Making Memes Magically Manifest Magnificent Masses!

 

kittens4Or in other (non-alliterative) words — yep, you can create simple memes that will drive more traffic to your blog! And you don’t need a pair of 8-week-old kittens (like I just so happen to have!) in order to do so. But having original photography on a riveting subject will definitely help you get around those pesky copyright issues.

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The ability to think up a correlating funny cliche, pun, or witty wordplay also REALLY helps boost the meme’s popularity. Plus at the end of this post I will put a link to my favorite custom meme generator that any dummy can figure out how to use, as aptly demonstrated here.

But first, the most important matter at hand….a few posts ago, I took a vote on names for two tiny litter mates that I was adopting. They’re here now and I’m introducing them officially as “Ritz & Bits!”  (Because you’ve heard of Animal Crackers, right?)

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Ritz & Bits (along with eliciting lotsa joy, play, innocence, and tons of creativity in the form of great excuses for why my kids are incapable of doing litter-box chores!) have inadvertently brought more followers to my blog than anything I’ve ever written. And all because I turned their cute photos into memes AND remembered to put my blog name at the bottom before posting on Facebook or Tweeting.

Below are some more memes that I made in my sleep. Okay, that’s simply an expression to convey how easy it was because I do NOT sleep anymore. Between the insomnia, the writing deadlines, the strange prowler noises I hear, and now little alien beings that pounce on my tiniest foot movements, I get zero shut-eye.kittens7

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

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Above they’re only six weeks old but I’m pretty sure the one on the right helped me conquer my phobia with white mice because I swore he looked just like one.

Here they’ve taken up blogging so I’ve got competition . . .

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

Now below is an example of what NOT to do. As darling of a meme as this could have been, I wrecked it by trying to cram more clever into its wordage than additives in my kittens’ organic food. Instead of piquing interest and luring readers to my blog — the reaction was, “Huh? Weird much? Steer clear of anything this oddball writer posts!”cats2

On the other hand when you have show-stopping eyes, you don’t have to write anything much at all in your meme, but you can never go wrong with simplistic — as you can see below.cat6

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

Above I should have just said, “Who’s up for a quick round of CAT-TERGORIES?” But that’s the beauty of a meme, you can rework it until it finally goes viral.

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Not to imply that any of these have gone viral. But like I said, if increasing blog followers is your goal – – then definitely make some memes!  And then sell some product on your site to take advantage of the extra traffic, making it all worth your while ($$!) I’m planning to sell the little jingle bells you see my kittens wearing on their collars, only for children to wear around their necks because . . . well the need is obvious.

I also have a little (jealous) dog who’s a female and I was certain she’d be very maternal with the two new family members. So no more mention of kittens, Lola’s cute enough to have a meme of her own too, right?

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Oh well, I tried to keep the kittens out of the memes.

Now just to make it clear that this blog hasn’t been taken over by a Crazy Cat Lady, I will give you an example of making a meme that doesn’t make people murmur, “Mmmm, How sweet!” or “What deliciousness!”

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Now go meme away YOUR life and don’t forget to put your blog name on the bottom so you’ll reap the benefits.  Just click HERE to start!  Any questions?  I’ll answer you purrfectly in the comments section, without scratching your eyes out….I promise.

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

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Alrighty, so interestingly enough WE (that would be you AND I) are no different than popular products that companies advertise. Why? Because we all want to be well-received by the public and we like to think of ourselves as having a solid warranty, right?

I don’t know about you, but I never looked at things quite in that light when I first attempted to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram  — so now I have to do a major “rebranding” of myself as a person.

And maybe so do you?

You know, like how McDonalds used to just make America fat, but now they look like Starbucks and serve salads! And how Target used to be just another low-brow discount store but now it carries Fiorucci, Mizrahi, Giannulli, and Fusilli. (Note: these’ll make you hungry for Italian food, but only the last one is actually pasta — the first three are high-profile designers!)

Here are some tips for using each of the popular online networks to do a major personal revamp! It is worth mentioning that you can project an entirely different image of yourself on each separate one. For instance, I can use Twitter to rebrand myself as a well-regarded author (who doesn’t look like Starbucks, or serve salads!) and then Instagram for depicting myself as an ultra-fun friend! And Facebook to get the word out that I’m the latest sex symbol to put Marilyn to shame. (Uh, that’d be Marilyn Manson!) Basically you can characterize yourself however you want, so use your imagination!

And Now Without Further Adieu . . .  (What’s adieu and why is it always escaping being held hostage?)

TWITTER: If you lose your train of thought after 140 characters like I do, then Tweets are perfect for the reinventing process! Also due to the abrupt nature of the post, you should intentionally cut yourself off mid-sentence to invoke intrigue. i.e. Here’s a recent one of mine implying I’m a sought after author — “Meeting with my agent today for a power lunch and heavy negotiations about . . . ” (Oops, ran out of characters!) Nobody needs to know it’s actually my health insurance Agent and I’m trying to get a dental plan added on!

SNAPCHAT: Also ideal since what you post vanishes after 10 seconds, which is coincidentally the maximum timespan of my memory! I like to put out a photo of me dancing on tables (with my bra on top of my head) or swinging from chandeliers (which are actually Polaroids from my college sorority days!) but by the time all my highfalutin decorator friends zoom in to scrutinize the texture of the tablecloth or the brand of the chandelier, the whole thing magically disappears! Meanwhile, the lingering effect is me as fun party girl that everyone now wants to invite to their next shindig.

FACEBOOK:  Posting extremely frequently is the key here so you’ll get comments and likes literally around-the-clock. It also helps to have every day be your birthday so you have a constant stream of well-wishers. For instance, each night at midnight I go into FB settings and modify my date of birth to the following day. Instantly, all my Facebook Friends trip over themselves to leave their best regards in the comments section, complete with custom kitten memes and colorful cakes with candle pics, etc. I use this particular “365 day a year birthday” technique because I want to create the image that I am a “Born-Again.”

INSTAGRAM: Liberally use hashtags here. Trust me, you won’t get a reputation for being a cannabis dealer but you may constantly order hash-browns at brunch restaurants. Also to stand out, whilst everyone else is posting their silly selfies, you should post shelfies because this will project an image that you are still a bookworm in a Kindle Kingdom. Celfies (photos of you munching lotsa celery) are a good way to make people believe you’re a health nut or a Vegan.

PINTEREST: I make specific boards by tagging certain “guilt-inducing” photos to give my grown kids (who’ve flown the nest without nary a backwards glance!) some subliminal suggestions. I created one with lots of crafty projects of old, skinny, wrinkled, gray-haired sock puppets on crutches. I titled it “self-portraits.” So far nobody has come home for a visit, but I remain optimistic. Another board has pictures of adorably decorated baby nurseries with sad-looking dolls in the crib. I’m hoping that will propel me into “Nanna” status before I’m too old to see or hear any grandchildren. Another album has hundreds of photos of ET phoning home. Cleverly subtle, yet maybe too subtle — so far my cell hasn’t buzzed once.

LINKEDIN: I like to use LinkedIn to represent myself as being highly qualified to do anything and everything. Did you know you can make a resume for playing with kittens? Because that’s one of my top-notch skillsets.

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TEXTING: Yes! You can even use your cellphone for revising your stale reputation. It’s all done through an act I like to call, “Mistaken Texts On Purpose!” I am sure at one time or another you’ve received an odd message and afterwards the sender immediately wrote, “Never mind that! Meant for someone else.” Meanwhile can you unsee it?? Of course not. So use this method to intentionally transfer information to someone whose opinion of you needs to be readjusted. Your ex broke up with you because you’re a loser? Send this “accidental” text to him/her. “Hey! Can you ask the bank to hold off on closing escrow on my beach home, the lottery officials said my first 80 million will transfer at the close of business hours today. Thanks.” Followed by a, “Sorry! Disregard that last text. Hope all is well!”

WORDPRESS BLOG: Use WordPress every chance you get to throw your followers off track. You want to keep writing strange, quirky, “so bad it’s definitely putrid” posts so that when you hit the New York Times with your bestselling novel, everyone will be so surprised you could knock them over with a feather. Then go on Etsy and use it to market colorful, unique feathers.

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Home Publishing Not What You Think!

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“How can I get up on our refrigerator like all my friends do?” my youngest son asked me. After admonishing him that household furniture isn’t for climbing on top of, (and shaking my head at other parents’ inability to properly discipline) I realized he was actually inquiring as to how one of his watercolor paintings could be displayed on the front of the fridge!

Along with plastic bright-colored alphabet letters, (even though I have zero preschoolers anymore!) and the tiny nonsense magnetic poetry words (someone recently pushed a few random tiny rectangles together to form the sentence, “I will pour out yesterday after we love today and squirt out tomorrow!”) the fridge spotlighted his five older siblings’ important school flyers, report cards, old photographs, party invitations, announcements, pencil doodles, and yep, tons of really cool student art.

All of this paper paraphernalia was tacked up in such overcrowded disarray, the built-in purified water dispenser was probably anticipating an eviction notice.

But hey, (now that he mentioned it!) it dawned on me that my son wasn’t the only one excluded. Nothing of mine had made it up onto those shiny stainless-steel paneled doors (which I now considered so prestigious, they rivaled The New Yorker. And received more hungry stares a day than a big time magazine’s circulation!) either, and I was supposedly the Queen of this here kitchen. Hmmph. A new career goal was born.

Mustering up my self-confidence, I finally submitted something to The Refrigerator, and here’s what happened.

Dear Author,

Thank you for breaking the ice and trying us with your recent listicle cleverly titled, “Groceries Needed for Sunday’s Bridal Shower.” While we feel it has a certain ravenous charm, the subject matter may not be cool enough for the fresh image our staff strives to preserve. But chill out (and don’t get cold feet!) because we’ve forwarded your piece on to another appliance whose sleek surface we feel may be a better fit.

Cheers,

Frigidaire, side-by-side model #FFPSS2677RF

Next came this.

Dear Writer,

Hey, what’s cooking? I’ve received your work for possible inclusion in our upcoming doorthology. Though I quickly warmed up to the idea of featuring specific food brands, I’m not so hot on possible copyright infringement. Could Betty Crocker sue? That’s the burning question!. At this point in time, I think I’ll pass, but your concept will go on the back burner for a future issue and I invite you to send something else so I can evaluate your range. Piece of cake, right?

Yours Truly,

General Electric Convection Oven

I was feeling truly rejected but he also must’ve forwarded my submission to another colleague because this notice quickly arrived.

Dear Dishpan Hands,

We appreciate you thinking of us as a possible placement for your original endeavor, but currently we’re at maximum capacity and fully loaded with other people’s work.  Try us again during our normal cycle as we often miss a spot and then we might see the glass as half-empty. Future submission guidelines include staying energy efficient and editing out dirty words, as our motto is “Keep it clean.” Hopefully this wasn’t a detergent err a deterrent in your publishing career.

Sparklingly Yours,

Whirlpool 24 Inch Built-In Dishwasher

I gave up all hope and concluded that my writing would never see the light of day on a kitchen display. And that’s when I got the next best thing . . . 

Dear Little Miss Menopause,

Congratulations on taking the plunge with your writing because you’ve just bowled me over!  I’m flushed with pride to accept your recent work and will post it prominently as soon as I get a handle on our next issue, but let’s just say, “you’ll be on a roll now!” I know it stinks, but please keep a lid on your excitement and don’t go clogging blogging about this news just yet.

Have a nice day!

Downstairs Guest Bathroom Toilet

There was only one thing left to do . . . write a
“Dear John” letter to thank him for giving me this porcelain publication promotion.

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This Man Knows Me Inside-Out (and he’s never even met me!)

BLOG_freelancers_H-645x285Not a day goes by that I don’t get an email from this most perceptive, intuitive, and thoroughly insightful guy. An online relationship expert I’ll call “The Love Bug” to protect his privacy here.

How he found me in the first place, I’ll never know — but I’ve been utterly fascinated by his email subject titles. And he apparently personally writes them all JUST FOR ME because my name is always front and center.

Have a look at some screenshots of his emails. First he tells me that I’m dreadful dating material . . .

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But he can hear my sighs!

And he’s “got” me.

Next comes this . . .

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Wow, he really does think I’m the problem. So I read it. And he’s 100% right. It’s an utter fiasco dating myself. I tell myself stale jokes I’ve heard 100 times before, I never like what I order in restaurants, and I toss and turn in bed — plus steal my own blankets.

So then he goes on to suggest . . .

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I guess since I’m a “difficult date” I’ll need to settle for cyber. But it seems I’ve already got “an interesting man” writing to me. Every. Single. Day. “The Love Bug!” And yes, I certainly do know the deal. (And the drill.)

He follows it up with some fascinating questions in his subject titles. Things I’d never dared wonder about before. Like this . . .

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Although I was kinda hoping those two things had been minimized after I had my breast reduction surgery.

And then something everyone should ask themselves at one time or another . . .

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Gosh. We both receive rocks on Halloween night?

Then he just starts shooting out a bunch of (apparently!) necessary advice.

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I quickly solved the “walking all over me” problem by buying an Oriental rug, so guys could step on that instead.

He must’ve approved of that solution because next I get this:FullSizeRender (71)

And here I thought all along that I WAS THE BAD DATE??

Next he sent a surprising revelation that was a bit hard to swallow:

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Why are you even in this business then???

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Not really. But now that he mentions brooms, I don’t like it when men sweep stuff under the rug. In fact I absolutely HATE that behavior. But I should have guessed Love Bug knows me better than even I know myself, because he writes back quickly — this time reiterating the 3 other things he knows I hate besides avoidant men . . .

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But hey, at least he put that comma in-between “hate” and “Stephanie” (see pic above) or else I’d be getting a complex right about now.

Well now it seems he thinks there’s still a little hope for me because he sends this subject title next.

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I decide this must be one POTENT email and I’ll save it for someone super special. Finally I decide upon George Clooney. I forward the above email to my handsome (unrequited) celebrity with a message asking him to merely read it (and then prepare to fall head over heels for yours truly!) but so far it’s done nothing for him. I subsequently also let my mailman get a quick peek at the email and now he’s smiling more often at me, so it wasn’t a total loss.

But apparently Love Bug thought both George and the postal worker were bad choices because I got this:

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And how come I don’t have any recollection of emailing him back??  I am starting to get worried about what else I don’t remember doing!

So I write to him, (this time consciously!) making my case that my mailman was actually pretty nice and now I even get my packages carried up to my front porch!

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“I don’t think so,” I write back. “He’s now taken to sorting all my junk mail and puts the coupons on top! I may just have to play ‘postman’ with him soon!”

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OMG!  I was only joking around! I value old-fashioned letter-carriers who wear uniforms, so sue me. But I can assure you, I am NOT a loose woman. Doesn’t he know that about me already? (Also did you notice he mentions a wife here??? Does SHE know he corresponds with me every day?? Hmmm)

Then the Love Bug does something incredible! He proves to me he’s not like every other man I meet by sending these two subjects back to back!

 

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Wow, I am so impressed with his integrity and humility. So I write him again and say, “All is forgiven. I don’t really think the mailman is all that hot anyhow. Actually I don’t find any male all that hot.

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Honestly, nobody likes a Know-it-all!

And then comes his first astonishing confession . . .

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Seriously?? Well I know it was NOT with me. I would have remembered something like that. I have a friend Tiffany, who also receives this same love expert’s email advice, (so much for my personal name shining in the subject!) so perhaps he cheated with Tiffany? The hussy. Turns out she read the same message and thought it was with me he’d been philandering with.

By then The Love Bug follows this shocker up with another email saying, “just teasing” and actually he had gone all Dorothy on us! He really hadn’t committed an infidelity — he thought he had cheated but then he woke up and it was just a dream he had of being an adulterer, like the tired plot device in The Wizard of Oz. But he did describe this dream in vivid detail to his loving wife who simply said, “That’s nice, honey. Shall we have lamb or chicken tonight?” He then used this entire scenario to illustrate the ultimate trust between a man and woman.

At this point, I am thinking I’ve had just about enough of this guy’s bizarre 6th sense and his other shenanigans as well, so I casually click unsubscribe.

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Alrighty then, do you see what he’s doing here?? He’s projecting how he feels about my leaving his email-subscription list onto me.

So I thought I’d make it perfectly clear who is pulling away from whom just one more time, so I send an email with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject title.

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Really, Love Bug Sir?!  You’re still doing this reverse psychology thing on me?  Let’s get things straight. I’m pulling away from YOU and YOU’RE the desperate one doing the luring!

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Clearly this is a dig that he is now going to make Tiffany his main cyber gal. FINE WITH ME! So I write back and tell him I’ve had better relationship advice from a lady bug and the only reason I can justify his being “The Love Bug” is because he’s starting to really bug me and he should buzz off!

FullSizeRender (100)Interesting reframe. I insult him and tell him off and he calls it “sharing.” I decide ignoring him is the best plan. He continues to send me emails and finally this….

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Haha! Even my six kids don’t stoop to that dumb tact when they want me to pay attention to them. I ignore some more. He tries flattery.

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And it’s not even Thanksgiving! I write back that I am also grateful for the time we had together and don’t mean to nitpick, but I’m just not feeling it anymore.

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I don’t see any need to defend myself for not liking mushrooms, olives, or him — so I write back saying I actually now have a solid boyfriend and am moving on to home decorating expert email lists.

He tries the “ticking clock” stunt on me.

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Then he tosses out some random Kenny Roger’s poker advice.

FullSizeRenderFollowed by another personal insult because obviously he knows my large bra cup size too.

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Triggered, I quickly fire back that my boyfriend tells me all the time how much he adores my breasts, thank you very much.

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That does it. He’s just begging for it now! I start my own email list regarding, “Advice For Online Relationship Coaches.” I harass him every night before I go to sleep with subjects like, “Hi Love Bug! Do You Know if You’ve Helped a Couple or Just Instigated a Divorce?” and “What Happens When an Email listee Contacts Your Wife and Tells Her She’s The Subject of Much of Your Relationship Advice, Love Bug?”

Finally I can’t resist and send one final email with a subject header that says, “What Do You and Lucy (From the Peanuts comic strip) Have in Common?” In the body of the email it says, “Both of your advice is worth about 5 cents!

I never heard from Love Bug again.

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Hi Readers – – This was a fun blog for me to write, but because the emails were legit, I blocked out any identifying information with those silly hat images. But maybe you recognize the guy’s blue collared shirt?? DISCLAIMER: Before you feel too sorry for me, you might notice the dates of his emails are all out of order. I took them out of context to add humor in this mostly fictional tale where the main point was a woman (me!) thinking someone is writing to her PERSONALLY just because her name is on it, when it’s really sent out to the masses.

Rehash the Backlash From Oscar Bash?

Screen-Shot-2017-01-19-at-9.44.57-AM-520x245.pngAs a retired event planner, I feel obligated to throw a few shindigs now and again to keep my party skills sharp — and the Oscars gave me a good excuse to have a little gala in my small in-home theatre last night.

The first dilemma was a forced imposed guest limit due to constraints of having only eight “official cinema” seats. Because of “chair scarcity,” each seat became valuable real-estate and thus my desire to fill it with non-flaky people (who would actually rsvp in a timely manner and follow-thru with showing up) was escalated.

I decided to make this a casual Ladies Only get-together so I invited a group of compatible women who knew one another from book club and to make it more fun, I wrote, “Come in pajamas!” One by one, as rsvp’s slowly trickled in and were mainly “No’s” (What’s this? Nobody mentioned I would be cooking!) I would re-invite someone new to replace the original declining guest — again wanting to insure all 8 seats were filled was my goal.

Soon it became almost an entirely new guest list where nobody really knew one another like they did before, but I told myself the Oscars would keep us entertained.

I also thought it would be fun (again being overly ambitious with prior party planning creativity) to hold a contest to predict the most winners (with a prize) and to have a “Dear Oscar” activity with guests anonymously writing down their personal dilemmas (think Dear Abby) and me reading them aloud during commercials when we’d chime in with advice.

Simple so far, right? Easy Peasy La-La Landeasy! Here’s how it all went down:

*Lady #1: Hi! Glad I made it. What a cute movie room this is. Um … all purple? Well I’m just grateful I can stay in my nightgown! I brought shrimp cocktails for everyone.

Me: How nice. I should have mentioned you’re the only one from the original guest list. The other women are actually now Jewish and don’t eat shellfish.

Lady #2: (sniffing, looking #1 over) Also we actually took the time to put our clothes on.

Me: Oh, that’s not her fault. Excuse me . . . Sweetie — please don’t do that to the chair. It’s not a leather recliner.

Lady #4: Hmph, well I have a bad back, however I’ll try to stay until Best Supporting Actor, only because I love Jeff Bridges.

Me: But that’s the very first award. Sheesh, can you at least call in for ‘backup?’ No pun intended, but I really want all 8 chairs occupied.

Lady # 6: Do we have to fill out these Oscar ballots? Ever since the November election, I get nauseas voting.

Lady #1: That’s the shrimp smell. I stashed the platter under my seat.

Lady #4: You mean the cheap-o seats that won’t lean back.

Lady #2: Dear Abby, err Oscar — How to handle it when someone comes to a party dressed inappropriately?

Me: I told you, NOT her fault. Her invitation said ‘Pajama Party.’ And please don’t read your question aloud, they’re supposed to be anonymous.

Lady #5: Shhhh, I can’t hear who the nominees are for Best Depressing Film.

Lady #6: Don’t worry, A Dog’s Purpose will win that. The cute little guy gets reincarnated and keeps dying.

Lady #3: That’s not a thing!

Lady #6: Well, I happen to believe in getting recycled even if you have a tail!

Lady #3: No, I meant there’s no ‘Best Depressing’ category.

Lady #7: Her screen is depressing. Is that just a white bed sheet?

Me: Excuse me, but who are you? And do you ever get told you resemble Jeff Bridges?

Man #1: Hi! My wife had a bad back and called me to be her replacement seat-warmer.

Lady #2: Dear Oscar, There’s a woman here breaking many of the Lord’s commandments. She eats shrimp, she’s scantily clad amongst a married man, and she’s only seen Schindler’s List once. What to do?

Me: Please, I’ll read all those questions during commercials. Yoo hoo over there! Sorry, but that popcorn machine doesn’t work. It’s only decoration.

Lady #7: Really? Wow. Okay I’ll take a large Sprite with extra ice, plus Junior Mints and nachos without jalapeños because I get heartburn.

Lady #5: Heartburn was a good movie with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

Lady #6: I correctly predicted Special Effects, Makeup, and Best Original Score. What do I win?

Lady #3: There’s a man hiding in that corner. He seems like a real prize.

Me: I will hand out a cute gift basket I created when I tally up the votes at the end of the show.

Lady #4: Seriously? That will take hours. Especially if they change their minds about the winners.

Me: All winners are final at the Oscars!

Lady #7: I saw this supposed “cute gift basket” in the guest bathroom. It’s just leftover Valentine’s junk.

Lady #1: Okay everyone, say Meryl Streeeeeeeep. Smile!

Me: Stop! No photography!

Lady #1: Is that a Jewish law too??

Me: No, I don’t want any pictures on social media.

Lady #7: Cuz she’s ashamed of having a theater with uncomfortable seats.

Me: No, I don’t want all my other POLITE friends to feel slighted at not being invited.

Lady #5: Hey, that’s a good title for your blog: ‘Slighted at Not Being Invited!’

All Ladies: OMG. If you’re going to blog about this, we’re leaving. We thought it was just ladies and so we didn’t put any makeup on.

Lady #2: And some of us have no clothes on!

Man #1: That’s totally cool. But I hate to say it, this Oscar show is messed up big time. They just announced the wrong winner for Best Picture.

All Ladies: OMG. Your sound system is the worst. Warren Beatty would’ve announced the correct winner if we watched it in our own homes.

Me: Dear Oscar, Please remind me the next time I think about planning a party — there’s a GOOD reason I retired.

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* All names have been changed to numbers (not for anonymity) because the author was extremely proud to have accomplished filling all 8 purple (yes, purple) seats above!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with a NON-Jealous Mate

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

Bear with me as I relate the following conversation:

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

Him: Nice. Whadya order?

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

Him: Nope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Him: Darn telemarketers.

Seriously?? So I bought myself some beautiful flowers.

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

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

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

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

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

That does it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Kitten Saga (Cast Your Vote!)

fullsizerender-44Here is a cautionary tale about what can happen if you have OCD and kittens become involved.

It began innocently enough — **a strange cat with no collar wandered into our house and my kids were thrilled to have some temporary pet variety, (we only have one small dog) but they were told the key word was TEMPORARY.

My Kids: Please??? . . .

Me: We absolutely cannot keep him. He belongs to someone else. And we are under NO circumstances ever getting a cat, so just put that idea out of your heads.

But I never said anything about kittens. Fast forward to current day when the adult cat left us, and a certain 13-year-old boy (who somehow inherited my obsessive/compulsiveness) scoured the internet for days on end searching for available kittens, then wrote pleading emails nominating our family’s candidacy as the perfect new owner. We visited 6 different litters (but ONLY because I like to see people’s home decorating styles) and now lo and behold — we’ll be bringing these TWO balls of fluff (pictured everywhere in this post!) into our household.

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But we cannot have them FOR ANOTHER MONTH.  Apparently they’re too small and must stay with their mother until they’re weaned. Have you ever?? I can’t even. What a wicked breeder! Clearly that’s just a made-up excuse so their lucky family gets to enjoy this adorable kitten stage as long as possible, using up all their cuteness before they finally come to us.

Okay, so it’s Valentine’s Day. Try newly falling in love with someone really soft (or two someones!) and then being apart for four full weeks. It makes you crazy wondering how they are doing, if they’re eating right, if they’re warm enough, why they never write or call, etc. Note: You may have to be a Jewish mother to relate to this.

Meanwhile the owner of the kittens (and the nursing mama cat) has no clue I fanatically stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, downloading the proud photos she posts of these little critters. I need these updated pics to keep me from (and believe me, I NEVER use this expression) “pining away.”

This woman also doesn’t know I’m very close to going all Glenn Close on her, picking her unsuspecting child up from school, taking her on a few roller coasters, in the hopes that she will befriend my kids, then frequently invite them over to her house to visit OUR kittens. And when I go to pick my children up, of course I’ll always be invited inside for tea.

All these complex schemes formulate in my OCD brain because this lady has a million different reasons why a strange (but loving) family of six shouldn’t visit her home on a daily basis. The nerve.

My Ex-Husband: There’s an obvious solution, Stephanie. Simply call her up, explain you desperately miss the kittens and you’re willing to take in the mother cat until they are weaned. Boom–Instant kittens!

Me: Already tried that, Smartiepants. She told me all new mothers feel insecure and therefore want to keep the same familiar people around them.

Ex-Husband. Interesting. Each time you gave birth to our kids, you told me to get lost.

My next plan? I just found out she uses Merry Maids, so I’ll be disguising myself as a cleaning lady, sucking up MY two kittens with a Hoover vacuum and then I’ll just be on my Merry way!

Alright so to help me obsessively pass the time until we get these two kittens, please vote on name options for this new little dynamic duo in the comments section. Thank you!

  • Sugar and Spice
  • Trix and Kix
  • Hocus and Pocus
  • Monty and Zuma
  • Ritz and Bitz
  • Tic and Toc
  • Nook and Cranny
  • Tisket and Tasket
  • Peek and Boo
  • Mango and Tango
  • Snap and Crackle
  • Tiddly and Winks
  • Bagels and Lox
  • Vice and Versa
  • YoYo and Jacks
  • Scrabble and Boggle
  • Topsy and Turvy
  • Abra and Cadabra
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And because this is a humor blog, if you think some of these names are wretched, I get to say, “Gosh, it was just a joke!” New suggestions welcome as well!

P.S. Did you know there’s a handy Children/Kitten contract that will stand up in court? Seriously! It’s all signed and notarized — so if certain children do not feed felines, change litter boxes, and even do other chores around the house while maintaining their current GPA, they can be sued and will suffer the loss of all electronics! Disclaimer: But under no circumstances will the kittens need to be forfeited. But nowhere does it say the children cannot be. 😉

Footnote ** The author is no stranger to bringing home stray animals and her father used to say, “Thank God elephants never get lost!”

Valentine Variations! (Verified Valuable & Vitalizing!)

12354272943_17d394cf5b_zValentine’s Day is a myopic, narrow-minded holiday solely dependent on Hallmark, hearts, flowers, chocolate, and guilt. That’s why I’ve come up with the innovative idea of merging Valentine’s Day with different national holidays so you get the added bonus of other celebrations and traditions to back up your intense sentiments.

Because sometimes LOVE is just not enough! 

Forget Food Combining, I’ve Got Holiday Combining! Ready??

Feb 14 + Dec. 31st – You say you want a resolution?  Well then write down some of your New Year Lover’s Resolutions that you’ll vow to keep this time. I’ll start you off…1. Even though now Little Miss Menopause is advocating Holiday Integration, I will no longer combine my mate’s birthday gift with our anniversary gift. 2. I will no longer snoop through my significant other’s pockets to see what they’ve been up to. I will be more hip and snoop thru their cellphone instead. 3. In restaurants, I will no longer annoyingly eat off their plate because I will already have swapped it for my own meal, since they always order better anyhow.

Feb 14 + Martin Luther King Day– Call up the love of your life and say, “I have a dream! That one day we will go out for Frozen Yogurt and instead of each of us ordering a separate small-sized chocolate and vanilla, we will integrate both delectable dairy desserts together using that important middle lever, rejoicing as we watch both light and dark flavors swirl together into one harmonious large-sized cone!” If your partner finds this unacceptable, (or inquires as to the color of your toppings) resist the urge to call him a bigot and instead change your romantic speech to, “I have a scheme!” Then proceed to outline a devious plot regarding your mother-in-law.

Feb 14 + GroundHog Day — Work with me here, ok? Forget Punxsutawney Phil. Too hard to pronounce. In fact Change “Hog” to “Horse” and substitute seeing his “shadow” for seeing a “saddle.” Now we’re talking major romance! Blast Aerosmith’s hit song,”Back in the Saddle Again!” (stay with me now, alright?) as you drive down to a ranch that rents horses. Here’s the kicker–even though you’re two people, rent just ONE horse and sit in the saddle facing each other, which demonstrates unbridled passion. Don’t be a neighsayer just yet –this also proves you love each other enough to be saddled with all the responsibility that comes with it and that your relationship is stable, even if you do stirrup trouble sometimes. What does this have to do with Groundhog’s Day you ask?  Oh get off your high horse already — absolutely nothing. It’s just creative.

Feb 14 + Rosa Parks Day — Ever do it on the back of a bus??

Feb 14 + Lincoln’s Birthday — In honor of Honest Abe, you must confess any lies you’ve told your sweetheart, I don’t care if they are just white lies. Speaking of white, I’m getting to the freeing of the slaves part. If you’re female, denounce all housework for the day. If you’re male, take your secretary out to eat and tell her you’re done being a slavedriver. Note: The latter is liable to evoke jealousy in your wife so justify you’re also combining Valentine’s Day with Take Your Secretary to Lunch Day!

Feb 14 + Daylight’s Saving Time –Set all the clocks and watches in your home and car back one hour. This will make you so late that you’ll lose your reservation at that crowded, overpriced restaurant and have to eat at McDonalds. Now you can celebrate your frugality as a couple.

Feb 14 + Easter – Baskets, baby. It’s all about the wicker. Any gift you give each other should be in one. Also bunnies. You know what they do, right? Get busy in the cellophane green grass!

Feb 14 + Passover — Doesn’t matter if you’re not Jewish. Serve your lover matzo in between the sheets then say, “See? I’d never throw you out of bed for eating crackers!” Invent an 11th plague. It should have something to do with raining condoms.

Feb 14 + St. Patrick’s Day — This will ingeniously be all about holiday colors. Ready? Take red from Valentine’s and combine it with green for St. Paddy’s and what do you get? Christmas!  Brilliant! You’ve just covered three holidays now! But you should still take this opportunity to pinch your mate compulsively.

Feb 14 + Cinco De Mayo – You have a large sombrero? A sarape to hide behind? Great! Have her shake her maracas and we’re talking a very “buenas noches!”

Feb 14 + Take Your Daughter To Work Day — If you’re tired and want to guarantee there won’t be any “action” tonight, then tweak this holiday combination just a tad. Let your little girl stay home from your office and watch Cinderella instead. But do participate in”Take your Husband to the Gynecologist” day. Trust me, he’ll never get over it.

Feb 14 + Halloween — You dress in a french maid’s costume while your hubby is Iron Man. Knock on your neighbors’ doors, hand them your cellphone for a Selfie while yelling,”Click or Tweet!” You’ll soon break Twitter if everyone participates.

Feb 14 + Thanksgiving –  Express your extreme gratitude to your mate that you’re with someone nice and normal because you could could have ended up with a real whacko like me.

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

How NOT to Get a Literary Agent (In 20 Simple Steps)

 

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If you’re a mediocre writer and want an agent to sign you….marry one. But if you’re a talented writer, all it takes is getting your book into the hands of the right literary agent and BINGO….instant representation! Just don’t do as I say and definitely don’t do as I do below….

  1. Binge watch all I Love Lucy episodes and realize your intense desire to have an agent discover your writing talent is just as fierce (if not more) than that of the famous, hairbrained redhead wanting to break into show business at Ricky’s nightclub.
  2. Decide you need your own equivalent of “The Tropicana” and register for a Writers Conference, where there are sure to be a ton of hot agents scouring to sign new, fledgling authors like yourself.
  3. Go on the internet to check out the hotel layout and notice they have lots of elevators. Forget taking the stairs for health reasons! Craft a captivating elevator pitch! Practice a witty escalator pitch too, just in case the elevators are out of order.
  4. While waiting in the airport for your plane, research “what to say in person to grab an agent’s interest.” Discover they love it when you liken the plot of your book to a mixture of two well-known exciting movies.
  5. Unexpectedly cross paths with a real live literary agent seated across the aisle on your flight. Blurt out, “King Kong Versus Godzilla!”
  6. Recall how Lucy Ricardo received lots of attention implementing creative publicity stunts. Eye the tall roof of the hotel with visions of “landing as a woman from Mars.” Consider the conference swimming pool as a place for a staged drowning so an agent can rescue you as you sputter out the opening line of your new novel, along with spitting chlorinated water.
  7. Wander upon some colorful tables set up in the lobby with established authors sitting behind large colorful stacks of their newly released books, cheerfully autographing covers for (what looks like) hungry agents.
  8. Open your backpack and impulsively place ten of your own self-published books (that’s all you’ve brought to the conference) on a nearby janitor’s supply cart so that (much like a bowl of unattended Halloween candy left on the porch for trick-or-treaters) every last copy will be gobbled up by influential individuals in the book industry.
  9. On the way up to the 12th floor to change clothes for the evening’s festivities, “accidentally” lean against the emergency button, (lurching things to a stop between floors 8 and 9) so that this group of agents are now a captive audience for your book pitch, and bonus – you won’t have to keep it under 30 seconds.
  10. Apologize when you find out they’re just other wanna-be-authors much like yourself, only angrier because you just made them late to the banquet dinner.
  11. Arrive in your room to see the red light lit up on the desk, indicating people have been trying to reach you. Wonder how many agents read the novels you left in the lower lobby, salivated, and have now beaten a path to your hotel room phone leaving messages like, “Let’s meet before dinner so you can sign my exclusivity representation agreement!”
  12. Call the front desk and retrieve a single message, “Nine of your books have been turned into the hotel Lost & Found. Please see the concierge to claim.”
  13. Daydream that the missing 10th book is under the pillow inside a prominent agent’s hotel room and he’ll be kept awake all night, turning pages.
  14. At the banquet, decide on a new tact that doesn’t involve displaying your books prominently in front of the cream-puffs on the dessert buffet. Resolve instead to place into the palm of any agent (reaching with an outstretched arm to shake your hand during introductions) a copy of your novel. What? ?  Like they’re gonna rudely just let it drop on the floor?
  15. Pick your book up off the carpet. Shout, “So nice meeting you!” to the agent’s backside as he hurries toward the stairway, because it’s recently been announced to “ride elevators at your own risk” at this particular writer’s conference.
  16. Walk into a workshop called, “Speed Pitching To An Agent” where the idea is to play musical chairs, quickly discussing your book with 15 different agents. Talk very fast! You’ve got this movie comparison thing down pat now. Tell them it’s a cross between “When Harry Met Sally” and “Planet of the Apes.” Claim you heard Nicolas Cage is dying for the lead role when your bestseller becomes an actual movie. What?? Do you think they have Nicky’s number and will call to confirm??
  17. Tell all the male agents “You wouldn’t understand my book, it’s geared toward female readers who want to become multi-orgasmic.”
  18. Sing your pitch or recite it in Pig-Latin.
  19. Contemplate launching into the VitaMeataVegaMin routine or lighting the tip of your fake nose on fire with a lit cigarette.
  20. Check-out of the hotel on Monday morning thoroughly encouraged because the janitor chased you out to the valet stand to thank you for leaving him your book with his cleaning supplies. He wants to know if you’ll mop all the lobby floors so he can find out how the book ends. Say, “Yes!”

It’s Feb! Hosting a Super Bowl or Oscars Awards party? Maybe combining the two?? Check out my new funny planning tips right HERE on the website Jewlarious! I’d love to hear from you over there.

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Sitting IS the New Smoking??

images-17  You better have a seat before reading this — in case you’re as shocked as I am. Or maybe not!  I’d love to take credit for creating this catchy warning phrase, but a quick internet search brings up headlines screaming the same sentiment for the past few years — like this one RIGHT HERE

Beware of the Chair!! But seriously? They’re asserting that you can never have puffed a cigarette a day in your life but (even with daily strenuous exercise) your chances of heart-attacks/strokes are the same as a smoker’s . . .  if you spend the rest of your time sitting.

“Sitting is the New Smoking!”

This gives new meaning to addictions and begs the following questions…

  • If you have a problem with more than 4 sofas a day, are you a chain sitter?
  • Should you gradually wean yourself off La-Z-Boy recliners, or just quit cold turkey?
  • After good sex, how likely are you to have the urge to reach for a barstool?
  • Can you tell by someone’s breath and smell on their clothing that they are a heavy sitter?
  • Is it still legal for restaurants to have sitting and non-sitting sections in their dining rooms?
  • If you’re a super active person but your spouse is a couch potato, are you being subjected to second-hand chairs?
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She won’t be smiling when she’s charged a “Nicobean” tax for sitting on this thing.

 

But the real point is…

“This Is The New That!”

It started with our ages, “50 is the new 40.” And the television show, “Orange is the new Black.” Now anything is fair game. So here we go…

For Kids:

  • Hugs are the new allowance!
  • Bath tubs are the new swimming pools.
  • Hatchimals are the new puppy under the Christmas tree!
  • Cellphone Trackers are the new “Call to let me know you arrived safely.”
  • Google is the new library.

For Women:

  • 155 lbs is the new 125 lbs.
  • Tossing & Turning and Night Sweats are the new gym workout.
  • Gray is the new blonde.
  • Nutella is the new breakfast of champions
  • “You’re a jerk, I deserve better!” is the new, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

For Men: (a little throwback in time!)

  • “Come over for a home cooked meal” is the OLD “meet you at Starbucks.”
  • Opening car doors for females is the OLD click your remote keyless entry.
  • A goodnight kiss is the OLD blowjob.
  • A perfumed love letter is the OLD sexting.
  • Sleeping on the couch after a fight is the OLD sleeping with her best friend.
  • His Girl Friday is the OLD Siri.

Disclaimer: It is highly recommended when perusing this blog, that you be (at the very least) sitting in a rigorous rocking chair so you aren’t endangering your health with stationary sitting. Also nobody can accuse you of being “Off Your Rocker” for reading Little Miss Menopause. 😉

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Dance Movie Women…Where Are They Now?

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Join us as we pay tribute and catch up with some famous female characters from the classic musical films we’ve all watched zillions of times:

  • Saturday Night Fever               Dirty Dancing
  • Grease                                          Footloose
  • Flashdance                                  Hairspray

Today’s your lucky day because through the magic of blogging, you’re about to listen in on their group therapy session!

Therapist: Hi ladies, how ya been?

Sandy: Who you calling a “Has Been?”  Fans are still Hopelessly Devoted to me.

Stephanie: Relax, Miss Sandra Dee. You misheard. She’s just asking how we are. Personally, I’m just barely Staying Alive.

Therapist: Great! Whether you’re a mother or whether you’re a brother… well I’m sure we’ve all had enough of those lyrics. I was going to have us go around the circle and introduce ourselves, but I think it’s rather obvious who everyone is — except for you there with the leg-warmers on.  And you are?

Alex: That’s okay. Nobody ever knew what my name was in Flashdance either. When they referred to me, they just said, “She’s a maniac, MANIAC!” Mainly I was known by my iconic sweatshirts. I gave everyone the cold shoulder in the 80’s.

Therapist: You certainly did. Please tell me more about how that feels. But first Baby, could you please scoot your chair back further so I can see everyone. Maybe sit closer to that wall?

Baby: Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Therapist: Hmmm, Paranoia. And Dissociative Behavior talking about yourself in the third person.  I see we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves.

Tracy: I’ve actually already worked hard on myself to overcome society’s criticism about being the fat girl. I’m not ashamed of how I look. I’m just grateful I wasn’t born a negro.

Therapist:  Excuse me!??  Tracy Turnblad! That last part is completely out of character for you!

Tracy:  Sorry, I guess you can take the girl outa Baltimore but you can’t….well the main thing is – I role modeled self-acceptance.

Therapist: And how can any of us really tell when we’ve achieved self-acceptance?

Stephanie: Well you can tell by the way I use my walk, yada yada no time to talk. Music loud and feeling warm, been kicked around since I was born . . .

Therapist:  Really?  You’re amazingly confident even with that kind of child abuse.

Sandy: Me too. I always liked myself just as I was.

Baby: What are you talking about, girlfriend? You purposely turned yourself into a complete slut, forever teaching impressionable young girls that being a goody-two-shoes sucks, and the only way to be well-liked is to put out!

Sandy: Tell me about it, Stud.

Ariel: Yeah…Let’s hear it for the boy!!  Sometimes you gotta cut loose, kick off your Sunday shoes.

Therapist: Please do not remove your footwear here. And I really would like to be the one who leads this discussion.

Stephanie: Wow. Somebody has control issues. And it’s not Tony Manero.

Coco: You know, I just want to belt out one hit song and get some FAME. Okay, I confess…I wanna live forever!

Tracy: Sweetheart, you’re in the wrong room. The Washed-Up Movie Singers Support Group meets down the hall. Sheesh, that Irene Cara is still looking mighty fine.

Therapist: Can we please stay focused? Let’s talk about what dancing did for you ladies. You all have some great moves. What impact did that have on your relationships?

Sandy: Well when I lost the big Rydell high school dance contest, I thought I lost Danny too. After all, he only had eyes for Cha-Cha DiGregorio at that point. But I clung to the hope that “We go together, like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong!”

Therapist: Yes, that makes so much sense.

Sandy: And I’d also remind myself that “We’re one of a kind, like dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da doo-bee doo!”

Therapist: Very profound indeed.

Tracy: I have a little issue with my femininity. My mother was also a very big woman. But sometimes she was also a big man. She sent me double messages about which gender she identified with.

Therapist: Well, “Big” was the key. And you did the right thing by telling her, “Mama, I’m a big girl now!” without hesitating or missing a beat.

Tracy: Well, you can’t stop the beat!

Stephanie: Beat? Does this mean it’s time to talk about the child abuse now?

Therapist: I’m afraid we’ll have to stop here for this week. But I’d like to go around and hear from everyone what kind of time you’ve had today and please be honest.

Baby: Now I’ve had the time of my life. No I never felt like this before. Yes I swear it’s the truth. And I owe it all to you.

Therapist: Well at least you owe me $150 for this hour! Sandy, what about you?

Sandy: You’re a fake and a phony and I wish I never laid eyes on you.

Therapist: Lot’s of anger there. Maybe if you didn’t always keep that Elvis and his Pelvis so far away from you.

Tracy:  Or maybe if she ratted her hair earlier in the movie. Personally I loved everything about this session. I just wanna let the whole world know I’m still big, blonde and beautiful. And every day should be negro day!

Therapist:  Honey, maybe you should just say, “Black lives matter.” As for the rest of you, if you take nothing else away from this meeting, just remember this one word….

Sandy: Grease is the word!!!

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Scheduled Sex and Mystery Dates!?

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

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

Tips for SCHEDULED SEX

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 12, 9 pm. — Just do “it!”

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

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

Tips for a MYSTERY DATE

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

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

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

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

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

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

enticing-couple

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

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

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

What I need is some professionally documented medical evidence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neurologist: With pleasure.

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

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

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

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

Daughter: Yes. Sorta. Kinda. No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ex: Your driving is no laughing matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hanging up posters like this will be totally ineffective.

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

10 Tips To Detect Cell-Charger Foul Play

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

Grounded From Your Own Cellphone?!

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

Never say “NEVER,” kids!

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

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

LIFE WITHOUT A CELLPHONE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mail carrier delivering to mailbox

 

Are Any of These 19 People At Your Holiday Buffet?

people-in-line-at-food-buffetWhy does standing in line for food bring out the DMV in people? This holiday season, do you know how to categorize the people at your buffets? Don’t worry if you don’t – I’m doing it for you right now. Soon you’ll have a clever classification for each of your family, friends, or coworkers. Just think — you’ll be able to easily identify who you saw last night at Thanksgiving or at upcoming Christmas/New year’s parties. Now you can label all your guests just like you label the chafing dishes. You’re welcome!

19 Types of People You’ll Meet at Holiday Buffets!

  1. The Buffeter Surveyer – These folks have read “helpful” articles with advice on handling smorgasbords. They know to approach the buffet in a calm, relaxed manner and to always have a predetermined game plan, which includes perusing all the offerings from one end to the other before making their final selections. They also know to use a smaller-sized salad plate to fool their mind into thinking they’re eating more! They’ll still pack on five pounds like the rest of us. These people are first cousins with “The Buffeter Weigher Conveyers” (See below)
  2. The Buffeter Overstayer – Buffets are their home base. They’ll linger, integrating all kinds of tasks – talking, eating, wiping, consulting, organizing, refilling, and generally becoming a permanent fixture by the soup. Not compatible with the next type…
  3. The Buffeter Get-Out-of-My-Wayer! – They mean business. Napkin tucked, first in line, making appreciative sounds, as you wonder if a nearby farmer forgot to take attendance in his barnyard today. Not to be confused with this next one . . .
  4. The Buffeter Wrong-Wayer — Always starting at the opposite end. You’d think they’d get a clue while they’re carrying food in their bare hands, because the plates are on the other side.
  5. The Buffeter Prayer Sayer – The Jewish buffeter who recites blessings over each food group and requests take-home Tupperware because without a To-Go container, forty years is a long time to wander through the desert. (But forty minutes is just the right amount of time to wonder through the dessert!)
  6. The Buffeter Cabareter – Hums songs about eating. Often heard belting out, “Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver or “Be Our Guest!”
  7. The Buffeter Delayer – You know they want food, they know they want food, but they sit until the last person gets up, not wanting to appear to be overeager. Soon you’ll overhear them whispering, “Shame she didn’t prepare enough food,” because half the serving platters were empty when they finally approached.
  8. The Buffeter Weigher Conveyer – Announces the calories in water and whips out a little kitchen scale for an official cranberry calibration. Do you know how many points creamed spinach count for on Weight-Watchers? Well, you will now.
  9. The Buffeter Betrayer – Intimately acquainted with the hostess, they won’t hesitate to spill the beans. Yes, even the pintos. “That salad isn’t really organic, Ha!” And, “It’s still just a Costco pumpkin pie, even if it’s sitting on a plate with a fancy doily.” Or, “Skip the baked potatoes, the skins weren’t washed.” Bribe them to keep their mouth shut with the promise of filling it with their choice of leftovers at the end.
  10. The Buffeter Okayer – You’ll not meet a more pleasant, jovial person in line. The answers to the following questions will always be “Okay!” 1. Can I go in front of you? 2. How’ve you been since last Thanksgiving? 3. Do you think I should help myself to goosing cousin Ruth as she helps herself to some goose?
  11. The Buffeter Layerer  – Obsessed with rearranging the sumptuous spread, even digging through layers of turkey or yams looking for who knows what. Tongs are their favorite tool of choice, but they can function just as well with a spatula too.
  12. The Buffeter Bouqueter – Gardening types who salivate at your floral centerpieces. Prefers Roasted Red Roses or Fried Fuschia Freesia to light or dark turkey parts.
  13. The Buffeter Halfwayer  – They nearly get to the end of the food display when they realize they forgot to grab a ladle full of salad dressing some twelve platters back. Now they’re gonna stand frozen and flummoxed in line, wondering how they can politely go backwards. Say this, “Aunt Jodie, want me to get you some ranch?” Problem solved.
  14. The Buffeter Clichér – This guy’s vocabulary is stuffed (fuller than the turkey!) with silly puns and double entendres. While staring at the carved bird, he’ll elbow you roughly while remarking, “Looks scary… It’s a Goblin! Get it?” Or “I’m suddenly in a fowl mood!” Simply tell him you gave up laughing at inane jokes “cold turkey” and move along.
  15. The Buffeter FoulPlayer – If it’s accidental, it can be forgiven – but youngster buffet-goers will drop a cherry tomato into the honey-mustard to see if it floats or sinks. That’s just the beginning of the havoc they’ll wreak. I hesitate to offer more examples, lest I offer more ideas.
  16. The Jimmy Buffeter – Knows all the lyrics to “Wasting Away in Margaritaville” and will get a real kick out of you handing him the pepper when he sings, “Searching for my last shaker of salt.”
  17. The Warren Buffeter – When you ask for some tips, he doles out financial advice. You just meant asparagus tips.
  18. The Buffeter OyVeyer – “Oy vey, my doctor says my triglycerides are high.” Ask them what a triglyceride is and they’ll just sigh deeply while reiterating, “Oy vey, I really shouldn’t be eating this.” Or worse, “Oy vey, should YOU really be eating that?”
  19. The Buffeter Essayer – Someone closely observing buffet behavior in the hopes of writing a semi-humorous blog. The nerve.

Did I leave anyone you know out?? Happy Holidays!

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

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  1. Oh you’re doing that super irritating, sudden jerky movement thing with your body again. Having a dream, I suppose. Must be nice. Could’ve invited me. Of course you have to actually fall asleep to be included! Well I hope it morphs into a nightmare and you’re wide awake. Misery loves company nobody!
  2. Those very capable hands of yours just sitting there useless on the sheets for 6-8 hours every night. Someone should invent a way to harness the energy of a pair of hands for back massages, while the owner of the arms they’re attached to continues sleeping, none the wiser. It could be like a “Snoozing Toll.” Direct compensation to your restless bedfellow who has to just stare begrudgingly as you slumber.
  3. What was that loud noise coming from downstairs? Nobody else is home! I’ll give it three minutes and if the bedroom door doesn’t burst open, then I’ll know I imagined it and mercifully, I won’t wake you.
  4. I could pretend to talk in my sleep and say really bizarre things I could never be held responsible for. And you would never know I’m not really sleeping. Because APPARENTLY YOU ARE!!
  5. I wonder what the statistics are for the number of people who kick or hit others in their sleep?
  6. Okay what was THAT noise?  Two minutes!
  7. There should really be a pillow-flipping mechanism that senses when your pillow is too warm and automatically turns it over to the cooler side. Why is there no app for that?
  8. “You’re under arrest for stealing the covers. You have the right to remain silent. Because every grunt, groan, snore, snort, loud breathing, and sniffle is already being used against you.”
  9. I wonder how many songs there are about sleeping? The only one I can think of is “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” That seems like an open field for a writer like me to compete in. Ugh, never mind. There’s all these too, right HERE.
  10. How many words can I make from the letters in INSOMNIA? 1.minion 2.mansion 3.amino 4.moans 5. man. Man, this is a really stupid game.
  11. If a tree falls in a forest with nobody around to hear it, does it really make a sound?  If I shout “Sex!” right now in this bedroom while my partner is sound asleep, do I really need to follow-thru? Aristotle and Socrates got started this way.
  12. Maybe this is all a dream and I’m actually sleeping.
  13. Another noise! You are so lucky I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and not waking you up.
  14. There’s no more lit-up digital clock radio on my nightstand to watch the minutes literally change before my eyes. Gosh, those were the days. “Boy the way Glenn Miller played…Songs that made the hit parade….Guys like us we had it made….Those were the days.” I wonder if the actress who played Edith Bunker really sang that bad?
  15. Look at you. Just laying there. Breathing in. Breathing out. Rhythmic, pathetic fool.
  16. I’m hungry. I’m starving. It might be fun to actually get thrown out of bed for eating crackers.
  17. The downstairs noise has stopped. But I have a good mind to tell you in the morning that you slept through a burglary while I bravely cornered the armed robber with a baseball bat and the police came with loud sirens and now I have a medal of honor for bravery. But you’re just going to the slammer for stealing covers.
  18. What would you look like if I french-braided your hair, drew cat whiskers on your face with my eyeliner, and put a clown nose on you?
  19. Why didn’t I fork out the money for that super expensive mattress where one side stays perfectly flat, but the other side sits up at a 70 degree angle, vibrates and plays backgammon with you?
  20. Some boring one-night stand you are, fellow!  If I wanted to stay up all night alone…I never would have picked you up from that nightclub. Sheesh, lose my number immediately!!

What’s your most common thought when you can’t sleep?

How To Turn a Spare Room Into Something Less Useful!

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Do you have an extra room in your home (maybe your child went off to college?) with nothing but a lonely comfortable bed for someone to sleep in, and a silly roomy dresser for someone to store their clothing in?  Frivolous much?!  Now you can transform that eyesore into something . . . ELSE!

First a list of special ideas this unused space can easily be converted to:

  • A Sewing Room — (For all the times you can never find that tiny needle and spool of thread)
  • A Gift-Wrapping Nook — (Your junk closet will thank you. It can go back to just storing junk) Now you can display rolls of paper, tissue, bags, bows, ribbon, scissors, tape, and last minute presents from the dollar store right on the walls. “Pegboard: It’s not just for garages anymore!”
  • the-craft-room-week-two-with-diy-gift-wrapping-station-at-thehappyhousie-com-9
  • A Ping-Pong Table/Shuffleboard Room — (think of all the money you’ll save going on cruises.
  • A library — So what if everyone’s books are now on a Kindle. That’s not the point. The point IS you get to have a cool ladder that slides along the walls. But you must call it a library because you can hardly call it, “Belle’s Favorite Room From That Beauty and the Beast Scene.”beauty-the-beast-beauty-and-the-beast-1705808-960-540
  • A mudroom! — Because you currently have a place to recreate fond childhood memories making mud-pies (with daisies on top) exactly where right now??  Trust me, you need this!
  • Jewelry & Scarf Room — You fashionista, you!
  • A Home Theatre — My personal choice (see below) because one day my book will be adapted into a script and after I win the Oscar for best original screenplay, I will need a private area to screen my movie for all my jealous friends, where I don’t get mobbed by paparazzi.
  • A Parlor (Honestly never knew what this room was, but it sounds like you should serve ice-cream in it.)
  • A Contemplation Room — Just give this idea some thought!
  • A Morning Room — Each day at exactly 8 am, you’ll throw open the glamourous drapes, so the bright sun streams in everywhere and … I’m getting a headache.
  • The Treat Room — Feeling a bit snacky?  Here’s where you store all the Godiva chocolate and Nutella that nobody else is entitled to.
  • Need I go on listing more room ideas??  Just take any passion/hobby you have and turn it into a dedicated room, okay?  Sheesh!

9 Important Steps To Complete This Enormous Project:

  1. Have a garage sale and sell the comfortable bed and roomy dresser.
  2. What are you, a complete idiot?  Announce to everyone that you’ll have the remodel completed by Thanksgiving so you have something to be grateful for. (Without a contrived deadline, this sucker ain’t never getting done!)
  3. If you’re putting in a home theatre (the only practical choice listed above, as far as I’m concerned) start stocking up on things for your cute little concession stand which is the only reason to put in a Media Room. Don’t forget to knock yourself out trying to find Flicks candy these days, because if you’re my age, it was synonymous with movie theatres!
  4. Have someone build a 2 ft. riser in the floor (again only necessary if you’re doing a home theatre, so people in the back row can see your concession stand.)
  5. Hang a white sheet on the wall for the fancy projection system to display the movies on. After spending all your money on other things in this room, you’ll need to save money by doing this. And what?  Do you really think the screen is going to be the focal point in this room anyway??
  6. Hang framed movie posters and kitschy signs all over the walls, even though when you go out to the movies, you NEVER see any of this stuff inside an actual cinema.
  7. Make a long list of people you want to invite over to watch a special movie so they’ll feel guilty and reciprocate by having you back over their house for dinner. Do you think it’s easier to entertain folks with a gourmet meal or just starting a DVD with the flick of your wrist? Duh!
  8. Recycle those tacky purple drapes (see photo below) from your master bedroom straight into the new Home Theatre Room. Nobody thinks purple looks cheesy in a theater!
  9. Answer the phone and apologize to your children by saying, “Sorry kids, I didn’t think you were coming home this year for the holidays. You’ll have to get a hotel room for sleeping and storing your clothing in. But be sure and come over to watch Miracle on 34th Street on our professional equipment. Why yes, you DO have a practical mother, don’t you??”

What would you turn a spare room into?  Here’s my DIY pics!img_0761

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

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

today

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

Why Your Volt Matters!

fullsizerender-39Since today is Electron Day in the United States, I wanted to impress upon everyone how much your volt really matters. Each individual volt adds up and can create a great change charge. And with enough electrical volts, we can even set a whole new precedent!

Now don’t worry if you’re totally against your friend’s electronic influence (you’d like to bolt when they volt!) you can still do something about it!

How to convert electron-volts to volts

volt = electronvolt / elementary charge

or

V = eV / e

If you’re not a good candidate for equations and math (because you’re not the scientific type) that’s perfectly okay. In fact if you love live theater, you can still “cast” your volt and show volter support — but during intermission be sure and exit the stage or platform and head to the large room where refreshments are sold — then you can call yourself a “Lobbyist.” And if you particularly like dancing, you can put your volt directly in a “ballet” box! Or maybe exert great influence dancing with the West Coast “Swing” Volters. (Be careful not to throw your back out.) I might even do a sexy pole dance at the polls later today, so stay tuned!

In fact, you don’t even need to be present this Electron Day. You can submit your absentee volt and your energy will still be felt. That’s called a jolt volt! But beware of volter fraud, or a Fraudian Slip. That’s when someone thinks they’re getting voltage, but it’s really wattage. You could get electocuted this way. Ouch!

Personally, I want to make my Volt count, so I’m going to buy my Volt.

 

2016-chevy-volt-300x190

 

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

 

Now remember, if you’d like to retract your original volt and try again, I think that’s allowed as well. Just be careful you don’t get labeled as Revolting.

And at the end of this Electron Day, (when you want to rejoice) you can attend a couple of festive bashes or galas. Your first or second celebration will certainly be enjoyable, but it’s your Third Party Volt that will really amp up the fun.

So be sure and Volt Today. “It’s Electrifying!”

What’s that?…..it’s Vote???  Oh….Never mind!

I’m Little Miss Menopause and I approved this (silly) blog! (In honor of Gilda Radner! Click HERE to see why she was against violins on television!)

How To Fix Your Relationship in Just 11 Easy Steps!

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

  1. Swap Should for Could! Every time you start to tell your partner what they “should” do, switch to saying “could” instead. Example, “Today you could clean out the garage, organize your DVD collection, walk the dog, and take the kids to the park. Oh and you could also be the one who initiates sex tonight by starting out giving me a massage.” Rather than feeling pressure from you with your typical “shoulds,” they’ll thank you for having so much confidence in their grand potential!
  2. That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles! Keep a journal with all the criticisms you have of your partner and when you have thirteen items, that’s enough for a baker’s dozen. Cookies, that is. Make that Fortune Cookies! That’s right, you will no longer criticize your partner, the convenient Chinese dessert will do it for you. Take a tweezers and carefully extract the original slip of paper from the cookie (because really, do those lotto numbers ever win?) then carefully stuff in your new little typed message. “Confucius says you will shave more often.” Or “One who is all knowing thinks you spend too much money at Nordstrom.” Always serve lots of rice at all your meals to justify opening fortune cookies afterwards.
  3. Send Anonymous Gifts! No, you don’t make your partner the recipient, silly! That’s totally old school and do they really need another coffee mug with “I’m allergic to mornings” on it, anyway?  These surprise presents are FOR YOU. And they get periodically delivered to your front doorstep by an anonymous source, right? Of course right!  Watch your partner have renewed appreciation for your attractiveness. If someone else finds you worthy enough to buy you presents, they’re going to be extra intrigued by you now. Because what could someone else possibly see in you?? They better find out fast!
  4. Zero Solutions It’s been said that men try to fix things too much and would be better off just listening. But this advice is really for everyone because truly nobody wants their problems to actually get solved. It would strip them of their identity. So after your mate confides in you their latest crisis, say cheerfully, “I completely understand what you’re going through and not even in a million years, would I have absolutely any idea how to help you. It’s such a shame you’re in this no-win situation.” Watch how happy they get that you’ve acknowledged what a loser they are!
  5. Bake. Hey, realtors do it for a delicious scent to sell houses. You don’t think a wafting chocolate smell from the kitchen can improve your relationship?
  6. Lights, Camera, Action! Go out to the movies and then talk afterwards. Sure, you could discuss the plot, the special effects, or the price of popcorn these days. But far better to instead ask your mate if your looks could hold a candle to the star of the film?  If they pause too long, stammer and stutter, you can immediately pout and look dejected. If they say, “Yes of course, you’re just as attractive as that stud or babe!” You can accuse them of lying through their teeth. Either way, you are now in prime position to embark on some great make-up sex back at home. See if you even make it past the front door!
  7. Read This Blog Aloud! You partner will ask, “What in God’s name is that drivel? Agree that the two of you could write a blog far funnier than this junk. Bingo, you’ve got a collaborative project to do together!
  8. Mumble! Instead of shouting during an argument, lower the volume until your voice gets softer and softer. They’ll be craning their head toward you with wild curiosity to catch even part of what you’re saying. For the grand finalé, (because everyone loves a good secret!)… lean forward and whisper into their ear, “You’re such a jerk!”
  9. Mirror Your Mate! No, don’t copy them. Write something really scary on the mirror in shaving cream or lipstick. Tell them it was the cleaning lady and now the two of you have a common enemy.
  10. Banish Boring! Everyone knows couples get into dull ruts. So just do the opposite of what they expect and that way you’ll be completely unpredictable. You can even announce proudly, “From now on, you should expect the unexpected!” After a while, they’ll  find this spontaneous, impulsive side of you to be a routine snooze-fest. That’s when you get to go back to being your true self. And now they’ll find that so refreshing!
  11. To-Do List! Does your partner feel like they are always the last priority in your life? Here’s a way to turn that around, showing them you save the best for last! Leave a list of chores in a blatant place where your partner is sure to see it. It can contain things like “Pay bills, clean oven, mow lawn, grocery shop, help kids with homework, etc.” And there at the bottom will be their name in all caps. But you should also add, “When I’ve done all of these things, I get to spend time with  mate’s name.  They’ll be so flattered to see that they are your reward, (they’ll also feel sorry you obviously have so much to do before it’s their turn) that they’ll do the entire list for you!

Disclaimer:  In the intro of this blog, it says “My list is guaranteed!” It does NOT specify for what.

Are you Angry With Me?

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

Sometimes a piece of “wise” advice backfires on you. When I was just 18, I had an unusual insecurity — a belief that certain people in my life might be upset with me. And not just slightly miffed. We’re talking thoroughly outraged or really furious. Only nobody ever voiced it. Instead they just gave me dirty looks, or treated me differently.

But was this an accurate perception or could I be imagining things?

My therapist (who was probably thrilled this was one of my more straightforward issues) had a simple cure. She told me, “Just ask them.”

Now why didn’t I think of that? Here’s how that’s worked out for me so far.

With Tiffany, My Oldest Girlfriend:

Me: Hi Tiff. I’m feeling like you’ve been treating me differently lately. Are you mad at me?

Tiffany: Are you getting neurotic again?

Me: Maybe. Would that make you mad?

Tiffany:  Because last time you got weird like this, we had to do that friendship circle thingy where we joined hands and recalled boys we liked in 6th grade and frankly I’m menopausal now and can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast.

With My First Husband:

Me: Are you mad?

1st Husband: Stephanie, I am not mad. Mad means insane.

Me: Sorry. I meant are you angry?

1st Husband: I am very irritated.You call yourself a writer and haven’t learned this difference by now?

With My Mother:

Me: Hi Ma. I’ve been feeling like you could be angry with me recently. Thought I’d check. Are you?

My Mother: No. But IF I were angry with you, what might it be for?

Me: Um. Maybe I don’t call you often enough?

My Mother: Could that be true?

Me: No, I don’t think so.

My Mother: Well what other reason do you suppose there could be?

Me: Uh, last Mother’s Day, I promised we’d go to lunch and we haven’t?

My Mother: Warmer . . .

With My Daughter:

Me: Are you upset with me for something?

Daughter: Is that your way of saying I’m in big trouble?

Me: Huh?

Daughter: You know. You reverse things. You’re really the one upset with me, right? Just tell me, Mom!

With My Second Husband:

Me: We hardly talk anymore. Are you angry with me?

2nd Husband: No.

Me: Okay good, just checking.

2nd Husband: You do that a lot.

Me:  I know. I’ve learned in therapy not to make assumptions. I’m glad everything is fine.

2nd Husband: Yes. But we should get a divorce.

With My Neighbor:

Me: When I saw you at the mailbox yesterday, you didn’t wave back. Are you upset with me?

Neighbor: No.

Me:  Well would you tell me if you were?

Neighbor:  No.

With My Fiancé:

Me: Hi. Are you angry with me?

Fiancé: You’d know if I were angry.

Me: I thought I did know. But I wanted to ask to confirm.

Fiancé: I’ve told you before, if I’m angry I’ll tell you directly.

Me: About how soon do you think you’d announce it?

Fiancé: Immediately. I wouldn’t conceal it.

Me: Are you insinuating that I conceal it? That I am passive aggressive?

Fiancé: What? Certainly not! Now you’re just mad.

Me: Don’t you mean angry? Because mad means a raving lunatic or crazy.

Fiancé:  I know exactly what mad means.

With My Therapist:

Me: I’m so angry with you. I want my money back from 34 years ago. Your advice about asking if people are angry doesn’t ever work.

Therapist: I know, I know. But I thought you’d figure that out on your own, and at least it would give you some blogging material on a day you ran dry and your followers would get a chuckle and it might even elicit some good comments.

Me:  Ohhhhh, pure genius. Thank you!

Dear Readers: So are you mad? And I mean angry, not insane. Leave me any comments below. I can take it, really I can. 

Wizard of Oz Utilizes Craigslist

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FOR SALE:

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

WANTED:

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

LOST:

FOUND:

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

JOBS:

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

COMMUNITY:

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

PERSONALS:

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

Barbra Streisand Accepts Neil Diamond’s Proposal!

eb58900d3a10257b964e34790cb1c50aWell at least they got engaged in my imagination. But first they need a little pre-marriage counseling to make sure they’re compatible and each understands what their expectations are from a marriage partner. Let’s listen in, shall we?

Therapist: Hello you two famous celebrities!

Neil:  Hello my friend, hello.

Barbra: What’s up Doc?

Therapist: Oh please, I don’t have a PhD in psychology, so just use my first name. It’s Caroline.

Neil: Sweet!

Barbra: Hmph. Obviously you’re not a big fan of my films? What’s Up Doc?  Ryan O’Neil. Four plaid suitcases get mixed up?

Therapist: Before my time. But I don’t mean to rain on your parade. I’m sorry if I said something I shouldn’t have.

Neil: No one heard at all, not even the chair. If you know what I mean?

Therapist:  Well, suffice it to say I’m a big fan of your voice, Barbra.

Neil: It’s a beautiful noise. And it’s a sound that I love.

Therapist: Well that’s a great start! So what can I help both of you with today?

Neil: She hardly talks to me anymore when I come through the door at the end of the day.

Therapist:  Oh. Is that all?  Well maybe she hasn’t gotten over the fact that you don’t bring her flowers anymore.

Barbra: And roses aren’t that expensive.

Neil: Money talks but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk.

Therapist: Let’s try a different tact. How did you two first meet?

Neil:  Where it began?  I can’t begin to knowing. But then I know it’s growing strong.

Barbra: Isn’t he annoying? Actually we originally met in high school choir. True story!

Neil: She was such a Funny Girl. But I told her, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon.”

Therapist: So now she’s a Funny Lady?

Barbra: Honestly I don’t know what my age has to do with anything. The underlying issue here is that I’m not quite sure Neil is ready to settle down. And leave all those other females out of his refrains, ya know?

Therapist: There are others?

Barbra:  Well for starters there’s that hussy from the Bluegrass state.

Neil: Ahhh, Kentucky Woman. God knows I love her.

Barbra:  See that?  And Cherry, cherry. And don’t forget about Cracklin’ Rosie.

Therapist: Cracklin’ — Sounds like a cereal.

Neil: No, but she was a store bought woman.

Barbra: And then there was that Shilo.

Therapist:  Now I always thought Shiloh was his dog. Neil? Your input.

Neil: Shilo was when I was young. I used to call her name. But honestly I don’t recall much.

Therapist: What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.

Barbra: Thank you. And something else that bothers me. He starred in The Jazz Singer and could’ve easily suggested that I audition for his leading lady instead of Lucy Arnaz.

Neil: I Love Lucy.

Barbra: Well that depresses me too.

Neil: Me and you are subject to the blues now and then….

Therapist: I think the most important question is… can you both be your true selves with each other?

Neil: I’ll be what I am. Solitary man.

Barbra: He’s always proclaiming his identity. “I am, I said!” He shouts around the house.

Therapist: Barbra. I’d like you to make some physical contact with Neil right now. Then look into his eyes and tell him how you’re feeling.

Neil:  Yeah, hands touchin’ hands. Reachin’ out, touching me….touching you.

Therapist: You can do it, Babs.

Barbra:  (hesitatingly extends forearm) Hold my hand and we’re half-way there. Hold my hand and I’ll take you there. Somehow, some day, somewhere.

Therapist:  That’s very good progress this week, folks. But I’d like to see you for another session.

Neil/Barbra:  Do we really even need you anymore?

Therapist:  People. People who need people….are the luckiest people!

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You may hate me here, but please “Like” me on Facebook for all my latest updates. Click HERE

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

From HELLoween to HalloWEAN!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

*Credit for these goes to my fiancé!

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

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

Woman Inserts Herself Into Old Television Shows!

 

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

The Brady Bunchbrady_bunch_hawaii

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

Gilligan’s Island

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

Seinfeld

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

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

Charlie’s Angels

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

The Flintstones

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

The Partridge Family

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

Bewitcheddownload-8

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

Friends

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

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

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

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

A Wrinkle In Time (Ode To Old Yearbooks!)

fullsizerender-36Buried under my bed, a keepsake box that if opened will summon Pandora,

Lo and behold, at the bottom — my school yearbook with signatures galora!

 

I’m not gonna admit the year I graduated, surely you’ll guess the date,

Michael Jackson ruled, but Men At Work had a hit — so it was a G’day Mate!

 

My name misspelled when classmates signed, “Have a Bitchin’ summer!”

“K.I.T!” (with their 7 digit landline, no area code!) “I’ll miss ya. Total Bummer!”

 

And though the things we penned  were “bogus” or “rad” or bordered on perversive,

We thought we were super “gnarly” because we never printed, we wrote in cursive!

 

Guys in corduroy pants and girls flaunting that leather n’ lace look.

All our smilin’ pics, “Let the good times roll!” The original Facebook!

 

As I turn the pages thinking, “These were the best years of my life?”

The Mean Girls jump out at me and I remember all my fashion strife.

 

Bonjour, Calvins, Jordache, Sasson, Sergio Valente – all those designer jeans,

My mother nixed buying them, ($$) so I was just a big fat loser in my teens.

 

Needless to say, popular “Candies” shoes were also not in family’s budget,

So I wore cheap knock-offs thinking “It’s just footwear, I can fudge-it.”

 

But when it came to hair, I had it down pat — the exact way to toss it,

Mine was a perfect cross between Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett.

 

Whom do I kid? My locks are still long and layered today — frozen in time.

Maybe that’s what qualifies me to write here at “Once Upon Your Prime?”

 

Once in a while, it’s fun to dig out yearbooks and it’s great for some posterity. 

A laugh or two over hilarity and show your kids where you ranked in (un)popularity.

 

All I know is the “Most Likely To…” page wasn’t meant for me … The Underdog.

Unless they could vote for, “Most Likely to document it all in her weirdo Blog!”

Do you look back on high school as the best years of YOUR life? Leave me a comment with the popular phrase most used when signing your high school yearbook (Mine really was “Have a bitchin’ summer!”) and I’ll try and guess the year. Or at least the decade.

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

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Probably safe to say this classmate didn’t win any spelling bees!

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Where are they now? These Class Clowns, Best Athletes and Most Likely To Succeeds??

10 Things We Would NOT Do If Nobody Was Around!

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

In a recent survey (and I HAD to conduct a formal survey to write this particular blog, otherwise I’d be viewed as disgusting if I thought all these things up on my own!) here are the top 10 things most people wouldn’t bother doing if they were assured they were completely alone.

My bold commentary follows. (Or my commentary follows in bold!)

  1. “I wouldn’t recycle!”  It appears that if nobody is around, the commitment to our environment gets trashed. Quite literally. I myself have experienced the opposite of this. When people ARE around, I’m suddenly the President of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose” committee. i.e. During a party in my home, someone holding an empty soda can is asking where they should put it? I’ve stopped myself mid-sentence from directing them to my usual kitchen garbage and instead will pull out a “special container” (which is actually just an old toy chest) and pretend it’s our recycling bin.
  2. “I would no longer wipe down gym equipment when I’m done using it!” Okay, so now the truth comes out….your perspiration is actually just precipitation, like the fresh morning dew. But ours is….SWEAT.
  3. “I’d quit shaving my legs!” — I dunno about this one. Sometimes I think I do this just for myself. In fact, I often become so enamored with my smooth calves that if I were to stop shaving, I might file to divorce myself. 
  4. “I wouldn’t sit like a lady!” — With those hairy thighs?  Who could blame you?  
  5. “I’d stop using good manners when eating.” Right?  Somehow food tastes much better if you don’t have to be dainty when eating it.
  6. “I wouldn’t bother picking up my dog’s poop!” — Aha!  Alrighty. So this one is actually mine. I know, I know…it’s terrible. But I never wanted a dog in the first place and I have a notarized contract stating my children will be doing this chore. However, if a neighbor is standing outside watching me, I have been known to make Avoidance into an Art Form. It looks like this: First I make a big show of taking out the little plastic bag with a graceful flourish. Then I bend down and make sure it rustles the grass in a purposeful manner, just slightly adjacent to the actual poop. Next, I double knot the bag and proudly lift it up, feigning that it now has a bit of weight to it. (However, I manage to resist the urge to clown around, pretending to struggle with a twenty-five pound package!) My heart then begins to race as I saunter quickly off, fearing the neighbor will be one of those “checking” types and call me back, announcing, “And the Oscar for Best Pooper Scooper goes to Little Miss Menopause, but you’re completely full of it! So get back here and do it for real this time.” The whole charade probably takes a lot more time/effort/energy than if I just picked up after the dog in the first place.  
  7. I wouldn’t cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze! Have at it!  Let those germs spread far and wide. May as well burst out into song with “Born Free….”
  8. “I wouldn’t return shopping carts to their receptacles!” So you’re the one whose shopping cart is always blocking the primo parking space?
  9. “I wouldn’t wear a bra!” Or, “I wouldn’t wear clothing!”  I can’t get on board with either of these. I think I’d become highly offended and issue myself fines for lewd behavior.
  10. “I wouldn’t waste time washing my hands after using the bathroom!” (Note: Many people private messaged me this exact same answer. But only one person was brave enough to answer it in my public survey. That was my son. But I’d like to go on record stating this should be no reflection on my parenting — it’s a divorce situation, so I get to put this on his father.)  Having said that, I’ve hidden quietly inside public restroom stalls before (not for the purpose of this article, but for another strange reason.) and seen just how many people (when they think nobody else is in the bathroom) will skip washing hands. I’ve heard their rationalization too –Urine is supposedly sterile and therefore if they only pee, there’s no need to wash. In my OCD opinion, public restrooms are so filthy, they should even wash their hands BEFORE going to the bathroom. However if you’re in the sterile urine camp, you might want to read this conversation…http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=39150.0  And yes, these are naked scientists, so they obviously were the respondents for #9 above.

And there you have it — my top 10 list. I had a lot more answers than this, believe me. In fact, it should be noted that many individuals answered my question with responses like this . . . “I’d sing really strange songs in a dorky voice” or “I’d make funny faces at myself in the mirror” or “I’d pretend I was a fashion model posing on a runway as I walked down the sidewalk.”  Okaaaaaay.  But the actual question was, “What would you NOT do if there was nobody around to witness?” So while I think these people are fascinating personality types, and I’ve love to have them as my friends…..they need to brush up on their reading comprehension.

What about you?  What would you NOT do any more if there wasn’t someone around to judge you??andyrooney162017

5 Ways I’m Creating 100% Viral Content!

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

You’re welcome.

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

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

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

Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

 And now my top tip for becoming viral

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Diary of An Ant Infestation!

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

Day 1

Next door Neighbors complain they have ants in their kitchen and ask if we’ve been experiencing the same? I go home feeling smug and praise my housekeeping skills, noting that our counters are wiped to a sheen, no crumbs or anything that could be an attraction for….huh…um, what?  WHAT is that tiny black thing scuttling frantically across my microwave oven?   Eh, so what’s one ant?  Smash. Ant? What ant?  “I am so superior,” I think to myself as I dust my grandmother’s vintage toaster. It’s sure shiny and clean for being so old. Word of the day: Antique. Haha.

Day 2

As I referee an argument between my kids over who gets pancakes or waffles, I reach into my pantry for the Bisquick. OMG! I’m aghast to see numerous black moving specs clustered around the maple syrup. It hasn’t even been opened yet. Surely an ominous sign that won’t bode well for future smugness.  I take the bottle to the sink and rinse about forty five squirming insects off the syrup lid. “Sorry, Aunt Jemima!” The irony of the name of the brand is lost on me because I’m too irritated.  Word of the day: ANTagonized.

Day 3

My daughter is bouncing off the walls to go shopping. “Got ants in your pants?” I teasingly ask. “Go get dressed and I’ll take you to the mall.” She returns moments later to show me her designer jeans absolutely teeming with ants. Who even says “teeming?” Apparently I do, now that we’ve officially been invaded.  Never mind that there’s a half eaten strawberry fruit roll-up in her pants pocket, the battle lines have been drawn, and I’m almost looking forward to the kill. Word of the day: ANTicipation.

Day 4

I would slap my 14-year-old son upside the head as he taunts me singing, “The ants go marching two by two, horrah, horrah,” but I’m too busy spraying Windex across my kitchen floor where there’s a determined trail of them (eight inches thick if it’s a centimeter) streaming out from underneath the dishwasher. I leave the bright blue liquid on my white tile floor for any brave newcomers and go google “Non-toxic remedies for ants.” The first thing it tells me is ants will stay far away from anything with lemon on it. I try it. (See photo above) Works like a charm. Not!! I post on Facebook, griping and complaining of my predicament. Word of the day: RANT!

Day 5

I awaken to a knock at the front door and I tell the smarmy guy from Terminex Pest Control (whom my pathetic neighbors must’ve sent over) that his services will not be needed. “I’ve got this!” I proudly proclaim. And it’s true. My problems will soon be over. There are literally 34 different comments under my Facebook Ant rant. Everyone has a different recommendation! Each solution more and more creative. But the last one seems super easy and even fun. “Ants hate Borat. Just get that and you’ll be in the clear.” Really?  Okay. I download the old movie starring Sasha Baron Cohen from Netflix and within minutes I’m shouting, “Take that!” to the hundreds of ants crawling up my computer screen. Turns out, “Borat” was a typo. She meant “Borax.” I rush to the store to buy some. And some spices that people swear by also, just for good measure. Word of the day: ANTidote.

Day 6

After the borax fails, I liberally sprinkle dark brown fragrant powder in a straight line in front of every single doorway and windowsill of our home. To an outsider, it looks as if we’re trying to ward off some kind of an evil spirit (Poltergeist has nothing on this!) — but an expert chef would note that we could bake exactly 28 dozen cinnamon rolls. That’s because cinnamon is the top spice claiming to stop these idiots in their dirty little tracks if placed right at their point of entry. Instead, I watch while they gleefully carry one golden granule at a time on their teeny tiny little backs as they uniformly march up my staircase. (They’re probably making potpourri sachets for the dresser drawers they’ve infested in my bedroom.) If I listen closely, I swear I can hear their little soldier voices chant just like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. Word of the day: MilitANT.

Day 7

Today is a dark day. Aside from the armies of ants which have now commandeered every single solitary room of our home, my dog has fleas and my daughter contracted head lice. Can bedbugs be far behind? Since we’re Jewish, I’m thinking “The Ten Plagues” and am on the lookout for a really mean Pharaoh. Word of the day: DominANT.

Day 8

On the telephone, I beg the receptionist at Terminex to send someone over immediately. “Like yesterday,” I plead. “Okay, yes…yes….I’ll apologize to him. Alright, I’ll bake him a cinnamon roll.” The ants are swarming my keyboard as I type this and my fingers crush their infinitesimal little skulls with extra forceful tapping. I pick up a felt-tip marker to start handwriting in my journal instead, but on impulse I raise the mighty pen to the ceiling as I look up toward the heavens, and in my best Scarlett O’hara voice shout, “As God as my witness, I’ll never be crawled on again!” Then I violently slap my arm. Word of the day: FumigANT

Day 9

The kids call me up at the office to tell me to hurry home because two great Ants, Carol and Arlene, are on the front porch. Jesus, don’t tell me they’ve started naming them now. But as I drive home, I remember my mother’s two sisters were supposed to drop by today. Get a hold of yourself, Stephanie. You’re really losing it. My cell phone rings and my best friend’s ex-husband’s employer’s hairdresser’s daughter is on the phone with some top-secret ant advice. I’ll print it here in case anyone else needs it. Food-grade DE diatomaceous earth works as an ant repellent. This powder is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.The microscopic razor sharp edges of DE can cut through the ants’ exoskeletons, gradually causing their body to dry out.  Everyone got that? We’re not going down without a good fight, people! Word of the day: VigilANT!

Day 10

Today I’m on to something. Something really big. Previously, when I sprayed the ants (with whatever killed them on contact) I’d diligently wipe up their dead bodies — but it was futile and within an hour, a whole new batch would populate the exact same area.  But now listen to this! If I leave their ugly ass carcasses blatantly strewn all over the house, it seems to act as a visual deterrent … and no new ants come back around! (Nevermind that tomorrow my home will be the location of a cousin’s fancy wedding.) This is effective advertising at its finest. YES! There is a light at the end of this parasitic hell tunnel. Word of the day: JubilANT!

Day 11

Dear Diary, Tonight the bride fainted after she ground fresh black pepper into her salad and then took a closer look. My fiancé came over to console me.  He shook his head incredulously as ants climbed out of every electrical outlet, poured out of water faucets in bathrooms, and danced deliriously from air-conditioner grates, swaying to the DJ’s music. I cried softly (luckily ant-free tears) as he whispered, “So you weren’t embellishing.” I threw myself in his arms, but this wasn’t a moment for romantic comfort. “It’s time for the big guns,” he said authoritatively. “Bring me the duct tape.” Right now I’m too appreciative to think up a Word of the Day.

Day 12

I’m waving my cream colored blouse around the house. That’s because I don’t own any white flags. And even this shirt has dark blotches on it. No, they aren’t dirt stains, you optimist. They’re ants! I surrender. I give up. From now on, I’m choosing my battles and this is not the ant hill I wish to die on. Somebody put me away somewhere safe. Lock me up. My son is selling them by the hundreds in zip-lock bags to his football team as DIY Ant Farms. Word of the day: RepugnANT.

Day 13

I may be having an affair with the Orkin man. He came to my rescue when Terminex postponed until Tuesday. I swooned. His taut muscles rippled across his back and shoulders as he hoisted the heavy container of deadly insecticide off his truck. I welcomed him into my bedroom. I begged him to step into my shower. I invited him into all my cracks and crevices.  He assured me this would only be a one-night-stand (He even sprayed one of my nightstands!) and he won’t be back ever again. “Because you won’t need me to,” he guarantees me — as I shiver in delight, a truly satisfied customer, watching him ride off into the sunset. My knight in shining armor. Word of the day: GallANT!

Days 14-30

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

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PS.  This is Stephanie’s youngest son. Please come to the funeral in our backyard tomorrow for my hamster, three goldfish, and two parakeets. Oh but don’t send flowers — for some reason they don’t do so well in our house anymore because all of mom’s geraniums and potted plants seem to have died too. Sniff, sniff.

Dying to Plan Own Funeral!

FullSizeRender (34)I don’t anticipate leaving this world anytime soon (that I know of!) but ever since Tom Sawyer faked his own death and then secretly came to his funeral and sobbed, I’ve been fascinated by this particular subject.

Now an online company called My Wonderful Life is encouraging us to take charge of all the details so the burden isn’t on our loved ones during their time of grief.

As a retired party planner, this seems right up my alley!

I’m a bit hesitant to bring up such a morbid subject to my very sensitive teenage children. Certainly they’ll become shocked and emotionally distraught, but I’ll quickly explain there’s nothing wrong with me– I’m just doing them a favor. Besides, being straightforward and candid with them has always been my philosophy.

Me: Kids, I’m planning my own funeral right now.

Daughter: Can you please be considerate and not schedule it during prom season?

Son: Did you eat the last of the Nutella?

Well, that went swimmingly. Clearly the rest is going to be a cinch.

Coincidentally, I recently attended a beautiful service for a dear friend’s mother and wept at the poignant beauty of it all. But afterwards, I walked away with what I’ll now term, “Memorial Envy.” (Are you listening Pinterest?) The daughter (my friend) gave a breathtaking eulogy speech, a son played the guitar while singing exquisite original lyrics. Still another sibling wrote a thought-provoking poem. They concluded by showing a video montage on a large screen set to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (my favorite song!) which depicted highlights of her life, holding her grandkids, and experiencing family bliss. All for their dearly departed mother. Lastly, in another room as refreshments were served, her artwork was displayed on easels for us to admire. Perfect.

I allow myself to imagine my published novel up on a podium for everyone to thumb through. Hey, with all the people gathered that day to pay their respects to me, I could even hold an impromptu book-signing! That would be a neat party trick.

So who in the world would plan something as nice as this for me?  I better get cracking!

The “My Wonderful Life” website suggests starting with crafting your own obituary. Let’s see… that’s certainly an intriguing writing prompt. How about . . .

“Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead!”

A big fan of The Wizard of Oz, Stephanie D. Lewis (AKA Little Miss Menopause) just departed this earth, leaving behind a garage full of junk that nobody seems to know what to do with. After an appropriate amount of time, please come forward if you want several dozen pairs of sparkly red shoes, wicker picnic baskets with stuffed dogs in them, and yards of blue gingham fabric. In lieu of flowers, please paint your face green and cackle, “I’ll get you my pretty!”

“Oh what a world, what a world….” I bemoan, not quite satisfied with the tone or voice of this piece so far. Obviously a work in progress. I think I can extend this editorial deadline by a few weeks, emphasis on “dead” of course.

As any party planner worth her weight in confetti knows, a good theme pulls the entire event together. Since The Wiz of Oz is already being implemented for my obituary,  I think a “Writing” theme will do just fine. That’s it, I’ve got it! My memorial service will be held in a public library.

Instead of a traditional guestbook for people to sign, I’ll have a cool vintage typewriter at the entrance so they can “tap-tap-tap-ching!” their names like real authors.

.

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

Tasteful floral bouquets sitting on bookshelves will be folded origami style from print-outs of my best loved Huffington Post Blogs. (Okay, maybe there will only be enough for one lily and a couple of gladiolas.)

flowers

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

My favorite book-jacket cover will be enlarged with my photo on it — “GONE WITH THE WIND!”

The local librarian will announce to everyone. “It appears our last copy of Stephanie D. Lewis is permanently checked-out. She’s overdue, but we’ll waive the hefty fine because her final chapter was such a page-turner.”

My humor columns from local newspapers can be paper-mâchéd on the outside of my casket.

Oh that’s right….hmmmm, my casket. “Who should be my pallbearers?” I muse aloud, as my reverie is suddenly disturbed with familiar annoying voices, loudly squabbling . . .

Youngest Son: Make your eldest four kids do it. They’re the strongest.

First-born Daughter:  Eww, I’m not carrying her body. You do it!

I throw a book in their direction.

Me:  Will you kids just be quiet for once and finally let me . . . R.I.P?!

What do you think?  Would you plan your own funeral? If so, any good ideas?FullSizeRender (33)

 

 

 

10 Commenting Styles and What They Obviously Reveal About You!

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

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

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

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

And now….YOUR comments? 😉

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

I’ll Take You Right Into The Danger Zone!

Cue the Kenny Loggins song! We all love to scare ourselves silly by riding roller-coasters, jumping out of airplanes, or even just watching horror movies. It’s a controlled circumstance that provides a short term thrill, making us feel more alive after the shot of adrenaline surges through our body.

Lately I’ve noticed companies capitalizing on this with greater frequency. We now have places to pay to be intentionally locked up in a confining space called Escape Rooms and apps that get you Lost on Purpose. Or you can even have a confusing food experience when you Dine In The Dark!

Here are some of my own innovative businesses that I plan to open, so watch for them springing up in your local neighborhoods. They’ll offer plenty of thrills, chills, spills, and (in the case of #5) Goodwills. I think I’ll make an absolute killing, pun intended.

  1. PINK! A laundromat that cleans all of your clothing with a bright red dyed tee-shirt mixed in the load. You’ll gasp when you pull your prior white garments out of the special washing-machine and spy all 8 pairs of hubby’s underwear tainted rose.  And oh no!  Did that used to be baby’s white christening gown?? Relax, just pop everything into the Magic Dryer and whew, it’s back to normal again. Wasn’t that fun? ($15 per load)
  2. EMPTY! Rent a car from my auto leasing company and the gas tank will appear completely full. Within minutes the fuel light will flash on and it will hover precariously under just one barely lit-up bar. Now the excitement begins in earnest… where’s the nearest station? Is the gauge really all that accurate? Could it be that you can actually get another 20 miles out of this thing by putting it in neutral at stoplights? We shall see, won’t we?!  Riding on fumes has never been this exhilarating. ($29 per passenger. $40 if combined with a “Getting Lost on Purpose” app.)
  3. WHERE ARE YOUR KEYS? I’ll hide up to 8 on a single keyring in the most vexing of places — never to be seen again. Your heart will pump wildly – will you lose your job because you’re going to be late? With only a minute to spare, your keys will suddenly appear in a place you swore you looked in ten times already. Won’t that be cool?  For added shudders of fear, get the entire Scatterbrained Package and I’ll steal your whole purse. OMG! How many credit card companies will you have to call up to cancel?  Can you remember how much cash you had? Shivers abound as you recall that you were foolishly carrying your passport around for your upcoming middle east trip. But hold on a second .  . . catch your breath and give a sigh of relief when a good samaritan calls to say they picked up your Michael Kors leather bag after you drove off with it on the trunk of your car. Now the real mystery begins. Will there be an identity theft too? Find out! ($39.99 per set of keys. $80 for Scatterbrained Package)
  4. MISSING FLIP-FLOPS! I’ll follow you to any beach or pool setting within a 25 mile radius and swipe your footwear when your back is turned. This will occur right before your OB/GYN appointment. You’ll have that familiar panicky sensation (just like the reoccurring dream you have where you somehow go to an important meeting without any shoes on) But wait, there’s more! For an added fee, I’ll leave behind a positive “First Response” test kit with a prominent pink “plus” sign in the little window, saving you the doctor appointment.  You’ll be overcome with spine-tingling waves of nausea as you realize you’re actually Barefoot AND Pregnant. ($25 Stolen Shoes or $60 to experience Barefoot AND Pregnant)
  5. BUT IT’S SENTIMENTAL AND VALUABLE! Clean out your closet or garage and take bags of junk to your local Goodwill for a charitable deduction. I’ll make sure that your Great-Grandmother’s engagement diamond was in that old vintage clutch handbag! Oh nooooo! Your mother told you that ugly ring was worth $18,500, right? But hang on to your hat (or Granny’s!) because it just got even more exciting. A homeless person immediately inherits the purse for her first job interview. Gasp! Will she do the right thing and return the valuable jewel to her local Goodwill branch so the entire story can end up on the front page of Yahoo?  You’ve never experienced nerve-wracking terror like this before. ($18 per donation bag or $180 for a Viral Internet Worthy Fiasco)
  6. MY KID DID WHAT?? This is an exclusive private charter school where the principal is guaranteed to call at least once per semester with a shocking story of your child getting caught doing something that will lead to expulsion. Think of the passionate fights it will inspire between you and your spouse. “He gets that from you!” and “I told you that you indulged him too much when he was little.” ($129 for Tales of Bullying/Cheating/Drug-Dealing or $279 including the Marital Spat with guaranteed phenomenal make-up sex)
  7. YOU’RE NOT A REAL LAWYER!  On an ordinary day the phone will ring with news that it’s been determined you’re actually six credits short for your college degree. You can argue all you want but guess what?  You’re a fraud. You’ve got to go back to school at age 42. And don’t even think an online course will count. Beads of perspiration will sprout as you contemplate if campuses still have cafeterias these days? ($15 for phone call from a credentialed university administer)
  8. LICE LETTER IN CHILD’S BACKPACK! Try and catch your breath as you read that not just one, not just two, but three children have had it in your kid’s class. Google “what does a louse look like under a microscope?” for added squeamishness. Then prepare yourself for the dreaded scalp check. Breathe, breathe. Utter over and over, “Please no nits. Please no nits!” Smile as delicious relief floods your entire body because I’ll make sure those white dots are only dandruff.( $25 per simple Lice Scare or $45 if you want to take it as far as vacuuming all the bed sheets before an authoratative teacher calls and says “False alarm.” )
  9. MONOGAMY IS MONOTONY!  Is your marriage getting a bit dull? Spouse extremely predictable? One night you’ll receive up to a dozen hang-up phone calls and a pair of unfamiliar red lacy panties will surface under your couch. (Really! You’ll refer to them as panties!) And will you notice the distinctive new cologne or perfume in the family car? Be sure and savor that delicious feeling of your blood pressure rising while you mentally rack your brain for a good divorce attorney. ($60 for Affair Kit or $70 if you want to combine the suspicious lacy red panties with turning his underwear pink in the laundromat. See #1 above)

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

And if you’d like to learn how to text someone a new way and make them feel instantly guilty, please read my latest right HERE.  Comments there are very appreciated! Thank you.

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

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I wrote and published a book. That should have been enough.

I did this to prove to my competitive brother that I too, could accomplish something important. He finally believed me. That should have been enough.

Other people read my book. They liked it. That should have been enough.

But nooooooo…

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

  1. Feel confidant that you are the new Hemingway and the public has waited with bated breath for your book. (Contemplate whether that should be bated or baited? Feel a twinge of regret that you didn’t hire a book editor.)
  2. Decide that getting one or two online reviews couldn’t hurt.
  3. Give your best friend (of twenty years) your precious baby and anticipate her gasping at the acknowledgments page. Give her the extra expensive hardcover version with the dust jacket. GIVE. Yes for free.
  4. Check Amazon every day for two weeks.
  5. After no book review surfaces, begin to check Goodreads.
  6. Realize she’s probably a bit miffed that you forgot to sign the book for her. You better get used to jealous fans behaving this way. She’s feeling neglected and of course this prevents her from writing a glowing review like she normally would. Vindictive little thing, isn’t she! Sour grapes much?
  7. Give another copy of your novel to your mother. Yes, your elderly mother who thinks Amazon is a rainforest in Australia. She’s almost as good at computer technology as she is with geography.
  8. Wonder how you will tone down the number of times Mom uses her favorite words ‘Spellbinding’ and ‘Genius’ in her book review of your novel on Barnes & Noble. Thank goodness mom HAS heard of Barnes & Noble.
  9. Meanwhile decide the barter method has merit. That’s where you agree to do something for an individual and in return they’ll write you a book review. It’s such a simple thing to write a book review (really, it is!) so think of small gestures you can do in trade. Let’s see . . . I know! Buy the person a cup of coffee while they get cozy and read your book. Or bake them cookies. Perhaps write a poem on their behalf that they can give to their spouse on Valentines Day, although that seems a bit much for just one book review.
  10. Draw the line at cleaning their entire house, mowing their lawn, and babysitting their four brats. What do they think the barter method is anyhow, a replacement for Craig’s List?
  11. Realize that all these years you never knew it, but your entire family and circle of friends are illiterate.
  12. Answer the phone when your mother calls to ask if you’ll come to her book club and discuss your book? Agree enthusiastically. There are seven little old ladies there and this represents seven potential book reviews. Actually nine, if a few of them forget they already wrote one and do it a second time!
  13. At the ladies book club, take a sip of water so your throat doesn’t parch after reading twenty chapters aloud. Remind yourself to clarify to your mother that authors make appearances at book clubs AFTER the book has already been read.
  14. Return to book club a week later with a package of batteries for their hearing aids. Finish reading your book to them and rave about the prune pie the hostess serves. Schedule one last visit with these lovely ladies to answer any questions about the plot so they can go online and write reviews.
  15. Return to book club for the very last time and act surprised that the common question about the plot seems to be “what happened in this book?” Smile and hand out pre-written, short, flattering, (but all very different!) reviews that they can post online for you.
  16. Schedule a follow-up visit to teach everyone how to go online and navigate “The Amazon,” as they refer to it. Say (under your breath) that it would be simpler to teach them to navigate the jungle in South America. Be proud of your geography knowledge. Repeat the sarcastic remark again (much louder) when it’s clear nobody has their hearing aid turned on.
  17. Head over to see your best friend and offer to autograph the title page of your book, especially for her.
  18. Clean her entire house, mow her lawn, and babysit her four brats.
  19. Finally discover a handful of book reviews have surfaced online! Here is what they look like:

My sister wrote this book. She didn’t have to prove anything to me. I always knew she had it in her. Therefore I didn’t need to read it, but maybe you should?

Stephanie D. Lewis cleans house fairly well, although she doesn’t do windows. My kids enjoyed their time with her but they are easily amused. Her lawn-mowing skills leave much to be desired. My name was spelled wrong in the acknowledgments page. If she would have hired me (a book editor) to help her, this would have been avoided. Pass on this atrocity!

My daughter (a genius author) and I will be heading to Australia soon. I plan to read her book on the plane and will come back to give my opinion of it right here. My review will be spellbinding. That’s how you’ll know she takes after me.

And then nine short blurbs all thanking me for giving them “Outernet lessons” so patiently because nobody else would. Bless their hearts.

My next book will be an exposé on authors who write their own fake reviews on Amazon. What nerve.

Oh….and this book?  Right HERE. But you are forbidden to review it.

20. Resort to reverse psychology with your blog followers.

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

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

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

Menopausal Math. (Choose best answer.)

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

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

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

C) Mmmm, pumpkin pie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hmmm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

10 Reasons NOT To Kill Your Home Phone

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“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to lay to rest that wonderful device, THE LANDLINE. Before we pay our final respects, it’s not too late to resuscitate our jingly-jangly, dialy or push-buttony friend.”

2 out of 10 people don’t even know their home phone number anymore and the majority of people are saying “Bye Bye” to their Home Phones, claiming anyone who really wants to reach them will just send a text.

HERE ARE 10 REASONS WHY YOU WANT YOUR LANDLINE BACK!

  1. Eavesdropping! — What’s wrong with you heartless murderers?  If you get rid of your home phone, how will  I   uh, YOU ever be able to pick up an extension and listen in on someone again?  How will marital affairs be discovered?  How will you know your daughter is planning to sneak a guy into the house when you go to sleep tonight? And you may as well just stock up on beer and chips because every time you go out of town, your teens will throw a huge party that you won’t be able to bust them on beforehand.
  2. I’m Hung Up On You! — Is there no greater satisfaction than slamming the receiver down on either of your two ex-husbands?  Err, okay an annoying telemarketer?  More power to you, Happily Marrieds out there!
  3. No More Building Those “Interesting” Relationships! — Think back to the home phone and how often you answered it when it wasn’t even for you. You’re never gonna get close to your potential future mother-in-law now because she’ll simply call her son’s cell directly. Previously, she had a 50/50 chance of getting you on the line when she dialed and you could say self-serving things like, “Hi Rose! I’ll put Robbie on the phone because I can’t talk now….That’s right, I’m very busy cooking your Smart little Boy a six-course dinner starring his favorite tri-tip roast — your delicious recipe of course.”
  4. No Screening People First — Gone are the days when you could answer the phone and after the high squeaky voice politely requested to speak to your child (so they could invite him for a sleepover which you found out about by asking, “What is this regarding?”) you could first ask things like, “Did your poor mother already say this is ok? Any child molesters in your neighborhood? Do you have guns in your house?  Etc.”

bye-bye-birdie-telephone5. No Being Able To Embarrass People —I loved telling the throaty sounding female caller asking for my then husband that he couldn’t come to the phone because he was in the bathroom.  For the last twenty minutes.

6. Acquiring Information — With a landline,  if the person you phoned was busy and told you to hold on for a minute while they set the phone down (with a clatter!)  you could detect the entire mood of the household. Was a baby crying? Was romantic music playing?  Was the television blaring “Seinfeld?” (If so they had a great sense of humor.)  But nowadays you are just antiseptically put on hold with the cellphone’s sterile mute button.

7. No Finding Out What People Really Think About You — I’d call my sister’s house. She’d pick up in the kitchen and my brother-in-law would pick up the second line in their bedroom. I’d recognize the opportunity for what it was and instantly keep quiet. Brother-In-Law: Who’s there? My Sister: It’s just me in the kitchen. There’s nobody on the line, I guess. But I was expecting Stephanie. She’s supposed to stop by later to borrow my black dress. Brother-In-Law: What a pain in the ass your sister always is. And she doesn’t look nearly as hot in that dress as you do. My Sister: You’re right. I’ll come right upstairs. We’ll have wild sex!

8. No Chance to Teach Your Children Phone Manners or More Importantly About Safety —If your kids never get to answer the phone while you’re out, how will you rehearse them to say polite things like, “May I please take down your name and number and have her return the call?” And how can you warn them that they should never say a parent is not home, lest the caller immediately come over and abduct them from their bedroom. And now there’s no opportunity to teach them how to tell a little white lie (when you’d rather not speak to the pesky caller) by saying, “Sorry but she can’t talk right now because she’s super busy.” But for God’s sake, don’t tell them I’m in the bathroom!  That’s for me to say about your father!

9. No Cradle! — There’s no curved plastic piece for cradling comfortably between your shoulder and your ear while you do the ironing. Wait, you don’t iron anymore??? Hold the phone!  “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to lay to rest another wonderful laundry device used mostly before job interviews and first dates….

10. Steven Spielberg is a mockery! — Who the heck is E.T. gonna call anymore if he cannot PHONE HOME????

And of course if the home phone is gone, WHAT will you use to call your cellphone when you can’t remember where in your house you last left it??

REACH out and touch someone — inspired by today’s daily post.

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

FOR YOU:

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

FOR THEM

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

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

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

Making Public Apologies (Digging Deeper!)

images (13)I grew up in a household where nobody ever asked for forgiveness. The closest we’d come was challenging our siblings to the board game “Sorry,” then beating the pants off them and refusing to apologize for that as well.

So when I recently joined a 12-Step Anonymous support group for my little “addiction,” (I won’t tell you what it is but you can bet I’m not addicted to admitting I’m wrong and saying “Sorry!”) I was quite taken aback that making amends to those I’ve hurt in the past is a high priority.

Even though this particular support group maintains anonymity in the media, and even though I attend these meetings without revealing my personal identity, apparently it’s critical that I divulge my name when making these formal apologies.

I’m pretty sure this rules out my sending “I’m sorry!” notes with cute little bunnies on them that say, “From Your Secret Pal!”

Therefore I’ll save a lot of stamps, phone calls, and gasoline by completing this task in public where there can be no question that it’s me who is “writing” (pun intended) all my wrongs.

Here we go . . .

To All My Past Victims, Please Accept My Formal Apology For The Following Transgressions:

  • To Marcia Grady in my 4th Grade Class — I’m sorry I kept throwing a football at your face in an effort to make you gasp and exclaim, “Oh, my nose!”
  • To my First Boyfriend Charlie – Please forgive me for breaking my date with you by simply uttering, “Something suddenly came up.”
  • To My Mother Adrienne – yes, that was me who used our VCR to tape over your prized Merv Griffin talk shows with my favorite Brady Bunch episodes. (Okay, that old show MIGHT be my addiction?)
  • To Professor Norris – I copied all the answers in your Cognitive Therapy class and then implemented what you taught us in Psych 101 to make you feel guilty for suspecting me of cheating.
  • To Gene, My First Ex-husband – I’m sorry for saying, “no wonder you turned out like this” when I found out your mother shaved our newborn baby’s head, (claiming it would make her hair grow in thicker) snuck one of our twins off to a wet-nurse because she didn’t like formula, and told the director of the holocaust museum that the exhibits were too depressing because there was so much emphasis on Hitler.
  • To Ron, my Second Ex-husband – I’m sorry that I kept submitting your application and headshot to audition for the reality show, The Bachelor when we were still married.
  • To Brad, My New Finance Fiance — I’m sorry that the word “Fiancé” has that little accent mark over the letter “e” and I’m too lazy to figure out how to type that on my keyboard and autocorrect keeps changing it to “finance,” so that’s how you get referred to in my blogs. Okay, I’m also sorry you keep getting referenced in my blogs so much.
  • To Mitchell my Eldest Son – Please forgive me for ruining the S’more making contest at your Boy Scout campfire when I devoured all the Hershey bars, (okay, chocolate MIGHT be my addiction!) then told everyone the proper recipe calls for plain toasted marshmallows on graham crackers . . . and these are called, “S’Less.”
  • To Eliza, my Youngest Daughter – I should never have shaved your head when you came home with that lice infestation. However look on the bright side . . . your Grandmother guarantees your hair will grow back thicker.
  • To The Editor of Time Magazine – I’m sorry to have rejected the rejection letter you sent for my “How To Deal With Lice in America” article. But the negative energy just wasn’t a good fit for what I was looking for at the time.
  • To All My Many Regular Followers — I’m terribly sorry you’ve had to put up with a blogger who regularly uses humor (however weak) as self-help therapy and who thinks Wordplay should be an official olympic game.
  • To My New Readers — I hope you can forgive this one single post.  It will never happen again. I don’t normally try to pass my personal life off as entertainment. Also please don’t ask any of my Regular Followers if this is true or not because they’re liable to say it’s a lie. But they’re just bitter that I didn’t apologize to them all individually, by name. (see above)  I actually think all of them should be ashamed of themselves. All six.

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

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

Questions That Will Cause a Divorce!

imageIt all began innocently enough. I invited happily married friends over for a home-cooked dinner and to play my own personalized version of “The Newlywed Game.” Now I’m no gameshow host, but it was always one of my favorite television shows growing up and especially cherished were the occasions the wife would bonk the doufus husband on the head with her answer card. Would my dining room table tolerate all this excitement?  My mind began racing, thinking up fun questions.

Every couple I invited rsvp’d fast and furiously “Uh….No thanks!” Had my culinary skills reputation really spread so far and wide?

But with the first telltale phone call, it began to dawn on me that it wasn’t just bad food.

Wife #1: Hi, we’re flattered to be included on your guest list, but Manny made me call to make sure you’re NOT gonna have a question about which of my girlfriends he fantasizes about?

Me: Manny. Really? I don’t know about that question but now I’m certainly going to include one about how a guy makes it through life named “Manny?” He should have married someone named “Wifey.” Then the Justice of Peace could have said, “I now pronounce you Manny and Wifey.”

Wife #1: Yeah, we’re gonna have to decline. Click.

Hmmph.  As I hung up I told myself, absolutely no questions about other partner fantasies.

That night I served soup, salad, and chicken with choice of baked or mashed potatoes and already there was an issue. I asked Husband #2 (when his wife was in the bathroom) if he thought she preferred her potato whole or whipped. He glared at me and said, “I know what potato is a euphemism for! We’re not staying for your raunchy little game.” He snatched his wife’s purse (and I presume he snatched his wife’s potato as well!) and the front door slammed.

“Well,” I said resisting the urge to do an evil laugh.  “I guess we’re down to you three lucky couples.”  Everyone squirmed uncomfortably in their seats. But that might be because my dining room chairs are at the bottom of this post.

When dessert was served I invited the couples to take their seats in the pairs of chairs set aside with their backs to one another. I sliced up the pie, took my seat with my new fiancé and hoped for the best.

Me:  Okay first question. We’ll start out easy. Wives — What’s your favorite thing right now on your mate?”

Answers were “his wedding band” and “this shirt I bought for him” and “Old Spice cologne.” But Wife #4 said simply, “Nuts.” When questioned, she sheepishly admitted she thought I asked, “favorite thing right now on your plate?” And she loved the pecan pie.

Me:  Moving right along. Husbands, when you first met your future mother-in-law  you thought to yourself, ‘Genetics aren’t everything. I can live with my wife if her ______ grows.’

Answers ranged from “hair” to “nose” to “ass” with one husband wanting to ensure he got a little something/something later on, because he wrote down, “heart.”

So far, so good.

Me: Husbands again – – if your wife could be compared to a cereal, which one would she be?

Again, the men came through as romantics with “Lucky Charms” and “Special K” (the wife was named Kay!) and “Sugar Smacks” (his wife was rumored to be into BDSM)  My fiancé dared to say, “Cracklin’ Nutty Flakey Oat Bran” but I chose to let it go.

Me: If your first kiss with your spouse could be described as a candy, what would it be?

Clever, clever guys.  Answers were “Starburst” and “Hot Tamales” and “Bar None.” One husband said “Pay Day” then changed it to a “100 Grand bar” and the wife thought he was inferring she was a hooker and stomped out of our house, followed by her man wailing plaintively, “But I thought that would be better than saying, Snickers or Butterfingers!”

At this point my fiancé said he was getting tired and had early morning appointments with patients and could I wrap things up fairly soon? So I decided to throw in a question about that. “If your husband was a doctor, what would he specialize in?”  Fiancé immediately sauntered out of the room yawning and to get his toothbrush. Oh well.

But then I lost another couple when I asked, “Who would you say wears the pants in the family?” I didn’t think being a cross-dresser would come up.

The last remaining husband and wife stared at me and I braced myself for the worst.

Husband #1:  We’ve waited all night to hear you ask which of her girlfriends I fantasize about being with.

Wife #1: Yeah, C’mon!  It’s the whole reason we came. We thought it would be a great way to start up a threesome!

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

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

 

 

 

How Lice Can Make You Rich !

price is rightThis is a parable. You can substitute anything at all for Lice in this (nit)witty allegory tale — Fleas, tics, bedbugs. Okay, seriously? This is a quick but true story of how parasites can become paradise!

Once upon a time (Note: there are far more original ways to begin a narrative than this so think up another one.) I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post about how a mother of six deals with lice. The lice finally disappeared (or we may have given them away to some classmates, but that’s not really relevant here) and any reader laughs from the article also faded into Arianna’s (that’s Ms. Huffington’s first name) archives. All was forgotten.

Until….fast forward a year (Note: editors state that writing “fast forward” is an overdone, awkward device to depict the passage of time in your writing, so don’t use it!) when I get an email from the Chief Marketing Officer at Lice Clinics of America saying they need someone to dispel the public stigma of lice. Basically they needed someone who can write about nits and nymphs (a teenage louse) and other itch-worthy causations in a humorous way.

Well anyone who has read more than one of my blog posts knows the immediate reaction is to scratch your head and ponder, “Why does this woman think she’s even remotely funny?” And thus my humor was deemed louse-y enough to fit the bill. (Note: Self-deprecation is borderline acceptable as humor but fairly transparent as to its intentions, so don’t rely on this too much.)

But there was a major problem. My Little Miss Menopause persona simply would not do. It sounded old. And hot-flashy and crotchety. What could my new Pen Name be when writing about these fascinating creepy crawlies?  I thought of The Licey Lassy, aLice in Wonderland, Minnie Louse, and even Linda LoveLice came (no pun intended) to mind. An idea I thought was brilliant, “Glinda the Good Itch of the North” was blatantly rejected. Hmmmm. How will you Dear Reader, ever find out which alias I eventually came to use to become so well-known in the lice world? (Note: Cliffhangers can work but should be inserted at the end of your post.)

Here’s the real point for conveying the information in this post. If you write blogs ABOUT ANYTHING, there could be an unlikely paid opportunity just awaiting you as well. But the person has to know that you’re open to such possibilities and have a concrete way to contact you. After she read me on The Huffington Post, the Lice Chief Marketing Officer (lice have chiefs and they get marketed?) tracked me down to offer me this glamorous job from a category on top of my blog menu called “Hire Me To Humor You.”  You need to have something similar! Make one right this minute. (Note: Research shows that readers love to be told what to do by an author. It has something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey.)

And now without further ado, I implore you to follow my brand new blog aptly called “Sugar & Spice & Everything Lice” because even though Lice are no laughing matter, I’m going to find a way to make them at the very least, a chuckling matter. And also because they’ve given me permission to write about other subjects as well, just so long as I loosely relate them back to lice. Therefore you can expect the topic of sex to surface at my new Lice blog quite often! (Note: Sex Still Sells!)

PS.  If any readers think I’m selling out, you should know that I have firm self-respecting boundaries.  I draw the line at writing about termites. Crickets however will be okay because duh…Jiminy and Pinocchio. (Note: Very bad idea if you’re trying to get followers to a new blog about lice to suddenly end with a Walt Disney movie reference. Give the original link once again so the last thing on their minds is to click and follow it RIGHT HERE.)

It’s Just Me, Myself & I !

Lermaa1 (pic)When you’re as neurotic as I am, (aside from having a lifetime of writing) you’ve had a lifetime of therapy as well.

But psychologists can get extremely bored with you and your same old stories replaying, so they’ll often have you do simple “therapeutic exercises.” Nothing that would make you feel awkward or silly of course!  Just sitting on their couch and pretending a part of your personality is in the empty chair across from you. And then talking to it. “Speak to your Fear & Anxiety and tell it everything will be okay,” they’ll encourage.

And they love role-playing “games.”  But they always make me play the part of ME. Hmmph.

But if they find out you’re a published author, this one becomes their favorite idea — “Write a letter from your Younger Self to Your Present Self” or “From Your Future Self to Your Intuition.” Or “Your Small, Fragile Child” or “Your Angry Side” or “Your Control Freak.”

However, what they really get off on is having you do certain things with “Your Inner Critic.”

Let’s see . . .  so far I’ve embraced my Inner Critic. Then in a shocking move, I fired my Inner Critic. Apparently I hired him back however because next thing I knew, I was instructed to silence my Inner Critic. I still have to tame my Inner Critic, then challenge and conquer him. We’re very busy together.

My point being with all these different facets of my personality floating around various therapists’ offices, I thought it was high time I did something completely innovative with all of them.  I would invite everyone to a fun cocktail party!

“Hi Personality Traits!  Please come to a formal gathering so we can all get to know each other better and then we can rely on one another when we need help or when we just have an impulsive desire to be one well-rounded, sane person! Potluck, of course!  See you at my house. Oops, I mean OUR house.”

Sincerely,

Sybil err Stephanie

I was nervous an hour before the get-together but my Perfectionist showed up early and laid out the silverware, plates, and napkins in meticulous order. Okay okay, Miss Compulsive might have come along as well, but I think she busied herself threading fruit salad onto skinny wooden skewers. Soon the kitchen was alive with a cacophony of noise and conversation as various parts of me interacted.

Lazy Bones: Seriously?  Who do you think is gonna clean up this huge mess?

Eating Disorder (ED): And how come you’re only putting out healthy fruit and veggies and some measly cheese and crackers?  Where are the Oreos, Nutella, and pints of Rocky Road?

Mean Girl: Like oh my god! You can’t eat anything until you fit back into your cheerleading uniform from high school. And what makes you think anybody will show up to a boring party that Loser you throws anyhow?

Confidence: Hey everyone, after we have a few ice-breakers, I’m gonna read aloud one of my classic Huffington Post humor pieces. You’ll love it and never stop laughing.

My Fiancé: (Yes I just got engaged and he’s the only actual real person at this wild shindig!) That sounds great Stephanie.  I’m so proud of you, but first let’s go into your room…

Me: (tossing hair in a flirty flounce) Oh, really?  Right now?? Well okay, Handsome. Come along Inner Critic, Bitter About Prior Divorces, Blame, Shame, Aggressive, and Sarcasm. Oh alright, Fragile Little Child, you’re welcome in our bed too. In fact, let’s try this with everyone for a change! C’mon y’all — we’ll be swingers!

Inner Critic: Lights off!

My Fiancé:  Yep, that’s the drill.

Bitter About Prior Divorces: You’re just like the rest of my ex-husbands. Already implying our sex life is mundane and predictable.

My Fiancé: Let’s hammer out the details. And shelve it.

Fragile Little Child: I don’t wanna put this discussion on the shelf. Tell me now! You’re leaving me, right?  I feel scared and tiny. And vulnerable.

My Fiancé: I’m not going anywhere as long as you can take all my pounding.

Confidence: (fluttering eyelashes) Well I like it rough, but gentle can be nice too. I can handle anything you got!

Asks For What She Needs: But can I get a lot of support?

My Fiancé:  Definitely. It will hold up to a lot of abuse if nobody throws a wrench into it and you go easy with all your many hang-ups.

Self-Defense Mechanism:  Like you’re so perfect! You have a few skeletons in the closet too, I’m sure. Maybe you’re a skirt-chaser?

My Fiancé:  Skirts?  Nope, I just can’t wait to come out of this closet!

Waiting For Other Shoe to Drop:  What?? You’re gay? See that!  I knew something like this would happen to prevent our future happiness. Can’t you at least fix it to swing both ways??

My Fiancé: Stephanie, can you stop integrating all the different sides of you for just a moment? I need to concentrate on getting this extra storage wardrobe built. Otherwise when I finally move in, I’m afraid I’ll drown in all of your clothing! Why do you have so many dang dresses anyhow?

All Personalities: (simultaneously) Surely you don’t expect all of us to wear the same size, do you? !

Big thanks to my new fiancé who will hopefully be just as understanding as he was when he was my boyfriend that I use his “persona” here for PURE FICTION!

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

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

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

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

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

If Your Name is Jack, You Need Psychological Help?

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

Jack Be Nimble: I’ll be quick, Ma’am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therapist: What a good boy are you!

Jack Horner: What a good boy am I!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therapist: And some situational depression too.

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

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

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

Jack Horner: Ewwwww, gross!

Therapist: Germaphobe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Poor Jack Nicholson….he’ll be next!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colonel Mustard & Miss Scarlet See a Marriage Counselor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colonel Mustard: Weapons.

Therapist: I was going to say appetizers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Shot in the Dark!

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

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

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

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

Hmmph. Here then is my list of…

 TEN ACTIVITIES THAT SHOULD BE MANDATED DARK!

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

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

 

Don’t Let Your Blog Sleep Like a Log!

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

Could Captain Von Trapp & Maria Be Headed For Divorce?

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

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

Maria: Oh spare me your whistle, Captain.

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

Captain: How do you solve a problem like Maria?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Captain: Haha, gotcha again. Kidding!

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

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

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

Maria: Georg!

Captain: Fraulein, you will remember yourself!

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

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

Therapist: Achoooooo!

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

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

Therapist: What are you frightened of, Maria?

Maria: The hills are alive . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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