with me now, alright?) as you drive down to a ranch that rents horses. Here’s the kicker–even though you’re two people, rent just ONE horse and sit in the saddle facing each other, which demonstrates unbridled passion. Don’t be a neighsayer just yet –this also proves you love each other enough to be saddled with all the responsibility that comes with it and that your relationship is stable, even if you do stirrup trouble sometimes. What does this have to do with Groundhog’s Day you ask? Oh get off your high horse already — absolutely nothing. It’s just creative.
Feb 14 + Rosa Parks Day — Ever do it on the back of a bus??
Feb 14 + Lincoln’s Birthday — In honor of Honest Abe, you must confess any lies you’ve told your sweetheart, I don’t care if they are just white lies. Speaking of white, I’m getting to the freeing of the slaves part. If you’re female, denounce all housework for the day. If you’re male, take your secretary out to eat and tell her you’re done being a slavedriver. Note: The latter is liable to evoke jealousy in your wife so justify you’re also combining Valentine’s Day with Take Your Secretary to Lunch Day!
Feb 14 + Daylight’s Saving Time –Set all the clocks and watches in your home and car back one hour. This will make you so late that you’ll lose your reservation at that crowded, overpriced restaurant and have to eat at McDonalds. Now you can celebrate your frugality as a couple.
Feb 14 + Easter – Baskets, baby. It’s all about the wicker. Any gift you give each other should be in one. Also bunnies. You know what they do, right? Get busy in the cellophane green grass!
Feb 14 + Passover — Doesn’t matter if you’re not Jewish. Serve your lover matzo in between the sheets then say, “See? I’d never throw you out of bed for eating crackers!” Invent an 11th plague. It should have something to do with raining condoms.
Feb 14 + St. Patrick’s Day — This will ingeniously be all about holiday colors. Ready? Take red from Valentine’s and combine it with green for St. Paddy’s and what do you get? Christmas! Brilliant! You’ve just covered three holidays now! But you should still take this opportunity to pinch your mate compulsively.
Feb 14 + Cinco De Mayo – You have a large sombrero? A sarape to hide behind? Great! Have her shake her maracas and we’re talking a very “buenas noches!”
Feb 14 + Take Your Daughter To Work Day — If you’re tired and want to guarantee there won’t be any “action” tonight, then tweak this holiday combination just a tad. Let your little girl stay home from your office and watch Cinderella instead. But do participate in”Take your Husband to the Gynecologist” day. Trust me, he’ll never get over it.
Feb 14 + Halloween — You dress in a french maid’s costume while your hubby is Iron Man. Knock on your neighbors’ doors, hand them your cellphone for a Selfie while yelling,”Click or Tweet!” You’ll soon break Twitter if everyone participates.
Feb 14 + Thanksgiving – Express your extreme gratitude to your mate that you’re with someone nice and normal because you could could have ended up with a real whacko like me.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Leave me a comment and tell me how you’ll actually celebrate…
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.
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.
After 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.
Are you bombarded with companies asking you to fill out customer satisfaction surveys, enter sweepstakes/contests, and even requests to call designated phone numbers to report your feedback?
It’s time to turn the tables with some unique variations for your own personal life!
“HOW’S MY DRIVING??”
“How’s My Cooking?” Post this bumper sticker on the kitchen microwave with the number “1-800-INEDIBLE.” Forward all phone calls to your local Dominos Pizza.
“How’s My Lovemaking?” Leave this placard conspicuously under a pillow and only field the obscene phone calls giving off-the-chart glowing reports.
“How’s My Parenting?” Follow this up with the direct cellphone number to the parent of your child’s very best friend . . . so they can finally receive the correct feedback you ALWAYS inadvertently end up hearing. “So & So’s mom always lets her wear short shorts with platform heels to school everyday!” and “So & So’s dad says buying a 16-year-old a brand new Mercedes reinforces taking care of nice things.”
“Punisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes!” Cash, Prizes, & Trips! Motivate your child to think about what they’ve learned during their Time-Out discipline by having them submit a 300 word handwritten essay. Tell them last year’s winning entry was creatively titled, “Thank Goodness Washing Mouths Out With Bars of Soap is Now Considered Child Abuse!” In the small print, have a legal disclaimer stating there are a few minor typos and “Cash, Prizes, & Trips” is really “Squash, Pretzels & Chips” — AKA their after school snack — when they emerge from their bedroom as the lucky recipient!
“Enter Raffle To Win Giant Shopping Spree!” Darn that pesky keyboard. That should read, “Mopping Spree!” Sponsored by Swiffer, of course.
“You Could Be Holding The Next Instant Winner!” Sheesh, really need to fire that proofreader on this whole contest copy thing. This one is sponsored by Lipton Noodle Soup — just add water and you’re holding Your Next Instant Dinner!
Instead of writing in the comment section about the food and service on the back of your restaurant check, give the quaint cafe a survey to fill out for YOU for once!
- What’s your favorite menu item listed under PASTA to cook for your patrons? Don’t you think $29.99 is a bit much to charge for just noodles and sauce?
- When did you first get the idea to keep your prices the same but slash the portion sizes in half?
- Do your chefs spit in our food when it comes back into the kitchen for a do-over or do they just drop it on the floor?
- When your waitress flirts with my boyfriend by touching his shoulder a lot, does she realize I leave the tip?
- On a scale of 1-10 please rate your experience with your customers regarding the following:
a) Knowledge of that old adage, “The customer is always right.”
b) Dietary Restrictions and how slappable our faces are in proportion to how many food allergy intolerances we actually have.
c) Weight Watchers wondering how many points your creamy caramel cheesecake is on our silly plan.
d) Regular diners who feel we’ve earned the right to pinch the bottoms of your cocktail servers.
Thank you! We’ll let you know how your answers modify our choosing your establishment on our next night out.
Social Media Marketing
Don’t just cozy up to random new buddies and pals in real life anymore. Ask them to go online first and tweet about how fun you are for a chance to register for monthly membership where you’ll explain how they can earn extra points by signing up for your Friendship Loyalty Rewards Program. After twelve months of swiping their card, they’ll earn a free invitation to your birthday party, a $100 value.
Let me know when you go to leave a comment here if WordPress asks you to rate them with something like this:
They’re not allowed to do that on MY blog today!!
Youngsters everywhere are getting apology letters from Santa because he’s unable to get his mitts on enough of those wondrous Hatchimals. Yep, parents have gotten smart and are making Santa take full responsibility for lazy procrastinating on buying the most sought after toy this holiday season.
BUT AS ALWAYS, I TAKE THINGS A STEP FURTHER . . .
Template: Santa’s Apology to Jewish Children PLUS A FAVOR!
Shalom Jewish Kinder,
Oy vey, I’m terribly sorry you’re not getting that latest meshuganah fad hatching toy but as you know, you’re not on my gift distribution route — so when I fly by on my sled, sadly I must pass over your house. (Perhaps this is the real meaning of why you celebrate Passover?) Please know however that it’s the thought that counts and I think about you often. I also think about your poor, exhausted parents who must come up with a new and exciting gift on each of the 8 nights of Chanukah. That’s EIGHT! Non-Jewish children are also feeling slighted they don’t get to stretch out Christmas for a week like you do. A great solution to these dilemmas would be that on just a few nights (let’s say an even six) your gifts will be things like socks, underwear, toothbrushes, and those cool refrigerator magnets the local pizza place gives out. Thank you for your understanding and maybe in your next lifetime we’ll be closer buddies.
Happy Chanukah (or however you choose to spell that)
BUT WHY STOP THERE?
Template: The Tooth Fairy is Switching Careers!
Hey there Toothless Tot!
Since I’ve now surpassed the age of Tinkerbell, I’m realizing in my line of work that having a good memory is important. Wait, who am I older than again? Anyhow tooth be told, I’m no longer collecting your pearly whites, but instead I’m into recycling glass and plastics so I can save up for a dream cruise to Europe. Each time you bring the bin out by the curbside every Thursday morning, I’ll leave you one of your old teeth under your pillow. When the new guy takes over my old position, you’ll be all set to start raking in the bucks again. It’s no skin off my teeth to make this offer and it’s a win/win for us both. Whadya say?
Also the Easter Bunny just texted me. The crux of the message was that Halloween infringes a lot on the whole candy concept, so he’s now gonna fill baskets with carrots instead. There’s an option for celery, but if he doesn’t hear a real strong preference, it’ll default back to those orange sticks that make your eyesight better.
Wistfully Your Winged Wonder,
The Former Tooth Fairy
AWW, WHAT THE HECK, IT’S WORTH A TRY . . .
Template: A Terrible Crime Has Taken Place To Someone You Depend On!
To The Family Who Is Accustomed To Everything Being Done For Them,
Recently you may have observed that the contents of your refrigerator have dwindled down to eight fuzzy strawberries, a jar of mint jelly, and a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda. You may have also noticed your clothes not getting magically folded and neatly stacked in your drawers, but instead confined to a laundry basket downstairs. And what about the empty toilet paper dispensers, you ask? And the dust piling up on the piano? Why are there no more Post-It reminders surfacing on the front door, so you don’t forget to grab your pre-packed lunch as you slam out of the house each morning?
There’s a tragic reason for all these changes. We have kidnapped “The Labor Leprechaun” and are holding her captive in the lint trap of the dryer. Let this strange bulletin also serve as a cryptic ransom note. If you want order to be restored in your home once more — beginning this evening, a homemade dinner must be cooked (complete with table set/cleared and dishes washed/dried) nightly if you ever want to see another vacuumed carpet. Do not attempt to alert the authorities at Good Housekeeping magazine, or you’ll never see your beloved Labor Leprechaun again.
Santa, The Tooth Fairy, and The Easter Bunny
Why does standing in line for food bring out the DMV in people? This holiday season, do you know how to categorize the people at your buffets? Don’t worry if you don’t – I’m doing it for you right now. Soon you’ll have a clever classification for each of your family, friends, or coworkers. Just think — you’ll be able to easily identify who you saw last night at Thanksgiving or at upcoming Christmas/New year’s parties. Now you can label all your guests just like you label the chafing dishes. You’re welcome!
19 Types of People You’ll Meet at Holiday Buffets!
- The Buffeter Surveyer – These folks have read “helpful” articles with advice on handling smorgasbords. They know to approach the buffet in a calm, relaxed manner and to always have a predetermined game plan, which includes perusing all the offerings from one end to the other before making their final selections. They also know to use a smaller-sized salad plate to fool their mind into thinking they’re eating more! They’ll still pack on five pounds like the rest of us. These people are first cousins with “The Buffeter Weigher Conveyers” (See below)
- The Buffeter Overstayer – Buffets are their home base. They’ll linger, integrating all kinds of tasks – talking, eating, wiping, consulting, organizing, refilling, and generally becoming a permanent fixture by the soup. Not compatible with the next type…
- The Buffeter Get-Out-of-My-Wayer! – They mean business. Napkin tucked, first in line, making appreciative sounds, as you wonder if a nearby farmer forgot to take attendance in his barnyard today. Not to be confused with this next one . . .
- The Buffeter Wrong-Wayer — Always starting at the opposite end. You’d think they’d get a clue while they’re carrying food in their bare hands, because the plates are on the other side.
- The Buffeter Prayer Sayer – The Jewish buffeter who recites blessings over each food group and requests take-home Tupperware because without a To-Go container, forty years is a long time to wander through the desert. (But forty minutes is just the right amount of time to wonder through the dessert!)
- The Buffeter Cabareter – Hums songs about eating. Often heard belting out, “Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver or “Be Our Guest!”
- The Buffeter Delayer – You know they want food, they know they want food, but they sit until the last person gets up, not wanting to appear to be overeager. Soon you’ll overhear them whispering, “Shame she didn’t prepare enough food,” because half the serving platters were empty when they finally approached.
- The Buffeter Weigher Conveyer – Announces the calories in water and whips out a little kitchen scale for an official cranberry calibration. Do you know how many points creamed spinach count for on Weight-Watchers? Well, you will now.
- The Buffeter Betrayer – Intimately acquainted with the hostess, they won’t hesitate to spill the beans. Yes, even the pintos. “That salad isn’t really organic, Ha!” And, “It’s still just a Costco pumpkin pie, even if it’s sitting on a plate with a fancy doily.” Or, “Skip the baked potatoes, the skins weren’t washed.” Bribe them to keep their mouth shut with the promise of filling it with their choice of leftovers at the end.
- The Buffeter Okayer – You’ll not meet a more pleasant, jovial person in line. The answers to the following questions will always be “Okay!” 1. Can I go in front of you? 2. How’ve you been since last Thanksgiving? 3. Do you think I should help myself to goosing cousin Ruth as she helps herself to some goose?
- The Buffeter Layerer – Obsessed with rearranging the sumptuous spread, even digging through layers of turkey or yams looking for who knows what. Tongs are their favorite tool of choice, but they can function just as well with a spatula too.
- The Buffeter Bouqueter – Gardening types who salivate at your floral centerpieces. Prefers Roasted Red Roses or Fried Fuschia Freesia to light or dark turkey parts.
- The Buffeter Halfwayer – They nearly get to the end of the food display when they realize they forgot to grab a ladle full of salad dressing some twelve platters back. Now they’re gonna stand frozen and flummoxed in line, wondering how they can politely go backwards. Say this, “Aunt Jodie, want me to get you some ranch?” Problem solved.
- The Buffeter Clichér – This guy’s vocabulary is stuffed (fuller than the turkey!) with silly puns and double entendres. While staring at the carved bird, he’ll elbow you roughly while remarking, “Looks scary… It’s a Goblin! Get it?” Or “I’m suddenly in a fowl mood!” Simply tell him you gave up laughing at inane jokes “cold turkey” and move along.
- The Buffeter FoulPlayer – If it’s accidental, it can be forgiven – but youngster buffet-goers will drop a cherry tomato into the honey-mustard to see if it floats or sinks. That’s just the beginning of the havoc they’ll wreak. I hesitate to offer more examples, lest I offer more ideas.
- The Jimmy Buffeter – Knows all the lyrics to “Wasting Away in Margaritaville” and will get a real kick out of you handing him the pepper when he sings, “Searching for my last shaker of salt.”
- The Warren Buffeter – When you ask for some tips, he doles out financial advice. You just meant asparagus tips.
- The Buffeter OyVeyer – “Oy vey, my doctor says my triglycerides are high.” Ask them what a triglyceride is and they’ll just sigh deeply while reiterating, “Oy vey, I really shouldn’t be eating this.” Or worse, “Oy vey, should YOU really be eating that?”
- The Buffeter Essayer – Someone closely observing buffet behavior in the hopes of writing a semi-humorous blog. The nerve.
Did I leave anyone you know out?? Happy Holidays!
- Oh you’re doing that super irritating, sudden jerky movement thing with your body again. Having a dream, I suppose. Must be nice. Could’ve invited me. Of course you have to actually fall asleep to be included! Well I hope it morphs into a nightmare and you’re wide awake. Misery loves
- Those very capable hands of yours just sitting there useless on the sheets for 6-8 hours every night. Someone should invent a way to harness the energy of a pair of hands for back massages, while the owner of the arms they’re attached to continues sleeping, none the wiser. It could be like a “Snoozing Toll.” Direct compensation to your restless bedfellow who has to just stare begrudgingly as you slumber.
- What was that loud noise coming from downstairs? Nobody else is home! I’ll give it three minutes and if the bedroom door doesn’t burst open, then I’ll know I imagined it and mercifully, I won’t wake you.
- I could pretend to talk in my sleep and say really bizarre things I could never be held responsible for. And you would never know I’m not really sleeping. Because APPARENTLY YOU ARE!!
- I wonder what the statistics are for the number of people who kick or hit others in their sleep?
- Okay what was THAT noise? Two minutes!
- There should really be a pillow-flipping mechanism that senses when your pillow is too warm and automatically turns it over to the cooler side. Why is there no app for that?
- “You’re under arrest for stealing the covers. You have the right to remain silent. Because every grunt, groan, snore, snort, loud breathing, and sniffle is already being used against you.”
- I wonder how many songs there are about sleeping? The only one I can think of is “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” That seems like an open field for a writer like me to compete in. Ugh, never mind. There’s all these too, right HERE.
- How many words can I make from the letters in INSOMNIA? 1.minion 2.mansion 3.amino 4.moans 5. man. Man, this is a really stupid game.
- If a tree falls in a forest with nobody around to hear it, does it really make a sound? If I shout “Sex!” right now in this bedroom while my partner is sound asleep, do I really need to follow-thru? Aristotle and Socrates got started this way.
- Maybe this is all a dream and I’m actually sleeping.
- Another noise! You are so lucky I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and not waking you up.
- There’s no more lit-up digital clock radio on my nightstand to watch the minutes literally change before my eyes. Gosh, those were the days. “Boy the way Glenn Miller played…Songs that made the hit parade….Guys like us we had it made….Those were the days.” I wonder if the actress who played Edith Bunker really sang that bad?
- Look at you. Just laying there. Breathing in. Breathing out. Rhythmic, pathetic fool.
- I’m hungry. I’m starving. It might be fun to actually get thrown out of bed for eating crackers.
- The downstairs noise has stopped. But I have a good mind to tell you in the morning that you slept through a burglary while I bravely cornered the armed robber with a baseball bat and the police came with loud sirens and now I have a medal of honor for bravery. But you’re just going to the slammer for stealing covers.
- What would you look like if I french-braided your hair, drew cat whiskers on your face with my eyeliner, and put a clown nose on you?
- Why didn’t I fork out the money for that super expensive mattress where one side stays perfectly flat, but the other side sits up at a 70 degree angle, vibrates and plays backgammon with you?
- Some boring one-night stand you are, fellow! If I wanted to stay up all night alone…I never would have picked you up from that nightclub. Sheesh, lose my number immediately!!
What’s your most common thought when you can’t sleep?
Do you have an extra room in your home (maybe your child went off to college?) with nothing but a lonely comfortable bed for someone to sleep in, and a silly roomy dresser for someone to store their clothing in? Frivolous much?! Now you can transform that eyesore into something . . . ELSE!
First a list of special ideas this unused space can easily be converted to:
- A Sewing Room — (For all the times you can never find that tiny needle and spool of thread)
- A Gift-Wrapping Nook — (Your junk closet will thank you. It can go back to just storing junk) Now you can display rolls of paper, tissue, bags, bows, ribbon, scissors, tape, and last minute presents from the dollar store right on the walls. “Pegboard: It’s not just for garages anymore!”
- A Ping-Pong Table/Shuffleboard Room — (think of all the money you’ll save going on cruises.
- A library — So what if everyone’s books are now on a Kindle. That’s not the point. The point IS you get to have a cool ladder that slides along the walls. But you must call it a library because you can hardly call it, “Belle’s Favorite Room From That Beauty and the Beast Scene.”
- A mudroom! — Because you currently have a place to recreate fond childhood memories making mud-pies (with daisies on top) exactly where right now?? Trust me, you need this!
- Jewelry & Scarf Room — You fashionista, you!
- A Home Theatre — My personal choice (see below) because one day my book will be adapted into a script and after I win the Oscar for best original screenplay, I will need a private area to screen my movie for all my jealous friends, where I don’t get mobbed by paparazzi.
- A Parlor (Honestly never knew what this room was, but it sounds like you should serve ice-cream in it.)
- A Contemplation Room — Just give this idea some thought!
- A Morning Room — Each day at exactly 8 am, you’ll throw open the glamourous drapes, so the bright sun streams in everywhere and … I’m getting a headache.
- The Treat Room — Feeling a bit snacky? Here’s where you store all the Godiva chocolate and Nutella that nobody else is entitled to.
- Need I go on listing more room ideas?? Just take any passion/hobby you have and turn it into a dedicated room, okay? Sheesh!
9 Important Steps To Complete This Enormous Project:
- Have a garage sale and sell the comfortable bed and roomy dresser.
- What are you, a complete idiot? Announce to everyone that you’ll have the remodel completed by Thanksgiving so you have something to be grateful for. (Without a contrived deadline, this sucker ain’t never getting done!)
- If you’re putting in a home theatre (the only practical choice listed above, as far as I’m concerned) start stocking up on things for your cute little concession stand which is the only reason to put in a Media Room. Don’t forget to knock yourself out trying to find Flicks candy these days, because if you’re my age, it was synonymous with movie theatres!
- Have someone build a 2 ft. riser in the floor (again only necessary if you’re doing a home theatre, so people in the back row can see your concession stand.)
- Hang a white sheet on the wall for the fancy projection system to display the movies on. After spending all your money on other things in this room, you’ll need to save money by doing this. And what? Do you really think the screen is going to be the focal point in this room anyway??
- Hang framed movie posters and kitschy signs all over the walls, even though when you go out to the movies, you NEVER see any of this stuff inside an actual cinema.
- Make a long list of people you want to invite over to watch a special movie so they’ll feel guilty and reciprocate by having you back over their house for dinner. Do you think it’s easier to entertain folks with a gourmet meal or just starting a DVD with the flick of your wrist? Duh!
- Recycle those tacky purple drapes (see photo below) from your master bedroom straight into the new Home Theatre Room. Nobody thinks purple looks cheesy in a theater!
- Answer the phone and apologize to your children by saying, “Sorry kids, I didn’t think you were coming home this year for the holidays. You’ll have to get a hotel room for sleeping and storing your clothing in. But be sure and come over to watch Miracle on 34th Street on our professional equipment. Why yes, you DO have a practical mother, don’t you??”
What would you turn a spare room into? Here’s my DIY pics!
Since today is Electron Day in the United States, I wanted to impress upon everyone how much your volt really matters. Each individual volt adds up and can create a great
change charge. And with enough electrical volts, we can even set a whole new precedent!
Now don’t worry if you’re totally against your friend’s electronic influence (you’d like to bolt when they volt!) you can still do something about it!
How to convert electron-volts to volts
volt = electronvolt / elementary charge
V = eV / e
If you’re not a good candidate for equations and math (because you’re not the scientific type) that’s perfectly okay. In fact if you love live theater, you can still “cast” your volt and show volter support — but during intermission be sure and exit the stage or platform and head to the large room where refreshments are sold — then you can call yourself a “Lobbyist.” And if you particularly like dancing, you can put your volt directly in a “ballet” box! Or maybe exert great influence dancing with the West Coast “Swing” Volters. (Be careful not to throw your back out.) I might even do a sexy pole dance at the polls later today, so stay tuned!
In fact, you don’t even need to be present this Electron Day. You can submit your absentee volt and your energy will still be felt. That’s called a jolt volt! But beware of volter fraud, or a Fraudian Slip. That’s when someone thinks they’re getting voltage, but it’s really wattage. You could get electocuted this way. Ouch!
Personally, I want to make my Volt count, so I’m going to buy my Volt.
Now remember, if you’d like to retract your original volt and try again, I think that’s allowed as well. Just be careful you don’t get labeled as Revolting.
And at the end of this Electron Day, (when you want to rejoice) you can attend a couple of festive bashes or galas. Your first or second celebration will certainly be enjoyable, but it’s your Third Party Volt that will really amp up the fun.
So be sure and Volt Today. “It’s Electrifying!”
What’s that?…..it’s Vote??? Oh….Never mind!
I’m Little Miss Menopause and I approved this (silly) blog! (In honor of Gilda Radner! Click HERE to see why she was against violins on television!)
Forget the typical advice you read about improving communication and adding romance. My list is guaranteed!
- Swap Should for Could! Every time you start to tell your partner what they “should” do, switch to saying “could” instead. Example, “Today you could clean out the garage, organize your DVD collection, walk the dog, and take the kids to the park. Oh and you could also be the one who initiates sex tonight by starting out giving me a massage.” Rather than feeling pressure from you with your typical “shoulds,” they’ll thank you for having so much confidence in their grand potential!
- That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles! Keep a journal with all the criticisms you have of your partner and when you have thirteen items, that’s enough for a baker’s dozen. Cookies, that is. Make that Fortune Cookies! That’s right, you will no longer criticize your partner, the convenient Chinese dessert will do it for you. Take a tweezers and carefully extract the original slip of paper from the cookie (because really, do those lotto numbers ever win?) then carefully stuff in your new little typed message. “Confucius says you will shave more often.” Or “One who is all knowing thinks you spend too much money at Nordstrom.” Always serve lots of rice at all your meals to justify opening fortune cookies afterwards.
- Send Anonymous Gifts! No, you don’t make your partner the recipient, silly! That’s totally old school and do they really need another coffee mug with “I’m allergic to mornings” on it, anyway? These surprise presents are FOR YOU. And they get periodically delivered to your front doorstep by an anonymous source, right? Of course right! Watch your partner have renewed appreciation for your attractiveness. If someone else finds you worthy enough to buy you presents, they’re going to be extra intrigued by you now. Because what could someone else possibly see in you?? They better find out fast!
- Zero Solutions It’s been said that men try to fix things too much and would be better off just listening. But this advice is really for everyone because truly nobody wants their problems to actually get solved. It would strip them of their identity. So after your mate confides in you their latest crisis, say cheerfully, “I completely understand what you’re going through and not even in a million years, would I have absolutely any idea how to help you. It’s such a shame you’re in this no-win situation.” Watch how happy they get that you’ve acknowledged what a loser they are!
- Bake. Hey, realtors do it for a delicious scent to sell houses. You don’t think a wafting chocolate smell from the kitchen can improve your relationship?
- Lights, Camera, Action! Go out to the movies and then talk afterwards. Sure, you could discuss the plot, the special effects, or the price of popcorn these days. But far better to instead ask your mate if your looks could hold a candle to the star of the film? If they pause too long, stammer and stutter, you can immediately pout and look dejected. If they say, “Yes of course, you’re just as attractive as that stud or babe!” You can accuse them of lying through their teeth. Either way, you are now in prime position to embark on some great make-up sex back at home. See if you even make it past the front door!
- Read This Blog Aloud! You partner will ask, “What in God’s name is that drivel? Agree that the two of you could write a blog far funnier than this junk. Bingo, you’ve got a collaborative project to do together!
- Mumble! Instead of shouting during an argument, lower the volume until your voice gets softer and softer. They’ll be craning their head toward you with wild curiosity to catch even part of what you’re saying. For the grand finalé, (because everyone loves a good secret!)… lean forward and whisper into their ear, “You’re such a jerk!”
- Mirror Your Mate! No, don’t copy them. Write something really scary on the mirror in shaving cream or lipstick. Tell them it was the cleaning lady and now the two of you have a common enemy.
- Banish Boring! Everyone knows couples get into dull ruts. So just do the opposite of what they expect and that way you’ll be completely unpredictable. You can even announce proudly, “From now on, you should expect the unexpected!” After a while, they’ll find this spontaneous, impulsive side of you to be a routine snooze-fest. That’s when you get to go back to being your true self. And now they’ll find that so refreshing!
- To-Do List! Does your partner feel like they are always the last priority in your life? Here’s a way to turn that around, showing them you save the best for last! Leave a list of chores in a blatant place where your partner is sure to see it. It can contain things like “Pay bills, clean oven, mow lawn, grocery shop, help kids with homework, etc.” And there at the bottom will be their name in all caps. But you should also add, “When I’ve done all of these things, I get to spend time with mate’s name. They’ll be so flattered to see that they are your reward, (they’ll also feel sorry you obviously have so much to do before it’s their turn) that they’ll do the entire list for you!
Disclaimer: In the intro of this blog, it says “My list is guaranteed!” It does NOT specify for what.
Sometimes a piece of “wise” advice backfires on you. When I was just 18, I had an unusual insecurity — a belief that certain people in my life might be upset with me. And not just slightly miffed. We’re talking thoroughly outraged or really furious. Only nobody ever voiced it. Instead they just gave me dirty looks, or treated me differently.
But was this an accurate perception or could I be imagining things?
My therapist (who was probably thrilled this was one of my more straightforward issues) had a simple cure. She told me, “Just ask them.”
Now why didn’t I think of that? Here’s how that’s worked out for me so far.
With Tiffany, My Oldest Girlfriend:
Me: Hi Tiff. I’m feeling like you’ve been treating me differently lately. Are you mad at me?
Tiffany: Are you getting neurotic again?
Me: Maybe. Would that make you mad?
Tiffany: Because last time you got weird like this, we had to do that friendship circle thingy where we joined hands and recalled boys we liked in 6th grade and frankly I’m menopausal now and can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast.
With My First Husband:
Me: Are you mad?
1st Husband: Stephanie, I am not mad. Mad means insane.
Me: Sorry. I meant are you angry?
1st Husband: I am very irritated.You call yourself a writer and haven’t learned this difference by now?
With My Mother:
Me: Hi Ma. I’ve been feeling like you could be angry with me recently. Thought I’d check. Are you?
My Mother: No. But IF I were angry with you, what might it be for?
Me: Um. Maybe I don’t call you often enough?
My Mother: Could that be true?
Me: No, I don’t think so.
My Mother: Well what other reason do you suppose there could be?
Me: Uh, last Mother’s Day, I promised we’d go to lunch and we haven’t?
My Mother: Warmer . . .
With My Daughter:
Me: Are you upset with me for something?
Daughter: Is that your way of saying I’m in big trouble?
Daughter: You know. You reverse things. You’re really the one upset with me, right? Just tell me, Mom!
With My Second Husband:
Me: We hardly talk anymore. Are you angry with me?
2nd Husband: No.
Me: Okay good, just checking.
2nd Husband: You do that a lot.
Me: I know. I’ve learned in therapy not to make assumptions. I’m glad everything is fine.
2nd Husband: Yes. But we should get a divorce.
With My Neighbor:
Me: When I saw you at the mailbox yesterday, you didn’t wave back. Are you upset with me?
Me: Well would you tell me if you were?
With My Fiancé:
Me: Hi. Are you angry with me?
Fiancé: You’d know if I were angry.
Me: I thought I did know. But I wanted to ask to confirm.
Fiancé: I’ve told you before, if I’m angry I’ll tell you directly.
Me: About how soon do you think you’d announce it?
Fiancé: Immediately. I wouldn’t conceal it.
Me: Are you insinuating that I conceal it? That I am passive aggressive?
Fiancé: What? Certainly not! Now you’re just mad.
Me: Don’t you mean angry? Because mad means a raving lunatic or crazy.
Fiancé: I know exactly what mad means.
With My Therapist:
Me: I’m so angry with you. I want my money back from 34 years ago. Your advice about asking if people are angry doesn’t ever work.
Therapist: I know, I know. But I thought you’d figure that out on your own, and at least it would give you some blogging material on a day you ran dry and your followers would get a chuckle and it might even elicit some good comments.
Me: Ohhhhh, pure genius. Thank you!
Dear Readers: So are you mad? And I mean angry, not insane. Leave me any comments below. I can take it, really I can.
Well at least they got engaged in my imagination. But first they need a little pre-marriage counseling to make sure they’re compatible and each understands what their expectations are from a marriage partner. Let’s listen in, shall we?
Therapist: Hello you two famous celebrities!
Neil: Hello my friend, hello.
Barbra: What’s up Doc?
Therapist: Oh please, I don’t have a PhD in psychology, so just use my first name. It’s Caroline.
Barbra: Hmph. Obviously you’re not a big fan of my films? What’s Up Doc? Ryan O’Neil. Four plaid suitcases get mixed up?
Therapist: Before my time. But I don’t mean to rain on your parade. I’m sorry if I said something I shouldn’t have.
Neil: No one heard at all, not even the chair. If you know what I mean?
Therapist: Well, suffice it to say I’m a big fan of your voice, Barbra.
Neil: It’s a beautiful noise. And it’s a sound that I love.
Therapist: Well that’s a great start! So what can I help both of you with today?
Neil: She hardly talks to me anymore when I come through the door at the end of the day.
Therapist: Oh. Is that all? Well maybe she hasn’t gotten over the fact that you don’t bring her flowers anymore.
Barbra: And roses aren’t that expensive.
Neil: Money talks but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk.
Therapist: Let’s try a different tact. How did you two first meet?
Neil: Where it began? I can’t begin to knowing. But then I know it’s growing strong.
Barbra: Isn’t he annoying? Actually we originally met in high school choir. True story!
Neil: She was such a Funny Girl. But I told her, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon.”
Therapist: So now she’s a Funny Lady?
Barbra: Honestly I don’t know what my age has to do with anything. The underlying issue here is that I’m not quite sure Neil is ready to settle down. And leave all those other females out of his refrains, ya know?
Therapist: There are others?
Barbra: Well for starters there’s that hussy from the Bluegrass state.
Neil: Ahhh, Kentucky Woman. God knows I love her.
Barbra: See that? And Cherry, cherry. And don’t forget about Cracklin’ Rosie.
Therapist: Cracklin’ — Sounds like a cereal.
Neil: No, but she was a store bought woman.
Barbra: And then there was that Shilo.
Therapist: Now I always thought Shiloh was his dog. Neil? Your input.
Neil: Shilo was when I was young. I used to call her name. But honestly I don’t recall much.
Therapist: What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.
Barbra: Thank you. And something else that bothers me. He starred in The Jazz Singer and could’ve easily suggested that I audition for his leading lady instead of Lucy Arnaz.
Neil: I Love Lucy.
Barbra: Well that depresses me too.
Neil: Me and you are subject to the blues now and then….
Therapist: I think the most important question is… can you both be your true selves with each other?
Neil: I’ll be what I am. Solitary man.
Barbra: He’s always proclaiming his identity. “I am, I said!” He shouts around the house.
Therapist: Barbra. I’d like you to make some physical contact with Neil right now. Then look into his eyes and tell him how you’re feeling.
Neil: Yeah, hands touchin’ hands. Reachin’ out, touching me….touching you.
Therapist: You can do it, Babs.
Barbra: (hesitatingly extends forearm) Hold my hand and we’re half-way there. Hold my hand and I’ll take you there. Somehow, some day, somewhere.
Therapist: That’s very good progress this week, folks. But I’d like to see you for another session.
Neil/Barbra: Do we really even need you anymore?
Therapist: People. People who need people….are the luckiest people!
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In a recent survey (and I HAD to conduct a formal survey to write this particular blog, otherwise I’d be viewed as disgusting if I thought all these things up on my own!) here are the top 10 things most people wouldn’t bother doing if they were assured they were completely alone.
My bold commentary follows. (Or my commentary follows in bold!)
- “I wouldn’t recycle!” It appears that if nobody is around, the commitment to our environment gets trashed. Quite literally. I myself have experienced the opposite of this. When people ARE around, I’m suddenly the President of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose” committee. i.e. During a party in my home, someone holding an empty soda can is asking where they should put it? I’ve stopped myself mid-sentence from directing them to my usual kitchen garbage and instead will pull out a “special container” (which is actually just an old toy chest) and pretend it’s our recycling bin.
- “I would no longer wipe down gym equipment when I’m done using it!” Okay, so now the truth comes out….your perspiration is actually just precipitation, like the fresh morning dew. But ours is….SWEAT.
- “I’d quit shaving my legs!” — I dunno about this one. Sometimes I think I do this just for myself. In fact, I often become so enamored with my smooth calves that if I were to stop shaving, I might file to divorce myself.
- “I wouldn’t sit like a lady!” — With those hairy thighs? Who could blame you?
- “I’d stop using good manners when eating.” Right? Somehow food tastes much better if you don’t have to be dainty when eating it.
- “I wouldn’t bother picking up my dog’s poop!” — Aha! Alrighty. So this one is actually mine. I know, I know…it’s terrible. But I never wanted a dog in the first place and I have a notarized contract stating my children will be doing this chore. However, if a neighbor is standing outside watching me, I have been known to make Avoidance into an Art Form. It looks like this: First I make a big show of taking out the little plastic bag with a graceful flourish. Then I bend down and make sure it rustles the grass in a purposeful manner, just slightly adjacent to the actual poop. Next, I double knot the bag and proudly lift it up, feigning that it now has a bit of weight to it. (However, I manage to resist the urge to clown around, pretending to struggle with a twenty-five pound package!) My heart then begins to race as I saunter quickly off, fearing the neighbor will be one of those “checking” types and call me back, announcing, “And the Oscar for Best Pooper Scooper goes to Little Miss Menopause, but you’re completely full of it! So get back here and do it for real this time.” The whole charade probably takes a lot more time/effort/energy than if I just picked up after the dog in the first place.
- I wouldn’t cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze! Have at it! Let those germs spread far and wide. May as well burst out into song with “Born Free….”
- “I wouldn’t return shopping carts to their receptacles!” So you’re the one whose shopping cart is always blocking the primo parking space?
- “I wouldn’t wear a bra!” Or, “I wouldn’t wear clothing!” I can’t get on board with either of these. I think I’d become highly offended and issue myself fines for lewd behavior.
- “I wouldn’t waste time washing my hands after using the bathroom!” (Note: Many people private messaged me this exact same answer. But only one person was brave enough to answer it in my public survey. That was my son. But I’d like to go on record stating this should be no reflection on my parenting — it’s a divorce situation, so I get to put this on his father.) Having said that, I’ve hidden quietly inside public restroom stalls before (not for the purpose of this article, but for another strange reason.) and seen just how many people (when they think nobody else is in the bathroom) will skip washing hands. I’ve heard their rationalization too –Urine is supposedly sterile and therefore if they only pee, there’s no need to wash. In my OCD opinion, public restrooms are so filthy, they should even wash their hands BEFORE going to the bathroom. However if you’re in the sterile urine camp, you might want to read this conversation…http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=39150.0 And yes, these are naked scientists, so they obviously were the respondents for #9 above.
And there you have it — my top 10 list. I had a lot more answers than this, believe me. In fact, it should be noted that many individuals answered my question with responses like this . . . “I’d sing really strange songs in a dorky voice” or “I’d make funny faces at myself in the mirror” or “I’d pretend I was a fashion model posing on a runway as I walked down the sidewalk.” Okaaaaaay. But the actual question was, “What would you NOT do if there was nobody around to witness?” So while I think these people are fascinating personality types, and I’ve love to have them as my friends…..they need to brush up on their reading comprehension.
What about you? What would you NOT do any more if there wasn’t someone around to judge you??
Dear Diary, I hope this appeases the Pest Gods….
Next door Neighbors complain they have ants in their kitchen and ask if we’ve been experiencing the same? I go home feeling smug and praise my housekeeping skills, noting that our counters are wiped to a sheen, no crumbs or anything that could be an attraction for….huh…um, what? WHAT is that tiny black thing scuttling frantically across my microwave oven? Eh, so what’s one ant? Smash. Ant? What ant? “I am so superior,” I think to myself as I dust my grandmother’s vintage toaster. It’s sure shiny and clean for being so old. Word of the day: Antique. Haha.
As I referee an argument between my kids over who gets pancakes or waffles, I reach into my pantry for the Bisquick. OMG! I’m aghast to see numerous black moving specs clustered around the maple syrup. It hasn’t even been opened yet. Surely an ominous sign that won’t bode well for future smugness. I take the bottle to the sink and rinse about forty five squirming insects off the syrup lid. “Sorry, Aunt Jemima!” The irony of the name of the brand is lost on me because I’m too irritated. Word of the day: ANTagonized.
My daughter is bouncing off the walls to go shopping. “Got ants in your pants?” I teasingly ask. “Go get dressed and I’ll take you to the mall.” She returns moments later to show me her designer jeans absolutely teeming with ants. Who even says “teeming?” Apparently I do, now that we’ve officially been invaded. Never mind that there’s a half eaten strawberry fruit roll-up in her pants pocket, the battle lines have been drawn, and I’m almost looking forward to the kill. Word of the day: ANTicipation.
I would slap my 14-year-old son upside the head as he taunts me singing, “The ants go marching two by two, horrah, horrah,” but I’m too busy spraying Windex across my kitchen floor where there’s a determined trail of them (eight inches thick if it’s a centimeter) streaming out from underneath the dishwasher. I leave the bright blue liquid on my white tile floor for any brave newcomers and go google “Non-toxic remedies for ants.” The first thing it tells me is ants will stay far away from anything with lemon on it. I try it. (See photo above) Works like a charm. Not!! I post on Facebook, griping and complaining of my predicament. Word of the day: RANT!
I awaken to a knock at the front door and I tell the smarmy guy from Terminex Pest Control (whom my pathetic neighbors must’ve sent over) that his services will not be needed. “I’ve got this!” I proudly proclaim. And it’s true. My problems will soon be over. There are literally 34 different comments under my Facebook Ant rant. Everyone has a different recommendation! Each solution more and more creative. But the last one seems super easy and even fun. “Ants hate Borat. Just get that and you’ll be in the clear.” Really? Okay. I download the old movie starring Sasha Baron Cohen from Netflix and within minutes I’m shouting, “Take that!” to the hundreds of ants crawling up my computer screen. Turns out, “Borat” was a typo. She meant “Borax.” I rush to the store to buy some. And some spices that people swear by also, just for good measure. Word of the day: ANTidote.
After the borax fails, I liberally sprinkle dark brown fragrant powder in a straight line in front of every single doorway and windowsill of our home. To an outsider, it looks as if we’re trying to ward off some kind of an evil spirit (Poltergeist has nothing on this!) — but an expert chef would note that we could bake exactly 28 dozen cinnamon rolls. That’s because cinnamon is the top spice claiming to stop these idiots in their dirty little tracks if placed right at their point of entry. Instead, I watch while they gleefully carry one golden granule at a time on their teeny tiny little backs as they uniformly march up my staircase. (They’re probably making potpourri sachets for the dresser drawers they’ve infested in my bedroom.) If I listen closely, I swear I can hear their little soldier voices chant just like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. Word of the day: MilitANT.
Today is a dark day. Aside from the armies of ants which have now commandeered every single solitary room of our home, my dog has fleas and my daughter contracted head lice. Can bedbugs be far behind? Since we’re Jewish, I’m thinking “The Ten Plagues” and am on the lookout for a really mean Pharaoh. Word of the day: DominANT.
On the telephone, I beg the receptionist at Terminex to send someone over immediately. “Like yesterday,” I plead. “Okay, yes…yes….I’ll apologize to him. Alright, I’ll bake him a cinnamon roll.” The ants are swarming my keyboard as I type this and my fingers crush their infinitesimal little skulls with extra forceful tapping. I pick up a felt-tip marker to start handwriting in my journal instead, but on impulse I raise the mighty pen to the ceiling as I look up toward the heavens, and in my best Scarlett O’hara voice shout, “As God as my witness, I’ll never be crawled on again!” Then I violently slap my arm. Word of the day: FumigANT
The kids call me up at the office to tell me to hurry home because two great Ants, Carol and Arlene, are on the front porch. Jesus, don’t tell me they’ve started naming them now. But as I drive home, I remember my mother’s two sisters were supposed to drop by today. Get a hold of yourself, Stephanie. You’re really losing it. My cell phone rings and my best friend’s ex-husband’s employer’s hairdresser’s daughter is on the phone with some top-secret ant advice. I’ll print it here in case anyone else needs it. Food-grade DE diatomaceous earth works as an ant repellent. This powder is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.The microscopic razor sharp edges of DE can cut through the ants’ exoskeletons, gradually causing their body to dry out. Everyone got that? We’re not going down without a good fight, people! Word of the day: VigilANT!
Today I’m on to something. Something really big. Previously, when I sprayed the ants (with whatever killed them on contact) I’d diligently wipe up their dead bodies — but it was futile and within an hour, a whole new batch would populate the exact same area. But now listen to this! If I leave their ugly ass carcasses blatantly strewn all over the house, it seems to act as a visual deterrent … and no new ants come back around! (Nevermind that tomorrow my home will be the location of a cousin’s fancy wedding.) This is effective advertising at its finest. YES! There is a light at the end of this parasitic hell tunnel. Word of the day: JubilANT!
Dear Diary, Tonight the bride fainted after she ground fresh black pepper into her salad and then took a closer look. My fiancé came over to console me. He shook his head incredulously as ants climbed out of every electrical outlet, poured out of water faucets in bathrooms, and danced deliriously from air-conditioner grates, swaying to the DJ’s music. I cried softly (luckily ant-free tears) as he whispered, “So you weren’t embellishing.” I threw myself in his arms, but this wasn’t a moment for romantic comfort. “It’s time for the big guns,” he said authoritatively. “Bring me the duct tape.” Right now I’m too appreciative to think up a Word of the Day.
I’m waving my cream colored blouse around the house. That’s because I don’t own any white flags. And even this shirt has dark blotches on it. No, they aren’t dirt stains, you optimist. They’re ants! I surrender. I give up. From now on, I’m choosing my battles and this is not the ant hill I wish to die on. Somebody put me away somewhere safe. Lock me up. My son is selling them by the hundreds in zip-lock bags to his football team as DIY Ant Farms. Word of the day: RepugnANT.
I may be having an affair with the Orkin man. He came to my rescue when Terminex postponed until Tuesday. I swooned. His taut muscles rippled across his back and shoulders as he hoisted the heavy container of deadly insecticide off his truck. I welcomed him into my bedroom. I begged him to step into my shower. I invited him into all my cracks and crevices. He assured me this would only be a one-night-stand (He even sprayed one of my nightstands!) and he won’t be back ever again. “Because you won’t need me to,” he guarantees me — as I shiver in delight, a truly satisfied customer, watching him ride off into the sunset. My knight in shining armor. Word of the day: GallANT!
THEY ARE GONE! Every. Single. Last. One. Of. Them. Word of the day: TriumphANT!!!
PS. This is Stephanie’s youngest son. Please come to the funeral in our backyard tomorrow for my hamster, three goldfish, and two parakeets. Oh but don’t send flowers — for some reason they don’t do so well in our house anymore because all of mom’s geraniums and potted plants seem to have died too. Sniff, sniff.
I don’t anticipate leaving this world anytime soon (that I know of!) but ever since Tom Sawyer faked his own death and then secretly came to his funeral and sobbed, I’ve been fascinated by this particular subject.
Now an online company called My Wonderful Life is encouraging us to take charge of all the details so the burden isn’t on our loved ones during their time of grief.
As a retired party planner, this seems right up my alley!
I’m a bit hesitant to bring up such a morbid subject to my very sensitive teenage children. Certainly they’ll become shocked and emotionally distraught, but I’ll quickly explain there’s nothing wrong with me– I’m just doing them a favor. Besides, being straightforward and candid with them has always been my philosophy.
Me: Kids, I’m planning my own funeral right now.
Daughter: Can you please be considerate and not schedule it during prom season?
Son: Did you eat the last of the Nutella?
Well, that went swimmingly. Clearly the rest is going to be a cinch.
Coincidentally, I recently attended a beautiful service for a dear friend’s mother and wept at the poignant beauty of it all. But afterwards, I walked away with what I’ll now term, “Memorial Envy.” (Are you listening Pinterest?) The daughter (my friend) gave a breathtaking eulogy speech, a son played the guitar while singing exquisite original lyrics. Still another sibling wrote a thought-provoking poem. They concluded by showing a video montage on a large screen set to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (my favorite song!) which depicted highlights of her life, holding her grandkids, and experiencing family bliss. All for their dearly departed mother. Lastly, in another room as refreshments were served, her artwork was displayed on easels for us to admire. Perfect.
I allow myself to imagine my published novel up on a podium for everyone to thumb through. Hey, with all the people gathered that day to pay their respects to me, I could even hold an impromptu book-signing! That would be a neat party trick.
So who in the world would plan something as nice as this for me? I better get cracking!
The “My Wonderful Life” website suggests starting with crafting your own obituary. Let’s see… that’s certainly an intriguing writing prompt. How about . . .
“Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead!”
A big fan of The Wizard of Oz, Stephanie D. Lewis (AKA Little Miss Menopause) just departed this earth, leaving behind a garage full of junk that nobody seems to know what to do with. After an appropriate amount of time, please come forward if you want several dozen pairs of sparkly red shoes, wicker picnic baskets with stuffed dogs in them, and yards of blue gingham fabric. In lieu of flowers, please paint your face green and cackle, “I’ll get you my pretty!”
“Oh what a world, what a world….” I bemoan, not quite satisfied with the tone or voice of this piece so far. Obviously a work in progress. I think I can extend this editorial deadline by a few weeks, emphasis on “dead” of course.
As any party planner worth her weight in confetti knows, a good theme pulls the entire event together. Since The Wiz of Oz is already being implemented for my obituary, I think a “Writing” theme will do just fine. That’s it, I’ve got it! My memorial service will be held in a public library.
Instead of a traditional guestbook for people to sign, I’ll have a cool vintage typewriter at the entrance so they can “tap-tap-tap-ching!” their names like real authors.
Tasteful floral bouquets sitting on bookshelves will be folded origami style from print-outs of my best loved Huffington Post Blogs. (Okay, maybe there will only be enough for one lily and a couple of gladiolas.)
My favorite book-jacket cover will be enlarged with my photo on it — “GONE WITH THE WIND!”
The local librarian will announce to everyone. “It appears our last copy of Stephanie D. Lewis is permanently checked-out. She’s overdue, but we’ll waive the hefty fine because her final chapter was such a page-turner.”
My humor columns from local newspapers can be paper-mâchéd on the outside of my casket.
Oh that’s right….hmmmm, my casket. “Who should be my pallbearers?” I muse aloud, as my reverie is suddenly disturbed with familiar annoying voices, loudly squabbling . . .
Youngest Son: Make your eldest four kids do it. They’re the strongest.
First-born Daughter: Eww, I’m not carrying her body. You do it!
I throw a book in their direction.
Me: Will you kids just be quiet for once and finally let me . . . R.I.P?!
What do you think? Would you plan your own funeral? If so, any good ideas?
Cue the Kenny Loggins song! We all love to scare ourselves silly by riding roller-coasters, jumping out of airplanes, or even just watching horror movies. It’s a controlled circumstance that provides a short term thrill, making us feel more alive after the shot of adrenaline surges through our body.
Lately I’ve noticed companies capitalizing on this with greater frequency. We now have places to pay to be intentionally locked up in a confining space called Escape Rooms and apps that get you Lost on Purpose. Or you can even have a confusing food experience when you Dine In The Dark!
Here are some of my own innovative businesses that I plan to open, so watch for them springing up in your local neighborhoods. They’ll offer plenty of thrills, chills, spills, and (in the case of #5) Goodwills. I think I’ll make an absolute killing, pun intended.
- PINK! A laundromat that cleans all of your clothing with a bright red dyed tee-shirt mixed in the load. You’ll gasp when you pull your prior white garments out of the special washing-machine and spy all 8 pairs of hubby’s underwear tainted rose. And oh no! Did that used to be baby’s white christening gown?? Relax, just pop everything into the Magic Dryer and whew, it’s back to normal again. Wasn’t that fun? ($15 per load)
- EMPTY! Rent a car from my auto leasing company and the gas tank will appear completely full. Within minutes the fuel light will flash on and it will hover precariously under just one barely lit-up bar. Now the excitement begins in earnest… where’s the nearest station? Is the gauge really all that accurate? Could it be that you can actually get another 20 miles out of this thing by putting it in neutral at stoplights? We shall see, won’t we?! Riding on fumes has never been this exhilarating. ($29 per passenger. $40 if combined with a “Getting Lost on Purpose” app.)
- WHERE ARE YOUR KEYS? I’ll hide up to 8 on a single keyring in the most vexing of places — never to be seen again. Your heart will pump wildly – will you lose your job because you’re going to be late? With only a minute to spare, your keys will suddenly appear in a place you swore you looked in ten times already. Won’t that be cool? For added shudders of fear, get the entire Scatterbrained Package and I’ll steal your whole purse. OMG! How many credit card companies will you have to call up to cancel? Can you remember how much cash you had? Shivers abound as you recall that you were foolishly carrying your passport around for your upcoming middle east trip. But hold on a second . . . catch your breath and give a sigh of relief when a good samaritan calls to say they picked up your Michael Kors leather bag after you drove off with it on the trunk of your car. Now the real mystery begins. Will there be an identity theft too? Find out! ($39.99 per set of keys. $80 for Scatterbrained Package)
- MISSING FLIP-FLOPS! I’ll follow you to any beach or pool setting within a 25 mile radius and swipe your footwear when your back is turned. This will occur right before your OB/GYN appointment. You’ll have that familiar panicky sensation (just like the reoccurring dream you have where you somehow go to an important meeting without any shoes on) But wait, there’s more! For an added fee, I’ll leave behind a positive “First Response” test kit with a prominent pink “plus” sign in the little window, saving you the doctor appointment. You’ll be overcome with spine-tingling waves of nausea as you realize you’re actually Barefoot AND Pregnant. ($25 Stolen Shoes or $60 to experience Barefoot AND Pregnant)
- BUT IT’S SENTIMENTAL AND VALUABLE! Clean out your closet or garage and take bags of junk to your local Goodwill for a charitable deduction. I’ll make sure that your Great-Grandmother’s engagement diamond was in that old vintage clutch handbag! Oh nooooo! Your mother told you that ugly ring was worth $18,500, right? But hang on to your hat (or Granny’s!) because it just got even more exciting. A homeless person immediately inherits the purse for her first job interview. Gasp! Will she do the right thing and return the valuable jewel to her local Goodwill branch so the entire story can end up on the front page of Yahoo? You’ve never experienced nerve-wracking terror like this before. ($18 per donation bag or $180 for a Viral Internet Worthy Fiasco)
- MY KID DID WHAT?? This is an exclusive private charter school where the principal is guaranteed to call at least once per semester with a shocking story of your child getting caught doing something that will lead to expulsion. Think of the passionate fights it will inspire between you and your spouse. “He gets that from you!” and “I told you that you indulged him too much when he was little.” ($129 for Tales of Bullying/Cheating/Drug-Dealing or $279 including the Marital Spat with guaranteed phenomenal make-up sex)
- YOU’RE NOT A REAL LAWYER! On an ordinary day the phone will ring with news that it’s been determined you’re actually six credits short for your college degree. You can argue all you want but guess what? You’re a fraud. You’ve got to go back to school at age 42. And don’t even think an online course will count. Beads of perspiration will sprout as you contemplate if campuses still have cafeterias these days? ($15 for phone call from a credentialed university administer)
- LICE LETTER IN CHILD’S BACKPACK! Try and catch your breath as you read that not just one, not just two, but three children have had it in your kid’s class. Google “what does a louse look like under a microscope?” for added squeamishness. Then prepare yourself for the dreaded scalp check. Breathe, breathe. Utter over and over, “Please no nits. Please no nits!” Smile as delicious relief floods your entire body because I’ll make sure those white dots are only dandruff.( $25 per simple Lice Scare or $45 if you want to take it as far as vacuuming all the bed sheets before an authoratative teacher calls and says “False alarm.” )
- MONOGAMY IS MONOTONY! Is your marriage getting a bit dull? Spouse extremely predictable? One night you’ll receive up to a dozen hang-up phone calls and a pair of unfamiliar red lacy panties will surface under your couch. (Really! You’ll refer to them as panties!) And will you notice the distinctive new cologne or perfume in the family car? Be sure and savor that delicious feeling of your blood pressure rising while you mentally rack your brain for a good divorce attorney. ($60 for Affair Kit or $70 if you want to combine the suspicious lacy red panties with turning his underwear pink in the laundromat. See #1 above)
And if you’d like to learn how to text someone a new way and make them feel instantly guilty, please read my latest right HERE. Comments there are very appreciated! Thank you.
I wrote and published a book. That should have been enough.
I did this to prove to my competitive brother that I too, could accomplish something important. He finally believed me. That should have been enough.
Other people read my book. They liked it. That should have been enough.
The following is a 19 step game plan you should NEVER use to get lots of book reviews.
- Feel confidant that you are the new Hemingway and the public has waited with bated breath for your book. (Contemplate whether that should be bated or baited? Feel a twinge of regret that you didn’t hire a book editor.)
- Decide that getting one or two online reviews couldn’t hurt.
- Give your best friend (of twenty years) your precious baby and anticipate her gasping at the acknowledgments page. Give her the extra expensive hardcover version with the dust jacket. GIVE. Yes for free.
- Check Amazon every day for two weeks.
- After no book review surfaces, begin to check Goodreads.
- Realize she’s probably a bit miffed that you forgot to sign the book for her. You better get used to jealous fans behaving this way. She’s feeling neglected and of course this prevents her from writing a glowing review like she normally would. Vindictive little thing, isn’t she! Sour grapes much?
- Give another copy of your novel to your mother. Yes, your elderly mother who thinks Amazon is a rainforest in Australia. She’s almost as good at computer technology as she is with geography.
- Wonder how you will tone down the number of times Mom uses her favorite words ‘Spellbinding’ and ‘Genius’ in her book review of your novel on Barnes & Noble. Thank goodness mom HAS heard of Barnes & Noble.
- Meanwhile decide the barter method has merit. That’s where you agree to do something for an individual and in return they’ll write you a book review. It’s such a simple thing to write a book review (really, it is!) so think of small gestures you can do in trade. Let’s see . . . I know! Buy the person a cup of coffee while they get cozy and read your book. Or bake them cookies. Perhaps write a poem on their behalf that they can give to their spouse on Valentines Day, although that seems a bit much for just one book review.
- Draw the line at cleaning their entire house, mowing their lawn, and babysitting their four brats. What do they think the barter method is anyhow, a replacement for Craig’s List?
- Realize that all these years you never knew it, but your entire family and circle of friends are illiterate.
- Answer the phone when your mother calls to ask if you’ll come to her book club and discuss your book? Agree enthusiastically. There are seven little old ladies there and this represents seven potential book reviews. Actually nine, if a few of them forget they already wrote one and do it a second time!
- At the ladies book club, take a sip of water so your throat doesn’t parch after reading twenty chapters aloud. Remind yourself to clarify to your mother that authors make appearances at book clubs AFTER the book has already been read.
- Return to book club a week later with a package of batteries for their hearing aids. Finish reading your book to them and rave about the prune pie the hostess serves. Schedule one last visit with these lovely ladies to answer any questions about the plot so they can go online and write reviews.
- Return to book club for the very last time and act surprised that the common question about the plot seems to be “what happened in this book?” Smile and hand out pre-written, short, flattering, (but all very different!) reviews that they can post online for you.
- Schedule a follow-up visit to teach everyone how to go online and navigate “The Amazon,” as they refer to it. Say (under your breath) that it would be simpler to teach them to navigate the jungle in South America. Be proud of your geography knowledge. Repeat the sarcastic remark again (much louder) when it’s clear nobody has their hearing aid turned on.
- Head over to see your best friend and offer to autograph the title page of your book, especially for her.
- Clean her entire house, mow her lawn, and babysit her four brats.
- Finally discover a handful of book reviews have surfaced online! Here is what they look like:
My sister wrote this book. She didn’t have to prove anything to me. I always knew she had it in her. Therefore I didn’t need to read it, but maybe you should?
Stephanie D. Lewis cleans house fairly well, although she doesn’t do windows. My kids enjoyed their time with her but they are easily amused. Her lawn-mowing skills leave much to be desired. My name was spelled wrong in the acknowledgments page. If she would have hired me (a book editor) to help her, this would have been avoided. Pass on this atrocity!
My daughter (a genius author) and I will be heading to Australia soon. I plan to read her book on the plane and will come back to give my opinion of it right here. My review will be spellbinding. That’s how you’ll know she takes after me.
And then nine short blurbs all thanking me for giving them “Outernet lessons” so patiently because nobody else would. Bless their hearts.
My next book will be an exposé on authors who write their own fake reviews on Amazon. What nerve.
Oh….and this book? Right HERE. But you are forbidden to review it.
20. Resort to reverse psychology with your blog followers.
“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to lay to rest that wonderful device, THE LANDLINE. Before we pay our final respects, it’s not too late to resuscitate our jingly-jangly, dialy or push-buttony friend.”
2 out of 10 people don’t even know their home phone number anymore and the majority of people are saying “Bye Bye” to their Home Phones, claiming anyone who really wants to reach them will just send a text.
HERE ARE 10 REASONS WHY YOU WANT YOUR LANDLINE BACK!
- Eavesdropping! — What’s wrong with you heartless murderers? If you get rid of your home phone, how will
Iuh, YOU ever be able to pick up an extension and listen in on someone again? How will marital affairs be discovered? How will you know your daughter is planning to sneak a guy into the house when you go to sleep tonight? And you may as well just stock up on beer and chips because every time you go out of town, your teens will throw a huge party that you won’t be able to bust them on beforehand.
- I’m Hung Up On You! — Is there no greater satisfaction than slamming the receiver down on either of your two ex-husbands? Err, okay an annoying telemarketer? More power to you, Happily Marrieds out there!
- No More Building Those “Interesting” Relationships! — Think back to the home phone and how often you answered it when it wasn’t even for you. You’re never gonna get close to your potential future mother-in-law now because she’ll simply call her son’s cell directly. Previously, she had a 50/50 chance of getting you on the line when she dialed and you could say self-serving things like, “Hi Rose! I’ll put Robbie on the phone because I can’t talk now….That’s right, I’m very busy cooking your Smart little Boy a six-course dinner starring his favorite tri-tip roast — your delicious recipe of course.”
- No Screening People First — Gone are the days when you could answer the phone and after the high squeaky voice politely requested to speak to your child (so they could invite him for a sleepover which you found out about by asking, “What is this regarding?”) you could first ask things like, “Did your poor mother already say this is ok? Any child molesters in your neighborhood? Do you have guns in your house? Etc.”
5. No Being Able To Embarrass People —I loved telling the throaty sounding female caller asking for my then husband that he couldn’t come to the phone because he was in the bathroom. For the last twenty minutes.
6. Acquiring Information — With a landline, if the person you phoned was busy and told you to hold on for a minute while they set the phone down (with a clatter!) you could detect the entire mood of the household. Was a baby crying? Was romantic music playing? Was the television blaring “Seinfeld?” (If so they had a great sense of humor.) But nowadays you are just antiseptically put on hold with the cellphone’s sterile mute button.
7. No Finding Out What People Really Think About You — I’d call my sister’s house. She’d pick up in the kitchen and my brother-in-law would pick up the second line in their bedroom. I’d recognize the opportunity for what it was and instantly keep quiet. Brother-In-Law: Who’s there? My Sister: It’s just me in the kitchen. There’s nobody on the line, I guess. But I was expecting Stephanie. She’s supposed to stop by later to borrow my black dress. Brother-In-Law: What a pain in the ass your sister always is. And she doesn’t look nearly as hot in that dress as you do. My Sister: You’re right. I’ll come right upstairs. We’ll have wild sex!
8. No Chance to Teach Your Children Phone Manners or More Importantly About Safety —If your kids never get to answer the phone while you’re out, how will you rehearse them to say polite things like, “May I please take down your name and number and have her return the call?” And how can you warn them that they should never say a parent is not home, lest the caller immediately come over and abduct them from their bedroom. And now there’s no opportunity to teach them how to tell a little white lie (when you’d rather not speak to the pesky caller) by saying, “Sorry but she can’t talk right now because she’s super busy.” But for God’s sake, don’t tell them I’m in the bathroom! That’s for me to say about your father!
9. No Cradle! — There’s no curved plastic piece for cradling comfortably between your shoulder and your ear while you do the ironing. Wait, you don’t iron anymore??? Hold the phone! “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to lay to rest another wonderful laundry device used mostly before job interviews and first dates….
10. Steven Spielberg is a mockery! — Who the heck is E.T. gonna call anymore if he cannot PHONE HOME????
And of course if the home phone is gone, WHAT will you use to call your cellphone when you can’t remember where in your house you last left it??
REACH out and touch someone — inspired by today’s daily post.
I grew up in a household where nobody ever asked for forgiveness. The closest we’d come was challenging our siblings to the board game “Sorry,” then beating the pants off them and refusing to apologize for that as well.
So when I recently joined a 12-Step Anonymous support group for my little “addiction,” (I won’t tell you what it is but you can bet I’m not addicted to admitting I’m wrong and saying “Sorry!”) I was quite taken aback that making amends to those I’ve hurt in the past is a high priority.
Even though this particular support group maintains anonymity in the media, and even though I attend these meetings without revealing my personal identity, apparently it’s critical that I divulge my name when making these formal apologies.
I’m pretty sure this rules out my sending “I’m sorry!” notes with cute little bunnies on them that say, “From Your Secret Pal!”
Therefore I’ll save a lot of stamps, phone calls, and gasoline by completing this task in public where there can be no question that it’s me who is “writing” (pun intended) all my wrongs.
Here we go . . .
To All My Past Victims, Please Accept My Formal Apology For The Following Transgressions:
- To Marcia Grady in my 4th Grade Class — I’m sorry I kept throwing a football at your face in an effort to make you gasp and exclaim, “Oh, my nose!”
- To my First Boyfriend Charlie – Please forgive me for breaking my date with you by simply uttering, “Something suddenly came up.”
- To My Mother Adrienne – yes, that was me who used our VCR to tape over your prized Merv Griffin talk shows with my favorite Brady Bunch episodes. (Okay, that old show MIGHT be my addiction?)
- To Professor Norris – I copied all the answers in your Cognitive Therapy class and then implemented what you taught us in Psych 101 to make you feel guilty for suspecting me of cheating.
- To Gene, My First Ex-husband – I’m sorry for saying, “no wonder you turned out like this” when I found out your mother shaved our newborn baby’s head, (claiming it would make her hair grow in thicker) snuck one of our twins off to a wet-nurse because she didn’t like formula, and told the director of the holocaust museum that the exhibits were too depressing because there was so much emphasis on Hitler.
- To Ron, my Second Ex-husband – I’m sorry that I kept submitting your application and headshot to audition for the reality show, The Bachelor when we were still married.
- To Brad, My New
FinanceFiance — I’m sorry that the word “Fiancé” has that little accent mark over the letter “e” and I’m too lazy to figure out how to type that on my keyboard and autocorrect keeps changing it to “finance,” so that’s how you get referred to in my blogs. Okay, I’m also sorry you keep getting referenced in my blogs so much.
- To Mitchell my Eldest Son – Please forgive me for ruining the S’more making contest at your Boy Scout campfire when I devoured all the Hershey bars, (okay, chocolate MIGHT be my addiction!) then told everyone the proper recipe calls for plain toasted marshmallows on graham crackers . . . and these are called, “S’Less.”
- To Eliza, my Youngest Daughter – I should never have shaved your head when you came home with that lice infestation. However look on the bright side . . . your Grandmother guarantees your hair will grow back thicker.
- To The Editor of Time Magazine – I’m sorry to have rejected the rejection letter you sent for my “How To Deal With Lice in America” article. But the negative energy just wasn’t a good fit for what I was looking for at the time.
- To All My Many Regular Followers — I’m terribly sorry you’ve had to put up with a blogger who regularly uses humor (however weak) as self-help therapy and who thinks Wordplay should be an official olympic game.
- To My New Readers — I hope you can forgive this one single post. It will never happen again. I don’t normally try to pass my personal life off as entertainment. Also please don’t ask any of my Regular Followers if this is true or not because they’re liable to say it’s a lie. But they’re just bitter that I didn’t apologize to them all individually, by name. (see above) I actually think all of them should be ashamed of themselves. All six.
It all began innocently enough. I invited happily married friends over for a home-cooked dinner and to play my own personalized version of “The Newlywed Game.” Now I’m no gameshow host, but it was always one of my favorite television shows growing up and especially cherished were the occasions the wife would bonk the doufus husband on the head with her answer card. Would my dining room table tolerate all this excitement? My mind began racing, thinking up fun questions.
Every couple I invited rsvp’d fast and furiously “Uh….No thanks!” Had my culinary skills reputation really spread so far and wide?
But with the first telltale phone call, it began to dawn on me that it wasn’t just bad food.
Wife #1: Hi, we’re flattered to be included on your guest list, but Manny made me call to make sure you’re NOT gonna have a question about which of my girlfriends he fantasizes about?
Me: Manny. Really? I don’t know about that question but now I’m certainly going to include one about how a guy makes it through life named “Manny?” He should have married someone named “Wifey.” Then the Justice of Peace could have said, “I now pronounce you Manny and Wifey.”
Wife #1: Yeah, we’re gonna have to decline. Click.
Hmmph. As I hung up I told myself, absolutely no questions about other partner fantasies.
That night I served soup, salad, and chicken with choice of baked or mashed potatoes and already there was an issue. I asked Husband #2 (when his wife was in the bathroom) if he thought she preferred her potato whole or whipped. He glared at me and said, “I know what potato is a euphemism for! We’re not staying for your raunchy little game.” He snatched his wife’s purse (and I presume he snatched his wife’s potato as well!) and the front door slammed.
“Well,” I said resisting the urge to do an evil laugh. “I guess we’re down to you three lucky couples.” Everyone squirmed uncomfortably in their seats. But that might be because my dining room chairs are at the bottom of this post.
When dessert was served I invited the couples to take their seats in the pairs of chairs set aside with their backs to one another. I sliced up the pie, took my seat with my new fiancé and hoped for the best.
Me: Okay first question. We’ll start out easy. Wives — What’s your favorite thing right now on your mate?”
Answers were “his wedding band” and “this shirt I bought for him” and “Old Spice cologne.” But Wife #4 said simply, “Nuts.” When questioned, she sheepishly admitted she thought I asked, “favorite thing right now on your plate?” And she loved the pecan pie.
Me: Moving right along. Husbands, when you first met your future mother-in-law you thought to yourself, ‘Genetics aren’t everything. I can live with my wife if her ______ grows.’
Answers ranged from “hair” to “nose” to “ass” with one husband wanting to ensure he got a little something/something later on, because he wrote down, “heart.”
So far, so good.
Me: Husbands again – – if your wife could be compared to a cereal, which one would she be?
Again, the men came through as romantics with “Lucky Charms” and “Special K” (the wife was named Kay!) and “Sugar Smacks” (his wife was rumored to be into BDSM) My fiancé dared to say, “Cracklin’ Nutty Flakey Oat Bran” but I chose to let it go.
Me: If your first kiss with your spouse could be described as a candy, what would it be?
Clever, clever guys. Answers were “Starburst” and “Hot Tamales” and “Bar None.” One husband said “Pay Day” then changed it to a “100 Grand bar” and the wife thought he was inferring she was a hooker and stomped out of our house, followed by her man wailing plaintively, “But I thought that would be better than saying, Snickers or Butterfingers!”
At this point my fiancé said he was getting tired and had early morning appointments with patients and could I wrap things up fairly soon? So I decided to throw in a question about that. “If your husband was a doctor, what would he specialize in?” Fiancé immediately sauntered out of the room yawning and to get his toothbrush. Oh well.
But then I lost another couple when I asked, “Who would you say wears the pants in the family?” I didn’t think being a cross-dresser would come up.
The last remaining husband and wife stared at me and I braced myself for the worst.
Husband #1: We’ve waited all night to hear you ask which of her girlfriends I fantasize about being with.
Wife #1: Yeah, C’mon! It’s the whole reason we came. We thought it would be a great way to start up a threesome!
When you’re as neurotic as I am, (aside from having a lifetime of writing) you’ve had a lifetime of therapy as well.
But psychologists can get extremely bored with you and your same old stories replaying, so they’ll often have you do simple “therapeutic exercises.” Nothing that would make you feel awkward or silly of course! Just sitting on their couch and pretending a part of your personality is in the empty chair across from you. And then talking to it. “Speak to your Fear & Anxiety and tell it everything will be okay,” they’ll encourage.
And they love role-playing “games.” But they always make me play the part of ME. Hmmph.
But if they find out you’re a published author, this one becomes their favorite idea — “Write a letter from your Younger Self to Your Present Self” or “From Your Future Self to Your Intuition.” Or “Your Small, Fragile Child” or “Your Angry Side” or “Your Control Freak.”
However, what they really get off on is having you do certain things with “Your Inner Critic.”
Let’s see . . . so far I’ve embraced my Inner Critic. Then in a shocking move, I fired my Inner Critic. Apparently I hired him back however because next thing I knew, I was instructed to silence my Inner Critic. I still have to tame my Inner Critic, then challenge and conquer him. We’re very busy together.
My point being with all these different facets of my personality floating around various therapists’ offices, I thought it was high time I did something completely innovative with all of them. I would invite everyone to a fun cocktail party!
“Hi Personality Traits! Please come to a formal gathering so we can all get to know each other better and then we can rely on one another when we need help or when we just have an impulsive desire to be one well-rounded, sane person! Potluck, of course! See you at my house. Oops, I mean OUR house.”
I was nervous an hour before the get-together but my Perfectionist showed up early and laid out the silverware, plates, and napkins in meticulous order. Okay okay, Miss Compulsive might have come along as well, but I think she busied herself threading fruit salad onto skinny wooden skewers. Soon the kitchen was alive with a cacophony of noise and conversation as various parts of me interacted.
Lazy Bones: Seriously? Who do you think is gonna clean up this huge mess?
Eating Disorder (ED): And how come you’re only putting out healthy fruit and veggies and some measly cheese and crackers? Where are the Oreos, Nutella, and pints of Rocky Road?
Mean Girl: Like oh my god! You can’t eat anything until you fit back into your cheerleading uniform from high school. And what makes you think anybody will show up to a boring party that Loser you throws anyhow?
Confidence: Hey everyone, after we have a few ice-breakers, I’m gonna read aloud one of my classic Huffington Post humor pieces. You’ll love it and never stop laughing.
My Fiancé: (Yes I just got engaged and he’s the only actual real person at this wild shindig!) That sounds great Stephanie. I’m so proud of you, but first let’s go into your room…
Me: (tossing hair in a flirty flounce) Oh, really? Right now?? Well okay, Handsome. Come along Inner Critic, Bitter About Prior Divorces, Blame, Shame, Aggressive, and Sarcasm. Oh alright, Fragile Little Child, you’re welcome in our bed too. In fact, let’s try this with everyone for a change! C’mon y’all — we’ll be swingers!
Inner Critic: Lights off!
My Fiancé: Yep, that’s the drill.
Bitter About Prior Divorces: You’re just like the rest of my ex-husbands. Already implying our sex life is mundane and predictable.
My Fiancé: Let’s hammer out the details. And shelve it.
Fragile Little Child: I don’t wanna put this discussion on the shelf. Tell me now! You’re leaving me, right? I feel scared and tiny. And vulnerable.
My Fiancé: I’m not going anywhere as long as you can take all my pounding.
Confidence: (fluttering eyelashes) Well I like it rough, but gentle can be nice too. I can handle anything you got!
Asks For What She Needs: But can I get a lot of support?
My Fiancé: Definitely. It will hold up to a lot of abuse if nobody throws a wrench into it and you go easy with all your many hang-ups.
Self-Defense Mechanism: Like you’re so perfect! You have a few skeletons in the closet too, I’m sure. Maybe you’re a skirt-chaser?
My Fiancé: Skirts? Nope, I just can’t wait to come out of this closet!
Waiting For Other Shoe to Drop: What?? You’re gay? See that! I knew something like this would happen to prevent our future happiness. Can’t you at least fix it to swing both ways??
My Fiancé: Stephanie, can you stop integrating all the different sides of you for just a moment? I need to concentrate on getting this extra storage wardrobe built. Otherwise when I finally move in, I’m afraid I’ll drown in all of your clothing! Why do you have so many dang dresses anyhow?
All Personalities: (simultaneously) Surely you don’t expect all of us to wear the same size, do you? !
Big thanks to my new fiancé who will hopefully be just as understanding as he was when he was my boyfriend that I use his “persona” here for PURE FICTION!
What is it about standing in line for food that brings out the DMV in people? This holiday season, whether you’re (smart and) eating out at a restaurant, serving the hearty meal in your own home, or partaking in the holiday at someone else’s house, chances are (unless the formal dining room is as large as the scene in a Norman Rockwell painting) people will likely be getting up from the main table to obtain food from what we call a “Buffet”
We do know this is pronounced Buffay, correct? It’s not spoken like a line from a famous nursery rhyme. “Little Miss Muffet sat on a Tuffet to eat at a Buffet!” Right?
Now that we’ve cleared up the French influence on our language, you’re in luck. Little Miss Menopause has some tips and rules to offer about Buffets, along with giving her thanks for your readership and putting up with an encore post today while she cooks for her sister-in-law’s buffet.
But first a little lesson on the types of individuals you are likely to encounter at a Buffet:
- A Buffeter Surveyer – – These are people who have read “helpful” articles with tips about losing weight during Thanksgiving and have come to view the offerings in their entirety prior to making their careful selections. They have been promised that if they have a calm, relaxed demeanor and a predetermined game plan approaching the Buffet, they will not gain five pounds. Most of these people will methodically walk the length of the buffet before diving in head first. It’s best to back up and give them a running start. Note: If you’ve read the same articles, it’s far too late to remind them that using a salad size plate instead of entree size can fool the eye and trick the stomach.
- A Buffeter Overstayer – – They think of the buffet as their home base. They will continuously loiter, integrating all kinds of tasks into the buffet. Talking, eating, wiping, consulting, organizing, refilling, and generally becoming a permanent fixture at a buffet. They are not compatible with the next type…
- A Buffeter Get-out-of-my-Wayer! – – He means business. Napkin tucked, first in line, and making appreciative sounds that make you wonder if a nearby barnyard has taken attendance recently.
- A Buffeter Prayer Sayer – – A religious woman who’s extremely graceful. Literally. She makes sure Grace has been said in all languages, in all cultures, as she prays for starving people everywhere. Very thoughtful too – – if there are leftovers she will pack a doggy-bag for God.
- A Buffeter Cabareter – – Usually a former preschool teacher who know lots of holiday songs and won’t hesitate to coerce people in line to join in with “Ten Little Indians” or “Pumpkin Pie in the Sky!” And you better at least lip synch when she divides you up into sections for her round of “Gobble, Bobble, Wobble” or she’ll belt it all out on her own.
- A Buffeter Delayer – – You know they want food, they know they want food, but they will stay seated until the last person gets up, not wanting to appear overeager. Then they will gossip until next year about how you didn’t prepare enough grub.
- A Buffeter Weigher – – Such a killjoy. They recite calorie counts for everything and whip out their little kitchen scales to do an official cranberry calibration.
- A Buffeter Layerer – – This person is obsessed with rearranging the sumptuous spread and digging through layers of turkey or yams looking for who knows what. Tongs are their favorite tool of choice but they can function just as well with a spatula too.
- A Buffeter Sprayer – – It would be less offensive if this person was merely having an allergy attack. But that’s usually not the case. Need I say more? I needn’t.
- A Buffeter Okayer – -You’ll not meet a more pleasant, jovial person in the line today. The answers to the following questions will always be “Okay!” 1. Can I go in front of you? 2. How’ve you been since last Thanksgiving? 3. Do you think I should goose cousin Cindy as she takes some goose?
- A Buffeter Trayer – – They frequent cruise ships and Las Vegas so they are professionals and bring their own tray. It looks suspiciously like the one at Soup Plantation. But it helps them with efficiency because balancing full plates is really not their thing.
- A Buffeter Bouqueter – – These are gardening people and if the hostess has thoughtfully decorated with floral centerpieces, that’s all they will talk about. You’d think they would prefer Roasted Red Roses or Fried Fuschia Freesia to light or dark turkey parts.
- A Buffeter Betrayer – – Intimately acquainted with the hostess, they won’t hesitate to tell all they know. “That salad she claims is organic? Nope. And it’s a Costco pumpkin pie this year even if she’s claiming homemade. Skip the sweet potatoes, she doesn’t wash the skins.” Etc.
- A Buffeter Clichér – – Like the turkey, this guy’s vocabulary is stuffed full of stupid puns and double entendres. While staring at the carved bird, he’s bound to remark, “Looks scary….it’s a Goblin!” Or “I’m suddenly in a Fowl mood!” Tell him you gave up laughing at stupid jokes ‘Cold Turkey’ and move along.
- A Buffeter Halfwayer – – They nearly get to the end of the food display when they realize they forgot to grab a ladle full of salad dressing some twelve platters ago. Now they’re gonna stand frozen and flummoxed in line, wondering how they can politely go backwards. Say this: “Grandma, want me to get you some Ranch?” Problem solved.
- A Buffeter FoulPlayer – – If it’s accidental, it can be forgiven – – but younger buffet-goers will drop a cherry tomato into the gravy to see if it floats or sinks. That’s just the beginning of the havoc they can wreak and I hesitate to offer more examples lest I give them other ideas.
- A Buffeter OyVeyer – – Being Jewish, I’ve met more than my share. Starts with, “Oy Vey, my doctor says my triglycerides are sky high lately.” Ask them what a triglyceride is and they’ll just sigh deeply and say, “Oy Vey, I really shouldn’t be eating that.” or worse, “Oy Vey, should YOU really be eating that??”
- A Buffeter Résumér – – Ambitious souls! They might even hand you a written resumé as proof to what they contributed to this feast. It will contain bullet points. “Experienced giblet gravy maker. Team player who brings innovative and fresh ingredients to the workplace.”
- A Buffeter Essayer – – Someone who goes around observing and interviewing people in line at buffets in the hopes of writing a funny blog post because she has nothing better to put out on Thanksgiving. The nerve.
- A Warren Buffett Buffeter — You’ll lose your appetite because he’s going to talk about the economy. From Soup Overspending to Nut Capitalists.
- A Jimmy Buffetter Buffeter — Related to the Buffeter Cabareter (above) but you’ll truly be impressed with how much of the “Wasting Away in Margaritaville” lyrics they actually know. “Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt. Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, but I know, it’s my own damn fault. . . ” is only the beginning!
(The blonde in the lower left above is about to get chaffed by that chafing dish!)
And now for some quick rules. Just a few though, because everyone knows the rule is “there’s no rules on Thanksgiving!”
Don’t Go Astray And Disobey the Array of the Display at the Buffet! (The 10 Commandments)
1. Thou Shalt Not Cut The Line – – I know, I know….you just want seconds on the lamb. But isn’t that a different holiday food anyhow?
2. Thou Shalt Not Switch Direction: Buffets go in one direction only. Don’t start making your way through the line from the opposite direction. A big hint — you will find yourself carrying food in your hands because the plates are on the other side.
3. Thou Shalt Watch Thy Children: Always escort young children, say 10 or younger, to the buffet. And give them second helpings of the creamed acorn squash in the hopes that one of the ingredients is Valium or Xanax.
4. Thou Shalt Keep Thy Fingers to Thyself: Kids aren’t the only offenders here. Adults are just as likely to get excited and grab something quickly because nobody is looking. I see you. I always see you.
5. Thou Shalt Not Move Tongs: Never, ever move the tongs from one platter or hot food station to another. What if the person behind you has allergies to shrimp and you’ve just moved the tongs from a shrimp dish to a turkey dish? What if that person is kosher or vegetarian? Ever think of that you “Tong Trader” you? Need a gentle reminder? Hum the “It’s just Wrong to move a Tong” song. Don’t know that one? Make friends with the preschool teacher who sings in buffet lines mentioned above.
6. Thou Shalt Not Eat in Line: It’s amazing how many people you run into who are suddenly extremely diabetic or hypoglycemic and must have their food right NOW at a buffet.
7. Thou Shalt Not Take More Than Thou Can Eat: Buffet dining, by its very nature, is gluttonous, but that doesn’t mean you have to be! “If you’re a glutton with the mutton, you’ll need to move your shirt button! La, la, la, la!” Okay, so I dine with a certain preschool teacher quite often! Similarly, don’t take the last baked potato because it’s rude to leave the people behind you with an empty serving tray. If you do, stealthily stick up a little sign that says, “Kilroy was here” so they can at least laugh at their ill-fortune.
8. Thou Shalt Use a New Plate Each Time: If you go back for seconds, leave your original plate at the table and get a fresh one each time. Why this is, I’ll never know . . . but I get admonished for it all the time. (Perhaps a hygiene specialist can elaborate on how this could cause cross-contamination in the comment section?)
9. Thou Shalt Wash Thy Hands: Sticking with the cleanliness theme, always wash your hands before getting in the buffet line. You might not be touching the food directly, but you will be handling the serving utensils. And I actually GET this one, so no explaining in the comments section will be necessary, you Germaphobes.)
10. Thou Shalt Not Make a Doggie Bag: Don’t even think to ask. There are no doggie bags at buffets, NO exceptions. A napkin squirreled quickly away inside your purse will always suffice. Men without handbags are outa luck and will need to be super nice to their wives for leftovers back home.
Arranging a buffet? Why that’s just child’s play!!
From now until January 2nd marks the period with the greatest amount of air travel. I absolutely detest flying but instead of grumbling, I’ve used my time in the sky to categorize the following types of airline passengers. Do you know any of them?
The Air Preparer: He’s the MacGyver at 40,000 miles. Need a bandage, cough syrup, earplugs or screwdriver? He’s your man.
The Air Armchairer: She makes a beeline to her seat so she can beat you out. Giving you an evil glare as you stagger innocently down the aisle, you notice her elbows hogging both armrests. Do you dare claim what’s rightfully yours?
The Air Barer: Is this a 747 or a hot yoga class? She’s so scantily dressed, her mother would make her put on a trench coat. Oh wait, that might be even more provocative!
The Air Scarer: This person makes your peanuts and pretzel packages stand on end with their tales of terror. On another flight they were recently on, the pilot had to release all the luggage to lighten the load. Still a different flight they had to drop all their fuel and ultimately all the passengers as well. Gasp. But the most horrific flight of all was when they ran out of diet coke.
The Air Prayer: This individual should never sit next to an Air Scarer. You can recognize one of these quite easily because their lips move silently in a constant state of prayer as they clutch their rosary beads until the plane touches back on ground.
The Air Affairer: The longing, seductive looks they give one another from business class to coach is their mark of distinction. They don’t dare sit in the same section lest someone knows them. Watch for synchronized bathroom trips. (Being crowned King/Queen of the Mile High Club would be their ultimate frequent flier reward)
The Air Solitairer: Yes, this guy flies all by his lonesome self. But that deck of cards is in continuous motion. Look! That red Jack can go on the black Queen!
The Air Marryer: No sooner does the pilot point out Mt. St. Helens when he directs your attention to a passenger seated over the wing who is now going down on bended knee. Will she say yes? Maybe he couldn’t do this on the ground because he’s counting on the diamond looking bigger under the little cabin book light?
The Air DayCarer: She has not just one, not just two, but three kids and she’s brought enough provisions to put a preschool to shame. Hey! Will she share a handful of cheerios and that etch-a-sketch with your own cranky child? No she will not, stupid – – next time, fly more prepared.
The Air Pairer: These two are lifelong friends going on a gal-pal weekend and they love to chit-chat with you seated in between them. Why didn’t they book seats right next to one another?? Because one needs a window and one needs an aisle and talking over you is a stimulating challenge. Just read your book and shut up, mkay?
The Air Error: This guy flies planes for a hobby and he’s gonna run down the list of all the mistakes they’re making. Think you can do it better? Get in that cockpit and take contol!
The Air Swearer: Salty vocabulary is an understatement and if he’s seated next to The Air DayCarer, he better watch his language — she’s gonna have her kids paste his mouth shut with their gluesticks during arts n’ crafts hour.
The Air Comparer: “Jet Blue has far more leg room than this cracker jack plane. Did you know United baked oatmeal cookies on a flight once? Wonder if Virgin Airlines would hire flight attendants as ugly as these?” Thank you for sharing!
The Air Despairer: This individual is absolutely petrified to fly and you’ve got the nail marks in your arm to prove it. What was that noise? Did you see that little red light blinking on the wing? What if the pilot just found out his wife is leaving him and chooses today to fall off the wagon?
The Air DentalCarer: Flossing teeth in public is yucky. But traces of blue toothpaste left in that itty bitty sink can only mean one thing. . . Someone’s mouth is minty fresh during this flight for a good reason.
The Air Sharer: By the time you land, you’ve seen all their grandkids, know their favorite scene from Wizard of Oz and split a hoagie with them. But you booked a red eye to sleep.
The Air Starer and Awarer: Very nosy woman, scrutinizing every passenger on the flight, the wheels always turning. Hyper aware of subtle mannerisms and nuances, taking notes so they can write a blog about it. Nah, these people don’t really exist!
If you enjoyed my classifications here, you might like last year’s Thanksgiving post where I put people who attend holiday buffets into categories. Read about THESE FOLKS RIGHT HERE?
Local investigators uncovered a major fraud in the world of preschool art last week when it was discovered that a group of elite housewives/mothers bribed their local garbage collector to set up a simulated art museum in the back of a manicure shop. The desperate women generously tipped the city employee weekly for transporting their children’s finger-paintings and paper-mâché trinket boxes into the makeshift gallery each and every time they tossed these lovingly crafted projects into the trash.
Oscar Krouch, city sanitation department employee for over twenty-three years stated, “At first I thought it was a sweet idea. Mothers wanting to make their children feel special. I was all for it.” Pulling out an ugly green finger-knit scarf, he continued, “Then I realized it was just old-fashioned maternal guilt. Imagine throwing away everything your precious kids bring home from school, but not wanting your conscience to bother you. For shame!”
During an interview with the mothers in question, Yolanda, mother of three (who prefers not to give her last name) claimed it all started with good intentions. “During our weekly coffee klatch at Lisa’s house, we noticed her refrigerator bursting at its Sub-Zero seams with scotch-taped rainbow construction paper because stainless steel fridges aren’t magnetic, ya know? Nothing hanging on those doors matched her mid-century décor and she already tried discreetly tossing these projects after a couple of weeks of prominent display, but her only child Leonardo threw a tremendous fit.”
“I can relate to that,” interrupts Brandi, mother of Salvador and Vincent, ages 3 and 5. “I even resorted to Martha Stewart’s time consuming suggestion to take digital pictures of everything before discarding, but my kids wailed, ‘How could you really love us if you’re capable of throwing out things we’ve made with our very own two little hands?’ Our house was being overrun because the Montessori PTA insists on tons of enrichment. I could wallpaper three of my larger walk-in closets with the amount of stuff they were bringing home.”
The mastermind of the entire charade was Kim, (mother of Pablo, Georgia and Andy) who conjured up the clever ruse after a desperate moment during a particularly fruitful Mother’s Day. “A pretend art museum was the perfect solution — a win/win for everybody involved. The children could visit their craft projects once a month during our family day. And Oscar Krouch isn’t so innocent in all of this. He confided that becoming an art curator made him feel important, especially because his own mother always admonished that if he didn’t go to college, all he would ever amount to was a garbage-man.”
In a strange twist, the plot thickened (just like a kindergartener’s poorly executed oil-painting) when Krouch decided to open the “gallery” to the general public, taking in thousands of dollars selling the wayward kiddie knickknacks.
Krouch justified, “I noticed on my garbage route that certain trash cans were consistently filled with store bought birthday or Valentine’s Day cards, machine stamped candles, and placemats made in China. Nothing looked homemade and it dawned on me that some mothers don’t have little artists to deluge them with paintings. Instead they gave birth to mini-athletes or nerds who prefer Bill Nye the Science Guy. I felt bad for these macaroni ornament deprived moms who seemed to yearn for some amateur holiday art to hang in their windows.”
Indeed Krouch charged $20 for simple Crayola family sketches, but it was the personal work like the toddler-traced handprints turned into turkeys that fetched huge sums before Thanksgiving. “Believe it or not, mothers couldn’t throw away their little darling’s glittery pinecone art fast enough to satisfy the demand I was seeing from these art-starved moms for Christmas,” added Krouch.
None of this would have come to light if human nature didn’t run its typical course of greed. About a month ago Eileen, mother of Matisse, gleefully threw an entire Nordstrom’s bag full of her son’s art away, never realizing there was a dormant masterpiece lying within. “It was just a sloppy purple sharpie outline of a sprig of grapes I had packed in his Antman lunch box that morning. Not even organic fruit. Suddenly I see the same drawing featured on the 10:00 news with our neighbor’s sports obsessed son identified as the artist. I realized this dishonest mother had purchased my Mattise’s grape portrait from our garbage man, then claimed her son doodled it during a timeout on the ball field. A boy who had never clasped anything in his hands but a football his entire life!”
What does Krouch, the shrewd trashman turned art-curator have to say about this unpredictable turn of events? “I think it’s a classic case of sour grapes. Or possibly The Grapes of Wrath. And you know what they say – One Mom’s Trash is Another Mom’s Treasure.”
Mr. Krouch, are you sure you didn’t go to college??
Little Miss Menopause Reporting.
(Inspiration credit for this piece goes to one of my favorite bloggers, The Underground Writer, the expert on news story parodies. Check out one of hers right HERE! )
Two weeks in advance, my own mother would buy the mandatory bag of Hershey’s fun size bars only to partake in a little too much fun. She would then need to replenish the bag before All Hallows’ Eve arrived. Six different times. When we’d run out of candy by 7 p.m. on the night of the actual festivities, mom simply tacked a sign on our front door stating, “At store buying Snickers.” And then another notice beneath it, “Please don’t egg our house … haven’t you heard of binge eating?”
Now that I have children of my own, there’s always the same conversation regarding this holiday and it always goes off in some bizarre tangent. Listen . . .
Daughter: Can we decorate the outside of our house for the holiday?
Me: Why certainly.
Feeling organized, I proceed to put up exactly one pumpkin, one gobble/gobble turkey, and a token Santa Claus. Why not? Stores do it.
Daughter: But we wanted scary and evil looking things on the front door.
Me: Sorry, Halloween was originally a Paganist celebration. We’re not into Pagans.
Youngest Son: But I love Madagascar and Happy Feet! They’re so cute when they waddle their black and white bodies.
And don’t get me started on overtly sexy costumes. Why does a wicked witch need garter belts? To hold up her black lace fishnet stockings, of course. I think the holiday greeting needs to be changed to “Trick-or-Discreet!”
Costumes are also quite costly. I’m as creative as the next Martha, but shelling out $120 at Party City for a cowgirl outfit (with six-inch stiletto heeled boots, mind you!) or spending major money at Michaels craft store for supplies to make an iPhone costume is ridiculous. Anyone can do that. As far as I’m concerned, the real “Trick” in “Trick or Treating” is convincing your child they already own a fantastic costume. In their closet. And it’s free.
Last year, I had my children shove heavy textbooks inside their backpacks, announcing they were dressed-up as Straight-A Students. This season I’m trying a different tactic.
Me: Hey son, wear your black and white striped shirt to the party and be a referee. And as for you sweet girl, remember that white flower-girl dress? You’ll be a perfect Angel.
Daughter: (stamping feet) I want an Elsa costume from Frozen and I want it now.
Me: Oh good, it’s settled. You’ll go as Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka, you spoiled little brat!
As for me? My lovely sister-in-law throws an annual (and elaborate!) costume party, refusing to let me in if I just wear a tee shirt proclaiming, “This IS my costume.” She insists on something different each and every year. Seven years ago, I bought a frilly (and versatile) little pink dress and so far I’ve been a little toddler girl holding a lollypop, Little Miss Muffet holding a tuffet, Little Bo Peep holding a sheep (alright a stuffed lamb) BUT then I gave it new life by adding a veil and calling myself a child bride! The following year, I stuck a pillow in my abdomen and became a pregnant child bride. This year I’m wearing red contact lenses and I’ll be the Evil Little Girl who comes out of elevators. I love repurposing.
But next year (In keeping with my true feelings for Halloween) I’m going as a mash-up of Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch and uh….Gretel. Why Gretel? Because I love alliteration and it works with my “Gr” theme. But I’ll be a sultry, sexy Gretel with mini skirted, low cut bodice rags. Watch out Hansel!
Happy Halloween. What’s been your most creative costume?
Since my boyfriend is in the medical field, he’s kindly brought back making house calls when his patients are in too much pain to come to his office. I decided this made perfect sense and it should be the wave of the future by ALL professionals. Wouldn’t it be great to never have to leave your home? Here are my experiences from a day last week when I tested the waters. You can certainly benefit by knowing what worked and what backfired.
HAIRSTYLIST – – I called my beautician to tell her I was having such a bad hair day that I couldn’t leave home and then inquired whether she would come to me to work her scissors magic? After a long pause she asked about electrical outlets (was she plotting to shave my head as punishment?) and if I had a basin with a long sprayer hose? We decided I would wash my own hair in the shower prior to her arrival rather than dunking my head in the kitchen sink with the sticky maple syrup dishes from our pancake breakfast. But she soon became extra snippy in my living room, taking off three more inches than I requested, blaming it on my red walls and then I had to vacuum my own hair off my purple couch (yes red walls, purple couch – – my interior decorator does NOT make house calls!) plus I had to tip this very put-out woman extra $$ because my cat triggered her asthma. Other than that, it wasn’t too terribly harried (no pun intended) of an experience.
DENTIST — I explained to the receptionist I had a phobia with rinsing and spitting away from the privacy of my own sink and would the DDS consider making a house call just this once? She said since Dr. Barry lived in my neighborhood he would stop by after his morning run. When I opened the door, my dentist stood panting and perspiring in a jogging suit, carrying a portable aquarium and a large plaque (the kind you hang over a fireplace mantle, not the kind that Crest toothpaste prevents), which read, “The Tooth Will Set You Free!” He eyed my ex-husband’s tool kit, (particularly his power drill) with a little too much lust before getting down to business filling my cavity while reclining (him, not me) in an easy chair in my den. All in all, things went fairly well, but he really set my teeth on edge when he shouted, “There’s no such thing as a tooth fairy, there’s just me — Dr. Barry!” to my youngest daughter as he slammed out the front door. Sheesh.
HOUSE CLEANER – – When I called Merry Maids to ask if they would come to me, they sounded rather mad, not merry. It turns out most of their clients transport their homes to them for a good scrubbing. Finally a disheveled woman wearing a stained apron (didn’t inspire a lot of confidence) turned up on my doorstep, insisting on using my broom, my mop, and finally my vacuum (which was full of my hair from the earlier beautician) and then demanded I fix her a BLT sandwich on her lunch break. I’ve decided that next time we’ll meet halfway in someone else’s place of residence.
BANKER — Though he thought it was quite unconventional, the manager at my local branch came to my door very cooperatively — albeit a bit mixed up regarding how this whole thing should work. First I had to break a hundred dollar bill for him from the wallet in my purse. Then I had to take a hammer to my youngest’s piggy bank so he could roll up some quarters. And lastly he asked if he could stash his Rolex watch in my jewelry box for safekeeping? He left saying it was a pleasure doing business with me, without even so much as offering me a lollypop.
OB/GYN – Whatever excuse could I come up with to justify not going to my gynecologist’s office? I decided on confessing that all my Victoria’s Secret panties were in the laundry . . . and they bought it! When Dr. Spanky efficiently arrived, he shouted at me to boil some water fast! Was a baby being born? Turns out he just wanted a cup of tea. He then requested two wire coat hangers, which he quickly twisted into makeshift stirrups just a little too adeptly. This guy was slick – – he even brought his own exam table roll of wax paper, which made the appropriate amount of crinkly noise when he covered the nice soft flannel sheets on my bed. I wasn’t surprised when he issued those typical orders – – “Scoot your bottom down please. Just a little more. Stop! That’s too much. You almost fell into your dirty clothes hamper!” However, I was slightly taken aback when he requested I bring him a can-opener for use as a speculum.
PLUMBER: An online ad said “We now make house calls.” I had to call them up and ask what other calls a plumber could possibly make? They told me “Houseboat calls!” If a sailor has a leaky ship, they’ve got far bigger problems than a clogged toilet!
CONCLUSION– With all these professionals coming into my home, the last thing I wanted to hear was my doorbell ringing and “Avon Calling!” cheerfully shouted from my front stoop. That did it! I was going stir crazy cooped up inside these four walls and needed to get out into the big, exciting world ASAP. I called my boyfriend excitedly to confirm our date night was still on for dinner out, followed by the The Phantom of The Opera at the theatre downtown.
“Are you serious, Stephanie?” he asked wearily. “I’m exhausted from all the house calls I’ve made today. All I want to do is bring in Chinese and watch a movie in your cozy living room.”
I knew it. House Call Dating. What’s next?!
- Notice that your walls in the living room seem just a tad dirty . . . rather than scrubbing them, think that a fresh coat of paint will be much easier. Gray is very fashionable these days. Briefly wonder if it’s spelled gray or grey? Remind yourself you were a math major and it doesn’t matter. Yes, gray/grey paint is the answer, even though you’ve forgotten the question.
- Go to the home improvement store and look at swatches. Thousands of little colored paper strips. Hold each one up to the light and ask yourself, “Is this a true gray? Or might it have a little lavender hue to it?” Take the professional’s advice and purchase sample cans of your top five favorites to try in your actual home.
- Think again about washing your walls. Actually get the cleanser and rags out.
- Decide painting is definitely the easier way to go. Paint about fifty brush strokes in several areas of the house and step back to survey your work. Get confused. Nod your head as you now understand how the author of “Fifty Shades of Gray” became a billionaire simply because she once had filthy walls.
- Look at the freshly painted areas after sundown with the lamps on in your home and feel a little spooked. These cannot possibly be the same colors you painted on your walls just a mere four hours earlier in daylight, can they? Some look green tinged, some look blue tinged and you could swear one has turned an ominous dark brown totally all by itself. Recall the Poltergeist film and any Stephen King movies you’ve ever watched.
- Visibly shaken, telephone an interior decorator to come over for an emergency consultation. Listen to her explain that different grays can have warm and cool undertones — so if you’re not sure which way you want to proceed, why don’t you try greige? Give a nervous little giggle as she explains greige is a special combination of gray and beige that’s sweeping the nation.
- Drag out the box of your children’s Crayola crayons and fondly remember burnt sienna, lemon yellow, and forest green. Ahhh, much simpler times.
- Pour the decorator a nice glass of iced-tea as she mentions giving you a proposal. Feel flattered she likes you enough to want to set a date, but shouldn’t you discuss religion and children?
- After she leaves, stare at your walls again and vow they won’t win. Impulsively paint your entire living room stainless steel, tinfoil, charcoal graphite London fog gray instead of exercising at the gym. There! The walls are clean. And gray. Sort of. But the carpet (which used to be a nice, neutral taupe) now looks earth-toned. What is earth-toned anyhow? Sounds serious. Go to a flooring store.
- When one of the salespeople asks if you’ve considered berber with a loop, respond, “Yes, when I drink bourbon, I get loopy.” Notice your interior decorator has come into the store and is scowling at you conversing with these carpet people, as if you’ve committed adultery.
- Stealthily purchase seven (grayish) shaggy area rugs (instead of wall-to-wall carpeting) and race home to remedy the situation. Become aware that your dining room table now completely clashes with the new paint and throw-rugs. Besides the chairs are quite old, shabby, and too traditional. Like your husband. Google “modern, non-traditional dining room table sets” and get a little aroused when you find this;
- Ask your husband if he’d like to become a swinger with you? Feel disappointed when he tells you he’d prefer just the two of you sleeping in your own bed because something sounds a little fishy, so order this:
- Climb into your unique new bed but don’t even think about saying, “Not tonight dear, I’ve got a haddock.”
- The next morning, slip into your new bathtub, (which the interior decorator talked you into because she could CLEARLY see you have the perfect body to show it off!) — and relax, congratulating yourself on revitalizing your marriage. Until you notice that the walls in the bathroom seem just a tad dirty . . .
- Inspired by true events and the daily word prompt https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/paint/
- Here are scenes from my real house below. Soon I won’t need to hire anyone to paint. It will be “Patchwork Gray” everywhere.
I can never decide which I should write first — my obituary, my will, or my eulogy — after I google my current physical symptoms. If you relate at all to that statement, please visit my short piece on the topic. I would be grateful for any comments left there as well because this is a new writing job for me and it’s hard to be funny about a wrist device that monitors breathing. And now my plug – – CLICK HERE to see my latest piece for this company called SPIRE, a great way to relax and de-stress! Okay, un-plugging now. . .
Little Miss Menopause