No Worries – – We’ve Got Your Back.

mad magazine

When a normal person is scared they have breast, skin or bone cancer,

They simply get examined by a doctor and have a quick answer.

But I worry the procedure will have serious complications,

Or their medical equipment will have poor calibrations,

Or the laboratory will make gross errors in their calculations,

Or the results will come back with (gasp!) positive confirmations!

So instead I go to a therapist and have lengthy conversations . . .

“How do I stop incessantly worrying about everything?” I ask.

They nod knowingly, sending me home with one simple task.

“Write down everything you fear happening, make one great big list.

Because once it’s down on paper, from your mind it’ll be dismissed.”

I take my pencil and put every single dread down in plain black and white

But maybe writing causes lead poisoning, how to avoid that disturbing plight?

And reading these awful lists are more frightening than thinking I have ovarian cysts.

To the depths of despair I sink, the only thing to do is find another Shrink.

The next one prescribes Xanax, Zoloft, Valium, and even a little Prozac.

Cuz drugs have your back & get you on track when life goes outa whack.

(Never mind the side effects, like filling your arteries up with plaque!)

Oh dear, this isn’t working; I think I need to just find a homeopathic Guru.

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” a sign over his desk sounds a little too woo-woo.

He warns, “Thinking about something you don’t want, will surely bring it about”

Oh great, now all my concerns will come true, of that there can be no doubt!

“Thank you!” I say as I pay the pretty receptionist his outrageous high bill.

I can’t think about going broke; I need to worry about writing my own will.

But first my caring boyfriend offers (for free!) his own professional tactics,

“You need an adjustment,” he says, “You should never underestimate chiropractics.”

I climb up on his special table, wondering if it’s been recently sterilized.

“Just don’t touch my neck, back, shoulders or body…I don’t wanna be paralyzed.”

He shakes his head in frustration and I fear his prognosis is gonna be bleak.

“I know you pick our dinners and movies — my diagnosis is you’re a Control Freak.”

As I drive home I realize I haven’t heard from my kids, not a peep all day long,

Now I’m sure they’ve been kidnapped or injured, or something else is wrong.

“Kids” I say, “Why don’t you phone to pester me or tell me your life is a mess?”

“We’ve been told to keep things secret, so we don’t cause you further stress.”

This sounds like bad advice from none other than my ridiculous Ex.

Now how will I know if my son is on drugs or my daughter’s having sex??!

As a last resort, I take all my troubles to an Author’s Workshop and ask for advice.

“Go home and Blog about it, I’m sure your followers will think that’s nice.”

But I worry an 800-word story about an MRI and a malignant brain tumor,

Will cause my readers to suspect, “She’s completely lost her (odd!) sense of humor!”

So maybe I’ll write a poem – but gosh, should it be a sonnet, a limerick or a haiku?

And will my depressing topic elicit comments like, “Sheesh, we really dislike you!”

Where will this ever end? There’s no remedy for being a compulsive worrier . . .

I’ll just go back to sleep, it’s clear my future’s dim and so much blurrier.

Desperate, I read the label sewn into my bed, “Under penalty of law, do not remove!”

And I smile and think, “Wow, I can do that! Now my life will start to improve!”

Yes, pillows and mattress tags are something I can completely control,

So I can cross off worrying about arrests, going to jail and never getting out on parole!

tag

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Must You ALWAYS Cross Your Eyes And Dot All Your Teas?? YES!

photo-253Here is a fact:  If you have OCD (Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder) or are a Perfectionist or even just Superstitious,  (heaven help you if you’re all three!) you will waste spend a lot more time on your blog than the typical person.  There are even sub-sets of related problems that bloggers can develop and not ever realize they are afflicted.  Read on to see if you recognize yourself in any of these 10 maladies.

1.  The Compulsive Commenter Syndrome (extra 10 minutes)  Before you leave a comment on someone else’s blog, you absolutely MUST read what other readers have already said about it, otherwise you could duplicate their remarks or just sound terribly boring in comparison.  Add on another ten minutes if the person’s blog already has over twenty comments.

2.  The Crime of the Rhyme – – (extra 8 minutes)  You get caught up in rhyming, especially your titles. Kind of like this: The Lame Name Shame Blame Game!  Prior to blogging, this problem manifested itself in other ways – –  When you took a music course in college, your thesis was entitled, “Mozart: His Notes-art and Quotes-art!”  Or you admonish your kids for turning in a paper called simply, “U.S. History,” when it could have been called “The Blistery Mystery of U.S. History.” Consequences?  Nobody wants your opinion on anything anymore, and the only people following your blog also follow Dr. Seuss.  He’s dead.

3.  Paragraph Quotas – – (extra 13 minutes) You need to include a certain number of witty points or laughs per paragraph.  The number is usually 7 because that’s your lucky number.  If you count and find you’ve fallen short, you need to go back and funny things up. This is non-negotiable.  And sometimes just for good luckle, you need one extra chuckle.  (A humorous rhyming bit counts as two!)

4.  The Proof is In The Pudding Proof-Reader – – (extra 32 minutes)  You re-read everything you write at least eight times because you’re certain there is some slight typo or misspelling that has slipped through the cracks.  Wait!  Does misspelling have one “s” or two?  Tsk, tsk.  But that’s easily remedied because a spellchecker can catch those.  But what if you type “their” when you mean “they’re?”  Ahh, there, there.  Don’t worry so much.  Bloggers are a forgiving bunch.  Right?  Maybe.   Prior to blogging, you were a door and oven checker.  Because how do you know those latches are REALLY locked or the flames TRULY extinguished?  Better go look again just to make sure.  I’ll wait.

5.  The Cliche Police – – (extra 22 minutes)  You will seek and destroy anything you write that rings a bell.  Like that preceding sentence.  Or these next two sentences.   All your analogies must be “fresh as a daisy.”  Your metaphors “Like a virgin, touched for the very first time.”photo-255

6.  The Fanatic Follower — (extra 11 minutes)  Someone you Follow has not posted anything in a week.  Oh dear!  Are they okay?  Should you check on them?  What if something happened in real life and they never post again?   Ever.  You will never know why.  Even a spouse or next of kin won’t have their Password to come online and give a reason for their absence.  Which means you won’t be able to send flowers.  This is closely related to  #7.

7.  Patterns of Perceptively Paranoid People – – (extra 141 minutes) You analyze your Follower’s activity on your own blog, particularly scrutinizing for changes in the length or the intensity in the words people write with their comments to you. Sensitive to any decreases or increases in the frequency of their “Likes.”  Uh oh, “GlueStickMom” isn’t quite commenting with as many paragraphs as she used to.  Perhaps one of your posts has offended?  Or maybe you ought to go to her blog and comment a little bit longer, just in case she believes things have become too one-sided.  And what is up with some polite Followers (TyWood12?) who can be enticed to “Like” your blog, but will rarely say a word.  You can’t even get a “LOL” out of them.  Would he talk to you at a cocktail party?  You even resort to Reverse Psychology and customize your comment prompt to read, “Don’t Even Think About Leaving A Comment!”  But these are Pressing Questions.  Will Menomama3 ever come back to you?  Why did “Alfred Hitchcock Master” only appear once and then disappear?  That’s a true mystery/suspense. Can “Bumblepuppies” leave a comment without sarcasm?  Did “Message In a Fold” change her identity to see if you’ll still recognize her?  And what about all your Facebook friends?  You can see that they come to View you quite often, but then mums the word.  You knew it all along – – They hate you.  They really, really hate you.

8.  Alliteration Addiction Advocation– – (extra 18 minutes) You are highly in favor of post titles that sound like this:  Mathematical, Musical or Maniacal?   or simply refer to # 6 , #7 and #8 in this list and guess who needs a treatment center ASAP?

8.5  Topic Titillation – – (extra 31 minutes)  Yes that’s correct – – this is # eight and a half.  When you state upfront that you’re writing a list of “Ten,” then you cannot go over that amount, even if you think of one more really good thing.  Anyhow, “Topic Titillation” is when you realize that you have a wide range of readers, both age-wise and interest wise and you need to think of something to write about that gets nods from every single one of them.  Kinda like when you take all six of your kids (with a 14 year age range, mind you) to the movies.  How can “Frozen” please everyone?  That’s gotta be one great film.  And it is.

8.75  Image Imagination Implication — (could cause you to delay a post for 48 hours)  This is when you get so caught up (inside your own head) with how a graphic or photo will look on your post that the reality cannot possibly measure up to your expectations once you’ve clicked, “Add Media.”   Therefore you now have “Preview Changes” on speed dial and the sheer # of revisions (which consist solely of you resizing or switching the same image from left, to right to center) outnumbers the number of potential Future Followers for your blog through 2015.  Just take a break and head to The Happiest Place on Earth.

9.  Freshly Pressed Perfection – – (extra 82 minutes) If you read all the advice on WordPress and watch their tutorials about “How to Craft the Perfect Blog” and do everything just so, you WILL finally get Freshly Pressed.  It just has to work that way.  After all, you followed all the rules! (Oh wait, they’ve done away with Freshly Pressed?? Why must things change in life?? Nooooooo!)photo-254

10.  All’s Well That Ends Well – – (extra 11 minutes)  The perfect ending to a post must occur in such a way that the reader feels satisfied, but yet is left still wanting more.  And it must happen within a certain word count.  Currently that would be lucky number 821.  (This blog has gone over!) Studies show if you’re any wordier than that, your Blog will end up on someone’s “To Do” list. (Or maybe their “To Don’t” one.)

        1.  Buy kitty litter  2.  Play Candyland with Kids  3.  Have Sex with Spouse  4.  Read Little Miss Menopause’s Blog  5.  Cut grass with manicuring scissors

So what does it all mean?  I certainly am not making light of anyone who has these troubles, especially when they overflow from the Blogosphere into the real world and interfere with your everyday life.  And especially when I suffer with all of them (and more!) myself.  If you find you’re spending far too long composing a post or lingering on WordPress in general, remember there’s a 12 Step Program that can help you.  Simply recite their Serenity Prayer. (See below)

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

“Grant me the Serenity to accept the comments I’ve submitted that do not have an Edit Button, The Courage to Change my posts that are too safe and milquetoast (or is it milktoast?? Help!  It’s after midnight and I need to click “Publish” already!) and the Wisdom to know the difference between a WordPress Follower and a Real Life Stalker. Amen.”photo-256

Paying It Forward Backfires!

photo-167Disclaimer: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

It all started with an innocuous online message.  “ 1)  Make a list of five people and do an act of kindness for each.   2)   Ask each of them to pass it on to five more people.   3)   Enjoy making the world a better place!”  Simple, yes?   Oh right, there was a fourth step.   4) “Now you’ve seen this message and cannot Unsee it!  If you break the cycle of good deeds – – bad things will happen!”

This was “Pay It Forward” Damien Omen style!

“Unsee it??”  My  OCD  now  properly  activated,  I decided to keep a carefully detailed journal for proof and safety documentation.

        1st   Act  Of   Kindness:  Sent My Mother Flowers

       Result:

Mom:   Got your flowers. This  your way of saying, “the bloom is off the rose?”

Me:   Ma,  Nobody says that anymore.

Mom:   But you’re thinking it!

Me:   I just wanted you to have some grace and beauty.

Mom:   Some Grace.  I dropped a glass pitcher trying to water them. And in a few days, I’ll have a dead bouquet. There’s your Beauty.

Me:   Okay nevermind.  But do me a favor, do something nice for five friends, ok?

Mom:    I should do YOU a favor and do something nice?  You want something nice done, do it yourself.

Me:    Alright.  I’ll do kind deeds in your honor.  And put your name on them.

Mom     Don’t do me any favors!   Better you should  sign it, “From Your Secret Pal.”

Me:    Nobody has those anymore.

Mom:    My Mahjong ladies are here.   I have to defrost the water.  It’s  still  frozen.

Me:    Ma,  That’s  called  ice.

Me:    (into dial tone)   Be careful.  There’s a cycle of goodness that shouldn’t  be… Hello, hello  Mom?  How’s your rheumatism?

2nd Act of Kindness:  Put Chocolate Heart in Son’s School Lunch.

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            Result:

Son:   What’s with the candy?  One of your nags to see Dr. Tartar  for my cavities?

Me:   Not at all.  Just conveying love.

Son:   Well, now Savannah is jealous.

Me:   And you’re absolutely positive she wasn’t born in Georgia?  Maybe  conceived?

Son:    Seriously?!   It’s called a Destination Name.  Very popular.

Me:   Okay, okay.  So your Resort-Style, Vacation Girlfriend is jealous because your own mother loves you?

Son:   Hell,  I  couldn’t  show  her  that  Lame-o  note of yours.   So she thinks the heart  is  from Madison,  (who was not born OR conceived in Wisconsin)  but who beat her out of head Cheerleader and now she hates her guts.

Me:   Sorry to hear that.  But please abide by the rules and pay it forward.  I have this cycle…

Son:   Why do you always have to bring your monthly friend into everything?  Maybe after my Physics finals.

Me:   (swallowing hard)   Uh   oh.  You’re  in  the  middle  of  finals??   (Secret Pal better strike again!)

3rd Act of Kindness:  Left a Water Bottle for the Mailman

generic water bottle: no trademark infringement!

generic water bottle:
no trademark infringement!

       

           Result:

Mailman:   I’m sorry Little Miss Menopause,  but  I  gotta  issue  you a citation for using marked US Postal Service property as a trash receptacle.

Me:  (batting lashes)   It was  terribly  warm out.  I thought you might be thirsty.

Mailman:   It’s 62 degrees out.  Are you having one of your Hot Flashes or Confusion Episodes,  Miss  Meno?

Me:    No,  I  am not.  Clearly,  I  was  NOT  littering.  There was a “Pay it Forward” note that was attached.

Mailman:     I’m  returning  your note,  postage  due.

Me:     You don’t understand.  We mustn’t break the chain.

Mailman:    Chain letters are illegal to send through the mail.   I’ll have to report that too.

Me:     Okay, okay.  But please, when you get home – – can you just cook your  wife  a nice dinner or something?

Mailman:   That’s  very  unlike  me.  She’ll  guess  you and  I  are  having an affair.  Plus she’s about to have a baby, remember?

Me:  (swallowing harder)   OMG,  Rosemary’s  Baby!!!

Mailman  (pats  my  hand)     It’ll  all  be okay once  your  Xanax  gets  bumped up.  See you at 11 pm tonight when  I’ll  make a delivery  with  “the complete package.”  I’ll knock three times.

Me:   Shouldn’t you ring?  Doesn’t the Postman Always Ring Twice?? (Note to self: Write a blog about people conversing using only Movie  Title  dialogue)

4th Act of Kindness:  Bought  Random  Buff  Guy  a  Coffee  at Starbucks

Forget Trademark infringement. Maybe they'll sponsor my blog!

Forget Trademark infringement. Maybe Starbucks will sponsor my blog!

        Result:

Guy:   This  some  kinda  sick  joke?   I’m on a health kick.  I just gave up caffeine a week ago.  It interfered with my steroids.  I’m  only  here for  the  chocolate crumb cake.

Me:    Oh, sorry!  Could you pass this coffee to the cute, elderly lady behind you, then? But say it’s from you.  I’d like you to take the credit.

Guy:   Oh  man  Gramma!  Is your tongue ok?  This crazy broad  in front of me  made me  give you scalding coffee.

Me:   (leaning)   Sorry,  Gram.  But  did you see that movie, “Pay It Forward?”  With Helen Hunt?

Guy:    Hard of hearing.  She’s looking around for  Candid Camera.

Me:     No,  not  Funt,  Dear.  Hunt.  Hunt.  HUNT!

Guy:    Now she thinks you’re calling her a female body part.

Me:     Naturally.

5th Act of Kindness: Go to Stationery Store and Buy a “From Your Secret Pal” Stamp and Send Blank Checks To…(deep breath)

1. My Mother’s entire Mahjong group  2. Her Rheumatologist  3.  Son’s Physics teacher  4. Our dentist,  Dr. Tartar  5. Son’s girlfriend Savannah  6. All her Timeshare cheerleader friends:  Madison,  Brooklyn,  Tallahassee,  Seattle,  Massachusetts,  &  of course, Mt. Kilimanjaro  7.   The Mailman’s Wife,  8.  Their  OB-GYN,  9. Starbucks Staff,  10.  The Buff Guy’s Grandmother’s Hearing Aid Salesman, 11. Helen Hunt  12.  Alan Funt  13.  (and for good measure) Emily Blunt & Bonnie Hunt.

Oh and what the hell,  send Steven Spielberg the ominous “Pay It Forward” note.  (Evil laugh)  Let him be the one to worry about “Just when you thought it was safe to go to your mailbox!”  He could use a Prequel.

photo-165

Hum the Theme from Jaws starting now…..