We Interrupt This Blog . . .

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There may be an official ordinance about posting unfunny things on a humor blog, but I’ll accept a warning citation. Ironic short stories are my original genre of writing and several readers have encouraged me to share more widely here. Back to regularly scheduled chuckles soon! Thank you.

Going Up, Going Down, Going Thru, Going Under!

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Wow, I’m really going under tonight.

I’ve seen this hypnotist’s show before and figure I can trust him just fine to put me under. The only embarrassing part of the act was when he made the women on stage believe they were doing a striptease for their husbands. But even that I can handle, I reassure myself. Besides it might actually help Dennis see me in a new light. Lately he’s been restless, telling me I hold him back, I’m too safe, don’t take enough risks, and I’m not living life boldly enough. “Carpe Diem,” he’ll say as if mocking Robin William’s character in the movie, only I know he really means it. So in less than one hour, I will seize the day, and the night, and my husband’s respect.

All by announcing I am pregnant when it’s my turn in the spotlight.

“The rabbit died,” said that nasally nurse with the goofy sense of humor on the phone yesterday, and it had taken me a few seconds to reconcile her morbid, archaic expression with the fact that I finally had wondrous life growing inside of me after three years of fertility futility. No more temperature taking, ovulation kits, semen analysis, uterine biopsies, and standing on my head after lovemaking.

Dennis pays for our two tickets with a credit card that I strongly suspect will be declined. It’s the third one we’ve exceeded our limit on since he lost his job at the architectural firm. But I’m right behind him, expediently holding two twenty dollar bills so his red-face embarrassment will be short lived. That’s what a good wife does after all. But it’s dark by the box office and so I miss his grateful expression as we’re unexpectedly ushered into an elevator behind two perfectly proportioned blondes. The more platinum of the two drawls, “Going up,” while pushing a button with her fuchsia fingernail.

Both young women follow us into the theatre and meld their lithe bodies into chairs directly next to us. I notice the taller one lets her high-heeled encased ankle graze my husband’s pant leg as she deeply crosses her exposed thighs. But I turn my attention to the overhead banner that proclaims, “The Hip Hypnotist. Is it your turn to surrender?” And another sign to the right that advertises, “Enjoy yourself at our show… you ARE our show!” I squeeze my husband’s hand with affectionate anticipation knowing how pleased he’ll be to see me up on stage as a vivacious volunteer. And the grand finale when the hypnotist asks each participant to tell the audience something they would never guess, something shocking…well, I can’t think of a more fun and bold way to break the news of the baby. I only hope I won’t be too deeply hypnotized to appreciate Denny’s pride.

I’m immediately reassured when a slide show flashes on a big screen monitor explaining that being hypnotized is relaxing, enjoyable, and further elaborating that the subjects will be alert at all times to what is going on around them. And how it only serves to bring everyone into a deeper state of reflection where inhibitions will be tempered. This sounds like exactly what I need. Denny’s biggest complaint? I’m too uptight, too in control, and far too anxious. To have any fun.

I’m not expecting such a frenzied rush to the stage when the MC invites people up and I’m nearly trampled trying to grab a chair in the line-up. I’m relieved to see that I’m seated between two conservative, stuffy looking gentlemen so I feel very at home even though the lights are painfully bright. I glance back into the second row, my hand shielding my eyes as they strain to seek out my husband from the crowd. I am rewarded to see him nod appreciatively. “Just wait,” I say silently, “if you think this is good, you just wait.”

I gently flutter my eyelids closed as instructed and feel a certain warmth radiating from my toes on upward. I speculate if this is the heat the Hip Hypnotist suggests I’ll be feeling, or if I’m just flushing with embarrassment wondering if people think my hairstyle is dated. “Don’t analyze,” I chide myself, “Just go with the flow.” But what is that soft background music? It almost sounds like the instrumental part of The Doors, Light My Fire. I love playing Name That Tune.

All at once, Hip’s voice seems to come to me from everywhere and nowhere, soaking through my ears, dripping into my mind’s eye where it paints delicate pictures with watercolor words. “A river of thought,” he murmurs. “A stream of consciousness,” the voice drones, “a trickle of trivia…” Did we pay our water bill this month I wonder, and visualize the online automatic withdrawal system that I recently activated. But Hip’s gentle touch on my shoulder distracts me from this mundane image as he calmly states that each time he taps me, I will be filled with a deeper and deeper sense of tranquility. I crack one eyelid partway open, then quickly admonish myself in my former preschool teacher’s voice, “no peeking.” But now Hip is counting backwards from ten to one and when he’s done, we’re supposed to open our eyes and find that we’re in a fantasy field of flowers.

Someone lowers the lights and fades the music and I’m horrified to realize I feel no different at all. I am exactly the same. Three, two, one. A panicky sensation grips my throat and I begin to sneeze in succession, four, five times, something I always do when I’m edgy. But nobody says, “bless you” and I realize everyone around me is probably too busy frolicking in their lovely imaginary meadows. And here I am, stuck — trapped inside the same old self-conscious, timid, awkward wallflower persona on this stage while Hip heads toward me with efficient strides, probably to test my level of hypnotization, if that’s even a word. To add to my mortification, the prim looking man seated on my left lowers his face with drowsy oblivion deeply into my lap. Obviously looking to graze in MY greener pastures.

Hip the Hypnotist seems entirely satisfied to raise my arm up and watch it droop down again, apparently checking the “floppy factor,” a true litmus test for hypnotists. He then nods approvingly, gesturing toward me and egging the audience into rapturous applause.

“One more thing,” Hip adds when the clapping dies down, “If at any time during our show, someone next to you in the first ten rows appears to have gone under, please raise your hand and one of our lovely assistants will escort them on stage to join our act. It happens more than you’d think!”

Still alarmed that I’m not under some spell or feeling any different at all, I think back to when I saw this show before. What’s next? What the hell is next? Oh, we stink, we really stink. That’s right. I can fake that. I quickly remember all the things I’ve pretended in my life. Pretended to be asleep when Dennis came to bed, pretended I liked his mother’s obnoxious perfume, and pretended I had my doctorate degree when I was around the snooty women at my husband’s X-mas party. I begin to hold my nose and fan the air, looking suspiciously at the man to my right as Hip insists our neighbor hasn’t showered in weeks. The audience barely chuckles and out of the corner of my eye I think I see Dennis yawn and glance sideways at Blondie next to him.

Next we’re given the choice to be jockeys or thoroughbreds in the Kentucky Derby and I have to make a quick decision which one would be less embarrassing. I’m self-conscious about my size so I decide to be a horse rather than a rider (don’t they have to weigh under 100 lbs?) but once again I’m humiliated beyond belief as Hip proposes that the horses have just done the unthinkable! All the jockeys hold their noses at our imaginary disgusting stench. What is up with this guy and his obsession with odors? But the audience seems to really enjoy this and so I play along, all the while planning my seductive striptease where I can more than likely redeem myself in front of Dennis before I broadcast that I’m the expectant mother of his first child.

It dawns on me that everyone else on stage seems to be genuinely hypnotized as they prance freely around and I can’t believe I’m the only one held prisoner by my inhibitions and hang-ups.

“What’s your name and where ya from?” Hip closes in on me with his microphone and I try to make my eyes appear dreamy and awestruck, the way I imagine they should look in a trance.

“Sharon Henderson from California,” I recite zombie-like.

“That’s a strange racehorse name,” Hip persists.

F*ck I think, I’m blowing it. I quickly add, “otherwise known as Lucky Lady from Laughlin,” I toss my hair like a Clydesdale mane, but decide that actual neighing noises might be too over-the-top. And that’s when I notice Hip’s eyes narrow at me just a bit before he moves on.

Next we’re skiing in the Alps, only we’re doing it barefoot. Easy. Just shiver uncontrollably. After that, we’re at the beach and one of us, (thankfully not me) has a hole in a prominent spot in their bathing suit. Another cinch. I fake a shocked expression while the crowd bursts into bawdy howls. But now I feel my whole body tighten because it occurs to me that after this, it will be time for all us females to become x-rated exotic dancers. I scope out my competition and that’s when true despair sets in. I didn’t realize there were so many beautiful young girls up here. Is that one even legal, I wonder, knowing that alcohol has been served all night long. I can only hope that afterwards, Dennis will be so ecstatic over my pregnancy announcement that he’ll make generous allowances for a clumsy, horselike, foul-smelling stripper reject. I let myself glance at him momentarily, but he seems to be staring down motionless at his shoes.

A sudden prod on my shoulder and I’m introduced to the audience as “Cherry Jubilee,” direct from Paris. I recognize the bump and grind music from some old Broadway production. Great, he has to go and make me a French girl, I lament. I flounce around on an elevated platform twirling my sweater, then sashay stage left because I know Dennis sits off to the right. Hips. Swivel your hips and get your ass into it, I encourage myself and now I’m swirling and swaying pretty good for someone who’s seven weeks along. But the audience starts to taunt, “Take it off Cherry, take it all off!” and I know Dennis would want to see me loose and carefree so I fling the plaid sweater at some man in the front row and start to undo the top part of my silk blouse. I’m indebted to Hip for stopping me mid-button, but not at all grateful for what he spits out next.

“Why, you big ham you! You’re not really under at all, are you? Thought you could fool us fools? But let’s give Sharon a big hand anyhow for her participation thus far,” he says and gives me a hard thrust toward my seat as people hesitatingly clap. As I stare in disbelief wondering what about my dancing could’ve given me away, I hear Hip continue enthusiastically, “But it looks like someone in our audience is highly suggestive and has gone completely under. Let’s bring him up here, shall we? Audience?” Everyone thunders away and I notice Buxomy Blondie next to Dennis wildly waving her hands and pointing fingers at my lethargic husband who appears drunk and perfectly content to be accompanied up the steps of the stage by a stunning red-haired assistant.

It could be my imagination but it almost seems like both the blondes stick their feet out in the aisle to trip me as I try to squeeze by and return to my seat with some semblance of dignity. “Going Thru!” I whisper to them.

All eyes are now on the intriguing newcomer in the spotlight, and I watch as my husband, (now seated in the exact chair I just previously sat in) gregariously introduces himself as ‘Dennis the Menace.’ Hip snaps his fingers and in response, Denny instantly slumps forward in a genuine daze.

I look at my watch and realize the show is nearly at its conclusion except for the ending stunt where everyone makes a single outrageous confession. I’m sad not to be able to blurt out my amazing baby news, but I still feel a few eyes on me so I chortle along with the rest of the crowd as one girl proclaims her bisexuality. Another man dressed in Walmart garb surprises people by declaring he’s a multi-millionaire. One of the younger girls admits being hot for Hip the Hypnotist and everyone shouts, “Go for it!”

Dennis greedily snatches the mic out of turn and leans closely in, characteristically clearing his throat before he talks. I almost think Blondie next to me blows him a coy little kiss, but maybe she’s only swatting at a gnat.

My husband hesitates one suspenseful moment before speaking…

“I don’t love my wife Sharon anymore. I’m having an affair and I’m leaving her.” His burning voice seems to come to me from everywhere and nowhere all at once, singeing my ears as the words blaze into my mind’s eye; an explosive inferno of divorce papers, wedding albums, and abortions ignite together as blonde looks of pity smolder in my direction.

Wow, I’m really going under tonight.

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10 Reasons You Should Text Instead of Call!

31CULTURALSTUDIES-jumbo-v2I know, I know…. most articles have the opposite viewpoint of this one, emphatically claiming technology has gone too far and there are huge benefits to returning to real human interaction with real voices in real time. But here’s the other side of the coin err pay phone!

10 Reasons Why Texting is Superior To Calling!

  1. The “Just One More Thing-er” — Do you know anyone like this? After you’ve reached the conclusion of your conversation and you say, “Gosh, I really need to go now,” the other person suddenly remembers 26 CRUCIAL things they must impart to you. Let’s take the example of my mother…

Me: Oh! Look at the time, I’m going to be late to pick the kids up from school. Love you, Ma!

My Mom:  You better scoot then! Scoot, Scoot! But did I ever tell you I was almost voted homecoming queen at my senior prom?

Me: Uh, no mom, that must’ve been exciting. But if I’m late, the school charges me $1.00 per minute.

My Mom: Only $1.00? Have I mentioned that First American Bank charges me a $3.00 service fee every time I use another financial institution’s ATM machine.

Me:  Oh, that’s a shame. Bye bye!

My Mom: Yes! Bye Bye Birdie is opening at the Actors Alley Theatre near me. Why don’t we go see it?

Me: Sure Ma, get the tickets and I’ll reimburse you. But right now I’m gonna hang up!

My Mom: Hang-up!?? Ugh. Your father had such a hang-up about crying in front of other people. Did you know he never shed a tear in front of me? I certainly hope you don’t have that trouble, dear.

Me: (Sobbing) Mom. Pleeeeease let me disconnect from this telephone call!

2. Evidence! — With verbal calls, you have no proof that someone said something if they deny ever uttering it. With text? Just screenshot it and resend. Ba-Bam! Their text message is staring them in the face. Pass the salt because now you can make them eat their words.

3.  No Awkwardness! — Phone calls have three uncomfortable scenarios: A) Both people start to talk at once followed by both parties politely offering the other person the chance to speak first. This is also said simultaneously! B) Both of you run out of things to say at the exact same time and a lengthy silence ensues. C) You cannot hear the other person because their voice is garbled (or they’re a mumbler) and it’s embarrassing to have to ask them to keep repeating things so you just start agreeing with whatever they’re saying — and lo and behold, suddenly you’re a Trump supporter! Not happening with texting. None of this. Nada.

4. Non-Intrusive — Ever hear anyone request, “Would you mind not texting me during the dinner hour?” or “Bad timing on your part, your text interrupted some really fantastic sex!” And IF they can hear an innocuous notification during their “fantastic” sex, it deserves to be interrupted!

5. Clever Comebacks! — You have as long as you need to text back something witty. No need to think fast on your feet during a phone call or have second thoughts lamenting, “Ugh! Why didn’t I tell him to ‘Kiss my grits’ just like Flo from the old Alice sitcom?” (It’s like the difference between playing Scrabble at your kitchen table with an egg-timer versus Words With Friends online when you have all day to use your “Q” without any “U”!)

6. Tone Deaf— It’s much harder to decipher someone’s tone during texting. But this IS a good thing! No longer will you be subjected to your ex’s voice dripping with sarcasm on the phone. You’ll receive accurate information, minus the drip. And the same idea works in reverse, so use it to your advantage! i.e. You can say whatever you want (venting anger or resentment out of your system!) via text. When the person expresses hurt feelings or calls you on your sh*t, simply type, “My goodness, when they say tone gets misconstrued with texting, they’re absolutely right. Surely you knew I was joking?” (Note: If they’re like my ex-husband, they may respond with, “Please don’t call me Shirley!”)

7.  Efficiency! — Some of us hate all the details and niceties leading up to the main point. We just want to get in, get out, and get on with eating avocado toast. Small Talk is for Small Minds.

8. Multi-Tasking!– Talk about your time-saver! I wrote this entire blog while texting with my mother. What will you accomplish while texting your own mother?

9. Eliminates Annoyance: With text you won’t hear their gardener’s leaf blower or their children fighting in the background. You won’t hear them stutter/stammer, saying “Um” all the time or be subjected to their excessive use of the words, “like” or “ya know.”

10. Analysis: You’re in a new relationship and you’ve documented your entire text conversation. Great! Now screenshot it and forward it to your most experienced married friends for their insightful feedback. Be sure and ask, “What do you think he actually meant by his third sentence when he wrote, “I’m not interested in you romantically, so let’s just be friends?”

  • Bonus Reason #11: Rectify Regrets! — It happens. You’ve texted something you wish you hadn’t. Simply follow up the unfortunate text with, “My brother just grabbed the cellphone out of my hands and typed that last remark. You know what an impish practical joker he can be! Hehe.” Then find an emoticon that looks like something you would use on April Fool’s Day.

Readers: Do you prefer text or phone calls? Please tell me why in the comments below!

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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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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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Behind the Scenes With Famous Diet/Health Gurus

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Weight Watchers: Hmmm, Where’s Oprah? Oh well, I’d like to call this monthly meeting to order please. We have lots of business to take care of. Who wants to raise the first issue of public awareness that we’d like to put out there?
Jenny Craig: I’d like to bring back the idea that three prepackaged meals a day plus one snack in a vacuum sealed bag will promote a nutritious, convenient, healthy lifestyle, and be an effective way to lose weight.
Atkins: I honestly don’t think people will swallow that nonsense anymore. Now that word has gotten out about processed foods — they know to avoid anything that comes in a box or container.
South Beach Diet: And don’t forget many of them have learned to read labels and eschew anything they can’t pronounce.
Jenny Craig:  Eschew?? My, aren’t we fancy? Well I can rename all my ingredients so they only have one or two syllables! Where exactly is South beach anyhow? South of what??
Paleo: Honestly Jenny, public perception supports the research. Everyone wants to start eating like their ancestors did in the olden days, before there was cardboard, cellophane, and Saran Wrap. You know — stuff they can gather naturally, like nuts, berries, roots, and squirrels.
Nutrisystem:  Oh shut up, you stupid Caveman. That’s never gonna trump prepared meals conveniently delivered straight to their dining room table.
Weight Watchers:  Okay folks. I’m gonna table this discussion, (no pun intended) for a moment while we shift from public awareness to public scareness. What’s up with eggs? It’s been a long time since people have panicked over them for cholesterol reasons. Is it time to put that little tidbit out there again?
Pritikin:  Isn’t there a reliable formula for us to decide when eggs are bad? Something that’s over-easy to remember and will scramble all the facts?
SlimFast Shakes: I believe it goes like this: Eggs starts with “E” and that’s the fifth letter in the alphabet which is an odd number, just like 2017. And “Odd” starts with “O” just like “Out” so eggs are gonna be OUT this year.
Weight Watchers:  Perfect, I’ll send a memo to the news channels and talk show hosts and we’ll put the fear of God back into them. Now before we change our advice about eating ‘organic’ food to eating ‘orgasmic’ food, let’s deal with this whole good fat versus bad fat phenomenon, shall we? What are we claiming is the difference again?
Atkins: Every single fat is not just good, it’s utterly fantastic. There are NO bad fats, only bad carbs.
Eat According to Your Blood Type: Well not so fast there, my Good Man. That’s only true if you’re O positive and trying to boss everyone around about carbohydrates. What about the rest of the population with types A, B, AB and . . .
Atkins: Are you stereotyping my blood?
Pritikin: Is that even a thing? And where’s Oprah and her little wagon filled with animal fat?
Atkins: Well just for the record, I definitely don’t have O Positive blood running thru my veins.
Weight Watchers: We’ll take a short break while Dr. Atkins gets a finger prick.
Atkins: Who died and left you in charge?
Weight Watchers: Uh you did, Dr. Atkins. In 2003 to be precise.
Pritikin: And rumor has it, you croaked from a massive heart attack because your arteries were so clogged with plaque. Whatya got to say for yourself now, Mr. FineFat?
Zone Diet: Lay off him. He was killed when he hit his head on the slippery pavement. Everyone knows the real culprit in our modern day diet is sugar. Ask Oprah. Where is she?
SugarBusters: (raises a Diet Coke bottle) I’ll drink to that!
Jared Fogle From Subway Sandwich Fame: So diet sodas don’t cause dementia and strokes like YouTube says? That’s great news because I’ve been telling everyone to order a Big Gulp with their six-inch turkey sub and bag of chips. That’s how I lost 245 pounds….with just six inches.
Paleo: Sure ya did, Jared. Uh, No fricking way.
Weight Watchers: We’ll take a short break while Mr. Fogle steps on a scale.
Dr. Oz: I hate to break it to you, but I recently had Dr. Gundry on my show, of The Plant Paradox Diet and it turns out that everything we thought was healthy for us like tomatoes, eggplant, beans, peppers, etc. actually contain lectins, which are pure poison to humans. Especially those nightshades.
Jared Fogle: Nobody in my family wears nightshades to sleep anymore. I think that went out with Marilyn Monroe.
Weight Watchers: Hush up, Jared. Just mind your own business and hold on tight to that six-incher of yours, ok? Dr. Oz. can this be true? If so, it’s just what we’ve been waiting for. Lectin sounds deliciously ominous and I think it just might work as the new gluten. Wonderful! Alright we’ve got to wrap up here. But before we do, are there any really oddball foods we can promote as the next big thing?
South Beach Diet: I nominate Chia seeds and Bone Broth.
Weight Watchers: Nice work! Chia seeds — the cute 1970’s little critter with the stupid jingle. And Bone Broth — which sounds like something served in a witch’s cauldron at a Halloween Party.
Jenny Craig: Are we sure about this Chia fad thing? How about ingesting pet rocks or mood rings instead? Should we consult Oprah?
Weight Watchers: Nope Jenny, I’ve made up my mind and we’re sticking with Chia seeds and Bone Broth this year. We might be able to do a public service announcement about Pop Rocks, but that’s not a promise. Meeting adjourned. Next month we brainstorm how to break it to them that taking the recommended 10,000 steps a day causes foot cancer. Now let’s get out there and cause some major mass confusion!
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Why People You Know In Real Life Want Your Blog To Fail!

haters-gonna-hate-bloggers-gonna-blogI have officially been blogging for 3.5 years now and the people who are my biggest fans (and my best supporters!) are those I haven’t even met (yet!) and who’ve never watched me grow up and feel no particular attachment to my success. That’s right — all my cyber friends really go out of their way to cheer me on. But what about my adoring family and all my real world “in the flesh” friends, you ask? They absolutely cannot be bothered to give my blog the time of day.  In fact, I just eavesdropped on this conversation the other day from two people who love me very much.

My Grandmother: So what does our girl do all day long again? She’s a Bragger? A Blotter?  A Blooper? A Blabber?

My Mother:  She’s a Blogger!

My Grandmother:  And for this we sent her to college?  What does she put on her blog anyhow?

My Mother: They’re called pillars or poles. Something like that.

Me: (bursts into room) Posts, Ma. I put posts on my blog.

That’s actually not so bad. We don’t really expect people who aren’t in this field to understand what it is we do. That’s fairly innocent. But did you know that not only are the people you’re closest to in real life not supportive, they’re downright hoping your blog gets shut down?

Why Real People Want You To Quit Blogging!

  1. THREATENED: If you announce that you’re starting a blog, heaven help you. Be prepared to get sabotaged. Just like those who proclaim they’re starting a diet and suddenly homemade Toll House cookies on platters are left on doorsteps by friends who’ve never baked before in their life.  Your success as a blogger means that people will spend less time with you because (let’s face it) blogging can consume your every waking moment.
  2. SLOTHFUL: If you don’t write stuff, they won’t have to pretend to read stuff! Your family and friends are incredibly lazy. Just let that sink in for a moment. At family reunions, I hand my brother printed out pages of my blog because I know he won’t ever bother to click on the links I text him. And this way I can oversee which parts he likes by monitoring his facial expressions as I peer over his shoulder while he reads. “What??  That line about how controlling our mother is doesn’t even get a chuckle?” I chastise. “I think it warrants a guffaw at the very least.” The Laugh Police is out in full force.
  3. FEARFUL: They don’t want to be IN your blog. That’s right. We’re in need of material and they’re the ones we have daily contact with. My family and friends preface everything they tell me now with, “And this stays between us! So don’t even think about sneaking it on your blog even if you change my name, my gender, or my profession.” My 15.5 year-old daughter refuses to learn to drive unless I give up blogging.  I am bribing her to get behind the wheel, my pen poised.
  4. NO CONTROL: You’ve entered the blogosphere and are socializing with a whole new set of people named, “Food For Thought” and “Diary of a Scatterbrain” and frankly the people in your normal daily life can’t come along to these Posting Parties. They will wonder if someone who goes by “Biff Sock Pow!” is a harmless comic book character or looking to do you real harm.
  5. SOUR GRAPES: They’re jealous because they secretly wanted to start their own blog but you already beat them to it — so now it looks like they’re just big fat copycats without an original idea in their head. Work with me on this one, will ya? It could be possible.
  6. MAGAZINES: They’re old school and believe the only real way to ingest information, entertainment, and knowledge is to turn tangible pages in their hot little hands. Every time I get published, it never fails that my mother asks, “Which magazine? Cosmo? Glamour, People?” And I always say, “It’s going up on an online blog, Ma. But it gets a million hits a year!” Only to hear her retort, “I hope they have good insurance. Those hit and run drivers, I’ll tell you. They cause lots of damage.”
  7. MEMORY ISSUES: There are a percentage of your friends who can’t even remember your name, let alone what you wrote on today’s post. They’re wanting to avoid the grilling and interrogation that inevitably happens if they become a regular reader. When I was married, I regularly quizzed my husband on what he thought of my topics, the title, the hook, the ending, and if he found anything that needed fixing like typos or punctuation. I desperately wanted his input but he couldn’t recollect a thing about my blog. It got so bad that he finally told me he was resigning as my editor because he had “Correctile dysfunction.”
  8. JUST ANOTHER NUMBER: Your family and friends don’t want to turn into a run of the mill statistic. They know you watch your Google analytics like a hawk and you can see when or IF they’ve tuned in to your blog. And if they did read it, but failed to leave a “like” or a “comment” — well that’s a crime punishable to the fullest extent of the relationship. That’s right! If they’re going to give you the silent treatment on your blog, you’re not going to speak to them in real life.
  9. FOLLOW THE LEADER: Many people bristle at the thought that they’re gonna become one of your “followers.” “Really??” My cousin recently told me. “I watched you grow up, a goofy little girl who stuttered and wore “waiting for a flood” pants with your Farrah Fawcett hairdo which by the way you somehow still wear today?  Farrah Fawcett went down the drain in the 80’s, ya know. I should follow you? I’d rather play Simon Says!”

And there you have it. Nine creative reasons why the people in your life want you to delete your blog. And a few more interesting explanations (justifications) would be left in the comment section below, by all my well-meaning friends and relatives — but NONE of them will ever read my blog!

Important Note: if you have real life relationships who genuinely WANT to be the wind beneath your wings with regards to your blogging craft, but they’re not sure how — immediately direct them right HERE because this is brilliant advice authored by a Christine Carter, (a highly supportive cyber friend of mine!) that will guide them on exactly how they can help you and perhaps more importantly, WHY they should help you.

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

20 Tips on How NOT To Create a Successful Blog!

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  1. Decide that you need a new hobby, but because you’re a raging alcoholic and also because you have terrible knee injuries, home beer-brewing or bodybuilding would be risky and painful. By default, blogging seems a sobering and safe pastime.
  2. Announce to everyone and their uncle that your exciting mystery blog (more colorful and explosive than fireworks!) will burst into the World Wide Web on July 4th, 2017.
  3. Starting July 1st, send countdown emails to everyone you know. “4 More Days Until Mystery Blog!” then “3 More Days Until Mystery Blog!” etc. until finally it’s just “1 More Day Until Mystery Blog!”
  4. Become nervous with all the pressure and expectations you’ve built up and on the day of your blog’s birth, scramble for a good domain name and any interesting content.
  5. Call your new baby simply, “My Mystery Blog!” and make your first post a list of good places to view fireworks across the country. There! That oughta hold ’em until July 5th.
  6. Realize you need someone to host your blog, but nobody has the good manners to offer. Don’t be a rude guest and blatantly ask someone to host it for you. Briefly consider hiring Hostess, but then you’d have to write about Twinkies and Cupcakes. Conclude you’ve read enough Martha Stewart magazines to be able to Self-Host.
  7. Install WordPress even though you’ve never even installed carpet, tile, or a kitchen sink before. But don’t worry about installing any of those “plugins” — after all, it’s not like you need an outlet for a toaster. And certainly skip over anything that has the word “Yoast” in it. If they can’t be bothered to correct their typo in the word “Toast,” why should you be bothered to prepare bread with jam? Just have a bagel and cream-cheese instead.
  8. Choose whatever theme you prefer. Just avoid flying toasters as that’s passé.
  9. Contemplate whether you want to allow comments or not. Go ahead and permit comments, but make sure the people who leave them must first prove they are human by solving for X if Y = Yoast. To the 10th power.
  10. Find your blogging niche, which is just another way of saying “write what you’re passion about.” It can be anything except for Passion itself. Being passionate about passion is like being curious about curiosity. You’re not Alice in Wonderland.
  11. Define your ideal reader and then promptly forget about your blogging niche. From now on, you’ll want to solely cater your writing specifically for your new Followers. Example: Your very first subscriber goes by the name of, “Eat to the Beat!” They’re probably into food, so blog about recipes. However they might also be into music so write about Billboard’s Top 40. Your next follower’s name is “MamaBelly” so be sure and make your post about getting pregnant. However “MamaBelly” could mean they want to lose weight, so cover your bases and review the 5 Best Low Carb Diets. Your third and fourth subscriber’s names are “Raindrops on Roses” and “Where the Sun Don’t Shine” so play it safe and just blog about the weather. Keep incorporating a wide variety of topics in each post until every single reader feels you’re speaking directly to them. Never write just for yourself — you’re the last person who will be reading your blog.
  12. When people begin to remark it’s impossible to predict your subject matter, remind them that’s why you are “A Mystery Blog.” Tag your stuff with words like, “Guess What Now?” and “Mishmash” and “Hodgepodge.”
  13. Figure out the best time of day to post a new blog, taking into consideration all the different time zones of your 8 followers. Evening hours work best if you want your blog to be considered a cure for insomnia.
  14. Decide you’ve lived your life a bit too safely, never running a red light or telling a single white lie. Google lots of awesome photo images for your blog posts and then cut n’ paste without paying for them or giving proper attribution. Stay up late at night flirting with disaster and tempting fate each time your blog is viewed.
  15. Hire a lawyer to plea bargain on your behalf for Copyright Infringement.
  16. Admit that this whole thing is far more work than you thought and invite a friend to co-author your blog with you. But always place your initials in parenthesis after an especially witty sentence so that readers will continue to know it’s really still YOU they’re laughing at. (LMM)
  17. Never visit other blogs. Once you begin reading their stuff, you will be distracted from writing your own. Or worse, accused of trespassing. It’s “a blog eat blog world out there” so mind your own business! If you do peruse other blogs, take care to leave zero evidence behind. Even a short “this was great!” comment can enable the blog owner to retrace the breadcrumbs back to your blog and then the jig is up. Didn’t your mother ever read Hansel and Gretel to you?
  18. Invite businesses onto your site so you can make money by keeping a percentage of what they sell. Hookers will fight over who gets to stand in front of your blog advertising “their wares.” But that happens on popular street corners as well. A good pimp will settle disputes.
  19. Don’t write articles with titles on, “How NOT to Do Something.” This will be confusing, deceiving, and contradictory. Should people do as you say but NOT as you do? No! Should they NOT do as you say and NOT do as you do? Yes!
  20. And lastly, check your statistics obsessively because they will tell the entire story of your success. If you see a lot of search terms having to do with raging alcoholics and terrible knee injuries, congratulate yourself on choosing the best hobby for you . . . BLOGGING!

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

How NOT To Plan a Summer BBQ in 15 Easy Steps (Plus Bonus Swimming Pool Etiquette! Uh, NOT!)

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Yup, Summer is Upon Us! Here’s how NOT to Plan a BBQ Get-Together!

  1. Feel guilty remembering last July when you were grilling steaks in your backyard, the newly moved-in next-door neighbor popped his fat head over the fence and yelled, “Mmm, something sure smells good!”
  2. Resolve to invite anyone who lives within “Wafting Aroma” distance.
  3. Rethink leaving notification flyers under everyone’s welcome mat on their front doorstep because that’s what pushy realtors and obnoxious cable companies do. Instead hang “Everyone is Welcome to Our Backyard Cookout” posters on group mailboxes.
  4. Hide your shock when the postman personally delivers bills/letters to your porch and then asks if it’s okay to bring his cousins and their kids?
  5. Overhear through your open window two mothers chatting on the sidewalk below, “Do you know her? I don’t either. How lame. Maybe she has no other friends.”
  6. Realize you wrote “Potluck” on the invites to promote camaraderie and teamwork, but now everyone will probably just think you’re cheap. Also since you didn’t do that organized Martha Stewart trick where you divide the alphabet into A-L = side dish/drinks and M-Z = main course/appetizer, there will now be 17 containers of Costco white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on your dessert table.
  7. Knock on individual doors because you forgot to put RSVP info in your flyer. Act surprised when the first neighbors (The Coopers?) thank you for inviting them, but then they remark they’ll only come if they’ll know someone else there. Reassure them that the O’Donnell family will definitely be attending, because you know they like them. Break a sweat running to the O’Donnell house and casually mention the Cooper family will be at your BBQ and you hope they’ll come too?
  8. Pray that the Coopers and the O’Donnells never EVER bring this topic up in conversation with one another.
  9. Go in your backyard and fret that your plants are dying, your lawn furniture is tattered, and everyone else’s property is surely a better place to hold a BBQ than yours. And what’s there to do back here after scarfing down burgers? Absolutely nothing.
  10. Re-landscape, buy patio seating, and put in an underground swimming pool with a built-in waterslide.
  11. Make the case to your husband that you need to repaint your home’s interior as neighbors need to walk thru your entire house to get to the backyard because if they go via the side gate, it stinks due to trashcans. Keep talking about Benjamin Moore “Swiss Coffee Shoreline” color palette when he interrupts and says he’ll simply relocate the garbage barrels inside your garage.
  12. Phone a marriage counselor when the divorce papers are delivered.
  13. Field phone calls from your siblings and parents who complain they were looking forward to a quiet family reunion BBQ but now you had to go and invite a bunch of strangers so now they’re not coming.
  14. Traipse around the entire neighborhood canceling your event when the local weatherman claims an unseasonable rainstorm is hitting San Diego this weekend.
  15. Ask what looks like your mailman’s grandma to please pass the butter for the corn-on-the-cob and then tell the mailman’s cousin’s children that you’d appreciate if they’d use their indoor voices while sitting at your formal dining room table.

Do’s And Don’ts To Get Along Swimmingly At a Community Pool!

This season you may be visiting a group swimming pool, so here’s my official list of Do’s and Don’ts, which you are encouraged to take with a grain of salt. (Or if your pool isn’t a saltwater based system– a capful of chlorine.)

  • DO arrive at the community pool with proper identification and whatever keycard you need to get through the gate. DON’T shout out to nearby sunbathers on lounge chairs from behind the bars, “Listen! I really do live here. I can prove it. Maybe you know my neighbors, The Coopers or The Odonnells? You can call them to verify my residency. Ready? 760 – 944 …” And DON’T rattle off a list of neighborhood trivia (like previous fires, burglaries, times car alarms go off in the morning, or who the mailman is sleeping with) as further evidence. If you’re desperate (and you really do reside in the development) DO make your best puppy dog expression at the individuals sitting under the umbrellas nearest the fence and offer to share your oatmeal cookies or fudge brownies with them if they let you in.
  • DON’T bring oatmeal cookies or fudge brownies to a pool! It will exacerbate the current ant problem. But DO bring “Ants on a Log” (the old peanut-butter on celery sticks with raisins to get kids to eat healthy) because the ants will view this snack as a prophetic bad omen and march off the premises.
  • If it’s forbidden to play “Marco Polo” (and it should be!) DON’T tell your children it’s okay to start shouting “Parco Molo!” at the top of their lungs instead. Just DON’T. Also while swimming, DO offer friendly salutations to people you recognize strolling by, but if they casually inquire, “So how’s the water today?” DON’T automatically answer with that tired cliché, “Like a bathtub!” There are many other ways to describe a warm pool so DO be creative. DO say, “Like a beach in Hawaii” or “like toasty hot cocoa.” DON’T say, “Like about 85 kids recently peed in it.”
  • Remember license plate holders that proudly declared, “My other car is a Porsche?” DO post a sign on your chest claiming, “My other bathing suit is a string bikini!” DON’T recline on your back overtly reading scandalous books with inappropriate covers for others to gawk at. But DO make phony dustjackets that say, “Dog-Paddling for Dummies” or “10 Wholesome Short Stories to Read at Public Swimming Pools” to slip over your provocative novels, because you shouldn’t have to miss all those juicy chapters!
  • DO use the outdoor shower that’s usually provided before you jump in the pool because that’s its primary purpose, to clean off your yuckiness. DON’T assume the shower was built for your personal grooming habits after your swim, which means DON’T bring a deep-conditioner, a razor, a loofah brush, an acne facial mask, a fogless mirror, and a luxurious bathmat. DO bring a rubber-ducky cuz that’s just plain cute.
  • And finally, DO let that family (with the really sad eyes and a bag full of oatmeal cookies and fudge brownies) with no key or ID into the community pool, because it’s probably my six kids and me. And I swear (on my other bikini) that we really do live here!

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Yes, You CAN Interview Yourself . . . And You Definitely Should!

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Welcome to today’s much anticipated (at least by the interviewer herself) Q & A session with the renown “Little Miss Menopause.” The questions will be asked by Stephanie D. Lewis, (SDL) essentially the exact same person as Little Miss Menopause (LMM) although if you believe in different personas, then this is a totally legit interview! So here we go . . .

SDL: Welcome Little Miss Menopause! It’s so nice to have you here. And you needn’t waste readers’ time by responding, “thank you for having me!” so let’s just get into our first question, shall we? How did you come to call yourself Little Miss Menopause?”

LMM: Well before I was a blogger, I wrote for an organization called, “Wine, Women & Hormones” and they paid me to make hot flashes, muffintops, and memory loss funny. I thought mid-life symptoms were the extent of my humor so I started this blog titled, “Once Upon Your Prime” and then I further boxed myself in by naming myself after the female change of life.

SDL: Way to go. I suppose it’s lucky you weren’t writing for a company about puberty or you might have been called, “Little Miss Menstruation!”

LMM:  Ha. I’ll be the funny one. Okay, we’ll split the one-liners equally. Next question?

SDL: How long have you been writing for?

LMM: I had a feeling you’d ask me that. I kept a diary from about 7th grade on. It was Snoopy brand (fittingly!) and had a lock with this silver minuscule key, but I always assumed that because I peeked inside everyone else’s diary, mine was also being heavily perused — so I’d purposely weave in these really entertaining fictional anecdotes. It turns out my family respected my rights and nobody ever violated my privacy.

SDL And so you you started intentionally leaving it unlocked, right? To tempt people. When that didn’t work, you actually left a post-it note with, “Please read!” on top, right? But still nobody picked it up.

LMM: Yes, yes! How did you know all that?

SDL: Because you’re boring, predictable, and also I was kinda there. So let’s see, next question . . . how did you manage to break into writing for The Huffington Post?

LMM: That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone to a BLogHer writer’s conference in 2014 where Ms. Huffington was the keynote speaker.

SDL: Cornered her with the ole boring diary, did you?

LMM: No, I pretended I was already a Huff Post columnist but that I’d recently been unfairly let go. I pleaded for another chance and promised I’d be funnier. So I got myself rehired when I was never really hired in the first place!

SDL: And if you were never hired, you could never be fired either. You steal a lot of stuff from Seinfeld’s character Kramer, doncha?

LMM: Speak for yourself. So what made you decide to interview me? Or shall we just drop this whole reporter pretense and ask, what made you decide to interview yourself, Stephanie?

SDL: The idea came to me last week that everyone deserves the chance (even if they’re not famous) to have stimulating questions thrown at them. I waited around to see if anyone would ask me anything, but only my kids approached me with a certain amount of curiosity. They asked me what was for dinner? I finally decided there was nothing wrong with doing this myself. It’s part of my personal Self-Care which I just wrote about in the entry below this one. (Small plug!) Now mind you, I didn’t have to disclose that this was a self-interview because nobody would have figured it out, but I pride myself on being brutally honest.

LMM: Yes, I’m sure Arianna Huffington would concur. So might this interview thing also be in honor of finally hitting a certain number of followers that has been your long time goal? And if so, what’s that number?

SDL:  I’m not going to disclose how many followers I have, are you crazy? Some people would think it’s too high or too low. Just like my weight, I wouldn’t tell you that either.

LMM:  I already know what you weigh, fool. Remember? I am you. You are me. Ohh yeah, that’s right . . .  we use one of those scales that doesn’t show our weight, it only specifies if we’ve gained or lost. Which is like a doctor not telling you what your diagnosis is, only if you’re getting better or worse. Don’t you think? Of what use is that?

SDL: I’m kinda getting sick of you. And somehow you’ve turned this whole thing around so now you’re the one interviewing me. Let’s just cut to the chase and issue our challenge already.

LMM: Alrighty. If you’re reading this and you’re feeling brave (and quirky!) try interviewing yourself on your own blog. C’mon! What have you got to lose? It’s fun and everyone should do it. Just like masturbation.

SDL: OMG. I am so relieved that my persona said that last line, and not me! How totally embarrassing. Anyhow, if you take me (us!) up on this self-interview challenge, feel free to come back and post a link in the comments section. Thank you! And thank you for your time Little Miss Menopause.

LMM:  No, I’m thanking YOU!

SDL: Nope, thank YOU!  Now sign off.

LMM: No, you sign off. I want the last word.

SDL: Unbelievable. Seriously?? Goodbye.

LMM:  Aha … Gotcha!

SDL: Could you be a more Immature persona??

Various microphones aligned at press conference isolated over a

 

 

 

 

 

So Who Died and Left You in Charge?

in-chargeDo you sometimes wonder how certain (relatively inconsequential) things in life get decided? I mean who was the one specific individual that arrived at the ultimate conclusion? I’m not even talking about who makes all the major, significant determinations — (YOU can be in charge of making that particular list!) I just mean the odds n’ ends type of stuff that needs a final verdict. Let’s delve deeper, shall we? Because here are 12 things that nobody really knows who is in charge of!

Who’s In Charge Of . . . ?

  1. Selecting the specific kind of pornography for the men who use the “deposit” room at sperm donor or infertility clinics?
  2. Deciding that 1970’s Chia Pets (with their annoying “Ch Ch Ch Chia” commercial jingles) should now be a “health” seed that we must sprinkle on frigging EVERYTHING we eat?
  3. Figuring out the number of seconds a doctor leaves the examination room so a patient can fully disrobe and put on that silly paper gown? (As an aside: Who told doctors to rap on the door three times first, when they’re just gonna barge in on you half-naked anyhow? For once I’d like doctors to knock, then wait patiently while I yell, “Be right there. Will ya hold your horses already? I’m just taking something out of the oven!”)
  4. Singing the alphabet in a singsong voice so that the five middle letters sound like just one long one… “elemenopee?”
  5. Substituting the inane phrase “reaching out” for the old sensible word, “contacting.” When someone thanks me for “reaching out” on the phone, I wanna burst into Neil Diamond’s syrupy lyrics, “Hands, touching hands, reaching out…touching me, touching you!”
  6. Prescribing what the average “room temperature” should be in a house? Because this individual is solely responsible for a great many of the arguments I have with my ex-husband. (Identify yourself!)
  7. Firing the classic national Time Lady? C’mon you remember her? You’d call the telephone number and a familiar recorded voice reassured you it was 5:32 EXACTLY. She’d throw in the outdoor temperature as a bonus — (so my ex-husband and I could squabble over the indoor one.) And while I’m at it, who also decided who the voice of Siri should be?
  8. Determining at what age a woman should stop wearing a mini-skirt?
  9. Checking if a bride actually has something old, new, borrowed and blue?
  10. Choosing which side of the bed a husband and wife get to sleep on? And why can’t they alternate nightly?
  11. Stating that a “portion size” of Reddi Whip Cream is a mere two tablespoons? (And shouldn’t the measurement be calibrated as “squirts in the mouth?’)
  12. Deciding which foods (salmon, I’m looking at you!) get to qualify as “Good fats?” (And why can’t Reddi Whip make the cut?)CGJiWEgUYAAZJOU.png

Readers, leave me a comment about something you often ask, “Sheesh, who the heck was in charge of THAT?” (But don’t blame me — I was only in charge of six children.)

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Let’s REALLY Mix Up the Media!

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAEiAAAAJDUwZTk3MDViLTFkZGQtNDg2OC1hNWI0LTcxNDQwMzMwZjNiMw (1)In an age where amusement park rides (“Pirates of Caribbean”) and board games (“Clue”) can become movies, comic strips (Lil’ Orphan Annie) become Broadway musicals, books (“Gone Girl”) become cinema thrillers,   and novels become a controversial Netflix television series (“13 Reasons Why”) I’ve decided WHY STOP THERE?

Songs Becoming News Stories!

(Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”)

In a New York bar on a Saturday night as the regular crowd shuffled in, many patrons allegedly inundated a helpless pianist with random musical requests. Some were sad, some were sweet, and some were incomplete as people struggled with their memories, substituting “La la la, di da da La la, di da da da dum” for actual lyrics. Even the bartender, who was identified only as John (and who gave free drinks, was quick with a joke or to light up a smoke) seemed to hold the compassionate piano player accountable for his own unhappiness and the fact that he couldn’t break free from the nightclub to become a movie star. “Bill, I believe this is killing me,” he was quoted as saying. Other innocent bystanders included a real estate novelist, a waitress practicing politics, and some businessmen slowly getting stoned. One witness claimed the piano sounded like a carnival and the microphone smelled like a beer, but this could not be substantiated. In fact many customers ordered the drink special of the night, called “Loneliness” and this seemed to evoke a common sentiment that if the pianist would only sing them the right kind of song with a melody that they were in the mood for, then everyone would be feeling alright. The manager finally appeared and gave a smile, aware that it was his establishment that helped everyone forget about life for a while. It was unknown whether the Piano Man later sought therapy for the pressure he felt during this incident.

Recipes Becoming Poetry!

(Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies)

Baking time will be less than a half hour at 350 oven power

First grab 1 tsp salt, baking soda, and 2 1/4 cups flour,

Add in 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and be sure it’s 1 cup butter

You’ll be dropping by spoonfuls, no need for cookie cutter!

Don’t overbake, you want them soft and chewy to the lips,

And they won’t taste right if you don’t add chocolate chips!

Poetry Becoming Dog Tags!

If you’re reading this, it means I’m lost.

Maybe there’s a street I shouldn’t have crossed.

But the worst is over ‘cuz now I’ve been found. . .

And you’ve saved me from ending up in the pound.

So pick up the phone and give my owner a holler

And tell them you read this rhyme on my collar!”

Lyrics Becoming Essays!

(Katy Perry’s “Firework” – Graded by Little Miss Menopause)

Kati Perry “Firework”
8th Grade/Eng Comp 101/Period 4

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?(Careful beginning any persuasive essay with a question — if the answer is “No” you’ve just lost your reader.)

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin like a house of cards, (archaic phrase, nobody knows what this is except for the popular TV show.) one blow from caving in? (overly dramatic, credibility?)

Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under? Screams, but no one seems to hear a thing. (morbid tone, not in keeping with rest of your paper, Ms. Perry)

Do you know that there’s still a chance for you ’cause (you must type out ‘because’ in formal essays) there’s a spark in you. (more supporting evidence needed) You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, just own the night like the Fourth of July. (awkward sentence structure!)

‘Cause baby you’re a firework, come on show ’em what your (you’re) worth. Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” (use proper dialoguing format here.) As you shoot across the sky-y-y. (cliche) Baby you’re a firework. (cite your source) Come on let your colors burst! Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” (Choppy!) You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down.

Boom, boom, boom even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through. You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down. Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Etc, etc.

(D+ You tried Katy, and this is a much better effort than your “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” term paper, but your closing argument paragraph is redundant, nonsensical, and frankly better suited for a song lyric. I’m recommending you repeat English Comp 101.)

Movie Dialogue Becoming Resumes

Skills and Experience:

  • Phoning Home
  • Building it so they will come
  • Showing the Money
  • Looking at you, Kid
  • Rounding up the usual suspects
  • Putting my lips together and whistling
  • Seeing dead people
  • Depending on the kindness of strangers
  • Never using wire hangers. EVER!
  • Martini making, shaken not stirred
  • Making your day
  • Keeping the force with you
  • Not putting babies in corners
  • Not giving a damn, but in a very frank way

Readers, join me in the fun of mixing and matching our crazy media! Why not leave me a comment with your own creative blend?

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I’d Like To Dedicate This To You, and to AVOCADOS!

featuredHave you detected the newest fad in eating? The trendiest ingredient of the millennium is now getting its own dedicated restaurant. A few of them, in fact! In Brooklyn, New York, “Avocadoria” just opened on April 10th. And in Amsterdam, “The Avocado Show” has already been serving nothing but these green gems for a while now. And don’t forget Avocado Athens, in Greece.

Little Miss Menopause (of course!) felt compelled to go undercover for a review, an interview, and to get all the facts on why these Avocado Advocates were so passionate about something that when mushed up, looks like it belongs in The Exorcist.  As I deplaned in NYC, I changed into my only green shirt with this graphic I made for the front.il_570xN.1153504504_opnt

Me: Thank you for granting me an interview in between mashing, dicing, slicing, spreading, scooping, chopping, pureeing, mincing, and blending.

Owner: Don’t forget whipping.

Me: I never read Fifty Shades. So tell me WHY the avocado?

Owner: Why NOT the avocado? Avocado lives matter. And avocados have been greatly misunderstood. Not knowing if it was a vegetable or a fruit. And having it be just a $2.50 item listed on the menu under “Sides.” An avocado ain’t no side to nobody.

Me: Of course it’s not.

Owner: It’s the main course here. In fact, there’s nothing in my restaurant that isn’t made out of avocado.

Me: Is that so? Nothing? I heard you even spread it on sandwiches in place of mayo or mustard, true?

Owner: Absolutely! There’s nothing in our sandwiches except avocado.

Me: But what about the bread?? Aha . . . caught you!!

Owner: Where you been girl? Avocado loaves!

Me: That’s not a thing.

Owner: Oh it’s soooooo a thing!avo

Me: Hmm, okay well how about this? If I were to order guacamole . . .

Owner: You’d be one boring, sheltered girl.

Me: Never mind that. If I were to order guacamole, what would you serve me to dip in it? Got ya there! You’d bring me tortilla chips, wouldn’t you?? You would!

Owner: Nope. We slice avocado into little half-dollar size circles and deep fry them in . . .

Me: OLIVE oil!  Busted!

Owner: Extra Virgin Avocado oil. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

After I left the interview feeling totally beaten, I had to admit the place was packed, the ambience was green and creamy, clean and dreamy, and the chef had it so easy. Just one ingredient for their entire menu! The wheels began to turn for me . . .

I know! I’ll open a restaurant that serves only Yams. I’m tired of people mixing up yams with sweet potatoes. I’ll call it, “I Yam Nuts!” Oh wait, then I’d have to serve cashews and almonds and pistachios as well. But not peanuts. They’re a legume.

As I walked, I brainstormed more mono-food eateries. “Cafe Capers” or “Okra-Homa” or my personal favorite, “Twinkie Twinkie Little Star,” but I’d have to talk to Hostess first.

Ironically on the street with the Avocadoria restaurant were a bunch of apparel stores, but selling one specific item. The signs proudly proclaimed, “Solo Socks” and “Only Underwear” and “Just Jammies” and “Merely Madras.” This was getting really weird.

I walked into “Scarcely Skirts” and tried to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.

Me: I’d like to buy a pair of pants?

Owner: Sorry, we only carry skirts.

Me: Oh, I’m sure you must have something else besides skirts here. I know! I’d like to buy some hangers.

Owner: We don’t have any hangers.

Me: Then what’s suspending all your skirts from the clothing racks??

Owner: Get out, Little Miss Menopause. You are obviously in need of some mushrooms. Go next door and order some shroom tacos at “Fungus ForAllOfUs.”

I have a new plan. There must be some way for me to capitalize on this new segregational commerce trend. And I’ll start with “Avocadoria.” In the vacant space next door, I am going to open a restaurant called, “The Anti-Avo.” We’ll cook everything under the sun. Except for Avocados. I’ll be an Avocado Avoidant.

Customers will become so enraged by what they see the culinary world becoming, that they’ll embrace grub integration once more.  So won’t you join me in the food good fight, hop onto this grassrutabaga grassroots cruciferous crusade where all nourishment and noshes will once again coexist in peace and harmony.

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When The Sheet Hits The Fan!

oopsLast night I tossed and turned (a Caesar salad’s got nothin’ on me!) while cursing at my fitted sheet, which ironically is totally UNFIT to be slept on. This is the SIXTH set of bed linens I’ve purchased that have been pre-programmed by the manufacturer to drive me slowly mad by having a corner insidiously slip a half-inch every hour until it PING, snaps off the mattress entirely.

How do I know this? Because any manufacturer of a simple household product who thinks a huge selling point would be to put in large printed letters on a colorful sticker, right over the price tag, the message — “100% Percale! Now with 800 thread count!” is definitely out to get me. You see they know if I’m still moving forward to purchase this product (even after questioning what “Percale” might be and receiving a dire thread count warning), then I’m actually someone who is compulsive enough to recheck and confirm their number claim by totaling up the sum of threads on my fingers.

Okay, so really Mr. Inventor Guy? Seriously?? You can go on Shark Tank with your bladeless windmill, a shoelace-tying robot, plus figure out a way to grow guacamole right inside the avocado so there’s no messy mashing (Okay, I made that last one up, but wouldn’t it be cool?) yet you can’t devise a fitted sheet that stays securely on a bed mattress, without waking up the (already neurotic) occupant with a startle??

So I did what any desperate insomniac would do. I took to the internet for advice. On a website called Question.com I posted this:

Help! How can I stop the sheet from popping off my mattress? 

Within seconds an answer appeared, but in photograph form.

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Okay so that person must be a former treasure hunt, map-maker who believes “X marks the spot” is the solution to everything in life.

When I finally figured out that what I was looking at was the BOTTOM of the mattress, I explained to the helpful (NOT!) responder that mine was king-sized (and far too heavy to ever flip over!)

Immediately my grandmother (who must diligently read this obscure question/answer website in between her bridge games?) suddenly posted an image of what I can only guess are the garters she uses to hold up her stockings, except grandma has four legs now??

IMG_3812

After that, a bunch more “answers” came fast and furiously but not via cryptic photos. There were heated debates about my California King mattress being far too wide for just my regular King-sized sheets. It must’ve been presumed that because I live in San Diego I definitely own a California King mattress?

Next came the comics. On the internet, comedians always come out of the woodwork, (which I guess in the case of bed problems would be out of the headboard) except none were funny. Here’s an example anyhow.

“Hi! I’m Paul. I don’t have anything to say about how to fix this issue you’re having, but I misread the question as, ‘How can I stop the sh*t from pooping off my mistress?’ Haha.

Uh, Don’t quit your day OR your night job, Paul.

Next came all the “handy helpful hints” which are from women named Heloise. They fall under the general theme of using other common household objects to fix the original household object. Like this:safety pins

And you just know that once the Safety Pin Brigade begins, it can’t be long before The Duct Tape proponents come out in droves. Followed by The Velcro People.

Next I patiently wade through answers from sheer genius, analytical types . . . (but who can’t spell to save their life)

yh

And to this person I graciously respond, “No sheet, Sherlock?!”

There were many more answers (92 responses in total) to this age old dilemma and soon I realized that everyone had their own special way of handling the old “fitted sheet slipping off the corner” conundrum and I began to feel a certain camaraderie with all these fellow bedmates. I ended my “thank you’s” by bidding them “Sweet Dreams!” and cautioning them not to “let the bedbugs bite.” We shared pictures of our adorable children who had also been subjected to this same irritating fate.The-fitted-sheet-keeps-coming-off-the-bed-our-solutionpin1

And in this “it’s a small world” moment I was feeling that surely we must all have more in common than just our sheets coming undone from our mattresses, and so I posted a totally new and completely unrelated question.

“Help! After doing laundry, how do you neatly fold the fitted sheet and win the war in your linen closet?”

And just like that, we all intensely bonded over who had the best YouTube video showcasing a live demonstration.

It’s quite a relief knowing I will never lose another night’s sleep wondering who My People are, because I am now a confirmed member of the “Get a life” tribe.

And to all a good night!

Little Miss Menopause

Want Attention? Just Say You’re Getting Rid of Something!

IMG_3404Parker Brothers used to hold the monopoly on making a big media production over retiring an iconic object. In February they took a vote and announced which piece would leave their famous board game.  It turns out that seams aren’t the only thing ripped from archaic sewing rooms because THE THIMBLE was voted to be torn from Monopoly’s token collection when it was deemed esoteric (Personally I think the word “esoteric” should have been retired from our vocabulary long ago!) and given a big “thumbs” down. The thimble, really?? Well, I’ll be “darned.”

Oy. Do we really care about any of this??

Of course we don’t. At least not anymore. Because this earth-shattering news just paled in comparison to the latest vivid revelation . . .

Today (on National Crayon Day, doncha know?) Crayola finally disclosed (while holding us in suspense for as long as it takes to scrub Burnt Sienna off our bathroom wall after our child throws a tantrum) which classic color will be swiftly retired from their 24-pack.

Turns out DANDELION has been weeded out and put to pasture!

Well color me surprised! Can you really garner this much attention over retiring something? And now people are really getting worked up because it’s been proclaimed that the replacement crayon will be “blueish.” But that’s as descriptive as Crayola cares to get (for now!) because . . . (drum roll!) it seems that WE all get to submit an explicit suggestion for the blue crayon’s new unique name!

Frankly, I’d just be tickled pink if simple tricks like these worked in my life to garner me some respect and fanfare.

It’s worth a go . . .

ME: Hey kids, guess what? I’m retiring an object from our silverware drawer. You’ll never guess what it is, but care to try??

YOUNGEST SON: Wait, we have a silverware drawer? Where is it?? I just grab forks for my scrambled eggs straight out of the dishwasher.

OLDER SON: What?? You get served scrambled eggs! I just get a bowl of Cheerios slapped down in front of me.

DAUGHTER: And ewww, you take stuff from the dishwasher?? Those crusted, baked-on dishes have been sitting in that Maytag appliance since mom was pregnant and we threw a shower for you. And you’re 13-years-old now. Not a baby anymore.

ME:  That’s it, I knew you guys would  guess it! That’s exactly what I’m retiring from the silverware drawer — his tiny baby spoon! Shall we call Gerber? Channel 7 news? Parker Brothers? And now let’s think of a fun name to call the new utensil that will take its place! For a prize of course . . .

I watched as one-by-one they grabbed Oreos, shoved them in their mouths, and filed out of the kitchen, eying me in that way they did when I remarked that Adele’s song “Hello From The Other Side” was about a ghost in the afterlife.

However (to be fair) later on I received a cryptic text from my 15-year-old that said simply, “Spork!!!  Now what do I win?”

Ugh. Next try will be with my boyfriend…

ME: Honey, there’s something very important that I’ve used a lot, but now that I’m menopausal, I think it’s the right time to say goodbye to it.

HIM: Well it can’t be your gym shoes.

ME:  I’m retiring my diaphragm.

HIM: Interesting. Won’t you need that to breathe??

Everyone’s a comic. After I retired aspartame from my diet (and replaced it with Sucralose) and nobody seemed to notice, (or care) I took one last shot at an official announcement.

Because three times is a charm.

ME: Hey everyone, I’ve finally made a decision. I’m gonna retire something that’s long overdue to be gone. Can you guess what it is?

EVERYONE: Your so called humor blog??? “Once Upon Your Prime!” OMG! That’s fantastic news. And don’t worry, we’ll all visit it every year in the old folk’s home out in the blogosphere. Yay! So let’s have a big party! We’ll even eat your cake with Sporks! Anything you want. But we just can’t wait to celebrate bidding good riddance to that bland, bloated, blabbermouth blog of yours!!!

Great, that’s just great. But at least now I have a suggestion for the name of the new  crayon that’s replacing Dandelion. “Bland, Bloated, Blabbermouth Bloggy Blue!” What do ya say, Crayola??

A close up shot of a bunch of colorful crayons

Home Publishing Not What You Think!

imagescluttered-frig

“How can I get up on our refrigerator like all my friends do?” my youngest son asked me. After admonishing him that household furniture isn’t for climbing on top of, (and shaking my head at other parents’ inability to properly discipline) I realized he was actually inquiring as to how one of his watercolor paintings could be displayed on the front of the fridge!

Along with plastic bright-colored alphabet letters, (even though I have zero preschoolers anymore!) and the tiny nonsense magnetic poetry words (someone recently pushed a few random tiny rectangles together to form the sentence, “I will pour out yesterday after we love today and squirt out tomorrow!”) the fridge spotlighted his five older siblings’ important school flyers, report cards, old photographs, party invitations, announcements, pencil doodles, and yep, tons of really cool student art.

All of this paper paraphernalia was tacked up in such overcrowded disarray, the built-in purified water dispenser was probably anticipating an eviction notice.

But hey, (now that he mentioned it!) it dawned on me that my son wasn’t the only one excluded. Nothing of mine had made it up onto those shiny stainless-steel paneled doors (which I now considered so prestigious, they rivaled The New Yorker. And received more hungry stares a day than a big time magazine’s circulation!) either, and I was supposedly the Queen of this here kitchen. Hmmph. A new career goal was born.

Mustering up my self-confidence, I finally submitted something to The Refrigerator, and here’s what happened.

Dear Author,

Thank you for breaking the ice and trying us with your recent listicle cleverly titled, “Groceries Needed for Sunday’s Bridal Shower.” While we feel it has a certain ravenous charm, the subject matter may not be cool enough for the fresh image our staff strives to preserve. But chill out (and don’t get cold feet!) because we’ve forwarded your piece on to another appliance whose sleek surface we feel may be a better fit.

Cheers,

Frigidaire, side-by-side model #FFPSS2677RF

Next came this.

Dear Writer,

Hey, what’s cooking? I’ve received your work for possible inclusion in our upcoming doorthology. Though I quickly warmed up to the idea of featuring specific food brands, I’m not so hot on possible copyright infringement. Could Betty Crocker sue? That’s the burning question!. At this point in time, I think I’ll pass, but your concept will go on the back burner for a future issue and I invite you to send something else so I can evaluate your range. Piece of cake, right?

Yours Truly,

General Electric Convection Oven

I was feeling truly rejected but he also must’ve forwarded my submission to another colleague because this notice quickly arrived.

Dear Dishpan Hands,

We appreciate you thinking of us as a possible placement for your original endeavor, but currently we’re at maximum capacity and fully loaded with other people’s work.  Try us again during our normal cycle as we often miss a spot and then we might see the glass as half-empty. Future submission guidelines include staying energy efficient and editing out dirty words, as our motto is “Keep it clean.” Hopefully this wasn’t a detergent err a deterrent in your publishing career.

Sparklingly Yours,

Whirlpool 24 Inch Built-In Dishwasher

I gave up all hope and concluded that my writing would never see the light of day on a kitchen display. And that’s when I got the next best thing . . . 

Dear Little Miss Menopause,

Congratulations on taking the plunge with your writing because you’ve just bowled me over!  I’m flushed with pride to accept your recent work and will post it prominently as soon as I get a handle on our next issue, but let’s just say, “you’ll be on a roll now!” I know it stinks, but please keep a lid on your excitement and don’t go clogging blogging about this news just yet.

Have a nice day!

Downstairs Guest Bathroom Toilet

There was only one thing left to do . . . write a
“Dear John” letter to thank him for giving me this porcelain publication promotion.

just-because-your-refrigerator-has-lots-of-magnets-doesnt-mean-it-is-clutter-21767328

When Bloggers’ Worlds Collide! (An offbeat Meet & Greet)

IMG_0083 (1)It was finally happening!   The cleverly hilarious and wise blogger/poetess Marissa Bergen, AKA “The Rock & Roll Supermom” who blogs at Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth was coming to my town and suggested we meet at Starbucks. I don’t even drink coffee!  What would I do with myself for an hour?  How to hide my anxiety if I can’t pour cream in something and stir every five minutes? My anonymity would be shattered! She’ll find me so unfunny in real life, it won’t even be funny. I can only amuse people in writing. I better have some good one-liners and punchlines ready to go in case of emergency.

I had only met one other blogger, and that was only in my imagination right HERE. It didn’t go well!  But my biggest fear with Marissa was that she’d speak in rhymes so witty, I’d look like an idiot if I didn’t at least quote Dr. Seuss.

The Day of Our Meeting I Calmed Myself Down With the Following Reminders:

  1. She’s just a normal, down-to-earth blogger like the rest of us.
  2. She has to log in with a password (and sometimes forgets it) just like I do.
  3. She puts on her titles one word at a time.
  4. She sometimes gets tongue-tied and doesn’t know if what she’s saying even has a point.

And most importantly . . .

She can’t always End her poems with a surprise Twist and a Rhyme.

Surely she’s Penned something that must’ve Missed at one Time??

Everything would work out just fine, I told myself over and over as I played her voicemail on my cell phone which would give me the time and place to meet her. She had an adorable East Coast accent but her final sentence was :

“I look forward to meeting you, oh Stephanie

I think we’ll have lotsa fun, oh definitely!”

OMG! Did you see what she did there with Stephanie and definitely?  It’s starting already!  Nobody’s ever rhymed my name before. I need to funny myself up and FAST!

But first my daughter straightens my 80’s style hair because she always tell me I look like Fran Drescher. Besides Marissa just wrote about hair right HERE.  Next I worry that she won’t recognize me without my trademark pouf.

I drive to Starbucks fretting and meditating on Seinfeld and Shel Silverstein.

I barely got my kids fed supper. Where will I park?  I can’t be late!

Maybe I should take an upper. Will I trip in the dark? That’d be great!

Oh god, my rhythm and meter are so off! And I never use the word, “Supper.”  I say “Dinner.”  What a contrived mess!

I scramble inside Starbucks and see the most beautiful poet standing before me. She embraces me briefly before remembering one of my posts about hating hugs. She says,

Sorry I didn’t mean to hug you.

I sure hope that didn’t bug you.

What??  Such ease and natural fluidity! How can she do that?? What to say? What to do? What would I do if I were on her blog leaving a comment?

“That was terrific, Marissa.  You sure are brilliant.  Was that from the Daily Prompt?  I bet WordPress Freshly Presses this one!”  She looks at me oddly.  Oh here I go.  Putting my foot in my mouth already. I have to calm down. But wait, she’s speaking again.  Listen!

“You’re gonna think that I’m the absolute worst.

But I left our hotel without bringing my purse!”

Well she was a little off on that rhyme, but still!  Unbelievable! Thinking fast on my feet, I mumble . . .

“That’s okay. I do not like coffee in a cup, not in a mug, don’t fill ‘er up.

I do not drink Starbucks at night, so forgetting your wallet is always quite right.

No worries, Sham I am!”

That was horrible. What was I thinking with that one?  I really need to stick to my blog’s gimmick and not cross into her territory.  People begin to stare and Marissa wisely whisks us into a dark corner. We sit down and she tells me how funny my blog is and that I never fail to make her laugh. That’s my cue!  The pressure is really on now! Immediately I scrawl on a napkin:

“Did you hear about the fire in the shoe factory?”  

I hold it up for her to read. She shakes her head no, a little puzzled. I continue writing on the napkin.

“A hundred soles were lost!”

She discreetly moves her chair back a few inches. So far, so good.

We talk about kids, blogs, and everything under the sun.

We don’t mention squids or dogs, but still we’re having fun!

Whenever there’s a lull in conversation or an awkward silence, I simply hold up one of my pre-printed index cards with a riddle on it. So far I’ve stumped her on three of them. She’s not quite as brilliant as I thought because her jaw just drops and she stares helplessly, clearing her throat.  Who doesn’t know “What’s black and white and read all over?” I mean….c’mon now!

But time flies when you’re away from your bratty kids (mine, not hers!) and before we know it, we must part ways. I walk her out to her car because that’s the polite thing to do with out-of-town guests.

When she opens her driver’s door, that’s when I see it!  A brown leather purse sitting in plain sight on her passenger seat. This is her surprise twist ending!  She had money all along!

She turns to me and recites . . .

I thought I’d be nervous, trip over my words and fall

Or say the wrong thing, or not be able to rhyme at all.

So I decided to intentionally forget my ugly purse,

Giving me lotsa opportunities to speak in verse.

But it was just so perfect, so great, so cool….

As the night unfolded, it was plain you were the bigger fool!

Then we took our photo, gave a final hug and agreed to never speak of this again.

So of course we both went home and blogged about it.

Thank you for the fun, Marissa!

Signed,

Little Miss Menopause (and you thought you’d get “Little Miss Sunshine??”)

A Blog Only a Mother Could Love!

Both Mom and WordPress will make you feel guilty that this cake is not very creative!

Both Mom and WordPress will make you feel guilty that this cake is not very creative!

Okay, I know! Neither my Mother nor WordPress would approve of my recycling material but gratefully I have 1 or 2 new readers since last Mother’s Day who I hope might agree with these 8 comparisons.

8 Ways WordPress And Mothers Are Alike:

1. PRESSURE!    WordPress(ure?) sends me these “naggy little reminder” notifications when I have not met my “One Published Post Per Week” goal.  They sound like this,  “Uh Oh.  Have you forgotten something? It’s been a while since you’ve published anything new!”  But yet just like Mom, WordPress never acknowledges when I’ve far exceeded those expectations (four posts in a week?!)  C’mon a little extra love?  Cookies and Milk before bed?  Grrrr,  Just like Mom – -always quick to point out that one darn B+  even though the rest were straight A’s.

2.  BARE NECESSITIES!    WordPress lets you have the basics for free but you’ll have to pay extra for any custom designs to make your blog uniquely yours.  Mom provided room and board and three square meals a day, but if you wanted to go to Disneyland or shop at Nordstrom, those “life upgrades” were gonna cost ya!

3.  REWARDS!   Remember sticker charts?  If you kept your room clean for a week, you got taken out for ice-cream?  Well, we all know that WordPress offers the chance to be “Freshly Pressed.”  But darn it, I’ve emptied the trash, dusted and vacuumed hundreds of times on my blog . . . and my only reward has been having my allergies clear up.  So WordPress – –  If you’re gonna dangle the “Freshly Pressed Carrot”  – – be clear in the steps we need to take to finally reach it.

4.  SELF-DOUBT!   Before I did anything even slightly risky, my mother had some applicable, yet tragic horror story to deter me or make me think twice about my abilities.  “Go ahead, ride your bike in bad weather.  Lisa Carter rode her 10-speed in the rain two weeks ago and now all that’s left of her is a soggy pair of size 3 Keds strapped to her bike pedals.  Is that what you want??”  On WordPress, when I am just about to delete something, up pops a little window with what I like to call a “Lisa Carter Warning Message,” It says, “Are You Sure You Want To Do That?”photo-359

5.  CONTEMPLATION!    WordPress features “The Daily Post,” which offers different Weekly Challenges. They are fun and rewarding opportunities for writing.  i.e. “Think About a Time When You Did Something So Terrific, Everyone Cheered For You.”  or  “How Has Blogging Helped You Stay Out of Therapy?”  Whereas Your mother issued some Weekly Challenges that maybe weren’t quite as fun or rewarding. “You Just Think About What You Did Wrong and By The Time I Come Back Into Your Room, You Better Have a Handwritten Apology!”   And of course your mom is the one who single-handedly drove you into therapy.

6.  ENRICHMENT!  WordPress offers a variety of themes with lots of ways to showcase your talent.  Some play up your photography skills, others emphasize your writing more prominently.  Still more themes can help you start a business or heighten your salesmanship skills with products.  Mom read books to you, enrolled you in summer camps and gave you voice lessons so you could become a more well-rounded person.  (But I’m still waiting for someone to ask me to play, “You’re a Grand Old Flag” at a social get-together – – My Mom promised me piano lessons would make me popular at parties.)

7.  LOVE!  WordPress gave birth to all the rest of our millions of online Siblings (our Followers!) and helps us stay connected to each other by holding daily Family Reunions (The Reader).  WordPress also encourages our cyber brothers and sisters to continue to offer us support and attention by leaving kind comments.  Sure, there’s gonna be some sibling rivalry reflected in those comments (Mom likes My Poetry Best . . .  so mmmnyeah!) and some “sticking out your tongue” remarks  (Ha Ha, I have more followers than you. Check out my stats.  Made ya look!!) but overall there’s lotsa WordPress Love to go around.

8.  PUNISHMENT!    “You march right into your “Log-In” window, sign on, and write one final farewell post.  And you better make it good because from now on, you’re suspended from all your WordPress blogging privileges until further notice.  You’re lucky I’m giving you a chance to say Goodbye.  Some other Blogging Websites will shut you down for violations you’re not even aware of.  And you lose every single one of your posts! FOR LIFE.   Now don’t you take that typing tone with me, Bloggy Boy.  When I was your age, we had to write in tedious diaries.  With real tiny silver keys. And we had to turn the heavy pages, both ways, with only one finger. Next time you’ll think twice before you disobey Mama WordPress!”

Dear  WordPress – – I hope you enjoyed this post.  Because I did NOT get you a bouquet of roses this year.

Love, Little Miss Menopause

ps.  You’ll be so proud of me.  I finally have my picture next to the queen of humor writers – – Erma Bombeck!  Click HERE

“LOOK MA!  NO HANDS!”

Don't worry - - BOTH hands are on the keyboard at all times!

Don’t worry – – BOTH hands are on the keyboard at all times!

Help Yourself! (Don’t Mind if I do!)

photo 1-18 1st Ex-husband:  I read the back of a self-help book the other day and it was all about you.

Me:  Really?  Was it “The Guide to Reinventing Yourself?”

1st Ex-husband:  Uh, No. It was “Stop Walking on Eggshells:  How to deal with a Borderline.”

Me:  You mean like people who still listen to that 80’s Madonna hit song with the same title?

1st Ex-Husband: Not quite. People who have an Emotional Intensity Disorder, to put it nicely.

Me:  Ugh. You just don’t “get me.” You’ve never “gotten me.”

1st Ex-Husband: Why do you always make quotation marks with your fingers when you say that?

Naturally I went out to the closest bookstore and bought a new copy.  The first symptom listed was:

  • Frequently saying to others, “You just don’t get me.”

Followed by:

  • All or Nothing thinking (well, CAN you be halfway pregnant?)
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Impulsivity (I like to call it spontaneity)
  • Marked sensitivity to rejection (that covered every writer in America)
  • Control Issues (that covered every female in America)
  • An unwillingness to take responsibility and a tendency to blame others. (not me!)
  • Unstable Interpersonal Relationships (what do they expect when nobody “gets” you?)

As I finished up the last chapter, nodding and reluctantly agreeing, I received a phone call.

2nd Ex-Husband: Hey, just came across a book today that reminded me of you — The Bi-Polar and Her Environment.”

Me:  I’m guessing it’s not about a big white bear who prefers arctic weather, but she’s bi so she likes the sunshine too?

2nd Ex-Husband:  Nope. And did you just make air quotation marks with your fingers?  Hello? Are you there?

The neighborhood bookstore owner was politely holding the door wide open for me when I arrived, greeting me with the hardcover in his outstretched hand.  I read the entire 300 pages right then and there and sheesh — this book could not have been any more about me. Except when it wasn’t. Yes, I had mood swings and extreme behaviors but “a decreased need for sleep?” Not according to my snooze button. When I returned home, my phone was ringing determinedly.

Me:  Hello Mom.

My Mother:  My book club met tonight and . . .

Me:  Title and Author please?

My Mother:  “Should You Avoid the Avoidant Personality in Your Life?”  by Hadley Nuff.

If I drove fast enough, I could just about make it back to the bookstore before they closed.

The bookstore manager was locking up as I arrived, but had the decency to have the appropriate pages highlighted and bookmarked as he read the symptoms aloud to me. “People with Avoidant Personality Disorder experience long-standing feelings of inadequacy and are extremely sensitive to what others think about them. These feelings of inadequacy leads the person to be extremely inhibited and socially inept. They usually turn to blogging as a last resort.”

Me:  You made that last part up!

He winked at me as I grabbed the book and slipped him a twenty.

When I backed out of the lot, a parking attendant approached my car and generously handed me a stack of paperbacks. “I saw these and couldn’t help but think of you.” I glanced at the titles:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Adaptation Syndrome Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Chronic Depressive Disorder

photo 3-9By morning, blurry eyed from the small print, I had already googled three psychiatrist’s names.  But which one would be lucky enough to hit the Jackpot and treat me?

If I couldn’t make up my mind, it probably meant I also had “Decision Disorder.” All three doctors would surely have a field day! It was obvious I had over 10 syndromes. But how had I kept all of these symptoms concealed from myself all these years, I wondered?  That was easy.  I also had “Defiance Denial Disorder.”

I was extremely nervous when I realized the doctor (whose name I chose from a hat) strongly resembled Jack Nicholson from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” That must be a symptom of  “Concoct a Celebrity” disorder, I reminded myself in a calm, affirming manner. “Nothing they can’t prescribe a book for,” I reassured myself. “Relax.”

Me:  I don’t understand how I can fit the descriptions of everything.  Am I just very versatile?

Dr. McMurphy:  Yes and No. You see, Little Miss Menopause… And by the way, changing your name to one of your maladies is very clever indeed.

Me: Thank you.

Dr. McMurphy:  You see, many people (especially ex-husbands who develop a sudden interest in literacy) don’t realize how many of these diagnostic terms share a huge overlap of characteristics with one another.

Me:  So the authors of the books are all friends who studied about Me in medical school?

Dr. McMurphy:  It’s perfectly normal to think it’s always all about you, Miss Menopause. We call that Grandiosity and Narciss….

Me:  Never mind!

Dr. McMurphy:  The point is, all of these disorders fall under one larger umbrella.

Me:  So I have Rainy Day Syndrome as well?

Dr. McMurphy:  It does appear that a dark cloud follows you around, yes. But we have another name for you. It’s not any of these fancy sounding syndromes or disorders.

Me: I was afraid of that. Does it start with a C?

Dr. McMurphy:  Why yes.

Me:  Oh no!  And is the second letter an R?

Dr. McMurphy:  As a matter of fact.

Me:  But Dr…  I thought professionals didn’t use that word these days.

Dr. McMurphy:  If it’s too much for you, I’ll write it down on my prescription pad and you can look at it later. But there is hope.

As I walked downstairs to the pharmacy, I summoned up all my courage.  I could handle being called the “CR” Word. And so what if it happened to rhyme with Lazy.  I’d been called worse things.  I took a quick peek —

photo-62 This was more depressing than I thought.  I don’t think they’ll ever come up with a cure. I better call both my Ex-husbands and warn them it could get handed down to our kids!

photo 5-2

Betcha Can’t Read Just One! (Mmm, Mmm Good!)

Brand Allegiance!

Brand Allegiance!

I think I missed my calling to be in the Marketing field because I’m always thinking up slogans and jingles.  I also feel sorry for Generic store brands because they don’t have any colorful packaging or catchy tag lines.  They’re like the Ugly Ducklings of the supermarket shelves. But I can help these underdog products shine by giving them an edge with a few well placed words.  For instance, Let’s take a plain “No Name” brownie mix. Just slap a label on the package that says . . .

“Now with extra Batter!”  Your batch will bake up thicker . . .  even though you’re a licker!”

Okay so maybe not so much that particular example, (you knew I meant the spoon, right?) but give me a break – – I’ve not had any formal training in this field.

Lemme try another.  How about for a Cab Company.

“Our Drivers Are Always Nearby. We Don’t Condone Taxi Evasion!”

Yep, pure gold.  I think I’m ready to branch out into the actual world now with a little job portfolio:

Little Miss Menopause’s Advertising Promos For Real Life Situations

 

DOG TAG

“If you’re reading this, it means I’m lost.

Maybe there’s a street I shouldn’t have crossed.

But the worst is over ‘cuz now I’ve been found. . .

And you’ve saved me from ending up in the Pound.

So pick up the phone and give my owner a holler

And tell them you read about it here on my collar!”

Would a jingle fit on here?

Would a jingle fit on here?

 

What is this, some G Rated job?  I think I can have some sexier promotional campaigns than that!

 

MALE’S TEE-SHIRT IN BAR

Hey ladies, look my way so I’ll flash you a wink,

I can do so much more than buy you a drink.

I can talk to you and complement and flatter,

But lemme take you home and prove size really does matter!guy tee shirt

GYNECOLOGIST’S SPECULUM

I ‘m cold & metal but actually quite gentle,

Any pain you feel is purely accidental.

If I touch you “down there,” don’t give me a slap,

Just checking that you haven’t been given the Clap.

You might say I’m important and quite ‘instrumental,’

Your doctor owns me outright, I’m not just a rental.

I’ll never be replaced with a cellphone or an App…

Rest assured, I’m the only way to get your Yearly Pap!

I could not bring myself to show an actual speculum.

I could not bring myself to show an actual speculum.

 

So much for sexy.  I think I better go tame again.

 

OUR COUNTRY’S NEW LEADER

I’ll take an oath the day that I become President,

Swear to protect and serve and never be negligent.

You won’t find me surrounded by trauma or drama

Like the guy in the White House now, Barack Obama.

So pick me when you vote in our upcoming election.

P.S.  I could also promise to outlaw Ebola infection!

 

And finally a little advertising buzz to honor the reason we’re all here.

 

 

A WORDPRESS BLOG

Do you have some feelings you wanna express?

Or a bunch of friends you wanna impress?

Pick a theme and make your personal gravatar

Reach for the brass ring, or just grab a star.

You pick your domain name – – we’ll be your Free Host

Say what you wanna say and that’ll be your first post.

But if you ever run dry, don’t write these kinds of silly advertising campaigns

Do that to your followers and watch how quickly he or she complains!

And instead of ever becoming Freshly Pressed . . .

We’ll make sure you get Especially Suppressed!

billboard

That’s right, don’t worry . . I’m not giving up my day job any time soon.

Little Miss Menopause:  Don’t leave home without her.  Please Leave Her At Home!

Would love for you to visit my latest humor on the Huffington Post Comedy Section today.

A Blog Only a Mother Could Love?

 

Both Mom and WordPress will make you feel guilty that this cake is not very creative!

Both Mom and WordPress will make you feel guilty that this cake is not very creative!

Ways WordPress And Mothers Are Alike:

1. PRESSURE!    WordPress(ure?) sends me these “naggy little reminder” notifications when I have not met my “One Published Post Per Week” goal.  They sound like this,  “Uh Oh.  Have you forgotten something? It’s been a while since you’ve published anything new!”  Yet, just like Mom, WordPress never acknowledges when I’ve far exceeded those expectations (four posts in a week?!)  C’mon a little extra love?  Cookies and Milk before bed?  Grrrr,  Just like Mom – -always quick to point out that one darn B+  even though the rest were straight A’s.

2.  BARE NECESSITIES!    WordPress lets you have the basics for free but you’ll have to pay extra for any custom designs to make your blog uniquely yours.  Mom provided room and board and three square meals a day, but if you wanted to go to Disneyland or shop at Nordstrom, those “life upgrades” were gonna cost ya!

3.  REWARDS!   Remember sticker charts?  If you kept your room clean for a week, you got taken out for ice-cream?  Well, we all know that WordPress offers the chance to be “Freshly Pressed.”  But darn it, I’ve emptied the trash, dusted and vacuumed hundreds of times on my blog . . . and my only reward has been having my allergies clear up.  So WordPress – –  If you’re gonna dangle the “Freshly Pressed Carrot”  – – be clear in the steps we need to take to finally reach it.

4.  SELF-DOUBT!   Before I did anything even slightly risky, my mother had some applicable, yet tragic horror story to deter me or make me think twice about my abilities.  “Go ahead, ride your bike in bad weather.  Lisa Carter rode her 10-speed in the rain two weeks ago and now all that’s left of her is a soggy pair of size 3 Keds strapped to her bike pedals.  Is that what you want??”  On WordPress, when I am just about to delete something, up pops a little window with what I like to call a “Lisa Carter Warning Message,” It says, “Are You Sure You Want To Do That?”photo-359

5.  CONTEMPLATION!    WordPress features “The Daily Post,” which offers different Weekly Challenges. They are fun and rewarding opportunities for writing.  i.e. “Think About a Time When You Did Something So Terrific, Everyone Cheered For You.”  or  “How Has Blogging Helped You Stay Out of Therapy?”  Whereas Your mother issued some Weekly Challenges that maybe weren’t quite as fun or rewarding. “You Just Think About What You Did Wrong and By The Time I Come Back Into Your Room, You Better Have a Handwritten Apology!”   And of course your mom is the one who single-handedly drove you into therapy.

6.  ENRICHMENT!  WordPress offers a variety of themes with lots of ways to showcase your talent.  Some play up your photography skills, others emphasize your writing more prominently.  Still more themes can help you start a business or heighten your salesmanship skills with products.  Mom read books to you, enrolled you in summer camps and gave you voice lessons so you could become a more well-rounded person.  (But I’m still waiting for someone to ask me to play, “You’re a Grand Old Flag” at a social get-together – – My Mom promised me piano lessons would make me popular at parties.)

7.  LOVE!  WordPress gave birth to all the rest of our millions of online Siblings (our Followers!) and helps us stay connected to each other by holding daily Family Reunions (The Reader).  WordPress also encourages our cyber brothers and sisters to continue to offer us support and attention by leaving kind comments.  Sure, there’s gonna be some sibling rivalry reflected in those comments (Mom likes My Poetry Best . . .  so mmmnyeah!) and some “sticking out your tongue” remarks  (Ha Ha, I have more followers than you. Check out my stats.  Made ya look!!) but overall there’s lotsa WordPress Love to go around.

8.  PUNISHMENT!    “You march right into your “Log-In” window, sign on, and write one final farewell post.  And you better make it good because from now on, you’re suspended from all your WordPress blogging privileges until further notice.  You’re lucky I’m giving you a chance to say Goodbye.  Some other Blogging Websites will shut you down for violations you’re not even aware of.  And you lose every single one of your posts! FOR LIFE.   Now don’t you take that typing tone with me, Bloggy Boy.  When I was your age, we had to write in tedious diaries.  With real tiny silver keys. And we had to turn the heavy pages, both ways, with only one finger. Next time you’ll think twice before you disobey Mama WordPress!”

Dear  WordPress – – I hope you enjoyed this post.  Because I did NOT get you a bouquet of roses this year.

Love, Little Miss Menopause

“LOOK MA!  NO HANDS!”

Don't worry - - BOTH hands are on the keyboard at all times!

Don’t worry – – BOTH hands are on the keyboard at all times!