How to Have the Correct Proportion of “Quirky” In Your Personality!

 

Numerous readers write to me for lessons on how to become quirky. Okay, that’s simply untrue. But one thing that makes me just the right amount of quirky (and therefore certified to teach you!) is that I liberally make stuff up (like the opening sentence of this blog) but then I’ll freely confess that it’s a complete invention of my mind.

That’s not called lying — that’s called quirking. And it’s totally cool.

Let’s look at some other definitions of ‘Quirky” before you decide whether or not you want to become it.

Here’s what Vocabulary.com has to say.

quirky

Your friend with the pink hair, the excellent vocabulary, and the totally inappropriate wit? You could probably call her quirky, meaning she’s unconventional and has a unique mix of traits that somehow end up being interesting or charming.

Alright so “Quirky” need not be attached to a specific hair color. However hair does play an integral part in people’s assessment of your quirkiness. If I had normal hair, I think I might drop down into being wacky or zany.  But my out-of-sync tresses elevates me straight into the Q word.

Here’s what Urban Dictionary has to say.

quirky

Quirky people may also have an uncanny obsession with Recess peanut butter cups and peanut butter chocolate ice-cream. All in all, quirky people are amazing, and great friends with excellent personalities that can bring anyone’s mood up.

Now if it amuses you to no end that Urban Dictionary spelled “Reese’s” the way they did, you can stop reading this right now. Because you’re qualified to give your own lessons in being “Quacky!

HAHAHA! See what I just did there? I “accidentally” (but not really, cuz I could’ve easily fixed it in the editing process) misspelled “quirky” and it catapulted me into a fit of hysterics.

Quirky people really need to get a life, yet they’re convinced they already have a perfectly good one — so that never occurs.
@ 2018 Little Miss Menopause ~ All Rights Reserved 

But to continue on with your lesson . . .  the reason the exact proportion of “Quirky” is so crucial to achieve is because if you exhibit too much of it, you’ll firmly cross into “Odd, Bizarre, Weird, Peculiar and Strange” territory and trust me when I say nobody will find that endearing. (As an example, I couldn’t figure out how to make a copyright symbol in my above quote since it’s not shown on my keyboard, so just told myself nobody will notice what I did instead.)

So here we go with the Guidelines…

  • To really exude the right amount of Quirky you first must have an inner voice that narrates your day to you, even while brushing your teeth. It must be an ongoing monologue that you can NEVER EVER turn off, yet sometimes you sincerely try by exclaiming aloud, “Will you just shut-up already?!” Then turn to the person next to you and calmly murmur, “Sorry, not you.” This will be irresistibly engaging and if you’re single you’ll have an immediate date to go bowling.
  • Quirky people love to go bowling, but hate for anyone to know they have big feet, so bring masking tape to cover up the number on the back of your bowling shoes.
  • Quirky people are constantly killing their houseplants by overwatering them and then justifying their childless state by saying, “This is why I don’t have any pets.”
  • Quirky people think they can be chameleons, becoming what everyone else would like them to be because they fancy themselves adaptable like Play-Doh or Silly Putty. But really they are just Frisbees with a little bit of Slinky thrown in for good measure.
  • Quirky people will invite guests over for an entire night of boardgames and then make the food they serve so unrecognizable, that in itself becomes the evening’s entertainment — people making educated guesses as to what they’re swallowing. If you have just the right amount of “Quirky” in you, you’ll immediately get the idea this concept will make a terrific new reality TV show and contact a producer with the proposed title, “Guest Ingest Test!”
  • Quirky people care very deeply what others think of them, but also take great pride constantly proclaiming, “I march to the beat of my own drummer!” It’s the tug of war between these two opposing mindsets that makes them so neurotic. That and the fact that their drummer is Pete Best.
  • Quirky people wear breezy and quaint clothing. They never veer into sexy unless they’re trying to seduce you — in which case they’ll dress like Gilda Radner.
  • Quirky people are constantly writing to companies and asking why their products have been discontinued. Then they start petitions to bring back The Original Cinnamon Tic Tacs or The McDonald’s Arch Delux.
  • Quirky people will tell you their lives are full of passion and purpose. If you ask for an example they will bring out their petition for you to sign.
  • Quirky people will do things that are totally unpredictable, but then realize you’re catching onto them doing the unexpected and so they’ll trick you by doing exactly what you anticipate. Once you prepare yourself for that however, they’ll revert back to being random again. All without ever saying, “Aha….Gotcha!!”
  • Quirky people will refuse to leave your life even if you exile them. Restraining orders are completely wasted on quirky people because they have a way of stalking you in their mind.
  • Quirky people will ask you to hold on during a phone call so they can answer the door. There’s never anyone actually ringing their bell however — they’re really still on the phone listening intently to see if you’ll say anything interesting about them to someone else in the room.  So the two of you will both be on the line in silence, trying to breathe unobtrusively until the quirky person will finally declare, “Sorry, I’m back now.”
  • Once you have achieved the perfect formulation for Quirky, nobody will ever refer to you as Quirky again. You will have graduated to “Whimsical.” Once achieved, you’ll never be held accountable for your actions again because — hold on a sec, someone is ringing my doorbell. . .

Readers: Do you see a difference between Quirky, Unconventional, or just plain Neurotic? 

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Full Disclosure!

Abandoned house in disrepair, Astoria, Oregon, USA

This is not my house … but it may as well have been after I had written all my seller disclosures!

If there are any readers still lingering here after my unexpected hiatus from blogging, I’d like to say thank you for sticking around and I shall now disclose (fully!) my reason for leaving.

You see, I’ve been extremely busy (and stressed!) making lengthy lists of literally hundreds of disclosures for the sale of my home after it went into escrow.

This is actually supposed to be a simplistic process and one that works smoothly when there aren’t perfectionists, worriers, obsessors, and Type A personalities involved.

Essentially the seller (Me!) writes down whatever is wrong with the house so there are no unexpected, unpleasant surprises after the new homeowners take possession — thus giving the buyer the option of saying, “Uh, no thanks!” and exiting the deal OR continuing on with the realization that unless a home is brand spanking new (and rarely even then!) it won’t be in perfect move-in condition.

However once my real estate agent mentioned that the couple who wanted my house came from a family of attorneys and that previously they resided in a beach condominium where they sued the prior owners for 500K because they hadn’t disclosed there were sharp seashells hidden beneath the sand that could cut bare feet, I began to have an uneasy feeling.

After consulting my own lawyer, I was informed that in America you can initiate a lawsuit to anyone for anything. And to be on the safe side I should disclose everything I could possibly think of to these people — the more problems I could recollect and report, the better off I’d be in the long run.

I took this as a direct challenge to recall the last twenty years worth of life with six kids under one roof and because of my recent memory lapses, I felt the only option was to consult my ex-husband who originally bought the home with me.

Me: When we first got married and moved into this house, what wasn’t functioning properly?”

Ex: You.

Realizing this would get me nowhere, I called back my smartypants lawyer.

Me: Can’t I just tell these people I’ve changed my mind and then find a more laid-back family so I don’t live in fear over getting hauled into court for the rest of my life.

My Lawyer: Sorry, Ms. Mental Pause . . .

Me: I’m Miss Menopause!

My Lawyer: Really? My wife doesn’t miss the change of life at all.

Me: OMG. You bill by the minute, right? Can I kill the sale of my house or not??

My Lawyer: Unfortunately at this point, they’re the only ones who can cancel the escrow. You must now proceed to sell your house to these individuals. Again my best advice is when in doubt, it’s better to disclose everything.

There was nothing else to do but utilize the method I always used to solve sticky dilemmas . . . I Love Lucy reruns. What would the harebrained, zany redhead do? I recalled an episode where the Ricardos couldn’t fire their grumpy maid so they tried to make things so awful, the cantankerous woman would quit on her own. And the one where they weren’t allowed to break their apartment lease with Fred and Ethel Mertz, so they tried to become miserable tenants and get themselves thrown out.

That’s it! Brilliant.  I’d scare off these buyers by giving them such horrific disclosures, they’d back out on their own accord. Upon hearing this scheme, my real estate agent cautioned me that it was illegal to make stuff up in the disclosures — they had to be true. Apparently she’d never read my blog.

To Future Buyers:

I hope you’ll be very happy in this house, but I hereby go on record disclosing the following defects:

  1. Dishwasher only works on the Extra Scrub cycle. You have to defrost the frost free refrigerator. Roof always leaks when it rains.
  2. Home is in a drought zone so it never rains. Your water bill will be thousands of dollars a year.
  3. In the summer ants are so rampant, they come streaming out of all the bathroom faucets — IF the department of water hasn’t shut them off because of rationing due to drought.
  4. House had six children raised in it. God only knows what went on in their bedrooms when they were in Time-Out and feeling vindictive.
  5. Neighbor lady to the left is old, mean, decorates the exterior of her house with candy, and calls my youngest son/daughter Hansel and Gretel.
  6. Neighbor to the right is much nicer and will only push kids into ovens if they trample her vegetable garden.
  7. We’ve found rattlesnakes, gophers, an opossum, a squirrel, all sorts of gruesome rodents, and a used condom in the basement of the home.
  8. Home does not have a basement.
  9. Bathroom acoustics are so terrible that family members will shout, “shut up!” if you so much as sing in the shower.

I gave a self-satisfied smile as I reread my list — it sounded like Stephen King himself lived here! And then because I also watch Brady Bunch reruns and remembered the one where they pretended their home was haunted to discourage any buyers, I also disclosed this:

9.  This house was built on top of an old cowboy burial ground.

For good measure, I hid my lasso and boots under a couch cushion.

When given the above notarized document, the future buyers just laughed and told the realtor my writing was hilarious — almost funny enough to be on The Huffington Post. It was then I knew I had to pull out my top secret weapon….the ‘M’ word.  No, not Mold!

For my tenth and final disclosure I put down…

10.  Marriage Murderer — This house is responsible for killing two separate marriages simply by making unusually loud settling sounds at two in the morning, thereby causing the wife to awaken with a start, poke the husband in his sound asleep ribs while loudly hissing, “What’s that noise?? Go downstairs and investigate! We have a prowler.”

When all was said and done, after all my attempts to foil the sale, the buyers were still proceeding full steam ahead, and so I asked my realtor “Why would anyone want to live in this house after reading all these bad disclosures?”

“Live in it?” she asked. “Oh didn’t I tell you? They’re specifically looking for a fixer-upper so they can get a great price, refurbish it, and resell it quickly for far more money. Didn’t you ever watch, “Flip This House!” or “Flip or Flop?”

Of course not. I was too busy watching I Love Lucy, Brady Bunch, Poltergeist, and all of Stephen King’s movies. Sigh….

Real-estate-seller-disclosure

READERS: Do you have a moving nightmare story?

Wild Statistical Fantasies — Where Do Yours Fit In?

Yes, this title is an intentionally deceptive word ploy to get my blog ranked higher in the search engine optimization. This piece will not list the percentage of American women who fantasize about seducing an officer of the law. Nor will it mention dominating or submitting, unless it’s submitting writing. In fact it isn’t sexual in nature at all and the tame fantasies are actually just my own. They occur when I scrutinize my blogging statistics each day and detect a huge peak in a specific category or a tremendous amount of referred readers coming in from Facebook or LinkedIn or another source. My imagination runs amuck…

4 Common Fantasies Induced by My Stats:

Literary Representation! — I’ve been discovered! This fantasy gets spurred on when I get a lot of extra activity on my short story section or my stats with the keyword “hilarious” have uncharacteristically spiked. Particularly when I discern extra readers are all surfing in from a site called “Agent Search.” In reality, my brother is an insurance agent and has a link to my blog for his clients to get a laugh after they’ve crashed their car or had a roof leak. But since this is my personal fantasy, it goes like this: A bored fiction agent who reps well known horror authors (think Stephen King and R.L. Stine) needs a break from all the blood, guts, gore, and murders. He casually Googles, “Quirky Humor Bloggers Who Write About Gone With The Wind” and that’s it! One glance is all it takes. The rest is history. From the moment he lands on the front page of my blog he’s in stitches and it’s definitely not from a stabbing. He’s riveted by my hysterical tagline, the witty titles of my menu categories, and spends inordinate amounts of evening hours reading each blog entry to the point his wife suspects he’s having an affair. “Yes, yes, you have me hooked from your opening line!” and “Oh my god…that’s the perfect climax!” are shouted from inside his closed home office door.  The next sound you hear is my phone ringing as he rehearses what he’ll say to convince me to sign a three book contract as the next Erma Bombeck. I’ll hesitate for a moment, letting him think there’s a bidding war for my comedic talent, but eventually acquiesce when he offers royalties on lunchpails and a Barbie Doll likeness with the exact hairstyle as my Facebook Profile.

High School Quarterback Returns! — This fantasy is vividly inspired when certain categories like “Relationships” and “Love” and “The One That Got Away” zoom off the charts in my stats section.  I imagine my old high school crush has accidentally stumbled into my blog and reads my post about our yearbook. He reminisces about football games and how I endearingly clapped and screamed for him to throw a touchdown from the stands. Why didn’t he look beyond the gorgeous cheerleaders on the sidelines to see that I also had a nice pair of fluffy pom-poms? Regrets of asking the Marcia Brady lookalike to homecoming dance will plague him as he recalls 9th grade Intro to Creative Writing with Mrs. Lyndahl reading aloud my short story titled, “If Chocolate Chip Cookies Could Talk!” and how he scoffed about baked goods coming to life, causing me to sob in the girl’s locker room. He emails me (using information from my “Hire Me To Humor You” page) apologizing profusely, then asks me out as his prom date. After I vindictively tell him I have absolutely zero recollection of who he is, I am call-waited by Mattel to pose for my new barbie doll and then the envious wife of the literary agent calls, insisting on knowing how many times her husband has sent me roses?

Parent Trap!: This fantasy only occurs when certain posts I’ve written about my childhood are repeatedly perused in my stats. Even though I only have one brother, suddenly a familiar looking girl leaves a comment on my blog insinuating we are related and in fact she believes we share the exact same genetics! Apparently she was put up for adoption to a poor family because after I was born, our parents realized that daughters were just hormonal nightmares who cost lots of $$ with orthodontists, gynecologists, and dermatologists and so they could only afford to raise just one. We proceed to make plans to attend the same summer camp and then discreetly switch homes afterwards.

Law Suit!: (I never claimed my fantasies were always fun or exciting.) This terrifying scenario comes on after I notice that my stats are soaring for a certain popular picture I used long ago to illustrate a past blog post.  Why would so many people be looking at this particular picture all at the same time?? Suddenly fear strikes deep in my heart as I realize I inadvertently forgot (okay I was lazy!) to acknowledge copyright info or give credit to the photographer. And now somehow she’s entered her photo into Google Search Images and it came up that my blog is featuring HER masterpiece without any attribution. That grave injustice (combined with the fact that I am the one who grew up with parents who cared that I had an overbite, acne medication, and regular pap smears) fuels my long-lost sister to take me to court. An example is made out of me for all the bloggers who blatantly steal copyrighted images and I’m prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Even smiling coyly while trying to seduce the arresting police officer doesn’t prevent me from getting taken to jail. (In fact he tightens the handcuffs.) I only get one phone call and it’s to my literary agent to bail me out with a hefty book advance, but the call is intercepted by his insanely jealous wife who refuses to let me speak to him and instead forwards me to my old crush, the high school quarterback — and of course now he doesn’t remember me from Adam. Except since this is still MY fantasy, his youngest daughter begs for a popular lunch box and every day that his ugly, old, former cheerleader wife makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he fantasizes about making love to the female author whose likeness is now prominently celebrated on his daughter’s brand new trademarked lunchpail.

Readers: What nutty fantasies has your Stats Section inspired?

 

Eavesdropping and Spying Will Backfire on You Every Time!

Am I sitting in a red Lifesaver? A velvet Cheerio? Or The Circle of Life, reupholstered? I’ll get to that in a second. But first — I’ve been unable to write on this blog for a very long time. It’s not due to poor health, my kids, my mother, my other writing jobs, my pets, my boyfriend, or even extensive traveling. Neither have I been held hostage or threatened that if I post another strange blog, I’ll live to regret it.

Nope, what’s prevented me from writing here is the stress of attempting to sell my home, fully furnished. A house I’ve lived in for twenty years, raised six kids in, and put a lot of time, energy, dollars, and Love into.

And this “Love” comes in the form of a very unique remodeling job, which apparently aside from myself, only Dr. Seuss and Willy Wonka approve of.

Here’s what you see when you first walk in:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a close-up of some “novel” chairs that are not visible in second photo:

Here’s a guest bathroom:

Here’s a staircase wall:

Here’s what’s under the staircase:

And yes, that is a built-in drinking fountain.  Six kids, remember?

The kitchen at night (during a power outage!):

Now before I even talk about what happens when an Open House is held, I want to emphasize that my realtor has insisted, “You must all live here like you don’t actually live here!”

So there are no toothbrushes accessible, no actual towels on which to dry our hands, (only fancy model-home display ones) and we are only allowed faux food to be visible. Yes there really is such a thing. It’s part of “staging” your home to sell quickly.

Fake Food to sit near a BBQ!

Pretend food to sit in a movie theater room!

Essentially we all exist in this make-believe house starving to death (with rotting teeth and damp hands!) while our cheerful broker comes over every Saturday and Sunday morning and freshly bakes a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies in an Easy Bake toy oven (mustn’t dirty the real one!) so legit potential buyers will get a “homey” scent wafting throughout their very real nostrils.

Now if anyone thinks I leave my house during these all day Saturday and Sunday debacles, they’re sadly mistaken.  Why would I miss all the fun of seeing and hearing what other people (serious buyers AND Looky Loo neighbors) think of my newly renovated home?

So I stay put during my open houses, admonished by my realtor to keep my mouth tightly shut no matter what I see or hear. And of course because I’m me, I also pretend to be an interested person who has come to view the home after seeing it advertised online. Here’s a three minute actual scenario. . .

Potential Buyer: What in the world?? Are we in a home or on a movie set?

Me: (Eavesdropping and trying to pretend I do not live here) I know, right? Isn’t this place just sooooooo amazing?

Potential Buyer: Uh, I guess. If you like going down the rabbit hole in Alice In Wonderland and having a mad tea party!

Me:  What an uncouth comment. I find it simultaneously innovative and modern. Whimsical and fun, yet extremely cozy and (sniffing the cookie-scented air) very homey! And anyone who can’t recognize what classy taste the person who owns this home must have was raised in a barn.

Potential Buyer: Then by all means, I dare you to make an offer on this ridiculous residence.

Me: (not one to handle a dare very well) Yoo hoo! Miss Real Estate Lady!  Over here, dear. Whatever this gorgeous home is priced at, I’ll offer 50K more! I can’t bear to let this dream house slip through my fingers.

My Realtor: (Shoots me dirty look)

So after buying my own house back, I’m told I have a very controlling personality and the home will surely sell much faster if I vacate the premises. The nerve! I leave my own house, but not before turning on all my nanny cams to record the goings-on. That night I watch the videos in disbelief as person after person comes in, mocking the comfortable red circular piece of furniture you see at the top of this blog. Listen . . .

“Why do I suddenly have the urge to sing, “Roll Out the Barrel?”

“Where’s Austin Powers hiding?”

“Talk about going in a vicious Circle!”

And then the home in general….

“It looks like a rainbow vomited all over the flooring!”

“No Billie Jr! We are definitely not moving into this Whoville home. We’ll just let Horton continue to live here.”

“Oh look honey, the home comes with two fireplaces and enough kindling (gestures around at furniture) to last a few years!”

“The poor dear really has a bad case of it. Let’s make a small donation to the Colorblind Foundation in her honor, shall we?”

But then I truly got an earful when I heard my realtor telling everyone the owner was a creative writer and shouldn’t  be held accountable for her poor judgment. “And you should see her nonsensical blog,” she continued.  People nodded solemnly and said, “Ohhh, now we understand. That explains a lot.”

So after not publishing here for weeks, I decided to turn to wordplay for my real estate therapy because poetry is always so cathartic for me.

I Got The Real Estate Blues!

Hanging up a sign in my front yard.

Selling shouldn’t ever be this hard.

Yes my house is decorated rather novel

But to get you to buy it,  I refuse to grovel.

Selling a modern place I was under the impression would be so easy,

But folks think it’s a theme park and instantly they’re queasy!

I refuse to reduce the home’s value because you can’t appreciate,

Frank Lloyd Wright (on acid!) whom I’ve tried to commemorate.

Sorry, but I’m gonna say “No dice” unless you’re close to asking price.

And please don’t even try to proffer making me such a low ball offer.

Yes the washer and dryer and the refrigerator/freezer will definitely stay,

And unlike the decor . . .  they look normal, they’re not designed cray cray.

True, there’s hot and cold running water and lights that go on and off,

So what’s the big deal if my furniture has balls? Go ahead and scoff.

6

My home may not be for everyone, the buyer will need a decorator’s knack

Okay, who am I kidding? It’s going to be like finding a needle in a haystack!

But if by chance you’re out there and  want to come to San Diego and have a look,

For a great price, you too can see how fun it is to live in a children’s coloring book!

Just contact Me, (the Wild and Crazy Owner) at this blog, “Once Upon Your Prime”

And I promise you the house will hold up better during inspection than this silly rhyme.

 

15 MORE Non-Sexual Intimacies To Experience in Bed Together!

Is this the start of an old fashioned round of Hide n’ Seek?

Welcome to a new installment of my most widely read post ever, one I wrote 1.5 years ago and which you can check out the original right HERE if you missed it.

I’m adding on to this first list because I literally get hundreds of hits per day on Part One and I fear couples are bored (or they’re etching deep grooves in their skin) with drawing pictures on each other’s backs and guessing — just one of my ideas in the old blog. Are ya ready for 15 more quirky ones?  Here we go!

  1. *Play N’ Pause: This is similar to “Name That Tune” from my original list, but in this case, you’re going to play just a snippet of a famous speech or a vocal phrase from YouTube movie videos. Your partner must guess which celeb is speaking. Be ready on the pause button because this isn’t much fun if you give them too much, too soon. (Hmmm, what else do you do in bed that isn’t so exciting if there’s too much, too fast??)
  2. *Flaws N’ Faux Pas: Confession time! Confide in your partner some personality defects you have or some mistakes or goof-ups you’ve made in your past and never admitted to anyone. You may balk at this, but it’s so cleansing to unzip your baggage or unlock the skeletons in your closet. Whoever is least shocked, wins.
  3. *Lash Out: Have your partner close their eyes while you get closer and closer to their cheeks with your own eyes. As soon as they feel your eyelashes fluttering against their skin as you blink, they should shout out, “FlutterFly Butterfly!” (If you can get anyone to call out that ridiculousness I just made up, they’re a real gem!) Alternatively, they can simply say, “Now!” (Note: To cheat, simply wear your eyeglasses as an effective shield)
  4. In the Club: Invent a really elaborate secret handshake just between the two of you. It should include, clapping, snapping, grasping, sliding, intertwining and pummeling. Do it each time you meet up in public.
  5. *Guided Meditation: Go HERE and do this one meant specifically for couples. Don’t poke fun of this woman’s name and do NOT drown when she guides you into the DEPTHS of intimacy. Whoever doesn’t giggle first wins.
  6. Beat It: Put your head to their chest and monitor their heartbeat. Strong? Place two fingers lightly on their wrist and feel for a pulse. Steady? Slide a hand sensually on their forehead to take their temperature. 98.6 normal? Pronounce them healthy but then immediately shout, “Booooo!” loudly in their ear to scare them. Quickly recheck their vital signs. They may “lash out” after you do this (but it won’t be like #3 above!) and you’ll deserve it for listening to my blog’s suggestions.
  7. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Recollect your very first meeting and answer these questions. 1. What’s the first thing you noticed physically about your partner? 2. First conclusion you arrived at about their personality? 3. What three adjectives best described how you felt? 4. Would you have predicted that you’d be in bed together doing non-sexual intimacies one day? 5. Who sings “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face?”
  8. Chillatch: (No, this is not a typo and I didn’t mean Chillax, which it a combo of Chill and Relax for those of you super behind the times!) My new word is a combo of Chill and Scratch! Meaning you’re going to run your fingers lightly over your partner’s skin, giving them chills and possibly making them slightly itchy — then you immediately run your nails satisfyingly over the same spots with firm scratching. Alternate back and forth until they fall pleasantly asleep or admonish, “Could you be any MORE annoying??”
  9. Sleep-talking: Okay, so nobody is responsible for anything they might inadvertently blurt out while they’re unconscious, correct? Correct! This is when you get to say anything at all and then feign ignorance. Go ahead and babble about some gorgeous piece of jewelry/power drill you want if you have an upcoming birthday. Grumble about a chore that needs to be done around the house. In the morning when they ask you what the heck? Just remark, “Dreams are so mysterious, aren’t they? I had a dream I read a woman’s really odd blog and it turned into a nightmare.”
  10. Do You Want Your Face To Freeze That Way?: It’s Couple Selfie time! But before you press “Click” on your cellphone –one of you randomly calls out a Feeling Adjective and you both make your face fit the random emotion for each new shot. i.e. Cheerful! Sad! Confused! Angry! Silly! Intelligent! Accusatory! Innocent! Ecstatic! Fearful! Disgusted! Surprised! Provocative! Awkward! Bashful! Hopeful! Confident! Important! Ashamed! Apologetic! Bored! Because this dumb game is going on for way too long.
  11. *Language of Love: Use Google Translate and pick a country to convey how to say, “I love you” in that tongue. Try to speak it aloud with the proper accent! Have your partner guess which language it is. If you can’t even begin to pronounce the foreign symbols you’re seeing — just admit, “It’s all Greek to me!” and show your partner the screen so they can still guess the nation of origin.
  12. Bring Toys Into Bed: No, No . . . just No!  Childhood toys! You’re going to each bring three favorites and demonstrate what you used to do with them. Dolls peeking out from under the covers, Hot Wheels driving around the pillows, Etch-a-Sketch drawings, Slinky jangling, it’s all fair game! (pun intended)
  13. You Did Not See This Here! — Prank call your mutual friends. Disguise your voices, but never ask if their refrigerator is running because that’s old and predictable. However nobody ever inquires about a toaster oven or an electric blanket! If you’re both too afraid you’ll be recognized, there’s a free app with someone else’s voice which I’ll give you right now — but if you say you learned this on my blog, I’m going to just deny it and call you childish. Go right HERE.
  14. *What’s In a Name?: Try to combine both your names for a unique new couple name! If I was with a guy named Jeffrey, it could be Stephrey. Or Jeffanie. Aww, that’s so cute! Why can’t I ever find a Jeff??? After you find a new name, spell it out in Pig-Latin. Just because you’re a nut to have gotten down to #14 of this list.
  15. *Horizontal Dancing: Okay yes — this is a total euphemism for “Sexual Intercourse” although I just found that out right this second because I had to google “Horizontal” for how to spell it correctly. But it doesn’t have to be! Put your favorite song on and really try some actual dance moves lying side-by-side.Vote on who has the best Horizontal Routine. “Disco Pillow Blanket-o!” Could John Travolta have done all his cool dance moves in his bed?  I think not. (Even though he looked white as a sheet!)

*These numbers designate a game (with points!) so whoever scores highest wins a fifteen minute back massage from their partner. But you’re not competitive….right?? 😉

Here’s Something You Should NEVER Try in Marriage!

I’m currently divorced, but this doesn’t mean I don’t have a tale to tell about marriage…

“The Perfect Pair For You!” my cellphone advertised.  I covered up this headline quickly when my husband (at the time) walked into the room, so he wouldn’t see the screen and make snide remarks about my buying more shoes. Too late!

“I’m not looking for footwear,” I quickly reassured him. “Oh,” he said suddenly very interested. “Heh heh. Perfect Pair. You thinking of doing some upstairs remodeling? D or DD?”

“Shut up!” I shouted, hurling my Smartphone at him, which is always a good idea to distract from the topic at hand with your spouse (insures you get a long lecture about how cell insurance doesn’t cover abuse) Didn’t work. Eyebrows raised suspiciously.

Me: Okay, alright. Not that kind of Pair. I’m searching for a couple.

My Husband: A couple of what?

Me: A Couple. Period. Another couple for us to hang out and do fun things with. They have websites for that kind of thing now — syncing us up with the perfect pair of husband and wife friends.

My Husband: (incredulous You’re finding us a “Frarried?”

Me: A what now?

My Husband:(Smirks) Aren’t you supposed to be the witty one with words?  I just combined Friends and Married and got “Frarried.” Bwahaha!  I should be the Creative Writer in this house.”

Me: Perfect. In our new profile under “Interesting Tidbits About Hubby,” I’m gonna add, “Feels threatened so competes with wife in really strange ways.”

My Husband: Be sure and also write, “Must like hotdogs. And the Yankees. And Heineken and …”

Me: Excuse me! But this isn’t “Buddies N’ Ball N’ Beer” Match-Ups. This is for both of us, Mister. Besides I think we’ll make a great Scrabble team against another couple. So just forget about baseball.

Fast forward to our first “Date” with Couple Number One.

Me: Nice house y’all have. So how long have you two been searching for um, for lack of a better term, “Friend Mates?”

My Husband: Or “Frates?” Or “Mends?” Haha!  Betcha you guys can’t think up a better word combo than those?

Other Husband: Wow. You really ARE insecure and competitive, aren’t you? You’re on, Pal. Break out our Scrabble board, Ruth!

Ruth: I’m on it right now, Babe!

My Husband: (Suddenly nervous, still hoping for a sports night) Uh, unless you have a couple of catcher’s mitts and bats?

Me: (glaring) Oh no you don’t. No baseball talk.  So….Babe and Ruth — how long are you married?

Husband: (Ears perk up.) Babe Ruth?

Fast Forward To Our Drive Home

Me: Clearly we have to work on your social skills. The “How about we get to 3rd base tonight!” line was what got us thrown out.

My Husband: Just a little baseball humor. And you shouldn’t talk.

Me: What?? It’s normal to ask how long a couple has been married.

My Husband: Not when they blatantly announce they enjoy an exciting affair.

Me: I thought they meant a Fair. As in suggesting we all go to a fun carnival.

My Husband: Yeah, I see your point.  I mean seriously, who starts an exciting affair but gets so sick and tired and bored with being alone together that they go online looking for other couple friends? That’s just plain weird. I mean for us, it makes total sense, but…

Me: What does THAT mean???

My Husband: Nothing. But for our next new married best friends, can you find a husband and wife who are faithful? To each other.

Fast Forward to Couple Number Two

Me: Happy 51st anniversary! That’s a nice, long marriage. But I coulda sworn your ad said you were married for 15 years?

Wife: Howard says that’s my dyslexia, but I really just need new glasses.

Me: So which one of you loves to surf?

Wife: That would be Howard again. But he surfs the web. I just wanted to make it sound like he was more active.

My Husband: So which one of you is Howard??

Me: (Elbowing husband roughly in the gut.) So which one of you bowls?

Howard: We both put ice-cream in bowls, right Chunky Monkey?

Wife: That’s right, Rocky Road!

Me: And right here, your profile says someone is really into DIY?

Howard: Dessert In Yogurt! That’s right. The little wifey here is a wild thing. Always dunking her “Donuts In Yogurt.”

Wife: Not just Donuts. I’m daring!  “DIY” can stand for “Danish In Yogurt” too. Or I can even dip Devil’s food cuz that starts with D also.

Me: DIY. And here I always thought that meant “Do It Yourself?”

Wife: Oh it does! This is strictly a solo project.  Howard never helps me dip.

My Husband: Yeah, that’d just make Howard the Big Dip! Bwahaha.

Fast Forward to Our Drive Home

Me: You’re so creative with words….you couldn’t have said, “the Big Dipper?” instead? That could’ve been passed off as sightly amusing and we might’ve gotten to stay and cream that old fogie couple in Scrabble!

My Husband: Hmph. Some long-term married people can be so touchy.

Me: Alright here’s the new approach. Since I’m obviously the better half of our equation, I’ll make friends first with a married woman and get her liking me a lot. Then I’ll lower the boom and mention I have a goofy husband who could use a new friend too. And I’ll suggest we double-date with her hubby. Got it?

My Husband: Perfect. Then you two wives go shopping and the husband and I will go to a baseball game.

           Fast Forward To Our Divorce!

Readers: Is it THIS difficult for you to find couples as friends? Tell me in the comments! And just go right HERE if you’re brave enough to shop for other Couple Friends online . . . “Frouples!”

 

Judy Blume . . . My New Best Friend!

 

It all started when I heard rumors that  Judy Blume (every girl’s favorite childhood author and someone I became obsessed with in the 1970’s!) was teaching an online MastersClass. (You know those internet courses you pay to sign up for that are taught by famous people?)

Now at first I thought my sister-in-law (a Judith Bloom!) was playing one of her usual tricks on me once again.  She’s a practical joker and has had name envy her entire life, wishing she could be the one making all the money from those best-selling teenage novels about girls’ developing bodies and their first boy crushes. Well guess what? I wasn’t falling for it this time!

So when I logged onto the website, there was the REAL Judy Blume smiling kindly at me from a photograph — and that’s when I first sensed it — our private, special, one-on-one connection.

Judy’s compassionate expression from her picture beckoned, “Come on Stephanie D. Lewis, just sign up for my class and I’ll make you the Teacher’s Pet!” I even detected her winking conspiratorially at me during a video while I became mesmerized by her paperback book-covers flashing hypnotically across the screen. But when I replayed it, I couldn’t exactly swear to that.

Disregarding that old adage, “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach,” (This is Judy Blume we are talking about, after all!!) I studied the fine print carefully; “Judy will hold regular office hours, critiquing select students’ work and sending her personal feedback.” I could just see it now! Choosing me, (over all her thousands of other pupils) we’d bond over her charming knack for writing about menstruation — and my odd ability to pen blogs about menopause.

My first email to Ms. Blume would shout in the subject title, “Are you there, Judy? It’s Me, Stephanie!” (Yep, I’d totally go there!) She’d giggle, impressed how I stood out from her other humdrum students by referencing her most popular novel of all time. And then upon Judy’s friendly prompt response, I’d mention our further commonality as chocoholics. After all — she named her character ‘Fudge’ in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and I (a Fifth Grade Zero!) had named our family poodle ‘Cocoa” as a direct result of reading that book.  Of course, this only encouraged our house guests to indulge Cocoa with numerous Hershey’s Kisses — eventually killing her, because dogs shouldn’t ingest chocolate. But I’d reassure Judy I never once held her accountable for this misfortune and she’d reply, “Let’s grab a cup of coffee to make up for your tragic loss and discuss how you’re gonna follow in my famous footsteps.”

Now lemme briefly pause here to say that when email interactions don’t go as well as one imagines — an experienced writer (like myself!) knows how to:

a) Reframe — Of course Judy’s eyes were hurting from overzealously reading all my compelling writing samples, so she’s napping today, but she’ll reach out to me first thing tomorrow.  b) Have a Plan B — Call Ms. Blume directly on her personal landline, demonstrating exemplary student initiative!

And what a creative plan B this would be! After Judy’s voicemail plays and I hear the beep, I resist calling her “Judge Judy” and instead belt out the Beatles, “Hey Jude!” That oughta do the trick. But as I sing the “na na nana na na’s” that end the famous lyrics, a robotic voice interrupts me, “Are you satisfied with your message or do you wish to re-record?” Thinking it sounds cheesy, I’ll press delete and launch into my Cary Grant impersonation exclaiming, “Judy, Judy, Judy! Let’s do lunch, baby.” There!

I’ll follow that call up with personally delivering a large bouquet of flowers onto Judy’s front doorstep (in Key West, Florida) with some really clever wordplay. The card says, “Here’s every “bloom” I could find in honor of my new BFF Judy “Blume” and our “blossoming” friendship!”

As I sink further into this magical reverie, a notification on my cellphone rudely alerts me, “We are sorry to inform you that Ms. Blume’s writing course has been permanently cancelled due to her vivid premonitions of a crazy, fanatical fan stalking her!”

Extraordinarily disappointed, I’ll let myself in thru the backdoor of her home (that she’ll have given me the key to during our coffee date) and find her sitting inconsolably on her living room couch, where I’ll immediately put my arm around her shoulders and whisper soothingly, “There, there, Judy. I know it’s extremely challenging possessing the kind of overactive writers’ imaginations that we both do! But we’ll get through this. Together.”

It’s only then that I’ll glimpse the cellphone cancellation notice is originating from . . . Judith Bloom. Drats….my impish sister-in-law has managed to get me again!

Judy need only ask me once, and I’ll help her title ALL her books!

Should You or Shouldn’t You Have a Gift Closet??

I’m Shoving Valentine’s Day Down Everyone’s Throat!

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

Me: photo 4-11

 College Son:

photo 5-9

 Me:

photo 1-16

 College Son:

photo-69

 Me:

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

Daughter 12:

photo 4-12

 Son 10:

photo 5-10

(Okay so JUST ONE TIME on Valentine’s Day, I decided their gift to me should be dusting the entire house — and my gift to them would be hiding pennies to reward the dusting. This anecdote will now be told at my funeral.)

 College Son:

photo 2-17

Me:

photo 3-12

 College Son:

photo 1-18 photo 1-8

Me:

photo 4-7

College Son:

photo 4-4

Me:

photo 3-3 photo 3-7

College Son:

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

Twin Brother:

photo 1-23

Me:

photo 2-22

Twin Brother:

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

Daughter 17

photo 4-14

 College Son:

photo 4-16

 Me

photo 1-13

 College Son:

photo 5-6

Me:

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

College Son:

photo 2-18

Me:

photo 4-5photo 2-9

College Son:

photo 5-4

Me:

photo 1-11

College Son:

photo 2-10

Son 10

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

Daughter 17

photo 4-17

Me:

photo 3-17

Daughter 17:

photo 2-19

Me:

photo 4-20 photo 5-12

College Son:

photo-71

photo 1-17

Me:

photo 2-16

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

Boyfriend:

photo 4-3

Me:

photo 5-3

Boyfriend:

photo 2-21

Me:

photo 1-20

Boyfriend:

photo 2-20

Me:

photo 3-16

Boyfriend:

photo-70

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

Hope your Valentine’s Day is a little more on task than ours! And now excuse me while I eat my own words…and they taste like Pepto Bismol chalk!

READERS: TO MAKE YOUR OWN HEART CANDY PICS JUST CLICK RIGHT HERE BUT DON’T LEAVE ME A COMMENT THAT THEY DON’T GIVE YOU ENOUGH SPACE. I FOUND THIS OUT AND THAT’S WHAT MADE THIS POST SO WONDERFULLY CHALLENGING! 

Are You a HSP? (Hint: If You Think That Means Hardware Software Programmer, You’re NOT!)

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve recently navigated the world of online dating — but before I did, I studied up on all the acronyms and now know that LTR means Long Term Relationship, BDSM means Bondage Discipline Sadism Masochism (I think it should just be abbreviated with “OW!”) and FWB means Friends With Benefits. (I was hoping the latter offered medical and dental coverage, but alas it does not!)

So after describing myself in my profile as an “Intense writer who feels things very deeply!” — many men wrote asking, “Why don’t you just say you’re an HSP?”

Uh, because I never knew that was an actual thing!

A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is apparently found in 15 to 20% of the population–too many to be a disorder, but too few to be well understood. I’m not going to help you understand it right now either, but go HERE if you’d like to.  And go HERE if you enjoy taking tests to see if you fit the label. (But come back here! Because I’m a HSP and your leaving will surely hurt my feelings.)

Instead of educating you about these types of individuals, I’m just going to poke fun of myself for kinda being one. Oh and also this other anonymous random guy who had the misfortune of messaging me while he was apparently going through a bout of it himself — so now he’s being featured in my blog. Sorry Random Anonymous guy! Nothing personal.

All you really need to know to keep reading is that Highly Sensitive People (HSP) have above average manners!

MATCH.COM INBOX WITH 2 HSPs

HSP GUY: Good evening. I’m sorry for bothering you! Maybe you can respond when you get a moment, but if not, I totally understand and hope you have a nice life.

HSP ME: When you say, “but if not, I totally understand,” does that mean you don’t really like me that much, so it’s no big loss? Sorry if I’m bothering you when I ask for clarification on that.

HSP GUY: It just meant that I didn’t want to intrude. Sorry because it seems I already have!

HSP ME: I have a profile up here for the express purpose of meeting someone, so how could you intrude? Am I now intruding ON YOU by responding when you said you’d understand if I didn’t — which to me really means you could care less?

HSP GUY: Shouldn’t that be couldn’t care less? Sorry, I don’t mean to criticize, but I’m sensitive to getting phrases like that correct.

HSP ME: That’s quite alright — I’m as much of a grammar nazi as the next person, but perhaps a phone call would be less confusing. Here’s my number: ***-****.  Sorry if this text came too late at night, but I’m an insomniac.

HSP GUY: So sorry you can’t sleep. Anything I can do to help? Where are my manners? Here’s my number: ***-****

A week goes by.

MATCH.COM INBOX WITH 2 HSPs

HSP GUY: I guess you lost interest. You didn’t call me.

HSP ME: Sorry, I didn’t want to disturb you in case that was your work number and I thought you were calling me.

HSP GUY: May I call you now?

HSP ME: Please.

HSP GUY: Thank you.

HSP ME: You’re welcome.

HSP GUY: Do you mean I’m welcome to call you now? Or you’re just being polite and saying “You’re welcome” because I said, “Thank you?”

PHONE CALL WITH 2 HSPs

HSP ME: Hi! I figured I’d may as well reach out first, since we keep getting caught in a giant web of considerateness.

HSP GUY: Yes, sorry. I’ve been told that I read a little too much into things. Thank you for reaching out.

HSP ME: That always makes me think of that song,  “Hands….touching hands….reaching out…..”

HSP GUY: “Sweet Caroline!” Wow. We both know Neil Diamond. I think that’s a sign we should meet. Unless of course you hate Neil Diamond, and then maybe that’s a sign we shouldn’t?

HSP ME: Neil Diamond was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I’m sorry. I hope that didn’t just depress you.

HSP GUY: I’m sorry, but you do seem like kind of a Debbie Downer.

HSP ME: I’m sorry. Well, nice talking with you. I’m gonna let you hang up first since I called you first.

HSP GUY: No, you hang up first.  I wouldn’t want the noise to hurt your ears.

HSP ME: No you hang up first. Okay thank you for offering to let me hang up first — my ears are highly sensitive.

HSP GUY: Please don’t hang up. I’m sorry. I was only joking about the Debbie Downer stuff.

HSP ME: I’m sorry, but I believe that in every joke there’s a grain of truth.

HSP GUY: Sorry, but aren’t you over-reacting just a tad? Or sorry — maybe I’m overreacting myself to your grain of truth statement? At any rate, I am deeply sorry.

HSP ME: I’m sorry to have to say this — but it’s not going to work out with two people who are always apologizing and being so polite and sensitive and just constantly too … ugh . . .  too NICE!

HSP GUY: I’m sorry, but too nice? I knew it, I just knew it. I’m a Highly Perceptive Person (HPP) and could totally sense from your photo (and that hair!) …  that you’re into BDSM and are only looking for FWB and not a LTR.

HSP ME: Wait! So now there’s an HPP also? Is that a thing too?

HSP GUY: Sorry, but it most definitely is. (LOUD CLICK!)

HSP ME: Hello? Hello? OW! That really hurt my highly sensitive ears.

READERS: DO YOU KNOW A HSP? WOULD YOU ADMIT TO BEING ONE? IS IT TERRIBLE OR WONDERFUL? DON’T WE MAKE EXCELLENT WRITERS???