Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Awwwwwwwww...Moms!  We all have one and many of us have the pleasure of being one.  I've met many a mom in my lifetime.  There are cool moms, sweet moms, stern moms, and cuddly moms.  All kinds of moms.  And then there is mine.  Sigh.

When I was three years old, my mother signed me up for a beauty pageant stock full of buxom young women.  At a car race.  The results were based on audience vote and needless to say, I did not win.  My mother was a bit huffy afterward and I heard her mutter that the girl who won had stood at the entrance gate promising all the men that she would sleep with them if they would vote for her.  I wasn't sure what it meant, but given Mom's tone, I assumed it did not mean that actual sleeping would be involved. 

When I was very young Mom and I were on our way to a nearby city.  Mom had the petal to the metal and soon there were flashing lights behind us.  Mom screamed at me to "Put your head between your legs!  Put your head between your legs!"  I did as I was told and heard my mother (in an exaggerated, panicked voice) tell the officer that she was sorry, but she was rushing her (very) sick daughter to the emergency room.  He let her go, after offering to escort her there.  Mom declined, saying that she would slow down.  I was the compliant child with my head so far between my knees that my lower back started hurting, but I knew better than to get up before I was told to do so!

I rather enjoyed my fourth grade year.  I specifically remember that as the time that Mom introduced me to pantyhose and eye makeup.  I was the first in my class to wear either and I felt very sophisticated.  Girls would come up to me and demand to know if I really wore hose and makeup and I would dip into my purse and produce my eye compact.  We had to glue pebbles onto a board and I chose to use the pantyhose cardboard that kept my hose intact, in large part to prove that I really did wear them.  All with Mom's blessing.  A bit inappropriate, but I gained a lot of admiration because of it!

I was scarred for life in fifth grade.  Parent-teacher conferences were scheduled and students were not supposed to attend.  I guess my classmate, Kevin Zizelman, did not get the memo because he went with his mother and saw my mom.  The next day he asked me "How come every time I see your mom her hair is a different color?"  Oh, the embarrassment!  I went home and begged my mother to please, please, PLEASE never color her hair again!

A few years later, Mom, Grandma, and I went shopping for the day, again in a nearby city.  Mom had called in sick, which was not unusual.  Her headaches were rampant and legendary.  There was a funeral home that we always drove past and commented on because it had a round design.  We all wondered what it looked like inside.  On this particular day, Mom pulled into the parking area without warning.  She said not a word as she exited the car.  Grandma and I didn't know what was going on until she came out a few minutes later.  She clutched an obituary card like she had just been handed the Holy Grail.  SUCCESS!  She needed it for work to prove that she really was at her Uncle's funeral.  She told us "I don't know if this man is black, white, or sky-blue-pink, but he just became my Uncle."  Grandma and I were positively MORTIFIED  and admonished her all the way home.  I guess she had taken one too many sick days and it was time for a "funeral" day.

She wore her shorts too short and was constantly dying her hair.  She is likely responsible for my makeup, perfume, and especially my lipstick obsessions.  However, she did teach me to stand up for myself and not to let people run over or take advantage of me.  She was and remains a scrappy little thing!  When I heard that someone had been arrested at the Black Friday sales last fall, my first thought was "Sweet Jesus in Heaven, please let it not be my mother!"

I once told my best friend from childhood that when she met her maker, I was going to inscribe her tombstone with "What a long, strange trip it's been".

She lives hundreds of miles away, but when I had oral surgery last year and was walking down the hall towards the operating room, I told the nurse "I want my mommy".  We only have one, folks.  She may be flawed and far from perfect, but no one and I mean NO ONE loves you like your mother!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  This one's for you!

Monday, April 16, 2012


My son came home from college Easter weekend after an absence of several weeks.  I felt like we had a ton of news and tidbits to catch up on, so I took him to eat Chinese at his favorite restaurant, knowing that was a sure fire way to get an extended conversation going with the boy.  After we got the basics out of the way (the cat misses you so much she isn't eating, you wouldn't believe the crazies I dealt with this week, next year I'm certain your robotics team will take the competition), I went for his jugular.  "Ethan, did you know that Kim Kardashian is dating Kanye West?"  His expression said "WTF?", but he politely declined to comment.  I continued..."Can you just imagine it, Ethan?  Their first fight will be over who is prettiest!  There will be more mirrors in their house than there is beer at an ECU frat party!"  He laughed and we went on to other more "Ethan like" topics.  (I did learn that his favorite Beatles song is "A Day in the Life", but I digress)

But seriously, Kim K. is hardly the only flaky female celeb out there.  The most obvious to me is Jennifer Lopez.  Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer.  I have followed your career for at least the past decade.  I confess to even having a bit of a female crush on you when I first saw your Vanity Fair cover of several years back.  You are one smoking babe.  But girlfriend, you need to live your life for five minutes WITHOUT A MAN.  Talk about always having one in your back pocket!  I guess that's why you need that famous ass!  The news of your split with Marc Anthony had barely hit the press when you were off gallivanting with Casper, a 24 year old dancer.  24 YEARS OLD.  Do what you want sister, but my son has friends older than that.  Casper turned 25 last week and you celebrated dating a bit older man by gifting him with a custom designed pick-up truck.  Sweeeeeeet!  I'm thinking Casper is digging this gig.  It would not surprise me if you took another walk down the aisle, but hon, let's hold off a bit.  Slow down, take a deep breath, smell the roses and enjoy your children.  Romping with Casper can wait a few months, if not years.  Take some Jennifer time.  Trust me.  Besides, do you REALLY want to go through all that wedding registry mess again?

While I am a bit co-dependent when it comes to J. Lo, I harbor no sympathy for that little hussy LeAnn Rimes.  I mean, really.  She meets what she considers to be a hunka hunka burnin' love on a movie set, they have a torrid affair and leave their respective spouses.  Poor little Dean Sheramot didn't know what hit him.  Her paramour, Eddie Cibrian's ex, can hold her own, though.  Since they have "come out" as a couple and married last year, they have grabbed every photo op known to man.  See LeAnn and Eddie on this beach!  See LeAnn and Eddie on that beach!  The girl owns enough bikinis to stitch a quilt for Shaq!  I actually feel a bit sorry for Eddie as she is always hanging on him and any PDA that you witness seems to be instigated by her.  You get the feeling that she is looking at the camera and thinking "See this hot man?  He's MINE and not YOURS"  Well, LeAnn, your bony ass can have him.  Good luck holding on to him. 

This brings me to perhaps the flakiest female celeb of them all, Miss Jennifer Love Hewitt.  I've lost track of how many engagements the chick has been through.  Last week yet another of her relationships ended at approximately the same time that Adam Levine found himself back on the market.  Love Hewitt told Ellen DeGeneres that she was up for a pairing with Levine, a stunt that all but screamed desperation.  Who does that?  She also 'fessed up to using plain old McCormick's vanilla extract to attract the opposite sex.  What?  We have all been plunking down the big bucks for Chanel No. 5, when all we need is $5.00 and a baking aisle?  My son had it right..."WTF?"


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I have been on this earth for five decades and have never witnessed the narcissistic and self-involved behavior that I see in our culture today.  I grew up in a small village in Ohio with rather blurred class lines.  There were 32 (?) students in my graduation class and the general consensus among us was that we were all in it together, for better or worse, richer or poorer.  We were a tight knit bunch.  I was the overweight girl who used her wit and humor to her advantage.  I feel I was generally liked by most, ignored by some, and very close with enough different "groups" of friends that I rarely sat at home on a Friday or Saturday night.  Not because I was dating, mind you, but out and about at a basketball game, the movies, or just "cruising". 

Because my hometown was so tiny, everyone was privy to just about everyone's business.  What I do not remember about my formative years was my mother (or any of my friend's mothers) fretting because it was time for a manicure or pedicure.  I'm not sure that any of us even knew that such a thing existed.  Have someone paint your nails for you or (God forbid) see your feet?  Why in the world would my mother spend her factory salary or me my babysitting money on something that Sally Hansen could do for us?  It would have been unfathomable.  Facials?  Say what?  Why, if you had half a brain you had Noxema under the sink and washed your face before you went to bed.  We wore Cover Girl makeup, used Great Lash mascara and Bonne Bell lip balm that came in a tube so big that you lost it before you ever used it all.  It was the 70's and life was free and easy.

Of course, hair was in a category all it's own and all bets were off when it came to plunking down the dollars.  I was always on the lookout for the miracle shampoo and creme rinse (yep, creme rinse) that would transform my tresses into a bouncy, shiny irresistible mass of silk like beauty.  I remember using Clairol Herbal Essence Shampoo, Body on Tap (which professed to have beer in it), Farrah Fawcett shampoo, and my all time favorite "Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific".  We used curling irons and an array of barrettes and combs.  I personally succumbed to cutting my long, parted in the middle hair into a "wing cut", meaning that I then had bangs that were swept back on either side of my face.  So cool.

Fast forward to today's culture.  "Manis" and "pedis" are de rigour for an extremely large segment of our population.  Children routinely get them.  Spas have popped up everywhere.  I hear co-workers talk about getting facials and massages.  I have had a handful of manicures and one pedicure in my lifetime.  I started getting my brows done every few months because I was getting old lady eyebrows and that just wouldn't do.  But for the most part, this is all foreign to me.  What strikes me is that so many people today find what I see as completely optional to be an absolute necessity.  A young co-worker was complaining about the cost of keeping up her acrylic nails.  I suggested that she go au naturel for a change.  She gasped..."What!  I've had these since high school!"  Never mind that your water bill goes past due, the nails MUST be immaculate. 

Maybe I am just jealous.  I am a divorcee with a son in college.  There is no room in my budget (and I use that term loosely) for what I consider to be extreme upkeep.  I paint my own fingers and toes and color my hair from a box.  I wear drug store (even Dollar Tree) makeup.  I am excited beyond belief when I get enough CVS extra bucks to buy what I consider "high end" nail polish.  And you know what?  It's OK by me. 

If someone gave me a gift card to Wal-Mart and told me to get a manicure, I would probably buy a book anyway.  Priorities, people!  :)