Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Will Hugh Hefner Explode From Too Much Viagra?

It's holiday time and one of my favorite things to do between Christmas and New Years is bitch and moan about how I hate the time between Christmas and New Years. Or I dutifully start my list of impossible to fulfill resolutions for the coming year. I'm a couple of years behind on resolution fulfillment starting with: complaining less, a colonoscopy, and sex in the kitchen. None of these seem to get accomplished and I'm not looking for kitchen volunteers at the moment. Just when I was going to start whining about my giftless Christmas and going to a few bad movies what flashed across my computer screen - HUGH HEFNER 84 ENGAGED TO 24 YEAR OLD. My head exploded - splat all over my keyboard. Santa gave Hef a 24 year old for Christmas? Hey big guy in the red suit and beard what am I chopped liver, where's my boy toy?

It just feels wrong doesn't it? I know I felt nauseated and lunged for the Tums before I made a bee line for the Kettle One. I guess this meant my Mom was out as a possible mate. I also thought Hef only dated in pairs of blondes. Had he slowed down or just lost count? Someone mentioned he was 60 when his fiance was born, but more critical to me is the question - were her PARENTS born when Kennedy was shot? Yes Hef's a rich high profile guy and the cash and publicity are tantalizing but our little missie has to pay the ridiculously high price of sex with an 84 year old when she should be out on the playground. The eewwwww factor looms large. And isn't Hef going to explode from all the Viagra? But aside from the sex which is very difficult to put aside I would never want a man who spends the greater part of his day and life in pajamas. I know I'd be screaming, "Get dressed already" at the top of my lungs.

I remain perplexed as the holiday season draws to a close and I still have to see "The Fighter" and get back to my list of resolutions, isn't Hef going to explode from all the Viagra?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dressing for Successful Dating

I'm an unconcerned dresser. I get up in the morning throw gym shorts and a sweat shirt hoodie on over the boxer shorts and t-shirt in which I slept and think I'm presentable. It's a little scary but quick and also requires no thinking. Truthfully I'm in this snappy outfit until around noon. If I do have to go anywhere I usually put on jeans and a short or long sleeved t-shirt depending on the weather. Not a fashion statement but again, mindless. My Mother on the flipside spends half the day going from closet to closet to closet deciding what to wear. This includes her shoe, purse, and jewelry selection. I did not inherit these genes or impulses. When I visit her she stares at what I'm wearing and asks me if I want a piece of her clothing as a gift. It usually includes a cape. "No Mom I hate capes," I declare every time but she never remembers.

My laissez faire attitude towards dressing makes going on a date difficult, coupled with the problem that unlike Mom I only have one closet and it is half full. My friend Adria can attest to this as she stood in front of it one day screaming that "No self respecting Jewish Princess would have so little clothing." My deepest apologies to all the JAPS that I've failed. Yet even I don't go on a date in my gym shorts and hoodie so I have my work cut out for me when it comes time to get ready. It's hard to keep my head from exploding.

Saturday night it took six outfit changes to get out the door. White v-neck shirt with black skirt and little gray jacket was my initial instinct. Nope, wrong jacket and the skirt looked weird with the t-shirt. I flung it off. The black skirt with black top and black blazer I put on would only work if we were eating at a funeral home. Off it went. Little black cocktail dress?  Nope too dressy . Frustrated, I tossed it on the bed. Skinny jeans with white shirt and black blazer. Very Soho but not exactly right. I threw the shirt across the room; it landed on the dog who looked dizzy from the watching the flying clothes. I was close to tears but not close to dressed. I rummaged through the remaining things in my closet but it all became one black blur and I was running late. I desperately pulled out a tight black v-neck shirt, put the skinny jeans back on and black blazer.  Not bad, understated chic yet a touch  too morbid, but no longer cared.  I became worried I'd damage my rotator cuff from throwing clothes around. I gave a thumbs up to the dog and he followed me to the front door with the t-shirt draped on his head.  

I groaned as I stared back at the clothes strewn all over my room and couldn't help but wonder if dating was worth the clean up.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Dinnerless Dinner Date or Hey Buddy I'm Hungry!

My last post "Going on a Date is Hard Work," agonized over the labor of pre-date preparation. HA! Today boys and girls I'm going to tell you how in truth that is the easy part. I went on a date that I've actually given a title - "my dinnerless dinner date." It left me surprised, cranky, and hungry. Meeting at 6:00p.m. at a restaurant I assumed meant food was involved. Wasn't that logical? I went through all the work of getting ready: showered, shaved both legs, washed my hair, put on make-up , tweezed both eyebrows, tried on three outfits until one finally made me stop crying, and looked in the mirror one last time which scared me but was necessary to make sure no tags were hanging out. I definitely was looking forward to drinks and food.

Next wrong assumption - if your date is sitting at a table and not the bar that indicates a meal. We ordered drinks and chit chatted. The waiter came and recited the specials. I listened like my life depended on it, my date seemed to be paying attention but shooed him away and said "maybe in a little while." Huh? A little while? I was starving and broke out into a small sweat. I called the waiter back and begged for bread in order to remain conscious. I ate the entire basket. I repeat, I ate the entire basket. Wasn't that a hint or did he hope I was full? He ordered another round of drinks but never picked up the menu. Ok, I should have said something or just grabbed the menu and hailed the waiter. I remained silent believing that was more polite. Yes Mom, sometimes I have manners. I was probably delirious.

Two hours later he asked for the check. The breadbasket was empty, I was crashing from carbo loading, and he thanked me for a nice evening. I had one last thought before I fainted - "were we on the same date?"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Going on a Date is Hard Work

Going on a date is just too much work. Do men realize how much effort it takes to get out the door in order to have a drink with them? Which is why I never offer to pay. I really have no idea why I accept an invitation because inevitably when the time comes I just want to plop down in a chair with a glass of wine and veg out in front of the TV. "Crap it's 5:30 I have to start getting dressed." This is a laborious process. I have to shower and wash my hair which takes forever to blow dry. If I want to go curly I have to put in rollers and....I want to stay home. Should I shave my legs in the shower and wear a skirt or not bother and wear pants? This looms large. Yes, shaving means both legs which really gets tiresome. Where's my wine?

There is no way to expedite getting ready (although once I stopped myself short of blow drying my hair in the bathtub when I was running late). The labor doesn't cease after showering. I can't go out in public without a little make-up. Unfortunately this requires looking at myself very closely in the mirror and then I really want to stay home and drink. Back to my hair which is starting to frizz and wave so I have to drop the mascara and immediately blow dry. What should I wear begins to haunt me. I stare over at my closet knowing I don't have much from which to choose. Are jeans too casual? Is a skirt too dressy? Should I look sexy and wear a tank top under a jacket? Or cover up and look conservative? High heels? Flats? Crap I forget if he's short or tall . I longingly wonder what's on TV. Time is running out and I'm conflicted, confused and still have to tweeze my eyebrows.

I decide on my skinny jeans with a t-shirt and black blazer - hip yet classic. Flats in case he is under 5'6" although I love heels so that makes me sad. I put on lipstick as I run out the door so lord knows how that looks. Suddenly I remember the most labor intensive part is ahead of me - being on the date.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ninety Five Year Old Man Looking for a Hook Up

I've come to the conclusion that men believe they are never too old to pick up women. This is unfortunate because at some point it's really creepy. I think there should be a cut-off age but sadly there isn't. I witnessed an ancient man hitting on women in a bar in Palm Desert, Ca on a Friday night. Now granted the average age out there is 65 but he hadn't seen that number in decades. There he sat wearing a straw hat, dark aviator sun glasses, white crew neck sweater, and black collared shirt looking exactly like Truman Capote. Nuzzled very close to him on his right was a plasticized 50ish buxom blonde in a tight, short, low cut white dress and push up bra. He looked like the cat that swallowed the canary or a boat load of Viagra. I was staring and he was grinning. I tried to avert my eyes but couldn't.  Inquisitive and incredulous I asked the waitress his age. "Oh he's 95. He's here all the time." I didn't know whether to applaud his temerity or order a shot of Pepto Bismol for my ensuing nausea. I could only conclude he must be the richest man west of the Mississippi.

I turned away to take a sip of my martini and when I looked back he had a new woman sitting on his left. In the blink of an eye another buxom blonde had materialized. My faux Truman Capote was double dipping. I pestered the waitress for more info "Who's the new woman and what's up with the first blonde?" She spilled the beans. "The one on his right is just his friend. He had me give his card to the other woman so she would join him." The card must read "I'm over 90, have a heart condition and money" because she had toddled over and plopped down next to him. Oh no, please stop, he was kissing her ear and nibbling on her neck. Again I couldn't look away - but wait, maybe he just fallen asleep. It seemed so wrong like catching your parents having sex when you were little. I needed medication and blinders.

Uh oh and oh no, the ancient guy was looking in my direction. I think he crooked his finger for me to come over. I grabbed the edge of the bar so I didn't faint. I must admit he was a nervy critter. I can't imagine hanging out in a bar at 95 cruising for young hotties which at that age would be 75 year olds. I think I'd rather be home watching "Sex and the City" re-runs and fantasizing about wearing high heels without falling.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Schlepping and Talking

I just finished schelpping from Chicago to California. Yep, I'm a cross country schlepper. I put on my rattiest comfy clothes, pulled my hair in a ponytail knowing with each day on the road my hair would get as ratty as my clothes and dragged my biggest suitcase filled to bursting out to the car. Uh oh the dog had my black bra in his mouth , it fell out the side of the bag. I hate the laborious drive West but my yellow Lab Elliot aka "Beefy Boy" hates it more. He watched me stuff his dog bed into the back seat and knew his fate for the next 72 hours had been sealed. "Sorry little buddy but we're in this together." I wish he knew how to drive or talk. He glared at me for a few seconds and then heaved his body onto the seat. I climbed behind the wheel and tried not to burst into tears - only 1900 miles to go.

The first 100 miles were a test of my will as I longed to turn back, call a cab and head for the airport. Invasive security checks or not it's a lot quicker than three days of endless interstate. Day one was driving hell. I stared and stared at the map praying I was getting closer but had only gained 50 miles. Staring only made me anxious and long for a martini. After I stopped hyperventilating realizing I wasn't even out of Illinois I started to wonder if I could talk on the phone the entire drive. I love the phone and my little black Samsung was filled with all my friend's numbers. It could take me three days to get from A to Z. I actually know a "Z" person. I could go alphabetically through my entire address book and stop crying. Yes! I would gab my way to California - it felt so right.

My Mother facilitated my goal of talking my way West by calling every two hours. "No Mom, I'm not tired. Yes, the dog is fine. I'm in Missouri. The weather? It's cloudy. Gotta go I'm still in the "A's." I looked longingly at the "Flip" video camera I had bought to chronicle my trip but realized being on the phone could bring me happiness. The only image I wish I had on film was the cash register girl in a small gas station/general store between Flagstaff and Phoenix Az who was wearing a holster with a small pistol. The sign on the door read "all employees are armed." Scary but I'm fast at the gas pump.

I would like to thank Emily, Don, Terry, Dennis, Jim, Neil, Bernie, and David for picking up when they knew it was me yet again as well everyone else who listened to me blab about nothing. Miraculously I achieved my goal of talking my way to California. I wonder if that gets my picture on a Wheaties box? Be grateful I didn't have your phone number.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"The Housewives of Beverly Hills" Scared the Crap Out of Me

I never liked to watch scary TV when I was growing up. The most frightening I could tolerate was"The Twilight Zone." "Shock Theater" was out of the question as was anything with Frankenstein , The Mummy , or a monster who could later haunt me in my dreams. I had to face it, I was a scardy cat and wimp. Ixnay to creepy and freaky. I've been playing it safe ever since. No Freddy Kruger, or folks wielding a chain saw pass in front of these eyes. I thought I was safe until I mistakenly saw "The Housewives of Orange County" in their blindingly colored clothes, big nests of hair, and gigantic breasts. It was shock and not a lot of awe. I thankfully repressed the crazy woman tribe of Orange County but was on the treadmill at the gym last week and stumbled upon the equally frightening "Housewives of Beverly Hills."

I almost lost a limb watching the flashy trashy girls. I was staring so intently at them I forgot to keep my feet moving and started to fly off the machine. Happily I caught myself and didn't have to be hauled off in an ambulance and miss the show. Who are these women? This haunts me along with the thought that their plastic surgeons need to go back to medical school and consider a different specialty. I wanted to hide my eyes but couldn't. Oy! And for the life of me I don't know why they want such giant breasts. It seemed like they were always falling out of their tops and I could reach out and catch them. And why why why would you want your lips really big and puffy like marshmellows? Surprisingly no one had a lisp. I also can't imagine how they breathe in such tightly fitting clothes but somehow the girls manage. I could never hold my stomach in for more than 10 minutes at a stretch. They must have very good lungs.

The scariest part of the show however was how much money two of the wives spent on birthday parties for their respective two and four year old daughters. "Mom, why didn't you spend $60,000 for my fourth birthday, or the paltry sum of $12,000 for my second? All I got was pin the tail on the donkey and bingo. I would have loved a live petting zoo, cho cho train, $20,000 worth of flowers and a song composed just for me. Although it is really sad to peak as a female at the age of two or four.

The "Housewives of Beverly Hills" scared the crap out of me. I can't understand why or how they're on TV. So far none of the wives have caused me to wake up screaming but personally I have ruled out cosmetic surgery. I've also decided to rent "Friday the 13th" and "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" as comic relief.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Confessions of a Texting Loser

Please don't text me. I'm constantly confused how to receive or respond to a message. I think my phone has a special tone when a text comes through but I'm not sure. I get jumpy and slightly sweaty when I hear the sound. "Why is someone texting me?" I groan in frustration. Then I irrationally yell at the phone, "Why couldn't you just call ?" I press every button in sight to find the screen with the teenie tiny symbols so I can locate the little picture that represents "texts." A half hour has gone by and I have to pee. If I get to the actual text without bursting into tears I pray it's something that doesn't require a response. That never happens. I'm tempted to call the person but realize a sign of personal growth would be to stop crying and text back.

Responding to a text gives me high anxiety. Last week I had to answer a message asap. It took seven attempts to try and spell out three words. "I'm riding Sunday" came out "Imridinsudy." I tried again. "Im rdhg stnday" I was proud I found the "space" key but started frantically pacing because I couldn't get any of the letters right. I was cracking under the pressure. I needed water and protein. I finally decided to reduce my answer to "yes" because it only had 3 letters and I could find them. I didn't care whether or not it made sense because at least it was a word. I felt alone and isolated in my technological inadequacy. Am I the only person in the world besides my 92 year old Mother who can't text?

I have to face it; I'm a talker not a texter. I watch the fingers of 10 year olds fly across the keys of their cell phones in total amazement. I see people walk and text and think they should be on "America's Got Talent." I'm a texting loser. Please I'm begging you only contact me if you want to talk. Hpythnksgvng!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Peter Pan Come Get Me and Don't Forget the Fairy Dust"

Why was I in such a hurry to grow up? This question has haunted me because I recently saw a production of "Peter Pan." Maybe the flying boy who sprinkled fairy dust on the unsuspecting John, Michael, and Wendy was on to something when he declared, "I'll never grow up, not me." Peter may have wanted to stay young forever but I didn't. My urge to age started with shaving my legs. "Mom, please please, why can't I shave my legs yet?" It represented being a big girl and truthfully they looked gross with my white anklets. I also cried and cried to have a bra regardless of whether or not I needed one. I didn't, but how could I face being 12 and still in an undershirt? Decades later shaving my legs is a pain in the ass and sometimes I'm barely motivated enough to get to the second leg. I also can't help but wonder what was wrong with those nice comfy little undershirts? I hate bras and am forever squirming and pulling them down. I also long to be standing on the corner waiting for the summer camp bus. The thought brings tears to my eyes. What was my rush?

For some crazy reason I couldn't wait to be out of the house and on my own. Although I did grow up indoctrinated with the ill-conceived notion that I was going to marry a "prince" so naturally I was in a hurry. Me and my fabulously handsome wealthy guy would live happily ever after in the fantasy land of grown-ups. What was I smoking ? I won't answer that but, "Help! Peter Pan come get me!" Prince #1 didn't work out or Prince #2. It was a lot easier to have a relationship in sixth grade . I wonder if my grade school cutie Roger ever got married? I also read 36 books that year and haven't matched the number since - no time because I'm too busy working and when I have a moment I'm exhausted and asleep after two paragraphs. I repeat, what was my rush?

Mom and Dad, thanks for never making me take out the garbage, do laundry, yard work, pay for electricity, gas, the phone , my braces, taxes, or health care . Childhood definitely had its perks. "Peter Pan come get me and don't forget the fairy dust."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"The Dating Game" Comes to Middle Age and the Radio

Remember the TV show "The Dating Game?" I used to watch and wish I was one of the hot bachelorettes who got asked those really dumb questions. Sadly I never was and didn't have a micro mini skirt anyway. But opportunity might be knocking as "Here Women Talk" is bringing the show back to us . They have "Tom" a 53 year old divorced guy ready, willing and anxious to stick his neck out to look for love . "Here Women Talk" is searching for dates for our boy Tom but as fate would have it, it's being reincarnated as a radio show! No one would ever date me if all they heard was my voice. They'd turn off the radio and run out of the room screaming and covering their ears. There's no way I'd be picked I'm afraid, but there must be a lot of women with melodious voices anxious to try their hand and play. In fact click this link if you want to vie for a date with Tom: http://herewomentalksocial.com/profile/TomDatingGame.com

I know my line of questioning Tom or any middle aged man would be much different now than it would have been in my twenties or thirties. Personally I'd need a lot more information... a lot more! "You're cute, I'll marry you" is over. My Dating Game would go something like this:

"Bachelor #1 - Do you have a financial statement handy for my perusal?"

"Bachelor #2 - How many times a day does your ex-wife call?"

"Bachelor #3 - How many hours of sports do you watch a day, month and calendar year?"

"Bachelor #1 How often do you talk to your Mother?"

"Bachelor #2 - What medications are you on? And are your joints real?

"Bachelor #3 - How many times a week, month or year would you want to have sex?"

"Bachelor #1 - How's your hearing?....I SAID, HOW'S YOUR HEARING?"

"Bachelor #2- On average how many times a night do you get up to pee?"

"Bachelor #3 - Do you fall asleep before, during, or after the news?"

I'm certain I'd end up unable or unwilling to chose #1,2, or 3. I'm picky, alone and ask too many questions. I can't wait however, to hear Tom and the crafty quiz he has for the bachelorettes. If you want to tune in to find out if our man finds a date here's the scoop: Monday Nov.22 : http://www.herewomentalk.com/ The John Banks Show "Bringing Man out of the Cave" 2:00- 3:00 est.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Mirror Mirror on the Wall Am I My Mother After All?"

"Mirror mirror on the wall am I my Mother after all?" Crap. "How could this happen?" I sobbed. Except there I was in the bathroom holding one of the jars of face cream she gave me. I stared at it resistantly yet her words rang in my ears,

"Gail, this is very expensive and for your neck. Neck cream is important. It's from the "Sisley" counter at Neimans."

"Huh? Neck cream, there's special stuff just for the neck?" I'm thinking she's been tricked once again by one of her cosmetic gurus.

"Yes, you shouldn't ignore your neck," she insisted. I must admit her neck was lookin' pretty good. I took a quick peek at mine and almost screamed. Why didn't I have her neck? Could it be her magic cream produced results or was I getting Dad's turkey jowels? It was hard but I held back tears.

"Oh and here's some very expensive Sisley body cream for dry areas." Dry areas? Mom likes expensive, she thinks it means better. Admitedly, at 92 she's either a freak of nature or the damn products work. Curses!

I have bags of masks, lotions and potions she's given me over the years. I've never used them , rejecting the notion that they do anything, no less turn back the clock. Her fancy facial masks took too much time and looked really creepy. She however, held fast , regardless of my laughing at her face caked with some bank breaking formula. I can still conjure up the smell of Estee Lauder wafting from her bathroom when I was growing up. I would gag and run outside. I swore I'd never waste all that time on beauty.

Uh oh, it seems time has caught up with me. One day I have no wrinkles, a dewey complexion, and a jaw line and then poof...gone. What happened? Where was the "girl" in the mirror? I found myself asking the BIG question - could neck cream really help? Do those little jars Mom gave me hold the answer? I had to find out or drag all the mirrors out to the garbage. I slathered the slimey lotion on my neck and plastered my face with some creamy white stuff that smelled like weeds. I went to bed pretty slippery. I'm Mom.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Breaking News - There's Too Much Breaking News!

Growing up I had a little red leather diary. It was locked at all times. No one had the key except me. All my thoughts, dreams and childhood humiliations were safe from the outside world. In that red book I wrote - "Dear Diary: Roger talked to me today after school. I don't know if he likes me though because he walked home with Susan instead. What more can I do? Maybe I'll wear my best dress tomorrow and see what happens. I hate Susan." After each entry I would hide the secret book away so no one like my snoopy little sister could find it. Oh god if any of my thoughts got out I'd be ruined and could never go to school again.

What the hell happened to private thoughts? Just a week ago I announced on Twitter and Facebook that I can't find a bra I like. In fact "I hate my bra" has become an ongoing publically announced personal drama. Excuse me? I said that? Yes, I did. Not only that, but Saturday I mentioned to the entire world that I had an ice pack on my butt because I fell off my horse. HA! I've openly announced: how looking in the mirror scares the bejesus out of me, that I hate national holidays, don't know if I resemble Carrie Bradshaw or Roseanne, am the queen of one date, can't follow Mapquest directions, did not have sex with Tiger Woods, and that I ran into a man I dated who had no recollection of who I was! I also announced my mother's age. She wants to kill me. Nothing is sacred or secret. We have become the collective consciousness of the "National Enquirer."

There are no secrets. Zippo. How did this happen? It's 24/7 breaking news and personal exposure. I know too much about everyone, including people I don't know, don't want to know and will never meet. Why isn't this embarrassing? As I mentioned I'm as guilty as the gazillion folks on Twitter and Facebook. I doubt anyone, even my closest friends care about the fact that I can't find a new bra. Although if I did have sex with Tiger Woods they would want the details but alas I could only announce I was sitting on a bag of ice. Btw, that seemed to have helped. See I did it again. Who cares? I miss my little red diary with all my secrets locked safely away. Except if you do know where I can buy a bra Facebook or Tweet me.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Japenese Food is Complicated but Colorful

I love Japanese food but it's confusing. "Let's go for Japanese!" sends chills down my spine and I feel a nervous rash breaking out on my cheek. Japanese food sure looks fun though doesn't it? It's fresh (hopefully), colorful, and groovy to eat. I'm handy with the chopsticks and don't mind resorting to my fingers if I can't grab something and it falls on my plate. Admitedly, I'm totally excited until I read the menu. Then my brain starts to hurt. OMG what do all these crazy combinations mean, and do they really eat avocadoes in Japan? Why, does every roll include the California fruit? Are the Japanese longing to surf and drink a hearty Cabernet also?

I spend more time decifering the menu than eating. Thankfully some Japanese restaurants come with cheat sheets so I can match the name of the mysterious fish to a picture. I have to make absolutely certain I'm not eating anything that has legs. Creepy! No legs for this girl. I study the menu like it's an SAT exam and everyone else is happily ready to order. This makes me anxious and I feel my rash getting bigger. My friends rattle out what they want and I'm still at "huh?" The waitress stares at me and I start asking questions like "Are you sure this doesn't have legs? "No ma'am no legs," she reassures me but what if she's just saying that? I'm torn between seven different varieties of rolls and 12 kinds of sushi. I'm crazily reading and matching tekka-maki, kappa-maki, hamaguri and, tamago with pictures. I want to blurt out "I'll have a turkey burger" but know that will ruin everyone's evening. I swig down my large size Saki to relieve the pressure I'm under and promise myself from now on I'll only go out for Italian.

Ultimately I always place the same sushi order : 3 salmon, 2 tuna, 1 yellow tail, 1 shrimp and 1 tamago. I eat every last piece of fish and grain of rice. I'm still hungry but thankfully my rash is gone. Later that night I order a pizza.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Tell" Even if Your Best Friend Doesn't Ask

"I didn't want to hurt your feelings, but I never thought he was right for you." Excuse me?! How many people have heard that before? And even worse it was your best friend who finally spit it out. Your closest friend in the world with whom you've shared every secret except that incredibly freaking important one. My question is why why why don't the folks that didn't want to "hurt your feelings" speak up sooner? Wouldn't it have been so much better to hear these opinions before the devastating break-up? When you were so blinded by love, lust, or infatuation that you couldn't think or see straight maybe a word or two of warning from a friend would have been nice! If that doesn't work a quick slap across the face is tasteless but appropriate.

My Dad has come up with some doozies as I sat in the living room sobbing. "He was a freeloader." Oh that's comforting, as I lunged for another Kleenex. "Dad, what does that mean?" I doubted it would make me happier but I was curious. "Didn't you see how he always ate so much food when he was at a family function." Huh? "He never stopped eating." "Dad he could afford food," I choked out as I didn't want to think I spent four years with someone who only liked me for the free meals. "Mom, what did you think?" "He was too Gentile." I was speechless and looked around for a bible. I think a big chocolate cake would have been more comforting.

I admit it would be hard to tell a friend you think their significant other treats them badly or worse is cheating on them. How do you start that conversation? "I can't believe how cold and snowy it's been this winter. I really need a vacation and think you should come with me because your husband is having an affair." Do not say this in a public place and immediately administer a Valium. As difficult as it is to believe, "I didn't want to hurt your feelings but...." is a much harder pill to swallow.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm Sorry Bergdorfs but I LOVE TARGET

I love Target. I know I've said it before and I'm saying it again - Target is the new Bergdorfs. If you're feeling every so slightly pinched for cash and your t-shirts have tiny little rips under the arms like mine don't despair. Jump in the car and head out to that really cool giant T . Last night I was running around the t-shirt department laughing and throwing shirt after shirt in my cart. Take that Bergdorfs; they were cute, almost cotton, long sleeved, short sleeved and only $10. I was wiping away tears. I can't remember the last time I was that happy before the cocktail hour. I wasn't done, no siree. I needed boxer shorts to sleep in as mine have been washed so many times I only had one pair left that hadn't desintegrated. My original plan was the Gap, but be still my heart! An entire rack of boxers for - drum roll - $5.00 a pair. I think I fainted. I hope Bill Clinton knows about this bargain.

I had to face it, I may love the Gap for jeans but ixnay to the $15 boxers. It was then I spotted racks and racks of bras. Ah ha! Could it be I would finally find one I liked and it would be really cheap? I had recently bought a bra I hated and have yet to figure out another use for it. Any ideas? It's possibly small enough to be a rainhat for a cat . Although the lingerie department was terribly tempting my "shopping meter" was up. I had already stayed 30 minutes longer than I've ever spent in any store except The Wine Discount Warehouse.

As I pulled money out of my wallet to pay I spotted my Saks, Bergdorfs, Neimans, and Bloomdales charge cards. I longed for those stores for a brief moment and then got over it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wedding Announcements Can Ruin a Perfectly Nice Sunday

Do you want to feel really bad about yourself, and not only yourself but your kids? Read the bridal announcements in the Sunday New York Times and you'll have self loathing. Every week it makes me crazy, who are these people?

 Reading about the brides, grooms, and their parents could send me to therapy or a bar.  Each bride or groom has: saved the lives of hundreds of homeless people by the age of 20, climbed Mt. Everest more than once, earned a Ph.d in English and Microbiology, created a software program during their senior year at an Ivy League school and sold it for $50 million, lived in a tent in the Sub Sahara tending to drought victims or is "on track" to be the youngest Senator in U.S. history. Who are these kids?

It gets worse. The parents of these wunderkind are weapons of ego destruction. Both Mother and Father alike have: cured some form of Cancer, discovered a new gene therapy that will eradicate all diseases that start with the letter "M", produced seven Oscar winning movies, run the campaigns of three Presidents , written a Pulitzer prize winning novel which was turned into a film that grossed $300 million, helped get Nelson Mandela released from prison, or know Oprah. I have weekly self loathing and throw the bridal section in the garbage without bothering to re-cycle. I'm frantic, need medication and definitely more education.

 I have one grown son so have to prepare my list of accomplishments soon. I've wracked my brain as to what I could proclaim in the paper. So far I've come up with: worked selling shoes for a day, candy striper for one semester senior year in high school (with pictures to prove it), grocery store check-out girl at 16, pizza waitress for 4 hours and 15 minutes in college, waited tables for one lunch hour shift after college, changes the oil every 3,000 miles and in 2009 learned to "copy and paste" on a laptop.

I have six days until the next wedding announcements are released    and my self worth tested once again.  That's not enough time to get to the base camp of Mt. Everest .

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wanted: A Giant Pedestal for my Next Date

I have a lovely white pedestal and can't decide what to put on it: a flowering plant, a sculpture, a pre-Columbian pot or a man. This is a big problem because recently I read in order to secure a date, or maintain a relationship I need to put a man up there. Of course this would beg a lot more care and feeding than my other options. To say nothing of the fact that the man unlike the pre-Columbian pot would probably complain . There's a rumor that men are fed up and tired from hoisting women up on pedestals when they were in their twenties. They are mad, and "won't take it anymore." Whoa fellas get a grip. Unless you're in back spasm or have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome I'd say settle down and take a Flexoril. My understanding is these men are now demanding equal pedestal time from women or, out you go! "Hey baby move over or jump off." I bought my pedestal at a re-sale shop so I don't know if it will hold anything over 40 lbs. I'll be dateless but plants are nice.

Truthfully and this is where I'm confused I don't remember spending anytime on a pedestal in my twenties...or thirties or forties...or ...I'm going to stop there for the sake of vanity. Nope, I've been a ground dweller for as long as I can remember. I missed the ancient "pedestal era" and now I have to deal with the backlash? I asked my 33 year old son if he got tired of putting women on pedestals in his twenties. "Mom, what are you talking about? Pedestal? What does that mean?" I decided to ask my 43 year old web-site helper, "Michael, are you tired from putting women....." He stared at me like I was Anita Bryant. My girlfriend Renee said she never met a pedestal bearing man and wanted to know where to find one asap. Too late darlin'.

So what's going on? What is it men want? The word "pedestal" belongs in the dictionary not in a relationship. Call me heretical but I'm from the age of "equals." I think I'll water my plant now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Men Can't Live Alone -True, False or Urban Legend?

Boys and girls prepare for battle. My friend Jack says he's tired of women always going on and on about how they are better at living alone than men. "Blah, blah, blah, blah," is apparently all he hears when women start the "men can't live alone conversation." "I've heard it so many times it's taken on mythic proportions," he explained. I think I've made the statement myself I told him, because so many of the widowers or divorcees I've met are re-married in a nano-second. What's wrong with being without a partner for a day or two as long as you have food and water?

"Women always say they can be alone because they have friends to fill their lives. They think men don't and therefore are lonely," he continued. But hang on for his next claim and be ready to take up arms, "Men don't live alone because they don't have to. Most of the women I've dated wanted to live with me." HA! Pistols drawn I say we meet at high noon or the OK Coral. Are the numbers so disproportionate that a man can pick a partner off the "woman tree" out back? I know I can live alone, or almost alone because I've always had a dog. "Beefy Boy" is exceptional company and stares at me adoringly - especially when I'm eating. I also lived solo during my years with Thurber, my Doberman. He did tend to scare dates away but I said they weren't my type if they couldn't get past his grinning white teeth at the top of the stairs.

I think living alone is a blessing and a curse. I think living with someone is a blessing and a curse. Do men have a bigger dating pool from which to chose and can therefore decide in a nano second to no longer be alone? Should women stop stating so assuredly that "men can't live alone?" Shockingly, this Ms. Know-It-All doesn't know. Do you?

Friday, October 8, 2010

World's Shortest Blog or Sam What Are You Thinking?

They're baaaaaack ...... together.

Is there a therapist who can explain this to me? I'm confused. Are you?

Monday, October 4, 2010

He's Baaaaaaack - No Not Michael Jordan!

Just when I thought my guy Sam was engaged and off the dating market...he's baaaaaack. Admitedly not as huge an announcement as the return of Michael Jordan but surprising none-the-less. "Wow cute engaged guy what happened?" I was finally beginning to believe that maybe there really is "someone for everyone" as my Mom likes to say or "it only takes one" as my Dad espouses as he stares at me. Sorry folks but my boy Sam is single again after only a few engaged weeks. Whoa that's a mind bender. Thankfully I didn't buy a gift or send a card because then I'd definitely be really sad. I'm cheap we know that. I was excited after what seemed like 300 years on Match.com. that his search for the "right" woman came to an end. I think the site should provide tenure status for people who have been members for over ten years. Free membership for the tenured or at least a health care plan.

Here's the problem in mid-life dating - who really is that person sitting across the table? I went out with a man who seemed perfect for me. He was successful , we laughed, shared the same politics, he was tall... all good until he had the fifth glass of wine. Then my cutie turned into psycho drunk and I was his target. Hey buddy back off and so long Mr. Perfect. Or how about the lawyer I dated with the fabulous second home which he admitted quite happily was owned by the bank because he stopped paying his mortgage so his wife couldn't get it in their divorce settlement. Impressive thinking and bye-bye Mr. Sleezy. And just for giggles, the professor who mentioned with pride the best year of his marriage was the one in which his wife was dying. Uh oh would we only find happiness if he outlived me? Not ready to sign up for that tour of duty, adios Dr. Demento.

Is it necessary to do a complete background check before the first date? By 50 we have so much baggage that a team of Sherpas to schlep it around is pretty much mandatory. (And sadly the closest I'll get to my fantasy of climbing Mt. Everest.) Seeing as how I need to hire a private investigator in order to go on a date I sure hope Match.com likes my tenure idea.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the Wall I'm so Screwed

OMG just when I thought getting up and looking in the mirror couldn't get any worse I've discovered everyone I know may soon be able to see me first thing in the morning too. Confused? I'm innocently having a nice dinner with my friend Jay and his IT guy Anthony when I noticed they're on the phone to each other. Yes we're all at the same table but they were playing with their new fun toy iPhone4. All of a sudden Jay shoves the little device at me and says "Look, 'Face Time' - it's the future." Lord have mercy on my soul there's his face on the screen and then Anthony's who he was calling. I might have burst into tears or spit out my taco I can't remember. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? If people can see me when we're on the phone? It means I will need make-up on, hair combed, and in presentable clothes from the minute I wake up until the second I fall asleep. No more ripped gray gym shorts , ratty ponytail, or yesterday's mascara running down my face in the morning. Who am I kidding, that's how I spend half the day. Life in my schleppy clothes will be over. It's like a dagger in my heart.

I'll be visable 24/7! That is a personal nightmare. It will be hell and I love to talk on the phone. If "Face Time" is the future I won't be taking or making calls. What will I do? I'd need help - a live in make-up artist and hair stylist ready to go go go the minute I get up. "Oh god the phone's ringing!" I run to the mirror and realize there is no freaking way I can answer. I grab a cocktail dress out of my closet and put it on over my boxer shorts and ripped t-shirt. But wait, I wore that dress yesterday on the phone. I fling the dress and myself on the bed and start sobbing. I want desperately to answer, I feel the need to talk but can't let anyone see me like this. The pressure and stress mount. I CAN'T TAKE IT. I throw the phone across the room and long for the days of my powder blue princess phone. It's 9:00 a.m.and I'm making a martini to calm my jangled nerves. I hate the future.

My dinner with Jay and IT boy Anthony was ruined. I was reeling from the stress of "Face Time" and a bad taco. Don't call me and I promise not to call you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Twitter or Neiman Marcus?

 I'm a "Twitterholic." There I've said it. Yet strangely I don't feel any better, but itchy to get back to it.  Yes, I'm the same person who thought "Twitter" was a neurological condition and anyone who "tweeted" should seek immediate medical attention or take up residence in a bird sanctuary. I felt inept, lonely and useless because I had no ability to participate in the new "social media" world. I could barely figure out Facebook. The pressure of finding "friends" made me anxious and break-out. What if you have no friends? Or just three and they're not Facebooking -is it a new verb? What if you have a page that's blank except for your lone photo? OMG what is worse than that except being back in high school? And what about the pictures and photo albums everyone posts? I'm a photo album loser and don't have a digital camera. My last camera was a Brownie.

I had to take serious stock of myself. If I couldn't Facebook how could I possibly join "Twitter" a site that demands you express yourself in 140 characters. "Hey, I have a lot to say I absolutely refuse to shorten my sentences and write in initials or emoticoms. As fate and horror would have it my literary agent Laurie told me I had to hightail it into the 21st century join Twitter and have followers. It sounded scary and oddly liturgical. Martini in hand www.gonepausal.com joined.

I've become a Twitter junkie. It's fun, it's easy and who needs 140 characters? It's too many. I can now express myself in under 100. Sometimes I have 130 left over. I wonder if you can sell them on eBay? I have 450 "followers" so far and thankfully they never want to come over. I'm tweeting with people I've never met from countries I've never heard of. It's endlessly entertaining and time filling. I can barely pull the Twitter needle out of my arm long enough to walk the dog. He hates Twitter. I've stopped longing to go shoe shopping. The Mother Ship, Neiman Marcus calls to me from right up Michigan Ave. but the Twitter force is strong. Thankfully I am weak and want shoes more than emoticoms.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dating Tips For Those Seeking Immediate Answers

My friend Charlie approaches finding a mate like a job interview. I think this is a little harsh as not everyone gives good "interview." I happen to be a great interview and not so good once I get the job. Go ahead and ask my ex-hubbies. I think don't think they'd provide me with a letter of recommendation. F##k 'em if they can't take a joke. Charlie on the other hand, takes his hiring process very seriously. He's just short of handing out a questonnaire like you get in the doctor's office.

"Charlie darlin' don't you think it's a little pre-mature on the first date to ask someone so many questions? You don't take their blood pressure do you?"

"I think it's good to know right off the bat whether we have compatible life styles." Hmmmm and girls beware I think it's like the dreaded "pop quiz."

"Well what's on this life style list?" I was curious to see if I would pass or fail because I'm the competive type.

"I need to know if they're still working or retired. I'm retired so I can't be tied down with a woman who works and can't travel. (Uh oh I've got one wrong already. )

"Ok, what else is on the test or ah hem , 'interview' ?"

"There's the dog vs. cat issue because my dog doesn't get along with cats. That also begs if she like dogs because I'm not getting rid of "Hobo." Well I'm on his side. Ixnay to dog haters. My "Beefy Boy" stays - dog haters go.
"Common interests, are big, he continued uncoaxed. Absolutely no golfers because I don't play and they tend to always be out on the course. And I can't tolerate the endless golf talk."
Personally I don't play golf but like to watch the game on TV, so I don't know if I got the question right or wrong.

"I also want to know if they're a morning person or a night person. I'm a daytime guy and don't want to start the day at the crack of noon and be up until all hours." Two wrong for this girl. I'm rarin' to go anytime after 11:00 a.m.

"Any more biggies for your unsuspecting victims.... I mean dates?"

"Compatible sex."

"Well that's not a question. Isn't it more like an action verb?"

"It's good to find out quickly. Why continue if the sex isn't good?"

"I'm curious.....do men ever think sex is bad? (this is a great question, isn't it?)

"I once broke up with a woman in bed. (I think I lost consciousness for a second) She didn't move. Just laid there. (Was she filing her nails? ha ha, old joke) I told her right then we were not going to be a match."

I have no idea whether I'd pass or fail that last question. It's personal not business. I can't help but wonder if Charlie has the right approach. Maybe I should work up a questionnaire and hand it to a date...it would save a lot of conversation and I could file my nails.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Kloutless" in Chicago

My day is ruined. I just learned that I have no "Klout" and no I didn't spell it wrong. What's "klout" you ask? I have no freaking idea except I have zero. I was meeting with my social media girl Leyla www.leyaruinseverything.com as she was trying to help me become more savvy about networking www.gonepausal.com across the wide world of the internet. She said we should check my "klout" status on Twitter. "Ok, darlin' whatever you just said, I'll do."

On August 18 my literary agent told me I should have more "followers" on Twitter. I'm still not sure why but I have subsequently become a Twitter junkie. Junkie I say! I have to pull the Twitter needle out of my arm in order to leave the house. In fact right after I finish this post I may check myself into Twitter re-hab if there is such a thing. Today I am proud to announce I have 335 people following me. Alas,keep in mind Oprah has approx 14 million. My girl Leya has thousands. I'm a person who only learned how to "copy and paste" last April so in effect I'm a 21st century loser. Naturally I was a little nervous about Leyla checking my "klout." It sounded sci-fi scary and possibly expensive if it sent me back into therapy. We were at Starbucks so I grabbed another sample of spicy pumpkin latte and fidgeted as she spun her way around the internet.

I'm "Kloutless" it turned out. I think she noticed I was getting a rash on my face as she immediately said,"You probably haven't been 'tweeting' long enough." OMG I was unpopular! I was in high school all over again. I was totally devastated yet still had no idea what"klout" meant and why it was spelled with a "k." "But Leya I love Twitter and they don't love me."

She assured me my score would increase the longer I used the site. I was stunned and over caffeineated. My head felt like it might spin off and my rash was worsening. I packed up my little laptop and vowed to try some of the Twitter tricks she taught me right after I called a therapist.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Breaking News - A Confirmed Bachelor is Off the Market

Hang on boys and girls it's "Anything can happen week." Just when I thought my friend Sam was a man determined to never take a woman on more than two dates, what does the old boy do? He gets engaged. Yep, single girls cry your eyes out because he is officially OFF THE MARKET. Either that or I'm living in the movie "Groundhog Day" because every morning I get up, he's still engaged. I pinch myself to make certain I'm awake yet have black and blue marks running down both arms. There are just not enough colloquialisms to cover this event: "Will miracles never cease, Holy Cow Batman, Jiminy Cricket, what's up Doc?!...." Having known our bachelor Sam for many years my personal comment is "holy shit."

Sam helped keep Match.com. and eHarmony in business. He dated a lot of women and trust me they all liked him. Our boy is a 60 year old cutie, which is not an oxymoron in this case. He is a really good listener and women love love love that because we're always bitching and moaning men don't pay attention. He is what I call a "fun boy." On a date this is a really good quality. Oh and no middle age paunch. Aren't you lovin' him too? I never thought he would settle down because - why? Yet after two months of dating Jennifer I got an email that read ,"We're engaged." Two months! Dr. Phil stop screaming and waving red flags. I immediately emailed back "You're kidding?" I was thinking "you're crazy." Two months , who does that except on TV? "The Bachelor" takes longer to decide.

I'm happy for him because I was exhausted. I couldn't keep up with hearing about his evenings. There definitely comes a point when a man's been single too long. The girl chatter becomes, "He's dated every woman in a tri-state area." My personal theory is one random day a man wakes up and suddenly says "I think I'll get married today." Whereas women are always on relationship "alert" and weighing their options.

Sam and Jennifer are in engagement heaven. Rings and things are in the air. Their endless smiling is almost annoying. Yet I still wake up wondering if I'm in the movie "Groundhog Day."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Failed "Mapquest"

I am directionally challenged, in other words, I always get lost. When I have to go somewhere new I take copious notes on how to get there. I make little arrows and never abreviate words so as not to get confused later. I never understood how to use a compass back in the "stone age" of my youth and could only determine "North, South, East, and West because I knew that Lake Michigan was East. I pretend I know where the North Star is. My car does not have a GPS which I always confuse with an APB. I do however, know how to "Mapquest." Ha!

Recently when I was visiting my son in Seattle I boldly decided to take his car and venture into downtown to meet a friend . I was nervous and realized there was a chance I could end up in Idaho. I "Mapquested" the directions and clutched them in my sweaty hand as I drove. I was desperately looking for the first turn off the highway... and looking and looking. Uh oh, I began to realize I had gone too far as the giant cruise ships to Alaska were on my right and I had lost sight of the skyline. I knew I didn't want to go to Alaska because I hate snow and had to get off the road. Crap. I wildly drove back towards the city - or so I thought. When I ended up in the parking lot of Safeco Field I was screwed and 12 hours early for the game. I then did what no man dares to do,

"Excuse me, sir, could you tell me how to get to ...." I jumped out of my car and asked for directions.

I was back on track - but not for long. Five minutes and six blocks later I was lost.

"Excuse me sir, could you tell me how to get to...." Yep, I jumped out again. I stared with awe and wonderment at the guy who whipped out his iPhone for directional help. For a delusional moment I dreamed I could learn to use the slick little phone and then woke up.

I only got lost twice getting back to my son's apartment. Sadly and shamefully , the second time was in his parking garage.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tale of a Labor Day Hermit - Bah Humbug

OMG, not another holiday weekend?! These are a special kind of torture for me. Pressure, I can't stand the societal pressure to grill. A grill must symbolize something, but what? It also begs blowing up the house because of my complete ineptitude with large equipment. If I had a handy dandy barbeque I'd have to invite people over which requires cleaning and appetizers. This sounds less and less like a celebration and more like pergatory. Shouldn't a holiday really be where you sit around alone in a messy house, reading back issues of "People", eating potato chips out of the bag and drinking wine from a plastic cup? No cheeriness required. This also eliminates the risk of ptomaine/salmonella from nasty yet traditional holiday foods like eight hour old cole slaw, undercooked chicken, or the dreaded hot dog on a stick. What's in a hot dog anyway and why a stick?

Is there a parade on Labor Day, I can't remember. Although this year with such high unemployment I can't imagine there would be many marchers. As well as it being potentially dangerous for the lone employed person walking down the middle of the street waving a tiny flag. I'm not a parade person even in a high employment economy. Although I do like one that has a giant inflated Mickey Mouse or Willard Scott.

Crap, the long holiday weekend looms. I feel my anxiety rising. Should I lock the door, pull down the shades, break out the stack of "People" and hope I have enough chips and wine to make it to Tuesday? That sounds so right.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm a Packing Loser

Packing is a skill. I'm a packing loser. Regardless of how short or long the trip I'm equally dazed and anxious. First of all I have to decide which suitcase best suits my needs. But what are my needs? This begs other larger life issues so I try not to be too caffeinated at this point or my head starts spinning around like Linda Blair in the "Exorcist." I recently had to pack for an eight day trip to Seattle. How much clothing does eight days require? This question overwhelmed me as I stood in front of my closet. My first reaction was to burst into tears and throw myself on the bed. I resisted and instead stared into the black void of my wardrobe.

Weather is a big factor when packing. Seattle could be hot, cold, rainy, or all three at once. Oy! I reconsidered crying. I decided to start with something simple, underwear. Eight days , eight pairs...unless I went running or worked out, then I needed sixteen. I began flinging them out of the dresser drawer and ran short at 12. In defeat I went back to my closet. One black sweater, four black tops , one black jacket, one blueish black jacket, one strapless black dress, one black dress with sleeves, one pair of black pants, whoops, forgot the black tops for under the jackets, one black skirt....my mood was getting blacker by the minute. I felt desperate for color. Ah ha, white! I pulled out every white thing in my closet. My bed was piled with possibilities. The trick was to eliminate, eliminate, eliminate! And was it too early for a martini?

Stumped, I considered calling Mom or fashion guru Karen for help, but didn't. I was a grown up and could pack without counsel. I maturely decided to take everything. OMG, I forgot shoes. I madly flung five pairs on the bed. I now had only one suitcase that fit the bill, the GIGANTIC black one! It took sitting and bouncing on it to get it to close. I was sweating and my leg was bleeding but I was determined. Yes, my entire closet was in the suitcase. I was prepared for any event from black tie to climbing Mt. Ranier. The bag was so bulky and heavy that it nearly snapped my wrist when it flipped over as I pulled it.

I wore two things in eight days and am considering seeing a therapist about packing anxiety.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Flunked Public Transportation

I am bad at public transportation. In the city I walk , drive or take a cab. When my friend Sandy mentioned how easy it was to get around by bus or train all I heard was "blah, blah, blah, blah." I practically stamped my foot and said "you can't make me." "TAXI!" is one of my favorite words - except they are getting pricey and I'm cheap. One Friday night in a moment of financial panic and feeling uncharacteristically reckless I decided to take the bus to meet friends for dinner. I thought it would be frugal, fun and fantastical to use the handy bus pass Sandy bought me. He went so far as to demonstrate how to put the card in the machine when you get on the bus. What was I, a dope? I think I dozed off . "Whatever," I finally muttered in recognition of his "show and tell" moment.

I was all dressed up and sweating in my cute little black dress as I stood in the heat waiting for the Michigan Avenue bus. I longed for my air conditioned car because all I could think about was how much it would cost to get the dress cleaned. I clutched my plastic pass ready to simply slip it into the machine when I got on the bus. "Easy as pie" I thought as the metal box sucked it in. I waited for it to come back....and waited.....and waited.

"Excuse me , Ma'am, I said to the driver, my card didn't come back."

"That's because you put it in the wrong slot. It's not comin' back."

"But, but, that card had $18.00 left on it." I might have sobbed or swooned; I can't remember.

"Not any more, that card is gone. "

I stared at her in disbelief. I was taking the most expensive bus ride in the history of Michigan Avenue.

"Well how much does it cost to get back later?" I whispered as I felt feverish and desperately in need of two martinis.

"Here's a pass , this will get you home." She must have realized I was dazed and confused and didn't want to call for medical back-up.

I was devastated to say nothing of the $$$ I was out. I flunked public transportation. Shoulders stooped I slunk down into a seat. I peeked around to see how many people had witnessed my stupidity. Thankfully no one was snickering or telling their children, "that's what you get for not paying attention to what you're doing." I know I learned a lesson.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Hot", Not "Formerly Hot" For Me

 Now I've heard everything. Women in their 30s and 40s are lamenting their new status as "formerly hot." Bummer girlies but you ain't seen nothin' yet. Author Stephanie Dolgoff in her book "My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches From Just the Other Side of Young" declares that women in their late 30s and early 40s fall into a new category: adult 'tweens, not quite middle-aged, but no longer reckless, restless, or gravity defying." Their new title is: "Formerlies. " Give me a moment to weep for these poor creatures. Boo hoo. Now Stephanie, get a freaking grip. Be hot as long as you can. Squeeze yourself into your "formerly" clothes because menopause is lurking and then you'll be formenting not lamenting. Trust me you'll never get those outfits on again. Better yet, let's trade places - I'll be 40 and you can officially be menopausal me. What fun. Maybe you'll be less confused about what is appropriate to wear or what shoes to buy. I'll trade your Dolce and Gabanna dress and uncomfortable Jimmy Choos for my comfy flats and baggy gym shorts. Happier?

I don't get it. I'd happily take back 40 with my dewey complexion, uncolored hair, and sex drive. Hey "formerlies" wait for the day sex moves from the top of the "to do" list to after taking out the garbage and re-tiling the bathroom floor. According to the girls it's a big relief not to be ogled by strange men on the street. Hello! Someone please ogle me. Just one teenie tiny ogle would make my day. I remember the time construction workers turned their heads in unison when I walked by. Now I turn and stare at them and in their eyes I'm "Nana."

Who wants to be a "formerly?" I don't ever admit my age no less give myself a title. I love cute little dresses and skinny jeans. Is there really an over 30 dress code? I don't think so. I adore high heels and they come in handy standing on a chair changing the batteries to the smoke alarm. I haven't tried re-tiling in them yet. I'm back to the brown hair of my youth and think it looks fab regardless of the endless trips to cover my gray roots. I never care if "below the knee" skirts are in; I like short. Call me crazy or delusional. I'll take delusional over "formerly" any day. And Stephanie, call me for a reality check.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Plane Ride to New York or It's Faster to Drive

"We're running low on fuel and will be landing at Kennedy instead of LaGuardia," the pilot announced. Excuse me!? I was packing up the $24.00 worth of magazines I bought for the ride from Chicago to New York thinking we were almost at our destination. I was wrong. Yes, $24.00 and yes I had buyer's remorse 3 pages into this week's "People." But more to the point "We're running out of what?!" Who says that even if it is true? I thought I was on American Airlines not "Air Holy Crap!" Shouldn't that be the bubble over the pilot's head and not a public service announcement? I believe in conserving gas also but at sea level not 32,000 feet. Was this part of the economic recovery package? I pinched myself to see if I was dreaming. Damn, I was awake.

"Right after we fuel up at Kennedy we'll hopefully be leaving for La Guardia," the pilot said as we started to descend. "Hopefully," as in maybe we won't be leaving? Meanwhile across the aisle a man was having cardiac problems and using the oxygen mask that never comes down except in the pre-flight demonstration. My head was spinning; we were low on fuel and a man was in cardiac arrest. I love New York. The minute we landed paramedics rushed on to the plane to take away my aisle mate. "Good luck little buddy." The passengers however, were growing restless and wanted off. I heard folks bitching and moaning all around me. They must have come to my conclusion; it was faster to walk to Manhattan than wait for fuel and the flight back to LaGuardia. Everyone with carry on luggage fled. I had checked my bag. I vowed to never "check" again but in the meantime I was trapped and sober.

"Ladies and gentleman , the pilot was back on the speaker system, we need to consider re-balancing the aircraft because so many passengers disembarked." I never took physics so imagine my imagination. The plane would take off titlted to the right unless me and the 12 other folks who were left played musical seats. I think I briefly lost consciousness.

Self rightousely I announced to the flight attendant I needed a drink, a free drink. The airlines may have taken my sanity but they were not taking my money. I think she needed a cocktail also as she happily broke out the wine. I scarfed down as many glasses as I could on the 13 minute flight to LaGaurdia. Time was not on my side, but I'm a competitor. Uh oh the plane was tipping - or was that me? As I walked off when we arrived I stared at the pilot who scared the bejesus out of me. Next time I'm driving.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Starbucks? Betty Ford? Tale of a personal dilemma

I'm boycotting Starbucks. It's either that or go into a 12 step program for "buyer's remorse," which I don't think the Betty Ford Clinic recognizes yet as addictive or risky behavior. Sadly I beg to differ, as a trip to my local Starbucks yesterday made me spend a few moments alone in the car holding my empty plastic cup and feeling dangerously remorseful. Why you ask? Please ask. It was hot, I was thirsty and had time to kill between the Dentist and the Dermatologist - where I was NOT getting Botox. I stopped in Starbucks for a drink. I couldn't decide what I wanted and the barrista asked over and over , "Can I take your order?" The pressure was killing me. I had no clue what I wanted because the drink menu is in an enigmatic language they didn't offer in school. I started to get a little nervous and sweaty. Since I didn't have a quick answer to her persistant line of questionning I considered leaving - but felt it would be a sign of personal growth to stay.

"I'll have a tall chai tea latte with soy milk," I finally blurted out. Oy, I was one of those crazy people who had to have special milk. I checked to see if I had a fever.

"That will be $3.71," she said and smiled. I stared. Was it too late to leave? $3.71! Huh? And should I have called Ben Bernake? Interest rates are at 0% , how could my tea be so freaking costly?

I think I turned a soy milk shade of white as I reached into my wallet for the astronomical sum. I ordered tea not drugs. I felt like bolting for the door .... but paid. The barrista handed me my drink and I left with my head hung in financial shame. But before I even reached my car which was parked right outside I had finished the drink. Three teenie tiny sips on the straw and presto chango all I had left in the cup was ice. All the precious chai tea and special milk were gone. Vanished! Three itty bitty sips and there was only ice? I'm bad at math but I figured I had 50cents worth of chai and $3.21 worth of ice. I thought ice was free? I sat in my car contemplating going back and demanding a re-fill or making an impromptu "Boycott Starbucks" sign out of a scrap of paper I had in the glove compartment and spending the rest of the afternoon marching in front of the store. The nostalgia of picketing almost got the better of me but I opted for buyer's remorse.

In an effort to cheer myself up I saved $1.00 by taking back roads home instead of the tollway.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Obituary for a Cell Phone

OMG, it was a nightmare, a special 21st century nightmare. "Oh no, this can't be happening. Not to me! I don't deserve it. I gave at the office....well I would have given at the office if I went to an office. I gave at church, whoops, I'm Jewish. I'm a good person. Or am I? I love puppies. I promise to go to temple for the High Holidays. (When are they?) The next telemarketer who calls me I'll invite over for a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc instead of hanging up. I'll do anything but please little cell phone don't be dead. WAKE UP!!" I screamed shaking the tiny silver object in my sweaty hand. I was panicked and my face started to itch.

I always take my cell phone out runing with me. Why? In case I have a heart attack of course. Truthfully, I'm looking for any excuse to stop and wait longingly for the phone to ring so I can walk, talk and end the torture. Ok, ok, I know that isn't the point but I do not feel the need to run every single step. Whew, that was purging. It was very hot and ridiculously humid that fateful day. I ran with the cell phone in my sweating hand waiting desperately for it to ring. Ah ha, a mile up the lakefront call #1 . "Hey Patrick".....blah blah blah. A ten minute chit chat with the phone held up to my sweaty ear. I wiped off the phone three times during the call. It was another 2 miles before my second "time-out." "Hi Adria, what's up?" I continued to wipe the phone off knowing perfectly well water damage is THE KISS OF DEATH for my dandy little device. Admitedly there was call three and four.

A mile from home I decided to call Sandy. I flipped open the phone and the screen was blank. I think my heart stopped. Oh God the heart attack was coming and the phone didn't work! I frantically pressed every button, wiped it dry on my sweaty t-shirt, shook it, stared at it, thought about throwing it on the ground and jumping on it....even in my addled state I knew that would be counterproductive and stopped myself. "Work!" I pleaded. I"ve kept you from large bodies of water, I don't deserve this." I stood frozen in panic on the corner of Columbus Drive and Madison. I had a mile to go and a dead phone clutched in my hand. Life was almost not worth living...except I had a really fab party to go to that night and was going to wear my cute little black strapless dress and Kate Spade red high heels. I reconsidered.

Sadly, I spent the rest of the afternoon cell phone shopping. It took three stores and four hours before I held a new shiney blue device in my hand. Unfortunately, "Can you hear me now?" took on a whole new meaning. No one could hear me. I'm on my third phone. I've kept the old one hoping it will miraculously come back from the dead. Maybe if I give at the office...or about those High Holidays?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo?

"To tattoo or not to tattoo?" that is the question. Everywhere I go and everyone I see has one or more. Not just a teenie tiny picture of a daisy on their shoulder, but arms , legs, and torsos covered in colorful ink. Who needs to go to The Art Institute? It's cheaper to stand on Michigan Ave. and look at the walking people paintings. Truthfully I'm kinda jealous. Or am I? That's another good question. I haven't seen see an 80 year old woman with a pirate on her upper arm yet but I bet she's out there. Maybe I could convince my Mom to get a tattoo. She is a fashionista and determined even at 99 to keep up with the most current trends. Mom could be persuaded especially if they had a fancy little tattoo counter at Neimans. Maybe we could have a mother/daughter tattoo experience and then a nice lunch.

It seems very hip and cool to be one of the tattooed generation. I used to be hip and cool but it only involved long hair, bell bottoms and a joint, not ink applied with a needle! Oh God I'm a needle phobe. Do they have defibrillators at tattoo parlors? And what would I want inscribed and where on my body would I want it? My head is about to explode from all the questions. "Does anyone know where I left my cell phone?" might be a good choice for a tattoo as I would be hip and know where I put the phone . Ixnay to a flower image as I don't need a further reminder that my plants are always on the brink of death. "Stand up straight" would be a tribute to Mom as would "Do you like your hair that color?"

It might be fun to be one of the tattooed folks as my hipness level dropped along with my hormones . I am worried however at how well an image will hold up as my arms wrinkle and sag.  Regardless of the exactness of the original image do they all ultimately become abstract paintings? Before I do anything I need to check out the 80 old woman with the pirate on her arm.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I was Delusional not Memorable

I thought I was memorable. I was delusional. Ha! It wasn't a pleasant discovery but I had to face it - not everyone I dated remembered me. This disappointing realization all started with an afternoon run. Unlike some joggers I do not consider my running clothes a fashion statement. They are old, ratty and gray. Nor do I comb my hair but put it up in a messy ponytail . No make-up either which is not a good look at my age. Lately I put on sunscreen so my face has a Kabuki white palor. Most of the time I've shaved my legs. I'm explaining all of this to make myself feel better. Bottom line I looked like crap even before I was out the door. It has been hideously hot and humid this summer in Chicago - another excuse but true. It only took 1/8 of a mile before I was soaked in sweat. This included my hair which morphed from ponytail to rat's tail after three blocks.

I was 2 1/2 miles into my run with sweat pouring down my face, legs, and arms when I found myself waiting for a light to turn green behind a tall thin man. The back of his blond head look oddly familiar so I took a step in front of him, turned and stared. Yep, I knew him! He was a man I had gone out with quite a few years ago. Having a big mouth and an addled sense of self confidence considering how sweaty I was I blurted out,

"Don't I know you?!" He looked at me, stared and said nothing.

"I know you, " I insisted. Silence.

"Aren't you an architect?" I couldn't stop myself even after the light turned. I kept walking waiting for him to remember me too.

"Yes," he mouthed and glanced down at me.

"I'm not trying to accost you but I definitely know you." I was like a bulldog on a pant leg although he looked at me like I was an alien from a distant planet. We kept walking and I kept talking.

"Didn't you live in Barrington and collect cars?" I quizzed as I sweated and walked next to him. Poor guy I was dripping on his clean blue shirt.

"Yes" was his answer but nothing more. Ok, I was disturbing his peace. But how did I remember him and he didn't have a freaking clue who I was? Finally I had to say it regardless of my now very self conscious state. I gritted my teeth and blurted out,

"DIDN'T WE DATE?" Naturally I was dressed better and not sweating when we went out but was I that unrecognizable? I didn't know if I wanted his anwer, a plastic surgeon, or a therapist. Although a martini might have been good.

We walked along for a few blocks and he became increasingly chatty but I could tell he still didn't know who I was. Thankfully when I got home the dog remembered me. My ego had been bruised but I didn't call a plastic surgeon or therapist. The martini was helpful however.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Need a Push-up Bra

Damn. I missed the "Cougar" convention that was held right here in Chicago. Now that could have filled some of the long holiday weekend . Instead of worrying about getting corn on the cob stuck between my teeth or choking on a hot dog and no one knowing the Heimlich Maneuver, I could have stood in front of my closet and fretted over the fact I didn't have a dress low cut enough to attract a "cub." A what you ask? I learned watching a news feed about the event that a "cub" is a man under forty. That's what the Cougar women are huntin' for - the little cubbies. They sure looked cute, fit , trim, sexy and smiley. Who wouldn't want one ; they're like puppies. "I'll take that one and that one and that shy one in the corner." It's like ordering from the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue, only better and cheaper.

I don't know if I have what it takes to be a "Cougar" however. I think a push-up bra is a staple from what I could tell on the news. And is it necessary to have something to "push up?"  My Mom recently asked when we were out shopping, "Gail, what happened to your breasts? I remember you used to have them." Is there an answer to that question? I hope not. I also noticed the Cougar women wore a lot of make-up which looked nice but "uh oh" again. I've never had the patience or mental fortitude to look in the mirror long enough to apply much make-up. In fact these days I try to do it fast and blindfolded. And then there's the wardrobe issue. How many low cut dresses would I need to catch a "cub" and can you also wear them to the gym?

The convention really looked like fun. Everyone was drinking and laughing. I hate cash bars however, so if you had to pay over $5.00 for a drink I would have been cranky, sulky and not smiley enough to attract a cub. It was better I stayed home and got a puppy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

This Holiday Weekend Invite Me Over PLEASE!

Uh oh another national holiday weekend looms on the horizon. Curses! This doesn't make me joyful. Didn't we just have one? (" No Mom, I don't mean Mother's Day." ) Personally I'd prefer they weren't so close together. I need time to relax and recuperate from the stress of the last holiday. I don't have a grill which is a long weekend requirement. Even if I did I'd be very nervous about blowing up the house, myself, and my guests. Speaking of "guests" I don't have those either , which brings me to my next problem - the stress of finding guests. I wonder if they have an "available guests" category on Craig's List? And would they work for free or require a salary and health care?

I'm also not a parade person although Beefy Boy sees them as an opportunity to get attention especially if I put him in a monogrammed hat. I view them as crowded and too colorful. I long for the giant inflated Mickey Mouse from the Macy's Day parade. No Mickey no me. Bands and Boy Scout troops marching down the street wreak havoc with traffic . What if someone invites me over for a July 4th party and I can't get there? I think I dreamt this and woke up in a sweat longing for corn on the cob.

The holiday is getting closer and closer and my stress level is mounting with each passing day. I'm out of meds but consider buying a grill instead as a symbol of personal growth and to help pick up the economy. But if you are having a picnic or party I'm available.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tales from the Queen of Gridlock

CRAAAAAAAAAP! I mean OMMMMMMM! It's summer and every single solitary road I take is under construction. I'm the Queen of Gridlock. Cars piled up for miles in every direction. I make a quick u-turn to escape and curses, I'm not only stuck again but lost. No, I don't have a GPS but I do remember the lake is East. Except I've driven so far off the lake I am convinced South is East. Unfortunately I never hung around the Girl Scouts long enough to get a "wilderness badge" so I'm challanged on any survival techniques I might need if I'm in the car a minute longer! I did sell a lot of cookies however. Craaaaap, get me out of this traffic! Beefy Boy doesn't care how long we're stuck as long as the air conditioning is on and he can nap. I wish he could drive so I could take a Valium.

It took me 30 minutes to drive 8 blocks up Michigan Avenue. Even when the lights turned green I couldn't move. "The freaking light is green for God's sake....go!" Nope. I desperately tried to remember the words from my friend Jamie Lerner's peaceful wonderful book "The Ever-Loving Essence of You"(www.jamie-lerner.com) where she explores the option of enjoying what's going on around you as opposed to fighting it. Ok Jamie I took your advice and decided to take a deep breath and study the advertisement on the bus sitting next to me. I spent approx. 41 seconds lovingly reading about shinier hair before I started screaming. I was moments from getting out of the car and jumping up and down in complete and utter frustration. OMMMMM! I might however, try the hair care product when I calm down enough to shower.

Yesterday I was stuck in gridlocked traffic so close to home I could see my apartment. So near and yet so far I burst into tears. I thought about leaving the car and walking the rest of the way but couldn't wake Beefy Boy. It took twenty minutes to turn the corner - I was sweating , swearing and had developed a rash on my cheek from nerves. Like I said "craaaaaap....I mean ommmmm."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day is too Hard or Dad Likes Cake

Father's Day just doesn't have the pomp and circumstance of Mother's Day. Mother's Day gets more media coverage than a lunar landing although I don't think we go to the moon anymore, but I could be wrong. One giant step for Mom and one teenie tiny one for Dad. Mother's Day is a cash cow for Hallmark and 1 -800- flowers. Dads just don't rake in the $$$ . I know it's a dark day of guilt if I don't arrive at Mom's door with something in a Neiman's , Tiffany's, or Bloomie's bag - or teeter in with a flowering plant the size of a building. "Here Mom, Happy Mother's Day," I groaned as I fell over. "Thank you dear," she said and left me on the floor to go open my sister's present in Saks packaging.

It's hard to shop for Dad. He doesn't like much. For 25 straight years I bought him a tie for Father's Day. Stripes, solids, patterned or knit, he returned every one. I was relentless and undeterred and continued my search for one he'd keep. Never happened. I finally gave up and switched to books. That didn't work either, as we didn't have the same taste in reading. He'd open the package, grunt and put it down. Mom at least gushed upon opening. I almost bought him a bottle of his favorite wine, Mogan David, but my regular wine salesman stared at me in disbelief and disappointment; I broke out in a rash and had to leave the store.

What did Dad really like? This question plagued me. Then like a dream come true I remembered. He liked to eat cake. And candy when there's no cake. I'd come bearing cakes from bakeries as far west as Iowa. "Too dry," he'd discern and push the plate away after one bite. Curses! I switched to exotic chocolate which cost more than my new Kate Spade shoes. "Bitter, not sweet enough," he said as he wrapped it back in the foil. I ate the tasty chocolate and sadly returned the shoes.

This Father's Day I came bearing Twinkies and a Snickers bar wearing a new pair of shoes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Life as a Fish or Make it Stop Raining!

I have developed very small gills behind each ear and every day my skin gets increasingly scaly. I think I'm de-evolving in order to survive. Thanks Mother Nature for turning me into a fish to weather the Chicago weather. I'm not looking forward to fins but at this point, what the hell. I might look better as an amphibian than I look with my puffy frizzy hair from the rain and humidity. Every day it's the same from my mortal enemy the weatherman - "Rain tomorrow morning . Rain into the evening and overnight. Rain again the next morning into the afternoon. A thunderstorm at night and possibly the next morning. It's going to be wet out there," he says with a big old grin on his face. I resist the urge to throw my pasta primavera at the TV because it is tastier than fish food.

I used to only hate him in winter. He is really at his best then. "A storm is coming, run, hide, don't go to the airport, stay off the roads, buy a sled and 8 barking Huskies. It's going to snow for the next 112 hours; people could be buried alive if they don't have emergency kits in their car. (my emergency kit has a hair dryer and lipstick). It's big , it's white, it's coming to your neighborhood!" I burst into tears before I ate an entire bag of Oreos for comfort. Does this man have friends?

I should have been a Meteorologist. I'm a drama queen with a touch of the morbid. How hard could it be for pity's sake? I'd be a little more direct with the viewing audience however. Why sugar coat the forecast by smiling. "The weather today will suck. If you have frizzy or curly hair stay home or wear a hat as the humidity will be 95%. You probably won't look good again until the weekend. If you have a comb over I'd suggest staying home also as the winds are going to be gusty and it could be embarrassing. Just remember folks I'll look as bad as the rest of you so I feel your pain." Isn't that a lot better? No smiling or ridiculous atmospheric charts with wavy lines .

It's dreary dreary dreary again today. I need anxiety medication and a long sleeve shirt to cover the scales. My hair has taken on a giant life of it's own and has become resistant to all forms of calming shampoo. I wonder if super glue can double as conditioner? Like I said in my forecast, I probably won't look good again until the weekend.