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??

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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)

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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!