12 Bizarre Behaviors Belonging to the “Blogger Bunch!” (Yes, Us!)

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The Blogger Bunch!

Here’s a story of a bunch of writer-folks, who’re once a strange set of girls and boys,
Growing up they had their journals and diaries, pretty much ignored all other toys.
Till the one day when these wordsmiths met WordPress, they knew they’d be just as pleased as punch,
If this group could somehow form a Blogosphere, and that’s the way they became The Blogger Bunch!

 

Ready? Here we go!

12 Blogging Behaviors You Might Recognize!

 

  1. We excitedly register for a free online WordPress URL, spend hours (no days!) setting it up, picking a perfect theme, arranging widgets, plug-ins, clever headers, tag-lines, backgrounds, and fonts — only to realize when the blog is finished . . . we must now actually write! (Wow, some of us were those brides who registered for china patterns, ordered imprinted napkins, centerpieces, catering, picked out the perfect gown, only to realize when the wedding was finished . . . we must now actually marry!)
  2. When tax season rolls around, we secretly fantasize all our “Wonderful Writer’s Write-Offs.” Surely our accountant will find ways to justify those long lunches in restaurants (how else do we get ideas for posts if we don’t eavesdrop on other diners?) extravagant vacations (bloggers have to experience new places in order to write about them!) and the latest computers (Duh!). Upon hearing our CPA say, “Actually only office supplies will technically qualify!” we go out and . . .
  3. We purchase 180 boxes of paper-clips, saving all receipts.
  4. We come up with an amazingly witty title for a topic we know will win us thousands of new followers — and then Google it, only to discover . . .
  5. We get very depressed to see our great blogging idea has already been done. 43 times. We decide this shouldn’t really matter. Everybody!s heard that there are NO new thoughts in this wide world. We’ll simply Tweak things a bit and it will be completely original. Tweak, Tweak, Tweak . . .
  6. Weeks later we are startled to find on the internet someone else’s post (that’s becoming a VIRAL SENSATION) which is essentially OUR tweak! We take to Twitter to announce our tweak is being savagely plagiarized. Tweet, Tweet, Tweak, Tweak . . .
  7. We contact an attorney to see about lawsuits, because something must be done about this grave injustice. The lawyer says, “Hmmm, this will be difficult to prove. All someone had to do was read your blog, make some tweaks of their own, and voilà! A new idea has been born. But can I phone you back tomorrow? I’m knee deep in a new case about a blogger using a photographer’s pictures from Shutterfly without getting copyright releases or giving attribution. Now THAT’S a slam dunk case!”
  8. We quickly delete every single one of the photographs from our posts in terror.
  9. We decide to take the focus off our own website and be a Good Blogger Samaritan — so we visit other people’s blogs to interact with their words, click “Like,” leave thought-provoking comments that will surely entice them (and all their many readers!) to follow our cute little remarks (Hansel & Gretel breadcrumbs anyone?) back to our own blogs where they will instantly become ensnared enthralled. (Gotcha!!!)
  10. When that doesn’t work, and still nobody is reading/following us, we think it cannot possibly be our writing. So we get to work changing our theme, header, tag-line, background, widgets, plug-ins, and fonts. Tweak! Tweak! And Tweet Tweet!
  11. “Ugh. Who wants to be married anyhow??”  We throw the bridal bouquet (made out of thousands of paper-clips) out to a sea of potential bloggers, raising high their eager, outstretched hands. Good luck to them! Good riddance blog.
  12. We turn on reruns of The Brady Bunch and call it a day.

Dear Bloggers:  Did I miss a common (bizarre?) behavior of yours?  Leave it in the comments section so we can all follow your clever words back to your own site and become enraptured! 😉

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Personality Practicality! (Can a 12 Minute Test Actually Peg Who You Really Are??)

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I’ve always known about the Myers–Briggs Personality test and thought it was just a fun little quiz like, “What Your Pasta Preference Says About Your Favorite Sex Position.” Certainly I put zero stock in the reliability or accuracy of it until a recent conversation with Bethany my bossy older sister, (never mind that my mother would name us Stephanie and Bethany!) during which she casually suggested I change the title of this blog to “Once Upon Your Grime” and give housecleaning tips.

BETHANY: Wow. Calm down. You’re so sensitive to constructive criticism. Does “ENFP” mean anything to you?

ME: Is that the spin-off of the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati? Is Loni Anderson still blonde and perky?

BETHANY: I have no idea. And no, it’s the initials which I would stake my life on you getting if you were to take that famous online personality test.

ME: Really? ENFP??  Lemme guess. That stands for Effervescent, Naughty, Friendly, and Perfect? I always wanted to be termed as a little bit “Naughty.”

BETHANY: Err, not quite, Sis. Why don’t you take it yourself and find out. Here’s the link. But I’m absolutely certain I’m correct about you!

So I gave honest answers to all the official nosy questions and sure enough, (much to Know-It-All Bethany’s prediction!) I DID come out with exactly the initials ENFP — which I read stood for Extraversion (E), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), Perception (P). Only mine had a little dash and another letter too. Like this:  ENFP-T

Upon further research I found the “T” was for turbulence. Oh c’mon now. I’m not an airplane! So the implication was that I create Turbulence in life? Why don’t Myers and Briggs just come right out and say, “T is for Tasmanian Devil?”

I refused to be labeled as such and so I took the test again, this time choosing all different responses. And once again, within five minutes, my results ENFP were emailed to me. But this time followed by another dash and two letters — TM (Test Manipulator!)

I took that darn test eight more times, completely switching out my answers, using different computers, wearing different clothes, and changing my hairstyles, not to mention while eating shiitake mushrooms — and each time my fate was sealed with those same four initials getting emailed back to me. Branded as a permanent ENFP, I slowly began to accept my destiny (and order monogrammed towels!) while exploring what career choices were good for me and who my ideal mate should be.

Finding out I would make a superb Horse-Exerciser, a Bingo Caller, and an Elevator Inspector was not the worst of it. Far more upsetting was that I should never have walked down the aisle with the two men I had married. But the most devastating news of all? Apparently an ENFP like like myself is biologically incapable of producing children with the different logical, (normal!) initials all my offspring have! So now I must question whether or not I am really their mother, or were all six kids switched at birth?

My obsession didn’t stop there. I wanted to know how the test could know I was someone who made up jokes with no punchlines to test people’s authenticity (if they still laugh at my nonsense, they’re insincere!) and that instead of buying whole bottles of perfume, I rub magazine pages (with samples of Channel #5 embedded in them) on my wrists and neck.

We’re not talking general everyday personality traits like when horoscopes say Pisces people are creative. (Duh!) No, this thing was eerily Twilight Zonish spot-on for me, and so I put in a call to Myers and Briggs immediately, wanting to know how they could figure this all out from questions like, “Do you prefer to stand in the center of a room or close to the walls in a crowded party?” I was told Myers and Briggs were a nice mother/daughter team who had passed away a long time ago.  Hmmmm.

Only when the I reread the end of my test results and it said, “Recommendation: Start a blog called, Once Upon Your Grime and offer cleaning hints!” did things start to come clear for me. It was Bethany all along.

ME: Hi! I’m sure having fun with the link you gave me. Good thing I don’t take it very seriously though. Just curious, what are your own initials?

TIFFANY: HTBW

HTBW = Hates To Be Wrong.  (Naturally!)

Dear Readers, Why don’t you take the test right HERE and see if you agree with the initials you receive and Bethany’s assessment of your personality! Post a comment about it so I can see what my busybody sister has to say about you! 😉

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Timing is Everything in Life!

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If everyone got rid of their clocks, watches, calendars, hourglasses, (and oven timers!) and there was no way to keep track of the elapsing minutes, would our bodies still age? (And our cakes still burn?)

The passage of time plays such a huge part of our lives physically, psychologically, professionally, and socially that I wanted to get reader input to see if there was a general consensus about the amount of time you should wait regarding certain life experiences.

It should be noted that when I started to type the phrase, “How long should you wait….” in an internet search, the first thing that came up was the rest of this sentence: “To date again after a break-up?” That makes sense given there doesn’t seem to be a standard protocol we all agree on for a confusing life event like that. But surprisingly, the second most prevalent question that overwhelmingly popped up after typing in, “How long should you wait….” was “To go swimming after eating a full meal?” Seriously folks?? Are we all still fretting over that silly age-old dilemma? (There are NO cramps people! That was just my Jewish grandmother’s clever way of keeping us out of her pool after she fed us so she could put curlers in her hair.)

The following are the things I often wonder about with time so please chime in if you have an answer. Meanwhile my little (snide?) remarks will be in red font after each question.

How Long Do You Wait?

  • To announce to friends and family that you’re in love? (I think immediately after you tell people this exciting news, your new lover will confide in you they have a criminal record.)
  • For someone to finally come out of their house and get in your car after you’ve honked your horn loudly? (The worse part about carpooling!)
  • To tell people you’re pregnant? (Religious Jews believe this should NOT be divulged until the first trimester is over, when the chance of miscarriage goes tremendously down. Do you wait?)
  • To submit your writing elsewhere if you haven’t heard back from an editor/publication? (I think giving someone 48 hours to have it dawn on them how clever/funny I am is PLENTY of time! Okay, 3 days if they’re super dense.)
  • To get remarried after the death of a spouse? (My mother tells me lots of women in her age group bring homemade meals to a newly widowed man (at his wife’s funeral!) as a way of saying, “I’m a great cook. Can I be next in line for you??” This is referred to as the “Brisket Brigade!” Oy.)
  • Between applying coats of paint on your walls? (Yes, I really wanna know this! Shouldn’t it be the same as fingernail polish??)
  • Until you set a date after the marriage proposal? (the trend for staying engaged for a long time is a confusing one!)
  • Before tossing bread/muffins/tortillas in the refrigerator after the expiration date? (These date stamps are something we routinely ignore in my house in favor of color-coding. In other words, a red-flag with baked goods would be discovering it’s now green!)
  • Before sending a second text asking, “Hey! Did you get my first text?” (This dilemma drives me crazy because maybe they received it but are purposely ignoring me. Or maybe they texted back and I am the one who NEVER got their response. Where does it end??)
  • Before calling the police if your teenage daughter is not answering her cellphone and none of her friends have seen her? (This will only make sense to someone whose kid routinely retorts, “If I’m grounded, I’m running away from home!”)
  • To nudge someone if they’re not taking their turn in Words With Friends?? (C’mon already. And don’t just resign or forfeit — I don’t wanna win that way!)
  • How long should you date different people before becoming “exclusive” with just one? (It should be the same answer for “how long do you traipse through furniture stores before deciding on a couch?” Won’t there always be a more comfortable, nicer looking sofa?!)
  • How long should you wait after a child is born to have a second? (And God help you when the adults are outnumbered.)
  • Between brushing your teeth and eating? (A conundrum I could never figure out. Brush after eating, makes sense. But then if I get hungry again? The whole cycle repeats itself 80 times a day??)
  • For the sex to get better with your new partner? (Alright, you’ve given them “the initial tour” and they kept getting lost. How long are you expected to wait for them to feel at home in your strange little “town?”) 
  • For a late professor to show up in a classroom at college before leaving? (He does NOT wait for you to show up before teaching!)
  • How long should you wait in bed to drift off to sleep before deciding, “It’s obviously another night of insomnia — those poor online readers are getting another idiotic blogpost from me about timing.” (I have absolutely no comment/opinion on this last one, other than to apologize.)

Readers: Can you answer anything I’ve asked here or do you have your own question about how long to wait for something? Leave either or both in the comments section below! 

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Funky Facebook Friend Faye Fiercely Focused on Flaunting!

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Ever have an irritating family friend from childhood whose sole purpose in life was competing with you? You know those kind of “pals” — you don’t choose them, but they’re part of the deal because both your parents are good friends? I thought I’d seen the last of Faye in my teenage years until she suddenly surfaced on Facebook, or rather “Faye’sbook,” requesting her entrance into MY WORLD. Noooooooooo!

Now whenever I post an update that’s a happy one, Faye immediately posts her own “Ecstatic” status. And being the type who detests people portraying their lives as all rainbows, butterflies, and sunsets, I’ll often type out something extremely honest but depressing. And in the blink of an eye, Faye will elaborate on some catastrophic personal tragedy on her own newsfeed. She keeps an endless supply of cousins with cancer for this very purpose.

So basically if I’m happy, she’s Happier and if I’m downhearted, she’s Fantine from Les Misérables. 

When I wrote about my daughter going to her first prom last June, Faye’s daughter went to her first prom AND was crowned Prom Queen. I got in a car accident and was taken to the ER in an ambulance? Faye was sandwiched by two semi-trucks and airlifted to ICU in a coma. I made a crème brûlée and caramelized the sugar with a cigarette lighter? Faye made baked alaska flambé with a culinary torch!

Doesn’t this chick have anything better to do with her life than to concentrate on outdoing me on a daily basis??

“Stephanie,” you might say, “Will you get over yourself and your big ego? It’s not always about you, you know? Sometimes it’s just pure coincidence.”

Oh yeah? I’ll prove it. Look at my Facebook from last night. It’s so utterly specific.

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Suddenly on her Facebook appeared this status:

Gosh, my husband (the most incredible ophthalmologist in the world) says the crazies are coming out of the woodwork after the eclipse, claiming they’re going blind. What are you gonna do? It puts our kids through the best Ivy league colleges!

 

Fluke?  I think not.

But just to be sure it wasn’t a chance occurrence, I found Faye on Twitter and clicked “Follow.” Then I tweeted this:

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And needless to say a new Tweet from Faye soon went out like this:

Daughter has Lice, Dog has fleas, Kitchen has Ants, Basement has Termites! #The10Plagues!

 

See, she even outshines me in pestilence. What petulance!

So I went to Instagram, searched for Faye there and was successful in locating her right away. This called for a new clever tact. A “fluffy strategy” to be exact, because I make the most adorable memes in the world, featuring my two kittens. Here’s my latest Instagram post:

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How can it possibly get any cuter, (or cleaner!) than two kitties in a sink?? Well not even twenty minutes later, her Instagram showcased her bathtub!

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Needless to say on Pinterest, I put up a bunch of pins on turning a spare bedroom into a movie theatre. Then I clicked on her Pinterest account and she’d newly added photographs of a long, narrow hallway, remodeled into a bowling alley!

After friending her on LinkedIn, I made sure that my title prominently stated I was a published author. And instantaneously she got promoted from a boring “Technical Writer” to “Award Winning Screenwriter!”

Alright, this means war! And that’s why I’m writing this WordPress blog and then I’m gonna find Faye’s WordPress blog and become a secret new follower. There’s only one problem, I just found out Fay is on the East Coast, where she’s apparently three hours ahead of me in everything she does. And so this is HER latest post on WordPress:

Ever have an irritating family friend from childhood whose sole purpose in life was competing with you? You know those kind of “pals” — you don’t choose them, but they’re part of the deal because both your parents are good friends? I thought I’d seen the last of Stephanie (who now weirdly goes by “Little Miss Menopause”) in my teenage years but my mother insisted I find her on Facebook, so I grudgingly did so for old time’s sake. After that, she’s been stalking me on every social media in existence trying her best to upstage me. Can we say, “CREEPY??” Ewwwww. Get a life.

 

READERS: Do you have an online “competitor?” How about in real life….maybe at the gym?

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Life Is One Big Query Letter!

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Or at least it should be . . .  if we were always allowed to ask for what we needed and wanted. For instance I wrote a book, I yearned to get it published, so I sent out Query Letters to agents describing what it was about and why I thought it would be of interest to certain readers. I waited for a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ regarding whether or not I could go to the next step and submit the first twenty pages. Simple.

Now let’s do this with EVERYTHING! Shall we?

Dear Neighbor,

I just moved into the home that was for sale across the street from you and I have a couple of kids whose hobbies include football, shopping, and…and that’s it! I think they’d make the ideal new friends for your son and daughter that I see walking harmoniously together out your front door every morning to catch the school bus. I’d be more than happy to send my daughter’s diary as well as video clips of my son’s game when he was quarterback. Thank you for your consideration!

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Gynecologist,

Your receptionist told me you’re not accepting any new patients, however I am of the opinion that you’ve never palpated breasts like mine before and it’s a unique experience no medical doctor should miss. Additionally I’m more agile at slipping my feet into those stirrups than any female this side of the Mississippi — and nobody can undress and get into a paper gown faster than I do. Think you’ll knock three abrupt times, then swiftly open the door to surprise me standing naked? Think again! You ain’t never had a patient like me. In conclusion, may I have my previous OB/GYN forward my medical charts for your perusal? Thank you for your time.

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Daughter,

I certainly hope this query letter finds you doing well in college. I’ve been following you on social media recently and I have some thoughts on how you’re leading your life, which I’m certain you’ll find fascinating. Just to give you a little teaser: You’re not dressing appropriately for your internship, the guy you’re dating isn’t from a very good family, and the Bloomin’ Onion you ordered last night from Outback Steakhouse is a heart attack waiting to happen. Please be aware that my advice is destined to become a bestseller, but I wanted you to be the first child to have the opportunity to utilize it. May I send you the complete outline so you can browse through it at your leisure?

Your Mother

 

Dear Parker Brothers,

Through the years I’ve enjoyed your Scrabble, Boggle, Clue, and Risk boardgames. I recently invented a new game I like to call, “Natural Consequences” in which milk spoils when not put back in the refrigerator, husbands don’t get sex when they forget to pitch in around the house, and children’s grades suffer when they don’t study. With your permission, may I send over a few people willing to act out all the fun in a live format for you?

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Firstborn Son Who Moved Far Away,

It has come to my attention that we don’t communicate anymore. I cannot remember the last time I heard your deep voice explaining the difference between fission and fusion.  I know a brilliant nuclear engineer and a scatterbrained creative writer don’t have a lot of commonality, but I’ve made a list of stuff we’ve shared (which you may not now recall) during your formative years. Just to give you a sneak preview, one of the things was spontaneous Bear Hugs. May I submit the rest of the list in the hopes that we can find our way back to yesteryear? I miss you son, I really miss you.

Much love always,

Mom

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Readers: Who Would You Send a Query Letter To?

Rose’s Authentic Diary from Titanic Finally Published!

OSCARS-BEST PICTUREEntry #1: Dear Diary, oh rats! We’re boarding the largest vessel ever built and I just realized I forgot to pack Dramamine or Bonine. The weather predicts smooth waters, so hopefully it’ll be a non-issue. Sailing 1st Class is such fun! Here’s my bucket list for this trip:

  1. Learn how to fold towels into cute animal shapes like the cabin stewards do.
  2. NOT to gain ten pounds like all the other women who go on cruises.
  3. Sing, “I Will Survive!” in the Karaoke lounge.

I also hope to meet another rich guy on our deck because my engagement to Cal isn’t going so well. Anchors aweigh! (Or should that be anchors away? Hmmmm….)

Entry #2: Today I decided a good way to attract another man is to pretend to jump overboard. I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic and I’ve got a good suicide routine. Right on cue, a boy named Jack Dawson appeared and I let him talk me down from the railing to safety, when suddenly my high heel caught in my fancy gown’s fabric and I slipped overboard for real. OMG! Do you realize I could’ve actually died? Note to Self: Enroll in acting lessons once back on dry land. Who knows, I may turn out to be another Kate Winslet!

Entry #3: Found out Mr. Dawson is extremely poor. A real 3rd class citizen. Rats! Hey, I know… marrying him would be a really good way to get back at my controlling mother after all the money she’s spent on my finishing school. (I hereby promise I’m never gonna let you go, Jack!) In fact, tomorrow I’m going to flirt with him a little. I’ll giggle a lot, flounce my shoulders, tousle my hair, and then ask him to teach me how to spit like a man. Romantic sigh…

Entry #4  Apparently Jack is an artist who specializes in sketching naked french girls who recline on fainting couches, wearing nothing but large, blue sparkling pendant necklaces. But I’m gonna ask him to draw me wearing a life-vest. That’s not kinky. That’s foreshadowing.

Entry #5 Tonight we ran wildly around the E Deck, trying to elude my fiancé’s lunatic henchman who wanted to catch us. I don’t think he knows you only play Marco Polo in swimming pools. We went down below the passenger compartments and got turned-on watching workers handle the heavy equipment. By the time we climbed into this old-fashioned automobile, I knew the front windshield would steam up enough for me to leave a single, sweaty handprint. That’s the kind of thing a movie camera will zoom in on so audiences can use their imaginations. But anything you conjure up won’t be nearly as good as reality because Leonardo  Jack is a total stud. (OMG I’ll never let you go, Jack. I promise!)

Entry #6: Despite Jack being as poor as a church mouse, tonight he announced to anyone within earshot that he’s actually King of the World. I just adore a multi-faceted man. In fact, I’d rather be his whore than Cal’s wife.

Entry #6: Dear Diary, ours was a love story you could really sink your teeth into! I mean seriously it had drama, action, romance, phlegm — everything but the kitchen sink. But then they had to go and frame Jack for thievery, arrest him, and put him in their makeshift slammer. After this awful news finally sunk in, I thought, “How could they sink so low?” Then my heart sank. And all this time I believed my heart would go on and on. “Near, far, wherever you are….” But nope. My heart literally sank. And to top it off, I have this sinking feeling now like, “Maybe we’re all sunk!” 

Entry #7: Something tells me I should learn how to use an axe.

Entry #8: Oh no, Diary! The ship just bumped into a large object! Stay tuned….more later.

Entry #9: Well, apparently the boat crash was just the tip of the iceberg. Too much has happened to jot down here, but suffice it to say, (while floating on a broken ship door) I got major brain freeze when I finally realized what had to be done. It was just time for both of us to move on. That’s right Diary — I had to let Jack go. Besides, he’ll be perfect for The Great Gatsby or The Wolf of Wall Street.

Entry #10: I really liked the last name “Dawson” so I’m marrying Richard Dawson of Family Feud fame!

Entry #11: I’m 100 years old now and being summoned back to the wreckage of Titanic to see about some valuable sapphire diamond they call, “The Heart of the Ocean.” I pawned that old piece of blue glass long ago to pay for my facelift, but I’ll give them a good quote they can use for their blockbuster movie. Ready? Here goes…. “Now you know there really was a man named Jack Dawson and he saved me. In every way that a person can be saved.” That will be a dramatic ending if I die peacefully in my sleep tucked into a warm bed. Or I know! They can make the whole thing be a crazy dream I had, just like Dorothy!

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Be Careful Answering “Why Did Your Relationship End?”

break_up_ripped_photo_600X369Longtime readers may recall that I’ve had two marriages end, but they don’t know why. Actually nobody is EVER privy to the real reason(s) that a love relationship concludes — we only receive the limited information that the couple (one or both parties!) willingly imparts to us. And depending on which side of the story you hear, that will differ vastly!

The most accurate explanation is “I guess you just had to be there!”

Being acutely aware of all this, and also knowing that the question (“Why did you divorce?”) would be asked by future prospective partners once we were in the single world again, I tried to exert a little control during my split-ups. (Shocking, right? Me and “control” in the same sentence!)

ME: Let’s both be on the same page when our friends all ask us why our marriage failed.

HIM: Oh goody, let’s!

ME:  Alrighty, so we want something that’s not embarrassing or shameful for either of us…but it should be fairly compelling.

HIM: Okay so I guess, “She refused to pack my bento box for work even though she was already making our other children’s lunch-boxes for school, and besides what’s another turkey sandwich?” isn’t what you had in mind.

ME: That bento box was a fricking nightmare . . . since when is food so pretty?  No, I was thinking something more along the lines of The War of The Roses movie where both parties are equally at fault. But you never ran over my cat in your car and I never served you paté made from your dog. Ok?

HIM: Did we both end up dangling from our chandelier?

ME: Yes, that’s riveting!

So here are my suggestions for people who need to come up with acceptable justifications because the truth simply will not do.

WHY DID YOUR LAST RELATIONSHIP END?

  1. JOB RELATED — It’s pretty easy to dodge this question when a future employer inquires during an interview why your last position ended. So just borrow some basic terminology. “I was laid off when there was a merger and a major reorganization.” Or simply go with, “Micro-Management.”
  2. BLAME — Don’t be a finger-pointer. Own up and share responsibility equally like this: “He was a philanderer, an alcoholic, unambitious, and he beat me. Oh, but I had my part in it as well — I kept forgetting to pack his lunch.”
  3. LIFE HAPPENS! — For the kindly, romantic divorcing couple who sugarcoats. “We finally realized that Love just wasn’t enough.”
  4. CHEATING? — Just say this . . . “Being solely with one person is very unrealistic in this day and age when people live to be 80 years-old. Monogamy during caveman days? Piece a cake!”
  5. OFFSPRING — “He touched me first! She looked at me after I told her not to. He grabbed my ice-cream cone when I set it down but wasn’t finished.” No, that’s not your kids arguing. Those are legit reasons cited by parents (about each other) after they’ve endured having multiple children. (If you can’t beat ’em . . . )
  6. DIETING: No, don’t use the cheesy line, “I just shed 180 lbs by divorcing my husband.” Instead say how you lost 22 lbs in a month but unfortunately that triggered your spouse’s insecurities and . . . trust me you won’t get past that point because you’ll be so busy answering the question of exactly how you accomplished this incredible weight loss (carb cutting??) in great detail and nobody will ever even care about your split-up again.
  7. CANDOR:  Here’s my spouse’s phone number. I have nothing to hide. Ring her up and ask exactly why it ended. (sing to the tune of Ghostbusters…”Who ya gonna call????”)
  8. REFRAME: Again borrow the technique from job interviews when they ask you for a personality flaw and you say, “I am too perfectionistic and don’t know when to stop working.” So in this case you say, “Unfortunately my spouse had very low self-esteem and could never believe she deserved someone as awesome as me so she realized she had to leave.”

If all else fails, hold up a Bento Box (below) and say, “How’d you like to pack one of these every morning when neither of you is even Japanese?!”

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READERS:  How honest are you about why your relationship ended? Please leave me a comment responding. And if this subject interests you, I wrote more for The Huffington Post in their Divorce section right HERE.

How Mr. Brady Chose Between Carol and Shirley Partridge!

 

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Here’s the (real) story of a man named Brady,
Who was busy with three boys of his own,
They were four men living all together,
Yet this story might’ve taken a much different tone!

A chewed-up list (found in Tiger’s dog house) on the set of The Brady Bunch depicts evidence that Mike Brady used a Ben Franklin style chart to decide if he should marry Shirley Partridge versus Carol, the woman who eventually became his wife.

And here’s the story:

SHIRLEY PARTRIDGE

Pros

  1. Hair of gold! Fits into the song.
  2. The voice of a Nightingale. (Oh wait, that makes me think of Florence.) Alright, the voice of a Partridge. This girl can definitely sing! How I love Oklahoma, Carousel, and Music Man!
  3. Longer life! I can’t explain why, and even though they were both born in 1934 (and just a month apart) . . .  I just think Shirl will outlive Carol.
  4. The first television career woman! Justifies keeping trusty Alice on as our full-time housekeeper.
  5. A widow! No ex-husband to deal with.
  6. Short boyish hair, and a take-charge personality to match. Would probably wear the pants in the family, allowing me to stay in my office 24/7 pursuing architecture instead of dispensing nonsense fatherly advice.
  7. Comes with that cool bus! I couldn’t have designed the outside any better if I had been a real architect.

Cons

  1. 5 (FIVE!!) kids of her own. The Brady 8? That just doesn’t work for me. And why should her brats outnumber mine?
  2. More boys?? What am I going to do with that much testosterone? Plus that creepy stage manager Reuben Kincaid always sniffing around my wife?
  3. Entire family too forward with expressing feelings. Goes around singing, “I think I love you!” all the time.
  4. I’d have to dress in velveteen, flamboyant, pimped-out Austin Power’s type pantsuits on metal lunch-pails, which are just a bit too much — even for me. the-partridge-family-cast-photojpg
  5. Where would we store the huge, tacky bus? And it’s not like we’d drive it to the amusement park I’m drafting blueprints for. Or even to Hawaii or the Grand Canyon — which are the only vacations I’ll ever take my family on. Wasteful!
  6. Have I ever seen her baking cookies or checking on a pot-roast? Alice’d be lonely. How’s she gonna joke around with Alice??
  7. That ugly red-headed, freckle-faced kid. Could I ever pass him off as my own?
  8. That “pretty boy” David Cassidy. If ever there was a teen idol poster just waiting to happen! And Marcia, Jan, and Cindy would be all over him. Oh wait, there wouldn’t be any Marcia, Jan, or Cindy if I marry Shirley. Let’s put this one back on the Pros!

CAROL BRADY

Pros

  1. Look! She already comes as a Brady. She doesn’t even have a maiden name of her own that she’d have to change.
  2. A Lovely Lady with three very lovely girls! That way in the bathroom they’ll all share, my boys can each have someone their own age to touch…err I mean shout “touché” at after arguments.
  3. Has a short, boyish hairstyle too. Really my type!
  4. Also sorta sings. (Note: Could be in a school talent show with Marcia and sing at Christmas pageants?)
  5. Seems open-minded and might let me and my boys all get our hair permed.
  6. Reads a lot of Women’s Day magazines in bed. Fewer nights I’d have to “get busy.”
  7. If I marry her, Marcia will invite Davie Jones to the prom and a real live Monkee will come to our house.
  8. We fit just perfectly on a single staircase.brady bunch stair shot
  9. I just know it’s much more than a hunch, that our group should somehow form a family and find a way to become the Brady Bunch.

Cons

  1. She’s a real MILF and my son Greg might even wanna date her after rehearsals.
  2. Being such a homebody and always hovering in the kitchen acting “motherly” so Alice might feel replaced and pack up and leave. (This should go on Pros.)
  3. Those three girls of hers are trouble. Broken nose, annoying lisp, and obnoxious middle daughter syndrome.
  4. The few times she does sing, she manages to contract laryngitis like when she was supposed to do “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” in church. Big chicken.
  5. Unlikely to change her mind on letting my boys play ball in the house.
  6. Too many future reunion shows boxing me in…I’ll be wanting to move on with my real life and true gender preferences.

GEORGE JEFFERSON

CONS

  1. Nope. The world isn’t quite ready for this yet. Florence Henderson it is!

Note to Readers: Lest you think I make this stuff up when I run out of blogging ideas, it’s a fact that Shirley Jones (AKA Shirley Partridge) was asked to be the Brady Bunch mother but turned down the role. See HERE!

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These TV moms are just one month apart!

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Who is the right one for me?

Scarlett O’Hara’s Authentic Journal Has Been Recovered!

Gone With The WindHave you heard the news? Gone With The Wind’s petulant heroine (Scarlett O’Hara) secretly put her thoughts to paper all those years ago! And now you’re privy to see what really went through her mind back then.

Entry #1

Dear Diary, I binged during the BBQ today at the Wilkes plantation and tonight my waistline measured a whopping nineteen inches around. But oohhh Ashley — he told me he likes to see a girl with a healthy appetite. So as God as my witness, I’ll never go hungry again! Oohhh Ashley! I love him so — even though he has sort of a girly name. But then there’s that scoundrel Mr. Butler who isn’t fit to wipe his boots. Imagine hiding out in the library eavesdropping on us. He should have made his presence known, but I’m sure the white vase I chucked into the fireplace was insured. Then he looked at me as if . . . as if he knew what I looked like without my shimmy on. Creeper.

Entry #2

Dear Diary, Gah! If I can’t have that mealy-mouth Melanie’s fiancé Ashley, then I suppose I’ll take her silly old brother, Charles Hamilton. We quickly tied the knot before he went off to war. War, war, war. Fiddle-dee-dee. This war talk is spoiling all my fun. Can’t anyone around here talk about anything else important? Like bonnets. At least Captain Rhett Butler didn’t enlist, but who cares what that dirty varmint does? I’m off to stay with Aunt Pittypat in Atlanta. OMG, what kind of a name is that? But I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Entry #3

Today I had a “ball at the (liberty) bell,” and then I was the “belle of the ball.” At the dance, of course. Rhett actually bid on me — $150 in pure gold! Oooh, if I wasn’t such a lady, what I wouldn’t have told that coarse, conceited man. But since I am a widow in mourning and wearing all black, I figured I should show people how to put your own suffering aside for a good cause. I even donated my wedding ring after I saw Melanie slip off her own diamond from Ashley. Oh Ashley, Ashley, Ashley. How I wish I could give you a child. But I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies.

Entry #4

Dear Diary, When you don’t have a thing to wear, you must never rule out trying on the window coverings. The emerald colored drapes made a fine, figure-flattering frock and I want everyone who has been mean to me to turn pea-green with envy. You just have to make sure to lose the gold tassels — a dead giveaway. I must remember to tell Maria Von Trapp in Sound of Music to use the curtains as play clothes for those seven brats she babysits. But I’ll think about that tomorrow . . .

Entries #5 thru #186 — illegible as they were charred to a crisp in the burning of Atlanta.

Entry #187

Dear Diary. I feel so lost and rejected. Nobody wants me now — not my darling Ashley, nor Rhett, and not even Charles or Frank or Mammy or Prissy. Where shall I go, what shall I do? Dear Diary, don’t you give a damn? I know! Who needs men? I should just marry my own handsome plantation, Tara. Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts. Tara. Yes! I’ll go home to Tara. Because after all . . .  tomorrow is another day. (Music rises)

Readers: What’s your favorite line from the classic movie, GWTW? 

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Zuko Marriage Ending Faster Than Greased Lightning!

Drive-InWe join the famous pair during couple’s counseling:

Therapist:  Just a quick reminder that anything discussed in this room stays highly confidential.

Sandy: Tell that to Danny here.

Danny: That’s my name baby, don’t wear it out!

Sandy: OMG seriously? Did you even listen? He said no more bragging about our love life to that hoodlum gang of yours on the football bleachers.

Danny: Yes, Miss Goody-Two-Shoes.

Sandy: Ugh. What happened to the Danny Zuko I met at the beach?

Danny: Well I do not know. Why don’t you take out a missing person’s ad? Or try the yellow pages.

Therapist: Mr. Zuko, you seem very concerned with appearing cool. Has that always been the case? (Tousles Danny’s hair with hand)

Danny: Hey! Would ya watch the hair? Ya know, I work hard on my hair a long time and then you just hit it. He hits my hair!

Therapist: I don’t think that’s the correct line for this. I’m confused.

Sandy:  He’s obsessed. (Wipes hand on husband’s oily scalp to remove her wedding ring) And you can take back this piece of tin (Throws diamond) Danny Zuko, you’re a fake and a phony and I wish I never laid eyes on you! (Stomps toward door)

Danny: Sandy! You can’t just walk out of a drive-in!

Therapist: Um, technically this is a shrink’s office. Wow folks, things sure escalated quickly. We don’t name-call in here. And we always use “I” statements. Danny, why don’t you tell Sandy how you’re feeling right now?

Danny:  I got chills. They’re multiplyin’. And I’m losing control. Cause the power you’re supplying . . . it’s electrifying.

Therapist: That sounds very familiar.

Danny: Music loud and women warm, been kicked around since I was born. Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, you’re Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive. Ever hear that before?

Therapist: Many times. Nothing shocks me these days. Even movie character swapping, which I see you like to do. It’s like wife-swapping, only more illicit. But let’s get back to your relationship. How deep is your love? I really mean to learn. Cuz we’re living in a world of fools, breaking us down, when they all should let us be. We belong to you and me.

Danny: You got it, dude. Saturday Night Fever and the Bee Gees rule!

Sandy: If you boys are quite finished? I’d like to say I knew right away Danny and I were not a good match from the moment we met. My parents invited him to tea. He said, “I don’t like tea.” I explained he didn’t have to drink tea. He said, “I don’t like parents.”

Therapist: Is that the only problem, Sandy?

Sandy: It’s Miss Sandra Dee to you. And there are other issues. He’s always crooning to his grease-ball friends, “Well she got friendly down in the sand!” I hate that expression. He’s got a one-track mind.

Danny: I did letter in track just to get inside her pants.

Sandy: Keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers. Would you pull that crap with Annette? And how about that night you tried to feel me up inside your souped-up car!

Therapist: Well sex is a very important part of a relationship.

Sandy: Tell me about it, Stud.

Therapist: (Blushing) Uh, let’s hear about this souped-up car.

Danny: Why this car is auto-matic. It’s system-matic. It’s hyyyydro-matic…why it’s greased lightn….

Therapist: I get the picture.

Sandy: I wasn’t finished. There’s another woman. Cha-Cha Di Gregorio, a bad girl from a worse neighborhood with good dance moves.

Danny: Aw c’mon Sandy. We go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.

Therapist: Well said. Any other compliment you might give your wife?

Danny: Ain’t nobody who can mash a cigarette into the ground and then kick me in the chest with her high heel like Sandy can.

Sandy: That’s not going to excuse all your Scientology cult stuff.

Therapist: The what now? Did I miss something?

Sandy: And the cross-dressing. He’s actually Edna Turnblat!

Danny: You can’t stop my happiness, ‘cuz I like the way I am. And you just can’t stop my knife and fork when I see a Christmas ham. And if you don’t like the way I look, then I just don’t give a damn!

Sandy: You better shape up. Cuz I need a man. And my heart is set on you!

Therapist: Well you both definitely seem “Hopelessly Devoted.” But unfortunately that’s all the time we have for this session — so you should both fly off in that magical car of yours and everyone will live happily ever after. Except I do have one final word of advice.

Sandy: What’s the word?

Therapist: “Grease” is the word. That’ll be $150 please.

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