Saturday, May 12, 2012

One Hot Mama


I used to be cool.

No, literally, I used to be cool. I liked blankets and sweaters and warm cozy fleece. Now, even looking at a pair of woolen socks gets me sweating. Yes, that's right, this bod, she is a' changing.

Southern Man, a native Floridan, has tried to be patient, but even he is stretched to the tip of his Southern hospitality as blankets get ripped on and off throughout the night causing permanent scaring on his neck. Always a snuggler, Southern Man is looking into wearing potholders to bed on his hands since cuddling up to me is a lot like hugging a thermonuclear reactor.

Only women truly understand this. Oh sure, men TRY to understand. They pat our hands, they open windows, they even turn on the AC in the car but look quickly and you see the slight roll of the eye, the sigh, like, "Really? I mean, really? You're hot, again?"

Yes, again and again and again. It's not like I'm having a fiesta in this furnace. If sweating throughout the night, waking up changing clothes, sheets and pillows isn't enough to frustrate me, I have been woken up several times to sprint to the bathroom. I could be a contender in the upcoming Olympics for a gold or at least a bronze metal. However, I would probably have to race toward that "sensitive bladder" aisle in the supermarket before completing my victory lap.

Why? Why? Why is this happening? I just turned 50. Okay, more accurately, I am about to turn 51, but in my head I am still in my mid 30s and no where near Menopause Mountain, or so I thought. Where the heck did that time go and why am I having such a meltdown in both body and spirit?

Hormones schmormones. Weren't those awkward teenage years enough? I mean I had a cowlick, freckles, a space in my teeth, matured too early and oh, let's not forget gianormus feet that stuck out like surfboards. Trust me that was torture. Or how about the baby weight that I am still trying to remove from various parts of my anatomy (and the baby is now 21 years old). When Mother Nature is enough, enough?

And don't get me started on mood swings! I can change my demeanor faster than a speeding shopping cart aimed at someone who ticked me off by taking a parking space at Tops Friendly Market.  The hardest part is I never know what's going to start me off. An insurance commercial had me crying, a newspaper ad for shoes had me sighing, Southern Man just walking across the floor smiling had me so fueled with fury I could have literally pelted him in the head (or Haayyyyduh as Southern Man says) with the TV remote for basically, no reason whatsoever. Okay, he said I was beautiful. Why get mad at that? Because the only thing I feel beautiful about is screaming at the size 0 model in the magazine trying to tell me the key to happiness is new lipstick.

It's like that movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but there is no end in sight. My doctor said this could go on for a few more years! That's right, YEARS!

So I am buying Velcro clothing, opening up all the windows, shutting off my phone, throwing out the papers and TV, standing in front of the freezer and giving Southern Man body armor.

But first, I have to sprint off to the bathroom.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Where Did I Put That Blog...

I lost my blog.

Unlike a lamb or keys or even a wallet, losing a blog is somewhat more complicated because the place you need to look for it is there, but it isn't.

I could find the blog, just not the dashboard. I could find the dashboard but I couldnt remember the password. It's all very cybertechie which I am not. So, being the genius that I am, I created another blog only to have the same sad scenario occur. So I then lost two blogs but recently remembered the password to the first blog, only due to the fact that it generally is the same darn password I used to use for everything before I changed it to the password I use now for everything.

I think what confused me was when I turned into more than one profile on Facebook. Now as three of me I can't seem to sign on or find anything, a problem that never occurred when there was just one of me, cyberspeaking that is.

Well, at least when it came to Twitter I only created one me with one basic password so I never have to worry that I duplicated it or will lose it. At least I think there's only one.

Hmmmm. Awww heck.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Put A Little Lipstick On...

Things have been a little off kilter for me lately. My mother always says when things go wrong and you feel a little depressed, just put a little lipstick on and you'll feel better.

I wonder how this theory would have worked for let's say George Washington, on his way to cross the Delaware. "Just a moment boys, I have to grab a tube of Ye Old Glory Red. "

Or perhaps Neil Armstrong grabbed a slick tube of some Max Factor hot shade of 60s Pop Em Sock it To Me Orange before he stepped outside and delivered his famous moonwalk speech. I'm just supposing here.

Imagine, if you will, the fateful moment when Ed Sullivan announced the Beatles on television for the first time. Did all of them head back stage first and pass along a tube of Maybelline's Forever Stardom?

It's a fun theory and if nothing else, makes me smile when thoughts of less happier things try to crowd their way into my already stuffed cranium. 

Time to grab a tube of Just Relax and Go With It. Everything really does look better with a little lipstick on it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What a Bozo...

Bozo the Clown.

Even his name was amusing. He was a hero of mine-- pushing great stuff on kids of the 60's like Bosco, Fluffernutter sandwiches and Bulwinkle and Rocky cartoons.

I yearned to be on his show and just once be Ringmaster Butch and win the Treasure Chest of Prizes. Bozo has been on my mind because a friend of mine recently sent me a clip (thank you YouTube) featuring snippets of popular local programs we grew up with on Long Island. It was like sipping from the fountain of youth. I posted it on my Facebook page and others took a swig and walked down memory lane, playing stick ball, screaming "RING-A-LEEVO," and getting tangled in Chinese jump ropes.

In some ways, Bozo's Circus and after school snacks was a moment ago. In other ways, it was so many dusty years ago in my brain that I can't recall anymore if that kid in front of me in the third grade was Stephan or Stewart. Does it even matter? Probably not. But this year I am entering my 50th year of existence and I have to say, there's still a part of me that longs to win that big treasure chest of prizes and a year's supply of Bosco. I'd like to wear that Ringmaster Butch outfit and conduct the circus for just one day.

It hasn't been the best of times. I have been out of work for over a year and half. At first I expected to get another job right away. Everyone was certain I would. I was certain. But as the weeks moved to months and the calendar changed from 2009 to 2010, and now 2011, friends dropped away, phone calls stopped and contacts dried up. There's no blame. It happens. Life moves on. The circus moves on. I am a casualty of the economy, but the real challenge is not in being one of the injured, but in not being a victim.

Believe me, there are days that I want to simply give up. I want to eat the entire box of ring dings and say forget this! When every single resume seems to be ignored and those that I have sent in come back with the same encouraging words of, "We have filled the position but we will keep your resume on file..."

I have reinvented myself over and over with suggestions from recruiters and headhunters. I go to interviews and stand there wondering are my clothes right. I calmly explain my background, offer examples of my work, explain I would be willing to start again even at entry level. I just want to be back in the game again. I want to play on the team again.  I just want to use my creative talents the way they are supposed to be used. Not to write resumes, but to write copy or articles or speeches. I want to help create award winning campaigns again. I want to feel that thrill when all the right words come together in an email and you think, "Yes, I nailed that!"

But the jobs keep alluding me. Is it age? Who knows? Is it my background? Is it my seniority? I have no idea. I feel I did well and then I hear nothing for weeks and then a polite "No thank you." That's when I need Bozo.

So I don't win the treasure chest of prizes and the year's supply of Bosco. There's always tomorrow. And in the words of my hero, I have to remember to ..."always keep laughing." Because that's the one thing that separates the victims from the victorious. The will to push forward.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Meanwhile, back at the Funny Farm...: Talking Turkey

Meanwhile, back at the Funny Farm...: Talking Turkey

Meanwhile, back at the Funny Farm...: Talking Turkey

Meanwhile, back at the Funny Farm...: Talking Turkey

Talking Turkey

I feel the need to talk a little turkey...

I was eavesdropping at the Applebees.

Okay. I know. It's not kind, and it really wasn't my fault exactly. I was there first and the waitress sat these two women directly behind me. To be fair-- I was reading quietly and eating a bowl of soup. And as we all know, soup is not a noisy food.

The two women came in and were, I'm sorry to say, rather loud. It was around 3:00pm and the place was quiet. I am a no frills customer. I tell that to the waitress. I have limited funds. I tell them what I want, I smile, say thank you and basically tell them, " I pretty much won't cause you any trouble. Just a refill once in a while." They love that.

My two noisy companions behind me, were slightly more demanding, making "Sue," the waitress run back and forth with several requests. Finally they began their lunch and their conversation. And hence I began my eavesdropping. Again, by pure accident.

The conversation went something like this...(names changed to protect noisy people in restaurants)

Noisy Woman #1: "Did you hear about "Marla"?

Noisy Woman #2 "Could you believe it? I think they're going to lose the house. I mean after losing her job after all those years! I couldn't believe it. When I saw her at the PTA, I mean what do you say? What do you say?"

Noisy Woman#1: "And her husband's hours were cut down to next to nothing. I have no idea what they're living on!"

Noisy Woman #2: " I mean what DO you say? Well, Barry and I were talking, and well, I'm glad we're not going to face that. His job is secure and well...the house is taken care of."

Noisy Woman#1: "She forgot the dressing! I can't believe it! Miss? Miss?? These waitresses are like deaf....Miss?"

Noisy Woman #2: "And can we get a little more ice. Thank you dear."

Noisy Woman #1: "Anyway....I saw her after Church and I thought, maybe you know, I should DO something, like I don't know, ask her to dinner, maybe drop off some groceries..."

Noisy Woman #2: "I'm not a fan of this new menu..."

Noisy Woman #1: "I know. The service has gone down too."

Noisy Woman #2: "So did you?"

Noisy Woman #1: "What? Oh, no. Well.. I mean I didn't want to upset her. I mean I wanted to DO something, but I didn't want to make her uncomfortable. When we saw each other I asked her how things were going and she looked at me and smiled and said,  ' We're doing the best we can.' My heart just about broke. I mean after she said that, I felt like I should do something, but I mean, what? What could I do? I couldn't just march over there and hand her money or give her a box of food could I?"

Noisy Woman #2 (Munching)"You and Marla have known each other a long time..."

Noisy Woman #1: (Sipping) "The boys were in pre-K together. They've gone through school together. I can't believe this is happening. I mean you hear this on the news. But here? Unbelievable. I mean we cut back, things are tight. But losing your home, your job... having to move.. Why didn't they plan better? That's what I want to ask her. Or why doesn't she just leave? I wish I could help."

Noisy Woman #2: " I know. Hey you want to split the dessert?"

Noisy Woman #1: " Sure. So how are things with Barry?"

I will let the conversation stand as it is and simply say, that there are hundreds and hundreds of people like Marla that you know.

And you wonder how to help them. And you think they'll be insulted so you don't DO anything. But instead of wondering HOW...just try something. Call them. Invite them for dinner. Slip $20 in their coat pocket or pocketbook and say nothing. Leave a gas card on their car seat. Leave fresh groceries on their doorstep. Be a silent giver this holiday season and all year round. You don't need to do with a great big audience. Just a silent gesture of true love and friendship.

I have been blessed by many through such actions and am living through the kindness of others and others will benefit from my experience in the future. So I urge you this season especially, give kindness. Pass on generosity.  That's the only thing we can control it seems. Not taxes, not jobs, not anything else, but we can control kindness to each other, and lending a helping hand to those in need. Because just as easily we could be those in need and need that hand.
No money? No worries. Bring a smile to someones face. Share laughter. These things are free. So if you don't have the ability to buy groceries or dinner, just sit with a friend and share laughter. You can't imagine for someone who is poor in spirit how rich that will make them feel.

Never feel that there is nothing that can't be done for a friend in need. There is always something. A smile, a kind word. A hug. A walk. A card, a letter, a note, a voice mail, a text. An encouraging word. A hand to hold. You have the power to turn someones entire life around today.

Or you could simply sit back and make noise.