The GPS Lady is Our New Magic 8-Ball !!

For decades many New-Age people have claimed that the universe sends us signs — if only we’d just tune in and pay more attention. They claim that finding feathers indicates our guardian angels are frolicking nearby and a fork-in-the-road symbolizes an important decision will need to be made. And I always scoffed, “Sure! Right! Whatever.”

Until the one fateful day this past December when I started getting profound messages (and spiritual guidance!) from the Modern Digital World. I’m not kidding! It all began rather innocently. Just like this . . .

WALKING WONDERS!

I tried to cross the street at a busy intersection while debating what to do about my unsatisfying relationship. “Should I break up with my boyfriend now or delay things until after the holidays?” I wondered aloud, while pressing the crosswalk button. Immediately the light turned red and an emphatic male robotic voice reiterated over and over again, “Wait! Wait! Wait! . . . Wait!” Startled, I looked around at the halted pedestrians patiently anticipating the traffic signal to turn and grinned broadly, realizing I had just saved a $200 therapy session. “Of course I should wait,” I mused. “After all, he might put a terrific present under the tree this year.” Never mind that we’re both Jewish.

CAR CODES!

Inside my Mazda, I caught a glimpse of my mousy brown hair in the rear-view mirror and for the umpteenth time that day contemplated, “Should I dye it blonde or go with auburn highlights?” Without missing a beat, my GPS lady wisely advised, “Take the Highlighted route.” Well, that settles that! (I guess blondes will just have to have more fun without me.) Gosh, this woo-woo stuff was actually pretty cool.

Thinking of my boyfriend waiting for me in bed, I started to connect my cellphone to my Bluetooth when it instantly blurted out, “Ready to Pair!” Well I wouldn’t go that far, but I was feeling a bit aroused at the thought of him shopping for my Chanukah present. Maybe there was something to this, “Getting Messages From Beyond” thing after all?

As I pulled into the parking lot of my next destination, I wondered if I would ever get to a place in my writing career where I would finally achieve real success? “You have arrived!” exclaimed the GPS lady enthusiastically. “Really?” I flushed with excitement. (Now if only my publisher saw it that way and sent me on a lavish book tour.)

CHECK-OUT CHARMS!

Using the self-checkout kiosk in Target, I had to admit to feeling pretty self-conscious about my appearance lately, particularly since I hadn’t been sleeping well and the skin under my eyes appeared swollen and puffy. After swiping my credit card, I entered information into the keyboard indicating I would use my own totes to carry away my purchases. “You have zero bags!” the machine comforted me. Blushing, I thanked it for the compliment on my complexion.

My next errand was clothes shopping. As I waited in the long line to pay for shirts for my boyfriend, I wondered how on earth I would know which register would be available first? Immediately a seductive computerized voice loudly announced over the P.A. system, “Cashier number 3, please!” Wow! The Electronic World certainly does have all of life’s answers! I made a mental note to set-up The Checkstand Lady Voice with The Crosswalk Man Voice, who was so diligent at his 10-9-8-7 countdown while I strode across the street. It would be a match made in digital heaven. And now I was eager to see what psychic information would come across next from another device!

MAYTAG MARVELS!

As I piled the dirty towels into the front-loading machine in my laundry room, my thoughts drifted to a possible pregnancy. My period had been erratic and it was getting rather challenging to predict. “What’s my monthly going to be like?” I asked aloud. The washer was quick to reassure me there was nothing to worry about by lighting up the control-panel with, “Normal Cycle!” Thank goodness — I was getting way too old to change diapers.

NETWORK NUANCES!

Even text messages on this special day became uncannily spiritual. Feeling stressed, I contemplated what kind of self-care I should do? Perhaps meditation or maybe a long walk on the beach? Just then I replied to my friend’s request for a good pizza parlor, prompting her to text back, “TY!” Normally I knew this acronym was just a typical social nicety, expressing gratitude. However on this unique day, I somehow recognized it didn’t stand for “Thank You,” but instead my smartphone was now an algorithm guru telling me in secret language to “Take Yoga!”

Next I made the decision to create a cool new self-image on social media. I changed my User Name, put up a hip new profile pic, then sent friend requests to all the buddies of my adult kids so I could become popular with the younger in-crowd. Upon acceptance, many of them greeted me back with a timely acronym, “WTF!” This was unbelievable! What were the odds?? Every single millennium was warmly communicating back to me, “Welcome To Facebook!”

EXTRAORDINARY ENDINGS!

Before I fell asleep that evening, I called out to Alexa, “Please wake me up at my usual time.” And she ominously confirmed back to me, “You will become Alarmed at 7 am.”  Wow. Just wow.

The next morning I was eager to tune back in to my Digital Universe of Guidance, but nothing seemed to be working. When Siri asked how she could help me, the Yelp Chinese restaurant review she directed me to was rather ordinary. Google merely gave me a synonym for “intelligent” that was actually rather dumb. My Voicemail wouldn’t play back any new messages from my boyfriend for me on my phone. And even WordPress had no wisdom to impart. At first I thought, “Status: Draft!” meant that the U.S. military would be mandatorily inducting young boys into the army again, but nope — it just meant it had saved the silly blog post I wasn’t too sure about publishing.

Sadly, all the magic emanating from my digital world had abruptly ceased. Where had it all gone? “Appliance Reliance” had turned into “Appliance Defiance.” And I was simply left with only my “Inner Navigational System” to rely on, which I now refer to as M.O.M — “My Own Mind.”

But perhaps this 24-hour accounting of unusual events will somehow help someone else out there obtain sudden flashes of intuition from their technological interactions?

Please leave me a divine comment from your mystical Apple Watch to let me know if that’s the case!

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

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Comedy Central Is Hiring Me!

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Okay maybe not quite just yet. But I’m getting closer to my big dream coming true. Over the holidays I boarded a cruise ship of which the destination doesn’t matter….because my internal GPS just wants me to end up anywhere I can proudly announce, “Okay, world, I’ve finally arrived!”  And this (to me) entails substantial amounts of fame.

And somehow this also translates to my long-term goal of writing humor material for an illustrious comedian. In fact, Jerry Seinfeld recently called me and remarked that my blog seems to be about nothing and he’s got a new idea about another show that’s still about nothing. Perhaps we could collaborate on writing? We had long discussions, brainstorming everything about nothing, but at the end of the day, nothing ever came of it. Nada.

That’s why I set my sites on the comic of this cruise ship who performed in an onboard nightclub called “The Punchliner Lounge. The first evening I sat in the front row and the comedian incorporated me into his routine about hair. There’s no need for me to elaborate on this topic if you’ve seen me, but let’s just say that if he continues with his mediocre level of jokes, he’s going to be “hair today, gone tomorrow.” And I made sure I “straightened” him out by getting some “parting” laughs with a “hairlarious” one-liner that was a “cut” above the rest.

That’s when I had him — I just knew it. Sure enough after the show, he asked me to come back to his next performance and once again to sit in the front row. I was excited to become a regular in his act because that would surely lead to writing for him. Turns out he just wanted my wild, big hair to block the view for his overbearing mother who sits in the second row and constantly tells him his jokes suck.

But that was okay because I was making “headway” into the world of Funny Guys and it wouldn’t be long before I supplied him with my humorous anecdotes for major $$!

Now I’ll take a pause here to address what most people start to wonder about me. If I love to create stand-up comedy so much, why don’t I just deliver it to audiences myself verbally. Because I’m shy. Instead of the Off-the-Wall person I portray on this blog, in real life I am soooooo ON the wall, that I’m actually a Wallflower. Now you might understand why I’ve set my sights on staying behind the scenes and writing material for famous comics instead.

The next afternoon I saw Mr. Comedian at the buffet, ladling out cauliflower soup which sloshed around in his bowl because the seas were particularly rocky. Sidling coyly up to him, I decided to use some of my seasick seductiveness along with my witty wordplay to let him know I was more than just a “hair-brained” audience seat-warmer. I efficiently spooned some soup into my own bowl, smiling about the funny line I was about to dish out.

Me: Hi there. Did you know it’s not the motion of the ocean — it’s the size of the waves?”

Mr. Comedian: Oldie. Heard that one a lot. And you’ve got it backwards, by the way.

Oops, back to my hair I suppose.

Me: (shoving a tendril of my long curly locks into his face) I mean THESE waves.

Mr. Comedian: Oh right. Pretty funny stuff you got there, Miss.

Me: Permanent Waves. You know, like a bad 80’s perm??

Mr. Comedian: Right. I get your explanation of your joke.

Me: (Waving my hand over and over like a beauty contest winner on a float during a parade) Look! Now I’m stuck with a permanent wave!

Mr. Comedian: Yep. You sure are.

Mr. Comedian’s Mother: You suck, sister.

This was a good start. We could bond together eating soup and discussing his overly-critical mother.

That night I was the first one in the audience again, this time wearing an extra short skirt and my hair swept high into a chignon. I had an idea to try out some racier material since this was an adults only show. Sex always sells.

Mr. Comedian: So where’s your crazy hair this evening, Miss Front Row?

Me: I thought because it was R-rated tonight, I’d show off my tight buns instead.

Audience: (Stares at me as I climb onto a chair and point to my fancy updo and my back side.)

Me: See my hair is in a bun and (lifting my skirt a tad higher up my thighs while blushing) You currently write material for Comedy Central, but I’ll help you write for Comedy Sensual! Not only will you become a great stand-up, but the audiences will get so turned-on, they’ll stand up too. Get it? Stand-up comedian…so the audience stands up.

Audience: Sit down! Booooooo. Down in front with that awful hair and ass!

The next morning, the Captain of the entire ship knocked on my cabin door and issued me a restraining order which proclaimed I wasn’t to get within 500 yards of the Punchliner Lounge. But because they wanted my business back on future voyages, I was also given an invitation to be a contestant in the passenger talent show, where they said I’d be welcome to freely showcase my humor.

Choosing to look on the bright side, I consoled myself that this was one step closer to my goal of becoming a famed comedy writer. As the talent show drew nearer, I began to pray that my innate shyness wouldn’t prevent me from getting my hysterical material across through the microphone.

When the master of ceremonies introduced me to the stage, he called me, “Funny Lady.” If only I could sing, I’d belt out Barbra Streisand’s, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and just call it a night.

Once under the heavy bright lights and with all expectant eyes on me, I began to have an actual panic attack. What was I doing? I had no verbal delivery! I was just some hack writer. That’s a good joke? I could develop a hacking cough. Out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly spied a whiteboard at the end of my platform that listed the order of the contestants. Running over and spitting on it, I smudged away the names using the sleeve of my sexy dress and began to do the only thing I knew how to do……with the dry-erase marker, I penned out a joke.  The audience looked and tittered for a moment. Next I spelled out the opening paragraph of my most popular blog in all capital letters. People put their glasses on and slowly read, but eventually they chuckled some more. I erased and jotted something else down. Guffaws! Next time I’ll bring my computer keyboard connected to a big screen so I can keep the laughter coming even faster.

And now I’m calling Seinfeld back to partner up. Because he needs to know I’ve   got a new angle about comedy writing called, “Much Ado About NOTHING!”

Dear Readers: Happy 2018! It’s good to be back blogging after being away for a while. The real truth is that this particular cruise ship comedian read my Huffington Post blogs and invited me to call him when he docks in the next port! Please wish me luck on this new writing venture. Also please leave me a comment and state the name of the comedian you think is the funniest. Perhaps I can submit my WRITTEN material to them . . .  and then you’ll have to find a new favorite! 😉

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Getting Your Ex Back (Even If You Don’t Want Them Back!)

Wait a sec. . . I think my title is supposed to say, “Getting Your Ex Back (Even If THEY Don’t Want to Come Back!”) But either way, it makes as much sense!

Hey! Did you know that . . .

the “Reunite With Your Ex!” industry is thriving!

Not a day goes by I don’t get an email shouting, “8 Ways To Make Your Ex Beg To Reconcile!” or “10 Phrases To Text That Will Make Your Ex Realize They Made a Huge Mistake!” or “How To Get Your Ex Back And Ignore All the Valid Reasons You Broke Up With Him in the First Place.”

And my personal favorite, “How To Lure Your Ex Back Without Looking Like a Psycho!”

Last week I sat at a cocktail table with my girlfriend Tiffany (Yes, Stephanie and Tiffany — it’s beyond precious!) at a Mix N’ Mingle event when she immediately burst into tears lamenting, “Why am I here? I just want him back. I’d give anything for that to happen.”

Immediately a man in an ugly green tuxedo shirt and suspenders materialized from behind a pillar and launched into a routine so smacking of a vacuum salesman, I anticipated him scattering clumps of dirt on our white linen tablecloth and sucking them up with his expensive sample machine.

“For just $1,000, I’ll have him crawling back before the New Year. He’ll be full of yearning, promises, engagement rings, and offering homemade Key Lime pie.” He danced a little jig as he spoke.

“She hates Key Lime and besides . . . ” I started to say.

“Really? That’s my favorite pie,” he interrupted.

“Then maybe YOU want her ex back?” I winked.

He pretended I wasn’t there, and turned his attentions back to Tiffany, who btw is not the sharpest tool in the box.

“My schemes are guaranteed to have him crawling on hands and knees no matter whom he’s currently frolicking with.”

“He’s frolicking with God,” I stated solemnly.

“OMG, he is??” asked Tiff, incredulously.

“I’m very sorry for your loss,” he said to Tiffany and then without missing a beat, threw a bunch of mud on our table — at which point she paid him $89.95 for a DustBuster.

“Forget that creep,” I told my friend.

“But I do still love him,” Tiffany protested.

“I meant the jerky salesman, Tiff.  Sheesh, even I have better ideas to get your guy back!”

Suddenly Tiffany had an epiphany! (But again remember — not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.)

“That’s right!  You’re creative!  You can help me. So far all I’ve come up with is losing ten pounds because he’s always hated my muffin-top. I just KNOW you’ll give me advice that will work.”

After reluctantly researching this idiotic topic, I realized there are two contradictory schools of thought. One was basically to disappear completely, because supposedly he’ll miss you terribly and come running back.

And the other is the exact opposite — recommending you definitely do NOT vanish because then he’s liable to develop complete amnesia and forget all about the amazing sex you had on the balcony during your cruise to Alaska. (What? No cruise to Alaska?? Well now we know exactly how to get him back, don’t we? Anchors away, my eskimo friend!) So essentially this technique advocates staying very much on his mind!

Alright so back to my dimwitted friend, Tiffany. I created two index cards outlining each of the very different ways to proceed. Essentially little cheat sheets for Tiff to pick one strategy and then follow it. Easy Peasy.

 

 

 

 

 

But Tiff couldn’t make up her mind which method to try . . .  so of course she utilized them both!

One day she unfriended him from all social media, cancelled every one of her memberships, and changed her phone number/email address. The next day she sprayed her signature perfume on the welcome mat of his front door, requested all radio stations play their favorite song, and had billboards put up on his route to work with pictures of her and another guy. (It was just her twin brother and they’re not identical, so this didn’t blow her ruse.)

She carried on like this for weeks, alternating days of being totally in his face with days of falling off the face of the earth — until I was sure the poor slob didn’t know whether he was coming or going — much less what Tiff was doing!

Meanwhile she also continued her Atkins diet and lost 10 lbs. However one fateful day she discovered he was on a European vacation for three months and the person she’d been seducing back was his 85 year-old grandma who was house-sitting. Not a good plan.

At this ridiculous news, I decided to permanently end my career in the field of “Reconciliation” and  just stick to writing. As a last ditch effort, I suggested that Tiff text him with an offer no man can refuse….having really great Make-Up Sex!

But Tiff claimed that he liked her face au’ naturale, without any mascara or lipstick — so I had to explain the concept.

The next day Tiffany was elated to report his response was, “Yes! But before we have great makeup sex, we need to have a really HUGE tiff.”

It was a Win/Win! Not only did Tiffany think he was referring to her name, but she was also thrilled to increase her calorie intake.

THEY SOOOO DESERVE EACH OTHER!

READERS:  HAVE YOU EVER BEEN DESPERATE TO GET AN EX BACK? WHAT DEPTHS OF DESPAIR DID YOU SINK TO? LEAVE ME A COMMENT!

Wanna Befriend FAMOUS stars? Just become Their Student!

blogger-image--1957697618Are you familiar with a new self-help trend on a website called MasterClass? It’s where you can learn from “the best teachers in the world” by signing up for lessons with famed individuals. Online. By video.

Now Dear Readers, THIS is exactly what I’ve been waiting years for! After taking a few of these $90 classes, I can now officially put down on my resume that I studied writing under Judy Blume AND James Patterson.  I’ve also been schooled in the art of comedy by the inimitable Steve Martin! Additionally for good measure, Serena Williams trained me to play tennis, without my ever needing to set foot on a court. Yep, these are just some of the website’s many famous superstar instructors!

But then the MasterClass company made the fatal mistake of inventing an “ALL ACCESS PASS.” This is exactly what it sounds like — for one price you can take every single class they offer. Really?? Hello Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, Diane Von Furstenberg, Wolfgang Puck, and so many more! Indeed, why not add directing, producing, acting, fashion design, and cooking to my already amazing skill-set?

Next I read the fine print. Seriously? These big-time celebrities will even hold “office hours” and MIGHT personally critique some of my submissions. That’s just dandy! I always knew that given half the chance to become acquainted with me, (and my charm and talent!) famous personalities would want me in their lives in a very intimate way.

But how to convince them they’ve been missing out on knowing me? Simple….

“ALL ACCESS” (at least to me) means I have complete admittance into their world via email, telephone, or even in-person. And there you have it! I will simply contact all these celebs before the start of their courses and introduce myself, just like any ambitious pupil in college does. I will cozy up to them so I’ll be a stand-out on the first day of class.

Here are the instructors I set my sights on befriending, and the oh so clever tactics I employed to demonstrate that I’m their biggest fan, and that we have much in common!

DUSTIN HOFFMAN:  Sent email with “Hey Tootsie!” in the subject line and signed the email, “Meet me in my hotel room ~ Mrs. Robinson.” In the body of the email I stated that I would be “The Graduate” of his course whom he would be the most proud of.  I also mentioned I admired him so much that I actually named one of my twin boys, “Dustin” (Actually true!) and the other one “Hoffman.” (Not so true?)  I searched and found his cellphone number and left voice messages exclaiming, “Kmart Sucks!” and “Uh oh . . . ten minutes till Wapner.” Lastly, I taped a note on his front door with the class roster and my name highlighted in yellow so he could know exactly whom to make his Teacher’s Pet.

STEVE MARTIN: Sent email with witty salutation, “To The Jerk!” and mentioned he was a better Inspector Clouseau than Peter Sellers in the body of the email. Promised I’d be phoning him soon so we could discuss his course syllabus, piquing his interest by mentioning I might have two brains.  I then signed off with, “From a Wild and Crazy Girl.” Zero response, so I called and sung my version of “King Tut” on his answering machine. I currently await a coffee invitation.

JUDY BLUME: Sent an email with, “Are you there Judy? It’s me, Stephanie D. Lewis!” in the subject line. I told her that she writes puberty novels about getting your period and I write menopausal blogs about losing your period, and that I just know we’ll become BFF’s AND collaborate on a book together since writers use periods so often in sentences. I think she’ll appreciate knowing that. But just in case, I added that I was also a Fourth-Grade Nothing. I’m presently making a reservation at Outback Steakhouse for the both of us to have lunch.

WOLFGANG PUCK: I was aware that this instructor needed to be approached through smells, textures and tastes, but no boring teacher’s apple would do. Instead I shipped my famous Jewish brisket to his home, but the gravy obscured my return address so I’m sure he didn’t know whom to thank. Next, I emailed him with, “What’s cooking?” in the subject line. And ended it by declaring I would be the most skilled skillet chef in his whole entire cooking class. Can’t wait to trade recipes with Wolfie very soon!

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG: I texted her and said, “Here’s what you and Gloria Venderbilt taught me in 8th grade–‘You’re only as good as the designer’s name on your jean’s pocket.’ So thanks for that! Ps. Can I get a vintage dress if I sit in the virtual front row of your fashion classroom?”

UPDATE:  As of this blog posting, there hasn’t really been any replies or acknowledgments to all my enthusiastic student overtures. After thinking it over (and I’m sure you’ll realize this isn’t just sour grapes) I’ve decided that I can do better than these people. Far better. After all somebody very wise once said, “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach!” NO TRUER WORDS.

Now excuse me while I stalk the individual who said that, and have him give me lessons from his new class, “Thinking Up Profound Quotes!”

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READERS: Would you sign up for one of these online classes with a celebrity? Or do you find this to be a gimmick? All comments welcome!

Is it a Speakerphone or a “SNEAKERphone??”

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Very SNEAKY speakerphone crimes are on the rise these days and even Yours Truly is guilty of a few. See if you’re the victim of any of the ones I’ve made up names for below — or if gasp….(be honest now!) you’re actually The Perpetrator!

  1. THE BRAG — Being around other people and expecting a phone call you know will contain good news? Possibly someone is going to be praising YOU for a job well done? You answer the phone and say, “Gosh it’s so hard to hear you. Let’s see if you’re more audible on speaker. Keep talking.” Bingo. You’ve just modestly made everyone around you aware that it was your quick thinking and innovative talent that saved the day!  Look properly sheepish when hanging up, but don’t overkill by saying, “Awwww shucks,” if someone around you offers a high-five or a congratulations.
  2. THE JEALOUSY — Your relationship has just passed that two-year mark when people typically start taking each other for granted just a tad. You’re out with your girlfriend when the call comes through and you recognize the name/number as the young sounding female nurse from your doctor’s office, obviously calling to report your lab results from your recent physical. You answer the phone on speaker but as soon as the caller chirps, “Hi, it’s Katherine . . . ” you awkwardly (guiltily?) interrupt her and say in a lowered voice, “Hold on so we can uh, talk more privately,” and remove speakerphone. During your long silence (in which she’s reading your blood results) nod your head enthusiastically, smile a lot, and suspiciously doodle on a pad of paper — the initials that stand for bad and good cholesterol . . .  “LDL” + “HDL”   This works best if your name is Logan David Lewis and the nurses name is Hilary Denise Lawrence.  Then put a plus sign in between the two and for good measure, draw a cute heart around the whole thing.  (Don’t jot down your triglyceride levels, that’s not romantic at all!) Upon hanging up, chuckle nervously while announcing to your gal, “That? Oh that was just the doctor’s office calling. Heh heh.”
  3. THE BUFFER — Did you just crash the car? Forget to do something important you promised? Spend a ton of $$ on something frivolous? Are you afraid to reveal these things to a certain someone because they fly off the handle easily? Simply make the call and when they answer, casually inform them you have a little bad news, but to first say hello to some mutual friends. Have a few people shout, “Hi there, Tom!” Guaranteed your confession will be received calmly and serenely. They may even say, “Don’t worry about it, you know stuff like that never bothers me.”
  4. THE EMPATHY — Your best friend calls you once a week to read entries from a journal she keeps on her relationship. This week she suspects her boyfriend may be having an affair with the young nurse from his doctor’s office. You turn on speakerphone, but you employ the mute button so she cannot hear you doing the dishes and vacuuming. After she finishes (and your house is tidy) and she asks your opinion, you say “I’m just too stunned to formulate any words.”
  5. THE CHORES — Call the child who always loudly protests their responsibilities, from their best friend’s home. Proceed to tell them you’re having tea with the parent and how proud you are to hear they’re sooooo helpful and polite whenever they’re a guest in this particular parent’s home. Next, remind them to please walk the dog, empty the garbage, and make the bed before you return home. When they pleasantly agree, resist asking, “Okay, who is this really?” (This is my personal crime and it works like a charm.)

READERS:  Please comment on any other speakerphone abuse I may have omitted besides the obvious — not letting someone know when they are on speakerphone, and people who talk on speakerphones in public places. Poor chaps never had walkie-talkies as a child!

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    Do You Have Options for Declining An Invitation This Holiday Season?

72-og Here’s a very simple (yet timely) question for you, Dear Reader.

When you are invited to yet another gathering or festive night out and you’re not going to be attending, do you give a reason why or do you just politely refuse?

During “The Ghost  Host of Christmas Past,” I’ve felt obliged to elaborate and provide a good enough reason, (or an innocent made-up excuse!) to avoid hurting the host’s feelings. But recently people have told me this is unnecessary and it’s actually oversharing.

Below is my track record with this social grace ….

ME: I’m so sorry, but I’m already committed.

INVITER #1: Really? To do what?

ME: I’m committed to not saying more than that when I decline invitations.

INVITER #1: No really, what exactly are you doing instead??

Note To Self: Get less assertive friends.

ME: Thank you for thinking of me, but I have another engagement.

INVITER #2:  Again? OMG! Hopefully you make it down the aisle this time! Feel free to bring your new fiancé.

Note To Self: Next time use more specific language, while still not stating exactly what you’re doing since it’s none of their business.

ME: I’d love to, but I’m having an affair of my own that same evening.

INVITER #3: No wonder your engagements never last, you cheatin’, lyin’ slut, you!

Note to Self: Go back to my little white lies.

ME: Darn, I’d really like to come to your annual potluck tree-trimming party, but I’m allergic to pine.

INVITER #4: It’s artificial this year. Vinnie always pees on all our real trees.

ME: Well I’m allergic to dogs.

INVITER #4: Vinnie is our 15-year-old son.

ME: Seriously! Was he born in a barn??

INVITER #4: Yes. I went into labor cleaning the horse stall and gave birth on a bale of hay. . .

ME: Ahhhh! Which I’m very allergic to?

INVITER #4: In our previous house.

ME: Guess I’ll be bringing peanut butter cookies to your potluck tree-trimming party.

INVITER #4: I have a life-threatening nut allergy. You’ll bring 2 dozen filet mignon steaks instead.

Note to Self: Google who said, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Hmph. Guess honesty IS always the best policy.

ME: To tell you the truth, I just really don’t want to come.

INVITER #5: Well frankly, I really didn’t want to invite you but your siblings forced me to.

Note to Self: Let a few weeks go by and then call Mom and apologize for not being more tactful. 

ME: Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it because my really messy closet has me barricaded from my front door.

INVITER #6:  “When first we practice to deceive . . .” Oh come now, you can do better than that! A messy closet. Sheesh, what do you take me for? I’ll expect you at 7 pm, unless you send visual proof of that whopper.

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INVITER #6: Uh…Maybe my guests can bring some hangers and come over and help dig you out. It can be a “Coming Out Of The Closet” theme shindig. 

Note To Self: Wear those mustard yellow pants hanging in center of closet. AT. Every. Single Party. (To eliminate future invites.)

READERS: When someone declines your invitation with a vague, “Thank you for thinking of me and I hope you have a great time!” Be honest — Are you a teeny bit offended, wondering if they could totally attend, but just don’t want to? And how do you personally say, “Thanks but no thanks?”

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Couple’s Conundrums Creatively Clarified! (How do little things get decided in a new relationship?)

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First of all, how do two people (who’ve been dating) even decide they’ve actually become a “Couple” unless they’ve had that specific, “Are we or aren’t we?” talk.  Instead everyone looks for telltale validating signs — the changing of the relationship status on Facebook, the deleting of a dating profile, or the specific way an introduction is made. (I’d like you to meet my…..my WHAT??) Some even view the ultimate official coupleship marker as meeting the other person’s family. But suppose within two weeks you just happen to bump into his awkward parents for the first time in the lingerie department of Nordstrom as you’re trying on a teddy that will hopefully captivate him? Does this mean . . . BOOM! You’ve now rocketed from a lowercase “we” to a capital “US!” (with an exclamation point) right in the fitting room? Nope, it simply means his nerdy parents also still like to have a little fun. Ew.

But that’s just one of the mystifying issues that may need clarifying in new relationships. Here are three other concepts that are intriguing to think about when everything is so brand spanking new. (And nope, spanking didn’t make this list.)

An Over-Thinker’s Guide To Couple’s Conundrums!

  1. WHO YA GONNA CALL??  — How are those special (and ridiculous) nicknames for one another originally determined within the coupleship? Does she just say, “Gee, I’ve always had a thing for ‘Kitten’ on the Father Knows Best series. From now on you call me that, ok? Meow.” (BTW, Kitten would be a true PET-name!) Or does one person think up two options and then invite the partner to give their input? i.e. One day he offhandedly says, “So yeah. Ya wanna be my ‘Old Lady’ or ‘Little Lolita?’ Operators now standing by for your vote!” Or do couples connect their terms of endearments to personal stuff that nobody else knows about. For instance, his first word as a baby was “Baa-Baa” (stupid, but maybe he couldn’t say bottle?) making him sound like a little sheep. Plus he’s a black belt in martial arts so of course you’re gonna try and work a karate move into his new name as well. Put both concepts together and whadya get? He’s now you’re little “Lamb-Chop!” Okay that particular example? Maybe not so much.i-shall-call-him-squishy-2-4558-1455894011-1_dblbig
  2. BEDROOM PREFERENCES? — It’s the first time you’re sleeping together (not actually hitting the sack, but you get the euphemism?) so how is it decided who’s gonna be on the bottom? Perhaps in prior relationships both parties preferred to be the one who looks down on the other person? But suddenly there’s an indoor wrestling match, jockeying for the top position before the bell rings! Really? Alternatively when it’s your very first time “sleeping together”  (And I mean actual “staying over night snoozing” this time!) how do you resolve who gets to sleep on which side of the bed . . . if you’re both accustomed to being on the side closest to the window? For efficiency sake, I suggest a little check-box notice left on the nightstand (much like hotels do with their complimentary continental breakfast room service door-tag which you hang outside to designate preferences for whole wheat over white bread, and orange over tomato juice.) So yours would say —   Circle Your Choices:  1. Sex Position:  Top/Bottom  2. Side of Bed Sleeping: (as per facing the foot of the bed)  Left/Right  3.  Lighting: Off/On  4. Snoring Remedy:  Shaking/Hitting/Shouting 5. Cuddling & Snuggling Duration: Part-Time/Full-Time/Roll Over Immediately After!  5. Linens: Extra Blanket/Just Sheet  6. Temperature:  Coolish/Cozy/Stuffy  7. Windows & Door: Wide Open/Slightly Ajar/Bedroom Gets Sealed Tighter Than a Drum In Case of Prowlers. 8. If You Awaken First:  Rinse & Repeat/Hands Off and Lemme Sleep In!21an8lv
  3. SOCIAL CONTROL? — Which one of you makes the plans now that you’re no longer formally “just dating?” (There are 52 weeks in a year and equality suggests an even 50/50 split in calendar calibration — so simply alternate who’s in charge bi-weekly? Think of it as sharing the custody of your Joint Fun before the actual divorce.) And for that matter, when does “going out” taper off and both people deem it cool to just spend Saturday night staying in just “hanging out?” (If you do this, consider inviting other “official couples” over and playing my version of The Not-So-Newlywed Game!)  And finally, if you officially declare Coupledom just before the holidays, how do you decide whose family you’ll be joining? (Note: This is where some people like to bring out the gender wars and say it should always be celebrated with the female’s family — citing that stupid old saying, “A son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is your daughter for the rest of her life.” Having FOUR sons I’d like to say “Utter Nonsense!” and offer my own little saying, “Go to the holiday table that calls you by your new Pet-Names, promises calorie-free eating, and thinks of dish-washing as a New Year’s Day resolution to be broken by Jan. 2nd!)

PROBLEMS SOLVED!

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HOW IS IT DETERMINED WHO STARTS THE PILLOW FIGHT THE MORNING AFTER YOUR VERY FIRST SLEEPOVER?

 

Is it a Soul-Mate OR a Parole-Mate?

Breaking-the-Rules-in-Soulmate-RelationshipsHow will you know the difference between someone who’s supposed to be your partner for all time, and someone who’s just gonna be your partner in crime?

Some cultures and religions claim RIGHT HERE that you have only ONE SINGLE soul-mate out there because it literally involves the splitting of polarities from one intact original state of unity. I don’t write like that! What does that gobblygook even mean? In other words, the two of you were originally baked up together (but where? In some NYC bagel shop?) as one entire whole soul but upon birth, your soul was sliced in half (like an onion, poppy-seed bialy?) and you are therefore “incomplete” until you search far and wide for the one person in this world who possesses the other portion of your soul. And thus only when you both find each other (and a tub of cream-cheese!) will you actually feel WHOLE again.

I imagine going around town like the Duke in Cinderella, only instead of having every eligible fair maiden trying on a glass slipper to see if it fits, I’ll be awkwardly moseying up to strange bachelors, demanding they intimately press their half of their soul right up into mine (forget regard for personal space when soul-searching!) to see if our soul’s jagged edges align and interlock like two jigsaw puzzle pieces, and then exclaiming, “Hmmm, close but no cigar… Next?!”

Or instead you could simply pay more attention to my weird list of . . .

7 Extremely Subtle, Nearly Imperceptible Signs that You’re With the Correct Soul-Mate.

  1. NO MORE SQUANDERED FOOD! — You’ll suddenly notice nothing goes to waste because (since this individual is truly your other half) they’ll want to gobble up the other half of the morsels  you discard.  For instance, they’ll eat the yolk in the hard-boiled egg when you only like the whites … so the WHOLE egg gets eaten. They’ll eat the white meat while you prefer the dark meat in a chicken … so the whole bird gets consumed. Sensing a “wholeness” pattern here? That’s right, while you eat the banana, they’ll ingest the peel. (Or you could just be dating a human garbage disposal?)
  2. FINISHING JOKES! — Forget finishing each others sentences, that’s no big trick. But when you’re telling a really good joke (in front of your mutual friends you want to impress) and just as you’ve painstakingly outlined the entire set-up and have everyone hanging on the edge of their seat — in true soul-mate style, they’ll loudly chime in with the funny punchline, lovingly stealing your thunder. Then that’s your “better” half, for certain!
  3. INTENSE EMOTIONAL REACTION! — You cannot stand them upon your first meeting and never want to see them again. In fact you want to destroy them and wonder if their body might fit into a blender? This is because our higher selves know more than we do and can pick up the vital significance of this person before we’re even consciously aware of it. This triggers our ‘fight or flight’ response as we suspect there’s gonna be a very expensive wedding looming ahead, and we dislike someone shoving cake in our mouth while being photographed. It’s self-sabotage, baby! But this is your soul-mate.
  4. NEWLY ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE! — When you’re around this person you’re suddenly speaking fluent Egyptian, inexplicably knowing that apples are evil, or ascertaining how to crack open a bank vault. This is a sure sign you were both historical soul-mates in a previous life — Cleopatra & Mark Antony, Adam & Eve, or Bonnie & Clyde. Bonus: Your next Halloween costume is already decided.
  5. BOOKS! — Join a book club where you must all read the same inept, boring novel. When you can’t stand it anymore, put a bookmark in. At the next meeting, ask members, “So who stopped at the beginning of chapter two?” If it’s Fifty Shades of Grey, (and they’re literate folks) most everyone will nod their head. You’re getting warmer. But to narrow down your precise soul-mate, shout out, “Twenty-six, middle of the third paragraph?!” and when someone else raises their hand, you’ve found them! Everyone knows being on the exact same page is always a match made in heaven, or at least in your local library.
  6. THEY COMPLETE YOU! Or rather they complete important things for you. The last of your gallon of cookie dough ice-cream . . . gone! The crossword puzzle you started and meant to get back to . . . already filled in. You paused Black Mirror right at the most exciting part until you’re back from the gym . . . it’s been watched to its ironic conclusion and the free Netflix membership promptly cancelled. (But they won’t complete washing the dishes, your joint taxes, or the Christmas shopping list because they know how you like those things done your own special way. Bless your considerate soul-mate’s heart.)
  7. CLAM CHOWDER! And lastly and most importantly, if you ever share a hot steaming bowl of chicken noodle, broccoli cheddar, or french-onion . . . Oh wait, that’s a blatant typo made when I couldn’t think of anything else to write and Googled, “Signs of a Soup-Mate.”  NEVER MIND!   (My best Gilda Radner impression below…..isn’t it amazing, the resemblance? She’s my comic soul-mate!)

Readers: Do you believe you have just one single, solitary Soul-Mate?

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Forget Renting Cars, Houses, Office Space, — Now You Can Rent Me!

for rent meIt all started when I recently read about Japan, (you can catch up on it too, right HERE) where you can hire someone to impersonate your relative, spouse, co-worker, or anyone else for that matter and keep them as LONG AS YOU WANT. Smart Asian single women are hiring male actors to portray the role of a lifetime – – – their loving husbands (and fathers of their existing children!) — until death do they part. (Or their lease is up!) In some cases, the children never find out their parent is just a loaner. Hmmm, shades of The Truman Show anyone?

I decided to Google and see if this bizarre social phenomenon was happening in the United States and to my surprise, I stumbled upon  Rent-a-Friend  which of course meant that I had to try it out immediately so I could blog about it pronto!

But first I had to think up a unique angle, a niche, some clever way to corner the market! If the current website offered only Friendship rentals, my mind exploded with other interesting ways to fill the relationship gap/void in people’s lives — all while maintaining a witty rhyming title, of course.

For instance there already exists “Rent-a-Gent-a” (a male escort service) and “Renta-Yenta” (a female nag and busybody errand runner) but is there such thing as “Renta-Accenta?” (Someone who comes to your home speaking only the foreign language of the country you’re about to travel to, so you’re already accustomed to their native tongue when you arrive?) I think not! But there’s an overwhelming demand for that service nowadays, wouldn’t you agree? As well as my other suggestions below….

Presenting My Ideas For Renting People While Still Maintaining Cutesie Rhymes!

Lease-a-Police-a: When your neighbor throws a loud, obnoxious party and you need to break it up, but real law-enforcement takes so long to arrive because they’re too busy catching actual killers. For extra $$, Lease-a-Police-a will come to your home (after halting the festivities next door) and perform a hot bachelorette striptease as well!

Lease-a-Justice-of-the-Peace-a: For all these Japanese people who are faking their marriage with the rental spouses, (see above) they’ll also need a fraudulent officiant to conduct the pretend ceremony, no?

Lease-a-Niece-a: Because sometimes you want to go shopping, get manis-pedis, and attend a fashion show WITHOUT the hormonal commitment of raising a complete daughter.

Lease-a-Piece-a: When you open the door, they ask . . . “So ya wanna piece of me?”

Lease-a-John Cleese-a: Alright, obviously I ran out of rhyming words at this point, but who couldn’t use a real life reenactment of Monty Python?

Charter-a-Martyr: For all those who have yet to experience what having a Jewish mother is like.

Charter-a-Self-Starter: Short of a maid, I can’t think of a personality type I’d rather rent!

Engage-a-Teenage-a: For the regretful but masochistic Empty-Nester! A week’s rental will last you a lifetime, trust me.

Hire-a-Crier: Afraid your funeral will be rather sparsely attended? These people will show up on time to bawl, weep, and suffer up a storm at the news of your loss. Your surviving friends will be duly impressed.

Hire-a-Liar: No longer will you need to perfect your phony cough when you call in sick to work. Liars will attest to your dismal health with your boss as well as get you out of all social commitments with full-proof alibis that begin with, “I’m with him right now and trust me, he’s certainly in no condition to _fill in the blank_ !”

Hire-a-Squire, a Vampire, an Umpire, a LiveWire, a Ball-of-Fire, or a Pacifier: Alright admittedly these all need a little more work, but have great potential.

A Loaner Moaner: Remember the neighbor who had the wild and noisy party (above) but didn’t invite you?? A loaner moaner will make them equally jealous by putting Meg Ryan to shame from THIS SCENE IN WHEN HARRY MET SALLY,  And bonus — you don’t even have to be at home to elicit your neighbor’s complete respect and admiration cuz she just keeps going and going….

“Don’t Borrow Sorrow From Tomorrow!”: This isn’t a relationship rental, but it’ll make a hell of a bumper sticker for a different business I may start.

UPDATE: As I continue to fine-tune my above quirky brainstorms, I went ahead and made my own profile for that more conventional “Rent-A-Friend” website and have already become a pal to at least a dozen outcasts, hermits, and wallflowers! I’ve been handsomely compensated to accompany a lonely retiree to dinner and a movie, cheer a man on in his first tennis match, (he lost) go on a cruise with a woman who gets seasick easily, (I held her hair) and feed a widower some brisket while reminiscing about his late wife. (Yes, I was also the Crier for Hire at their lovely memorial service.) But in each and every booking, inevitably (before my friendship appointment came to completion) I’d find something they said highly disagreeable, start a heated argument, and end things by storming off in a huff shouting, “And don’t bother accompanying me to the the exit, I’ll gladly see myself out!” thereby slamming the door behind me.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce my new (non-rhyming!) yet very sincere, FREE service service called simply, “Rent-a-Rival” —  because let’s face it . . . with a friend like me, who needs enemies?

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Shh! Secret Sketchy Scam School Secures Scholastic Students!

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Finally uncovered! This is it! This is where the best online Scammers all learn the tricks of their trade.  Let’s listen in on a classroom lesson in progress . . .

PROFESSOR: Alrighty, so this is Intro to Scheming 101, a freshman survey course specifically for online hoodwinks. If you’re looking for Credit Card Fraud or Elderly Duping, they’re not being offered this semester.  Let’s get started. The first rule of thumb for Facebook is that women are getting wiser.  No longer are they automatically accepting friend requests from handsome military officer types with profile pictures featuring an American flag background and holding a cute kitten. We think it’s because this just screams, “litter-box changing!” So now we’re recommending you become a well-built (inexplicably shirtless) widower with an eight-year-old son (brings out their maternal instinct, but not their diaper aversion) and have all of your interests related to mani/pedis.

PUPIL: What’s your opinion about just using the 3 B’s — busty, blonde, bikini–and scamming the men-folk?

PROFESSOR: If you can handle drag impersonations, go for it. Male Facebook users aren’t too picky these days. But we’re no longer advising stealing legit bosomy bombshell photos off of Google images because they’re cracking down on citing proper attribution. So if you wanted to avoid being sued, you’d need to state, “Hair Color by Clairol, Swimsuit by Nordstrom, and Body, Mind & Soul by Kate Upton.” It’s kinda a dead giveaway that it’s not really you.

PUPIL: Can you talk a little bit about hacking into their Facebook account and pretending to be them. I haven’t been able to quite understand what the advantages are to doing this?

PROFESSOR: Hijacking profiles? Well if you’re bored, it’s a ton of fun to make a crazy fake post about how all their smartypants kids are failing all their subjects and their daughter just got knocked-up. Or if they’ve been recently putting up 10th wedding anniversary weekend photos at a glitzy 5-Star hotel you could say, “OMG. Caught my husband in bed with housekeeping staff!” You might also unfriend all their followers so they look really unpopular. I saw a hand raised in the back. Yes?

PUPIL: So there’s no monetary gain with this impersonation shenanigan at all?

PROFESSOR: Absolutely not. Stick to Match.com for that. Here’s where you can screenshot someone else’s photos, hobbies, favorite foods, sexual preferences, and personality type results so when you show up on the actual date, ordering steak & lobster, and conveniently forgetting your wallet — they’ll be so upset at having to pay the bill, they won’t even notice you look nothing like who you said you were.

PUPIL: Yum!

PROFESSOR: Moving on to email scamming. Nothing Nigerian is getting any results these days. That part of the world has lost all public empathy for its exotic sob stories. Even if you’re heir to millions, they’re just not sending their bank account numbers. But we’re seeing great things with Netflix suspension notices. Use this exact phrasing, “Oops! We were unable to validate your billing information for the next subscription cycle so we are terminating your account unless you click here and immediately update your method of payment.” And don’t forget there are two “M’s” in immediately. Studies show that opening with “Oops!” makes you appear friendly AND professional yet just as innocent and well-meaning as a blue-haired grandma with a run in her pantyhose.

PUPIL: (rubbing hands greedily together) So once they click anything in that email, we’re home free?

PROFESSOR: Yep! You can simply reel ’em in hook, line & sinker. Which reminds me, there’s a consensus in our industry to drop the “Ph” on “Phishing” and just spell it the regular old fashioned way — “fishing,” so remember that on your upcoming vocabulary quiz.

PUPIL: What advice can you dispense for sending effective  e-cards?

PROFESSOR: First make sure it’s really their birthday and that your greeting has a hilariously sexy first line. And definitely make the recipient someone they adore on their contact list, so when they eagerly click to see the stupid punchline, our proprietary viral spyware will infect their operating system so fast, they’ll wish Hallmark was never invented. Or choose the option of turning them into one of the bots from the infamous Zeus family, thus utilizing malicious malware that will launch pop-up ads for porn sites in new windows all over their screen so they’ll be far too embarrassed to go to the police. Yes, question?

PUPIL: Is malware always malicious or can it sometimes become benevolent?

PROFESSOR:  Great question! Is there life after death? Okay so before I conclude today’s lesson, I’ll take a few more inquiries. Make ’em specific and crafty.

PUPIL: When implementing a travel scam, is there any way we can actually go on the exciting fantasy Bali vacation instead of them?

PROFESSOR: That’s big, really big. I’m recommending to faculty that you graduate early. Time for two more….

PUPIL: I’m really proud that we have the word “Artist” in our “Scam Artist” vocation title. Is there any way to set up some easels and have a creative display, showcasing our framed masterpieces after our midterm?

PROFESSOR: Ahhh what a brilliant way to bring more respect into our field! Last one….let’s see, you in the back with the gray flasher trench-coat on.

PUPIL: (opens coat to reveal dozens of binoculars) I’m selling invisible, high powered visual aids so we can all copy everyone’s answers on our final exam. These are the same expensive devices used to capture ATM passwords even if the target remembers to shield the keyboard with his hands. Normally $199, but students in this class only have to pay $49.99.

PROFESSOR: (pushes intercom) Security, would you kindly escort this unscrupulous cheating shyster out of my classroom immediately. And that’s immediately with two “M’s.”  Class is dismissed!

READERS: Have you ever fallen prey? Leave me a comment with the most innovative scam you’ve heard of so we can all be wary.

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