Favorite Fairytale Follow-ups!

Let’s play “Where Are They Today?” with a special focus on our Career Edition!

Snow White: This fair maiden no longer has skin as white as snow since she overcooked herself in a tanning salon to prepare herself for the huntsmen, (the Queen’s hunky assistant who saved Snow White’s life by hiding her in a forest, instead of killing her) on their wedding day. Ms. White now works in the field of sleep disorders (actually many Fairytale characters find the subject of sleep to be the bane of their existence!) and runs a clinic specializing in insomnia, oversleeping, nightmares, and F.F.F. (FatalFlawFruit) which is a common syndrome rendering victims helpless if they should fall into a deadly slumber after biting a Red Delicious apple. The handsome prince, (whom Snow divorced after trying to make her marriage work for 2.5 years) is currently a member of a 12-Step group for people compelled to kiss the lips of individuals impersonating corpses in glass coffins. It’s called “Dead End Relationships Anonymous.” (As of yet, there are no specific 12-Step groups to address the addictions of the individuals inside those glass coffins.) Meanwhile the seven dwarf miners saved up all their sick and vacation days and so it’s — Off to Bali they go!

Cinderella: Cindy has designed an entire line of shatterproof acrylic shoes, after getting a shard of glass deeply embedded in her heel from those fateful slippers. Her unique tagline is, “From flip-flops to stilettos, one thing is perfectly clear . . . someone with a foot-fetish will need to be transparent about it from the very start!” Her two wicked step-sisters briefly dabbled as adult film stars, but eventually settled into a housecleaning business called “The Merry (Scary!) Maids” and they have a sideline company throwing fancy balls and inviting everyone with the exception of Cinderella. So far they’ve dribbled lacy basketballs, rolled sequined bowling balls, hit velvet tennis balls, and kicked pearlized footballs in front of appreciative audiences whilst Cinderella remained banished from every court. Instead Cindy contents herself staying home watching her handsome prince bake pumpkin pies whilst trying to control their rodent problem with humane traps.

Sleeping Beauty: This ambitious early-riser (who only answers to Aurora now) finally cured her narcolepsy at Snow White’s Sleeping Disorder clinic, and has a lot more on her mind these days than just pricking fingers. She sews elaborate baby christening gowns and shows up at the events to monitor the blessings that guests bestow on the innocent little tykes. The gift of Song, the gift of Beauty, the gift of Charm, the gift of Huggies diapers are all permitted, but lest someone try to utter “the gift of a Spindle on a Spinning Wheel,” and you haven’t seen real revenge until you’ve seen this slumbering beauty wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty also divorced her prince of a husband because she couldn’t get past his dragon breath which he unfortunately picked up whilst slaying one in her honor. Meanwhile Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather have taken their bumbling stand-up comedy on cruise ships, billing themselves as the “The Three Stooges Wearing Rouges” going extra heavy with blush on their cheeks. It’s really quite humorous how they make-up this work! Evil Maleficent never responded to the official “What are you up to these days?” survey, but she is thought to have gotten involved in the movie sequel industry.

Rapunzel: Rest a-sheared, today we find Rapunzel straightening out her life and towering over the other princesses on Amazon simply by marketing a reformulated ladder she calls “Hairway To Heaven” and you can guess what it’s made out of! Handymen the world over are loving this new shiny, full of body, replenishing way to climb up on rooftops, change ceiling lightbulbs, and hang Christmas decorations under any condition(ers). See you on QVC Rapunzel!

Rumplestiltskin: This conniving shyster went from spinning straw to gold to writing legit Baby Naming books which consistently rank in the top three on the New York Times Bestseller List. His secret? He takes three common words and strings them together (Rumple/Stilt/Skin) until they sound so exotic and mysterious that even a Queen might not guess the name. Rip/Van/Winkle was a big fan until he fell into such a lengthy sleep that a good samaritan brought him to . . . (wait for it!) Snow White’s Sleep Disorder clinic. . . where he met up with The Princess and the Pea (who was there successfully curing her inability to get a good night’s rest on green produce!) and the rest they say, is Happily-Ever-After History!

Always Snoozing! These former lazy princesses have awakened to bigger and better things!

Creating a Fight to Make Sure You Argue Effectively!

Well, well well …. you knew one day it would come to this, right? In my defense, the problem is that I read too much. If only my eyes hadn’t landed on the glaring headline, “All Couples Fight, but Here’s How Successful Couples Do It!”

ALL couples?? Gulp. I grew immediately panic-stricken when I realized there hadn’t been any arguments in the new relationship I was in. Not. A. Single. One. What was wrong with us? How would we ever know if we were a successful couple? We have been putting all this time and energy into having a stress-free relationship and now that was going to be counterproductive.

We’d never even had a slight disagreement about something as innocuous as our food preferences. One of us will say, “Mushrooms are a fungus and I can’t stand them or anyone who eats them.” And the other will nod empathetically and say, “The world will not be safe until mushrooms are eradicated!” and then we’ll order a plain cheese pizza to seal our bond over the common enemy.

At first I tried to calm down by reminding myself this article was just click-bait or an urban legend. But Snopes confirmed it to be true. In fact, there were links to other supporting evidence like, “Couples Who Argue Together, Stay Together, Research Finds.”  OMG! You cannot state, “Research Finds” blatantly in your title if research does not actually find it! My new boyfriend and I were doomed.

Unless I acted prudently and propelled us quickly and effectively down the road of quarreling. But how? And over what? It should happen organically and naturally, I thought. Fortunately that’s exactly the point when this surfaced in my newsfeed. “4 Fights Every Couple Must Get Through Because They’ll Actually Bring You Closer.”

Aha…a roadmap! We could make up for lost time by closely following the steps to these four recommended fights all in one day. I quickly committed the article to memory and dialed my boyfriend’s number. “Play it cool, Stephanie” I chastised myself. “Ease into it.”

Me: Hi. How are you? I don’t want to have any children. I think the world isn’t a good place to bring kids into.

Him: But what will you do with the six you already have? Also you’re 55 years old.

Me: (flustered) I am not.

Him: Are so.

Me: Am not.

Him: Are so.

Things were going along swimmingly like this for several hours until he finally conceded that I looked more like I was in my mid-forties and so obviously my Match profile must’ve had a typo — then he gallantly apologized. He hung up after saying he adored me. Well that qualified as completing our first official fight, but there still were three more arguments to get through. I dialed him back.

Me: I’m not feeling heard by you.

Him: Shouldn’t you say something first so I can hear it?

Me: That’s not how I mean the word ‘heard.’

Him: Oh! Herd? Where would you like me to herd you? We could go to dinner or a movie with a very large group of people? We could visit sheep? We could…

Me: (exasperated) I mean that you don’t listen to me.

Him: (Silence)

Me: Hello? Are you there?

Him: Yes. I’m listening.

Me: Our communication styles are totally different.

Him: Still listening.

Me: See? You never participate by volunteering your point of view. You just sit there quietly, only focused on listening to me.

This argument got completed and checked off the list in record time! He told me I wasn’t making any sense and then we were off to the races with things really escalating and it ended with him suggesting we see a therapist. Yes! We should go immediately and as luck would have it, tonight there was an opening. Because at this point, I was more than grateful to have a counselor guide us through the other two disagreements more professionally.

Me: I’m dissatisfied with the frequency we have intimate relations.

Him: Completely the first time I’m hearing this from her.

Therapist: Stephanie, would you like to have intimate relations more or less than you’re currently having them?

Me: (Damn my menopausal memory. Quickly trying to google that last article to find the answer) Uh, um….well… Give me just a second to decide.

Therapist: While she’s thinking it over, are there any other issues you’re having?

Him: None. Prior to today, we had zero trouble.

Therapist: Interesting. Stephanie would you agree that you haven’t had any problems until just now?

Me: Shoot. Don’t you get internet up here on the eighth floor? What’s your wi-fi password?

Therapist: Would you like to answer that last question, Stephanie?

Me: Well just going from sheer memory, there was one final 4th argument. Let me see….oh yes…one of us inherited a ton of money from the recent death of a parent and now we’re disagreeing on whether that money should go in our joint bank account.

Therapist: I’m very sorry for your loss. And that’s a super common argument for married couples to have.

Him: We’re not married.

Me: Are so.

Him: Are not.

Me: Are so.

Him: Are so.

Me: Are not . . .

Again, I was extraordinarily pleased with the expediency of our getting through all four of the recommended arguments in less than 24 hours, when suddenly the therapist intervened.

Therapist: I’m afraid you’ll have to continue this super UNcommon argument on your own time. Our session is over and I’m meeting my own husband for a delicious mushroom pizza!

In that instant my boyfriend and I both made equally intense expressions of disgust and revulsion. We linked our arms together and shot daggers with both sets of our extremely compatible eyes toward our mutual enemy, as we went home to partake in extremely satisfying intimate relations at just the right frequency.

READERS: What’s your opinion? Does every couple argue? And is how well you argue predictive of the future quality of your relationship? And most importantly, are you a mushroom lover?

Do You Have a Personal Conspiracy Theory?

Forget the chef who spits in your food (if you send back your pasta) or that we’re all just characters in an advanced civilization’s video game. What other sinister things are happening that we haven’t even thought about? Here are some of my best educated guesses. . . .

NOBODY REALLY LIKES SUSHI

It’s all a ruse for restauranteurs to open swanky eating establishments without having to invest in ovens. And then it becomes a predictable real life “Emperor’s New Clothes” formula. In other words, everyone pretends to think sushi is a delicious uncooked delicacy because nobody wants to be the courageous (and honest!) one to raise their hand and loudly shout, “But this fish is completely raw!” Which is the equivalent of “But he’s totally naked!”

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR . . . THE OPPOSITE OCCURS

This also applies to the bestselling book, “The Secret” which is based on “The Law of Attraction.” So whenever you put your fondest dreams out there into the world to be fulfilled, there’s some sort of mirror reversal going on and it gets turned into “The Law of Subtraction.” Essentially whatever you’re truly desiring will now become the most out of reach for you. That’s why I’m very sneaky nowadays and trick the universe by praying for the opposite — a failed writing career, large debt, an abusive man, and the inability to be unable to digest all the chocolate I’ll never have. But that last one I think I basically only fooled myself by using too many double negatives.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YAMS AND SWEET POTATOES

This is a major fraud being perpetrated on us by those benevolent looking produce guys in supermarkets. They meet yearly in secret to discuss it. “Let’s put identical root vegetables in separate bins right next to one another but stick adjectives like ‘Red Garnet’ or ‘Wild Purple Japanese’ on the signs in front of the words “Yam” and “Sweet Potato” AND then label them with differing prices. Won’t that be fun?”

LESS IS REALLY MORE

Huh?? Whichever manufacturer made up this sham of a quote simply wanted to save on material costs. Think about it — in what math class did you sit at your desk and watch the teacher write an equation on the blackboard professing that a minus sign (-) is actually greater than a plus sign (+) ?? Yet women have worn blouses with the shoulder area missing for five years now because “Less is More” = Fashionable. In reality it’s just quicker to sew and uses less fabric. Same thing with bagels. Remove the centers and charge the same because “Less is More” = Delicious. If you believe that, I’ve got a dozen glazed donut holes to sell you.

THE PEST CONTROL COMPANIES ARE THE REAL PESTS

Every time Terminex or Orkin knocks on my front door with their monthly specials to spray the perimeter of my home for the prevention of pestilence, I say, “Fortunately I have no need for your service, so No Thanks!” But as they leave my property they uncork a jar or a tube of some pregnant creepy crawlies and mutter under their breath, “That’s what you think, Ma’am.” It never fails — a week after these individuals leave my premises, I am inundated with ants, spiders, fleas, carpet beetles, or lice. They must pass my daughter riding her bike on the sidewalk and pat her on the head to accomplish that last one. But I believe if you decline their services, they just transfer these creatures from one home to the next with their clever “Catch and Release” program.

THERE IS JUST ONE SINGLE GUY ON MATCH.COM

He’s a prolific writer and spends all his time coming up with different adjectives to describe himself in intriguing ways so hundreds of thousands of women will answer all his profiles. When he finally chooses his future wife, he can say, “Gosh Dollface, you’re one in a million!” and really mean it. If any other men try to register or create an account, he tells the competition, “This is mine! Go start your own dating site.” And that’s how Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, eHarmony, Bumble, and Tinder came to be. So ladies, when you think, “Wow, I’ve finally met The One!” Remember … that’s all there ever was to choose from in the first place . . . Just. One.

LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING UNTIL . . .

After reading all the books that help you conduct your lifelong search for Mr. or Mrs. Right, you finally find someone who is exactly on the same page as you. Both of you finish each other’s sentences, communicate with secret funny hand signals from across the room at parties, text each other at the exact same time, and your inhales and exhales even sync up while you sleep together. This is it. This is the Soulmate status you’ve been hearing so much about. Not only do you walk down the aisle to tie the knot, you even loop it into a fancy little bow. And then you spot it. How could you miss it? It’s on the front page of Yahoo news and it’s getting posted on everyone’s Facebook as well. “Take this Quiz to see if You are Real Soulmates or just Codependents!” Marriage therapists immediately get forwarded your tallied results because they have hefty student loans to repay. Face it — you’re not really starry-eyed romantics, you’re actually Cross-Eyed Crazies — and you’re going to pay every last penny to a Couple’s Counselor who will say things like “You can’t possibly love anyone else until you love yourself.” So either file for divorce or send a big bouquet of red roses to your place of work and sign the card adoringly.

THERE ARE NOT FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY

Forget walking into Sherwin Williams paint store and buying “Silver Satin” or “Steel Wool” or “Charcoal” or “Pewter” or “Cloudy Morning” or “Whispering Thunder” or “Elephant’s Breath.” You (and your wallet) are being taken for a ride on a runaway gray train. Or is that grey?  Aghghghghw, don’t get me started on the difference between spelling it with an “a” or an “e.” Just read your sadomasochistic novel by the same title and hush up, because there is only one single shade of gray and it consists of black and white mixed together. That. Is. It. Take a hike “Seagull Buff!”

THERE MAY BE LIGHTS AND CAMERA, BUT THERE WILL BE NO ACTION

And that’s because the manufacturers of video cameras are plotting so that each and every time we pay good money to convert our precious family home movies to the latest and greatest playback system, from super 8 reel to reel film to VHS cassettes to Betamax, to the Sony Camcorder to DVD to Blu-Rey discs to MP3’s to cellphone videos, the technology will improve some more and your childhood memories will become obsolete once again — until you transfer them all over to whatever format is invented next. By the time you get to heaven, you can forget having your entire life flash before your eyes, because God won’t have the most recent digital device to play back your highlight reel on. Expect huge delays at the Pearly Gates.

THERE WAS ACTUALLY A THIRD TWIN!

Okay, I guess technically that means triplets. This last conspiracy theory only applies to Yours Truly. I believe back when I gave birth to my twins (and was totally out of it because of drugs and the epidural) some well-meaning but sly nurse whispered to the delivery doctor, “Oh look! There are actually three babies. It’s obvious this woman can’t handle that, so let’s start her with two and I’ll raise the third as my own. If she proves herself a fit mother and doesn’t go around calling herself “Little Miss Menopause,” espousing nonsense on her blog, I’ll break the news to her after he’s 21 and the hardest part is over. That would also explain my excess pregnancy weight gain and the fact that “Three’s Company” was always my favorite TV show.

And there you have it. Ten conspiracy theories you probably never thought of. Oh! And don’t worry about chefs spitting in your food if you complain … the server actually does that. Note: If you don’t get to read this blog it’s because WordPress has an evil system that prevents my stuff from getting delivered to you.

Readers: Do you have a favorite conspiracy theory that’s “out there” or that you just made up? 

Ready to Turn the Tables? Here’s Whatcha Gotta Do!

I don’t know about you but I get tired of all the annoyances that go on in our “civilized” society and the protocols and routines I’m expected to adhere to. I think turnabout is fair play and sometimes people deserve a dose of their own medicine. I recommend the following:

Dentists:  Send them a pesky postcard every few weeks saying, “Just a friendly reminder! It’s been six months since you last cleaned my teeth. What’s taking you so long to schedule me? Please call my home because I’m waiting with baited breath for my next appointment!” Also after your cleaning, when they hand you your new dental hygiene accessories in a little festive party favor bag, hand them back a zip-lock baggie with your old toothbrush and some used dental floss as a gesture of goodwill in return.

Restaurants: Bring your own little rectangle tray and when the server sets down her tray with the itemized check, you hand them yours with a little bill that says “Seat-Warmer Fee- $25. Without my presence at your table, this place would take a nose-dive. Gratuity is already included. Thank you for your patronage.”

Physician’s Office: Walk immediately up to the receptionist and hand her your guestbook commanding, “Please sign in.” Then give the nurse a little cup and insist she leave a sample in the restroom.  Ask a Physician Assistant to step on the scale, but don’t allow her to remove her shoes first. Catch the Doctor himself off-guard by rapping three times very loudly on his office door and startling him by calling out, “Hope you’re decent? I’m coming in now!” But first make him wait about twenty minutes. Also before you leave, find every person you interacted with and have them sign forms to protect their privacy and acknowledging the new HIPAA laws.

Department of Motor Vehicles: Distribute a Scrabble letter tile to all employees and announce through a megaphone, “Now serving Letter R.”  Then snap their photo with a Polaroid camera when they’re least expecting it and not anywhere close to smiling.

Theaters: Walk in with a mini-flashlight and immediately greet the usher, asking to see his ticket. Hand him a program which consists of your grocery list for next week folded in half with Act 1 listing all the healthy foods in order of their appearance around the supermarket and Act 2 specifying the junk food you’re actually buying and the commercial jingle lyrics that go with them. Tell him to enjoy the show.

Babysitters: Go to the babysitter’s house while she’s watching your children and eat all her ice-cream, view an R-rated DVD, and rummage through her dresser drawers during the boring parts.

Psychics: Call up the medium and tell her you’re canceling your appointment because you’re getting a strong message from the other side that something very bad will happen if you see her today.

Hairdressers: Sit in the chair and stare in the mirror at the reflection of their hairstyle behind you, asking nosy questions like “Is that your natural color?” and “How often do you condition your split ends?”

Schools: Send your child’s teacher a note saying, “Hi! I’m so glad my child is in your classroom this year. In recent months our household budget has been drastically cut back and we appreciate you sending the following items home on Back-To-School Night to help our family run smoother during the school semester. 1. Five boxes of tissue 2. Six Printer cartridges, color only please 3. King size sheet set, floral pattern in shades of blue 4. Gain Laundry detergent, 42 oz size, original scent 5.  Dozen yellow roses, long stem. 6. Three boxes of Cheerios, Honey Nut flavor.

Telephone Sales: Answer promptly on the first ring when you see their number in your caller ID and say, “Surveys R’ Us. I’m ready to answer all your questions and accept your free vacation to Cancun. My consulting fee for marketing research is $125. My travel fee is triple that and on weekends I require my family accompany me. Which credit card will you be using today?”

Publishers: Send a gentle but firm rejection letter stating, “Gentlemen, I’m sorry but at this point in time your publishing style does not suit my particular needs as an author. I’ve decided to pass on letting you consider putting my novel into print. This is not to say you don’t have potential and I encourage you to keep hoping that I’ll send some of my writing your way — because you never know what the future might bring!”

God: Instead of praying for help, better opportunities, or for the things you need, pray to be of service and to get more opportunities to help those in need.

 

Can You Have TOO Many Tips, Tricks, & Techniques For a Healthy Relationship?

Most people (and by people, I mean women!) who want lasting romantic love will (at some point!) delve into the Couple’s Self-Help industry, whether it be to further intimacy, increase the quality of communication, or just breathe new life into a relationship gasping for air.

But can you have TOO much of a good thing?

The answer to that question is in a flashback from many months ago…

Me: Oh…Flowers!? And you thought flowers would validate my self-worth because??

Him: Shouldn’t you ask that question using “i messages” so I don’t feel so blamed?

Me: Yes, of course. How thoughtless of me. Let me rephrase. When did I ever say getting flowers was how I felt love?

Him: Well you clearly scored high in the “Receiving Gifts” category in the test Gary Chapman, author of 5 Love Languages, has on his website.

Me: Actually Handsome One, I scored the highest in a category called, “Words of Affirmation,” hence I’m a writer.

Him: Well you overlooked the card, Dear Heart. There are lots of words of affirmation written on that card under the purple tulip next to the baby’s breath.

Me: Also if you recall, “Quality Time” was my second highest ranked Love Language.

Him: Right. And do you realize it took an hour to order this bouquet online and then another 45 minutes for me to drive to pick it up just for you?

Me:  i messages please !!!

Him: Sorry, let me rephrase that. I spent a lot of time doing something I felt would be loving and now I just feel criticized. Mirror that back for me, would you SweetCakes?

Me: Sure thing Honeybear! What I hear you saying is … you feel very put down after spending a lot of time on something you thought would make me happy. Even though I’m allergic and flowers also just wilt and drop dead, which is ironic and symbolic. Is that an accurate reflection?

Him: All except the drop dead part. Well maybe that’s spot-on too right now.

Me: I want to acknowledge your frustration and say this is a problem we can definitely work on as a team and find a good solution.

Him: Can you also acknowledge a good solution would be giving me a blow-job?

And now a flashback from several weeks ago, with different self-help techniques, but still a similar ending.

Him: Gosh, I’m starving. Let’s reminisce about old times. Our Relationship Therapist says walking down memory lane is productive in that it bonds us together. So remember when we first started going out and you used to cook all my favorite homemade meals?

Me: But our other Couple’s Counselor also tells us not to dwell on the past and to stay grounded in the present moment. And at precisely this moment, there’s a chicken pot pie in the freezer with your name on it.

Him: But my mother always served those cheap Swanson’s TV dinners to my dad and you know how our Love Advisor doesn’t want our family-of-origin old wounds to get reopened. So how’s about some of your BBQ meatloaf?

Me: Ironically, my own Inner Child’s traumatic hurt has now just been triggered as well by the mention of meatloaf.

Him: Meatloaf triggers you?? What are you, a closet vegetarian?

Me: Once while my dad was spanking me for lying, the famous band Meat Loaf’s most popular song, “I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that!” played on the radio.

Him: Really? And this memory scarred you so much — you would do anything for our love except cook me your homemade meatloaf??

Me: That is correct. You microwaving chicken pot pie is much more cathartic for us as a couple.

Him: Well you know how our psychologist tells us to role-play painful situations in order to move past them?

Me: Yes?

Him: (Bending me over his knee, hand raised threateningly over my behind as he shouts, “Who’s Your Daddy?” while Bat Out of Hell plays on his iPhone.)

And finally here’s a flashback from just yesterday:

Me: Let’s spend more quality time appreciating one another. Remember the Intimacy Bootcamp we attended where they said the idea is not to have sex, but to just be more mindful of each other’s bodies and souls?

Him: The one that made us take salsa dance lessons together, do partner yoga, share our fantasies all night instead of sleeping, pen erotica until I got writer’s cramp, and then forced us to do couple’s massage with that coconut oil that made you break out in a rash?

Me: Yes, that’s the one.

Him: The one that said “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey?” And “It’s not the finished product, it’s the process.” And “It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean.”

Me: (looking skeptical) They never said that last one.

Him: Well let’s go in the bedroom and check out my yacht anyhow.

Me: Wait! I’m going to reference what you just said in the index of our book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Have a Healthy Relationship with Someone Who Makes Everything About Sex and Food.”

Him: Great! And meanwhile I’ll just look up what you’re doing in our other book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Have a Healthy Relationship With Someone Who Looks in the Index of Books Titled, What To Expect When You’re Expecting to Have a Healthy Relationship With Someone Who Makes Everything About Sex and Food.”

Me: (Sigh) Okay you win….Meatloaf or Intercourse?

Him: Yes, please.

Me: You honestly want both sex and food right now at the same time?

Him: I’m feeling judged. Say that again using i messages, please.

Me: I honestly want both sex and food right now at the same time!

Him: Perfect. I knew we were soul mates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famous Song Rewritten with New Cautionary Lyrics

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Today I’m departing from humor to share an issue I’m quite passionate about. Almost everyone has heard the poignant melody and lyrics of “The Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin — wherein the takeaway lesson is “Be careful because our children are watching our behavior closely.”

I cry every time it plays, but have always felt there needed to be a version that spoke to females as well with regards to role-modeling. I am so honored to have an incredibly gifted teen singing my new lyrics and addressing food/weight/body image issues so prevalent in our society today. Here’s the amazing Shelby Sanborn, age 17, right HERE

Please share with anyone you know who might benefit from the reminder.

Back soon with giggles…

Little Miss Menopause

Interview With a Real Live Mean Girl!

Welcome readers! Today I’m conducting an impromptu Q & A with someone I’ve known for many years and always had a lot of respect for. She promises to be open and honest with all my straightforward inquiries, so what more can we possibly ask for? Oh! You may have met her once before when I allowed her to guest post on this blog right HERE. But that was four years ago and it’ll be cool to see what’s she’s been up to recently.

As always I’ll shorten Little Miss Menopause (that’s me!) to LMM. And we’ll shorten her name to GM because she goes by Genie Meanie nowadays.

LMM — Hi! Thanks for agreeing to do this. I know your actual appearances in print are rare and you prefer to work behind the scenes when you converse, so I’m truly honored.

GM — No prob. I knew you’d never get anybody else to interview on this trivial little blog you do so it’s no skin off my teeth. Speaking of skin and teeth….yours look like they need some tightening and whitening. Oh! Would you look at that? I rhymed. I knew I missed my calling as a writer. I became an editor instead.

LMM — Oh!  An editor?  Is that what your official title is? I always thought of you as sort of an oddly negative Muse. But now you call yourself an Editor. Have you seen any of my recent writing on Huffington Post or Aish?  by the way?

GM — That’s not writing!

LMM — I know, I know.  And forgive me — this is about you, not me. Let’s talk about some of your latest accomplishments.

GM — Well as I just mentioned, I’m very active in the Author community. I’ve convinced hundreds that they’re hacks and quite a few others to throw in the towel completely. But my latest achievement has been to get you to delete everything you type for let’s see over a month now, right? And I’m dabbling a little in advertising and marketing. Remember that mantra I taught you that seemed to stick so nicely?

LMM — Oh yes.  Do you mean, “I suck!”

GM — That’s the one, Sweetpea! I’m looking into getting that on coffee mugs, tee-shirts, and bumper stickers for cars, which I like to call bummer stickers. LOL.

LMM —  Hmm. Wait, I know! Maybe “I suck!” could go on straws and vacuums too?

GM — Shut up. Remember what we agreed on? You’re no longer funny.

LMM — Right. So aside from the writing community, are there other areas where you’ve had great influence.

GM — Interpersonal Relationships. You might say that’s my specialty these days. Break-ups are gratifying to instigate, but I’m actually going back to school to major in “Settling.”

LMM — Settling? That sounds intriguing. Can you elaborate?

GM — Oh you know, Settling!  Here, lemme read you the first paragraph of the start-up guide for this particular discipline. “You’re not getting any younger. Look at those wrinkles and puffy bags under your eyes. But those bags are nothing compared to all the real heavy baggage you have in your life with your teenage kids, your finances, your co-dependent sister, not to mention your severe mid-life crisis. So what if there’s no real passion with this new guy? So what if he talks down to you and sometimes doesn’t show up after you’ve cooked an elaborate dinner? Do you really want to die all alone?

LMM — Oh! I didn’t realize there was a career path for that kind of a skill set.

GM — Oh Lordy, yes! You’d be surprised what niche jobs are out there these days.  Since you evicted me recently, I’ve been redoing my resume, but off the top of my head I’ve been directly responsible for the implementation of depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and even suicide once in a while.  But my proudest moments of glory have been in a large, growing industry which I’ve had so much experience in that now I’m being approached to mentor others.

LMM — What industry is that?

GM — The Onset of An Eating Disorder. But you should know that, Silly. Remember how we’d dialogue? Let’s show your readers how our talk would go — just for old times sake?

LMM — Okay. But first I’m a little hungry.

GM — Hungry? You’re not hungry. You ate a huge lunch five hours ago. A lettuce salad and a mozzarella cheese stick. You’re just bored. Go to the gym.

LMM — Really? Because my stomach is growling.

GM — Drink water then. You’re always mistaking thirst for hunger. Drink water and then weigh yourself.

LMM — Gosh, that seems kinda backwards. I’ll weigh myself first.

GM — Whatever. Different strokes for different folks. But all strokes lead to you being obese!  Ohhh! I like that and think it would do well on a placemat or as a screensaver!

LMM — Guess what? I lost a pound since yesterday!

GM — Time to celebrate!! I think you’re right, you ARE hungry. In fact, you’re starving you poor, disciplined little thing, You! Go eat a grilled cheese sandwich, frozen pizza, Oreos, Nutella, chips and guacamole, Rocky Road ice-cream, and then open that new bag of trail mix which you bought because I told you nuts are healthy but because there are M&M’s thrown in there and it’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty — I like to call it “Dieter’s Crack.”

LMM— Really? I have your permission?

GM — Girlfriend, you have my BLESSING. And bonus! Because you’ll have already blown it for today, you can take the rest of the night off as well and eat whatever you want.

LMM — Thank you so much!

GM — Tomorrow you’ll fast with just water and vitamin C, cuz ya gotta keep your energy level up so you can run up and down your flight of stairs two-hundred times, walk eleven miles, and do 5 hours on the elliptical. Deal?

LMM — Works for me.  But that will be the last time for that routine, I can promise you that!  So Genie Meanie, tell my readers who else has hired you as their coach in this particular eating disorder field?

GM — Your two daughters.

Readers: Please beware of Genie Meanie trying to seek employment in your mind or rent out a room in your head — she’s armed and dangerous. She also has a macho counterpart who lurks in male brains, so if any of my guy readers want to locate him for an interview, please post your link in the comments section.

Do You Care What Others Think About Your Partner? (And What Does That Have To Do With Moths?)

“Seriously? She got back with him after I told her what a jerk he is. Doesn’t my opinion count for anything?”

You’re holding a dress in your hand at a department store when another customer (you haven’t met before) says, “Oh. My. God. I’ve never seen an uglier frock than that!” How likely are you to buy it now? How about if it’s your best friend whose fashion sense you trust implicitly?

Now substitute the dress for your recent boyfriend. (Male readers, just use a new car and your current chick!)

This is the psychology of a relationship that gets rather tricky, doncha think? Perhaps you insist it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about the person you’re with because your opinion is the only one that matters. But if you suddenly become informed (or you inadvertently overhear, in the case of eavesdropping —  we don’t know ANYONE who does that, do we??) of negative feedback about your perspective mate, wouldn’t it subconsciously modify the way you feel, even if only slightly?

Disclaimer: So if you popped in for my typical lighthearted humor, you may be disappointed in today’s blog. If you decide to stay and read anyhow — let’s dig right in! Ready?

Once upon a time, I broke up with a certain ex. Many people (whose opinions I highly respected) couldn’t wait to tell me afterward that they experienced this particular ex as being totally arrogant, judgmental, and controlling. They ended by saying, “Congratulations, your split is for the best!” Now mind you, I hadn’t really noticed those traits in him, and our relationship ended for an entirely different set of reasons. Nevertheless, when a chance for reconciliation occurred (the other issues resolved) I found myself highly influenced, knowing so many friends and family found him to be such a revolting personality type — and I opted not to get back together.

Now….which is true? x) These family and friends were just attempting to make me feel better about the death of our coupleship by exaggerating their sentiments about him being so awful, so I wouldn’t mourn the loss so much?  y) That really WAS their accurate opinion of him and all those times they’d socialized with us, they were squelching it, figuring they’d spare my feelings for the sake of harmony?

The correct answer? z) I dunno. But these are the kinds of quandaries that contribute to my insomnia!

Here’s another example. Once upon a time, I was involved with a man that none of my six children cared for, and that’s putting it mildly. Was this simply because no child wants to see their mother with anyone but their father? Or should their strong reactions be taken into consideration and thought of as a red flag? For instance, it definitely crossed my mind that, “Gosh! Not just one, not just two, not just three . . .  but ALL six kids feel the exact same way about this guy! Gee, what are the odds??” (Okay some mathematician out there, please tell me!)

Then there was another (OUAT) “Once Upon a Time” tale. OUAT, I grew up in a Jewish household with a holocaust survivor father who made very clear to me from the time I was a young girl just how crucial it was I marry someone in our same faith. (Fiddler on the Roof musical, anyone?) I actually broke up with an individual of another religion (whom I was very attached to) to marry someone Jewish, solely to comply with their strong convictions. I can hear you saying . . . “And how’d that work out for ya?”

So those are some different (and true) scenarios that range in variation of intensity for how other people’s viewpoints of my relationships have impacted me. And if you think my tales are outlandish and I’m a minority in this dilemma, check out this study demonstrating that both men and women very much care about what others think of their choices right  HERE

I know what you’re thinking right about now, so don’t even bother to leave a comment. Here it is in a nutshell, right? “You’re an adult of sound mind. (Even though you call yourself “Little Miss Menopause.”) You should be living your life for you. And if you’re letting love be dictated by others, you’re sacrificing your own happiness for no reason whatsoever.” Close enough?  Or maybe you’re thinking this — “Someone who truly has your best interests at heart will love your partner, too. Why? Because you love him and because he makes you happy. Anyone who can’t fall in line to support your choice in mates is putting their own needs/desires/prejudices before what’s really important: Your Happiness.”  That sounds really astute — I’m definitely not deleting it in my final draft!

And now some subtler points to this whole mess, (after all, it’s only in a perfect world that people keep their big mouths shut!) because when someone close to you confides (for your own good, of course) what is objectionable about your potential partner (even if you decide to ignore it because it absolutely carries no weight) ——- You . . .

  • Can never unhear what you’ve already heard.
  • Will question your judgment. Can love really make you blind?
  • Are suddenly included in far less social engagements because people really don’t want to be around your partner.
  • Have to choose your words carefully when you vent or ask this friend for relationship advice because “they already tried to warn you . . . in vain.”
  • Will always remain hyper-vigilant looking for the flaws they originally pointed out to you, to see if they are somehow insidiously manifesting.
  • Will eventually wish your partner was an ugly frock (who even uses that term any more??) that you can just hang back on the rack in the department store, then casually back away.

I’ll leave you with one last OUAT situation.  OUAT, I had a roller-coaster, turbulent relationship where we literally broke up and got back together five different times. (Makeup sex aside, this was exhausting!) But each time we separated, my “well-meaning” friends came forward to list every miserable character defect they couldn’t stand about him. Each time he and I flew back into each other’s arms, they would sheepishly backpedal and withdraw their harsh judgements. Suddenly he was Mr. Wonderful again. My takeaway from this: He was flying back into my arms simply to restore his sterling reputation in our community.

And speaking of flying, if you liked the cockeyed “reasoning” I demonstrated with that previous conclusion, you’ll love my moth logic which goes a little something like this: I pick up a moth and command it to fly. Of course it flies. I pull off one wing and tell it to fly once more. It flies. I do this two more times. The moth continues to fly. I pull the last wing off and tell the moth to fly. Alas, the moth can no longer fly. Why not???  Because when I pull off all the wings, the moth became deaf!

And now the answer to the question posed in my title. Why does a moth have anything to do with other people’s opinions of your new partner? Because if they’re not attracted to your new flame (like a moth!) — they should just keep their big moth shut!

Dear Readers: Alright so I’m not a logician, a mathematician, (or even a mothematician!) but have you ever ended (or not started?) a relationship because of what close friends and family thought? Did you regret it?

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???

What’s DRIVING Your Relationship? (Odd Advice For Couples, Thinly Disguised as Car Talk!)

 

Gentlemen (and Ladies!) . . . Start your engines!

SHOULD YOU CARPOOL DOWN LOVER’S LANE?

  1. BE VERY SELECTIVE: If you’re letting someone inside your car, it’s like being with every single person they’ve ever driven with before you! Which often leads to becoming . . .
  2. A NON-DRIVER: There are other perfectly good modes of transportation like the subway, biking, or walking. Even rollerblading can be fun solo.
  3. DRIVER’S TRAINING: You’ve had your license for years now and this isn’t your first time circling around the block, but the rules of the road may have changed and who knows, it could be a rebuilt motor this time with extremely rare, hard-to-find parts! Take courses, read books, and google, “Better communication skills.” This will go a long way to preventing totaling your vehicle in a serious crash.
  4. TRUNK: This can be the most dangerous part of a car and if you’re embarking on a trip (thru life!) with a new carpool partner, I see nothing wrong with requesting them to remove their baggage from the trunk before you start the ignition. Just politely ask to open up their luggage for inspection. I’m not saying to screen like TSA security does at the airport, but if there are some major causes for flat-tires zipped up tightly in a side compartment of one of their suitcases, it’s best to find out early on. (Always carry a jack and a lug wrench just in case.) Better yet, offer to unpack your baggage first. There! Isn’t that freeing?
  5. STEERING WHEEL: Pay attention to who’s taking the wheel during your joint cross-country road-trip. Control “freaks” come in many different forms. Some (like me!) just feel better when they have some power and control over themselves — preferring to fuel up their own gas tank and choosing when/where/how and why to have a tune-up or fix needed repairs. However beware that other overly-controlling individuals will extend the life of the warranty to cover all of YOU….bumper to bumper! Be careful because their motto usually is, “It’s MY way or the Highway!”
  6. GEARS: Don’t shift too soon or too fast because you might pop the clutch, throttle the relationship, or permanently stall out. Seriously, where’s the race? If the spark-plugs are in good working order, and the entire electrical system is obviously functioning well, I’d suggest coasting in neutral until you make sure passenger and driver are making a smooth automatic transmission together. If I were a BMW (Beware Men/Women!) dealer, I’d recommend for optimum performance, waiting 3-4 months before implementing the pistons and cylinders. The internal combustion you’ll experience if you delay using these parts will be a power-boosting propulsion system like no other! If you MUST shift into overdrive early on, at least use a seatbelt for protection.
  7. HITCHHIKERS: This is simple. Just don’t ever pick ANYONE up on the side of the road. The last thing you need is either of your mothers or “well-meaning” friends, siblings, or children along for THIS ride!
  8. HEATING OR AIR-CONDITIONING?: Okay, this is where all the car metaphors come to a screeching halt! Real life advice here, because this topic will make or break your relationship faster than you can google, “What’s Considered Normal Room Temperature?” And if it’s not settled before you climb between the sheets, those sheets will be flying on and off the bed all night long. So decide now…..does your engine tend to run better warm or cold?
  9. STEREO:  Keep an open mind and don’t have too many preset radio stations. And for goodness sake, don’t keep pushing all your driver’s buttons. And don’t immediately reject an 8-track or cassette player because you may be dealing with a classic chassis, the value of which is not immediately apparent.
  10. HAZARDS: Don’t put yours on. Nobody else on the street needs to be alerted with flashing lights if you’re experiencing driving difficulties. Go down a private road!
  11. REAR VIEW MIRROR: She’s not gonna be real happy if this is the angle you’re constantly focused on.
  12. HORN: I wouldn’t be constantly tooting your own if I were you.
  13. GPS: The end destination is not the point, it’s how well you follow directions! Signal well in advance if you change lanes so you don’t cut anyone off. And no sudden U-Turns if you change your mind. Just tell your driver you’re carsick and ask to be let off in a well-lit safe area on the side of the road, and thank them for the lift thus far.
  14. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY: But if you keep passing by all the exits (even though your low fuel indicator icon has ominously lit up!) that’s probably a good sign you want to run out of gas with this person forever — and your relationship gets the green light to accelerate. Now you should Merge carefully together out of oncoming traffic and avoid going near your local DMV(Divorce/Mediation/Victim).

Good luck and Drive safely!