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. 

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You Can’t Be Serious???

Btw, this is a great movie!

Btw, this is a great movie!

From time to time I write non-humorous material but hesitate to post it here because I don’t want to disappoint readers who are expecting chuckles. But if you’re a parent or a teenager (or just vividly remember being a teenager!) you might like to visit these two online magazines that are both featuring my work today.

I’m against labeling (“A label is just a fable!” will be my new bumper-sticker and coffee mug idea!) so if you’re curious why I actually turned to labels to help my teenage daughter, just read my latest piece RIGHT HERE.  Please leave me a comment there if you support this concept.

And you wouldn’t believe the secret life I just found on my Tween daughter’s cellphone (well, maybe YOU would, but I was shocked!) and she’s not alone attending middle school and having this kind of content! Check out my article RIGHT HERE if you’re wondering why I think we should call them  “Smutphones” instead of “Smartphones!” Please tweet this article out if you wanna help me share awareness.

Happy 4th of July to all you wonderful readers and bloggers!

Stephanie

Ration Your Fashion Compassion!

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DISCLAIMER: These are NOT my shoes. I use these heels in a pinch as chopsticks when we bring in Chinese.

So my gal pals are throwing one of those clothing parties where you bring all your wardrobe faux-pas from the back of your closet, then display them so everyone else can snicker covet something you own. You earn credit for what they select and use it to trade/barter for their items, at which point you basically go home with more stuff to sell in your next garage sale. Now, doesn’t that sound like loads of fun to you?? Or maybe I’ll see what my Oral Surgeon is up to.

Instead I enlisted my local “couture expert” (my 16-year-old daughter) for help so I wouldn’t accidentally give away any high fashion items – – highly improbable since I don’t own any. As I caressed my stack of Swatch watches, we both surveyed my closet contents until she broke the long, sad silence, “Well, how many points can you get for your hangers? At least they’re the nice, satin padded kind.”

“Now wait just a Gloria Vanderbilt minute, Missy. What are you saying? That I have bad taste? That there’s nothing here anyone would possibly want?”

“Not necessarily. I hear they’re doing a Flashdance revival show downtown,” she replied.

“GOTTA GET FOOTLOOSE!”

“Oh fine,” I said. “What about all those gorgeous shoes over there?”

“Those Espadrilles?” she wrinkled her nose. “Don’t you have any Stella McCartney’s or Yves Saint Laurent’s?” She took a deep breath, “And no Gucci? Armani? Louboutin? Balenciaga? Zanotti? Or how about just some Fiorentini?”

“Yes I agree – pasta sounds great! Let’s go out for fettuccini or linguini.”

“Mom,” she said exasperatingly, “Not even one Jason Wu or Jimmy Choo!?”

“Gesundheit dear and bless you. Must be all the dust in here,” I said absentmindedly. “And I’ll have you know on that rack behind those legwarmers, you’ll find footloads of Targetellas and a special designer pair of PaylessaLobotomy. Now I’m tired of this subject. All I really know about shoes is there once was a little old woman who lived in one!”

“Okay, okay, don’t get so touchy,” she grimaced, placing her hand on my thickly padded shoulder. “Let’s have a look at your skinny jeans. What brand name are they?”

“Ugh,” I responded.

“No, mom. Uggs are footwear again. Stay focused.”

“I meant Ugh, as in my only pair of skinny jeans exploded the last time I sneezed,” I confessed.

“CASH-IN ON THIS FASHION? I THINK NOT!”

“Alright, we’re not making much progress. Let’s take a peak at your belts.”

“If God wanted us fruit to cinch their middles, he would’ve given Red Delicious a waist,” I said, recalling Glamour magazine claiming I was an Apple instead of a Pear. That publication is also how I found out it’s best for me to stick with things that lightly graze my breasts, while skimming my hips and hugging my thighs. Kinda like the hungry, drunk guy at my last Super Bowl party!

“Alright, I can see my work here is done.” My daughter impatiently tapped her Fendi heel, obviously eager to chalk this experience up to having a square mother who was beyond help and needed to get back to what she probably imagined was my boring record collection. “Let’s look at something even YOU can’t get wrong. Your cousin with the purse addiction always gives you a designer clutch for your birthday every year, right? So go bring out all your new, pretty bags.”

Aha! I would finally triumph at the closet game! I watched my daughter’s puzzled expression as I emptied my Duran Duran and Go-Go albums from the dozens of colorful paper gift bags I had purchased from the dollar store.

“Yep. We’re sure getting closer to our goal,” she said exhaustedly, picking up my car keys. “We’ll continue this treasure hunt after I go pick up some Juicy Couture.”

“Okay, but take lots of napkins,” I shouted after her, “I don’t want you drooling or dripping anything on the driver’s seat.”

“DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I WEAR!”

My daughter continued to roll her eyes all the way to the clothing swap party the next night. But once there, she happily traded all her gently worn last year’s summer styles for brand new (at least new to her) back-to-school designer duds. Meanwhile, I sat in the back of the room, played my 8-tracks, and held a bake sale where the money will soon benefit poor confused, fashion-challenged women who still Jazzercise, wear mood rings, and sleep in waterbeds.

As for being a fashionista? Let’s just say I’m scrutinizing all the fashion blogs and am hopeful next year at this time, I will be a Cheryl Tiegs lookalike model. A clothing designer? How about seated in the audience at a fashion-show? Using the bathroom in my local Nordstroms?? Okay, okay, I’ll settle for “coming out of my closet” with my head held nice and high – – and that’s only because I will no longer be wearing those large, clunky, 80’s style earrings that currently weigh it down.