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.

 

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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!

 

Are You Out There? I Imagine You Are . . .

When I log in to write a new post here, it’s like putting a message in a bottle and tossing it out to sea. Maybe nobody will ever read one single word, and therefore it’s as if I haven’t written anything at all.  Or maybe a certain someone (that the bottle was secretly meant for!) will be be surfing (the ocean or the internet?) and analyze it closely, looking for hidden codes or puzzling underlying messages to decipher and then act on what they’ve read between the lines and track me down in the real world. Maybe they’ll find my phone number and call me with important similarities that can’t be just coincidences. Maybe . . .

So these words are for YOU . . . I imagine you’re out there somewhere and things will go down just like this:

  1. You’re a woman around my age who always longed for a sister. My weird words make you laugh and you strongly identify with things like chronically being out of style, becoming a librarian who shouts instead of whispers, and recreating slumber parties you didn’t get invited to as a teen where you stay up all night and eat Twinkies while doing impersonations of Rizzo in Grease singing, “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee. You’ll leave me a comment and we’ll plan to meet on a cruise ship to Alaska because….well because we’ve both always wanted to dance on a glacier.

  2. You’re a single guy who finds my wordplay to be foreplay. My puns, double entendres, and euphemisms drive you to distraction. When you read my work, you fantasize about having unprotected syntax, premature articulation, and propositioning me with prepositions. If you peruse my blog at your office, you’ll urgently need to take a break in the lunchroom where you’ll eat other employee’s food because you’re hungry for that which you know not how to pack yourself. You’ll contact me and we’ll instantly fall in love and go on a talk-show discussing couples who were destined to be together because of Linguistic Lust.

  3. You’re a literary agent who receives ho hum query letters by the hundreds from would-be authors, but you’ve always preferred to extract the diamond-in-the-rough from the blogosphere quite by accident, just like Lana Turner was discovered drinking a soda in Schwabs drugstore, even though that’s just an urban legend. So 26 blogs ago, you’ve been following me and saying to yourself, “Her Words! I must have Her Words. On coffee mugs or on tee-shirts — they’ll make an absolute fortune. And I’ll take 25 percent.” Then you’ll contact me, exploit me, and find a publisher for my humorous recipe book. Because food should always be funny.

  4. You’re a college student who doesn’t exactly know what you want to do with your life but somehow my blog about turning rock songs into news articles greatly inspired you. To cheat. That’s right, you thought to yourself, “If she’s out there literally transcribing the lyrics from Stairway To Heaven into a breaking news story (and not getting into copyright trouble) then I’m lifting the words to “C’mon Baby, Light My Fire” and typing them up for my next English essay.

You know that it would be untrue

You know that I would be a liar

If I was to say to you

Girl, we couldn’t get much higher . . .

5.  You’re a grandmother type who doesn’t have anybody to spoil but you’ve discerned from reading my blogs that I have six kids and thus you think you’ve hit the jackpot with knitting sweaters, baking banana bread, dispensing advice, treating them to frozen yogurt and in general starting every sentence with “When I was your age…” Next you fly to San Diego and stay in our guest room, insisting everyone call you “Grammy Goldie” but once you get slightly senile, we put you in a maximum security home for the aged and visit you only once a year because we’re not really related. Sorry in advance,

6.  You’re another author and you’ve been looking for that perfect writing style, (that would complement your own brand of genius) and also a team player who bestows actual unique titles on book chapters, rather than just assigning them a boring number. You contact me and we collaborate on a new novel about librarians who shout — which will become a NY Times bestseller, or should that be a “BestYeller?”

7. You’re a fellow insomniac who notices the timestamp on my blog posts and either wants to share with me some personal tips about falling asleep at a reasonable time, or else you want to play me in Words With Friends into the wee hours of the night. My username is OneQuoteGal. I sometimes try putting any letters together to see if they’ll go through. Is that cheating? Find me anyhow.

8. You’re a retro television show watcher and have seen how many posts I’ve written on The Brady Bunch and I Love Lucy. You’re compelled to feel sorry for me that my hairstyle is still from Charlie’s Angels and my idea of a good time is straight out of Bewitched even though I cannot twitch my nose. You contact me strictly to discuss who shot j.r.? And also the twist ending of Newhart. You’ll leave a comment right now telling me your favorite Twilight Zone episode and we’ll bond immeasurably.

9. You’re looking for a place to live in sunny San Diego and you think I’d make the ideal housemate. Okay, “ideal” might be exaggerating just a tad. You think I’d be the type of roommate that mystery thriller movies are made about — the kind who has a secret locked door in her house that leads to? And plugs flashing night lights in the baseboards of her living room so the mice can have their own discotheque, and designates two whole shelves in the pantry and refrigerator in which to store your private food but then insidiously eats it all because it looks better than my own. That kind of housemate. C’mon….write to me, I’ve got a spare room and you just know we should be cohabiting.

10. You’ve got sadness and fear deep down in you that you also try to disguise (or avoid completely!) with humor. You found this post of mine right HERE buried within all my quirkiness and wondered, “Is this fiction?” It’s not. You contact me and we talk depression and anxiety and instill hope within one another.

11. You’ve battled an eating disorder once upon a time (or now) and you understand that it’s not really about food, weight, or body size. You find me on Facebook and we support each other during the times life closes in and threatens to shut us down.

12. You’re a mid-life individual wondering, “Is THIS really all there is? This hamster wheel world that continually goes round and round with the same old thing? And why oh why can I not learn to be more grateful?  Or just meditate and stay in the present moment? How on earth is everyone else DOING this? Hint: They’re not. We need to talk.

13. You kinda already know me in real life and come here specifically because you think I’m a wild card or a loose cannon who might impulsively write something about you. And it might be far more interesting than the real you. And maybe, just maybe you’ll let me know you’re more than just an acquaintance, that you feel a real connection with me, and we can go the distance in friendship.

14. You’re someone else entirely, (not previously mentioned above) because I am afraid if this goes on for too long, nobody will ever read it. Even if they’re the one the message in the bottle is specifically meant for. But rest assured, I also write this blog especially for YOU. And you know who you are. So tell me!

 

Dear Reader . . . Won’t you finally reveal to me who you are? 

Stephanie Debra Lewis, AKA Little Miss Menopause

Have You Self-Improved So Much that Now You Suck?

All the psychologists and marriage counselors know to flock to my garage sales because every few months my living-room shelves sag with the extreme weight of hundreds of self-help books (ranging from having better relationships to communicating more effectively to figuring out if you’re addicted to self-help books!) and so I put every single paperback and hardbound copy on the front lawn with a sign, “Take All My “Fix Yourself” Books For $500.”  Oh! I’m not selling them for that price, I’m actually willing to pay someone that amount to haul them the heck off my property.

In addition to reading scads of these books, I participate in dozens of self-improvement courses, programs, classes, groups, meetings, and listen to Ted-Talks and podcasts. And this is where all of this SELF studying has gotten me today.  Have a listen!

SUPPORT GROUP SOCIALIZATION

ME: Wow, that was a great discussion you facilitated today. I got a lot out of it.

LEADER: People-Pleasing!

ME: No, I just meant it was perfect for me.

LEADER: Perfectionism!

ME: Oh gosh, sorry.  I appreciate you pointing this stuff out. I don’t think I’ll ever stop saying those kind of things!

LEADER: Catastrophization!

ME: Oops, you’re right. I just really want you to like me.

LEADER: Not everybody is always going to like you, you just have to accept that.

ME: Yes, how does that go again? Let’s see…”What other people think of me is none of my business?” Is that right?

LEADER: Approval-Seeking!

ME: Oh now this is getting kinda silly, don’t you think? Just tell me if I said it correctly.

LEADER: Controlling!

ME: Oops, I guess that kinda was. So how are you? You mentioned last week you were getting over a cold.

LEADERS: Boundaries!

ME: Oh gosh, sorry. I didn’t mean to overstep, I was truly concerned. I’ll just keep my big, fat mouth shut from here on in and then maybe you’ll be happy.

LEADER: Self-Deprecating AND Passive Aggressive!

ME: I am soooooo sorry.

Leader: Overly apologetic!

As I leaned in to give her an “I’m not upset” hug goodbye, she whispered “Co-Dependent!” into my ear.

While I went about the rest of my day, I decided that two can play at the psychobabble game! And this time it would be to my advantage.

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE AT SON’S MIDDLE SCHOOL

PRINCIPAL: We’d like to discuss with you what we foresee after graduation when your son starts high school.

ME: Oh!  I’m sorry but I only live in the present moment.

PRINCIPAL: Really?!  Well, don’t you think you should think about the fact that he’s not passing several classes at this point and he should have a tutor.

ME: Watch those “should” statements. Always substitute “Could” for “Should.”

PRINCIPAL: Alright. Could you conceive of your son failing biology, history, and math? Because every single one of his teachers Could.

ME: Magnification!

PRINCIPAL: Well, what’s your plan as a mother to cope with your son not graduating?

ME: I’ll just “ACT AS IF” he’s graduating. Haven’t you read The Secret? You really should.

PRINCIPAL: I suppose I Could.

I flounced out of his office and went straight to the bank to secure a loan. When the teller went to shake my hand, I pointed out that he might want to deal with his attachment issues.

FIRST AMERICAN NATIONAL UNIVERSAL WORLDLY BANK

ME: Let me start out by clearly setting my intentions. I am here to borrow money. Dollar signs have also been placed on my vision board.

TELLER: Your what board? Never mind. So you say you’d like some extra cash for Home Improvement? Can you be more specific?

ME: Boundaries, please!  Let’s just say I’ve given up on Self-Improvement.

TELLER: (odd look) I see. Gosh, Miss Menopause, I’m afraid there’s not much I can do for you today.

ME: You’re in denial!

TELLER: That’s a river in Egypt.

ME: Humor Defense Mechanism! Let’s unpack what’s making you so uncomfortable about this issue, shall we?

TELLER:  I am required to ask you certain questions and I’m also accountable for deciding if you’re a good risk. It’s a lot of responsibility for me.

ME: Narcissism! It’s not always about you.

TELLER: You know, I don’t think I’ve ever been at such a total loss before, like I am right this very moment.

ME: Reclaim your power!

TELLER: Ok. You’ll either need to respond directly to my questions or immediately leave the premises.

ME: Black & White Thinking!

And with that I raced home to practice my relaxation and meditation. My kids were in for a treat because I challenged myself to see how many times I could (NOT should!) use the word “Mindful,” which was how my yoga instructor told us we should approach life.

FAMILY TIME

SON: What’s for dinner?

ME: Do you think you can go one morning without asking that idiotic question? It’s enough to make me lose my ever-loving Mind-ful!

DAUGHTER: What do you think of my new dance routine? Do you like the music?

ME: please! Do you Mind-ful?? I’m trying to relax right now and that godawful song is blasting!

DAUGHTER: Can you at least tell me what you think of my new outfit?

ME: It’s wintertime. I have a good Mind-ful to let you freeze to death in those skimpy shorts.

SON: Gosh, whadya think is up with Mom today??

ME: Will you both just Mind-ful your own darn business?!!

At that point I gave up completely and wisely switched from meditation to medication. Forget Self-Help. What a difference in my life just a single letter can make!

READERS:  Are you, or do you know someone else who is overdosing on Self-Help Stuff? Leave me a comment if this strikes a chord and then God help us all! 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Your Ex Back (Even If You Don’t Want Them Back!)

Wait a sec. . . I think my title is supposed to say, “Getting Your Ex Back (Even If THEY Don’t Want to Come Back!”) But either way, it makes as much sense!

Hey! Did you know that . . .

the “Reunite With Your Ex!” industry is thriving!

Not a day goes by I don’t get an email shouting, “8 Ways To Make Your Ex Beg To Reconcile!” or “10 Phrases To Text That Will Make Your Ex Realize They Made a Huge Mistake!” or “How To Get Your Ex Back And Ignore All the Valid Reasons You Broke Up With Him in the First Place.”

And my personal favorite, “How To Lure Your Ex Back Without Looking Like a Psycho!”

Last week I sat at a cocktail table with my girlfriend Tiffany (Yes, Stephanie and Tiffany — it’s beyond precious!) at a Mix N’ Mingle event when she immediately burst into tears lamenting, “Why am I here? I just want him back. I’d give anything for that to happen.”

Immediately a man in an ugly green tuxedo shirt and suspenders materialized from behind a pillar and launched into a routine so smacking of a vacuum salesman, I anticipated him scattering clumps of dirt on our white linen tablecloth and sucking them up with his expensive sample machine.

“For just $1,000, I’ll have him crawling back before the New Year. He’ll be full of yearning, promises, engagement rings, and offering homemade Key Lime pie.” He danced a little jig as he spoke.

“She hates Key Lime and besides . . . ” I started to say.

“Really? That’s my favorite pie,” he interrupted.

“Then maybe YOU want her ex back?” I winked.

He pretended I wasn’t there, and turned his attentions back to Tiffany, who btw is not the sharpest tool in the box.

“My schemes are guaranteed to have him crawling on hands and knees no matter whom he’s currently frolicking with.”

“He’s frolicking with God,” I stated solemnly.

“OMG, he is??” asked Tiff, incredulously.

“I’m very sorry for your loss,” he said to Tiffany and then without missing a beat, threw a bunch of mud on our table — at which point she paid him $89.95 for a DustBuster.

“Forget that creep,” I told my friend.

“But I do still love him,” Tiffany protested.

“I meant the jerky salesman, Tiff.  Sheesh, even I have better ideas to get your guy back!”

Suddenly Tiffany had an epiphany! (But again remember — not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.)

“That’s right!  You’re creative!  You can help me. So far all I’ve come up with is losing ten pounds because he’s always hated my muffin-top. I just KNOW you’ll give me advice that will work.”

After reluctantly researching this idiotic topic, I realized there are two contradictory schools of thought. One was basically to disappear completely, because supposedly he’ll miss you terribly and come running back.

And the other is the exact opposite — recommending you definitely do NOT vanish because then he’s liable to develop complete amnesia and forget all about the amazing sex you had on the balcony during your cruise to Alaska. (What? No cruise to Alaska?? Well now we know exactly how to get him back, don’t we? Anchors away, my eskimo friend!) So essentially this technique advocates staying very much on his mind!

Alright so back to my dimwitted friend, Tiffany. I created two index cards outlining each of the very different ways to proceed. Essentially little cheat sheets for Tiff to pick one strategy and then follow it. Easy Peasy.

 

 

 

 

 

But Tiff couldn’t make up her mind which method to try . . .  so of course she utilized them both!

One day she unfriended him from all social media, cancelled every one of her memberships, and changed her phone number/email address. The next day she sprayed her signature perfume on the welcome mat of his front door, requested all radio stations play their favorite song, and had billboards put up on his route to work with pictures of her and another guy. (It was just her twin brother and they’re not identical, so this didn’t blow her ruse.)

She carried on like this for weeks, alternating days of being totally in his face with days of falling off the face of the earth — until I was sure the poor slob didn’t know whether he was coming or going — much less what Tiff was doing!

Meanwhile she also continued her Atkins diet and lost 10 lbs. However one fateful day she discovered he was on a European vacation for three months and the person she’d been seducing back was his 85 year-old grandma who was house-sitting. Not a good plan.

At this ridiculous news, I decided to permanently end my career in the field of “Reconciliation” and  just stick to writing. As a last ditch effort, I suggested that Tiff text him with an offer no man can refuse….having really great Make-Up Sex!

But Tiff claimed that he liked her face au’ naturale, without any mascara or lipstick — so I had to explain the concept.

The next day Tiffany was elated to report his response was, “Yes! But before we have great makeup sex, we need to have a really HUGE tiff.”

It was a Win/Win! Not only did Tiffany think he was referring to her name, but she was also thrilled to increase her calorie intake.

THEY SOOOO DESERVE EACH OTHER!

READERS:  HAVE YOU EVER BEEN DESPERATE TO GET AN EX BACK? WHAT DEPTHS OF DESPAIR DID YOU SINK TO? LEAVE ME A COMMENT!