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

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

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

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

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

PROBLEMS SOLVED!

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

 

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Is it a Soul-Mate OR a Parole-Mate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shh! Secret Sketchy Scam School Secures Scholastic Students!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PUPIL: Yum!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Krazy KillJoy Kostume Karma!

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Is it already Halloween again?? Okay, okay …. so here’s my obligatory Halloween blog post. And for my long time readers with excellent memories, I apologize if there is some repeat material in here, but I have enough new followers that I still think I can fool some people into believing I am clever.

 

Aren’t you impressed with this? These are my three pet’s costumes this year!  Look how organized and innovative I am! And how cooperative and cute they are!  Okay, so these are cool critter costumes, but for all you know — I don’t even own two Persian cats and a Shih-Tzu dog. And even if I did, how would you know these are really them?? And actually they aren’t.  I just Googled those particular breeds wearing costumes because mine wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything.

Here they are in real life. (I promise these are really mine below!)

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On Halloween, I just sprinkle a little water on them and tell people they’re dressed up as “Raining Cats and Dogs!”

Pretty good trick, huh? Maybe I should do that for my sister-in-law’s annual masquerade party tonight. Just send another curly, long-haired brunette woman in a costume that covers everything up but her dark locks — and everyone will think it’s me that’s dancing up a storm when they play the Monster Mash.

So because I’m a writer, you may have figured out that even though Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday, I absolutely LOVE the creativity of Word Pun costumes — so sometimes I simply cannot resist.  One year I wore a black silk negligee, pinned words like, “Psychology” and “Id” and “Ego” and “Sex” and “Analysis” all over it and I was (of course!) a Freudian Slip. I’ve subjected my young daughters to wearing fancy dresses, putting on whiskers and tails and telling people they were “Party Animals.” I forced one son to put rolls of paper towels and sponges all over his body and told him, “You’re Self-Absorbed.” And I made my ex-husband wear very dark-colored pants and a shirt, stuck postage stamps all over him and deemed it a “Blackmail” costume. Fitting.

But don’t get me started on overtly sexy costumes. Why does a wicked witch need garter belts? To hold up her black lace fishnet stockings, of course! Based on what I’m seeing in the party stores, I think our holiday greeting needs to be changed to “Trick-or-Discreet!” And this Dorothy is definitely NOT in Kansas anymore….she’s at a bachelor party

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What man is going to follow the yellow brick road when he can follow HER?

The other thing I like to do regarding costumes is re-purposing and recycling.  I try to pass it off as being, “Cleverly Chic N’ Cheap!” How many years can I go to my aforementioned sister-in-law’s annual masquerade party and (just by adding a few accessories and changing the name of what I am)  prevent guests from knowing it’s the same darn pink frilly, lacy dress?? So far I’ve been a little toddler girl holding a teddy-bear and lollypop, Little Miss Muffet holding a tuffet, Little Bo Peep holding a sheep (alright so it was a stuffed lamb!) BUT then I gave it a whole new life by adding a veil and calling myself a child bride! The following year, I stuck a pillow in my abdomen and became a pregnant child bride.

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It helps to sit next to a Big Bad Wolf when you’re trying to be Little Miss Muffet.

 

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

 

This year I’m wearing red contact lenses and I’ll be the Evil Little Girl who comes out of elevators. Next year if I make the dress fluffy and round enough, I think I’ll tell people I’m a Hostess Sno-Ball. Remember these?

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My Halloween Costume Next Year? Sure, why not!

And if you truly want to avoid Halloween and candy and costumes in real life, there’s an App for that. I’m inventing it. A doorbell sounds melodically on your computer monitor so you’re alerted to move closer to the keyboard.  Sweet little “Trick or Treat” exclamations come thru the speaker as two darling 5 year-old twins dressed as Ketchup & Mustard stand before you.  You click on the “Ooh and Ahh” icon and within 3-5 days, a Hershey’s gift card will be delivered from you to their home with a “How adorable you look!” sticker.  No more buying the bag of fun-size Snickers a week ahead of time and having to sheepishly replenish it the night before. . . because you ate them all.  Rest assured, if a large group of overgrown, sullen teenagers (not in costume) should appear on your computer, you can dim the monitor light and a 40 pt. font text will appear stating, “Sorry, out of candy. And you’re too old!”  The updated version of this app includes mini-windshield wipers that will cleanse away the broken eggs they throw at your Mac without smearing your homepage.  Boo!

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PS. These are my cute twins! And just like with the cats and dogs above ….how can you ever know these aren’t really my kids? Whatever….when you’ve seen one condiment, you’ve seen ’em all.

READERS: What are you dressing up as tonight? Just Google an elaborate costume photo and leave it here to impress us. How are we gonna know it’s not really you? Happy Halloween!

How Your Personality Flaws WILL Significantly Impact Your Blog!

13 Personality Traits of Disengaged Employee, Human Resources Concept

If you’re looking for another boring article on the 10 Character Traits that All Successful Bloggers Possess, you’ve come to the wrong place. Isn’t it obvious you need to be “Tenacious” and “Communicative” and “Original” and blah blah blah to be a popular blogger?  It’s far more intriguing to see what your own negative character traits will do to your blog, isn’t it?  See that? One of my bad character traits is “Pessimistic.” You didn’t think a “Positive Thinker” would be writing an article like this one, did you?  If so, you’re “Gullible” and “Naive” and will find a discussion of yourself below!

How Your Personality Flaws Affect Blogging

  1. IMPATIENT —  You cannot delay your gratification even long enough to click “Preview Post” before you hit “Publish.” And proofreading? Ha! Why, if you’re readers wanted good grammar and punctuation, they’d be following an Old English School Marm who would know that Schoolmarm is all one word and the third word in this sentence should not have an apostophre and apostrophe is mispelled and so is “misspelled” for that matter . . . and who has time for this nonsense?!
  2. WORRIER — Will the blogosphere like your topic? You better Google it to make sure it hasn’t been done before. But being anxious isn’t just self-focused. You’re quite concerned about others too. For instance, someone who follows you and used to comment often (leaving you high praise!) hasn’t been on your blog in over a week. Oh dear! Are they okay? Should you check on them? Or will that make it look like you have a big ego? What if something happened in real life and you never hear from them again? Ever. You will never know why. Why didn’t you insist that all commenters leave their next of kin contact information?
  3. SNOOPY —  If you’re a busybody type than you cannot resist asking your readers to comment on your blog using a prying, intrusive type of request. Example: At the end of this post, please comment if there are any personality flaws that you yourself deal with which I might have inadvertently left out. So transparent. You may as well just change your blog name to “Notes from Nosy!”
  4. IMPULSIVE — Yeah, I’ll betcha you’d like to turn this character flaw into a positive, fun-sounding one  like impromptu or spontaneous, wouldn’t you? But face it, you’re a loose cannon and the whole reason you’re even a blogger in the first place is because one day a thought flitted through your mind along these lines — “Gee I need a new hobby and coin-collecting turns my fingers black.” Voila! Permanent commitment — You made your WordPress blog, now you must write in it!
  5. ACCUSATORY — Your writing style tends to sound very much like mine does above for “Impulsive.” Sorry about that. Oh and you may apologize a lot.
  6. **SUPERSTITIOUS — Nobody will ever find a photo of a black cat or a cracked mirror on your blog. Even if the subject is “Halloween” and “Breaking away from vanity.” And if you’re a humor writer, you’ll never put 13 jokes in a post. This is non-negotiable. And sometimes just for good luckle, you need one to be a rhyming chuckle.
  7. PREDICTABLE — Ho hum. Let’s say you think you write humor (like me!) which means your blog should be full of little shocking statements and catch-you-off-guard surprises that elicit laughter. But instead you’ll overuse cliches and puns throughout your writing or worse yet, the puns are actually about blogging itself because the room you blog in has an open window and you’re too cold to start another “draft.” Or if you’re too sleepy to blog, you can just download a nap for that. But you can’t help if your posts are predictable — it’s not your fault you have that “type” of keyboard. And then of course (yawn) you put, “ba dum tsssss” immediately after the pun. And then you tell readers to click HERE as well.
  8. FLIRTATIOUS — Blogging to you is just like putting your profile up on a dating website. After all, you never know what kind of attractive single, available reader could be lurking out there! You’ll bat your i’s a lot and give that “come hither” opening hook. Your conclusion always has an amazing climax, and you’re not beyond playing “hard to get” by writing things that nobody understands. Just remember to always use protection….install a spam filter. 😉
  9. PERFECTIONISTIC — Before you leave a comment on someone else’s blog, you absolutely MUST peruse what every other reader has already said, (even if that means scrutinizing 182 comments) otherwise you risk duplicating their remarks, or you could sound terribly boring in comparison to their witty messages.
  10. ANGRY — Unless you are Ben from  Ben’s Bitter Blog, (and you really should be, cuz he’s hilarious!) your unpleasant attitude will alienate followers who are reading blogs to escape their real life sarcastic, toxic spouses. You may only endear someone with the following personality flaw, because they won’t have to put themselves down any longer — you’ll gladly do it for them. (See below)
  11. SELF-DEPRECATING — Making yourself the butt of the joke may be funny at first — but after a while, it’s just a super irritating tone to write with, okay? So the next time you want to insult yourself AND be accurate about it, just refer to yourself as “Annoying” AND #7.
  12. THEATRICAL — If you have a flair for the dramatic, your blog will either be perceived as entirely fictional, (even if every bit of it is 100% true) OR you embellish and exaggerate things to make a point so often that readers leave you comments saying, “I’m very sorry for your loss,” when you wrote, “I just found my teen daughter motionless on her bed because she couldn’t handle doing the dishes anymore. I guess she threw in the towel.”
  13. GULLIBLE/NAIVE — You’ve incorporated all the recommended personality traits listed right HERE to become a successful blogger and now it’s just a matter of time until your stats soar and you’ve gone viral. Hooray!
  14. SUSPICIOUS — You’re sure that if you post your best writing, it will be plagiarized and therefore you have copyright symbols on every page. You put your post titles into search engines to see if they come up anywhere else. But this paranoid type of behavior isn’t solely limited to your own stuff. You think any blogger who calls himself, “In My Cluttered Attic” is just one strike of a match away from an arsonist blaze. And that SpeakingWins is not just writing innocently about his treasured garden, or his love of teaching young children the alphabet, but instead he’s diabolically combining both his interest in kids and crops to commandeer your blog for harvesting fairytales about fruit and veggies, like The Princess and the Pea and Cinderella and a Pumpkin. And finally, that BensBitterBlog will surely be spiteful when he sees you linked to his blog under the “Angry” personality trait (above #10) so you better prepare for his vindictive retribution!

** Since these are all the author’s own personality flaws, she wanted to stop with just 13 traits, but because she’s also #6, there was no way she could do that . . .  without breaking her mother’s back.

Writing For Fun And Profit? Come On . . . Get Off It! (Weird Freelance Jobs!)

the-weird-writerBeing a freelance writer (specializing in humor) often brings amusing or lighthearted requests (website copy for actors/singers or material for a 50th birthday party roast anyone?) but sometimes I’m hired to be a wordsmith for concepts that are downright strange, yes even for me!

And if I had a dollar for each time someone asks if the “free” in my Freelance title means I don’t charge for my work, I’d be the wealthiest . . .  well, let’s just say I really would NOT ever have to charge again. But that’s for another blog — So without Further Ado….

You’ve Got The Write Idea, But The Wrong Girl? (My Bizarre Assignments)

  • Let’s start with food. I have plucked the little boring message slips out of fortune cookies with a tweezers and replaced them with my new racy predictions which always ended with, “in bed” for bachelorette parties.  When these same women get knocked up, I am hired to personalize the little Conversation Heart Candies for their birth announcements when they wanna order HERE And if you think it’s easy to find 136 ways to say, “It’s a Girl!” in 10 characters or less, I’m going to delegate this job to you next time!
  • I’ve written personal profiles for dating sites before, but this particular woman was very sick and hired me to create something that would attract a handsome doctor. I suppose she thought it’d save on hospital bills having a hubby who could cure her at home? The entire ad was composed of my original wording of her elaborate medical records and had a catchy title of: “Wanted: Atrocious Diagnosis! And then an interesting acronym.  L.O.V.E = Lymphocytosis/Osteoporosis/Varicosis/Endometriosis” It concluded with a realistic “prescription” for going on a date with a handsome MD. It turns out she was actually just a hypochondriac, so a homely psychiatrist responded and put her on Prozac.
  • I’ve been hired to write several gravestone quotes in advance for the soon-to-be deceased. One lady was a terrific cook so I simply put “Death Warmed Over” followed by her recipe for “Angel Food Cake.” Another was a video game addict so of course I came up with, “Game Over.” And a radio DJ was pleased with my “Stay Tuned” idea.
  • A year ago I was hired by Lice Clinics of America to steer the public perception away from feeling that getting lice was “a head scratching dilemma.”  I think they were hoping my funny words would instead make lice a hair fashion accessory like barrettes or headbands.  I was named, “The Wit Nit.” Click HERE for one of the many articles where I tried to bring giggles to these creepy crawlies and yes, that is my daughter’s photo featured in the article as well.  Just the fringe benefits of having your mother write about bugs . . . you become a Lice Model.  Subsequently I submitted my humor to ant companies, termite services, and other pest control businesses…..but I got zero response…just crickets. 😉
  • Confounded as to why I am forever branded “Little Miss Menopause?” Well stay up nights with insomnia and wonder no longer! Long ago I was hired by a pharmaceutical company who specialized in the manufacturing of hormones for mid-life women, and if you think hot flashes or memory loss can’t be a laughing matter, just click HERE
  • A great looking single executive was heavily playing the field, but far too busy to keep up with the romantic email and texting correspondence his many females yearned for — so he commissioned me to woo his women with my extra sentimental side. Didn’t I see this plot on the Brady Bunch before?? On Valentine’s Day I raked in the bucks from this phony fellow, whose name btw was Jonathan. But if any of his ladies were adept at symbolism, or reading between the lines — I dropped tons of hints that he was a major player — so fittingly, I expect a few of them to hire me to write their “Dear Jon” letters.
  • When lottery tickets were first being sold in California, they were the rage to give to friends as little surprise token gifts. I came up with something called, “SLottery Greetings — the card with the lucky SLOT!” Each greeting card had a perforated little window where you could tuck a (hopefully!) winning lottery ticket inside and the recipient could read things on the front like, “Happy Birthday to my One in a Million!” or “Darling, When I Met You, I Hit the Jackpot!”
  • Spire Inc. manufactures something like a FitBit, only you wear it on your wrist and it monitors your breathing. I wrote things that made their electronic contraption “come alive” and have emotions just like the computer operating system did in the movie HER. Check out what falling in love with this device might feel like right HERE
  • A very heavy drinker had me write all the amends they make you do in Step 4 of the Alcoholic Anonymous program so he could apologize to everyone he’d hurt. He printed them on wine labels and affixed them to bottles of Merlot.
  • My creative poetry ended up on a dog collar, giving new meaning to a “tagline.”

    Bring Buddy Back!

    “If you’re reading this, it means I’m lost.

    Maybe there’s a street I shouldn’t have crossed.

    But the worst is over ‘cuz now I’ve been found. . .

    And you’ve saved me from ending up in the pound.

    So pick up the phone and give my owner a holler

    And tell them you read about it here on my collar!”

  • My rhymes wound up on a bachelor’s tee-shirt:

    Hey ladies, look my way so I’ll flash you a wink,

    I can do so much more than buy you a drink.

    I can talk to you and compliment and flatter,

    But lemme take you home and prove size really does matter!

  • And how in the world did my words make their way hanging over a speculum in an offbeat gynecologist’s office?? Thank goodness there’s no byline.

 

 I‘m cold and metal but actually quite gentle,

Any pain you feel is purely accidental.

If I touch you “down there,” don’t give me a slap,

Just checking that you haven’t been given the Clap.

You might say I’m important and quite ‘instrumental,’

Your doctor owns me outright, I’m not just a rental.

I’ll never be replaced with a cellphone or an App…

Rest assured, I’m the only way to get your Yearly Pap!

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Is THIS Really a Thing Now? Cuddle Up With My Blog and Find out!

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Hello Friends! I’m your Snuggler Buggler Cuddler Befuddler! Are you lonely? Do you suffer from skin-to-skin hunger? Are you in need of some Spooning Fine-Tuning? The answers to all your problems are just one touch away atop my cozy, comfy couch! Simply give me a call and for $80 an hour, we’ll laze around together on the sofa watching Netflix Black Mirror episodes. Benefits to you include lower blood pressure, reduction of stress/anxiety, as well as an instant mood boost. Requests for me to wear my Hello Kitty jammies will be honored at an additional charge.

That would be my commercial if I were certified in the up-and-coming cathartic career in caressing called a “Cuddle Collaborator.” Yes this really IS a thing, folks. And lest you think this is just Cuddling Camouflage for Coquettish Courtesans, let me point out that the Cuddling Code of Conduct constitutes a NO SEXUALITY clause. Yep, you can confirm all of this right HERE — as well as watch a humorous short video that consolidates and cancels all your cuddling concerns because cuddling calamities can cause catastrophes!

If you prefer your snuggling to take place in larger groups (just like litters of kittens, but not nearly as cute) with music and food, you should come to a Cuddle Party right HERE.

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These are my two professional cuddlers  (Ritz & Bits)  age 6 months!

Would I lie about this stuff?? I even ordered one to come to my house for an interview to see for myself.

ME: Come in, have a seat at my kitchen table.

PRO CUDDLER: Oh we need a horizontal surface. Chairs are bad Snuggle Feng Shui.

ME: Well the thing is, we’re gonna cuddle long distance– and by that I mean you’re not gonna lay so much as a finger on me, but I’m gonna ask you questions.

The Pro Cuddler left in a huff when I made ear-whispers, arm stroking, and hair ruffling also off limits.

By now it must be obvious that I’m absolutely incredulous this could be a real thing in our society. But no amount of coaxing, coercing, convincing, or cajoling will ever get me to do ANY of this touchy/feely stuff because my motto can be classified with MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This!”

However…..someone obviously put their thinking cap on and thought of ways to make money doing something that requires little training, effort, and investment capital, which in turn inspires me to brainstorm other easy career options as well.

A Nagologist — Oversleeping on weekend mornings? Forgetting to do those pesky chores? For $120 I will arrive at your home with lists of tasks in hand that you should be doing around your house and yard.  Just say the word and it can carry over into your personal appearance as well — because nobody is as highly trained as to when you should wear a jacket or get your hair out of your pretty face, as I am.

A Clockationer — Your time is valuable and I do things with clocks that are earth-shattering and life-altering. For $1,000 you’ll get my services year-round. Simply provide me with a key to your home and unbeknownst to you, I’ll occasionally sneak in and set all your clocks ahead by thirty minutes. Imagine arriving places with perfect punctuality, or even a few minutes early for once in your life! Conversely, when you’d rather skip an appointment you’re dreading, I’ll set your clocks back by two hours so you’ll have no chance. This is an idea whose time has come!

A Complimentician — Plagued by low self-esteem? Raised by overly critical parents? Feeling under appreciated at work or by your spouse?  I have 150 different ways of applauding you while saying, “Great job!” You’ll feel like a million bucks for just under 100.  Never again will you be taken for granted and my *gratitude for you (as a person!) will know no bounds. (*I’ll be extra grateful if you pay me under-the-table in cash.)

An Imaginarian — Feeling bored? Life too predictable? Yearning for the excitement you see in movies? For $99, I’ll bring my overactive imagination in tow along with my unique hypothetical scenarios that will make you feel young, vibrant, and alive again. Each hourly session starts out with me probing, “What if?”  For instance, “What if . . . you found out your committed, honest spouse was actually having a secret affair? Your child, (a straight A student) was good at covering up his cocaine addiction?  Your doctor’s blood pressure cuff hasn’t been calibrated in years and you really have 160/110? Just think! (No gratuity tips necessary.)

A Blogchiatrist — For $300, I’ll put your blog into psychoanalysis, specifying what your theme is covertly conveying, your language and vocabulary is subliminally suggesting, what gruesome thoughts your accompanying photo images are conjuring up, and report back with a thorough critique of the number one reason many of your readers are not returning for more. After you’re feeling clinically depressed about everything you’re doing wrong, I’ll give you a bonus complimentician and nagology session, followed up by an imaginarian and clockation hour. But wait, there’s more! I’ll take you into my figurative bed, wrap my metaphoric arms around your shoulders, and give you an all-day comforting symbolic cuddle at no extra charge!

Dear Readers: What jobs can you think up that nobody needs, but everybody wants to read about?? Leave one in the comments.

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Scary Relationship Terms — Ghosting, Haunting, & Zombie-ing!

unnamed-file-2447In honor of the month of October (and Halloween!) may I present some relationship/dating terms that actually are commonly used nowadays, along with some words I’ve just invented — because I cannot believe the real ones actually exist! Let’s see if you can tell which ones I’ve made up?

Ready to play??  Go!

GHOSTING — One who simply vanishes, never to be heard from again, instead of having a mature conversation about breaking-up.

WITCHING — Someone who casts a magical spell over you, keeping you strangly compliant when they steal all the covers on cold nights or devour the last pint of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream. (Yes, the Chunky Monkey you were saving to break your diet with!)

COBWEBBING — One who lies about his whereabouts to you because he’s having secret affairs on the side. This is where we get the famous old proverb, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive!”

BROOMSTICKING— Someone who is terrified of flying so they always suggest a cross country road trip, playing up the potential to have a “great adventure” and citing, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey!”  You could get to Maine faster on a broomstick!

STEPHEN-KINGING — A tightwad with an elaborate DVD collection, claiming it’s so much “cozier” to stay in and watch a movie — which wouldn’t be so bad if it was Shawshank Redemption. (Hey, did you know Stephen King’s novella was the basis for that awesome movie??)

ZOMBIE-ING — After the person “Ghosts” you (see above) they suddenly return a few weeks later (back from the dead?) as if nothing has happened — sending a sly text, “Hey, how’ve you been? Wanna come over for some Chunky Monkey ice-cream?”

MASKING — A partner, (usually female) who will not be seen without any make-up on. She awakens at 4 am, sneaks to the bathroom to apply Maybelline rouge on her cheeks so she exudes a natural sex-appeal glow when her partner first opens his eyes and glances at the rosy-cheeked female on the pillow next to him. Why do you think Nars brand blush has a color called, “Orgasm?”

HAIR-RAISING — Someone whose tresses seem to grow straight up, like the author of this blog, who looks like she’s been frozen in time from the 80’s when hair was big and vertical.

Little Miss Menopause demonstrating “Hair-Raising” style.

 

JACK-O-LANTERNING — One who is overindulgent with pumpkin flavored products this time of year while expecting you to share in their excitement that pumpkin spice deodorant is now being marketed.

VAMPIRING — A woman who still remembers what it means to be on Team Edward and if you never saw the Twilight movies, you’re outa luck in the bedroom.

HAUNTING —  After someone Ghosts you, (but BEFORE they Zombie you) — they can HAUNT you by suddenly inhabiting your online world, such as following you on Instagram or friending you on Facebook. Constantly reminding you that, “I still exist!” seems to be the sole purpose of this particular spooky tactic.

BONE-CHILLING — This is when the chef of the relationship decides that the latest trend of making you eat daily bowls of Bone Broth would be enhanced by serving it ice-cold, straight from the refrigerator in gazpacho form.

DYING — One who relies on the excuse that their cell-phone battery is running out of juice to end conversations with you abruptly.

DEVIL-ING — The chocoholic of the relationship who chooses “the dark stuff” over having sex every time. Example: You shoot your mate that familiar “come hither” look and instead of responding, “Why you little Devil, you!” they reach for a slice of devil’s food cake.

TRICK-OR-TREATING — A generous date who treats you to a night out at the movie theater and then (as you eye the Hershey’s Kisses at the concession stand because you’re into Devil-ing!) proceeds to trick you into believing that all candy is pure evil. Don’t even get them started on what they put in the butter on the popcorn!

MONSTERING — This person drops subtle hints that once you marry them, you’ll have monster-in-laws — frighteningly loud, controlling and bossy. Get out while you still can!

ELVIRA-ING — A female who always dresses to show off her two prominent assets, even if you’re just bringing her home to meet your mom–Morticia Addams.

So how’d you do, Readers? Actually the only real terms are the ones in the blog title. Check out their legit usage right here.

I’ve made up all the rest to have a little pre-Halloween fun. Booooooo!

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12 Bizarre Behaviors Belonging to the “Blogger Bunch!” (Yes, Us!)

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The Blogger Bunch!

Here’s a story of a bunch of writer-folks, who’re once a strange set of girls and boys,
Growing up they had their journals and diaries, pretty much ignored all other toys.
Till the one day when these wordsmiths met WordPress, they knew they’d be just as pleased as punch,
If this group could somehow form a Blogosphere, and that’s the way they became The Blogger Bunch!

 

Ready? Here we go!

12 Blogging Behaviors You Might Recognize!

 

  1. We excitedly register for a free online WordPress URL, spend hours (no days!) setting it up, picking a perfect theme, arranging widgets, plug-ins, clever headers, tag-lines, backgrounds, and fonts — only to realize when the blog is finished . . . we must now actually write! (Wow, some of us were those brides who registered for china patterns, ordered imprinted napkins, centerpieces, catering, picked out the perfect gown, only to realize when the wedding was finished . . . we must now actually marry!)
  2. When tax season rolls around, we secretly fantasize all our “Wonderful Writer’s Write-Offs.” Surely our accountant will find ways to justify those long lunches in restaurants (how else do we get ideas for posts if we don’t eavesdrop on other diners?) extravagant vacations (bloggers have to experience new places in order to write about them!) and the latest computers (Duh!). Upon hearing our CPA say, “Actually only office supplies will technically qualify!” we go out and . . .
  3. We purchase 180 boxes of paper-clips, saving all receipts.
  4. We come up with an amazingly witty title for a topic we know will win us thousands of new followers — and then Google it, only to discover . . .
  5. We get very depressed to see our great blogging idea has already been done. 43 times. We decide this shouldn’t really matter. Everybody!s heard that there are NO new thoughts in this wide world. We’ll simply Tweak things a bit and it will be completely original. Tweak, Tweak, Tweak . . .
  6. Weeks later we are startled to find on the internet someone else’s post (that’s becoming a VIRAL SENSATION) which is essentially OUR tweak! We take to Twitter to announce our tweak is being savagely plagiarized. Tweet, Tweet, Tweak, Tweak . . .
  7. We contact an attorney to see about lawsuits, because something must be done about this grave injustice. The lawyer says, “Hmmm, this will be difficult to prove. All someone had to do was read your blog, make some tweaks of their own, and voilà! A new idea has been born. But can I phone you back tomorrow? I’m knee deep in a new case about a blogger using a photographer’s pictures from Shutterfly without getting copyright releases or giving attribution. Now THAT’S a slam dunk case!”
  8. We quickly delete every single one of the photographs from our posts in terror.
  9. We decide to take the focus off our own website and be a Good Blogger Samaritan — so we visit other people’s blogs to interact with their words, click “Like,” leave thought-provoking comments that will surely entice them (and all their many readers!) to follow our cute little remarks (Hansel & Gretel breadcrumbs anyone?) back to our own blogs where they will instantly become ensnared enthralled. (Gotcha!!!)
  10. When that doesn’t work, and still nobody is reading/following us, we think it cannot possibly be our writing. So we get to work changing our theme, header, tag-line, background, widgets, plug-ins, and fonts. Tweak! Tweak! And Tweet Tweet!
  11. “Ugh. Who wants to be married anyhow??”  We throw the bridal bouquet (made out of thousands of paper-clips) out to a sea of potential bloggers, raising high their eager, outstretched hands. Good luck to them! Good riddance blog.
  12. We turn on reruns of The Brady Bunch and call it a day.

Dear Bloggers:  Did I miss a common (bizarre?) behavior of yours?  Leave it in the comments section so we can all follow your clever words back to your own site and become enraptured! 😉

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