15 Unique Ways To Utilize A Blog Post!

blogging-success-2013-green-wood-1t4tkvs.jpgAre you boxed into a blogging rut? Blogging is far more versatile than any of us realize. Having a blog gives you the ability (and freedom!) to express, entertain, earn, educate, enrich, empower, eliminate, elevate, enlighten, encourage, extricate, expose, and even end something! And those are just the E’s.

15 Unusual Things To Do With a Blog Post! (with hyperlinks to my examples)

  1. CONFESSION:  It’s good for the soul. Write a post where you confide to your blog things you might only write in your personal diary. Everybody loves a secret! Then dramatically hover your finger over the “Publish” button, count to three (deep breath!) and click! What’s the worst that can happen? Try it . . . it’s very freeing!
  2. SUPPORT:  Use your blog to help others who need something. You’ve heard of the “Make a Wish” Foundation? Why do you have to have proof of a fatal illness to make a wish? Aren’t we all going to be six feet under one day? Ask each of your friends/family for one wish and then post them on your blog. You’ll be surprised how many wish fulfillment readers you may have! (PS. I wish I had a million followers!)
  3. $$$: Publish your resume and experience (no matter how odd!) on your blog. You never know where this could lead. Are you really going to turn down an offer to moonlight as an official chocolate taste-tester?
  4. VICES: Announce to the world one bad habit you have and how you plan to break it. Let everyone in on how it’s going with occasional updates.
  5. ADVISE: Become Dear Abby for a day. Get your readers to tell you about a problem. OR even more fun — just hand out unsolicited advice on your blog to anyone you know whose life could use improvement. Be sure and tag them.
  6. MISSING: Mysteriously vanish from your blog. Who notices? Stay away for as long as it takes until someone says, “Well she’s obviously dropped out of the blogosphere. Let’s reuse all her really interesting posts as our own. Hmmm, you take that one and I’ll take this one. And um….that’s all there are.”  Suddenly make a triumphant return, muttering something about alien abduction.
  7. SOUND: Your readers really want to hear your voice. Trust me, they (I!) do. Make an audio post of you reading what you’d normally put in print. (I personally don’t know how to accomplish this noisy feat because I’m old and technologically challenged, so you’re never gonna get to hear what I sound like. But let’s just say when people call me up — especially telemarketers– when I answer, they ask if my mother can come to the phone.)
  8. LIVE: Host a live event right on your blog. People will tune in to watch you get baptized, bar-mitzvahed, married, divorced, or buried. (ps. that last one is taking #6 just a bit too far.)
  9. LOVE: Describe your dream girl or guy. Hey, nobody says you’re turning your blog into a dating app, but if you’re single and your fantasy man just happens to be a reader of yours? He’ll recognize himself in your description and then WordPress will gladly pay for your honeymoon if you credit them in the wedding invitation. Yes, I checked!
  10. REVENGE: Have your significant other come on your blog and write all about you from their perspective, for a change. After all, they’ve put up with being your subject matter for a long time now. Turnabout IS fairplay.
  11. LIFEHACKS: You (yes, YOU!) have useful ways of solving problems that others want to hear about. Like “Eat Popcorn With Chopsticks To Prevent Butter Fingers.”
  12. CONTEST: Have a prize for whomever leaves the longest comment or shares your blog the most. Or when the Oscars roll around, hold your own “Bloscars” for best written blogs. The prize should be chocolate flavored, if you want me to enter.
  13. INSIDE-OUT: You’ve seen those articles on “What’s in a celebrity’s bag?” But do famous people have the monopoly on interesting possessions? Nope! Divulge what’s in your own purse, pocket, refrigerator, trunk of car, under bed, garage, or just admit what’s in your heart!
  14. INTERVIEW: It can be whomever you want. Make your grandmother feel important. Or . . . Interview yourself like I did.
  15. NAMEDROP: Everyone likes to see themselves listed in the movie credits or the acknowledgments of a bestselling book. Your blog is the second best option. Do a post and mention whomever you feel has helped you in life, Yes even the Ex, if you learned something from the relationship. However don’t turn him into an Ex by doing the actual break-up on your blog — that’s one unusual post I will draw the line at.

READERS: Feel free to add your own unique use for a blog post in the comments!

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We Interrupt This Blog . . .

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There may be an official ordinance about posting unfunny things on a humor blog, but I’ll accept a warning citation. Ironic short stories are my original genre of writing and several readers have encouraged me to share more widely here. Back to regularly scheduled chuckles soon! Thank you.

Going Up, Going Down, Going Thru, Going Under!

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Wow, I’m really going under tonight.

I’ve seen this hypnotist’s show before and figure I can trust him just fine to put me under. The only embarrassing part of the act was when he made the women on stage believe they were doing a striptease for their husbands. But even that I can handle, I reassure myself. Besides it might actually help Dennis see me in a new light. Lately he’s been restless, telling me I hold him back, I’m too safe, don’t take enough risks, and I’m not living life boldly enough. “Carpe Diem,” he’ll say as if mocking Robin William’s character in the movie, only I know he really means it. So in less than one hour, I will seize the day, and the night, and my husband’s respect.

All by announcing I am pregnant when it’s my turn in the spotlight.

“The rabbit died,” said that nasally nurse with the goofy sense of humor on the phone yesterday, and it had taken me a few seconds to reconcile her morbid, archaic expression with the fact that I finally had wondrous life growing inside of me after three years of fertility futility. No more temperature taking, ovulation kits, semen analysis, uterine biopsies, and standing on my head after lovemaking.

Dennis pays for our two tickets with a credit card that I strongly suspect will be declined. It’s the third one we’ve exceeded our limit on since he lost his job at the architectural firm. But I’m right behind him, expediently holding two twenty dollar bills so his red-face embarrassment will be short lived. That’s what a good wife does after all. But it’s dark by the box office and so I miss his grateful expression as we’re unexpectedly ushered into an elevator behind two perfectly proportioned blondes. The more platinum of the two drawls, “Going up,” while pushing a button with her fuchsia fingernail.

Both young women follow us into the theatre and meld their lithe bodies into chairs directly next to us. I notice the taller one lets her high-heeled encased ankle graze my husband’s pant leg as she deeply crosses her exposed thighs. But I turn my attention to the overhead banner that proclaims, “The Hip Hypnotist. Is it your turn to surrender?” And another sign to the right that advertises, “Enjoy yourself at our show… you ARE our show!” I squeeze my husband’s hand with affectionate anticipation knowing how pleased he’ll be to see me up on stage as a vivacious volunteer. And the grand finale when the hypnotist asks each participant to tell the audience something they would never guess, something shocking…well, I can’t think of a more fun and bold way to break the news of the baby. I only hope I won’t be too deeply hypnotized to appreciate Denny’s pride.

I’m immediately reassured when a slide show flashes on a big screen monitor explaining that being hypnotized is relaxing, enjoyable, and further elaborating that the subjects will be alert at all times to what is going on around them. And how it only serves to bring everyone into a deeper state of reflection where inhibitions will be tempered. This sounds like exactly what I need. Denny’s biggest complaint? I’m too uptight, too in control, and far too anxious. To have any fun.

I’m not expecting such a frenzied rush to the stage when the MC invites people up and I’m nearly trampled trying to grab a chair in the line-up. I’m relieved to see that I’m seated between two conservative, stuffy looking gentlemen so I feel very at home even though the lights are painfully bright. I glance back into the second row, my hand shielding my eyes as they strain to seek out my husband from the crowd. I am rewarded to see him nod appreciatively. “Just wait,” I say silently, “if you think this is good, you just wait.”

I gently flutter my eyelids closed as instructed and feel a certain warmth radiating from my toes on upward. I speculate if this is the heat the Hip Hypnotist suggests I’ll be feeling, or if I’m just flushing with embarrassment wondering if people think my hairstyle is dated. “Don’t analyze,” I chide myself, “Just go with the flow.” But what is that soft background music? It almost sounds like the instrumental part of The Doors, Light My Fire. I love playing Name That Tune.

All at once, Hip’s voice seems to come to me from everywhere and nowhere, soaking through my ears, dripping into my mind’s eye where it paints delicate pictures with watercolor words. “A river of thought,” he murmurs. “A stream of consciousness,” the voice drones, “a trickle of trivia…” Did we pay our water bill this month I wonder, and visualize the online automatic withdrawal system that I recently activated. But Hip’s gentle touch on my shoulder distracts me from this mundane image as he calmly states that each time he taps me, I will be filled with a deeper and deeper sense of tranquility. I crack one eyelid partway open, then quickly admonish myself in my former preschool teacher’s voice, “no peeking.” But now Hip is counting backwards from ten to one and when he’s done, we’re supposed to open our eyes and find that we’re in a fantasy field of flowers.

Someone lowers the lights and fades the music and I’m horrified to realize I feel no different at all. I am exactly the same. Three, two, one. A panicky sensation grips my throat and I begin to sneeze in succession, four, five times, something I always do when I’m edgy. But nobody says, “bless you” and I realize everyone around me is probably too busy frolicking in their lovely imaginary meadows. And here I am, stuck — trapped inside the same old self-conscious, timid, awkward wallflower persona on this stage while Hip heads toward me with efficient strides, probably to test my level of hypnotization, if that’s even a word. To add to my mortification, the prim looking man seated on my left lowers his face with drowsy oblivion deeply into my lap. Obviously looking to graze in MY greener pastures.

Hip the Hypnotist seems entirely satisfied to raise my arm up and watch it droop down again, apparently checking the “floppy factor,” a true litmus test for hypnotists. He then nods approvingly, gesturing toward me and egging the audience into rapturous applause.

“One more thing,” Hip adds when the clapping dies down, “If at any time during our show, someone next to you in the first ten rows appears to have gone under, please raise your hand and one of our lovely assistants will escort them on stage to join our act. It happens more than you’d think!”

Still alarmed that I’m not under some spell or feeling any different at all, I think back to when I saw this show before. What’s next? What the hell is next? Oh, we stink, we really stink. That’s right. I can fake that. I quickly remember all the things I’ve pretended in my life. Pretended to be asleep when Dennis came to bed, pretended I liked his mother’s obnoxious perfume, and pretended I had my doctorate degree when I was around the snooty women at my husband’s X-mas party. I begin to hold my nose and fan the air, looking suspiciously at the man to my right as Hip insists our neighbor hasn’t showered in weeks. The audience barely chuckles and out of the corner of my eye I think I see Dennis yawn and glance sideways at Blondie next to him.

Next we’re given the choice to be jockeys or thoroughbreds in the Kentucky Derby and I have to make a quick decision which one would be less embarrassing. I’m self-conscious about my size so I decide to be a horse rather than a rider (don’t they have to weigh under 100 lbs?) but once again I’m humiliated beyond belief as Hip proposes that the horses have just done the unthinkable! All the jockeys hold their noses at our imaginary disgusting stench. What is up with this guy and his obsession with odors? But the audience seems to really enjoy this and so I play along, all the while planning my seductive striptease where I can more than likely redeem myself in front of Dennis before I broadcast that I’m the expectant mother of his first child.

It dawns on me that everyone else on stage seems to be genuinely hypnotized as they prance freely around and I can’t believe I’m the only one held prisoner by my inhibitions and hang-ups.

“What’s your name and where ya from?” Hip closes in on me with his microphone and I try to make my eyes appear dreamy and awestruck, the way I imagine they should look in a trance.

“Sharon Henderson from California,” I recite zombie-like.

“That’s a strange racehorse name,” Hip persists.

F*ck I think, I’m blowing it. I quickly add, “otherwise known as Lucky Lady from Laughlin,” I toss my hair like a Clydesdale mane, but decide that actual neighing noises might be too over-the-top. And that’s when I notice Hip’s eyes narrow at me just a bit before he moves on.

Next we’re skiing in the Alps, only we’re doing it barefoot. Easy. Just shiver uncontrollably. After that, we’re at the beach and one of us, (thankfully not me) has a hole in a prominent spot in their bathing suit. Another cinch. I fake a shocked expression while the crowd bursts into bawdy howls. But now I feel my whole body tighten because it occurs to me that after this, it will be time for all us females to become x-rated exotic dancers. I scope out my competition and that’s when true despair sets in. I didn’t realize there were so many beautiful young girls up here. Is that one even legal, I wonder, knowing that alcohol has been served all night long. I can only hope that afterwards, Dennis will be so ecstatic over my pregnancy announcement that he’ll make generous allowances for a clumsy, horselike, foul-smelling stripper reject. I let myself glance at him momentarily, but he seems to be staring down motionless at his shoes.

A sudden prod on my shoulder and I’m introduced to the audience as “Cherry Jubilee,” direct from Paris. I recognize the bump and grind music from some old Broadway production. Great, he has to go and make me a French girl, I lament. I flounce around on an elevated platform twirling my sweater, then sashay stage left because I know Dennis sits off to the right. Hips. Swivel your hips and get your ass into it, I encourage myself and now I’m swirling and swaying pretty good for someone who’s seven weeks along. But the audience starts to taunt, “Take it off Cherry, take it all off!” and I know Dennis would want to see me loose and carefree so I fling the plaid sweater at some man in the front row and start to undo the top part of my silk blouse. I’m indebted to Hip for stopping me mid-button, but not at all grateful for what he spits out next.

“Why, you big ham you! You’re not really under at all, are you? Thought you could fool us fools? But let’s give Sharon a big hand anyhow for her participation thus far,” he says and gives me a hard thrust toward my seat as people hesitatingly clap. As I stare in disbelief wondering what about my dancing could’ve given me away, I hear Hip continue enthusiastically, “But it looks like someone in our audience is highly suggestive and has gone completely under. Let’s bring him up here, shall we? Audience?” Everyone thunders away and I notice Buxomy Blondie next to Dennis wildly waving her hands and pointing fingers at my lethargic husband who appears drunk and perfectly content to be accompanied up the steps of the stage by a stunning red-haired assistant.

It could be my imagination but it almost seems like both the blondes stick their feet out in the aisle to trip me as I try to squeeze by and return to my seat with some semblance of dignity. “Going Thru!” I whisper to them.

All eyes are now on the intriguing newcomer in the spotlight, and I watch as my husband, (now seated in the exact chair I just previously sat in) gregariously introduces himself as ‘Dennis the Menace.’ Hip snaps his fingers and in response, Denny instantly slumps forward in a genuine daze.

I look at my watch and realize the show is nearly at its conclusion except for the ending stunt where everyone makes a single outrageous confession. I’m sad not to be able to blurt out my amazing baby news, but I still feel a few eyes on me so I chortle along with the rest of the crowd as one girl proclaims her bisexuality. Another man dressed in Walmart garb surprises people by declaring he’s a multi-millionaire. One of the younger girls admits being hot for Hip the Hypnotist and everyone shouts, “Go for it!”

Dennis greedily snatches the mic out of turn and leans closely in, characteristically clearing his throat before he talks. I almost think Blondie next to me blows him a coy little kiss, but maybe she’s only swatting at a gnat.

My husband hesitates one suspenseful moment before speaking…

“I don’t love my wife Sharon anymore. I’m having an affair and I’m leaving her.” His burning voice seems to come to me from everywhere and nowhere all at once, singeing my ears as the words blaze into my mind’s eye; an explosive inferno of divorce papers, wedding albums, and abortions ignite together as blonde looks of pity smolder in my direction.

Wow, I’m really going under tonight.

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10 Reasons You Should Text Instead of Call!

31CULTURALSTUDIES-jumbo-v2I know, I know…. most articles have the opposite viewpoint of this one, emphatically claiming technology has gone too far and there are huge benefits to returning to real human interaction with real voices in real time. But here’s the other side of the coin err pay phone!

10 Reasons Why Texting is Superior To Calling!

  1. The “Just One More Thing-er” — Do you know anyone like this? After you’ve reached the conclusion of your conversation and you say, “Gosh, I really need to go now,” the other person suddenly remembers 26 CRUCIAL things they must impart to you. Let’s take the example of my mother…

Me: Oh! Look at the time, I’m going to be late to pick the kids up from school. Love you, Ma!

My Mom:  You better scoot then! Scoot, Scoot! But did I ever tell you I was almost voted homecoming queen at my senior prom?

Me: Uh, no mom, that must’ve been exciting. But if I’m late, the school charges me $1.00 per minute.

My Mom: Only $1.00? Have I mentioned that First American Bank charges me a $3.00 service fee every time I use another financial institution’s ATM machine.

Me:  Oh, that’s a shame. Bye bye!

My Mom: Yes! Bye Bye Birdie is opening at the Actors Alley Theatre near me. Why don’t we go see it?

Me: Sure Ma, get the tickets and I’ll reimburse you. But right now I’m gonna hang up!

My Mom: Hang-up!?? Ugh. Your father had such a hang-up about crying in front of other people. Did you know he never shed a tear in front of me? I certainly hope you don’t have that trouble, dear.

Me: (Sobbing) Mom. Pleeeeease let me disconnect from this telephone call!

2. Evidence! — With verbal calls, you have no proof that someone said something if they deny ever uttering it. With text? Just screenshot it and resend. Ba-Bam! Their text message is staring them in the face. Pass the salt because now you can make them eat their words.

3.  No Awkwardness! — Phone calls have three uncomfortable scenarios: A) Both people start to talk at once followed by both parties politely offering the other person the chance to speak first. This is also said simultaneously! B) Both of you run out of things to say at the exact same time and a lengthy silence ensues. C) You cannot hear the other person because their voice is garbled (or they’re a mumbler) and it’s embarrassing to have to ask them to keep repeating things so you just start agreeing with whatever they’re saying — and lo and behold, suddenly you’re a Trump supporter! Not happening with texting. None of this. Nada.

4. Non-Intrusive — Ever hear anyone request, “Would you mind not texting me during the dinner hour?” or “Bad timing on your part, your text interrupted some really fantastic sex!” And IF they can hear an innocuous notification during their “fantastic” sex, it deserves to be interrupted!

5. Clever Comebacks! — You have as long as you need to text back something witty. No need to think fast on your feet during a phone call or have second thoughts lamenting, “Ugh! Why didn’t I tell him to ‘Kiss my grits’ just like Flo from the old Alice sitcom?” (It’s like the difference between playing Scrabble at your kitchen table with an egg-timer versus Words With Friends online when you have all day to use your “Q” without any “U”!)

6. Tone Deaf— It’s much harder to decipher someone’s tone during texting. But this IS a good thing! No longer will you be subjected to your ex’s voice dripping with sarcasm on the phone. You’ll receive accurate information, minus the drip. And the same idea works in reverse, so use it to your advantage! i.e. You can say whatever you want (venting anger or resentment out of your system!) via text. When the person expresses hurt feelings or calls you on your sh*t, simply type, “My goodness, when they say tone gets misconstrued with texting, they’re absolutely right. Surely you knew I was joking?” (Note: If they’re like my ex-husband, they may respond with, “Please don’t call me Shirley!”)

7.  Efficiency! — Some of us hate all the details and niceties leading up to the main point. We just want to get in, get out, and get on with eating avocado toast. Small Talk is for Small Minds.

8. Multi-Tasking!– Talk about your time-saver! I wrote this entire blog while texting with my mother. What will you accomplish while texting your own mother?

9. Eliminates Annoyance: With text you won’t hear their gardener’s leaf blower or their children fighting in the background. You won’t hear them stutter/stammer, saying “Um” all the time or be subjected to their excessive use of the words, “like” or “ya know.”

10. Analysis: You’re in a new relationship and you’ve documented your entire text conversation. Great! Now screenshot it and forward it to your most experienced married friends for their insightful feedback. Be sure and ask, “What do you think he actually meant by his third sentence when he wrote, “I’m not interested in you romantically, so let’s just be friends?”

  • Bonus Reason #11: Rectify Regrets! — It happens. You’ve texted something you wish you hadn’t. Simply follow up the unfortunate text with, “My brother just grabbed the cellphone out of my hands and typed that last remark. You know what an impish practical joker he can be! Hehe.” Then find an emoticon that looks like something you would use on April Fool’s Day.

Readers: Do you prefer text or phone calls? Please tell me why in the comments below!

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Timing is Everything in Life!

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If everyone got rid of their clocks, watches, calendars, hourglasses, (and oven timers!) and there was no way to keep track of the elapsing minutes, would our bodies still age? (And our cakes still burn?)

The passage of time plays such a huge part of our lives physically, psychologically, professionally, and socially that I wanted to get reader input to see if there was a general consensus about the amount of time you should wait regarding certain life experiences.

It should be noted that when I started to type the phrase, “How long should you wait….” in an internet search, the first thing that came up was the rest of this sentence: “To date again after a break-up?” That makes sense given there doesn’t seem to be a standard protocol we all agree on for a confusing life event like that. But surprisingly, the second most prevalent question that overwhelmingly popped up after typing in, “How long should you wait….” was “To go swimming after eating a full meal?” Seriously folks?? Are we all still fretting over that silly age-old dilemma? (There are NO cramps people! That was just my Jewish grandmother’s clever way of keeping us out of her pool after she fed us so she could put curlers in her hair.)

The following are the things I often wonder about with time so please chime in if you have an answer. Meanwhile my little (snide?) remarks will be in red font after each question.

How Long Do You Wait?

  • To announce to friends and family that you’re in love? (I think immediately after you tell people this exciting news, your new lover will confide in you they have a criminal record.)
  • For someone to finally come out of their house and get in your car after you’ve honked your horn loudly? (The worse part about carpooling!)
  • To tell people you’re pregnant? (Religious Jews believe this should NOT be divulged until the first trimester is over, when the chance of miscarriage goes tremendously down. Do you wait?)
  • To submit your writing elsewhere if you haven’t heard back from an editor/publication? (I think giving someone 48 hours to have it dawn on them how clever/funny I am is PLENTY of time! Okay, 3 days if they’re super dense.)
  • To get remarried after the death of a spouse? (My mother tells me lots of women in her age group bring homemade meals to a newly widowed man (at his wife’s funeral!) as a way of saying, “I’m a great cook. Can I be next in line for you??” This is referred to as the “Brisket Brigade!” Oy.)
  • Between applying coats of paint on your walls? (Yes, I really wanna know this! Shouldn’t it be the same as fingernail polish??)
  • Until you set a date after the marriage proposal? (the trend for staying engaged for a long time is a confusing one!)
  • Before tossing bread/muffins/tortillas in the refrigerator after the expiration date? (These date stamps are something we routinely ignore in my house in favor of color-coding. In other words, a red-flag with baked goods would be discovering it’s now green!)
  • Before sending a second text asking, “Hey! Did you get my first text?” (This dilemma drives me crazy because maybe they received it but are purposely ignoring me. Or maybe they texted back and I am the one who NEVER got their response. Where does it end??)
  • Before calling the police if your teenage daughter is not answering her cellphone and none of her friends have seen her? (This will only make sense to someone whose kid routinely retorts, “If I’m grounded, I’m running away from home!”)
  • To nudge someone if they’re not taking their turn in Words With Friends?? (C’mon already. And don’t just resign or forfeit — I don’t wanna win that way!)
  • How long should you date different people before becoming “exclusive” with just one? (It should be the same answer for “how long do you traipse through furniture stores before deciding on a couch?” Won’t there always be a more comfortable, nicer looking sofa?!)
  • How long should you wait after a child is born to have a second? (And God help you when the adults are outnumbered.)
  • Between brushing your teeth and eating? (A conundrum I could never figure out. Brush after eating, makes sense. But then if I get hungry again? The whole cycle repeats itself 80 times a day??)
  • For the sex to get better with your new partner? (Alright, you’ve given them “the initial tour” and they kept getting lost. How long are you expected to wait for them to feel at home in your strange little “town?”) 
  • For a late professor to show up in a classroom at college before leaving? (He does NOT wait for you to show up before teaching!)
  • How long should you wait in bed to drift off to sleep before deciding, “It’s obviously another night of insomnia — those poor online readers are getting another idiotic blogpost from me about timing.” (I have absolutely no comment/opinion on this last one, other than to apologize.)

Readers: Can you answer anything I’ve asked here or do you have your own question about how long to wait for something? Leave either or both in the comments section below! 

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Funky Facebook Friend Faye Fiercely Focused on Flaunting!

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Ever have an irritating family friend from childhood whose sole purpose in life was competing with you? You know those kind of “pals” — you don’t choose them, but they’re part of the deal because both your parents are good friends? I thought I’d seen the last of Faye in my teenage years until she suddenly surfaced on Facebook, or rather “Faye’sbook,” requesting her entrance into MY WORLD. Noooooooooo!

Now whenever I post an update that’s a happy one, Faye immediately posts her own “Ecstatic” status. And being the type who detests people portraying their lives as all rainbows, butterflies, and sunsets, I’ll often type out something extremely honest but depressing. And in the blink of an eye, Faye will elaborate on some catastrophic personal tragedy on her own newsfeed. She keeps an endless supply of cousins with cancer for this very purpose.

So basically if I’m happy, she’s Happier and if I’m downhearted, she’s Fantine from Les Misérables. 

When I wrote about my daughter going to her first prom last June, Faye’s daughter went to her first prom AND was crowned Prom Queen. I got in a car accident and was taken to the ER in an ambulance? Faye was sandwiched by two semi-trucks and airlifted to ICU in a coma. I made a crème brûlée and caramelized the sugar with a cigarette lighter? Faye made baked alaska flambé with a culinary torch!

Doesn’t this chick have anything better to do with her life than to concentrate on outdoing me on a daily basis??

“Stephanie,” you might say, “Will you get over yourself and your big ego? It’s not always about you, you know? Sometimes it’s just pure coincidence.”

Oh yeah? I’ll prove it. Look at my Facebook from last night. It’s so utterly specific.

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Suddenly on her Facebook appeared this status:

Gosh, my husband (the most incredible ophthalmologist in the world) says the crazies are coming out of the woodwork after the eclipse, claiming they’re going blind. What are you gonna do? It puts our kids through the best Ivy league colleges!

 

Fluke?  I think not.

But just to be sure it wasn’t a chance occurrence, I found Faye on Twitter and clicked “Follow.” Then I tweeted this:

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And needless to say a new Tweet from Faye soon went out like this:

Daughter has Lice, Dog has fleas, Kitchen has Ants, Basement has Termites! #The10Plagues!

 

See, she even outshines me in pestilence. What petulance!

So I went to Instagram, searched for Faye there and was successful in locating her right away. This called for a new clever tact. A “fluffy strategy” to be exact, because I make the most adorable memes in the world, featuring my two kittens. Here’s my latest Instagram post:

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How can it possibly get any cuter, (or cleaner!) than two kitties in a sink?? Well not even twenty minutes later, her Instagram showcased her bathtub!

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Needless to say on Pinterest, I put up a bunch of pins on turning a spare bedroom into a movie theatre. Then I clicked on her Pinterest account and she’d newly added photographs of a long, narrow hallway, remodeled into a bowling alley!

After friending her on LinkedIn, I made sure that my title prominently stated I was a published author. And instantaneously she got promoted from a boring “Technical Writer” to “Award Winning Screenwriter!”

Alright, this means war! And that’s why I’m writing this WordPress blog and then I’m gonna find Faye’s WordPress blog and become a secret new follower. There’s only one problem, I just found out Fay is on the East Coast, where she’s apparently three hours ahead of me in everything she does. And so this is HER latest post on WordPress:

Ever have an irritating family friend from childhood whose sole purpose in life was competing with you? You know those kind of “pals” — you don’t choose them, but they’re part of the deal because both your parents are good friends? I thought I’d seen the last of Stephanie (who now weirdly goes by “Little Miss Menopause”) in my teenage years but my mother insisted I find her on Facebook, so I grudgingly did so for old time’s sake. After that, she’s been stalking me on every social media in existence trying her best to upstage me. Can we say, “CREEPY??” Ewwwww. Get a life.

 

READERS: Do you have an online “competitor?” How about in real life….maybe at the gym?

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Life Is One Big Query Letter!

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Or at least it should be . . .  if we were always allowed to ask for what we needed and wanted. For instance I wrote a book, I yearned to get it published, so I sent out Query Letters to agents describing what it was about and why I thought it would be of interest to certain readers. I waited for a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ regarding whether or not I could go to the next step and submit the first twenty pages. Simple.

Now let’s do this with EVERYTHING! Shall we?

Dear Neighbor,

I just moved into the home that was for sale across the street from you and I have a couple of kids whose hobbies include football, shopping, and…and that’s it! I think they’d make the ideal new friends for your son and daughter that I see walking harmoniously together out your front door every morning to catch the school bus. I’d be more than happy to send my daughter’s diary as well as video clips of my son’s game when he was quarterback. Thank you for your consideration!

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Gynecologist,

Your receptionist told me you’re not accepting any new patients, however I am of the opinion that you’ve never palpated breasts like mine before and it’s a unique experience no medical doctor should miss. Additionally I’m more agile at slipping my feet into those stirrups than any female this side of the Mississippi — and nobody can undress and get into a paper gown faster than I do. Think you’ll knock three abrupt times, then swiftly open the door to surprise me standing naked? Think again! You ain’t never had a patient like me. In conclusion, may I have my previous OB/GYN forward my medical charts for your perusal? Thank you for your time.

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Daughter,

I certainly hope this query letter finds you doing well in college. I’ve been following you on social media recently and I have some thoughts on how you’re leading your life, which I’m certain you’ll find fascinating. Just to give you a little teaser: You’re not dressing appropriately for your internship, the guy you’re dating isn’t from a very good family, and the Bloomin’ Onion you ordered last night from Outback Steakhouse is a heart attack waiting to happen. Please be aware that my advice is destined to become a bestseller, but I wanted you to be the first child to have the opportunity to utilize it. May I send you the complete outline so you can browse through it at your leisure?

Your Mother

 

Dear Parker Brothers,

Through the years I’ve enjoyed your Scrabble, Boggle, Clue, and Risk boardgames. I recently invented a new game I like to call, “Natural Consequences” in which milk spoils when not put back in the refrigerator, husbands don’t get sex when they forget to pitch in around the house, and children’s grades suffer when they don’t study. With your permission, may I send over a few people willing to act out all the fun in a live format for you?

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Firstborn Son Who Moved Far Away,

It has come to my attention that we don’t communicate anymore. I cannot remember the last time I heard your deep voice explaining the difference between fission and fusion.  I know a brilliant nuclear engineer and a scatterbrained creative writer don’t have a lot of commonality, but I’ve made a list of stuff we’ve shared (which you may not now recall) during your formative years. Just to give you a sneak preview, one of the things was spontaneous Bear Hugs. May I submit the rest of the list in the hopes that we can find our way back to yesteryear? I miss you son, I really miss you.

Much love always,

Mom

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Readers: Who Would You Send a Query Letter To?

Rose’s Authentic Diary from Titanic Finally Published!

OSCARS-BEST PICTUREEntry #1: Dear Diary, oh rats! We’re boarding the largest vessel ever built and I just realized I forgot to pack Dramamine or Bonine. The weather predicts smooth waters, so hopefully it’ll be a non-issue. Sailing 1st Class is such fun! Here’s my bucket list for this trip:

  1. Learn how to fold towels into cute animal shapes like the cabin stewards do.
  2. NOT to gain ten pounds like all the other women who go on cruises.
  3. Sing, “I Will Survive!” in the Karaoke lounge.

I also hope to meet another rich guy on our deck because my engagement to Cal isn’t going so well. Anchors aweigh! (Or should that be anchors away? Hmmmm….)

Entry #2: Today I decided a good way to attract another man is to pretend to jump overboard. I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic and I’ve got a good suicide routine. Right on cue, a boy named Jack Dawson appeared and I let him talk me down from the railing to safety, when suddenly my high heel caught in my fancy gown’s fabric and I slipped overboard for real. OMG! Do you realize I could’ve actually died? Note to Self: Enroll in acting lessons once back on dry land. Who knows, I may turn out to be another Kate Winslet!

Entry #3: Found out Mr. Dawson is extremely poor. A real 3rd class citizen. Rats! Hey, I know… marrying him would be a really good way to get back at my controlling mother after all the money she’s spent on my finishing school. (I hereby promise I’m never gonna let you go, Jack!) In fact, tomorrow I’m going to flirt with him a little. I’ll giggle a lot, flounce my shoulders, tousle my hair, and then ask him to teach me how to spit like a man. Romantic sigh…

Entry #4  Apparently Jack is an artist who specializes in sketching naked french girls who recline on fainting couches, wearing nothing but large, blue sparkling pendant necklaces. But I’m gonna ask him to draw me wearing a life-vest. That’s not kinky. That’s foreshadowing.

Entry #5 Tonight we ran wildly around the E Deck, trying to elude my fiancé’s lunatic henchman who wanted to catch us. I don’t think he knows you only play Marco Polo in swimming pools. We went down below the passenger compartments and got turned-on watching workers handle the heavy equipment. By the time we climbed into this old-fashioned automobile, I knew the front windshield would steam up enough for me to leave a single, sweaty handprint. That’s the kind of thing a movie camera will zoom in on so audiences can use their imaginations. But anything you conjure up won’t be nearly as good as reality because Leonardo  Jack is a total stud. (OMG I’ll never let you go, Jack. I promise!)

Entry #6: Despite Jack being as poor as a church mouse, tonight he announced to anyone within earshot that he’s actually King of the World. I just adore a multi-faceted man. In fact, I’d rather be his whore than Cal’s wife.

Entry #6: Dear Diary, ours was a love story you could really sink your teeth into! I mean seriously it had drama, action, romance, phlegm — everything but the kitchen sink. But then they had to go and frame Jack for thievery, arrest him, and put him in their makeshift slammer. After this awful news finally sunk in, I thought, “How could they sink so low?” Then my heart sank. And all this time I believed my heart would go on and on. “Near, far, wherever you are….” But nope. My heart literally sank. And to top it off, I have this sinking feeling now like, “Maybe we’re all sunk!” 

Entry #7: Something tells me I should learn how to use an axe.

Entry #8: Oh no, Diary! The ship just bumped into a large object! Stay tuned….more later.

Entry #9: Well, apparently the boat crash was just the tip of the iceberg. Too much has happened to jot down here, but suffice it to say, (while floating on a broken ship door) I got major brain freeze when I finally realized what had to be done. It was just time for both of us to move on. That’s right Diary — I had to let Jack go. Besides, he’ll be perfect for The Great Gatsby or The Wolf of Wall Street.

Entry #10: I really liked the last name “Dawson” so I’m marrying Richard Dawson of Family Feud fame!

Entry #11: I’m 100 years old now and being summoned back to the wreckage of Titanic to see about some valuable sapphire diamond they call, “The Heart of the Ocean.” I pawned that old piece of blue glass long ago to pay for my facelift, but I’ll give them a good quote they can use for their blockbuster movie. Ready? Here goes…. “Now you know there really was a man named Jack Dawson and he saved me. In every way that a person can be saved.” That will be a dramatic ending if I die peacefully in my sleep tucked into a warm bed. Or I know! They can make the whole thing be a crazy dream I had, just like Dorothy!

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Be Careful Answering “Why Did Your Relationship End?”

break_up_ripped_photo_600X369Longtime readers may recall that I’ve had two marriages end, but they don’t know why. Actually nobody is EVER privy to the real reason(s) that a love relationship concludes — we only receive the limited information that the couple (one or both parties!) willingly imparts to us. And depending on which side of the story you hear, that will differ vastly!

The most accurate explanation is “I guess you just had to be there!”

Being acutely aware of all this, and also knowing that the question (“Why did you divorce?”) would be asked by future prospective partners once we were in the single world again, I tried to exert a little control during my split-ups. (Shocking, right? Me and “control” in the same sentence!)

ME: Let’s both be on the same page when our friends all ask us why our marriage failed.

HIM: Oh goody, let’s!

ME:  Alrighty, so we want something that’s not embarrassing or shameful for either of us…but it should be fairly compelling.

HIM: Okay so I guess, “She refused to pack my bento box for work even though she was already making our other children’s lunch-boxes for school, and besides what’s another turkey sandwich?” isn’t what you had in mind.

ME: That bento box was a fricking nightmare . . . since when is food so pretty?  No, I was thinking something more along the lines of The War of The Roses movie where both parties are equally at fault. But you never ran over my cat in your car and I never served you paté made from your dog. Ok?

HIM: Did we both end up dangling from our chandelier?

ME: Yes, that’s riveting!

So here are my suggestions for people who need to come up with acceptable justifications because the truth simply will not do.

WHY DID YOUR LAST RELATIONSHIP END?

  1. JOB RELATED — It’s pretty easy to dodge this question when a future employer inquires during an interview why your last position ended. So just borrow some basic terminology. “I was laid off when there was a merger and a major reorganization.” Or simply go with, “Micro-Management.”
  2. BLAME — Don’t be a finger-pointer. Own up and share responsibility equally like this: “He was a philanderer, an alcoholic, unambitious, and he beat me. Oh, but I had my part in it as well — I kept forgetting to pack his lunch.”
  3. LIFE HAPPENS! — For the kindly, romantic divorcing couple who sugarcoats. “We finally realized that Love just wasn’t enough.”
  4. CHEATING? — Just say this . . . “Being solely with one person is very unrealistic in this day and age when people live to be 80 years-old. Monogamy during caveman days? Piece a cake!”
  5. OFFSPRING — “He touched me first! She looked at me after I told her not to. He grabbed my ice-cream cone when I set it down but wasn’t finished.” No, that’s not your kids arguing. Those are legit reasons cited by parents (about each other) after they’ve endured having multiple children. (If you can’t beat ’em . . . )
  6. DIETING: No, don’t use the cheesy line, “I just shed 180 lbs by divorcing my husband.” Instead say how you lost 22 lbs in a month but unfortunately that triggered your spouse’s insecurities and . . . trust me you won’t get past that point because you’ll be so busy answering the question of exactly how you accomplished this incredible weight loss (carb cutting??) in great detail and nobody will ever even care about your split-up again.
  7. CANDOR:  Here’s my spouse’s phone number. I have nothing to hide. Ring her up and ask exactly why it ended. (sing to the tune of Ghostbusters…”Who ya gonna call????”)
  8. REFRAME: Again borrow the technique from job interviews when they ask you for a personality flaw and you say, “I am too perfectionistic and don’t know when to stop working.” So in this case you say, “Unfortunately my spouse had very low self-esteem and could never believe she deserved someone as awesome as me so she realized she had to leave.”

If all else fails, hold up a Bento Box (below) and say, “How’d you like to pack one of these every morning when neither of you is even Japanese?!”

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READERS:  How honest are you about why your relationship ended? Please leave me a comment responding. And if this subject interests you, I wrote more for The Huffington Post in their Divorce section right HERE.

How Mr. Brady Chose Between Carol and Shirley Partridge!

 

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Here’s the (real) story of a man named Brady,
Who was busy with three boys of his own,
They were four men living all together,
Yet this story might’ve taken a much different tone!

A chewed-up list (found in Tiger’s dog house) on the set of The Brady Bunch depicts evidence that Mike Brady used a Ben Franklin style chart to decide if he should marry Shirley Partridge versus Carol, the woman who eventually became his wife.

And here’s the story:

SHIRLEY PARTRIDGE

Pros

  1. Hair of gold! Fits into the song.
  2. The voice of a Nightingale. (Oh wait, that makes me think of Florence.) Alright, the voice of a Partridge. This girl can definitely sing! How I love Oklahoma, Carousel, and Music Man!
  3. Longer life! I can’t explain why, and even though they were both born in 1934 (and just a month apart) . . .  I just think Shirl will outlive Carol.
  4. The first television career woman! Justifies keeping trusty Alice on as our full-time housekeeper.
  5. A widow! No ex-husband to deal with.
  6. Short boyish hair, and a take-charge personality to match. Would probably wear the pants in the family, allowing me to stay in my office 24/7 pursuing architecture instead of dispensing nonsense fatherly advice.
  7. Comes with that cool bus! I couldn’t have designed the outside any better if I had been a real architect.

Cons

  1. 5 (FIVE!!) kids of her own. The Brady 8? That just doesn’t work for me. And why should her brats outnumber mine?
  2. More boys?? What am I going to do with that much testosterone? Plus that creepy stage manager Reuben Kincaid always sniffing around my wife?
  3. Entire family too forward with expressing feelings. Goes around singing, “I think I love you!” all the time.
  4. I’d have to dress in velveteen, flamboyant, pimped-out Austin Power’s type pantsuits on metal lunch-pails, which are just a bit too much — even for me. the-partridge-family-cast-photojpg
  5. Where would we store the huge, tacky bus? And it’s not like we’d drive it to the amusement park I’m drafting blueprints for. Or even to Hawaii or the Grand Canyon — which are the only vacations I’ll ever take my family on. Wasteful!
  6. Have I ever seen her baking cookies or checking on a pot-roast? Alice’d be lonely. How’s she gonna joke around with Alice??
  7. That ugly red-headed, freckle-faced kid. Could I ever pass him off as my own?
  8. That “pretty boy” David Cassidy. If ever there was a teen idol poster just waiting to happen! And Marcia, Jan, and Cindy would be all over him. Oh wait, there wouldn’t be any Marcia, Jan, or Cindy if I marry Shirley. Let’s put this one back on the Pros!

CAROL BRADY

Pros

  1. Look! She already comes as a Brady. She doesn’t even have a maiden name of her own that she’d have to change.
  2. A Lovely Lady with three very lovely girls! That way in the bathroom they’ll all share, my boys can each have someone their own age to touch…err I mean shout “touché” at after arguments.
  3. Has a short, boyish hairstyle too. Really my type!
  4. Also sorta sings. (Note: Could be in a school talent show with Marcia and sing at Christmas pageants?)
  5. Seems open-minded and might let me and my boys all get our hair permed.
  6. Reads a lot of Women’s Day magazines in bed. Fewer nights I’d have to “get busy.”
  7. If I marry her, Marcia will invite Davie Jones to the prom and a real live Monkee will come to our house.
  8. We fit just perfectly on a single staircase.brady bunch stair shot
  9. I just know it’s much more than a hunch, that our group should somehow form a family and find a way to become the Brady Bunch.

Cons

  1. She’s a real MILF and my son Greg might even wanna date her after rehearsals.
  2. Being such a homebody and always hovering in the kitchen acting “motherly” so Alice might feel replaced and pack up and leave. (This should go on Pros.)
  3. Those three girls of hers are trouble. Broken nose, annoying lisp, and obnoxious middle daughter syndrome.
  4. The few times she does sing, she manages to contract laryngitis like when she was supposed to do “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” in church. Big chicken.
  5. Unlikely to change her mind on letting my boys play ball in the house.
  6. Too many future reunion shows boxing me in…I’ll be wanting to move on with my real life and true gender preferences.

GEORGE JEFFERSON

CONS

  1. Nope. The world isn’t quite ready for this yet. Florence Henderson it is!

Note to Readers: Lest you think I make this stuff up when I run out of blogging ideas, it’s a fact that Shirley Jones (AKA Shirley Partridge) was asked to be the Brady Bunch mother but turned down the role. See HERE!

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These TV moms are just one month apart!

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Who is the right one for me?

Scarlett O’Hara’s Authentic Journal Has Been Recovered!

Gone With The WindHave you heard the news? Gone With The Wind’s petulant heroine (Scarlett O’Hara) secretly put her thoughts to paper all those years ago! And now you’re privy to see what really went through her mind back then.

Entry #1

Dear Diary, I binged during the BBQ today at the Wilkes plantation and tonight my waistline measured a whopping nineteen inches around. But oohhh Ashley — he told me he likes to see a girl with a healthy appetite. So as God as my witness, I’ll never go hungry again! Oohhh Ashley! I love him so — even though he has sort of a girly name. But then there’s that scoundrel Mr. Butler who isn’t fit to wipe his boots. Imagine hiding out in the library eavesdropping on us. He should have made his presence known, but I’m sure the white vase I chucked into the fireplace was insured. Then he looked at me as if . . . as if he knew what I looked like without my shimmy on. Creeper.

Entry #2

Dear Diary, Gah! If I can’t have that mealy-mouth Melanie’s fiancé Ashley, then I suppose I’ll take her silly old brother, Charles Hamilton. We quickly tied the knot before he went off to war. War, war, war. Fiddle-dee-dee. This war talk is spoiling all my fun. Can’t anyone around here talk about anything else important? Like bonnets. At least Captain Rhett Butler didn’t enlist, but who cares what that dirty varmint does? I’m off to stay with Aunt Pittypat in Atlanta. OMG, what kind of a name is that? But I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Entry #3

Today I had a “ball at the (liberty) bell,” and then I was the “belle of the ball.” At the dance, of course. Rhett actually bid on me — $150 in pure gold! Oooh, if I wasn’t such a lady, what I wouldn’t have told that coarse, conceited man. But since I am a widow in mourning and wearing all black, I figured I should show people how to put your own suffering aside for a good cause. I even donated my wedding ring after I saw Melanie slip off her own diamond from Ashley. Oh Ashley, Ashley, Ashley. How I wish I could give you a child. But I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies.

Entry #4

Dear Diary, When you don’t have a thing to wear, you must never rule out trying on the window coverings. The emerald colored drapes made a fine, figure-flattering frock and I want everyone who has been mean to me to turn pea-green with envy. You just have to make sure to lose the gold tassels — a dead giveaway. I must remember to tell Maria Von Trapp in Sound of Music to use the curtains as play clothes for those seven brats she babysits. But I’ll think about that tomorrow . . .

Entries #5 thru #186 — illegible as they were charred to a crisp in the burning of Atlanta.

Entry #187

Dear Diary. I feel so lost and rejected. Nobody wants me now — not my darling Ashley, nor Rhett, and not even Charles or Frank or Mammy or Prissy. Where shall I go, what shall I do? Dear Diary, don’t you give a damn? I know! Who needs men? I should just marry my own handsome plantation, Tara. Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts. Tara. Yes! I’ll go home to Tara. Because after all . . .  tomorrow is another day. (Music rises)

Readers: What’s your favorite line from the classic movie, GWTW? 

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