Making Memes Magically Manifest Magnificent Masses!

 

kittens4Or 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.

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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?)

IMG_3316  IMG_3317ritz crackers

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.kittens7

But (above) I seem to have inherited a pair of furry house-slippers, albeit mismatched colors!

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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 . . .

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And together we’re collaborating on a sequel for Dirty Dancing and remaking this famous scene . . . kittens10

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!”cats2

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.cat6

And sometimes you’ll miss the obvious . . . cats1

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.

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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?

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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!”

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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.

How to Portray a New Image (not necessarily an accurate one!) Using Social Media

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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.

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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.

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Rehash the Backlash From Oscar Bash?

Screen-Shot-2017-01-19-at-9.44.57-AM-520x245.pngAs 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.

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* 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Kitten Saga (Cast Your Vote!)

fullsizerender-44Here 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.

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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
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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 Variations! (Verified Valuable & Vitalizing!)

12354272943_17d394cf5b_zValentine’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.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  Leave me a comment and tell me how you’ll actually celebrate…

Scheduled Sex and Mystery Dates!?

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

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

Tips for SCHEDULED SEX

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 12, 9 pm. — Just do “it!”

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

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

Tips for a MYSTERY DATE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I need is some professionally documented medical evidence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neurologist: With pleasure.

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

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

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

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

Daughter: Yes. Sorta. Kinda. No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ex: Your driving is no laughing matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Will You Participate in Your Life? Yes/No/Maybe

fullsizerender-40Are 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.”

EXCITING GIVEAWAYS! 

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!

SATISFACTION SURVEYS!

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!

  1. 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?
  2. When did you first get the idea to keep your prices the same but slash the portion sizes in half?
  3. 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?
  4. When your waitress flirts with my boyfriend by touching his shoulder a lot, does she realize I leave the tip?
  5. 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:

 

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They’re not allowed to do that on MY blog today!!

Santa says, “I’m Sorry!” But Why Stop There??

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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 . . .

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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)

Santa Claus

BUT WHY STOP THERE?

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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 . . .

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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.

Sincerely,

Santa, The Tooth Fairy, and The Easter Bunny

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Are Any of These 19 People At Your Holiday Buffet?

people-in-line-at-food-buffetWhy 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!

  1. 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)
  2. 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…
  3. 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 . . .
  4. 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.
  5. 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!)
  6. The Buffeter Cabareter – Hums songs about eating. Often heard belting out, “Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver or “Be Our Guest!”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.”
  17. The Warren Buffeter – When you ask for some tips, he doles out financial advice. You just meant asparagus tips.
  18. 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?”
  19. 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!

20 Thoughts I Have Tossing & Turning! (as you sleep soundly…)

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  1. 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 company nobody!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!!
  5. I wonder what the statistics are for the number of people who kick or hit others in their sleep?
  6. Okay what was THAT noise?  Two minutes!
  7. 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?
  8. “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.”
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Maybe this is all a dream and I’m actually sleeping.
  13. Another noise! You are so lucky I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and not waking you up.
  14. 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?
  15. Look at you. Just laying there. Breathing in. Breathing out. Rhythmic, pathetic fool.
  16. I’m hungry. I’m starving. It might be fun to actually get thrown out of bed for eating crackers.
  17. 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.
  18. 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?
  19. 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?
  20. 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?

How To Turn a Spare Room Into Something Less Useful!

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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!”
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  • 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.”beauty-the-beast-beauty-and-the-beast-1705808-960-540
  • 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:

  1. Have a garage sale and sell the comfortable bed and roomy dresser.
  2. 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!)
  3. 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!
  4. 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.)
  5. 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??
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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!img_0761

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This is the screen that nobody even looks at in a Home Theatre Room….so use a white sheet!

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Look closely, did she find the “Flicks” chocolate she remembers from her childhood??

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A good prop to have in your Theater Room is life-size teenage girls sitting in the back row!  It gives it that cozy, legit feel.

Why Your Volt Matters!

fullsizerender-39Since 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

or

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.

 

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It’s only a 2008, but it gets good mileage so I hope it’s still the popular 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!)

How To Fix Your Relationship in Just 11 Easy Steps!

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Forget the typical advice you read about improving communication and adding romance. My list is guaranteed!

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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?
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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!”
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.

Are you Angry With Me?

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How do you get angry and still look this attractive? Where are her furrowed brow wrinkles?

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?

Me: Huh?

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?

Neighbor: No.

Me:  Well would you tell me if you were?

Neighbor:  No.

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. 

Barbra Streisand Accepts Neil Diamond’s Proposal!

eb58900d3a10257b964e34790cb1c50aWell 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.

Neil: Sweet!

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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10 Things We Would NOT Do If Nobody Was Around!

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In the Twilight Zone, The Shopping Carts gang up and get their revenge on people who never put them back. 

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!)

  1. “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.
  2. “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.
  3. “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. 
  4. “I wouldn’t sit like a lady!” — With those hairy thighs?  Who could blame you?  
  5. “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.
  6. “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.  
  7. 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….”
  8. “I wouldn’t return shopping carts to their receptacles!” So you’re the one whose shopping cart is always blocking the primo parking space?
  9. “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.
  10. “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??andyrooney162017

Diary of An Ant Infestation!

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Dear Diary, I hope this appeases the Pest Gods….

Day 1

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.

Day 2

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.

Day 3

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.

Day 4

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!

Day 5

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.

Day 6

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.

Day 7

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.

Day 8

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

Day 9

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!

Day 10

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!

Day 11

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.

Day 12

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.

Day 13

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!

Days 14-30

THEY ARE GONE! Every. Single. Last. One. Of. Them.  Word of the day: TriumphANT!!!

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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.

Dying to Plan Own Funeral!

FullSizeRender (34)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.

.

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I think this guest meant to say, “Hope You Had a Wonderful Life!”

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.)

flowers

Can you recognize which blog of mine these flowers are made from?

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?FullSizeRender (33)

 

 

 

I’ll Take You Right Into The Danger Zone!

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.

  1. 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)
  2. 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.)
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
  5. 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)
  6. 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)
  7. 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)
  8. 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.” )
  9. 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)

Feel free to hate me here, but please LIKE ME on Facebook right HERE

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.

How NOT To Get People To Review Your Book! (in 19 Easy Steps)

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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.

But nooooooo…

The following is a 19 step game plan you should NEVER use to get lots of book reviews.

  1. 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.)
  2. Decide that getting one or two online reviews couldn’t hurt.
  3. 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.
  4. Check Amazon every day for two weeks.
  5. After no book review surfaces, begin to check Goodreads.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. Realize that all these years you never knew it, but your entire family and circle of friends are illiterate.
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Head over to see your best friend and offer to autograph the title page of your book, especially for her.
  18. Clean her entire house, mow her lawn, and babysit her four brats.
  19. 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.

10 Reasons NOT To Kill Your Home Phone

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“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!

  1. Eavesdropping! — What’s wrong with you heartless murderers?  If you get rid of your home phone, how will  I   uh, 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.”

bye-bye-birdie-telephone5. 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.

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

 

 

 

Making Public Apologies (Digging Deeper!)

images (13)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 Finance Fiance — 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.

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

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I’m sorry — I normally don’t put another image at the end of my post but seriously, have you ever seen an owl look this cute? (Okay owls in general MIGHT be my addiction!) 

Questions That Will Cause a Divorce!

imageIt 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!

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

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These are the chairs people must sit on at my house.

 

 

 

It’s Just Me, Myself & I !

Lermaa1 (pic)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.”

Sincerely,

Sybil err Stephanie

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!

21 Types of People You Meet at Thanksgiving Buffets

thanksgiving-buffet

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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??”
  18. 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.”
  19. 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.
  20. A Warren Buffett Buffeter — You’ll lose your appetite because he’s going to talk about the economy. From Soup Overspending to Nut Capitalists.
  21. 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!

That blonde in the lower left is about to get her fingers slammed in the chafing dish lid. Not just chaffed, SLAMMED!

(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!!

It was not beyond me to do this at a Buffet.  Yes, food was served inside wagons, dump-trucks, watering cans, pails and eaten with shovels.  Rest easy, it was for a kid's party!

 

Look! It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…

airlinesFrom 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? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kid’s Art Stash in Trash For Cash: Mothers Abash!y


clothesline-artLocal 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.”fridge

“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.”LoadmasterElite

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! )

Boo! (Or is it Boo Hoo?)

watermelonThere was always a lot of crying around our home come Halloween night. I come from a long line of Harrowing Halloween Haters, so my disdain is justifiably genetic.

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.

Huh??

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!”

We're DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

We’re DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

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.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you're trying to be Little Miss Muffet.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you’re trying to be Little Bo Peep.

What a difference a veil can make - - instant Child Bride!

What a difference a veil can make – – instant Child Bride!

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?

Is There A Doctor In The House? And Someone Else??

images (7)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.exam table

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?!

How NOT To Paint Your Home in just 14 Easy Steps!

  1. 6a00d83451cb9a69e2010536fc7c1c970bNotice 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Think again about washing your walls. Actually get the cleanser and rags out.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Drag out the box of your children’s Crayola crayons and fondly remember burnt sienna, lemon yellow, and forest green. Ahhh, much simpler times.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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;FullSizeRender (17)
  12. 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:
  13. FullSizeRender (15)Climb into your unique new bed but don’t even think about saying, “Not tonight dear, I’ve got a haddock.”
  14. 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!) FullSizeRender (16)— 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. 

    “Where’s Cristian Grey? He’s the shade I want tonight!”

Here’s Why You Should Never Google a Headache!

At least the internet weighs much less!

At least the internet weighs much less!

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. . .

Thank you,

Little Miss Menopause

10 Practical (Tactical!) Jokes To Play On Male Folks!

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From time to time Little Miss Menopause gets accused of having a blog so tame that it purrs like a kitten instead of growling like a tiger. Therefore if you’re under 18 or easily offended, please skip today’s “wild” post because I’m leaving the pet shop behind and taking a trip to the zoo!

Ladies, do you have a bit of a naughty side that wants to unleash itself on other occasions besides April Fools day? Or maybe you have an anniversary coming up and what do you get a guy who has everything? (Yes, if he’s got you, you better believe he wants for nothing!) This is where that old adage, “the best things in life are free” comes in…Making Memories.

An R-rated practical joke is an experience he won’t soon forget. So forget about gluing quarters to sidewalks and shorting the sheets in your bed — I’m talking sexy enough that the two of you will be reminiscing years from now, while sitting on the front porch in His & Her rockers. (Future Joke Hint: You can also put wheels on those chairs so you’ll always rock n’ roll together!)

Here are ten Spranks (Sex + Pranks, and yes I just made that up!) to liven up your relationship in a way that he’ll find delightfully mischievous.

10 Creative Spranks For Unsuspecting Males

1. While eating together, start to really enjoy your food. C’mon and give Meg Ryan a run for her money.meg ryan

2. Tell him you have a confession: before you met him, you were an adult film star who used a different name. When he begs to know what sexy pseudonym you were called, give him that old formula combining your pet’s name and the first street you lived on. (I was “Oreo Maple Lane.”)

3. Everything is rushed today: drive-thru banking, high speed Internet, life hacks and of course, fast food. Welcome him to Sex Express. “Home of the Quickie!” Wear a counter employee’s paper hat, have a napkin dispenser on the nightstand for messy parts, condoms mixed with ketchup packets and a menu listing the combo services. Don’t forget to get a bikini wax shaped like a Big Mac.

4. Your new book was finally published. Won’t he be thrilled to see what you’ve authored? Leave a copy lying around the living room where he knows your girlfriends will see it . . .

Forget gluing quarters to sidewalks and shorting the sheets. Here are ten sexy pranks to get you started with making the 1st day of April just a bit spicier!

5. Make up an expensive receipt for a home repair from an appliance guy or your handyman. What broke? Your vibrator, of course. (Bonus points for red stamping “After hours emergency house call” on the envelope.)

6. Leave the Internet open to a website about bondage & discipline and his necktie on your pillow. Act properly flustered when confronted.

7. Tell him you’ve taken up ceramics and rent a potter’s wheel. When you sit down with messy clay hands, have the song “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers playing in the background. He’ll see Ghosts for years.

8. Accidentally call him by another woman’s name during the throes of climax and see if that excites him. Make sure it’s not your mother’s.

9. In the morning, text him graphic details and plenty of high praise about how amazing he was in the middle of the night. See how long it takes him to realize you were never together last evening.

10. And lastly, if you’re just too shy to play these jokes out of the blue, then go ahead and wait for that infamous 1st day of the fourth month of the year before you do the following: Deliberately pile up his saw, screwdriver, wrench, and hammer while telling him you’re missing your favorite thing from the collection—then slowly unzip his pants and whisper, “Happy April Tool’s Day.”

Be brave girlfriend and use your imagination — I guarantee any of the above will leave a ferocious impression and might even get you a date with a handsome lion-tamer.

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

And if you want to see one of the ways I make ends meet, check out the new blog I write for Spire (a fun company that manufactures a breathing monitor for your wrist!) right HERE.

Reincarnation Realization!

no reincarnationMany people believe in reincarnation, even taking things a step further by claiming that the same individuals go round and round in groups, staying bonded together for the duration of many lifetimes. I just finished reading the book Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss which also confirms that souls travel as a clan to the other side and back again, making sure to stay in the same family. But I have to wonder if they take turns being the black sheep.

Joking aside, apparently they do change up their relationships with each other — even their genders. And hold onto your hat for this next one — they can change species too!

So, are you getting this? This means you and your spouse may have been brother and sister or a parent and child in a previous life!  After realizing all the possibilities, I incredulously put down Dr. Weiss’ book to carefully scrutinize my own family members with brand new (and suspicious!) eyes.

My eldest girl DOES slightly resemble my beloved grandmother who was always so kind and gentle to me. Could it just be their shared DNA or did my grandma actually return as my own daughter so we’d stay connected? It’s definitely not good for me, but all these years I’ve been mourning her death.

I peek into my daughter’s room to observe her sleeping, tangled up in her blankets. (Is that you, Nana?) I lean over and cheerfully whisper into her ear, “Good morning!”

“It’s definitely NOT good morning mourning for me!” she retorts. I freeze. Wow. Just wow. That is utterly amazing! Of course this may have something to do with her not being a morning person.

“I miss homemade chicken noodle soup,” I continue hopefully. “How about you make a pot today?”

“Go away! It’s Sunday so I get to sleep in! Cook your own stupid soup!” my daughter shouts, throwing a pillow at my head. I guess that could be considered borderline nurturing.

After a few more hours pass, I have another idea. Nana loved to knit and even made me a few special pieces I’ve kept to this day.

“What do you think of this sweater?” I ask as my daughter combs her long auburn hair. Nana had reddish hair too! I look into her eyes for any sign of recognition.

“Oh no, you don’t. You’re not handing that ugly thing down to me. If you want to wear old-fashioned stuff like that, that’s your business. But I recommend putting it in your next garage sale!” Okay, so she’s not my elderly, sweet Nana – she’s just a 17-year-old spoiled, ungrateful brat.

Moving on to the more fascinating concept of species switcheroos, I stare at my parrot and coo, “Does Auntie Pauline wanna cracker??” as the bird swings on his little trapeze and tilts his head curiously at me. Or even better . . . maybe my ex-husband is actually my long lost childhood dog named Elvis? After all, he’s always hounding me and occasionally he’ll wear blue suede shoes.

But then something even stranger happens. I loan the book to my sister who somehow becomes convinced that her first husband Jeffrey, a drunk who died of liver disease, has come back as my youngest son.

“That’s absurd,” I tell her on the phone. “Hold on a sec, the kids are arguing over who gets to wear an old sheet for Halloween.”

Me:  C’mon, you can be a mummy. Let your siblings be Ghosts.

Son:  But I’ll miss all the boos!

My Sister: (shouting from inside my cellphone) “Go back to Alcoholics Anonymous, Jeffrey!”

Maybe there really is something to all this reincarnation stuff after all.

So what about me?? Who was I before I was me? I definitely hope I wasn’t any of our crazy relatives that I’ve heard about through the years. Maybe there are other possibilities? I consult the index of the book and find a section called, “Celebrities who come back as ordinary people.” That’s it….I’ve always known that diamonds ARE a girl’s best friend.

When my ex-husband comes to the door to pick up our kids, I swivel my hips and breathily sing, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President!” His bewildered reaction? “Uh…. way to go, Marilyn.”

“Thanks, Elvis!” I respond. Then he howls and scratches his fleas.

Do you believe in reincarnation? If so, do you have any proof?

Review of Me & You??

reviewsA long time ago the only people writing reviews were movie and restaurant critics. Ever notice how many evaluations you (the average consumer) might compose today? I’m not just talking about the many products you order online. I mean every aspect of the service industry (beauticians, car mechanics, Uber-drivers, realtors, dry-cleaners, banks, pet-groomers) as well as professionals like doctors, dentists, attorneys, and psychiatrists.

It’s reached the point that I expect to see Hookers given 4 stars on Yelp and I will rate the following people, just like this:

BEST FRIENDS **

I met Tiffany in high school where we’d have giggle-fests over trying to get out of mandatory showers in gym class by hiding in the stalls of the girls’ bathroom. Nowadays, she’s just fairly adequate when it comes to walks on the beach and going to bat for me when I show up to book club without a stitch of makeup on because I overslept. But as far as gal-pals go, she’s catty and will tell anyone who will listen that I routinely put Lunchables in my kid’s backpack and once tried to pass off Manischewitz Matzo Ball mix as homemade during Passover by adding only paprika and some white meat chicken breast. If you should encounter Tiffany in the chair next to yours in the manicurist shop, you should probably not hesitate to give her The Fingernail.

CHILDREN *************************

My boys have gone above and beyond the call of duty as kids. This past Mother’s Day, not only did they order me a bouquet of roses, but they also remembered I get depressed when I watch living things die and so they sent me an already deceased daddy long legs spider. This may seem gruesome to you but I knew it was their symbolic way of reminding me of all the years I paid them to kill bugs for me because I was too squeamish and had bad aim trying to throw hardcover books at the scores of creatures slithering up our walls. This updated model of son is also vastly improved from previous versions in that they can tie their own shoes and when you tell them to make their beds they don’t say, “Why? We’re just gonna sleep in them again tonight.” I’m very pleased with how these guys turned out after high school and when I see women walking down the street, looking just a little too energetic or well coordinated with their accessories, I always recommend giving birth to a few little boys, just to give some new meaning to life.

FIRST EX-HUSBANDS *

I really wish I could give this individual less than one star. Amazon should have ¼ star options. He started off fairly reliable but soon turned out to be really unstable, becoming completely unglued and unhinged after our divorce, not only breaking down himself but additionally breaking lots of hearts, rules, laws, and even a few bones after he had a textbook mid-life crisis and bought himself a motorcycle. Ladies, if you run into him at a singles event, I would run, not walk in the opposite direction.

WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS************

These people are some of the best in the entire blogosphere. They’re creative, friendly, discerning, have great sense of humors, and are incredibly supportive. I’m thrilled to have made a connection with them and can only hope they’ll leave a nice review of me when the time is right….like a couple of paragraphs down!

And it would not surprise me in the least to come across these reviews written about Yours Truly.

HOUSEKEEPERS/ORGANIZERS/COOKS/LAUNDRESSES/CARPOOLERS/SHOPPERS/GARDENERS **

Meh. Those first six classifications, we’ll only allot her 2 stars. But that last category? Don’t make us laugh. This woman can’t grow a radish or carrot to save her life or to compete with that raggedy looking parsnippity vegetable that Scarlet O’Hara dug out of the ground triumphantly in that climatic scene of GWTW, where she vowed as God as her witness, she’d never go hungry again. Speaking of The Hunger Games, we were routinely starved because Ms. Lewis always claimed she had deadlines to meet with all her many blogs. Can we say delusions of grandeur?

GIRLFRIENDS ***

I’ve been Stephanie’s boyfriend for the past four years now and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Stephanie tries to act like she belongs in this decade, but there’s always something incredibly 80’s about her. It could be her gigantic hair, her off the shoulder clothing, her eyeglasses, her shoes, her music, her dancing, her expressions, her jewelry, or her Jazzercise. But it’s probably her taste in 80’s movies. For instance, Stephanie actually requests that I refer to her as “Baby” in this rating. Well, even though I haven’t exactly had the time of my life, she also insists I end my review with this final line . . . “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!” Maybe not. But as far as Stephanie goes? They should just put her out of her misery.

BLOGGERS *

Aha! Using the term loosely, Little Miss Menopause can’t write her way out of a paper bag. She’s actually not a blogger but instead just a bogger — constantly bogging her posts down with these crazy ideas about far-fetched concepts like how people will be leaving fake reviews about the ordinary folks who play important roles in their lives. Like anyone would ever waste his time reading something as silly as that.

Or tell female readers to waste their time checking out her writing for another website when it’s something as truly bizarre as this …. CLICK HERE!

Nope! Let’s Party Like It’s 2015!

princeAs I retired party planner I can’t help but think up reasons to have a new kind of shindig or put a twist on an old standby. Here are some party tips you’re not likely to find anywhere else.

Host a Real Pity Party:  Hire a violinist. No napkins, just an abundance of Kleenex tissue boxes. Introduce guests to one another by saying, “Woe is me. Woe is not you.” Serve Itty Bitty Pity Patties with pity pâté and pull from your pantry some pastry for Petit Pity-fours for dessert. Make sure your appearance can be described as “Prettiful Pitiful.” Help all guests find the bathroom by putting a sign up saying, “Pity Potty!” Invite that newly married couple Patty and Petey, but don’t let them call you petty or pithy. Play, “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I want To.”  Hand out Silly Pity Putty as going home favors and of course lemons, admonishing people “when life gives you lemons, NEVER make lemonade!”

Forget “Take Your Daughter To Work” Day.  Have a “Take Your Husband to the Gynecologist” Day instead. Show him the competitive sport in this adrenaline pumping, heart-pounding next few hours. Can he hide his underwear inside his pants, then leave it in a wad on that germy chair (which many other females have sat on) while scurrying into a tissue paper gown before the doctor sharply knocks just once on the door, while barging in on him completely naked? Will he be coordinated enough to slide his feet perfectly into the stirrups without being told to “scoot down a few more inches” and then suddenly, “Stop! That’s a bit too far, can you scootch back up a tad?” Try out other versions of these special “experience a different job” days — How about “Take Your Son to the Bikini Waxing Salon” day? Or my favorite, “Take Your Avon Lady to a Tupperware Party?”

Do a Variation of a Tree-Trimming Party. This Christmas season, have people over for a Bush Trimming Party. Wince just a little when issuing the verbal invite.

No More “Come As You Are” parties! “Come As You Will Be” parties are where it’s at. Pretend it’s the morning after your big gala and tell your guests to come following their one-night-stand sexual escapade when they’re already completely hung-over. Saves a ton on alcohol!

Reverse Abduction Party! Remember being a teenager when your mother would get that phone call informing her to have you sleep in your best pajamas because you were being secretly “kidnapped” the following morning and surprised with going out to breakfast? Reverse this process. Gather teenagers up to wear waitress uniforms and knock on front doors of House of Pancakes employees to serve them omelets in bed.

Off The Wall Party! Recall 1994 when you moved into your new house and had a Painting Party with all your helpful friends? Call up all those same thoughtful people years later while lamenting, “How would YOU like to live with this Benjamin Moore Sage Green paint day-in and day-out? Do you really believe that’s considered a neutral color in today’s home fashion?” Tell them this time it’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Dropcloth) Serve Tanqueray, Tonic & Turpentine drinks.

A Housewarming Party!  Only turn the thermostat down to 52 degrees.

And finally…. Birthday Shmirthdays! Yeah, yeah.  Why should we only celebrate our way INTO this world?  Don’t you envy Tom Sawyer (and other soap opera characters presumed dead) being able to attend their own funeral? Word your invitation delicately. A “Passing Over” party might get misconstrued for the Jewish holiday, Passover. I suggest sending doornails out in advance to clarify the occasion. Put everyone else in charge of all the important details, then walk around glaring at people while accusing, “Who died and made you boss?” Play Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day . . .  When I die!” and when conversation turns to his fateful plane crash, get appropriately spooked and say you’ve changed your mind — this is actually a “6 Ft Under” Party.  As guests start to get super creeped out, reassure them with, “Relax, I just mean a swim party in the deep end of my in-ground pool. Turn on the hot-tub, order in pizza, inflate a few balloons and call it a day. Nothing wrong with being traditionally conventional!

What’s your favorite reason to celebrate?  And if you haven’t already read my very unusual ways to reveal the gender of your pregnancy at these quirky parties, please visit me RIGHT HERE on BLUNTmoms!

And since I love reader interaction, I recently had someone take me up on my prompt of writing a blog about the male version of Siri and all the issues HE would encounter.  Please visit Phil at The Phil Factor and read that post RIGHT HERE. Thank you!

10 New Uses For Old Phone Booths

bt-artbox-benjamin-shine-box-lounger1-600x3701NYC has removed the actual telephones in their booths and installed Wi Fi hubs instead.

Here are my ideas for some other ways to repurpose a Phone Booth. Just deposit 4 quarters, enter the compartment and do your thing. Think of all the revenue the city makes!

  1. Time-Out Booths for Your Misbehaving Kids. Sit them firmly down in the bean-bag chair, holding a sign stating, “I was naughty so now I’m in Time-Out.” (Also helps reinstate the word “naughty” as parent admonishment and not just for vocabulary in the BDSM community.)
  2. Fan-Filled – Cooling devices installed on all four sides and the ceiling expressly for menopausal women who need to tame a hot-flash. Or for glamour models on their way to photographer’s studios requiring that sexy, tousled-haired look, but who are too cheap to invest in wind-blowing machines.
  3. Weigh-Station. For dieters who need to step on a scale to see if they should go for the New York style pizza or just stick to sushi.
  4. “I Just Need a Moment” – a comfy chair and curtains for when you feel embarrassed and would like some privacy. After you’ve stepped on the scale in #3 would be just such an example. “Sushi it is!”
  5. Pre-Dental Booth – – Equipped with mini-sink, disposable toothbrush, paste, and floss. Because you can’t just show up for your hygienist and immediately demand to brush your teeth before your routine cleaning, can you? That’s cheating!
  6. A Mirror with a built-in hairdryer Stall– – For all the times you run out of the house with damp hair. Talking mirror utters the following phrases, “Snow White is the fairest of them all.” Or “Hey, nice blow-job!” Or dispenses a single white glove while singing, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror / I’m asking him to change his ways / And no message could have been any clearer… la la la la”
  7. A Casket — Leave the original telephone inside and turn the phone booth horizontally on the ground with a silk lining and a sobering sign proclaiming, “Here lies the reason we used to be able to say, “Here’s a dime – Go call someone who cares!” It’s The Death of the Pay Phone.
  8. Costume Changing Station – – Hang a red cape with a big “S’ on it and a pair of nerdy glasses for all those Clark Kent wannabees. “It’s a bird, it’s a plane . . . “
  9. A pinball machine or a Jukebox — Just to remind us that these objects are even more archaic than telephone booths.
  10. “It’s Alive!” Alcove — Fill it with water, add lobster, crab and salmon and drape a fishing pole over the top with a sign, “Teach a man to fish . . . ” Alternatively, turn it into a cage with a talking parrot that screeches, “ET, Phone home!”

OR . . . Just leave it vacant with a sign stating, “Please go inside and shut the door so when you jabber incessantly on your cellular device, the rest of us don’t have to be subjected to your divorce proceedings, your grocery list, or the lab results from your physician.

(And by the way, I overheard your cholesterol numbers . . . better stick to the sushi tonight.)

Who’s Watching the Kids??

This couple isn't getting divorced. They're arguing over who should inherit their kids.

This couple isn’t getting divorced. They’re arguing over who should inherit their kids.

Being Jewish, the only Godmother I ever actually knew was obsessed with pumpkins, mice, the stroke of midnight, and pranced around singing Bippity Boppety Boo. However I saw a lot of my non-Jewish friends give careful consideration to selecting godparents when their babies were born. I breathed a sigh of relief that we wouldn’t have to choose anyone.

Fast forward to a time when we grasped our own mortality and hired an attorney to draw up our living trust. Interesting that it’s called a LIVING trust and yet they force you to think about DYING.

My husband thought we should choose his mother. And by “mother” I mean “the woman who took a razor to our newborn baby’s head so her hair would grow in thicker and then sought a wet nurse because she was convinced I couldn’t breastfeed properly.” My own mother (upon hearing the possibility that my mother-in-law was in the running) stormed into a fit of jealously just thinking about having to make an appointment to see her own grandchildren with someone who went out of her way to wear an all-white mother-of-the-groom dress at my wedding. “Who does she think she is? Snow White?” Clearly neither grandmother was a good choice.

We moved on to siblings. My husband and I both wrote down the qualifications we thought made our sisters outstanding candidates. Each list had the exact same number of positive attributes, which got us nowhere. At my suggestion, we next jotted down both ladies’ faults so we could pick the lesser of the two evils. (Hi Sis….I love you!)

My Sister

  • Still eats Capt. Crunch cereal.
  • Wears nylons.
  • Wears open-toe heels with those nylons.
  • Saw Star Wars 23 times.

His Sister

  • Shaves her head.
  • Became a wet nurse.
  • Wears white to compete with brides at their wedding.

Hmmmm, understand our dilemma? Also understand his genetics?

Seeing as there wasn’t anyone waving their arms madly while shouting, “pick me, pick me!” we began to weed through our friends. It soon became apparent we were going to need to offer really good “incentives.” That’s a nice way of saying our kids were so bratty, it required bribing our mere acquaintances to please accept this profound responsibility. Even my beautician asked if we’d throw in a lifetime supply of latex gloves along with inheriting our 5-bedroom home? Apparently henna stains are unsightly. I consoled myself thinking my daughter would have perfectly manicured nails for her Bat Mitzvah.

What was happening? This was crazy thinking! What were the odds that something bad would happen to both of us at the same time? We could board separate airplanes. He hates to fly with me anyhow because I leave deep fingernail grooves (the non-manicured kind!) in his arms during scary turbulence.

It was settled. We wouldn’t choose legal guardians because the plan is to live forever. As an extra measure of security however, I have an idea. I’ll buy our daughter a red curly wig and teach her to belt out, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!”

Surely Daddy Warbucks doesn’t wear nylons, isn’t a wet-nurse and won’t need a pay-off.

How did you choose guardians in case something happens to you??

My Boarder Got a Court Order To Sentence Me as a Hoarder!

I've heard of a bouquet of pink Daisies, but this is ridiculous!

I’ve heard of a bouquet of pink Daisies, but this is ridiculous!

I have a female roommate in a spare room in my home (who is also a blogger) and she posted this image of razors from my own bathroom! Imagine my surprise when I told her to delete it or I might sue her for slander (not to mention invasion of privacy!) and she simply smiled and handed me a subpoena to appear before a judge at an official Hoarder trial.

Me!? A person who defines herself first and foremost as a Sentimentalist, now forced to defend myself from Hoarder charges?!  Unthinkable.

I needed witnesses. My six children would certainly help me during my desperate time of need.

Eldest Son:  I don’t know, Mom. Remember when the “Got Junk?” truck parked in our driveway and you told the man, “Everything in this house is absolutely necessary and has a distinct purpose. But you can take my ex-husband.”

Me: That doesn’t make me a hoarder. That makes me clever.

Middle Son: What about the huge stack of Hoarder Self-Help books on your desk?

Daughter: What desk? Mom has a desk?

Me: Never mind, young lady. I’ll have you all know that’s not hoarding, that’s being a collector. Like the stamp collection you had at age five, sweetheart.

Middle Son: Which you still have. Along with all our other Firsts. Our first pair of real pants, shirts, dresses, pajamas, bathing suits, little hats and ties — even our first diapers.

Me: Have you ever tried to have a used diaper bronzed?

Youngest Son: (reluctantly) Okay Mom, we’ll be your star witnesses and tell the jury you’re not a Messy Mom, but actually just a Memory-Maker Mother. But when the judge yells, “Order in the court” I promise I’m gonna shout back, “Why should it be any different here than in our house?”

Me:  Good kids!

On the day of my trial, I carried an armful of evidence. Nineteen very heavy 200-page photo albums bursting with pictures of children’s various school artwork, (which Martha Stewart advised was a good way to capture the memory so I could toss all those ceramic ashtrays and toothpick sculptures in actual garbage pails) so that had to count for something, right? Of course my youngest daughter creatively decoupaged all our garbage pails, so I saved all 8 of them, along with all the contents inside.

My roommate took the stand and proceeded to use the 1950’s movie “The Blob” as an analogy for living with me, “The Slob.”

Roommate: . . . and her mess slowly takes over the entire house, consuming everything in its wake like a grotesque gelatinous monster. One time the family searched high and low for their passports for a trip to Mexico. May I submit . . .

Judge: This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey.

Roommate: I meant may I submit exhibit A? Her file cabinet for important documents looks like this.

FullSizeRender (7)

Roommate: Nobody found what they needed to fly to Acapulco so the poor kids had to hang up a bunch of piñatas (which she still had in her garage from a Mexican themed party) make some guacamole, and shout “Olé!” instead. Even if they located their passports, I doubt they could even find their front door to leave!

Judge: Alright Miss, err what’s your full name?

Roommate:  Fig. Fig Ment

Judge: That’s an odd name. Alright Miss Ment, I’ve heard enough from you. You may step down. We’ll bring Miss Menopause up to the stand to explain why she would have so many pink razors in the first place, which was the original issue at hand.

Me: It’s very simple, Your Honor. It’s plainly just a case of being an environmentalist AND having high self-esteem.

Judge: Fascinating. Go on.

Me: After I shave my legs, I have every intention of throwing the razor away, but then I read the package and it says, “Reusable two or three times.” So to be more green, I save it in a special container. But the next week when I go to shave my legs, I reach for the old razor and think, “I’m 51 years old, I’ve raised 6 kids, I’ve published on The Huffington Post. Don’t I deserve a fresh new razor?” And so it goes each time.

Roommate: For cryin’ out loud — They’re made to be “throwaways!” After a couple of weeks, how come the defendant doesn’t ever throw her “special” container away???!!!!

Judge: No talking out of turn. Order in the court!!

I immediately look at my youngest son, but he wisely remains silent.

Judge: (kindly) Little Miss Menopause, I had a mother just like you. Neurotic. Collected all our soap scraps and sewed them inside washcloths to save guests a step in washing their hands. You may leave the stand. We’ll hear from your roommate again about what she was doing in your bathroom in the first place. Very suspicious since she has her own bathroom!

Roommate: I had to use her bathroom because I accidentally used too much toilet paper and clogged my toilet.

Judge: Did you blog about that as well?

Roommate: Yes.

Judge: I’ve made my decision. Miss Menopause is nothing more than a sweet Memory-Making Mother, so she can go free. But you, Miss Fig Ment, are a Toilet Paper Hogger Clogger Blogger. And that’s a crime I cannot overlook!

Middle Son: But my mother doesn’t even have a roommate! She’s just a Fig Ment of her imagination.

Oldest Daughter:  Yeah, we’re sorry to have wasted your time. Our mother is a writer and has a wild imagination. We think she just feels bad because she’s a horrible housekeeper, so she made this whole thing up.

Judge: Then the court rules that your mother is guilty of having a Guilty Conscience. And that’s punishment enough. Go home and help your mother clean the house, kids.  Next case!

Thank goodness nobody told His Honor that he was also just a fabrication of my mind because I’ve had writer’s block for weeks now!

Me, Myself and HER!

article-2338039-1A2D4055000005DC-603_634x433 (2)It’s happening again. This time at the library. I am just told I have three books that are 8 weeks overdue. “Well that sounds just like you, Stephanie,” I can hear you thinking, my dear reader.

True. Except for the title of the books . . .

  • The Power of Math in the Real World” 
  • “Confessions of an Obsessive Housecleaner” 
  • “Chocolate. What’s All the Fuss About?” 

Uh huh.  See what I mean?  I immediately snatch back my $27 in late fees, justifying loudly, “That’s not me. It’s her again.”

Librarian:  Her Who?

Me:  There’s Another Stephanie Lewis.

Librarian:  Smart, clean, skinny little devil, isn’t she?

I know “Lewis” is a common last name, and I’m proud to share it with famous people like Jerry, Carl and Shari but really, there has to be precisely another Stephanie Lewis??  And she has to be in my exact neighborhood, running in my same circles, traipsing around respected public institutions, checking out obscure books and pinning the blame on me?

But this is not her worst fault.  Oh that’s right, I know all about her even though we’ve never met. She has an overbite and bleeding gums. She needs her wisdom teeth out, which she’s putting off until her last kid goes to college. Yep, we share the same dentist and our files seem to be interchangeable. I wonder if she ever takes the credit for my cavity-free check-ups?

Back when people rented movies in a physical storefront, she’d be the first one in line, booking in advance all the new releases like “Kramer Vs. Kramer” and “Rain Man.” This Stephanie Lewis had to be a video hog AND have impeccable taste? Upon checking out my own personal selections, I’d be informed (in front of others standing in line!) “We’ll have “Tootsie,” “The Graduate,” and “Ishtar” in for you any day now, Ms. Lewis.” I’d nod, then smile evilly as I secretly printed my name on a reservation slip for “Deep Throat” and “Reefer Madness,” and then never show my face there again.

T’was a little parting fun surprise for Stephanie’s husband, who perhaps thought her crush on Dustin Hoffman was her biggest issue.

Even with all the mistaken identities at medical facilities, including having the wrong prescriptions delivered to my home (once I almost telephoned her to recommend she eat more yogurt for all those yeast infections) plus mix-ups at dry-cleaners, banks and car-dealerships, I think the very worst thing about having the same name as this woman has got to be her utter and complete altruism and philanthropy.

I cannot tell you the number of times my family replays messages left on our home answering machine stating that I’m being recognized at a special dinner for all my volunteer hours at the homeless shelter. Or receiving an award for calling out Bingo for the senior citizens or the tireless hours spent reading to preschoolers. Because my children know me so well, they instantly delete every one of those niceties.

Well big deal. Listen to what I can do… “I-19.  G-42. O-75.”  And that’s not all. “Goodnight stars, Goodnight sky, Goodnight air. And Goodnight Stephanie Lewis’ everywhere!” See? She thinks she’s the only selfless humanitarian around!

Lately I’ve become accustomed to explaining they have the wrong Stephanie Lewis whenever these charitable organizations call, but now I am starting to feel a tad guilty.  I suppose I can find a little time to “give back,” right??  How hard can it be to “Pay it forward” every once in a while?

So it came as no surprise to me when the head of the school PTA called yesterday, informing me I would need to bring my own set of power tools when I came to help set-up for Grad Night at my son’s high school this weekend. Remembering my newfound unselfish philosophy, I gleefully tore apart my house, searching for a stray hammer or wrench so I could show up during her designated shift and finally meet this Stephanie Lewis in the flesh once and for all — a wonder woman who apparently needed no coverage for any of her gray hairs at The Tousled Tresses Salon around the corner.. FullSizeRender (6)

No sooner did I set foot in the high school parking lot when I saw a very pretty lady getting pulled over by campus security as they loudly announced on their walkie-talkies, “We’ve finally apprehended Ms. Lewis. Now we’re gonna collect on her back-owed tickets!” She sat mouth agape in her sparkling red car, no doubt wondering how she’d accrued over $440 dollars in penalties because (obviously!) she’d always diligently ordered that pesky required parking permit.

I scurried away as the Principal of the school and a guidance counselor strode sternly in her direction. Again I knew what this matter was about. Poor woman apparently now had a son who organized not only Senior Ditch Day but also Senior Prank Day and there were 1500 water balloons that had exploded and damaged some antique desks that belonged to Abraham Lincoln.  Tut, tut. My Her son should definitely lose his cellphone for that little indiscretion.

Before I left the scene entirely, I made an impromptu decision to drop by her car and interrupt the commotion for just a moment. As I grabbed her power tool case, (I informed her I’d be happy to fill in for her tonight) I dropped a Hershey’s bar on her front seat. “Here you go, Stephanie. You may as well find out right now why chocolate will be your sudden “go-to comfort food” in this exciting new life of yours.”

Don’t worry – – she’ll be fine.  She might just want to spell Stephanie, “Stefanie” for a bit.

And now if you’ll excuse me dear Readers, I’ve heard that this other Stephanie Lewis has just published an article on Scary Mommy, which is an amazing online magazine that I’ve been dying to get my writing on for months.  I think I’ll just go clarify in the comments section that I’m actually the Stephanie D. Lewis author they should be crediting RIGHT HERE.

Sugar And Spice And My Gender Advice!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And most importantly . . .

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

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

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

“I look forward to meeting you, oh Stephanie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry I didn’t mean to hug you.

I sure hope that didn’t bug you.

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

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

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

But I left our hotel without bringing my purse!”

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

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

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

No worries, Sham I am!”

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

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

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

“A hundred soles were lost!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

She turns to me and recites . . .

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

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

So I decided to intentionally forget my ugly purse,

Giving me lotsa opportunities to speak in verse.

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

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

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

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

Thank you for the fun, Marissa!

Signed,

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

A Blog Only a Mother Could Love!

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

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

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

8 Ways WordPress And Mothers Are Alike:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Little Miss Menopause

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

“LOOK MA!  NO HANDS!”

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

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

Rejection As The Best Motivation?

crop380w_istock_000012132005xsmallDear Editor,

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

Sincerely,

Stephanie D. Lewis

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

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

Recent Rejection Letters I’ve Sent

Dear Children,

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

All my best,

Mom

Dear Bride-To-Be,

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

Thank you again,

Stephanie

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

Dear Chef at Outback Steakhouse,

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

Signed,

Your Customer at Table 9

Dear Dr. Goldstein,

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

Thank you for the recent appointment!

Stephanie D. Lewis

Dear Faithful Blog Follower,

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

Thank you for your understanding,

Little Miss Menopause

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

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

There’s No Place Like Home! (Especially Your Old One)

red-shoesSometimes a walk down memory lane will lead you straight to the front porch of the home you grew up in, or raised your own family. It’s a great “field trip” to teach children about their roots and it may be cathartic for you as well. I have six kids and decided to show each of them the apartment or house where they spent their childhood days. We were able to recapture a lot of nostalgia, get good photos, and even release some emotional baggage from visiting our environments of yesteryear. So would you dare go back?? I say yes!

8 Of My Best Tips On Implementing This Unusual Endeavor:

  1. Mystery and Adventure: Approach this in an impromptu fashion. Don’t tell children in advance where you’re going and why. It could lead to disappointment if the new owners aren’t home or worse, uncooperative. The house could be torn down or surrounded with one of those charming huge termite tents. I made the mistake of enticing my 6-year-old son with viewing his old bedroom and when the new owners refused, he pounded on the door shouting, “Let me in or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.”
  2. Be reassuring! When you ring the bell of your old home, remember everything is familiar to you, but you’re complete strangers to the people answering the door! Set the new owner’s mind at ease that you’re not a realtor or soliciting magazines. Say something like, “Oh look Darling, there’s the same threshold you carried me over after our wedding, you tiger!” Be prepared for them to mentally calculate how much you weigh and scrutinize the size of your husband’s arms. Also, upon departing, resist the urge to place an “Open House!” sign on their lawn.
  3. Offer evidence. Say something very specific that will prove you really lived there. In the case of the home where I was pregnant with twins, we had written a little term of endearment on the floor tile where my water broke. “Little Fishies Started Here!” When I marched the current residents over to the exact spot to show them this cute piece of trivia, they had constructed an aquarium on top of it. Hmmm. I shudder to think what they would’ve built had we scrawled, “Conception took place here.”
  4. Stay a short time. You’re not arriving with your wedding china and recreating a family dinner. Ten minutes is the maximum you should stay if they’re willing to give you a brief tour.
  5. Don’t Be Nosy. It’s not a good idea to ask if your neighbor across the street ever got that much needed nose job. And for goodness sake, don’t critique their decorating skills. The last thing they’ll want to hear is that you can’t believe they put their bed against the same wall you used to keep the diaper pail.
  6. No Bad News. Try not to walk through their kitchen reminiscing about the time little Sarah choked on a chicken bone. Or confess your dog peed all over the master bedroom carpeting. One time I was thrown out because I took a little creative license (from the Poltergeist movie) and announced the home was built on top of old Indian burial grounds. Sheesh. No sense of humor.
  7. Don’t Get Emotional. If you’re prone to sentimentality when you look through old photos or watch home movies, prepare yourself in advance. I learned the hard way when we visited the home my beloved architect father designed for us. I burst into tears as soon as I saw the lovely stained glass windows in my bedroom had been replaced with bricks, the pink walls were painted gray and my white shag carpeting turned into concrete. The only thing missing was a hole in the ground for a toilet and it could’ve been Cellblock 9.
  8. Leave on a high note. Thank them profusely for their hospitality and give them a joyful parting tidbit like, “We hope you’ll have many happy occasions here just like our Christmas family reunions!” Clamp your hand over your kid’s mouth if he starts to say things like “Yeah, and Santa Clause NEVER delivers the good toys that need assembly to this house. And the tooth fairy always leaves “IOU” notes under the pillow!”

Things You Do Daily Count As Real Writing!

This is substantial writing!

This is substantial writing!

You may not realize it, but you’re a professional writer every single day. Here are ways to elevate the work you already do to get noticed and possibly garner yourself a book or movie offer!

GROCERY LISTS:  First of all, always give them a title. Try “More Than Just Food!’  or “My Hungry Family: Must They Eat Every Single Day?”

Here’s my sample grocery list with a creative spin from yesterday.

  • Bagel Thins  (The greatest thing since sliced bread!)
  • Loreal Preference Hair Color (ha! I’m not covering up gray. I’m actually intentionally dying my hair gray!) Click HERE. 
  • Chips Ahoy cookies (Can I fool the PTA into thinking they’re home baked?)
  • Kitty Litter (Our cat died 8 years ago. Huh? Whoa…mystery….intrigue! )
  • Milk (Forget “Got Milk?” How about “Got Milkshake?”)
  • Ice-cream (Ahh, now we’re talking!)

MESSAGES YOU LEAVE AROUND THE HOUSE:  Never discount any of these notes.

  • “If you take a brownie from this platter, I WILL know. Even if you rearrange them.  And don’t justify dark chocolate is now healthy for you so it can be for breakfast. These are for our new neighbors to welcome them!”
  • “Please make sure door is closed so cat doesn’t get out. (And YES! Our cat has been dead for 8 years. But nobody seems to care that I just don’t want flies in the house.)”
  • “Please Take Out This Kitchen Garbage Because Contrary To What You Learned In Art Class, This Is Not Surrealism.”

RECIPES:  Especially Rock Cornish Game Hen, Buffalo Chix Wings or Grilled Chix Tenders ingredients.  Hey, we’re talking Classic “Chick Lit!” here.

LOVE NOTES:  Either to your significant other or to your kids.  Copyright them!  Try “You had me at Hell!” and “Love means never having to say, “I’m sorry but I hate calamari!”

MISC. SCRIBBLES:

  • “Sorry I hit your back bumper.  Can you call me so we can settle this for cash?  My husband will kill me if our premiums go up”
  • “Please excuse Zachary from P.E. today.  I washed his white gym shorts with our red bath towels. Yes, again.”
  • “Have a great day. Good luck on math test and please bring home the tupperware which holds the carrots you won’t eat.”

FORMS: They all count! Permission Slips, Insurance Claims, Sweepstakes Entries, Library Card Applications, Referral letters, etc.

  • “Please pick me!  I never win anything. I need this 3 day trip to Nevada because “Viva Las Vegas!” is my favorite Elvis song. If my voicemail is full when you call this number, please call back.  My kids ramble.”
  • “I give permission to my son/daughter to go on the zoo field trip on May 4th and to punch that Brandon Katz in the nose if he calls her ‘tuna breath’ one more time.”
  • “To Whom It May Concern: This is a testimonial for Dr. Craig Spanky, OB/GYN. Do not hesitate to put your feet in his stirrups as he always warms his speculum.”

See?  You haven’t been giving yourself the credit you deserve.  You’re working overtime in the writing field.  Now go take a well-deserved break!

For anyone who can handle my more serious side – – please visit me on the magazine XO JANE right HERE and leave a supportive comment if you like. It means a lot to me!

TOTALLY COUNTS!

THIS TOTALLY COUNTS!

News To Confuse and Amuse: Never Accuse Tom Cruise

picture-image-california-tom-cruise-celebrity-look-alike-impersonator-TC1450A wide rash of hold-ups and burglaries has swept the nation using a ploy that authorities have dubbed  “The Celebrity Look-Alike Belief Thief.” Victims are fooled into believing they’ve met or befriended a famous movie star and then ceremoniously robbed.

Rocky Rhoades from Los Angeles, California is the latest victim to have his wallet taken and he is incredulous.

Actually it was my own idea to hand over my billfold. I didn’t have any paper to write on and I knew my wife would never forgive me if I didn’t get Tom Cruise’s autograph. So I handed him my vinyl wallet and a Sharpie. He scrawled, “Best wishes to the lovely Misty Rhoades” and then we got to talking about the mean pot roast she cooks and I invited him to supper, promising dessert would be Sara Lee pound cake.

Rhoades states it never occurred to him that Mr. Cruise had better things to do than come to his house for dinner because Mrs. Rhoades is a fabulous cook. And nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.  It was only when the carrots and potatoes coagulated on the dinner plates that he began to suspect not only was “Cruise” late but he wasn’t returning his wallet. Ever.

Police are asking the public to be wary and less starstruck when they spot these unsavory characters impersonating Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Michael Caine and in a bizarre twist, Elvis Presley.

Ida Clair, head teller at Union Bank in Brooklyn, NY says she was handed a note by Elvis which read, “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You. I just Wanna be your Teddy Bear.  Give me $200.”

I batted my eyes and answered, “I don’t wanna be a tiger ’cause tigers play too rough, I don’t wanna be a lion ’cause lions ain’t the kind you love enough!” Then I handed him two crisp one-hundred dollar bills, and he said, “Thank you very much” in that Elvis-like way. It was such a thrill. As he exited, I announced over our PA system, “Elvis has left the building.”

Clair says she was astounded at how slim and trim Mr. Presley looks these days, but she justifies that his calorie intake is probably lower after death. Certainly after the suspect is apprehended, he’ll be requested to sing, “Jailhouse Rock.”

The NYPD has issued a statement that people should not be lulled into a false sense of security thinking there are only male celebrity lookalikes involved. There have been recent sightings of Julia Roberts, Beyonce and Maureen McCormick, the actress who played Marcia Brady on the hit 70’s sitcom.

Brock Lee of Boise, Idaho stated that he knew something was up when Ms. McCormick laughed.

She walked into our house matter-of-factly insisting “something suddenly came up” and she needed our fine china, service for twelve. We were huge fans and so we handed it to her but when I did my “Ohhh! My nose!” impression, she dissolved into a fit of giggles. Everyone knows the real Marcia Brady is so sick of being ridiculed by that shtick that she’d never even crack a smile. But by that point she’d absconded with our crockpot and a set of sterling silverware which was a wedding gift from our dog’s breeder who ironically resembles Alice, the maid.

In this rare interview footage with one of the other female culprits, we’re just beginning to learn more details about the origination of this vast “Celebrity Lookalike Belief Thief” string of criminal activity. Surprisingly, the whole crime ring seems to have begun quite innocently enough. You could almost say it was just blowin’ in the wind.

Ever since I can remember, I was mistaken for Mary from the famous folksinging group, “Peter, Paul & Mary.” All I had to do was learn the lyrics to “Puff the Magic Dragon” and find two men to play Peter and Paul and I’d have it made in the shade, entertaining at cocktail parties. That’s when my obsession with hammers begin. Every day I’d belt out, “If I had a hammer…” spending all my money in hardware stores. So I started singing, “Where have all my dollars gone?” and Paul kindly loaned me $300 for food. I didn’t know how I’d ever pay him back – – but that’s when the idea hit me.  I could rob Peter to pay Paul!

This unethical Mary lookalike is now under arrest and in the process of being flown to a prison in Chicago.  You might say she’s “leaving on a jet plane.” Stay safe everyone!

Little Miss Menopause Reporting

I Spy With My Little Eye Your Big, Fat Lie!

Wait till they hear about the consistency and color of this stuff back at corporate!

Wait till they hear about the consistency and color of this stuff back at corporate!

My entire world was turned completely upside-down last night at a local Chinese take-out called “The Mandarin Wok.” As I stood in line to pay my check, I offered the customer behind me the basket of fortune cookies sitting on the counter. She scrutinized it, wrinkled up her nose, then pulled out a little notebook and wrote, “crumbled!“ under a picture of this:images (4)

Winking conspiratorially at me, she whispered, “I’m a Mystery Diner.” I returned the one-eyed gesture knowingly, muttering “Ohhh” under my breath, while forming my lips into a perfect circle.

I raced home and couldn’t Google the “Mystery Diner” term fast enough. Thank goodness for fortunes because I never would’ve discovered this clandestine phenomenon if she had simply muttered, “That’s the way the cookie crumbles!”

Here’s the scoop. Ready? Apparently there are “Consumer Spies” out there getting paid!

Job Description: Pretend to be hungry (so far I easily qualify without play-acting!) while grading and taking notes on food quality, ambience and service. Report back to the restaurant owner so they can see how their employees are doing.

Really?? And she looked like such a typical, ordinary Szechwan Garlic-Chicken Eater to me! Immediately my suspicions were aroused, wondering whom else in my life was a huge impostor?

My Stylist: Was she a legitimate beautician or could she be a “Mystery Shampooer” employed by Pantene to evaluate whether the conditioner I use in my shower gives me the silky fullness the tube promises. Yes, she must be a fraudulent stylist — that explains why she cut my bangs so short last time. And she’s always pushing Vidal Sassoon hair care products on me. Testing my loyalty to Proctor & Gamble, no doubt. I wonder if P & G has been made aware of my split ends?

My Babysitter: She may look like your average teenage vixen with an iPod and Justin Bieber’s name tattooed on her big toe, but what if she’s secretly a caseworker from our government’s Child Protective Services agency, evaluating my parenting skills? My mind flashes on an untouched gallon of Mint ‘n Chip ice-cream — plus none of the Pop-Tarts were missing after I returned from my therapy session last week. What normal teenage babysitter would leave those items uneaten while the little kids were sound asleep? In fact, I also recall discovering a surprise bonus of Frosted Flakes in my pantry. I never buy that brand. Not only did she NOT eat our junk food, but she brought us more? That must be it! The CPS agency instructed her to put “Tony The Tiger” there to see if I’d break down one morning and feed my kids crap for breakfast, instead of taking time to make omelets. Next time she “babysits” she’ll measure how much was ingested. She probably also counted our eggs for further evidence. OMG, my kids will end up in a foster home because I didn’t jumpstart their day with wholesome goodness! Or she could just be a “Mystery Flake” from the Kellogg’s corporation rating their “sogginess in milk.”

My Carpet Cleaner: After he steams my shag rugs, he always advises my family to remove our tennis shoes and leave them by the front door. As he departs, I betcha he checks out our worn soles and reports durability issues directly to the executives at Adidas Inc.

My Ex-Sister-in-law Houseguest:  Sister-in-law, my foot! After all, I don’t have any real proof that she was actually born to the same parents as my ex-husband was. And for weeks now, she’s been sleeping in the spare room (until she supposedly gets back on her feet) complimenting me on how soft our bedsheets feel. I wonder how much $$ Tide detergent is paying her per night?

The Piano Teacher: Ain’t no qualified music specialist who could be THIS patient – – never once wincing when my daughter hits sour notes when playing chopsticks. And I’ve observed her frowns as she swipes her finger across the ¼ inch thick layer of dust on our piano bench before sitting down. Hmmph. Merry Maids thinks they’re so smart, checking up this way. Little do they know — I actually fired their cleaning crew 3 weeks ago. So it’s actually MY housekeeping skills the Piano Teacher has been assessing.

Landscaper & Mailman:  There’s a collaboration going on between these two, I can just feel it!  The reason the mailman always says, “your rosebushes are wilting” or “your lawn looks greener since I was here last,” when he walks up to my porch to deliver mail is because he’s actually employed by my landscaping company to check up on the gardener’s planting abilities. And by the same token, the gardener is always glancing at his watch when the mailman pulls up in his little truck, because he calls the Post-Office with documentation of the mailman’s inefficient schedule. It’s diabolical!

My Boyfriend:  Well, I’m onto him now!  After our next wild romp in the bedroom, won’t he be shocked when he asks, How things were and if there’s anything more he can do for me? And I’ll blurt out, “Aha! They sent you from The Masters & Johnson Research Institute, didn’t they?!”

From Procrastination To ProBLASTination (Just Do It!)

procrastinateHave you heard that placing gym clothes by your bed will coax you into exercising first thing in the morning? Some magazine articles even recommend sleeping in your workout attire. I already have nightmares about The Treadmill and Elliptical Monster, so I can’t imagine waking up, glancing in the mirror and thinking, “Alright! I’m already wearing my shorts and sports bra. 24 Hour Fitness Center, here I come!”

Nevertheless, based on this theory of subliminal suggestion (where your brain gets primed to do the activity the object represents) here are some “unusual” ways you can get in the mood for stuff you’d rather not do.

10 Unique Ways To Motivate Yourself to Do Things You Hate!

  1. Wear a French Maid costume. Within an hour you’ll crave dusting all your knickknacks with one of those cute feather dusters. (Or else you’ll succumb to “His” sexual advances and your bedroom will get even messier than it already was.)
  1. Put on a little hat and badge like fast food workers wear. It won’t be long before you’re drawn into the kitchen, preparing food with rapid-fire efficiency. Beware of that same “Testosterony Guy” (from the French Maid scenario above) placing his order for a Quickie.

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    Let me at your Knickknacks !

  1. Make a paper airplane or try some origami shapes. After all that folding fun, don’t be surprised when you’re compelled to tackle an entire clean load of laundry from the dryer.
  1. Play Monopoly and lose. That’s right, let your opponents clean out your entire money stash — even the twenty-dollar bill you stuffed down your bra. This will entice you to pay your bills. And since it’s that time of year, you’ll be seduced into doing your taxes as well!
  1. Sleep with your toothbrush under your pillow. For added incentive, spread Crest minty gel on your cheeks, chin, and forehead for an overnight facial mask that’ll have you waking up inspired to get a cavity filled at the dentist.
  1. Spray on a little perfume or cologne. Spritz some hairspray on your tresses. Squirt some room freshener in the air. Aren’t these spray bottles fun? Now you can’t wait to Windex all the mirrors and glass surfaces in your house, can you?
  1. Underwear works wonders! Don’t you slip on satin panties under your work clothes and then smile at your secret sexual desires? So just swap the lace undies for Granny Panties — and you’ll finally go volunteer in a retirement home. Don a “G-string” and at last, you’ll take that guitar in for tuning. Or slide into “Little Mermaid” underwear and you’ll give your kids those swim lessons. There is unlimited PPP! (Potential Panty Possibilities)
  1. Watch all of Colin Farrell’s and Colin Firth’s movies. When writing, liberally punctuate with semicolons and colons. There you go! You’re now in the perfect frame of mind to schedule that colonoscopy.
  1. Scrutinize your head closely, looking for split ends or gray strands and yank them out. Not only will your hairstyle benefit, you’ll feel a sudden urge to go pull weeds from your garden.
  1. Press flowers between the pages of a heavy dictionary. Read the classic children’s book, Flat Stanley. Crush some garlic. Use a Panini machine. Alrighty, now off you go for your overdue mammogram!

    I'm suddenly in the mood for pancakes!

    “I’m suddenly in the mood for pancakes!”

How Captain Von Trapp Chose Between Maria and The Baroness

sound of musicAt long last, we’ve discovered a never seen before authentic “Pros and Cons” list inside the props box from The Sound of Music set. The Captain wrote it to help decide which woman to make his wife and the new mother of his 7 children. Let’s peek, shall we?

Baroness Elsa

PROS

1. She’s got that classy, reserved icy blond, Austrian nobility thing going on. I’m up for the challenge of making her bleat like a mountain goat! 2. Says wise and profound things. “Somewhere out there is a lady who I think will never be a nun.” I wonder what she’d say if she knew I was hoping for a nun who will never EVER be a lady? 3. Easy to end a date with. You don’t have to launch into a whole song and dance routine, “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, au revoir, sayonara, shalom, etc.” It’s just “bye-bye bitch.”

CONS

1. Not a performer and she’s a bit selfish. I doubt she’d walk out to finish my song for me if I were to break down on stage in the middle of lyrics I know like the back of my hand. 2. She doesn’t really care for yodeling. Which means my best joke will be lost on her. “Knock-knock. Who’s There? Lil Ole Lady. Lil Ole Lady Who?” Ha ha ha! 3. Given half a chance, she’ll send all 7 of my children to Boarding School. Wait, this goes on the pros list.

Fraulein Maria

PROS

1. I sure would like to handle a problem like Maria. I fantasize about being her personal troubleshooter. 2. Has a mathematician background and counts like nobody’s business.  “You are 16 going on 17.” Maybe one day she’ll star in a movie called “10” and introduce me to Bo Derek. 3. Won’t be a chronic dieter like my buddy’s wives. The only scales she’s obsessed with are Do-Re-Mi. 4. I love a woman who’s easy to buy for on Valentine’s or Mother’s Day. I have my list for Maria for the next 5 years. 1. Bright copper kettles. 2. Crisp apple strudel 3. Warm woollen mittens. And I don’t even have to giftwrap (brown paper packages tied up with strings) Easy to please. Aww screw it. Something tells me she’d be just as happy if I didn’t cut the whiskers off kittens. 5. Somewhere in her youth or childhood, she must’ve done something good.  She deserves me! photo (16) 6. Ever see anyone blush like that? I bet she’ll make a beautiful blushing bride. Of course that could be because the train on her wedding gown will be so long and heavy, half of Salzburg will have to carry it down the aisle for her. 7. Whenever there’s a thunderstorm, she’ll invite people into our bed. Mmm, I like me some kink.

CONS

1. She brought music back into the house. And now my kids play the Top 40 at decibels that would blow the roof off a Nazi regime. 2. Obsessed with puppets. Which means she thinks she can pull my strings. 3. She’s not great with names. Keeps forgetting “Kurt.” How will I feel if one night in bed she moans (off key) and says, “Mmm, that feels so good. God bless you, Whatsyourname?” 4. Tea, a drink with jam and bread. Seriously woman? Every single solitary time? I’m a Starbucks shareholder. 5. Hates whistles. I suppose that twisted Snow White fantasy I have of her singing, “Just Whistle While You Work” while sweeping the front porch in a Nun’s habit is out of the question? 6. She might force me to wear boxers she stitches from our dining room blinds. Yeah, but that’s an easy fix. Sell her Singer. It’ll be curtains for that sewing machine of hers! Hey!  As long as I’m considering Thrifty Recycling Movie Heroines, I know a racy raven-haired vixen who also made her gown out of the living room drapes. Maybe there’s a 3rd option here. Who says I can’t be a Cross-Film Actor and marry . . .

Scarlett O’Hara

PROS

1.  That 18 inch waist 2. Never worries about anything — she’ll think about it tomorrow. We all know what “it” is. Heh heh.

CONS

1. Oh who the hell cares anymore?  Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Any woman who can tilt her head like this without a neck ache is the one for me!

Any woman who can tilt her head like this without a neck ache is the one for me!

       

 

 

 

 

Please visit me on The Huffington Post to see why I think publishing is similar to Fifty Shades of Grey right HERE