Posts Tagged ‘Humor’


I’m on vacation with my family and I’m in the lobby of the hotel waiting for them to shower. I found a computer with free internet service so I thought I’d steal a minute to check in and report my favorite quote from vacation so far.

After a long weekend in Farmington, CT we drove up to Boston for two days. My youngest, Caroline, who just gobbles up life was so excited. “Are we in Boston yet?”, “Yay! We’re in Boston!”, “My first time ever in Boston”, “I Love Boston,” “Can we stay in Boston longer?”

After check-in, my other daughter needed to use the facilities. Caroline went in the bathroom with her and I heard her yell out, “Elizabeth! Can you believe it? You’re pooping in Boston!”

Yeah, Boston was a great time. We pooped there.

connecticut 100


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Check out my Clematis. It just started blooming the other day.

Clematis Vine

I’m from the midwest so I say “Clem-aaaatis.”

Martha Stewart, on the other hand, says “Klehhhm – atis.”

But my friend’s neighbor once said to her (true story), “Did you see my Clitoris out on my mailbox? Isn’t it beautiful?”

I don’t know about hers – never saw it. But my Clematis is really quite something.


P.S. Alternate titles I considered for this post: “Growing your Own G-spot” and “Why the Postman Really Rings Twice”. Other suggestions are welcome.

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Yesterday I went to see the dermatologist. I have this suspicious mole-ish thing on my temple that I wanted checked out. It’s small, but I’m a fair-skinned blonde who spent decades laughing at the sun. Now in my forties, I take anything remotely mole-ish very seriously.

After some routine questions from a kind, empathetic nurse, I stripped down to my carefully chosen, un-sexy but still very nice (i.e. not from Cosco) bra and undies, and put on the paper bib and waited for Dr. Ang.

I didn’t wait long. Dr. Ang and her crispy white coat were right on time. After an efficient greeting and handshake, she got right to business. She looked at my mole-ish thing, touched it and quickly proclaimed it was not a mole but a wart to which I winced and jerked my head away and said “Ewww, it is not.”

She said she could remove it, talking rapidly about some bruising and a needle (in my temple?). I cut her off, “Ahh, maybe some other time.”

She then proceeded with a full-body mole-check, which went well. She found nothing suspicious (or wart-ish, thank you very much) and concluded I should see her in another year. I smiled, thanked her and waited for her to leave.

But she didn’t. She just stood there looking down at me in my underwear. Then she said, “Sooo how’s your energy level been? (pause) And your appetite?”

I mumbled something like “fine – yeah, it’s all good.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Hmmm. Okay, then. Have a good day” she said. Then she smiled (condescendingly?) and left.

It took me a minute. Wait – did she just call me fat? I think she did. I think she totally just called me I’m fat. What does my appetite have to do with my (wart-less) skin? Why else would she say that?


Blogger’s Note: Because you can’t see me, let’s just say, I might need to lose 10 pounds — okay, maybe 13 after this winter, or 20 if I ever moved to Manhattan. As far as I know, that is not enough to prompt a dermatologist to be concerned. See? I told you — that bitch called me fat.

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Here’s what happens when you cross a hypochondriac with the only small town doctor that her crack health care insurance covers: 


I’d been having this hip pain which I attributed to my running hunched over with a crooked hip from my scoliosis (ahhh Deenie, yes, I think of her often).  After one late night of internet medical research, I discovered I likely have is a sciatica problem — the back problem du jour, no? Yoga and ibuprofen, right?


Then about a week ago, after the long holiday weekend of scrunching over in a car for hours on end, lifting heavy things, carrying children, plus a few rounds of drunken, competitive badminton, I thought very little (unusual for me) when I got this weird tingly feeling in my ring finger and pinky – that is, until I mentioned the numbness to my friend, the cancer survivor.  I told her I had a weird numbness in my last two fingers. She told me that numbness should always get checked out.


“Why? Could numbness be something bad?”


“You could have tumors on your spine.”


Okay.  I’ll give her a long leash for saying that — she did survive cancer, but WTF? I didn’t sleep a wink that night.  The next day I went in immediately to see the small town crack doctor.  I was expecting her to confirm my second diagnosis made after another late night of internet medical research: I have a sciatica problem and I also have a pinched nerve. 


Meanwhile, the doctor doesn’t ask me anything. She doesn’t ask me, for example: what do you do for exercise? Are you on the computer a lot? Do you have any pain in your neck? What kind of shoes do you wear? Have you injured your neck/arm/elbow recently? Have you tried Ibuprofen? Nothing.


Instead she whacks my knees with her rubber hammer and has me squeeze her fingers.  I tell her I’m sure I just have a pinched nerve but I just want to make sure I don’t have tumors on my spine.


“I doubt you have any tumors on your spine” she says.




“I also wanted to make sure I don’t have MS or something” I say.


“Yeah, I thought about MS” she says.


Thought about MS?


“But you don’t think I have MS – right?” I say.


“Well it is suspicious that you have two injuries affecting nerves in your back.  I wonder if that’s a coincidence” she says.


Suspicious? Wonder? Coincidence?


“Well,” she says, glancing at her watch, “I think we should start with muscle relaxers and steroid injections and then go from there”.


“But DO YOU think I have MS?” I say.


“No, I don’t think so, but if you want I can do an MRI on your brain, that way we can tell for sure.”


“Do you think I NEED an MRI on my BRAIN?”


“No, not unless you want one.  Let’s start with the muscle relaxers.  If you have MS or tumors on your spine, the muscle relaxers won’t mask that.”


Mask it?


“So you DO think I have MS.”


“No, I don’t think so,” she glances at her watch again, “but talk it over with your husband and if you decide you want an MRI, just call me.”


“Do YOU think I need an MRI on my BRAIN?”


“No, but if you want one, call me.”


“But why would I want one, do you think I NEED one?”


“No, let’s start with the muscle relaxers first and see if they work.”


I swear to god.  This Abbott and Costello thing went on for like 10 minutes.  I was seriously wetting my pants.  MRI, Tumors, MS, Brain.  Are you kidding me? I mean who wants an MRI?


I didn’t sleep for like three days.  MRI, Tumors, MS, Brain, MRI, Tumors, MS, Brain.


One week later and the tingling is gone. I swallowed a bunch of vitamin B (more late night internet medical research) and have tried to stay off the computer since this seemed to make my fingers more tingly (Hmmmm – coincidence?). My back is better, too.  I’ve been running less, stretching more and we rotated our mattress.  


I’m still worried, though. Every time I have an itch, a tingle or my foot falls asleep, I worry/obsess. MRI, Tumors, MS, Brain.


Warning:Hypochondriac and Crack Doctor – Do not mix.   

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An Unfashionable Report


While I would never say I was ever fashion-forward, I never thought it would get this bad.  I just got back from the grocery store when I realized I was still wearing my pajama top.  I did take the time to put a bra on, but then why did I put the pajama top back on over the bra? How did this happen?


It got me thinking – how far have I fallen? Let’s take a look:


The other day, I tried on an old maternity dress that didn’t sell at my garage sale.  I thought it looked kind of cute and seriously thought about wearing it.  I came to my senses long enough to change, but I confess the dress is still hanging in my closet (of course I’m not pregnant).


I have light blonde eyebrows so I have to pencil them in.  Once I walked around for an entire day with only one eyebrow drawn on before anyone said anything (it was 6pm before a close friend kindly commented).


Too many times (i.e more than once), I’ve realized that I forgot to brush my teeth – no biggie, just a full day of coffee drinking, hummus eating, and chatting in the faces of friends and strangers.


The other day I went running in a t-shirt that said “I Survived the Norridge Earthquake”.  Um, 1994?


Oh, my favorite: Once I was standing near my table at a restaurant when some woman came up and asked me to seat her and her three friends (“table for four” she kept saying over and over as I stood there looking dumbfounded).  Based soley on my outift, she thought I was the waitress. 


None of this includes my near daily habit of spilling food on myself, smearing deodorant on my shirts or the fact I always seem to forget that low rise jeans should not be worn with my granny undies from Cosco (not that I meant to buy granny undies of course, there was just some misunderstanding with the term “hipster” — note: hipster they are not).


I keep waiting to turn around and find Stacy and Clinton lurking behind me but with my luck, I’ll turn around and find an old boyfriend (while wearing my stained pajama top and one eyebrow).


So what happens now? I’ve done the first step. I admit it: I have a problem.  I’m staging my own intervention, starting my own support group. Everyone is welcome.  Come as you are.   



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connecticut 013

“So how do you like it here?” she said pouring me more coffee.


I’d been here less than six months when I was invited for coffee by a mom I didn’t know. She was tall, blonde, and liked to talk about martinis and golf. Other than that, her invitation was as unfamiliar as she was. 


Her house was pretty and decorated. There was homemade banana bread arranged on a white platter and coffee served in delicate mugs that burned my palms.


It felt like an audition. I’d heard she was part of a book club that might be accepting new members. I loved to read. I really needed this gig.


I chose my outfit carefully that morning. I was in JCrewville now – my black work clothes were useless here. I threw on a khaki skirt, red t-shirt and flip flops. It wasn’t Lily Pulitzer but then, neither was I. 


Scootching forward on her toile couch, I tried to sound bright. How should I answer this? 


“Well, to be honest,” I said swallowing the sticky bread, “I’ve sort of had a hard time adjusting. I, um —“


“I know it’s hard here” burst in the other guest. She was another blonde who had been here several years. Her husband was a native – born and raised here. She seemed eager to want to show me the ropes.


“Let me give you one piece of advice” the Native’s Wife said. “Too many people make the mistake of attaching themselves to a clique too quickly and then regretting it. Take your time. Get to know them. Then choose your clique.”


She was dead serious. I sank back into the couch.   


“Hmmmm…” was all I could manage, remembering to blink.


I still think about that coffee date. It was one of those lacerating moments when I realized life here would not be what I expected. Something was definitely amuck. I was beginning to get the picture: go to high school, graduate, go to college, graduate, move to a big city, start a career, build a career, get married, get promoted, have a baby, get promoted, quit your job, leave the city, move to a small town, poof! You’re back in high school.


Choose your clique wisely?  Hmmmm… 


I’ll say this: when you’re a stay-at-home mom, friendships are everything. There’s a lot of mental monotony with ushering kids around and fixing meals.  Housework is draining on the good days and degrading on the bad ones.  So we SAHMmies really need friends to keep us going.  Unfortunately with so many intelligent mommies running around with too much un-channeled mental energy, the making of friends can get shockingly competitive and grossly strategic.


Since moving here, I’ve been counseled on who to suck up to and who to avoid. I’ve been warned not to associate myself with a particular person because it could alienate me from others. I’ve been told which volunteer activities will make me the most “visible”  — oh, and I’ve been scolded not to complain or people will think I hate it here (gasp).   


I can’t say I’ve been entirely innocent either.  Living in such a small town, I’m aware of the perceived social categories. To claim it hasn’t influenced me would be a lie.   


Yet as a mother of two daughters, I am shocked at how often I need to sternly remind myself of this.  I am the mom. We are the mothers. They learn it from us. We have to be strong and authentic, so they stand a chance.


After seven long years, I only have a few friends here. They are funny, interesting and kind. I’ve chosen them selectively because I enjoy them for who they are, not because of their perceived social standing.


Truly, I wish I had more — but I refuse to drink any Kool-aid, and I keep thinking we’ll be leaving here one day to move to a place where things are different.  But is there really such a place? I refuse to give up hope.


I also have these great friends cherry-picked from other places in my life. They are scattered across the country but they are near to me in so many ways. Without them, I’d be certifiable…and an orphan.


I’ve also spent a lot of time alone — more than I ever did before. It’s not always by choice, but at least I know I can do it now and not get all wacky. I couldn’t have said that seven years ago. Plus, spending a fair amount of time by myself has forced me to think a little more for myself. And that’s not such a bad thing, either.


Choose a clique wisely?  Hmmm….


I’ll wisely choose not to.

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I had my first garage sale over the weekend. It was beyond exhausting, but what surprised me the most was emotional part. I was not prepared for it. It was like watching “This is Your Life” except that greedy strangers appear and snatch up your memories and haggle over them.

There was this one woman who grabbed my daughter’s little navy dress with the white polka dots. Elizabeth wore it to my cousin’s funeral when she was just a baby.  My cousin had died tragically young from a drug overdose and we were all shattered. In that dress, on that day, Elizabeth was my only source of light.

As she nuzzled her fuzzy head into my neck and drooled on my black cardigan, I felt comforted. When she took her fingers out of her mouth and flashed her wet gums to strangers, I knew she was providing the best form of bereavement counseling. 

I wanted to go over and pull that dress out of her hands. That little dress was my tiny reminder that when pain nearly stops our hearts, new life arrives to show us that we can smile again.

Then there was the yellow Ralph Lauren duvet with matching pillow shams.  I remember the day my husband and I bought it.  We had just gotten back from our honeymoon and were giddy, in love and clutching fast cash made from returning wedding gifts.

Emboldened by the fresh start ahead of us, we splurged on the silky Egyptian cotton linens. We were so happy to be appointing our married life with much finer things than our single ones could have afforded.  We were naïvely certain that the days of crappy, irregular sheets from the deep-discount table at Bed, Bath and Beyond were behind us.

On some level, selling that duvet felt like acknowledging the end of the newlywed belief that married life will always be exciting and fun. Though considerably faded, I wasn’t sure I was ready to abandon it completely.

Nearby in a bin of books sat my tattered copy of Pat Conroy’s “The Prince of Tides”.  It was one of my first pleasure-reads after college while vacationing in Arizona. As I lay in the sun scalding my skin a dark pink, I fell in love with Tom Wingo’s gorgeous South Carolinian prose. It was the first time I would ever think of an author’s words as lyrical because, well — they were.  

That book marked the beginning of my great love affair with books to which I remain besotted for life. I had marked my first lover “50% off” — which shamed me more than just a little.

And then there were the little froggy rain boots we bought at a beachside gift shop. Once during a rainstorm, Caroline put them on with her fanciest pink nightgown and went outside to dance like Gene Kelly.  She was so deliciously transported into her own world that I raced outside to take her picture for which she posed proudly.

Those boots marked my little fashionista’s first awareness that very often it is indeed, the shoes that make the dress. 

I looked at the bits and pieces of my life sprawled out before me and I thought: that’s it. I simply could not part with any more of it. I nudged my way in amongst the shoppers in their fanny-packs.  I was ready to start pulling stuff from the sale when I was stopped by a woman with a thick Irish brogue. 

She wanted to confirm the size the gauzy, white flower-girl dress Elizabeth wore in a wedding last December. She was buying it to send “back home” to her sister in Ireland. She said it would be perfect for her niece’s first holy communion. 

I had a vision of a red-haired girl wearing the dress in an old Irish church and I was pleased beyond belief. I know it’s predictable to say “think of all the new memories your things will enjoy”, but in this case, I was totally fired up.

Godspeed, pretty white dress!

That’s when I knew I would be okay.

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