Listen up! If You Want More Readers, Just WHISPER!

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“Well shake it up baby … twist and Whisper!” Huh? Shhhhhhh, you’ve just entered The No-Shout Zone! Right HERE is an old perfume television commercial with the slogan, “If you want to capture someone’s attention, just whisper!”

And evidently our librarians knew what they were talking about, (and HOW to do their talking!) when they insisted we all speak in hushed tones — and thus eventually associate whispering with the pleasure of reading books. But did you know there’s now something called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) which is a very STRANGE phenomenon that has hundreds of women profiting from making online videos where they do nothing but seductively whisper as they role-play being flight attendants, hairdressers, party planners, eye doctors, and personal shoppers?

Now mind you, this is not supposed to elicit any kind of sexual response in us. Instead, it’s supposed to give a highly pleasant tingling or relaxing sensation like when you’d have a sleepover with a friend and the two of you would draw letters on each others backsides to guess what you were spelling. Some say it’s a “climax of the brain.” Okaaaaay….Here’s a much better explanation right HERE. But that depends on your definition of “better!” Crazy, right?

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO FINDS THIS KIND OF WHISPERING AS OBNOXIOUS AS FINGERNAILS ON A CHALKBOARD???

Forgive me for spoiling all your fun, but I can’t stand the way she forms those “wet” sounds with her mouth, her long pausing, (get on with it already!) and also the overly familiar way she behaves with her hairbrush. In general she’s bizarrely overly intimate with her listeners. My adverse reaction could possibly hearken back to grade school when Jenny Mayron would lean into my desk, cup her sweaty hand around my ear, (so the teacher couldn’t hear) and proceed to whisper some stupid secret that was completely obliterated by the disgusting feeling of her warm, moist, stale breath on my skin.

However an argument might be made that I’m just simply jealous of these Whispering Women because I cannot do what they do.  That’s right, according to my children, I lack the ability, and am utterly incapable of any discreet whispering.

In a movie theatre:

Me: (Whispering) Do you think he’s really dead? Or do you think he’s going to pop up later and attack his ex-wife? And will that be before or after he cuts off her child support?

Daughter: Do you think you could talk any louder? So next time the entire audience can hear you, and not just the six rows around us?

In a restaurant:

Me: (Whispering) Don’t look now but that kid from your football team who can’t catch a ball to save his life, just sat down three booths behind you.

Son: Oh my god, Mom. And you could be our announcer high up in the booth at our game without even using a loudspeaker!

So for the sake of getting some much needed practice with these skills, and also because I’d like to experience what it’s like to bring tingling pleasure to other people just by merely using my voice, I’ve decided that the following scenarios warrant whispering.

ROADSIDE

Me: (Whispering) Didn’t you see my brake lights? You teenagers shouldn’t even be allowed to drive. And it’s a brand new car! What are you going to do about this??!!?

Teen Driver: (On cellphone) Dad? I think I just rear-ended the Low-Talker from Seinfeld.

KARAOKE CONTEST

Me: (whispering Little Richard’s Song) 

We-eee-eeel….

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)
Don’t forget to say you will
Don’t forget to say, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah . . .
Judge: Okay that was just plain odd. But just in case — hope you recover soon from your laryngitis.
Being Proposed To
Me: (Whispering)  Yes, yes. Of course I’ll marry you. I just wanna shout it from the rooftops, “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with a wonderful guy!!”
Him: Eh?? Pardon me? Was that a yes or no?
Announcing Children’s Report Cards to Hard-of-Hearing Grandmother For Monetary Reimbursement
Me: (Whispering)  You wouldn’t believe the GPA your grandchildren all demonstrated this year in school.
Grandma: Young people today! It’s disgusting how much kissing, hugging, and slobbering over each other they do in front of others. That kind of behavior should never be rewarded! Hmmph.
Kids: Grandma! Come back. NOT PDA! OMG, Great time to perfect your whispering talents, Mom!
And lastly I’ll leave you with a party planner who makes me just want to slap her silly! Give a short listen right HERE and if you have any other reaction besides, “Speak up, Sister!” I wanna hear about it in the comments. Meanwhile, I’m giving a “Shout-out” to Marian the Librarian in Music Man and tonight I’m watching, “Old Yeller” and cranking up the volume!
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Dealing with a NON-Jealous Mate

jealousy-cause-and-cureYou may reread that headline and decide it’s probably a typo. Or you may think having a NON-jealous mate is actually a good thing! And that may be true except … when it’s not.

Bear with me as I relate the following conversation:

Me: So I had lunch today with my publisher, Jamie.

Him: Nice. Whadya order?

Me: Salad. You know . . . Jamie IS a unisex name. Aren’t you suspicious that my publisher is a guy? And feeling a bit concerned that I had lunch alone with a male?

Him: Nope.

Me: Well he is. And he’s actually VERY male.

Him: That’s nice. Glad to know my gender values books.

Now stop right there.  I know, I know. This illustrates he’s perfectly secure within himself. Also it shows he has a ton of faith and confidence in me and our relationship, trusting I’m not going anywhere.

But what does this say about his perception of my potential value and attractiveness? He doesn’t bat an eye that someone else might find me worthy of coveting! jealousy

Metaphor Time:  Every Friday I drag my overflowing trashcans out to the curb. I never worry someone will come by and flirt with my garbage when I’m not around, or try to take it for their own pleasure. And it’s not because I have a trusting relationship with my rubbish . . . well the recyclables maybe. But now consider this – – parked in my driveway is a shiny, new red Mazda. And you better believe I installed an alarm system on that baby!

Aha! What does this tell you? That’s why I just had to find out more. So I told my best friend to call our home phone several times a day and hang up when he answered.

Him: Darn telemarketers.

Seriously?? So I bought myself some beautiful flowers.

Him: That’s so nice that your older kids would send you an early mother’s day bouquet.

Grrrrrr. So I made a big production out of carrying in a mysterious brown wrapped package from the front porch late one night.

Him: Wow. Who’d guess Nordstrom delivers after midnight?

Ugh. So I secretly opened it in my closet, then intentionally left its contents (a lacy negligee with tags still on) out for him to stumble upon.

Him: Ha. Someone actually believes you could wear a size extra-Small.

That does it.

Me: Haven’t you been the least bit concerned over the past few days? And haven’t you seen the amount of friend requests I receive on Facebook from men who look wild with desire?

Him: Yes. I meant to tell you to stop posting those graphic pics of your brisket and brownies.

Me: Sheesh. What will it take for you to feel threatened? To fight over me? To challenge someone to a duel?

Him: (looks around) Is that last question directed at me or did Sir Lancelot just ride into the room?

Me: OMG! Well, would you at least rescue me if I was tied down to the railroad tracks and a speeding train was imminently approaching?

Him: North or Southbound? Sorry. Absolutely. Of course. No question.

Finally! I decided to stop (the hypothetical questions) while I was ahead. He didn’t need to know that (in my mind) the reason I was tied to those tracks was because Jamie, (my VERY manly publisher) had shouted in a fit of jealousy, “If I can’t have you, then nobody can have you!”

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I love hearing from you. Tell me if you get jealous or if your mate ever does?

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

How to Guide (and Chide) From the Other Side!

tumblr_static_cs_theothersideidentity-1If I can just get organized enough, I’ll be able to communicate with all six of my kids (and by communicate, I mean nag) well beyond the grave.

And so will you! Because any self-respecting, obsessive control freak will admit if they could be assured they’d continue to exert the same level of power and control over their loved ones after they’re gone, death will be a highly enjoyable experience!

I’ve figured out a way to do it with the written word!

I’ve actually always used my writing for this purpose. The night before any surgery or cross-country flights, I print out letters “to be opened in the event of my unexpected death” ensuring nothing is ever left unsaid.

Yep I take the phrase, “Any final requests?” quite literally and boy do I make a lot of them!

This isn’t a morbid thing to do when you consider people have issues with “lack of closure” that are so prevalent, they put many psychotherapists’ kids through college.

But most challenging is who will distribute my abundant quantity of heartfelt correspondence? I can just hear my sister lamenting, “Who has time to properly grieve for Stephanie? I’m delivering more letters to her offspring than a U.S. postal carrier on Valentine’s Day!”

And I can’t ask any of my friends or neighbors to do it. One is already tasked (the moment she hears I’m dearly departed) to rush over, shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows, and lay my body out in some kind of Marilyn Monroe position. Another has committed to checking all toilets are properly flushed, sinks scrubbed, and confirming there’s no dog hair on the living room white couch. Finally, the busybody across the street guarantees she’ll make sure my children won’t wear white if my funeral is held after Labor Day.

That’s right – I’ve got Glamour magazine, Martha Stewart, Emily Post, Gladys Kravitz, and The Grim Reaper all rolled into one!

But now guess what?  We can all breathe a sigh of relief and check “Interventions From The Afterlife” off our To-Do lists because I discovered it’s as simple as composing well-timed emails and companies like THIS will take care of everything for you!

That’s right –there are online services that will facilitate sending your next of kin hauntingly beautiful messages (that you write!) postmortem.

My new plan is simple — anticipate all six of my children’s upcoming happy milestones, as well as all their problems, issues, decisions, shortcomings, downfalls, emergencies, divorces, illnesses, job losses, etc. (I can skillfully do this because I hold an advanced degree in Catastrophizing) and then pour out my unique motherly advice, suggestions, tips, guidelines, instructions, admonishments (And because I’m Jewish — brisket recipes and guilt!) to fill up their inboxes during all future appropriate moments.

But with this new age solution comes an age-old problem, namely money. Costs for these emailing services get calculated per word and that will never work for me. Mind you, Adele’s popular song; “Hello From The Other Side” doesn’t begin to hold a candle to the amount of one-sided conversation I intend to send through the years.

I’ll never be able to afford to speak my mind!

So because I plan to remain ever the frugal mother after my departure, (and until these companies offer coupons!) I’ve come up with an alternate no-cost option. It involves just relying on the simple every day world for crucial communication. You know, like “signs” that hold special significance?

I’ve even devised elaborate codes (with a witty deciphering key included) so now family will be able to interpret all my many future messages 100% FREE.

Examples:

If a Crow Soars Overhead = Work is for the “birds,” son. Tell your boss you need a vacation and book a “flight” to Hawaii to relax soon!

If a Train Passes By = “Track” down your sister right now for goodness sake, and take her to lunch before your relationship totally “derails.”

If the Cubs Get Into the World Series = Don’t even think about going to “2nd base” with that jerky new guy you’re dating!

If Your Apartment Gets Burglarized and then a Cop (which Starts with the Letter C) puts Handcuffs on the Robber’s Wrists = My diamond bracelet (Yes, the one you always begged me to wear to school dances) is now safely hidden inside your bottle of Vitamin C, which I knew you’d never take.

If The Sun Rises = Always remember your bright mother will love (and nag!) you for all eternity.

And on and on it will go (I have a completed ‘dictionary’ with equivalent meanings all spelled out!) so my kids are guaranteed to spend the rest of their dying days walking around observing stuff that contains messages from me — Yep, they’ll never rest in peace!

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

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

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

Hanging up posters like this will be totally ineffective.

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

10 Tips To Detect Cell-Charger Foul Play

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe, but somehow I doubt it.

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

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

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

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

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

Perspective.

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

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

Where are you on the Sliding Scale of Expectations?

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

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

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

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

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Grounded From Your Own Cellphone?!

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

Never say “NEVER,” kids!

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

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

LIFE WITHOUT A CELLPHONE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 . . .

Template: Santa’s Apology to Jewish Children PLUS A FAVOR!

Shalom Jewish Kinder,

Oy vey, I’m terribly sorry you’re not getting that latest meshuganah fad hatching toy but as you know, you’re not on my gift distribution route — so when I fly by on my sled, sadly I must pass over your house. (Perhaps this is the real meaning of why you celebrate Passover?)  Please know however that it’s the thought that counts and I think about you often. I also think about your poor, exhausted parents who must come up with a new and exciting gift on each of the 8 nights of Chanukah. That’s EIGHT! Non-Jewish children are also feeling slighted they don’t get to stretch out Christmas for a week like you do. A great solution to these dilemmas would be that on just a few nights (let’s say an even six) your gifts will be things like socks, underwear, toothbrushes, and those cool refrigerator magnets the local pizza place gives out. Thank you for your understanding and maybe in your next lifetime we’ll be closer buddies.

Happy Chanukah (or however you choose to spell that)

Santa Claus

BUT WHY STOP THERE?

Template: The Tooth Fairy is Switching Careers!

Hey there Toothless Tot!

Since I’ve now surpassed the age of Tinkerbell, I’m realizing in my line of work that having a good memory is important. Wait, who am I older than again? Anyhow tooth be told, I’m no longer collecting your pearly whites, but instead I’m into recycling glass and plastics so I can save up for a dream cruise to Europe. Each time you bring the bin out by the curbside every Thursday morning, I’ll leave you one of your old teeth under your pillow. When the new guy takes over my old position, you’ll be all set to start raking in the bucks again. It’s no skin off my teeth to make this offer and it’s a win/win for us both. Whadya say?

Also the Easter Bunny just texted me. The crux of the message was that Halloween infringes a lot on the whole candy concept, so he’s now gonna fill baskets with carrots instead. There’s an option for celery, but if he doesn’t hear a real strong preference, it’ll default back to those orange sticks that make your eyesight better.

Wistfully Your Winged Wonder,

The Former Tooth Fairy

AWW, WHAT THE HECK,  IT’S WORTH A TRY . . .

Template: A Terrible Crime Has Taken Place To Someone You Depend On!

To The Family Who Is Accustomed To Everything Being Done For Them,

Recently you may have observed that the contents of your refrigerator have dwindled down to eight fuzzy strawberries, a jar of mint jelly, and a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda. You may have also noticed your clothes not getting magically folded and neatly stacked in your drawers, but instead confined to a laundry basket downstairs. And what about the empty toilet paper dispensers, you ask? And the dust piling up on the piano? Why are there no more Post-It reminders surfacing on the front door, so you don’t forget to grab your pre-packed lunch as you slam out of the house each morning?

There’s a tragic reason for all these changes. We have kidnapped “The Labor Leprechaun” and are holding her captive in the lint trap of the dryer. Let this strange bulletin also serve as a cryptic ransom note. If you want order to be restored in your home once more — beginning this evening, a homemade dinner must be cooked (complete with table set/cleared and dishes washed/dried) nightly if you ever want to see another vacuumed carpet. Do not attempt to alert the authorities at Good Housekeeping magazine, or you’ll never see your beloved Labor Leprechaun again.

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!

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. 

Wizard of Oz Utilizes Craigslist

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FOR SALE:

  • Beautiful Red Sparkly Shoes, size 8. $15. Or trade for a hot-air balloon ride or strong dog leash?  Beautiful ruby beading. A little scuffed during a house-dropping incident, but plenty of wear left. Great for costume if you’re dressing up as me. Just don’t announce, “It’s too late. There they are and there they’ll stay!” after you try them on —  or some mean, old bitty might follow you around during an entire Halloween party. Contact Dorothy.
  • Poppies: Brightly colored. Some with snowflakes. Excellent cure for insomnia. $4 per bunch. Contact Oz Florist.
  • Farmhouse: $159K. Built 1939, 1800 square ft. 3 BR/2BA comes with pigs, horses, sheep and cows. Broken storm cellar, but house doubles as an airplane. You’ll find a few comps but honestly there’s no place like this home! Contact Kansas Realty.
  • Stallion: $200. Gallops, Trots fine. Will trade for a horse of a different color. See Guardian of the Gate, Emerald City. Bell out of order — please knock.

WANTED:

  • Curtain Panel or Drapes: Fabric that blends into the background so people will pay no attention to it. Large enough to conceal grown man maneuvering levers and switches. Contact ME, because, because, because, because because, because….because of the wonderful things I do!

LOST:

FOUND:

  • Broom: On streets of Emerald City. Must identify or we’re giving it to Burt, the affable Chimney Sweep in Mary Poppins, next soundstage over. Contact any Oz Janitor.

JOBS:

  • Is your fave color yellow? Are you a brick layer with tons of experience with grouting. Apply in person. Just follow the . . . other applicants.
  • Hiring Surgeons! Experienced in both Brain and Heart transplants. Two patients prepped and ready to go. Must fly here as Heart patient sets off metal detectors and Brain patient claims “it’s the last straw” for airport security. Contact Miss Gulch, R.N.
  • Makeup Artist Needed. Tired of green complexion and exaggerated nose. Ready for a whole new look that doesn’t necessarily compel men to pull me into the nearest broom closet, but still bewitching in bed. Also miracle concealer for these undereye bags and droopy chin? Is it too much to hope for defying gravity?  Contact Elphaba.
  • Lyricist: Needed to change words from “Ding-Dong the witch is dead!” to “Knock-Knock and relax, the witch is just injured.” It’s kinda ruining my job security. Contact: Avon Lady.

COMMUNITY:

  • Square Dance Social: This Saturday night, 7 pm. At the end of that famous road. Sponsored by The Lullaby League and The Lollypop Guild.

PERSONALS:

  • Happy Birthday Dorothy!  Love Uncle Henry. PS. Hurry home, Auntie Em is sick. Very sick.
  • Single White Male Fortune Teller looking to meet female psychic or medium. Owns working crystal ball and I’m a Wiz around the house. Contact Professor Marvel.
  • Surrender Dorothy!  From Guess Who?
  • Munchkins — better watch your teeny tiny backs!  Sincerely, Oompa Loompas

 

Betcha you’ve got some other clever ones? Leave me a “Wizard of Oz” Classified Ad of your own below — C’mon, it’s fun!

Throwing a party?  Did you know I’m a retired event planner with some “unique” invitation tips published HERE. Say Hi to me in the comments section over there so I can connect the dots to you back here!

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

 

 

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

Do You Have Blog Blur? Take This Quiz!

fullsizerender-37BLOG BLUR – noun. The insidious and dangerous blurring of the boundaries between your Blogging life and the real world. “My husband cited “Blog Blur” as his reason for divorcing me. The judge gave him the house”

*Choose the answer that best describes how you feel about the question.

1. When You talk about individuals named,  “LivelyTwist” and “Morning Grouch” and “Surviving Butterfly” and “GlueStickMum” and “Writey McWriteface” and “Bitter Ben” or “Shallow Reflections,”  your family and friends assume you are referring to:

a)  New Muppet Characters that are making a debut on Sesame Street  this week  to teach kids about Feelings

b)  Some very troubled individuals in the new Twelve Step Anonymous program you recently attended

c)  Very real (and talented) Bloggers that you often have communications with

2.  A member of your household lost their job. A good friend recently started a steamy love affair. Your child got a C- on a History exam. A second cousin (who’s a painter) named her newborn baby, “Hunter Green.”  All of these people have this in common:

a) They call you for support, encouragement, understanding or applause.

b) They communicate their latest happenings with you in clever holiday newsletters

c) They advise you that this recent information is copyrighted, trademarked, or patented and under no circumstances are you to blog about it!

3.  When you complain about having trouble with your dashboard, your significant other:

a) Makes an appointment with the Toyota dealer to have the warning lights and the speedometer looked at.

b)  Looks puzzled regarding this new sport of yours and tells you to stick with a snowboard, surfboard, or even a hoverboard.

c) Immediately logs into WordPress.com and says triumphantly, “Well, here’s your problem right here.  You’re blogging too damn much!”

4. A Daily Prompt is:

a) An intriguing word or scenario that motivates you to write a creative new blog post

b) My body’s signal that I need chocolate

c) A note I leave on the dishwasher for other household members that says, “Empty Me Now!”

5.  If someone inquires about Stats:

a) You smile, bat your lashes, and tell them yours are, “36-23-36, of course.

b) You rattle off the number of TD’s, Interceptions, Fumbles and Passes Complete for the Seattle Seahawks and loudly assert they should have won the Super Bowl in 2015.

c) Whip out a computerized print-out, a yellow highlighter, and show the person how many hits your blog is currently receiving from Egypt.

6. Someone asks you to please stop following them. Do you? . . .

a) Apply the brakes and remember that in driver’s training you learned it should be one car length per every 10 mph.

b) Remind them that it’s a free country and if you want to wear skinny jeans with a paisley plaid flannel shirt and a backwards baseball cap, you will.  They don’t have a monopoly on fashion!

c)  Immediately click the “Unfollow” button on your blog.  You’ll show them!  They were lucky you gave them the time of day in the first place.

7.  When someone asks if you are happy with the new Post, you:

a)  Nod and offer to give them the name of the contractor that built the entire side fence around your house.

b)  Tell them, “Absolutely not, the price of stamps these days is outrageous.”

c) Launch into a diatribe about how many drafts it took you and how nobody left a single Like or a Comment.

8.  When you remind your kids to Share, you actually mean:

a)  You’ve given them extra cookies in their lunchbox and they should pass them out to friends.

b)  They should raise their hand and give an opinion when a teacher asks, “Class, what do you think?”

c) “For god’s sake, post a link to my latest blog on your Instagram and Facebook accounts or you’re losing your cellphone for a week!”

9. After you Tag, you:

a) Shout, “You’re it!” or “Gotcha last!”

b) Wipe your fingerprints off the can of spray paint so nobody traces the upcoming election graffiti back to you.

c) Hope and pray that every search engine in the world brings up your blog first

10.  Someone has asked you what kind of Views you have?  You:

a)  Say there are some decent ones from your backyard but your home would be worth much more if you could see the ocean from your bedroom window.

b)  Politely state that neither candidate is fit to run this country.

c)  Spout off an embarrassingly low number but tell them you’re working on publicizing your blog more (even offering prizes!) so you’re sure it will grow to be thousands.

* SCORING: Mostly A’s – Congratulations! You’re able to compartmentalize and keep both aspects of your life in order.  Mostly B’s – Your Worlds Are Colliding just like George Costanza in Seinfeld.  Mostly C’s – You have Blog Blur so bad, even Extra Strength Mindex won’t wipe away your confusion.  GET SOME HEALTHY SEPARATION RIGHT NOW!  (Right after you leave me a comment below!)

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

From HELLoween to HalloWEAN!

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Halloween time has become hell for my family so I’m weaning us off of celebrating. Here are 12 reasons from previous years to justify why I’m doing this. Note: They’re listed in the order they always occur on the calendar.

September 23 —  While shopping in Costco, an innocent little voice whispers in my ear, “Be organized this year and buy this economy, ginormous fun-sized variety bag of candy!” And then (because Costco doesn’t sell matching sized bags of discipline or willpower) I pull in the driveway and a much louder voice shouts, “Kids, get downstairs this instant and hide this bag of candy from your mother until Oct. 31. And don’t cave, no matter what!”

September 28 — My period begins = The Four C’s begin. (Coercing, Coaxing, Convincing, and Cajoling) But the children stay strong and refuse to tell me where the bag of sugar is stashed. Courageous kids I’ve raised.

September 29 — I ransack the house.”Listen,” I say. “I’m a grown-up. I don’t have to take this nonsense from you brats. I can just get in my car and buy more cancer, err candy.” When I return from Walmart, my sister waits with outstretched arms. I shamefully hand the sweet package over to her and cry, “Put this where you know I won’t come across it.” I also hint that she should hide all my children as well.

Oct. 1 — The annual masquerade party invitation arrives from my well-meaning sister-in-law. Immediately the “S or S” dilemma begins. “Spooky 0r Sexy?” Should I be something frightening that either grosses people out and scares them off?  Or something seductive that (let’s face it) will be even more terrifying! The costume companies have solved this issue by sexualizing everything creepy anyhow. Witches, ghosts, devils, skeletons, mummies, brides of frankenstein are all sold with garter belts and black fishnet stockings.

Oct. 15 — My kids begin to pester me for unusual items to construct creative (and by creative I mean elaborate and expensive) homemade costumes so they can win their school’s contest. Why don’t I have plastic butterflies, metal rivets, black pearls, gold spray paint, white feathers, a sarape, and a pirate hat in our garage? What was I thinking tossing out the cardboard box the new refrigerator came in?  Am I the meanest mom EVER?  Yes, I think I’ll own up to that. It’s a great costume idea, actually!

Oct. 16 — I start tossing out suggestions for no fuss, no muss (cheap!) costumes. Note: they all hinge heavily on wordplay. 1. Wear a fancy dress and draw whiskers on your face. You’re a “Party Animal!” 2. Don’t shave and carry around bowls you threw on the wheel in ceramics class (You’re “Hairy Potter!”)  3. Glue a bunch of sponges and rolls of paper towels on your body. You’re “Self-Absorbed!” 4. Write, “Yay Ceiling!” on a tee-shirt and carry pom-poms. You’re a “Ceiling-Fan!” 5. Wear really dark pants and shirt and stick postage stamps all over your clothes, threaten people a lot. You’re “Blackmail!”

Oct. 24 — We only have one week left. Why isn’t our house decorated like the rest of the neighborhood?

Eldest Daughter: Can we at least stick pumpkin decals on our door and hang spiderwebs in our trees?

Me: Sorry kids, we’re Jewish remember? And Halloween was originally a Paganistic holiday and we’re against Pagans.

Youngest Son: But they’re so cute waddling their black and white bodies.

Youngest Daughter:  Are we against Madagascar and Happy Feet too? Those movies are also about penguins.

Oct. 29 — While doing a once-a-year, heavy-duty, deep housecleaning, I find BOTH large packages of candy inside the vacuum in place of its usual bag. As I flush the last empty wrapper down the toilet, I realize I have an unbelievable bellyache — but if I recover in time, I’m thinking I can just go to my sister-in-law’s party dressed as an Insulin Shot.

Oct. 31 — Replenish candy at supermarket at 5 pm. The doorbell rings incessantly, triggering my dog’s ADHD.

Oct. 31, 5:15 pm.  — Place sign on door, “Sorry, out of Candy. Please don’t egg house while I’m at a 12-step meeting finding a sponsor.”

Nov. 1 — Hide kid’s pillowcases of Trick-or-Treat loot from them so they can’t eat it without asking me for permission. Think this over. Request they hide it from me instead, but this time somewhere I’ll really NEVER find it!

Nov. 2 — Get a strong urge to finally fold the 8 baskets of clean clothes that have been cluttering laundry room since last Halloween. And BINGO! Now I have to Google, “Dentists who weigh your trick-or-treat candy and buy it back from you for five bucks a pound.”

3 weeks before next year’s Halloween — Decide that it’s really a pretty good holiday after finding what my children made:

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Leave me a comment about this and if you can’t think of anything to say, tell me your favorite costume!!

 

 

25 Things To Do In Bed That Are Non-Sexual But Still Intimate!

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For the sake of this list, let’s presume there are some very good reasons why you’re looking to implement it. Let’s also assume you’ve already thought up basic cuddling/snuggling and watching movies. Great! Now it’s time to depart into some odd, quirky, playful, and unique little activities that may not have occurred to you simply because you’re not me.  Without further ado . . .

  1. Play Truth or Dare with one another.
  2. Plan a vacation just by talking. A real one, or a dream one, doesn’t matter.
  3. Take turns drawing on each other’s back. Start with letters. If you’re good at guessing those, advance to words. Slip in a few erotic words but when he guesses them, tell him he’s wrong and accuse him of having a dirty mind. Advance to sketching actual pictures on each other’s backs. Don’t forget to sign and date your portrait just as all artist’s do. Note: Do not auction off his back in an art gallery.
  4. *Use the flashlight on your phone (assuming everyone brings their cells to bed download-9these days!  And if you do, check THIS OUT!  ) to make cool shadows on the ceiling with your hands/fingers. Bonus if you can create witches or goblins which lead into this next one —
  5. *Tell each other your best campfire ghost stories. You do NOT need S’mores for this.
  6. Have an old fashioned pillow fight.
  7. Read aloud from the same book to one another. Alternating paragraphs. Use dramatic voice tone. Resist the thought that this is how you used to get your stubborn children to enjoy the act of reading. But it backfired and now they hate it.
  8. *Sing, hum, or whistle a few notes and challenge the person to guess the song. Your own “Name That Tune!”
  9. Share a list of pet peeves (it’s okay if it includes being in bed with someone but not getting any sex)
  10. Practice mind-reading skills. Concentrate hard and work on thinking of a number between 1-20 and the other person guesses. Then test your soul-mate connection by transmitting the number “69” instead.
  11. Have a staring contest. The prize is a massage for the person who doesn’t blink or look away.
  12. *Jump on the bed!  (Seriously? What are you, five??)
  13. 12. Here’s the real number 12. Brush or braid each other’s hair. Don’t imagine lice.
  14. Give one another a very bizarre survey. Ask questions like, “What’s your favorite type of flying insect? Do you prefer salted or unsalted butter? Which is worse, being hungry or thirsty or nauseas?” After you get through those basic questions, start on the bizarre ones.
  15. Share your bucket lists. (Shovel ’em all out!)
  16. *Foot massages. Skip this if someone can’t stand the thought of touching anyone’s toes. Also pass on this if one of you has a foot fetish, though how that can possibly be I will never know. (Note: I did not think up this one)
  17. Tickle fest. Find the spots you are both the most vulnerable. File this info away for future use.
  18. Shave her legs. OMG I am so completely joking about this one. But would you believe some male folk are not. Click HERE and read #2 on their list. But come back here and finish mine!
  19. Look at old photo albums together. Make fun of how his mother wears her hair.
  20. Play the “What’s Poking Me In The Back?” game. Best done in pitch darkness or eyes closed and using distinct grooming objects like combs, toothbrushes, but not razors because it might lead to #18.
  21. Meditate (or just deep breathe) together. Practice inhaling something you want more of, like sex. And exhaling something you wish would leave your life. I once exhaled the lice from my daughter’s hair.
  22. Do art together. Yes, in bed. I don’t mean the Patrick Swayze and Demi scene from the movie Ghost, unless you have a potter’s wheel and clay under your bed and he can hum that Righteous Brothers song. See #8. No, I mean those terrific adult coloring books which surely you’ve seen because they are literally on every cashier’s checkstand now. Okay not the artsy fartsy type? Fine. Play hangman. Note: Playing Tic-Tac-Toe is liable to lead to #16 and the Toe Hater won’t be happy.
  23. Play this game. I have no idea what it’s called, but it’s intimate. Have your partner close his eyes and extend his arm. With your fingers, lightly touch/tap/crawl up the inside of his arm starting from his wrist. He has to shout “Stop” when he thinks you are exactly on the crook of the inside of his elbow. You’ll laugh when you see how far off he is. But stay in the relationship anyhow.
  24. Explore “too bad you’re missing that special gene” challenges like A) Who cannot download-10trill their R’s when speaking? (trying to do this has become the bane of my existence and the amusement of many)  B) Who cannot curl their tongue into a sideways roll-up? C) Who puts their left or right thumb on top when clasping hands? D) Who has attached ear lobes? E) Who can encircle their own wrist using just their pinky and thumb?  F) Who can take their thumb and excruciatingly bend it all the way backward, touching the wrist on their same hand?
  25. After the extreme pain of the ridiculous double-jointed thumb task above, the conversation might veer into S & M (sadomasochism). But no, you still may NOT have sex. Instead think of other things to add to this novel list until you both get bored and fall asleep, which is the most practical and intimate thing you should be doing in bed anyhow.

*Credit for these goes to my fiancé!

Go ahead and Hate me here but please come “Like” me on Facebook! Just Click HERE

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

Woman Inserts Herself Into Old Television Shows!

 

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Submitted for your approval . . . One Mr. Henry Bemis, thrilled to be a library squatter with zillions of books to read and nobody to bother him as the rest of humanity is wiped out in nuclear war. While a Ms. Stephanie Lewis simultaneously climbs into her bed, (a mistress upon a mattress) ecstatic for a night without children to disturb her sleep. On this particular evening, menopause strikes Ms. Lewis with a vengeance — hot flashes, night sweats, and a bad case of insomnia wreaking havoc as she also hears loud snoring sounds, though clearly her husband disintegrated. It’s a dimension of sight, a dimension of sound, a dementia of mind, as Ms. Lewis has the sudden realization that no zzzzzz’s await her. In an ironic and eerie twist, Just as Mr. Bemis drops and breaks his precious reading glasses, the camera zooms in on Ms. Lewis catching up on some light chick-lit reading until she gets drowsy. Because anything is possible in The Twilight Zone.

The Brady Bunchbrady_bunch_hawaii

“Here’s the story of a lively lady who is joining three lovely girls all hair of gold. She’s not their sister, not their mother, because she’s obviously too old! Till the one day this woman invites herself over for lunch, because she knew it was much more than a hunch. And that’s the way Stephanie Lewis moves in with the The Brady Bunch!” Just in time for their 3-part Hawaiian vacation trip (Why not? It’s the most glamorous of their filming locations) Stephanie experiences some strange mishaps due to a Brady Island Curse: A tarantula climbs into her beach-bag. She disappears under the water while surfing.A football gets thrown at her nose. Her hair turns orange. She goes to the prom with Davy Jones. She gets the chicken pox. She contracts laryngitis. She can’t stop exclaiming, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” even with the laryngitis.

Gilligan’s Island

“The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle. With Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire and his Wife. The Movie Star, Professor and Stephanie…..here on Gilligan’s Isle!” Stephanie knocked off dear, sweet, little Mary Ann. Was it for her coconut cream pies or because she coveted her flirty shorty shorts?It can’t be both because cream pies = stretchy yoga pants.

Seinfeld

Stephanie celebrates Festivus, calls George Costanza “Art Vandelay” then tells Kramer, “These pretzels are making me thirsty.” She confesses to Elaine, “The Dingo ate my baby.” The show reaches an exciting climax with Stephanie telling Jerry her name is Mulva. Yes, it is an episode about nothing.

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The Fonz admits he has a secret wife named Stephanie whom he hides in a closet behind his leather jackets because she’s uncool.  Surprising the live audience, Stephanie leaps out with both thumbs up, gives a throaty, “aaaaayyyyy!’ then rides off on Henry Winkler’s motorcycle.

Charlie’s Angels

Stephanie spends the entire episode on speakerphone with Charlie frantically pleading with him to let her work in his detective agency but wearing concealer and corrective foundation instead of a bikini. Meanwhile, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith beg Bosley to hire Kate Jackson back because she wasn’t such a pain-in-the-ass co-star.

The Flintstones

Wilma, Betty, and newcomer to Bedrock, Stephanie go around shouting “Charge!” (Just because I always wanted to do that.)

The Partridge Family

Stephanie can’t sing and it comes out she’s only on this episode to kiss teen heartthrob David Cassidy and tell him, “I think I love you.”

Bewitcheddownload-8

Stephanie magically turns into Samantha for a day and points out that two different actors (both named Dick) played the role of her husband Darin, but nobody (except her) seems to notice, care about, or remember the major switcheroo.

Friends

Stephanie and the gang sit around drinking coffee from oversized mugs and reminisce about past Thanksgivings.  When an old boyfriend accuses her of cheating on him, Stephanie cleverly shouts, “We were on a break!!”

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Stephanie, (along with gal pal Ethel Mertz) loses her passport, gets locked in a freezer, sets her watch backwards instead of forward and misses a dinner party, gets a lobster red sunburn, diets down to a size 2 to be in a show, schemes to get her son a raise but instead gets him fired, accidentally overdoses herself on cold medication, thinks her ex-husband is trying to kill her, and pretends she’s fluent in a foreign language so her future mother-in-law will like her. Oh wait, these aren’t Lucy Ricardo stunts, this is Stephanie’s actual life.

So what’s your favorite “older” television series and have you ever imagined being in the cast?

P.S. I am super excited to announce that my very first collaborative humor writing with my real (not fictional) son just got published this very weekend right HERE.

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

5 Ways I’m Creating 100% Viral Content!

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I’ve recently hit on the magic formula! And because you’re probably slightly distrustful of me and thinking the title of this post is “click-bait,” (so it will go viral itself!) I plan to share everything I’m doing with you as well.

You’re welcome.

But first an observation. George Orwell was mistaken. He said we’d all be terrified that our every move would be watched and listened to — that our privacy would be seriously invaded. Wrong! We’re actually upset that the world isn’t paying more attention to us. We want to be sought after online (even stalked) and we want our words to go viral!

After much research on how to orchestrate it, here are my top 5 tips:

5. When you see something go viral, duplicate it, but with an unexpected twist.

Examples:

4. Nostalgia is inherently popular. People love to reminisce about their past. Therefore the headshot with my Farrah Fawcett hairstyle (taken Aug, 2016) will do the trick every time.

3. Evoke a Strong Emotion! Examples of posts that will elicit the 5 recommended emotions.

  • SHOCK/SURPRISE – “Snopes verified! Woman with Farrah Fawcett Hairstyle who uses “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” shampoo, owns pet rocks, quotes The Fonze, and disco dances to Donna Summer, refuses to see the original Star Wars movie!”
  • ANGER – Start a rumor that the last of the Tab and Freska cans are being pulled from the shelves.
  • FEAR – Twinkies are being discontinued too. For real this time.
  • SADNESS – All online kittens are confirmed stuffed, plush toys.
  • TRUST – Obviously, just write anything that begins with “Trust Trump . . . “ Never mind, I misread that one. The emotion we’re supposed to elicit is LUST. Back with some racy porn headlines soon!

2.  Turn everything into some kind of a list. Nobody gets turned on by long, hard paragraphs that are difficult to penetrate. (Hey, that kinda sounds like a good porno headline!) So always write Top 10’s or pros/cons, multiple choices, or compare and contrast things, i.e. “10 Ways a Marriage is Similar to a Divorce,” etc.

The point is make sure there’s lots of sterile white space everywhere so you trick people into believing they’re not really reading, but are instead lounging around in a hospital.

 And now my top tip for becoming viral

1.  Respecting Your Privacy. When you write something and post it or send it out, be sure and issue this disclaimer: “This is for your eyes only. I’ll absolutely die of embarrassment if this gets out. Thank you!”

Being a hypochondriac, when I first heard the word “viral,” I thought “OMG! I better take Echinacea and vitamin C.” Now that I know how much fun it is, I want to try and go Bacterial next!

Good luck to us all! (And please don’t even think of sharing this with anyone. This is an exclusive for Little Miss Menopause’s followers only!)

PS. If none of this works for you, then there was a typo in my subject title, and it was supposed to say, “Vital” and not “Viral.”  Sorry!

Have you ever gone viral?  Did life change?  Do you have a REAL tip for going viral? 

 

 

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!!!

no-rrespassing

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.

.

typewriter-wedding-guest-book-1

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)

 

 

 

10 Commenting Styles and What They Obviously Reveal About You!

FullSizeRender (31)This blog has not been feeling well lately (mentally) so I took it to a very renowned, highly regarded Blogchologist for a few therapy sessions. It spent some time on her couch while she asked some leading questions, gave it the inkblot test, and then formulated her opinion on every aspect of its personality, including all the comments it has received in the 2.5 years of its existence. I thought I’d pass on her analysis of all your reader commenting styles. For what it’s worth.

The 10 categories and descriptions below are mine, but her feedback is in RED.

  1. THE OVERLY FAMILIAR COMMENTER – Calls me Lil’ Miss, Missy Meno, or just “Hey Steph!” Prone to mentioning childhood memories, inside jokes, sexual asides, or telling me last night’s dinner sucked. These are obviously readers who know you well in real life but are feeling neglected and like they must resort to commenting on your posts to have any significant communication with you. They also are rather possessive and want to make it clear to the rest of your readers that they (and ONLY they) are privy to whether your hair really looks that strange in reality. (I can confirm it does.)
  2. THE CLEVER COMMENTER – Leaves remarks so hilariously witty, my original post seems a tad boring in comparison. Says things like, “Little Miss Menopause, huh? Does that mean you’re taking a short break from guys?  Men – Oh – Pause. Get it? Anyhow, I like your blog, but I’m hoping you’re not just some (hot)flash in the pan!” This type of commenter actually isn’t all that clever. They’re relying on silly humor, with the goal of emulating your redundant, insipid wordplay style so they might catch your eye as a possible future Guest Blogger on your site. They may even go so far as to leave some poison-pen writing in the hopes that you will fall deathly ill and they can log-in, (as you) and take your entire WordPress blog over. Why they would want to waste time doing this, I have no clue – but it might be an improvement.
  3. THE GENERIC WORDS COMMENTER – Always writes, “This was very funny. I liked it.” Even if I’ve written a meaningful post about putting my dog to sleep. Actually I analyzed your entire blog and not once have you written anything that could be called meaningful. Anyhow, this type of commenter feels sorry for you and is just being polite. Plain and simple.
  4. THE CORRECTOR COMMENTER – Their comments contain perfect grammar, punctuation, and are devoid of typos. They’ll point out that I’ve written “hear” when I meant “here.” Or that I lapsed into past tense when I started out in present. In short, if I want to hear from them, I need to screw up. Former English teachers or just extremely anal individuals with tendencies to not see the forest for the trees. If this is a parent and their child brings home a straight A report card, they’ll ask why there weren’t any  A +’s ?
  5. THE TITLE COMMENTER – They’ll leave a quick remark pertaining only to the subject line and possibly the first sentence. Business-like individuals who believe time = money. They have a quota of comments to leave and you’re just another cog blog on the wheel.
  6. THE TIT FOR TAT COMMENTER – They keep track of the frequency and the length of comments I’ve left on their own blog, and then make sure they do something very comparable. If I get too busy, they get too busy as well. These Tits for tat commenters have longterm resentments regarding their mothers for not breastfeeding them as infants.  
  7. THE COMPLEMENTARY COMMENTER – I can do no wrong in their eyes. Every word is a flattering adjective (brilliant & genius!) and the phrase “constructive criticism” sends shudders down their spine. You can spot these People Pleasers a mile away and often they will try to compensate for The Corrector Commenter by saying things like, “I didn’t find your changing from 1st person narration to 3rd person in the middle of a paragraph to be distracting at all.” They have a high need for approval and to be liked by every blogger they meet. Even someone like you.
  8. THE LINK-LEAVER COMMENTER – They’ll say, “That totally reminded me of this!” and then suddenly I have hyperlinks galore. It’s one thing if it’s pertinent, they’re proud of writing it, and they just want to share. But often it’s for monetary gain like for an online prostitute. Your writing could conceivably remind people of hookers, but it’s unlikely since your opening paragraph never has a good hook. Nevertheless, these are the people in society who will drop a piece of trash on the lawn with a garbage can two feet away. 
  9. THE ANONYMOUS COMMENTER – They mysteriously creep into the comments section during the wee hours of the morning and end their cryptic remarks with “Guess Who?” These are the people who keep “Your Secret Pal” notecard companies in business. They’re the ones who donate to charities and need zero credit or accolades. They’re also the guys who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp. And the ram in the rama lama ding dong.  We see these people in our office around age 45 for an identity crisis.
  10. THE NON-COMMENTER – They’re out there because I see their names by the thousands on my follower’s list and they’ll occasionally venture out to click “like” on a post, but never so much as a “LOL” gets typed. They must be very shy. Shy? That’s the least of their issues. These are the most disturbed members of our blogosphere. Often repressed, suppressed, and fraught with sexual dysfunction. Or otherwise suffering from:

Like I said, please take this analysis strictly at face value because personally I think it’s just a bunch of psychoBloggle. 

And now….YOUR comments? 😉

Obvious | The Daily Post
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/obvious/

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.

Are You Smarter Than Menopause? (Take This Fun Quiz!)

windexDisclaimer: Every once in a while, Little Miss Menopause remembers why she named herself that in the first place and will write an appropriate post related to that topic.  And guys, take this quiz too so you’ll be able to relate to “her.”

Is your brain fog so thick and your mind such a blur that you’ve considered breaking out the Windex  Mindex? Are you falling-off-the-chart smart? Or are you just falling apart? Try this fun test to see where your brain cells stand these days.

Menopausal Math. (Choose best answer.)

1. Your family requests fudge brownies for dessert. Two nights prior, you bake four batches containing two dozen each. Next morning you eat six from each batch so all plates look even. By lunch you’ve polished off one entire platter, because your family prefers pumpkin pie anyway, right? How late must you stay up tonight to re-bake and replace all eaten brownies, taking into consideration your husband wants a little somethin’ somethin’ around 11 p.m.?

A) Brownies or Sex? Where’s the dilemma?

B) Uh… “Nobody Doesn’t Like Sara Lee!”

C) Mmmm, pumpkin pie.

2. You’re isolated in a soundproof, locked room with two oscillating fans, four bars of Godiva dark chocolate, one testosterone dispenser, a vibrator, eight bestseller books, and a broken cell phone that neither your husband or two small children can reach you on. How do you get free?

A) Melt the chocolate using hot flashes — and use it to write an S.O.S. message on page from book — slide under door.

B) Use the two fans to grind chocolate into cocoa powder, snorting it until you get high enough to forget where you are.

C) No husband or kids? What are you thinking? You already ARE free!!

3. You turned 50-years-old exactly three months ago and typically Aunt Flo shows up every 28 to 32 days. However, you haven’t seen hide nor hair (Hair? Is she a redhead?) of her since you broke up with that math professor who teaches calculus at the university 4.8 miles away. Oh no! Statistically speaking, how likely is it that you are about to become the oldest mother in preschool history, desperately folding her child’s finger painting into a makeshift fan during a hot flash in the middle of a parent/teacher conference?

A) 0%. Relax, you are not pregnant. It’s just menopause, silly. Plan an expensive trip to Hawaii, buy and wear pretty new lacy panties or book a Brazilian waxing appointment. Any of those things is guaranteed to bring on your period. Or simply call Mr. Calculus and schedule some makeup sex.

B) 50%. Your chance of becoming a new mother again is directly proportional to how close you are to having an adult daughter who is also about to give birth herself (thus bestowing you with grandmother status!). Wouldn’t it be fun to share a double stroller together?

C) 99.9%. Stock up on those diapers. Congratulations! This is guaranteed payback for lying about your age, having a tummy tuck, and saying, “Fro Yo” and “My bad” all the time. You fooled your uterus into thinking it’s 25 again!

4. Use the following numerals to fill in the blanks with the corresponding meanings below.

210, 48, 1310, 0, 17, 4.5, 6, 20, 130

___The top number on your blood pressure when the Dr. isn’t young and totally hot looking.

___Average number of times a week you lose your keys, glasses and cellphone.

___Number of hours earlier you need to start getting ready than you did when you were 25, just to look halfway presentable.

___Number of times you dye your gray hair in a year.

___Number of times you skip dying your hair because, “Gray is the new brunette!”

___The number of calories they claim you can eat and not gain weight—those diabolic, metabolic liars!

___Number of pills you need to swallow each morning just to feel semi-normal.

___Number of hours you actually sleep per night. Note: Divide this by the number of night sweats, then multiply it by number of fluttery, erratic heartbeats to the 9th power and subtract 20 minutes every time you have an obsessive/compulsive thought about breast cancer. Add the square root of Pi every third time you hear a scary noise and think an intruder is in the house. This calculates your MMPH (Menopausal Moments Per Hour).

___Your HDL (Your good cholesterol) Yes, good! Don’t ask me how, but they managed to get some of it to move to the right side of the tracks and perform nice deeds in your arteries. And somehow it’s all related to 77% Cacao! So cheer up!

SCORING: 0-1,500 points? Congratulations and welcome to FU (Foggybrain University). The rest of your Midlife Sorority Sisters have been waiting (impatiently) for you! Note: If you detected a subtle chocolate (without nuts) theme throughout this assessment, you are truly Menopausal Mensa Material and hereby granted an immediate scholarship from Betty Crocker! Stay tuned for another fun test soon!

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, click here for a special menopausal menu.

The Three R’s – Risqué, Racy, & Raunchy!

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The only thing worse than a “premeditated” shower together is being “surprised” in your own private shower when you think you’re alone.

Normally Little Miss Menopause oozes about as much wholesomeness as a Hostess Twinkie. But every once in a while she will deteriorate into “Rated R” writing on her blog. A reliable red flag? She’ll usually begin referring to herself in the third person. This is dissociative behavior, but that’s not important right now.

What IS important is that I detest the typical foreplay that gets most normal people horny. I can’t even stand to use the word “horny” because I think of reptiles with warts.  Can we please just call it “hot” or “lusty,” people?

This unique problem of mine was probably a main reason for at least one of my divorces. Toward the end of the marriage, he (who shall remain nameless)  introduced an “Intimacy Inducing” Smartphone app into our relationship. Desperate measures? You betcha.

The idea was to choose from a huge menu of pre-listed sexual activities, and if both people picked the same things, those particular fantasies went in the couple’s mutual “sexual bucket” to try out in real life. (There really was a beach pail image waiting to be filled!)

After two weeks, when my “To-Do” list remained empty but three hundred disgusting ideas crowded my “To-Don’t” list, the app declared me frigid and referred me to a local sex therapist.

Hmmm.

The app also told me the percentage of couples who had tried each particular obnoxious activity, which I guess was supposed to encourage me to “Keep Up With The (Porno)Jones!”

But I quickly realized I needed to be more flexible and open-minded. So listed below are the least repulsive and inoffensive ideas the Smartphone app (and my then husband) wanted us to try. See if you don’t agree with me that these things are NOT sexy.

 9 Turn-Ons That Won’t Turn Me On in a Million Years!

  1.  Play Around in a Hot tub Together – The jets were fun but when my then husband (do I have to keep referring to him like that? Yes I do!) wanted to actually “do it” in the bubbles, I kept wondering how many other couples lived in our condominium complex (with this exact Smartphone app) and had been in the very same Jacuzzi recently. Eww. So I composed an “Ode To Chlorine” poem instead.
  2.  Shower Sex — I’ve never understood the appeal here. Get naked under unflattering bathroom florescent lighting to partake in a utilitarian cleansing experience (associated with either gym locker rooms or Norman Bates in Psycho) with my hair plastered to my head while mascara runs down my cheeks and he cracked prison jokes with “don’t bend over to pick up the soap” as the punchline?
  3. Sex on a Fur Rug in Front of the Fire – As an animal lover, I would forever imagine which cuddly Bambi creature had been killed for our coziness? And fireplaces are for toasting those squishy, white unhealthy blobs. And even though my stomach technically qualified, I would stick with marshmallows, thank you very much. Besides, I sweat profusely when I get “lusty” so I don’t need an open flame to make me perspire even more, thereby necessitating another utilitarian shower together. Blech.
  4. Add heat or ice to oral sex – Why on earth? This activity was stressful enough as it was! But they want you to alternate turning an ordinary penis into a popsicle and then some kinda fresh outa-the-oven baked goodie that you’ll need an oven mitt to handle? Really, can we all just go back to using the trusty Reddi-Whip can?
  5. Role Play as Stewardess and Passenger—I’m deathly afraid to fly and pretending to be inducted into the “Mile High” club would have offered me zero thrills per minute. All I would’ve thought about were those air-sickness bags and tiny packages of salted peanuts spilling everywhere.
  6. Do It In Front Of a Mirror – If I had to view my wide reflection staring back at me during sex, he might as well have been banging me on a doctor’s office scale. I would be obsessing about diets and “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips.” And then fish n’ chips and chicken strips and onion dips and licorice whips and… yes I binge when I’m being scrutinized.
  7.  Incorporate chocolate covered strawberries or caramel sauce into your foreplay – Right! After the above mirror escapade, the only thing I’d be doing with those treats would be adding up how many points they were on Weight Watchers.
  8.  Wrap body Parts in Saran Wrap – Oh sure! Because he needed more proof that he was getting served leftovers again.
  9.  Masturbate in Front of Each Other, Narrate Finger Auction – Huh? Auction? Okay, I guess it would go something like this…. “The next item is a close-up of My Vagina. Done in lovely muted colors and circular brush strokes. I’m now sliding a single finger inside. Do I hear two fingers? Three? Three! Going once, going twice, coming three times!” Oh, never mind. There was a typo in the Smartphone app. It was Finger Action, NOT Auction.

But that gave me an idea! I looked over the other 8 items featured on our sexual bucket list in the hopes that I had misread them as well. But there was no such luck — 100% accurate.  There were only two options left — #1. Serious negotiations with my then husband or #2. Make an appointment with that recommended sex therapist.

But I chose option #3, deleting the Intimacy Smartphone app. And also eventually…deleting my then husband.

Note: A modified version of this article originally appeared on BLUNTmoms over a year ago.

And if you’d like to be kept aware of the other places my writing appears, I finally have an Author Facebook Page.  I would love (if you’re active on Facebook) for you to click HERE and like it.  That way when my personal blog occasionally goes dark, we can still keep in touch.  Have a great weekend! Stephanie D. Lewis – – AKA  Little Miss Menopause.

 

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/

 

 

 

8 Devious (But Well Justified) Food Tricks All Parents Should Know!

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This is pretty cute, Family Magazine– but you don’t need a masters degree in Art to utilize my simple food tricks below!

The following tricks are divided into two categories, both equally indispensable. The first section is to help YOU eat whatever you want left alone in peace, and sans guilt. The second part is to assist you in getting your children to eat healthier fare. Paradoxical? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

FOR YOU:

  1. Bottom’s Up: In private, turn any unfrosted cake, (Bundt, pound or loaf, etc.) onto its side and proceed to ingeniously cut a thin slice from the bottom part for your indulgence. Using dental floss to shave it off is a great help with this feat but buy the unflavored kind unless you like mint with your angel food? Note: You can do this approximately four and a half times before the cake starts getting discernibly shorter and your guests’ brows raise as they begin to refer to it as a pie.
  2. The Latest From Paris: Spooning brownie batter into your mouth is actually more sinfully scrumptious than eating the fully baked confection itself. And virtually undetectable because who has ever seen a tall brownie? You can also just drink batter through a straw like you’re sipping on a luscious thick malt. Betty Crocker would make a fortune if she started packaging brownie mixes that stated, “8 extra spoonfuls included for mom’s sanity” printed under the ingredients.  However if the end result (your baked pan of brownies) drops below an 1/8 of an inch thick, a renaming will be in order. Say confidently at the dining table, “These are NOT brownies. They’re a trendy new dessert craze from France –“Brepes”….a combination of crepes and brownies. Wallah!
  3. Glamorous Goodies: If you’ve already gobbled cookies from a package that you just purchased that very afternoon (i.e. Oreos or Chips Ahoy) and you don’t want to hear “Mom! Who already ate these?” simply arrange the store bought treats on a pretty plate and set it on the table. Bonus points for sliding an elegant doily underneath. To avoid this scenario entirely in the future, buy only bagged cookies so nobody can count up (this isn’t why math is taught!) the vacant plastic slots and calculate how many Nutter Butters are missing.
  4. Caution Signs: Write stern little warnings that say, “Do NOT eat this. I’m saving for tomorrow night’s Bridge Club. Or Mahjong group. Or any other card game that Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz used to play that requires serving impressive refreshments. Warning: At this point you better at least learn about trumping and building walls so you can talk a good game the next evening when you whisk the baked goods off in your car to drive around the corner and luxuriate in solitude.

FOR THEM

  1. Deceptive Desserts:Trying to sneak anything healthy into your children by finely grating it into a sweet batter is so old school. Jerry Seinfeld’s wife did an entire book on this and then languished in Puree Hell. Kids are smart and will suspiciously examine their birthday cake for evidence of carrots or zucchini and give their muffins a watchful eye for applesauce. Anything pulverized will be immediately spat out. So reverse the process. Rather than pureeing the nutritious thing, puree the unhealthy thing and inject it deep inside. Example: Take a carrot, hollow it out and fill with minced or blended Hershey’s chocolate. The child will gleefully delight in avoiding the pureed center of the carrot (thinking that’s the nutritious part you’ve tried to pull one over on him with) and you’ve just scored a kid who won’t be called four-eyes. That is, if you believe old wives’ tales about carrots improving vision.
  2. Freud Who?:Remember Psych 101, Pavlov’s dog, and classical conditioning! Every time the child eats a chocolate chip cookie, ring a bell. The child will soon associate bells with pleasurable taste sensations. But after a while when the child’s guard is down, ring a bell as he eats oatmeal. Then salmon. And why not go for brussel sprouts? “Ring, ring!”  Disclaimer: Future Avon Ladies, playing Ding Dong Ditch, or reading “For Whom the Bell Tolls” may prove traumatizing for him later in life.
  3. What’s In a Name?: Do bizarre things with celery but forget Ants on a Log. That phrase just kills it. Who eats insects? Substitute chocolate chips for those raisins. Then give the kid a further break and swap peanut butter in for the cottage cheese. Relax mom, the original celery is still in the picture. But get a new and improved catchphrase, will ya? How about “Let the Chips Fall Where They May?” or “Chip off the Old Block.” You can do this!
  4. Great Expectations: Refrain from your rehearsed evil “mwahahaha” laugh when utilizing number 4 from the first section above, only with a clever variation. Make a similar sign stating, “Under no circumstances should you eat what’s wrapped in this tin-foil because it’s something very special for the PTA Bake Sale. Attach this sign to your leftover meatloaf, of course. But don’t bother pre-slicing it into cupcake wrappers — they’ll be expecting just that kind of deception.

Good luck and remember that whoever said, “All is fair in love and war” must’ve had to eat too, so he should’ve written a sequel bumper sticker that proclaimed, “All is fair in the Kitchen as well!”

Caught the Pokémon Go craze?  Go HERE to see how I’ve modified it to benefit Jewish (or any!) parents! And watch for my new app being released soon!

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!) 

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!

“Wow! You Should Be a Guided Meditation Leader!”

images (11)Has someone recently said this to you? It probably means you have that “peacefully enlightened” vibe, a relaxing demeanor, and definitely a comforting, soothing voice. But if you’re really toying with entering the meditation field, you will need to use phrases (ad nauseam!) that could literally make your friends lose their ever-loving mind(fulness).

Nevertheless, if you’re still curious about becoming one, here is a resume of the 9 most important qualities needed to be a Guided Meditation Leader:

  1. The ability to direct people to let themselves “Arrive,” ignoring the fact that they are actually already there, sitting in real upholstered chairs, listening to your droning voice (which should be dripping with butter or honey or something else decadent that none of these people will ever let their bodies ingest) Yes, this ceremonial act of “Arrival” is extremely important, so execute it with pronounced enunciation.
  2. Able to conduct Individual Intention Settings. It’s crucial that anyone who is about to listen to your guided meditation tapes or Youtube videos first set their intention. Warning: A few smart alecs will state, “My intention is not to set any intentions.” Ignore them and do an Intention Intervention instead.
  3. Must possess creativity to command your listeners to breathe-in a large variety of different things. (Although seriously, when did breathing plain old oxygen become such a scarce commodity?) Make certain they’re breathing in something they might potentially want to embody (being mindful not to choke them by telling them to inhale a new Mercedes!) and then direct them to breathe out something else entirely different — preferably something you think they might want to rid their life of. (Hint: If they are listening to you with their children nearby, avoid telling telling them to exhale their ex-spouse!) And then tell them to do it all over again. Sixty. Three. Hundred. Dang. Times.
  4. Be adept at issuing reminders.You’ll want to regularly remind them to notice lots of body parts. “Notice your arms, notice your hands, notice your fingers, notice your ear-lobes (always a fun one!) notice ankles, knees, calves, thighs, etc.”  If they start to notice another participant’s feet, they might have a fetish and become aroused and you should gently guide them back to a state of complete relaxation.
  5. Should have strong observation skills in the area of respiration (you may think the act of observing is similar to the act of noticing, but shame on you — it’s incredibly different!) Say things like, “Observe how your breath flows in and out. Make no effort to change your breathing in any way, simply Observe how your body breathes. Your own body can Observe how much air it needs. Observe in your mind’s eye, your breath flowing gently in and out of your body, etc. Etcetera! As long as you string together certain key words into a fun tongue-twister, nobody will be the wiser that you’re a Guru who just made a boo-boo.
  6. Able to Help Someone Conjure Up a Serene Meadow. This is self-explanatory, but having a vast knowledge of classic Crayola crayons is useful here. Water should be imagined as Turquoise Blue, Aquamarine, Periwinkle, but most likely it’s always Cerulean, while the grass is either Pine Green, Forest Green or Fern. Remind them there’s no need to color inside the lines in their mind’s eye meadow. Ahhh, freedom!
  7. Must Be a Thought Killer. Approach this one gingerly. You can’t let them know you’re straight out of George Orwell’s novel, 1984 with “The Thought Police” so say things thusly — “When your attention wanders, as it will, just focus gently back again on your breathing. Notice any stray thoughts, but don’t dwell on them. Simply let all your thoughts peacefully pass away.” Shouting out “Die, thoughts, die!” might rile up all the gun-control issue folks.
  8. Continuously use the word “Mindful” even when you’re not leading a class. Here are creative ways to incorporate this great new buzzword. “If you don’t stop kicking the back of my seat, I’m going to lose my mindful!” And, “Do you mindful?? I’m trying to get some sleep here and I can’t with your damn snoring!” As well as, “Mindful your own damn business!” And don’t forget to say this to your teen daughter, “I have a good mindful to let you freeze to death in those skimpy shorts.” You can also take liberties with the trendy word “authentic.”  i.e.  “Seriously the price is $85?  Is this just a plain old suede purse or is it genuine, authentic leatherette?”
  9. Ability to Self-Soothe. When you suddenly find yourself out of a guided meditation job because everyone and their bloody Uncle wants to live in the present moment and do this woo-woo work.  But no worries!  With all the skills you’ve just cultivated, you can still use that terrific voice of yours – – as a Phone Sex Operator. Just know in advance that all the cleansing breaths you’ll help elicit from your customers will be the “Heavy Breathing” kind.

Thanks for reading and Namaste! (How the heck do you pronounce that??)

If Your Name is Jack, You Need Psychological Help?

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Therapist: Welcome to the therapy support group for (Barely) Functional, Fictional Jacks. Our first order of business is that we’re a non-smoking building, so Jack Be Nimble, please put out your candlestick.

Jack Be Nimble: I’ll be quick, Ma’am.

Therapist: Thank you Jack. And Little Jack Horner, please join the group, we have a chair for you right here in our circle.

Jack Horner: Sitting in the corner is just fine, Mrs. Jackson.

Therapist: You boys feel free to call me Jacqueline. But Mr. Horner, I do insist you join us. We’ll work on that social anxiety of yours later on, but our focus of the day is on eating disorders, over-exercising, and body dysmorphia.

Jack Spratt:  Nobody here deals with any of that crap.

Therapist: Oh, don’t they now? When was the last time you allowed yourself to eat a little fat?

Jack Spratt: Well I . . . um. . . well you know. I don’t trust our entire Fat system. They claim there are now considered good and bad fats. I figure better play it safe and eat NO fat.

Therapist: Oh nuts! Slice up an avocado, Jack. Eat salmon. You’re wasting away. And your wife, that little heffer, she isn’t helping matters by eating no lean.

Jack Horner: I brought some Christmas Pie to share. I’ll just go get it. It’s in the corner.

Therapist: What a good boy are you!

Jack Horner: What a good boy am I!

Therapist: Yes, Mr. Horner that’s what I just said. But what’s that on your thumb?

Jack Horner: I was born like this. It’s a terrible, hideous swollen purple defect.

Therapist: Oh, it most certainly is not! That’s your body dysmorphia talking, Little Jack Horner. There’s nothing at all wrong with your thumb. You just stuck it into a plum one time too many.

Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Little ditty about Jack & Dianne. Two American kids growing up in the heartland.

Therapist: Now is not the time to introduce your girlfriend to us, Jack. I’d like to concentrate on the Jacks who feel they must chronically burn off calories. Jack and his companion Jill are forever going up hills. Jack and the Beanstalk is, well he’s climbing up and down that tall vine so much it would make a golden goose’s head spin. And Jack Be Nimble hasn’t met a candlestick he can’t jump over. It’s textbook ADHD combined with compulsive exercise.

Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Jackie gonna be a football star. Diane debutante backseat of Jackie’s car.

Therapist: Ahhh, I see you also suffer from delusions of grandeur, eh? You probably think you’ve got a hit song on your hands.

Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Oh yeah…. Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.

Therapist: And some situational depression too.

Jack & The Beanstalk: May I interject something? There’s a grotesque monstrous giant chasing after me because I stole his golden harp. Would that make me a kleptomaniac?

Therapist: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, has anyone ever given you a paranoid schizophrenic diagnosis, Jack Old Chum?

Jack Spratt: Can we get back to my relationship with my heffer wife? I think we balance each other out nicely in the kitchen — between us both we lick the platter clean.

Jack Horner: Ewwwww, gross!

Therapist: Germaphobe.

Jack & Jill: I don’t suppose you could analyze why every time I take a fall, Jill comes tumbling after?

Therapist: Because she’s co-dependent, Jack. Choose better next time. Now I’m sorry but our time is up for this week. When we meet next we’ll discuss the common unhealthy dynamics in your childhoods since you all shared the same maternal influence.

All Jacks: She did the best she could under the circumstances. We forgive you, Mother Goose.

Receptionist: Excuse me, but your next patients are here.

Therapist:  Yes, please tell the Brothers Grimm I will be right with them. And all their Little Princesses as well.

Dear Readers:  I would love your comments on this piece or the last few in the series I’ve written (Fictional Characters On the Therapy Couch) 

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Poor Jack Nicholson….he’ll be next!

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This Jack really needs to think more outside of the box!

If You’re a Blogger, You Might Need These Tips (And If You Need These Tips, You Might Be a Blogger) Maybe!

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There’s a famous saying that every blog has its day! So without further ado . . .  on with The Ten Tips — And you can just take what you want (in a little doggy err bloggy bag) and leave the rest for other readers to digest.

  1. Your Job Title – When you’re at a cocktail party and you’re asked about your profession, do NOT just give a simplistic, two syllable, seven letter career name like “Blogger” or “Writer” or “Author.” How is that going to command any kind of respect? We’re Wordsmiths but we can’t even generate an impressive description for what we do all day?  Try these instead. a) A Controller in the Language Industry b) A Disseminator of Thought Processes c) An Ideation Ideologist.  See if that doesn’t cause a few people to avert their eyes, murmur, “Wow” and bow in deference. The host might even raise his glass in a toasting gesture.
  2. Suggestions — Learn to cut people off who offer you “terrific ideas” for your blog. WTF?  Why does everyone who finds out you’re a blogger think you’ve run dry and it’s their civic duty to tell you their life story so you’ll be chalk full of entertaining posts again?  And they always end by saying, “You can use that story for free!” Gee, thanks.  I don’t go up to my physician with a toy stethoscope from my son’s Doctor’s Kit and say, “Here!  Take this!  I won’t even charge you!”
  3. Conclusions — Always end your articles or blogs with some sort of “Call To Action” for the reader. Sometimes readers just need a nudge or a little direction. You can ask the reader to leave a comment, like it on Facebook, or request that he Tweet it on Twitter. I usually make my Calls To Action very personal. For example — “Please show up at the author’s home with dust rags and Windex this Saturday at 10 am.”
  4. Write-offs– For income tax purposes (you must do ample exploration of your location so it’s realistic, yes??) always set your blog post somewhere beautiful and exotic. Seriously, would you rather research events that take place in Costa Rica or Tahiti — or your bathtub?
  5. Lifelike — You want fictional people to be believable in your writing, so be sure and flesh out all your characters. You may even want to completely flush out a character, if one of them is due for a colonoscopy.
  6. There are NO NEW IDEAS.  — Got that?  If you have an idea that you think has never been done before, Google it and trust me, it’s already out there in some form. All plots loosely fall under these three categories — 1. Man Against Man. 2. Man Against Himself. 3. Man Against His Dishwasher.
  7. Plagiarism — Don’t do it. Take this vow:  “I pledge-arize not to plagiarize.” However, there are a lot of poems, famous sayings, and quotes out there that list “Author Unknown” at the bottom of them.  So even though “There Are No New Ideas” (see #6)  that doesn’t mean you cannot take credit for some old, anonymous ones. Does it?
  8. Reviews — Most bloggers are shy about asking people to review them on Linkedin or Amazon (if they’ve written a book) but you can do this in an innocent, charming way that harkens back to grade school. Simply pass your reader a folded note with a bashful smile, and they can check off the appropriate box. yes-or-no
  9. Funny! — Become a Humor Blogger so that when people don’t like what you’ve put out there you can always say, “That was just a joke.  Here’s the REAL blog.”
  10. To Be Continued — Always leave a cliffhanger (especially effective if your name is Clifford!) to ANYTHING you write.  Notice that there were only 9 real tips in this post?  But now you’ll keep checking back to see if I add a 10th item, won’t you?

Reader CALL TO ACTION!  Please leave a comment or take out my kitchen trash.  Your choice. But should you let sleeping dogs err blogs lie? Maybe!

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

Colonel Mustard & Miss Scarlet See a Marriage Counselor

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Therapist: Just to make it very clear — what happens here always stays highly confidential.

Colonel Mustard: Maybe we can write it on little cards and slide them into a sealed envelope in the middle of the game board?

Miss Scarlet: Oh will you just get a Clue? This isn’t about fun and games. That’s not why we’re here.

Therapist: Well maybe you can tell your husband the reason you ARE here, Miss Scarlet. What’s bothering you?

Colonel Mustard: Wait! Why does she get to go first?

Therapist: Check the rulebook. It’s right there in black and white. Miss Scarlet always goes first.

Miss Scarlet: Yes, that’s just the way I roll.

Colonel Mustard: Well this time, I’m making the first move. You’re just a little slut, wearing your slinky red dress all the time, with your long skinny cigarette holder. I see the looks Mr. Green gives you and I could just kill him for what he’s thinking.

Miss Scarlet: Did you hear that? You’re a witness to his threats.

Therapist: Please leave me out of this dangerous game you people play.

Colonel Mustard: Is it a crime to want my wife to be monogamous?

Miss Scarlet: When we go home tonight, we’ll sit down and talk this over in The Lounge.

Therapist: Wow. I’ve never known anyone with an actual room called The Lounge in their home.

Miss Scarlet: Never mind that. His fly-by-night behavior is for the birds.

Colonel Mustard: You leave Mrs. Peacock out of this. I knew you’d find a way to drag her into our personal affairs.

Miss Scarlet: You mean your affairs. She’s already very involved, I suspect.

Colonel Mustard: You should suspect. Because you ARE the prime suspect.

Therapist: Folks, settle down. My recommendation is you go back home and host a fun Murder Mystery Party. You know, your guests come dressed in costume, you put out lots of . . .

Colonel Mustard: Weapons.

Therapist: I was going to say appetizers.

Miss Scarlet: We’ll need a sharp knife for the cheese.

Therapist: My goodness, what’s wrong with you people? I think no matter how you toss the dice, it’s safe to say your marriage is over.

Colonel Mustard: The romance is dead. She killed it.

Miss Scarlet: You’re the one with the guilty conscience. You should turn yourself in; it would shorten your prison time.

Therapist: But if he goes straight to jail, how would I collect my $200 hourly fee? We could take a ride on the Reading railroad to a bank. Or you can take a Chance from the Community Chest?

Colonel Mustard: Can’t you see her community chest is already on display in that low-cut dress? Listen, I don’t know what game you’re playing right now, but deal us out. There are a million therapists in town. You don’t have the Monopoly on Couples Counseling, you know.

Receptionist: Sorry to interrupt but your next appointment is here, those two inventive male siblings.

Therapist: Please tell the Parker Brothers, I’ll be right with them.

This was the third in a series of shorts I am creating wherein Famous Fictional Couples see a Marriage Counselor.  Stay tuned for more. And please leave me a comment if you’d like to request an iconic pair rush to a shrink!

Bizarre Travel Tips You Won’t Read Elsewhere!

IMG_5408Just returned from the Middle East and because I’m not writing a Travel Blog here, I was going to take all this great information to my grave. But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced there’s one reader out there who can benefit from my strangely comforting travel tips. Are YOU that reader??

Taking the Mystery Out of International Travel!

  1. When in airports that have heightened security, don’t sit around on benches darting your eyes furtively around. YOU know you’re contemplating which Duty Free shop to go drop major bucks in (because you forgot to souvenir shop for your kids) but the armed soldiers in Israel won’t get it. Neither should you have this dialogue. SOLDIER:  State your business for being in this terminal, Miss. ME: Oh, I’m just killing time. SOLDIER: Killing??!  Passport and ID. Now! ME:  Wait, what? That’s just an expression. You know like, “Wait till you hear the huge bomb my ex dropped on me last night!”  SOLDIER:  You’re coming with me.
  2. Try not to walk into open air market places and say, “Excuse me but which aisle would feminine hygiene products be on?”
  3. Don’t finally make it to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, extremely honored to slip a prewritten note of prayer into one of the cracks (because it’s the holiest spot in the country and there’s a direct connection with God there) get confused, and instead slide in your “To-Do” list for when you return home.

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    The Western Wall: Don’t tell me someone else didn’t accidentally leave their grocery list?

  4. As you enter the country of Jordan, never tell the stiff, rigid-looking Border Crossing Guards that you almost named your son “Jordan” but then thought it might sound too girly so you went with “Benjamin” instead.
  5. At the Dead Sea, agree that you WILL float.  Don’t argue with everyone around you that you’re an exception because you weigh too much for this natural phenomenon to work on you. JUST BELIEVE. In fact bring reading material so you can have a photo like this fellow. dead sea
  6. Three hours later when you’re finally satisfied that you can float with the best of ’em and decide to try covering your body with the black sludge that sits on the shores (because it’s supposed to have healing and therapeutic qualities for your skin) don’t go around saying, “Guess I’m just a stick in the mud, eh?” and elbow people roughly trying to nudge a laugh outa them. Saying “Well, here’s mud in your eye!” gets even less of a chuckle.

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    Don’t be afraid to get dirty in Israel

  7. You will encounter co-ed public bathrooms. You don’t need to document this fact with photos. People back home WILL believe you.
  8. Many places will bargain for their wares, but you’re not Monty Hall. Don’t say, “Let’s Make a Deal!  How about I give you some Mickey Mouse soap from an official Disney hotel, a Hershey bar, and I’ll throw in a lock of hair from my firstborn for that Star of David necklace in the window?”
  9. Don’t go to Masada remarking, “Gosh, it looked far more grandiose in the Peter O’Toole movie.” And hiking around Petra asking every tour guide, “Exactly which Indiana Jones movie was filmed here again?” won’t ingratiate you.
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    The Top of Masada!

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    Petra, Jordan where a famous movie was filmed!

  10. Don’t think you’re so clever figuring out that the Med, Red & Dead Seas all rhyme (and you can make money off that) because there’s already a tee-shirt for that.
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    Coffee Mugs exist too.

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    Quick!  Is this the Med, Red, or Dead Sea?  Or is this just a boring beach back home in San Diego???  Could be a prize…leave a comment!

A Shot in the Dark!

light-bulb-banA fairly old, (since 1999) but highly unique concept (and one that I’m just catching on to) called “Dark Dining” is making the rounds in my area of the country. Patrons pay a lot of money to NOT see the food they will be ingesting. It began in a small diner in El Paso where the Texas style BBQ ribs were so ugly in appearance and terribly messy  (dripping down the white bandanas of glutinous wranglers) that the proprietor of the establishment told his waitstaff, “Y’all, let’s just kill all the lights and we won’t have to garnish the plates all pretty like no more!”

Dark Dining was instantly born and swept the nation. The theory being that it heightens your other senses to eat in pitch blackness. But really it’s just a starving dieter’s dream. “What’s gobbled in the dark, stays in the dark!”

I decided to try this phenomenon at home instead of our Saturday night pizza restaurant jaunt — only I added one other unique concept…Darkness AND Silence. After slaving away all afternoon over a healthy meal of meatloaf, green beans and potatoes au gratin, I issued formal invitations to my family via disappearing ink (seemed eerily fitting) with written instructions specifying all six kids to enter the room quietly at 6 pm sharp with their lips zipped.

It was an unusually pleasant dinner with just the sounds of ravenous chewing here and there and once I thought I heard someone growl in appreciation. There was even one point where my senses were extra heightened.  I sensed that someone definitely needed a bath.  I congratulated myself on our first civilized meal in years and considered adopting this ritual as a once-a-week family tradition. And then I turned on the lights and found our mangy dog Lola lapping up the last bit of gravy on each plate. Apparently Dollar Store ink that disappears never reappears. The rest of the family could be found at Mama Lucia’s scarfing down an extra large pepperoni.

Hmmph. Here then is my list of…

 TEN ACTIVITIES THAT SHOULD BE MANDATED DARK!

  1. Bathing Suit Shopping — Female customers can grope racks of swimsuits, grabbing any size their heart desires, head to the dressing room and if anything ties around their neck, that’s a perfect fit! Gleeful women will pack up their purchases and post on Facebook that they’ve just purchased a size 2 string bikini. None of this will matter because the next activity commanded in the dark is . . .
  2. Night Time Swimming Without Any Pool Lights On— (You’re welcome!)
  3. Gynecological Exams — If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.  No more having to shave your legs and shell out money for pedicures for a man who can’t be bothered to warm a speculum.
  4. Blind Dates –Blindfold the couple. Spin them around three times and let them pin the tail on the … ass who thought they would hit it off.
  5. Weddings— Will the bride wear white?  Yes, a white terry cloth bathrobe. May as well be comfortable when taking the plunge because how many solemn promises are made wearing Spanx? The only vow that can be taken seriously is to be able to breathe again. “Something old, something new, something that leaves its mark, something that glows in the dark.”  (How about fluorescent lipstick so “You may kiss the bride” doesn’t lead to the groom smooching the best man?)
  6. Sex–Married men are already accommodating in this regard if they wanna get any.
  7. Church–Hallelujah! The miracle of lower electricity bills.
  8. Grocery Shopping — Cuts down on damaged produce. What fun is it salaciously pinching melons when nobody can see you?
  9. Beauty Pageants — Can we actually crown someone for their inner beauty?  I think it’s about time!
  10. Parties — Finally you really can dance like nobody’s watching!

What types of things would you like to see (pun intended) happen in the dark?

 

Don’t Let Your Blog Sleep Like a Log!

photo-67Don’t let sleeping blogs lie, either.  It’s time to blow, err blog everyone’s mind with your fantastic writing. But that means getting your blog out there beyond just WordPress. I’ve learned that blog promotion isn’t just optional, it’s obligatory  oblogatory!  But you know me, I’m not going to just repeat all the traditional, conventional ways you’ve heard before to make your blog’s presence known.  Click HERE to read my ten UNIQUE tips which are featured on a very wonderful site called Mostly Blogging. If you don’t — well it just might always be a “blog eat blog world” out there for you, my friend.

Could Captain Von Trapp & Maria Be Headed For Divorce?

HT_sound_of_music_julie_andrews_sk_150316_4x3_992Therapist: Before we begin I want to stress that anything we discuss remains in the strictest of confidence and will not be spoken outside of this room.

Captain: Or turned into childish lyrics and sung on bicycles. Am I clear?? Tooot, tooooooot–

Maria: Oh spare me your whistle, Captain.

Therapist: Tssk, tssk . . . control issues. So what can I help you folks with today?

Captain: How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Therapist: Hmmm…Anything you want to tell us, Maria?

Maria: Perhaps I had a wicked childhood. Perhaps I had a miserable youth.

Therapist: But somewhere in your youth or childhood, you must’ve done something good?

Maria: Well, nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.

Captain: And that’s just about what this session is worth.

Therapist: Now, now Captain. Your wife tells me you aren’t very supportive of her creative household frugality.

Captain: Ya think? Nobody needs to wear window coverings just to military march around the house.

Maria: But the children. They just want love. Please just love them, Captain. The children.

Captain: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Therapist: I’m sorry but that’s not a line of yours, is it? It’s not anywhere in my notes. Let’s save the Rhett Butler nonsense for later. He’s my next client, actually.

Captain: I said that to make a point. Sometimes I think she’s crossed over from the Gone With the Wind set – – they also have the Drapery/Dress Recycling thing going on. It’s like she’s taken Scarlett O’hara and Maria Von Trapp and blended them together.

Therapist: Could that be true, Maria? Do you think you have Transblender tendencies?

Captain: Haha, it was just a joke. Let’s get down to the serious issue, shall we? Whenever Maria is unhappy, she threatens to run away — go back to Abbey. Now, I don’t know who this Abbey person is, but I suspect it’s short for Abigail and my wife secretly likes girls.

Therapist: And how does that make you feel, Sir?

Captain: Haha, gotcha again. Kidding!

Maria: Honestly Georg, you’re so juvenile. It’s like I have an eighth child. You are 16 going on 17.

Therapist: Have you ever considered hiring a governess? To relieve the stress.

Captain: Ah yes, some pretty sweet young thing with a penchant for playing the violin.

Maria: Georg!

Captain: Fraulein, you will remember yourself!

Therapist: Who says that anymore? Is that even a thing?

Maria: Well, it’s time for prayers. God bless the Captain, Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Brigitta, Marta, Gretel and . . .

Therapist: Achoooooo!

Maria: Gesundheit and bless you . . . err, I’ve forgotten what you’re called. What’s your name? Well God bless What’s-Your-Name.

Captain: OMG. Look, is there any hope for this relationship? With a woman who has a severe phobia.

Therapist: What are you frightened of, Maria?

Maria: The hills are alive . . .

Therapist: Now we’re getting somewhere. But I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for this week.

Captain: Don’t you have any quick advice for her to conquer this fear? We may need to hike through the Alps one day.

Therapist: Of course — here’s a memorable tip . . . Climb EVERY Mountain!

If you enjoy thinking about what happens to iconic fictional couples “after the show” you’ll want to enter this new contest RIGHT HERE so you can write about it and have a chance to win $200! 

Meanwhile, if you just like to read about fictional couples going to a marriage counselor, you may want to read another one I published RIGHT HERE. Please leave me a message there if you enjoy the movie/play Fiddler On The Roof. 

And stay tuned for more information about my newly released collection featuring the following couples having a marriage counseling session with their therapist!  Tarzan & Jane, Peter Pan & Wendy, Lucy & Ricky Ricardo, Mike & Carol Brady, Superman & Lois Lane, Harry & Sally, Charles & Caroline Ingalls, Rocky & Adrienne, The Phantom & Christine, Mr. & Mrs. Howell, Jack & Rose Dawson, Miss Scarlet & Colonel Mustard, The Captain & Tennille, and many more!

 

 

 

 

The Phantom of The Cellphone!

-font-b-phantom-b-font-of-the-opera-fashion-original-cell-phone-case-cover-for“You called three times but didn’t leave a message, is everything ok?” my mother asks. Confession: I regularly hang up on my mom’s outgoing phone message because she gives excruciating instructions on waiting for beeps, admonishes you to speak slowly, enunciate clearly, and requires you to give the date and time of your call. A former teacher, she insists on educating people on leaving proper voicemail.

But on this occasion I’m certain I didn’t call at all, let alone three times. I look at my caller ID log and sure enough I have telephoned my mother thrice within a ten-minute period this morning. The Benadryl I took for a cold must’ve made me groggy and blurred my recall.

A couple of hours later, I receive a message from my old Avon Lady announcing light blue shimmery eyeshadows just came in and how shocked she was to hear from me after more than 30 years. I’m also kinda shocked, envisioning her hobbling up to front porches at age 75, ringing doorbells, gleefully shouting, “Ding Dong, Avon calling!”

Minutes after we disconnect, my long lost Tupperware gal calls, claiming mere moments ago I telephoned her but promptly hung up when she answered. She wants to know if the reason I’m currently reaching out is to schedule a Tupperware party? “Does the word ‘Ziploc’ mean anything to you?” I ask.

What’s the deal with my cellphone and the 1970’s throwbacks? If I’m butt-dialing people, my ass is way behind the times.

Suspicious, I carefully set my mobile device flush on the kitchen table and scrutinize it cautiously as I eat my cottage cheese w/pineapple and lime jello. It behaves itself and doesn’t dial up Dorothy Hamil or Billy Jean King. Just a nondescript, innocent dark screen.

Just as I swallow the last of the curds, suddenly my cellphone emanates an ominous glow and a notification pops up stating, “1 outgoing call.” Seriously??  This was no pocket or purse dial! Paging Rod Serling.

I click on it to see the name Layla Down, a woman I loathe. For one thing, she always asks, “Who died?” just because I wear the color black a lot. And she pointed her finger at my youngest daughter Natalie for the lice infestation in the 6th grade. “Nitty Natty” sticks to this day. I shudder, anticipating what’s next and sure enough, it rings right on cue with the big fat phony Layla on the other end of the line.

Me: Nitty Nat’s mom speaking, how may I help you?

Layla: My, my, what a droll sense of humor you still have. So when’s the funeral? Actually I’m returning your call, Sugar.

Me: Uh, I never called you, Sweet Tart.

Layla: I have proof that you did, Sucralose.

Me: Think again, Sweet‘N Low.

Layla: Better wash your daughter’s hair, Aspartame.

We went on like this until we used up all the sarcastic (saccharin) terms of endearments and began repeating a few. Click. Maybe this was Siri’s revenge for when I let her nearly drown in the washing machine?

During the next week, my cellphone honed its interpersonal skills, not only making random embarrassing calls all on its own accord, (old boyfriends, old dentists, dead people) but it actually started efficiently connecting people together from my online address book via its 3-way conference calling feature!

It introduced my following Contacts to each other:

  • My gynecologist to my Rabbi
  • Dr. Harris, my cocker-spaniel’s vet to Harrison, a cocky Vietnam vet
  • My handyman Richard to Betty, a broken-down divorcee
  • My Weight Watcher leader to my chocoholic friend
  • My divorce attorney to my wedding planner
  • My hairstylist to my friend Nan, the Nun
  • My life coach to my son’s football coach
  • Sherman, a needy guy I dated (and wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy) to Layla
  • My therapist to my Mother (so she could analyze why nobody leaves her voicemail?)

And when I saw the newest popular trend on the market — a clear plastic food storage container (with a burping seal) filled with frosted lipsticks, I knew the Phantom of the Cellphone could take all the credit for striking again. He’d actually gone and hooked up my Tupperware Gal with my Avon Lady. Bravo!

The 6 Stages of Blogging We All Recognize and Relate To!

 

download (4)Yes, we’re familiar with those famous 5 stages of grief and loss (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) from our psych 101 classes, but did you know there are specific phases you pass thru when becoming a blogger too?

DENIAL— Oh c’mon, it’s not like it’s an official blog that I care about. I mean it was never an intentional goal. WordPress was free and I thought to myself, ‘who writes anything down with pen and paper anymore?’ So a pretty little text box happened to pop open and I typed some thoughts into it to reread when I needed help falling asleep. One day, my children got into a wrestling match next to my computer and one of them bumped my hand on the mouse and it clicked “publish.” That’s all it ever was. I’m an Accidental Author. But if you like my posts, then yes, I am a Certified Blogger.

ANGER – Those other bloggers think they’re all so smart. What is this, high school all over again with those same exclusive cliques that think they can exclude me and ignore my very existence?  So what if I don’t fit in with the “Mommy Bloggers” the “Food Writers” or the “Politics Penmanship People?”  I don’t need a special Blogging Tribe anyhow. All those fancy fake Followers and their “maybe I’ll drop-in and check out your blog some time” phoniness, and those other designer name-brand Commenters? I’m just as good as them, they’ll see. Soon they’ll come begging for me to stop moderating their comments and post them immediately because my blog will be the happening hangout for the In-Crowd, baby!  I’ll show them, I’ll show everyone.

BARGAINING — Hey fellow blogger! I was thinking you could write a guest post on my blog because well, because you’re so utterly fascinating. And just perhaps (because you have an established online presence) maybe some of your fans would stick around and read some other stuff that I’ve written?  How does that sound?  Hello??  “Dear Humor blogger, this post of yours is just hysterical!  I’m reposting your link everywhere, tweeting it, pinning it, stumbling it, tumbling it, mumbling it, fumbling it, jumbling it, bumbling it, and yes even sharing it on Facebook. Plus printing it out on cocktail napkins for my next dinner party. Isn’t that nice of me?  I’m just naturally generous in that way. My blog? Oh, well if you insist. It’s really not necessary but I think having a nice balance of give and take is what makes the blogosphere go round, don’t you?”  Dear God – – If you just let my stats go over 20 views today, I’ll bring my entire family to church this weekend.  Even though we’re Jewish.

FEAR — I just know that last post I put out there was the stupidest thing ever written in the history of blogging-kind. Oh my god, what was I thinking doing a shtick called The Bloscars which was supposed to be a parody of “The Oscars?” Nobody is even entering my contest and I’ll be laughed out of the Blogosphere. Not because I’m so humorous, but because I’m a fool and I never think before I impulsively click “publish.” And there’s no taking it back now, that sucker got forwarded to both my subscriber’s emails. There goes my one chance to turn blogging into a lucrative writing career and now I’m getting old and I’ll have to go back to waitressing and be one of those women with varicose veins and support hose, with a name-tag that says, “Flo” and who shouts, “Put Adam & Eve on a raft and wreck ’em!” to a cranky chef in Mel’s Diner.

HOPE — Someone just commented that I made them laugh so hard, they need a Depends undergarment.  That’s pretty gross but very flattering!  Oh my god. Maybe they are an agent.  Or they have an Uncle who is an agent.  You never know. Just think, they read my post and then exclaimed, “Those words! That grammar and punctuation!  I must have more! Who is this person?  I’m gonna find them and make them THE NEXT ERMA BOMBECK!” Gosh, I really need to put my contact info on my blog.  I could miss being discovered all because I’m paranoid that a telemarketer will call me up and try and sell me a magazine subscription to Good Housekeeping.  Why, I could be the actual author of the article featured on the cover of Good Housekeeping. I love Good Housekeeping. And poor telemarketers are only doing their job. That’s it, I’m putting my phone number on my blog in a prominent place right now.

ACCEPTANCE – – You’re a blogger too?  There suddenly seems to be a lot of us out there now, aren’t there? I guess I’ve resigned myself to realizing that it’s highly competitive and it’ll never be much more than a hobby.  Hmmm, well it’s fun, right?  Of course right! We can form a support group for realistic bloggers who came to terms with their mediocrity. But we still get to go to blogging conferences. Hey, that’s it — we’ll meet in real life! Wouldn’t that be something to tell our children?  Your parents met at a Writer’s Retreat where daddy got the wrong badge and went around all weekend with people calling him, “Little Miss Menopause.” And when he returned it to your mommy, we fell in love instantly. Hey, that’s kind of a unique story. It would make a great novel. And it will get adapted into a screenplay like Gone Girl. A romantic comedy,  I think they call that a rom-com?  We’ll be famous, but don’t worry because I’ll write a humorous acceptance speech for The Oscars so they won’t play us off with music like they did to Leonardo Dicaprio. Eh, The Oscars or The Bloscars, what’s the difference??  The latter is far more clever and unique. (Yep, there’s soon to be a 7th stage of blogging called, “Cockiness”)

REMINDER: TODAY’S THE DEADLINE TO ENTER THE BLOSCARS AND WIN AMAZON GIFT CARDS! 

 

 

 

 

The Bloscars (Oscars For Blogs!) Are Back! (With Giveaways!)

FullSizeRender (22)C’mon, admit it — You watched the Oscars ceremony last night while obsessing aloud, “Why can’t Little Miss Menopause do her Bloscar awards just one more time so I can win something??” This will be the 3rd year in a row I’ve featured a giveaway and you can ask the past winners if it’s worth their time to enter. But when you ask them, remind them that their Amazon gift card prize can also be used to order my book, Lullabies & Alibis just as easily as some ugly household decor item.

Now let’s walk the Red-Carpet and enter the actual Post to see the grandeur that awaits, shall we?  Beware of the Blogarazzi with their blinding camera flashes, whoops and hollers.  Smile nicely, with that odd, “looking over your shoulder at who-the-hell-knows what” type of pose.  Maybe all bloggers should keep looking over their shoulder for the next odd thing to happen to them?photo-217

 THE CEREMONY FLUFF, TIME WASTERS & A PRIZE!

Welcome! First of all – – instead of Chris Rock selling Thin Mints and other assorted Girl Scout Cookies, you’re stuck with me selling my home baked Bloatmeal, Blog Newtons, SnickerBloggle, and Tollhouse Blocolate Blip Blookies. Sorry.

photo-216Inject your Favorite Opening Dance Sequence right here to the left.  Bloggers usually have two left feet so we’ll just insert a 405 Error message over this part.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we need to talk about how it was mainly white people who got nominated for awards for the last two years and why people of color were snubbed from The Oscars. This will conveniently lead to our next contest — The People Of Collar Contest! That’s right! Collared people will never be excluded from The Bloscars! As proof of that, we’re having a separate honorary category. So to win this one you need to feature your favorite button-down shirt (sorry no tees, tanks or camisoles) and show off that gorgeous, freshly ironed, starched collar. Winner chosen for creative display of a collared shirt and will receive an Amazon gift card to buy a non-geeky shirt! Deadline and instructions are the same as the below Selfie Photo Contest.

And yes, just like when Ellen hosted the Oscars, there will be a Selfie Photo Contest, so let’s take down Twitter…Wordpress!  Not to place any WordPressure on you, but please take a photo of the front page of your Blog the way that it looks on your laptop/computer with you (the proud Blog Author!)  in the photo as well.  Shy, retiring, inhibited, insecure, and/or paranoid Bloggers (that would be me) feel free to just portray your blog alone, without any human in the pic.   Put a link to your photo (Shutterfly, Facebook, any other forum where you can post a picture) in the comments section below and the winner (based on the most eye-catching, creative photo) will receive two movie passes. (or the equivalent of such, on a $25 Amazon Gift Card)  Deadline will be March 7th to post your Selfie photos and a winner will be picked and their prize awarded on my birthday, March 12th.  Since I will have nothing better to do on that day, other than to sob about not being in my 40’s any longer.

And Now . . . The Blotion Picture Blogcademy Proudly Presents . . . THE BLOSCARS! (Imagine an orchestra of keyboard typing in unison rising in crescendo here)

During the silence that follows each category, please imagine who would deserve this particular award in your own real life world or Online World that you call your Blogosphere.  I would never be so presumptuous as to start naming Names here!  The idea is to get YOU thinking about the kinds of people (bloggers and non-bloggers alike) that you consciously surround yourself with each and every day.  It CAN make a difference.photo-218

And the Featured Categories Are ????

Best Supportive Commenter:  Who regularly leaves you lots of love?

Best Editor:  Which individual do you count on to give your posts a onceover, so you don’t have blatant errors like the spelling of “onceover” when published?

Best Original Score UnderScore: (Note: Strikeovers would also fall in this category)

Best Blog Header:  Your eye was drawn immediately!

Best Blog Background:  It compliments, rather than detracts.

Best Song: (Oh!  I feel another contest coming on!)  In the comments section below, please leave the one best song (with either a Title or the well known chorus lyrics) that would best suit your blog.  In other words, you would most want to have this song blasting when someone clicks open your blog.  Give a brief explanation as to why you chose this song. One winner will be announced (same dates given for the Selfie Photo contest and People of Collar contest above) and awarded a $20 itune Gift Card.  We’re looking again for Creativity here and some Wordplay.  Here’s a not so good Example:  The song “Roar” by Katy Perry should accompany my blog because people always roar with laughter when they read it!

Best Tagger:  Who gets the best traffic from tags?

Best Muse:  Who inspires your ideas?  Which individual do you most find yourself telling to “hold that thought” for a second while you jot something down in your “Blog Notebook”  You do have one of those, right?!?

Best Brusher-Off-er:  Who (in real life) changes the subject the fastest when you bring up your Blog?

Best and Worse Dressed List

Clothing is a huge deal.  I know.  Just not here. And breasts are not going to be mentioned here at all.  If you want to know why, go here.   So alternatively,  there will be no hiring Mr.Blackwell Blogwell to ogle (blogle) and rave or conversely rant/diss any certain Blogger’s Pajamas Attire – – but the following categories will rhyme with the word “Dressed” instead.  You should nod your head right about now and see this as a perfectly “suit”able solution.

Best Jest:  Favorite Non-Serious Blog

Best Guest:  Who regularly has the most interesting Blogger Guests writing for them?

Best Blessed:  Whose Blog seems to have the most Gratitude or Grace?

Best Addressed:  Who takes a Controversial Subject and Nails it?

Best Confessed:  Who takes the opportunity of blogging to bare their soul, show their authentic truth?

Best Assessed:  Who is the Best Reviewer you know.  Books, Movies, Food, etc. Their opinion matters to you!

Best Compressed:  Who can blog in the fewest words you know and still make it work?  Really distill down their ideas so you just get the concentrated bottom line from them?

Best Distressed & Stressed:  Who is always having an issue?  Yes, this could be a Drama Blog, but maybe not?

Best Obsessed:  Who focuses on just one topic every single solitary time, but you love them anyway?

Best Cardiac Arrest:  Who shocks you the most with their outrageousness?

Best Nest:  Which Parent Blogger gets the most “oohs and ahs” because their love of family shines through?

Best Quest:  Who seems to have the loftiest goal or purpose in Blogging?

Best Teenage Blogger who is wise beyond their years:  Hey that doesn’t rhyme?  That’s right, just seeing if you are paying attention.

Best Contest:  Who regularly has Blog Giveaways that excite you?

Best Pest:  Who is that Blogger you wish you could secretly Unfollow?

Best Rest:  Their Blog is where you hang out when you want to unwind and relax.

Best Freshly Pressed:  And if they never got Freshly Pressed, then they should;ve been. But did you know it’s too late now?  They’ve changed that here on WordPress. You can nominate yourself now. Check it out!

Best Detest:  Okay, you hate their blog.  You don’t follow it at all, but you’re aware of its presence and you want them to clean up their act.

Best Intelligence Test:  Wow, are they just off the chart smart or what??  Do you even belong there as a reader?  Yep, you do!

Best Request:  They’re the Blog-Pleasers.  They will do what you ask because they want crowd approval.  But do you really know what they’re about?

Best Impressed: They are the equivalent of the  Name   Blog-Dropper who wants you to admire their Blog for the Flash, not the substance.

Best Protest:  They are never going to be happy unless they can keep blogging about how unhappy the world makes them.

Best Mae West:  “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”  That’s right, I finally ran out of rhymes that had any connection to blogging! And besides we needed a real movie star right about now.

Along with leaving a comment, Please don’t forget to enter one of the contests above (Selfie, Song or People Of Collar!) and we’ll see you next year at the BLOSCARS! Also if you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Barbie Became Jewish (besides having her Barb-Mitzvah) or you just enjoy my bizarre humor, please go RIGHT HERE and leave me a comment. But if you do leave a remark, pretend you don’t know me and that I’m not offering prizes on my blog so the editors will think I have lots of legit fans.  😉

Panties . . . Inciting an Uproar? Or Just Uproarious Laughter?

images (10)Sometimes a mere word can conjure up an image so intense that people become highly distraught. ‘Panties’ is one of those words. The Atlantic magazine is just one of several publications that ran an article going into depth about the controversy that’s ensued over the use of this term. And I’ve actually just spent an hour reading more research on the topic of ‘Panties’ than I think there might be out there for the subject of ‘Insomnia.’ But it didn’t help me fall asleep.

First of all, nevermind that people have such an incredible curiosity about this noun that they actually go onto the Yahoo Answers website (numerous times!) posing the question “Is ‘panties’ singular or plural?” but many psychologists and researchers are actually also making the leap that calling women’s’ underwear ‘panties’ has a direct link to the amount of pedophiles in our country.

But most of the research I came across was official surveys being administered to find out if the population now really detests the use of this word or maybe they’re just lukewarm about it?  Is that a job that someone can seriously be hired to do?  “Yes, I’m here to fill out an application to be a Word Wonderer. Aside from ‘panties,’ I wonder how the public perceives the word ‘spatula?’ And I’d like to put to rest once and for all where we all stand on ‘balderdash’ and ‘flummoxed’ as well. Thank you, and yes minimum wage is acceptable because this is my passion.”

Personally, I used to date a man who told me he thought ‘panty’ was the sexiest word in our language. I just think he was in a college fraternity that conducted one too many panty raids. But interestingly, he couldn’t stand to hear the word combined with ‘hose.’  In fact, if I so much as uttered under my breath, “gosh, it’s too hot today to wear pantyhose,” he went ballistic and insisted they were called nylons or stockings.

Speaking of covering women’s legs with nylons, stockings, or (gasp) the dreaded pantyhose, are you aware that topic in and of itself has hundreds of google searches not only on whether it’s coming back in style to wear (thanks to Kate Middleton) but also whether it’s still a sin to wear them with open-toe shoes.  And folks, brace yourself . . . . but it may NOT be a fashion faux pas any longer.  Now please ignore this entire paragraph but I had to include it because I plan to tag this post with all these words so that the thousands of google searches will actually land on my blog, for once!

Another word that women apparently cannot tolerate is the word, ‘moist.’ You can see the other five cringe-worthy vocabulary words right here, but rest assured that ‘panties’ made it onto this list. Yes indeedy. Clearly the two words strung together in the same sentence could possibly incite a war.

But before anyone thinks they’re gonna be clever in the comments section and tell me to just “put my big girl panties on” and blog about something more significant, I want to defend myself by claiming that words ARE important to me. I often spend twenty minutes just mulling over my choices (eww, mulling? That doesn’t sound too appetizing) in a thesaurus so I can be satisfied that I exhausted all my options for the best and most precise meaning.

And before I enter into a relationship with anyone, I will play word association games with them as a sort of test. Also my favorite oldies song from the 80’s was by Missing Persons, “What Are Words For?” So I feel perfectly justified to “get my panties all in a snit” (Really, snit?? That’s so close to snot! I can’t believe ‘snit’ didn’t make it on the top 6 worst words list!) if someone sings, “You say to-may-toes and I say to-mah-toes, let’s call the whole thing off.”

Call it off? No way! I want to debate about it with you for hours. Let’s call it ‘foreplay.’

Dear Readers — If you’ve ever seen the movie HER, (guy falls in love with his computer operating system) I’ve just written a parody for the fitness company I work for about that time I almost tied the knot with an activity monitor, the little rogue! You can read it HERE and please know that comments left there really help me with my boss – – My Word Slavemaster! Thank you if you can take a moment of your time.

What-your-underwear-name-says-about-you

 

How To Be “SUPER” Popular At a Super Bowl Sunday Party! (even if you don’t know football)

super-bowl-food-stadiums-stadiums-made-out-of-food-4

HOPE FOR THE IGNORED GUEST!  DON’T BE LEFT OUT ON THE SIDELINES!

1. Don’t make any kind of sandwich stadium, especially not as elaborate as this photo. There will never be enough kudos to compensate you for those tomatoes. Instead, make Guacamole. Just do this. Trust me. Even if you’re out of “Avocados From Mexico.” Use kiwis. These people won’t notice – – they’ll just keep dipping and dipping while hollering at that TV . . . The Big Dips. (Note: Underripe green bananas may also be substituted.)

2. Never say this – – “I don’t know why you folks don’t just record this stuff and watch it later so you can fast forward through all these silly commercials.” Never. Ever. (See #3 below)

3. Football fans are an exuberant bunch. And worse, they know their terminology. Before you attempt to chime in during an actual live play of the ball game, experiment with a silly commercial. Try the following options: A) Boo loudly at the creepy “PuppyMonkeybaby.” B) Shout, “Hold ’em! That’s the way!” to the crane lifting Jeff Goldblum up an apartment building as he sings The Jefferson’s theme song. (yes, seriously!) C) Throw a chip at the television in disgust and say, “Really? You’re eating Doritos at her ultrasound?”

4. Casually introduce conversation with, “So how about that Joe Namath?” If this doesn’t get the reaction you are looking for, tell them you were a cheerleader for your brother in Pop Warner leagues. Note: This will only be effective if you can produce a photo. Still nothing? Remind them you brought the guacamole.

5. Don’t ruin the halftime (that’s fancy for intermission) surprise by announcing in the first two quarters, “Women are from Venus, but men are from Mars….BRUNO MARS. Oh boy. Did you hear he’s joining Coldplay?” However, it’s perfectly okay to speak about the singer 75 cents or a $1.00 into the game. Just not during the first two quarters.

6. If you are tired, don’t be offensive and yawn. Play defensively! Simply look at the clock (lower right hand side of the television screen) and if it says (only!) 2 minutes and thirty seconds are left until the end, you will now have time to play an entire game of Monopoly.

7. Look around for other wives and girlfriends that have that “I’m so bored, I could throw-up” green pallor on their face. Look closely. This could just be the guacamole. Engage them in a fashion review of the game. Tell them you think shoulder pads and tight ankle pants are so 80’s. Or entertain them with something more thrilling … like reading War & Peace aloud. If all else fails, casually remark, “Hey, I know what!! Let’s go in the other room and compose a Match.com ad for ourselves.”

8. You will eventually need to choose a side and root for them. Lemme help you. If you liked the Peter Sellers’ movie series, I’d go with the (Pink) Panthers. If you drive a Ford pickup, then the Broncos are your men. Just don’t cheer for the team wearing the black and white vertical pinstripes — they usually just stand around botching coin tosses and tossing out colored flags.

9. Right about now, you’re probably ready to show off your knowledge and throw out some authentic, sporty vocabulary during the actual game. Wait until the room is in some sort of an uproar over a bad call, then holler, “A noose, a tree . . . let’s hang the referee!” It’s always safe to pick on a man that doesn’t weigh 285 lbs, who carries a whistle, and always speaks in pantomime.

10. If none of this is working for you, continue nodding and being polite, offering all the uptight, nervous pacing men (and other guests who come in late) your spot on the sofa. Do this until every seat in the house is taken and you have to sit on the toilet in the bathroom. Bring guacamole.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

PS.  If you’re still bored watching the game, (and you happen to be Jewish) you can read my monthly humor article  RIGHT HERE. This one is on keeping the Yiddish language alive.  Did you know it’s dying?

I Still Hate Hugging!

photo 4-5

This is okay. Crazy, but okay.

This is an encore presentation of last year’s blog in honor of our (obviously still going strong!) wretched holiday on January, 21st.

I’ve stayed indoors all of today. It was National Hugging Day!  Are we serious here?  I also despise St. Patrick’s Day because it’s the one other holiday that encourages public touching. From the moment I step out of bed, I use a green toothbrush and dress like an asparagus from head to toe so there will be no mistake. I’m literally a live Female Leprechaun standing before you, folks.  I was never one of those sly minimalists who tried to trick people into pinching me so I could say, “Aha! Betcha didn’t know I have green-trimmed socks!”

But National Hug Day has taken things too far. Ask people who know me. I have been against the concept of embracing for a long time. It’s not just in public that I abhor it, and not just with complete strangers.  Although you should see my reaction as I walk down the street in a college town and some sucker student stands on the sidewalk with his sign, “Free Hugs.”  (I used to think this was a fraternity dare, but now I think it’s how they penalize pupils who have low GPA’s)

photo 2-19

This is also okay in my book.

But intimate relationship hugging is not for me either. First of all, that “Circle of Personal Space” (that none of us want to have invaded) stays up 24/7 for me.  It doesn’t take a break. There’s never a sign around my torso stating, “Personal Circle out to lunch, back in an hour.” C’mon friends, if you approach me with open arms and observe a sideways ducking maneuver, I haven’t just walked into a spider web, I do NOT want your limbs thrown around me.  A hug is just a strangle that hasn’t completed itself yet.

The thing I fear most is that some politician will decide if “National Hugging Day” is good, having a “National Cuddle Day” will be even better. Hugging, you can at least hold your breath and count to three and it’s usually over.  Cuddling is absolutely just the PITTS  (Prolonged Intimate Touching Torture System) in my opinion. Tell me you enjoy falling asleep with your mate’s hot breath on your neck? And those little involuntary twitchings and jerkings, just as you’ve crossed “leg waxing” off your mental to-do list for tomorrow and are finally slipping into those theta brain waves? And their inhales/exhales. You always gotta try and synchronize yours to theirs and when you finally match up perfectly, they’ll hold their breath and sputter.  No thanks.photo 1-20

On one of the many websites you can google today, to find more info about this holiday, (though why would you want to?) I found 10 reasons why today is supposedly good for us.  I’ve allowed myself commentary in BOLD font below.

Little Miss Menopause’s Input on “Their” Justification on Why National Hugging Day Came Into Existence

1)    Hugs make us feel “happy”! When we hug another person, our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone associated with “happiness,” according to scientific studies.  This is also released during breastfeeding and orgasm, but do we have National Days for that?

2)    Hugs alleviate stress! Just as a good hug increases our oxytocin levels, it decreases our cortisol or “stress” levels. How is stress alleviated when all you can think about is “Can they feel my stomach protruding?  Will their perfume/cologne set off my allergies?  And WHAT is that in his pocket??”

3)    Babies need hugs as much as water and food! According to researchers at Harvard University, hugs help promote normal levels of cortisol necessary for child development. Agreed.  I vote to change it to “National Hug an Infant Day.”

4)    Hugs make us better students! Students who receive a supportive touch from a teacher are twice as likely to volunteer in class.  And are ten times as likely to have a father who will see the school district in court.  And what exactly will the students volunteer to do?  Go first in dissecting a frog so that they can put their recent hugging trauma in perspective?

5)    Hugs improve our game! Scientists at University of California, Berkley discovered that the more affectionate members of a team are with each other, the more likely they are to win. Please stick to ass slapping.

6)    A hug a day keeps the doctor away! A hug stimulates the thymus gland, which in turn regulates the production of white blood cells that keep us healthy and disease-free.  And apples were removed from the prescribed “One-a-day” list because?  Don’t tell me hugs have fiber now.

7)    “A hug stops the bug!” Researchers at Carnegie Mellon proved that individuals who were sick and received hugs had less severe symptoms and were able to get better quicker. C’mon. That’s just absurd.  They simply couldn’t find anything else to rhyme with hug. (But I can – – “Give me a smug shrug instead of a hug, ya big lug!”)  Everyone knows there’s no better way to spread germs than bodily contact.

8)    A hugging heart is a healthy heart! Research from University of North Carolina showed that a good hug helps ease blood flow and lower cortisol levels, which in turn help lower our heart rates.  See? Still needing to resort to making up medical facts to defend this day.  If this is indeed true, why don’t surgeons have a couple of hearts snuggle up together in an incubator prior to transplanting one into their patient during “Open Hug Surgery?”

9)    A hugging couple is a happy couple! Couples that experience their partners’ love through physical affection share higher oxytocin levels.  Again with the oxytocin bit. Does this Stepford Wife below look happy?  Look closely.photo 1-19

10)    Hugs let someone know you care without having to say a word! So does a well-written Hallmark card.According to Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, we can identify love from simple human touch. Well I’d like to suggest they study how much love a big VIRTUAL hug can communicate!

Am I alone in feeling that hugs should be reserved for your worst enemies so you can measure how large to dig the holes in your backyard that you’re gonna bury them in?  Who did you allow to hug you today??

How Being Obsessive (and taking acting lessons!) Ruins Sex Roleplaying!

role-playing“A French Maid? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. And clean your own damn apartment with that fru-fru feather thingy!” I said, slamming the door. That was my response to my college boyfriend’s suggestion on how we should spice-up our sex life.

Why did he need me to pretend to be someone else? How insulting! Truth be known, if you were shy like me, fantasy role-playing felt super awkward. Fast forward to a time I got involved in community theater and suddenly I saw “risqué make-believe” in a whole new light. The stage-light, that is. Oscar winning performance, here I come!

The following are highlights from some of the meatier roles I’ve sunk my teeth into over the years. (Note: I mostly had the same male co-star.)

Lonely Housewife and Repairman (okay, nothing was actually broken and The Maytag Man seemed too predictable, so I suggested he be a chimney sweep instead.) As he surveyed my filthy fireplace with his poised broom, I sashayed in wearing a negligee, holding graham crackers and a wire coat hanger with a white cottonball on the end (my marshmallow-roasting prop). “Would you like S’more?” I asked, fluttering my false eyelashes. He stammered, “Some more? I haven’t even had any,” then abruptly lunged for my breasts. “Cut!!” I yelled. “Just a minute, Buster. You forgot to say ‘Yet.’ Your line should be, I haven’t had any YET.” I angrily tossed a handful of black soot into his surprised face while humming, “Chim Chim Cher-Ee” from Mary Poppins and exited stage left.

Hitchhiker On The Road: (The street we chose was very realistic, although I got a lot of gawking from other motorists (I should probably mention that unbeknownst to boyfriend, I had decided to roleplay a Hooker-Hitchhiker.) I giggled when I saw the limousine slow down, wishing I were a fly on the wall when my guy directed the unsuspecting chauffeur to pull over. “What’s your name?” my boyfriend’s eyes widened with surprise at my black lace stockings, as he asked the question we’d rehearsed. “What do you want it to be?” I breathed huskily, sliding in next to him in the backseat. “I appreciate this whole seduction thing you got going on here, but let me give you a tip. I’m a sure thing,” I loudly continued. The limo-driver stared at me in the rear-view mirror. For extra measure I added, “In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight.” Driver’s jaw dropped, finally recognizing I’ve been quoting Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. But slow Boyfriend still clueless so at the red light I directed my next line toward the front seat. “I was in here yesterday. You wouldn’t wait on me. You people work on commission, right?” Driver nodded. “Mistake. Big mistake. Huge mistake. I have to go shopping now!” I flounced out of the vehicle, leaving both men staring after me flabbergasted.

High School English Professor:  Crossing my 45-year-old legs while perched atop my desk, I observed him excitedly eyeing my short skirt as it rose up my shapely thighs. Perfect! And now for his assignment. Conjugate the words “fellatio” and “cunnilingus” into verbs for all 6 tenses, including singular past perfect in both the active and passive voices, then write me a 65-page essay on why oral sex was banned in the middle ages. Cranky without my morning coffee, I promptly headed to the teacher’s lounge, (my kitchen) leaving him to ponder how such a wild sexual fantasy could turn out so grueling and possibly lower his GPA.

Innocent School Girl: Aha! Same boyfriend (as above) thought he could outsmart me into having sex, this time turning the tables with a role-play reversal that put him in charge as the teacher. But when he leered at me I let out a piercing scream, kicked him in the groin with my little white patent-leather Mary Janes, and proceeded to report him to Child Protective Services (and the PTA) using my cellphone.

Sexy Nurse in All White: While I fastened my satin garter belts, my  very male “patient” sauntered in and started inadvertently sneezing, which wasn’t in our script. Pulling out a thermometer, I lectured, “Sorry, but I’m in my best friend’s wedding this weekend and can’t risk getting sick. I’m not touching any part of you until you get a flu shot, buddy. Understand?”

Porn Star: He finally got wise, appointing himself Executive Producer in this next roleplay so he could unleash my wannabe acting skills on a real “casting couch.” At my audition, he gave me a lengthy screen test, had me pose for racy photos, then directed me to read my lines extra seductively. But just as I was actually getting turned on, contemplating if my Adult Film Star name should be “Anita Diamond” or “Candy Barr,” he hollered, “Quiet on the set!” That was my cue to inquire if I had gotten the part?  “Don’t call us. We’ll call you,” he responded. Next thing I knew, a gorgeous, busty blonde bombshell strolled in, just as a giant metal hook yanked me offstage. Obviously my boyfriend had enough of my role-playing shenanigans and called in my understudy. Hmmmph. Lights, Camera, but no action.

Are you ready for your close-up? Do you think role-playing is sexy or just silly?

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

 

 

This Blog Hijacked By Truth-Tellers!

08DISRUPTIOINS-master67517-Year-Old: “Is Truth-Tellers even a word?  Maybe she won’t approve of our using this post title?”

Oh, just get over it!  Who really cares what our mom thinks?  The whole point is we’re sick of being her blogging subject matter and we’re not gonna take it anymore.  So while “Little Miss Menopause” (Geez, I can’t stand that name! It’s a good thing she didn’t start blogging when she was 13, she’d be known as “Little Miss Menstruation!”) takes a writing break (we’ll reveal what she’s really up to, lollygagging around) we took this chance to sneak into her log-in and tell it like it really is. Anyhow, that’s what she gets for making her password be all our birth-weights.

12-Year-Old: Really? We’re gonna tell people everything. Even THAT stuff?

17-Year-Old: Nah, we won’t disclose that. We’ll let her boyfriend spill about how she looks in bowling shoes.

14-Year-Old: I’m digging this whole revenge thing. Remember when she fabricated our entire Disneyland trip and then The Huffington Post went and published it?  Like she’d actually ever go on any ride faster than an escalator. Ha!  Serves her right for passing off fiction as our family outing. And I’m also doing this to get her back for that time I had lice!

17-Year-Old: Ewww, don’t blame our mom for your own bad hygiene!

14-Year-Old: She didn’t have to write about it.

Quit your arguing. As the firstborn, I’ve given our crime a lot of thought. We need to get in, get out, and get back to not doing our household chores so she won’t be suspicious. That’s precisely why I think writing a list is our most efficient way.

6-Year-Old: Yeah, Mom loves list posts!

Get it through your head — we do not care what Mom likes. This is OUR retribution.

10 Strange Things You’d Never Guess About Little Miss Menopause (ok, maybe you would!)

 

  1. Her hair doesn’t always have that big, wild, 80’s windblown look. When she rides in a convertible with the top town, it finally looks normal.
  2. She always runs the faucet full blast, coughs loudly, or stamps her feet so nobody can hear her using the bathroom.
  3. She’s convinced there’s someone around who is intent on listening to her peeing.
  4. She marks a line on the ice-cream carton, trying to catch our babysitter in the act.
  5. She’s actually the one who binge eats the Rocky Road.
  6. She has a temper and once threw her perfume against the wall, which broke the glass and splattered/spattered Chanel No. 5 all over our furniture. When she goes out fancy, she has to roll around on our couch to smell nice.
  7. She’s obsessed with the differences between the words “splattered” and “spattered.”
  8. Before she writes an actual blog post, she scribbles notes on her checkbook cover, doodles on a tissue box, and writes nonsensical things on the family calendar. Later, when she can’t read her own writing, she’ll walk around the house asking us, “Can you make out what it says on this old napkin?”
  9. She’ll flirt with magicians so they’ll divulge their secrets because she can’t stand not knowing something.
  10. Her idea of flirting is just plain odd because she tries to wink one eye but instead it just looks like. . .

Boyfriend:  Hey, it worked on me. And what are you kids doing on your mother’s computer anyhow?

17-Year-Old: She hardly writes anymore, so we’re hijacking her blog and setting her readers straight.

Boyfriend: But your mom’ll be absolutely furious!

6-Year-Old: Yay!  She’ll throw her perfume bottle again!

Boyfriend: Can I have a turn? I’d love to conspire with you six kids against your mother so maybe you all will finally accept me! I’ll do “Two Truths & A Lie.”  Your mother loves that game.

For the last time, we DO NOT CARE what our mom thinks! Go crazy, man.

Two Truths & A Lie

  • When we eat out in restaurants, Stephanie always asks for everything to be served “on the side,” so now they bring out her order in a Bento Box. Even when it’s pizza.
  • Stephanie parades naked around her home unabashedly 24/7 but always keeps her hands tightly hidden inside thick gloves. God, I’d give anything to get a glimpse of those fingernails of hers.
  • Stephanie loves to pretend someone else is writing her blog when it’s actually just really her. She gets the biggest thrill thinking she can pull one over on her readers. In fact, she doesn’t even have a 6-year-old kid.

6-Year-Old: Hurry up and log out now!  I think Mom’s coming in here. I don’t hear her stupid Days of Our Lives soap opera blaring on the television anymore!

That’s not her soap opera, silly! She’s reading her writing aloud again, doing different voices for each character because some movie script guru told her to do that when she went to her “How to Write a Screenplay” conference.

Boyfriend: Is that where she really was?  She told me you guys were at Disneyland and one of you had lice and . . . That does it!  I’m through with all this nonsense. I’m posting a picture of how she looks in bowling shoes.  In fact of all of you scoundrels.  I just don’t care anymore. Such a game-playing family I got mixed up with….

FullSizeRender (19)

Ex-Husband: Hello! I’m actually the one writing this whole thing. And believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Do you like it? Maybe I’ll come back again tomorrow because The real Little Miss Menopause is trying to earn some money writing stuff like this OVER HERE.

 

 

 

 

12 Potluck Party Personalities! Which One Are You?

potluckThe holidays have officially descended upon us and with this time of year harkens the arrival of the Potluck Party. Whether it be held at the office, school, church, or a relative/friend’s private residence, you’ll likely encounter some variation of the following personas:

  1. Potluck Prepper: Always bringing something to the gathering that requires a ton of preparation time. Proceeds to annoy the busy host in her own kitchen by opening the refrigerator and commenting “sheesh, how do you function in here?” and then thinks nothing of barricading an entire counter with the layout of different toppings as she assembles her ugly lettuce wraps.
  2. Potluck Planters Peanut-er: We get it – – you work, have kids, didn’t sleep, were sick all week, and in general “your time is ultra-valuable” so the can of Planter’s peanuts is your fall-back. But people with nut allergies are not digging it. Switch to beef jerky.
  3. Potluck Patenter: Owns the original copyright, trademark and patent for spinach dip! And thusly, in the name of all holy condiments, will wage a strategic war of subterfuge if you dare bring the same dish as her. Will either: a) rearrange platters so your contribution is in the back row. b) start a rumor that you used expired sour cream. c) offer guests $1 incentive for each bite they ingest of her concoction, $2 per obnoxious lip smack and $5 to the person who loudly declares her The Royal Dip Queen.
  4. Potluck Preliminary Packager: Very worried that she won’t get to bring any of her grub back home at the end of the evening so will prematurely wrap up several servings under the guise that it’s So & So’s favorite thing in the entire world, but they couldn’t come tonight. Let’s call up So & So and just see about that, shall we? The jig is up- – this doggy-bag is actually FOR YOU!
  5. Potluck Plastic-er: Cannot be bothered to transfer the contents out of the carton that it originally came in.
  6. Potluck Pricetagger: Eager to show off what she spent on her gourmet donation. Sometimes unintentionally left on and it’s so mortifying for them to know that there’s a tell-tale red-tag clearance item, they’ll douse it with sauce or frosting.
  7. Potluck Pasta PickerOuter: Brings a spaghetti dish but realizes that there’s inadvertently mushrooms in the sauce! Stands over her contribution for twenty minutes, sifting out every last ghastly fungus, never thinking that other guests might love those disgusting, rubbery toadstools.**
  8. Potluck Prider: Makes a dramatic entrance coming in late and then a huge production setting down her entrée, often simulating a drum-roll and exclaiming, “At long last, the mac n’ cheese has arrived!”
  9. Potluck Puny Portioner: This personality grew up with food rations and even though they knew full well that the host was expecting 40 guests, brings a cheesecake that serves six. Throughout the evening, they are constantly emphasizing how RICH the dessert is, thus justifying their paper thin slices.
  10. Potluck Panic-er: This person lets the whole invitational food farce upset them so much (what can they possibly bring?  OMG!) that days before the event they cancel with a mother-in-law excuse. The mother-in-law passed away three years ago.
  11. Potluck Paprika-er: Has a philosophy that everything looks better with orangish/rust colored sprinkles on top. Will paprika anything from egg-salad to birthday cake.
  12. Potluck Pedestal Presentation-er: Highly skilled in the art of display. Owns the fanciest crystal bowls and sterling-silver footed cake plates. Has a strong believe that the appetite begins in the eyes, which is rooted in the fact that one of his parents was an ophthalmology chef.
  13. Potluck Putrid Prankster: Stays up nights thinking of the dish they can bring that will emit the foulest odor. It will contain limburger cheese.
  14. Potluck Punctuality Person (NOT!): Swears they will be on time but inevitably signs up for an appetizer and then arrives when desserts are served.
  15. Potluck Papergooder:  No matter how many varied food group choices are on the list to sign up for, this person consistently gravitates to either plates, cups or utensils. They simply feel they cannot be trusted with real food.
  16. Potluck Peter Piper Pickled Pepper: “Tongue-Twister” is their name and “burn your mouth off with HOT n’ SPICY” is their game!

4 Types of Potluck Party Planners!

(The hosts themselves can often be categorized!)

  1. Potluck Prayer:  A host that secretly does not want to return dishes and vessels to the guests who brought them and is actually praying that taking them into the kitchen under the guise of “washing them out” will lead to “out of sight, out of mind” and thus increase and strengthen their personal Tupperware arsenal.
  2. Potluck Pretender: Offers to hold a potluck under the guise that it’s laid back and easy. “Bring whatever you want, everything goes,” is their mantra at first.  This should be a red flag that the day before their affair, you’ll get a call where they insist in an ominous tone that five people are bringing brownies and if you do not bring something with protein in it, (preferably steak) you’ll be arrested by the Carb police.
  3. Potluck Piler:  The host who holds back an entire dish for his or her own use because it’s their favorite and they don’t know how to cook it themselves.  These people cannot help themselves.  They spy an incoming “cheese soufflé” and immediately think “I could bring this to Jody’s party this Sunday!” You can easily recognize them because they have bruises on their foreheads from where they slap themselves while loudly uttering, “Would you look at that!  I completely forgot to put out your Velveeta thingy.  But never fear, it shan’t go to waste around here.”
  4. Potluck Passive(aggressive-er):  Starts out choosing a seemingly innocent theme. Either It’s a Small World, Breakfast For Dinner or Finger Foods. As an example of their subversive, covert demeanor, let’s say you bring soup to this last theme above — They will reassure you that all is well, and that they adore chicken broth, then suddenly blurt out, “Well I guess now we all NEED spoons, don’t we?” followed by a loud clattering in the kitchen.

** If you couldn’t tell, the author is #7.

UPDATE!  Here’s a direct link to the following!  Scroll down and please vote for team Hickson!  Right HERE!   NEWS!  I have been participating in a special collaborator phase of an exciting contest called “A Star is Born” (produced by The Neighborhood’s Kendall F. Person) when I was truly honored to be asked to team up with the one and only hilariously funny man, Ned Hickson. The voting will take place in less than 24 hours (!) Sunday, Dec. 6th at 7 pm so just click HERE to support Team Hickson in our humorous antics because updates will be posted frequently and a link to vote will magically appear at 7 pm! 

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? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blogcademy Awards (The Bloscars!) With a Giveaway Prize!

photo (14)C’mon, admit it.  You just knew you’d find me with this Blog title today, right?  With my love of inventing Blogger Vocabularly (read here) and how I honored the Winter Olympics with “The Writer Olympics” (read here) and Super Bowl Sunday (read here) then it follows there must be an event called “The Bloscars.”

Now let’s walk the Red-Carpet and enter the actual Post to see the grandeur that awaits, shall we?  Beware of the Blogarazzi with their blinding camera flashes, whoops and hollers.  Smile nicely, with that odd, “look over your shoulder at who-the-hell-knows what” type of pose.  Maybe all bloggers should keep looking over their shoulder for the next odd thing to happen to them?photo-217

 THE PRE-CEREMONY TIME WASTERS & A PRIZE!

Welcome! First of all – – instead of Ellen Degeneres and pizza, you’re stuck with me serving Blogdogs on Buns. Children Bloggers get CornBlogs.  Sorry.  I won’t pass a hat around for $ contributions, but please don’t blog one single word about how I didn’t take into account alternative meal options for Blegetarians and Blegans.  We like our blogs meaty here!  i.e. – – “Where’s the Beef  Blog ??”

photo-216Insert your Favorite Opening Dance Sequence Here to the left.  Idina Menzel (pronounce it however you like, but give John Travolta a break- – he’s barely “Staying Alive” since his Saturday Night Fever stint) can also sing “Let It Go” from the animated film, Frozen, which is what happens to Bloggers who refresh their Stats page too much.  Our computer freezes.

And yes, just like last year with Ellen hosting, there will be a Selfie Photo Contest, so let’s take down Twitter…Wordpress!  Not to place any WordPressure on you, but please take a photo of the front page of your Blog the way that it looks on your laptop/computer with you (the proud Blog creator!)  in the photo as well.  Shy, retiring, inhibited, insecure, and/or paranoid Bloggers (that would be me) feel free to just portray your blog alone, without any human in the pic.   Put a link to your photo (Shutterfly, Facebook, any other forum where you can post a picture) in the comments section and the winner (based on the most eye-catching, creative photo) will receive two movie passes. (or the equivalent of such, on a $25 Amazon Gift Card)  Deadline will be this Friday Feb 27th  to post Selfie photos and a winner will be picked and prize awarded on my birthday, March 12th.  Since I will have nothing better to do on that day, other than to sob about not being in my 40’s any longer.

And Now . . . The Blotion Picture Blogcademy Proudly Presents . . . THE BLOSCARS! (think of orchestra rising here)

During the silence that follows each category,  please imagine who would deserve this particular award in your own real life world or Online world that you call your Blogosphere.  I would never be so presumptuous as to start naming Names here!  The idea is to get YOU thinking about the kinds of people (bloggers and non-bloggers alike) that you consciously surround yourself with each and every day.  It CAN make a difference.photo-218

And the Featured Categories Are ????

Best Supportive Commenter:  Who regularly leaves you lots of love?

Best Editor:  Which individual do you count on to give your posts a onceover, so you don’t have blatant errors like “onceover” when published?

Best Original Score UnderScore: (Note: Strikeovers would also fall in this category)

Best Blog Header:  Your eye was drawn immediately!

Best Blog Background:  It compliments, rather than detracts.

Best Song: (Oh!  I feel another contest coming on!)  In the comments section below, please leave the one best song (with either a Title or the well known chorus lyrics) that would best suit your blog.  In other words, you would most want to have this song blasting when someone clicks open your blog.  Give a brief explanation as to why you chose this song. One winner will be announced (same dates given for the Selfie Photo contest above) and awarded a $20 itune Gift Card.  We’re looking again for Creativity here and some Wordplay.  Here’s a not so good Example:  The song “Roar” by Katy Perry should accompany my blog because people always roar with laughter when they read it!

Best Tagger:  Who gets the best traffic from tags?

Best Muse:  Who inspires your ideas?  Which individual do you most find yourself telling to “hold that thought” for a second while you jot something down in your “Blog Notebook”  You do have one of those, right?!?

Best Brusher-Off-er:  Who (in real life) changes the subject the fastest when you bring up your Blog?

Best and Worse Dressed List

Clothing is a huge deal.  I know.  Just not here. And breasts are not going to be mentioned here at all.  If you want to know why, go here.   So alternatively,  there will be no hiring Mr.Blackwell  Blogwell to ogle (blogle) and rave or conversely rant/diss any certain Blogger’sPajamas Attire – – but the following categories will rhyme with the word “Dressed” instead.  You should nod your head right about now and see this as a perfectly “suit”able solution.

Best Jest:  Favorite Non-Serious Blog

Best Guest:  Who regularly has the most interesting Blogger Guests writing for them?

Best Blessed:  Whose Blog seems to have the most Gratitude or Grace?

Best Addressed:  Who takes a Controversial Subject and Nails it?

Best Confessed:  Who takes the opportunity of blogging to bare their soul, show their authentic truth?

Best Assessed:  Who is the Best Reviewer you know.  Books, Movies, Food, etc. Their opinion matters to you!

Best Compressed:  Who can blog in the fewest words you know and still make it work?  Really distill down their ideas so you just get the concentrated bottom line from them?

Best Distressed & Stressed:  Who is always having an issue?  Yes, this could be a Drama Blog, but maybe not?

Best Obsessed:  Who focuses on just one topic every single solitary time, but you love them anyway?

Best Cardiac Arrest:  Who shocks you the most with their outrageousness?

Best Nest:  Which Parent Blogger gets the most “oohs and ahs” because their love of family shines through?

Best Quest:  Who seems to have the loftiest goal or purpose in Blogging?

Best Teenage Blogger who is wise beyond their years:  Hey that doesn’t rhyme?  That’s right, just seeing if you are paying attention.

Best Contest:  Who regularly has Blog Giveaways that excite you?

Best Pest:  Who is that Blogger you wish you could secretly Unfollow?

Best Rest:  Their Blog is where you hang out when you want to unwind and relax.

Best Pressed:  They haven’t been Freshly Pressed, but you think that’s just a matter of time. Either that or they make really good freshly squeezed orange juice.

Best Detest:  Okay, you hate their blog.  You don’t follow it at all, but you’re aware of its presence and you want them to clean up their act.

Best Intelligence Test:  Wow, are they just off the chart smart or what??  Do you even belong there as a reader?  Yep, you do!

Best Request:  They’re the Blog-Pleasers.  They will do what you ask because they want crowd approval.  But do you really know what they’re about?

Best Impressed: They are the equivalent of the  Name   Blog-Dropper who wants you to admire their Blog for the Flash, not the substance.

Best Protest:  They are never going to be happy unless they can keep blogging about how unhappy the world makes them.

Best Mae West:  “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”  That’s right, I finally ran out of rhymes that had any connection to blogging! And besides we needed a real movie star right about now.

Along with leaving a comment, Please don’t forget to enter one or both contests above (Selfie & Song) and we’ll see you next year at the BLOSCARS! Also signing up to follow my blog will guarantee you won’t miss the next time I get zany enough to decide to bizarrely tie a Giveaway Contest with a Posting Topic.

How I Shoved Valentines Down Everyone’s Throat!

photo-72And it tasted like Pepto Bismo. For a change of pace, I decided to catch my children off-guard with being festive this year. All it took was sending everyone an “adorable” Valentine’s app and a lot of Splenda packets to conjure up the sweetness in our lives for a day. At least that’s what I thought.  Guess they don’t call them Conversation Candy for nothing! Have a look . . .

Me: photo 4-11

 College Son:

photo 5-9

 Me:

photo 1-16

 College Son:

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 Me:

photo 3-10 Then my two younger kids chime in.

Daughter 12:

photo 4-12

 Son 10:

photo 5-10

 College Son:

photo 2-17

Me:

photo 3-12

 College Son:

photo 1-18 photo 1-8

Me:

photo 4-7

College Son:

photo 4-4

Me:

photo 3-3 photo 3-7

College Son:

photo 4-9 Sick of this son’s smart retorts, I send a heart to his twin brother with a love greeting . . .

Twin Brother:

photo 1-23

Me:

photo 2-22

Twin Brother:

photo 3-18 Finally my 17 year old daughter (who btw takes 45 minutes to decide what she’s gonna wear in the morning) decides to join in . . .

Daughter 17

photo 4-14

 College Son:

photo 4-16

 Me

photo 1-13

 College Son:

photo 5-6

Me:

photo 1-22 photo 4-15 photo 3-14

College Son:

photo 2-18

Me:

photo 4-5photo 2-9

College Son:

photo 5-4

Me:

photo 1-11

College Son:

photo 2-10

Son 10

photo 3-8 photo 2-13 photo 5-11

Daughter 17

photo 4-17

Me:

photo 3-17

Daughter 17:

photo 2-19

Me:

photo 4-20 photo 5-12

College Son:

photo-71

photo 1-17

Me:

photo 2-16

Frustrated, I decide to send the Valentine app to my boyfriend….

Boyfriend:

photo 4-3

Me:

photo 5-3

Boyfriend:

photo 2-21

Me:

photo 1-20

Boyfriend:

photo 2-20

Me:

photo 3-16

Boyfriend:

photo-70

Desserts backwards = Stressed.  Of course!  And look — this time playing Scramble was HIS idea. At least this confirms I’m with the right guy.

Hope your Valentine’s Day is a little more on task than ours! And now excuse me while I eat my own words…