The Truth about Texting Abbreviations


I realize everyone has limited time. But if you’re going to give your thumbs a rest by using texting abbreviations, let’s at least better understand them. Studies show that using texting abbreviations during the entire course of life will save you a total of sixteen minutes. So when you’re ninety years old and drooling, you can stare at the wall a little bit longer. Make it count.

Here are the most popular:

OMG (Oh my what – God? Gosh? Grapes?). This is mainly used when there is literally nothing else creative in the universe to say, generally an acceptable response to anything from “I’m having a ten-pound baby” to “Let’s have tacos for dinner, OMG I love tacos.” If we are going to perpetuate this abbreviation we should maybe vary it up a bit, like OMS (oh my stars!) or OMB (oh my bacon!). People can guess. It’ll be fun.

LMAO (Laugh My Ass Off). This is ridiculous. Let’s all stop using this. There is no one who laughs so much that they lose their own ass. Perhaps the laughing is so forceful and it burns so many calories that the fat melts off. This is odd at best, scary at worst. Because you need an ass. Without one, how would you look in jeans? How would you sit? If you are laughing this hard, you need to calm the heck down and take a sedative.

ROFL (Rolling on the Floor Laughing). I can’t believe this is even a thing. I’ve been on this planet for 40 long years, and have heard some extremely funny things. However, I have never rolled around on the floor about it. Not due to Lucille Ball. Not after hearing Jerry Seinfield. Not even listening to the Louis C.K. HBO special. There is dog hair on the floor, and germs. I’m not sure why you’d roll around down there, even for a good solid Trump joke.

LOL (Laugh out loud). This is a classic, but don’t you think it’s getting tired? It is rare that you laugh out loud. It’s often only a slight chuckle, so to say you are truly laughing is a bit extreme. Americans are going crazy with extremes. If you laugh at something, perhaps just say “Ha.” Or “Funny.” Or even “YFPS” = you are so funny that I want to take you to parties like a sideshow. Not to be extreme. As an aside, I had a friend once whose wife was in the hospital with a life-threatening illness, and her mother-in-law thought LOL meant “lots of love,” so whenever she’d text the poor girl she would say “Does the IV hurt? LOL” or “I’m so sorry you are losing your eyesight LOL.” That actually did make me laugh out loud.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). I’ve had this thrown at me a few times, meaning that the person is about to say something I do not want to hear. Because of course I wanted their vain, arrogant opinion.

The folks who post on our neighborhood garage sale always use the phrase ISO (in search of). That cracks me up because instead of leading with “I need a used dresser” what they are instead saying is that they are on a search! A quest! A scavenger hunt for treasure! I am desiring a purse made from the threads of Burberry!

The only phrases (in my humble opinion) that are truly worth the energy-save of an abbreviation is perhaps JK (just kidding), the occasional K (okay) and certainly GOTYM (get out of town you moron). Otherwise, you need to salvage your ass and stop rolling around on the dirty floor. No matter how funny Jim Gaffigan is, sit up for heaven’s sakes. K?



Farewell, Frog


The other morning, upon running late, shooing children out the door, and wearing a pencil skirt with leopard-print pumps of all things, my son makes a discovery.  A tiny little frog had hopped into the garage – fresh from the rain puddles I suppose, and had found himself juxtaposed between a corner and a large 4-year-old boy with beautiful eyes and a fascination for reptiles. He didn’t have a chance, really.

“Can we take him to school?” my son asked.  He was jumping and his eyes were smiling.  But we didn’t have time.  I was in heels.  There has been zero consumption of caffeine.  We have exactly eighteen seconds to get in the car and peel out of the driveway or both kids would be late.  “Please, mom? Can we can we can we?” I looked in his little eyes, those eyelashes batting up and down.

Damnit with the eyelashes.

So back in the house we go, the superman Tupperware shaped for sandwiches being brutally sacrificed for the love of frogs, so I stab air holes in the lid and hobble back out in my heels and ridiculously thin skirt and try to catch the slippery thing.  Finally with the help of a piece of paper and my transferring-frogs-into-tupperware-skillz that I learned in parenting school, I captured him, to the delight of my screeching son, who was happier than I saw him last Christmas morning.  Which means this Christmas I’m just going to fill the house with frogs.  Thanks a lot, gears-gears-gears. You were a waste of $60.

Off to school we go, after rounds of Taylor Swift for my daughter and having to endure the interior light so she can read her book on dogs who talk and save the earth, and I somehow get the children dropped off at their respective places with statements of love and happiness, through the Starbucks line, and I’m happily in rush-hour traffic toward my office.  Fast forward eight lovely hours, whereby I skipped lunch to review contracts and I’m back in my car, which is hot enough to roast marshmallows because it’s Texas and it never freaking gets cold despite it being October. And then I see it.  Right there next to his seat.

Death.  It permeates the Lexus.

The poor thing suffocated.  It had no hope.  We even put a leaf in the little container for it to eat, although let’s be honest small baby-like frogs don’t munch on leaves like potato chips, but to my son every living thing eats leaves so let’s not ruin the whole story over semantics.  I am forced to make a pit stop in suburbia one block away from my son’s preschool and pull over, opening the lid to throw the dead body out on the pavement below.  I can’t exactly explain to him that we simply “forgot the frog” or “it suffocated in the heat, dying a slow miserable death whilst plastered to a converse blue image of a superhero he will never become,” now can I.

I had to bang the Tupperware against my car for him to fall out because his little water-starved body was stuck to the side. I know, I know. It’s horrific.  I crossed myself although I’m not Catholic and said a little prayer as it lay there lifeless on the pavement below, soon to be run over by the wheels of my own car most likely, but what exactly do you do in this situation? Stupid Texas heat. If we lived in Chicago the sweet little frog might be fat and happy munching on that leaf all afternoon.

I hid the Tupperware in the front seat so my kid wouldn’t ask questions.  I said we could have mac-and-cheese for dinner.  I tried all my tactics to keep him upbeat and not be suspicious.  Until he saw it.  The Tupperware lid peering from underneath my blazer.  Oh, friends.  Let the tears roll.

I told him I let it out by his school, so he could frolic and play with his friends since we forgot to take him in, which at first blush may seem a wee bit untruthful but his froggy friends could so totally be frog zombies. He was mostly angry I didn’t let him out at home, so he could find him (until I offered oreos and then would forget), his long-lost friend (that he forgot) and wanted so badly to save (that he just met this morning it’s not like you guys are BFFs, geez.  Plus he’s a frog).

Needless to say it was a big ordeal, only to be healed by a television show and love from his dear mother (who committed frogslaughter and dumped the body).   The most important thing about all this is that I managed to kneel down in a pencil skirt.  If you see any frog remains in front of a brick house I don’t know what you are talking about.

You guys can judge all day, but just wait until this happens to you.  Let’s hope it’s just a beetle, who “overdid it on the leaf eating.”  They are less frightening when dead. Not that I know anything about that.

Let’s all have oreos. K?



The Flight Safety Speech


I flew to a conference last weekend, from Texas to Ohio with a detour through Florida, because honestly that’s close. It’s pretty exciting being crammed into a plane with recycled air with a bunch of children sporting Mickey ears shrieking about Disney and beleaguered parents praying their sugar high will last until the rental car. But even more fun is when you hear the same speech you have heard for your entire life from every perky flight attendant since the dawn of time and spacecraft.

The Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign!  I love this opener, because instead of just saying “put on your dang seatbelt because we’ll be taking human beings into the thin air in a large mechanical bird and if we crash your ashes will be spread out like dust over Birmingham,” they tell you the sign is on.  Like that ever works when you see the yellow light in a school zone.

Please make sure your seatback and folding trays are in upright locked position! I’m wondering if it would cut a human in half if the folding tray was down.  I’m also curious if some guy named Bob just made up this line twenty-seven years ago because they were trying to fill up space, like “make sure your shoestrings are tied!” and “take off your hats, ladies!” because the seats only move a total of 1.7 inches even when you force them with all your might by digging your heels into the cold floor and what’s the freaking point of the seats moving 1.7 inches.  And I’m imagining the gasping of a woman decapitated upon take-off, and her sobbing husband wishing he had only remembered to keep the folding tray in an upright locked position. 

If you are seated next to an emergency exit, please read carefully the special instructions located in the seatback in front of you!  I take this seriously, ya’ll. I glare at these exit row passengers with beady eyes to see if they’re paying attention to this immense duty that has been bestowed upon them, because if they can’t handle the exit row responsibilities I’m totally there to lead this ragtag crew in to safety. I’m ordering scared children toward open doors and blowing up life rafts saying things like “atta boy” and “you betcha” and high-fiving the flight attendants.  Also? I know there are a ton of exits, somewhere up front and blah blah down at the end that can only be recalled with some fancy two-finger arm movements that I can recall in a pinch if the plane is plunging to our deaths. I’m onto you, old lady who moves slow and is taking up precious exit row space.  Get with the program and read the handout in the seatback pocket in front of you.

At this time, we request that all mobile phones, pagers, and other electronic devices be turned off for the full duration of the flight! They LIE I tell you, because something as sophisticated as a plane that lifts us into space surely isn’t derailed by my itouch reader and an electronic Jane Eyre.  But then again apparently the seatback thing is a deal and people have to follow signs to remember to wear safety belts and you wait with crazy anticipation for a cup of soda the size of a sippy cup so perhaps we aren’t all that bright after all and the machine really has to dig deep to fly straight.  And Southwest took me through Orlando on the way to Ohio which means someone’s turning on their freaking cell phone.  Stop it, people.  Have mercy. This thing needs to fly in a straight line.

And lastly, it’s always nice to be reminded that it’s a non-smoking flight, in case you woke up from your nap and thought it was 1952. And in case you wanted to run off and light up in the lavatory, because we all still totally use that word, or tamper with, disable, and possibly destroy the smoke detectors, it’s a no-go, folks.  I totally caught some woman eying one, thoughts racing inside her head like she needed to tamper with it, or perhaps destroy it, but then the soda came and like Pavlov’s dog she was giggling and I realized she was staring at an exit row sign while playing Candy Crush.

The moral of the flight safety speech is that we are all morons, have to be told things of no significance, need to yield the exit row to my mad skills, may cut our bodies into two if we aren’t careful with the tray locking feature, have to resist urgings to destroy things, can’t smoke, need signs, and get super excited about small cups of Dr. Pepper. I’m confident about our future generation.  If we’re lucky, they will learn to actually turn off their cell phones.

Have a good flight!  If you forget something, there’s a sign. And a speech that won’t change for another two hundred years.


Luck of the Irish


This girl can’t pass up a good groupon, so when an Irish restaurant in town offered a four-course menu for four for $99, I ran toward the computer with my credit card in tow and snapped it up like last call.  Not that ye Irish are really known for their food, and I’ll be honest about a vague stereotype I had trapped in my mind of a bunch of burly men in pubs eating Guinness rabbit stew, but still.  So when said groupon was about to expire, I gathered up three besties and we wore our St. Patrick’s best. Come on, it’ll be fun. They’ll be potatoes.

So off we go toward this random restaurant set high on a hill like a movie set and as we pull into the parking lot and leave the vehicle I have a sense that we’ve grown ten feet tall and what’s in front of us is really a hobbit’s house or maybe a hovel for gremlins.  But we approach what appears to be Hansel and Gretel’s cottage and open the creaky door, it opens to a front-porch-like haven of horrors with little dolls and St. Paddy’s paraphernalia. My nostrils are hit with the smell of old-people’s homes but with someone baking soda bread in a far-off forest. It’s a confusing combination.

I start to back my way out, because perhaps we’re in a dream and this place has swallowed up my children and there’s no hostess stand or normalcy and why for the love are there so many dolls.  For a fearful moment I thought we stepped into Frodo’s neighbor Marge’s living room, who has been alive since well before Eisenhower. But alas – another door in front of us creaked open and my other girlfriends were in fact inside, perched at a table covered in lace.  They looked frightened, or maybe hungry for rabbit: hard to tell.  But there were normal-looking people inside, everyone just sitting around as if they were eating a blooming onion at Outback on a Tuesday. My friends waved and I sighed because if we are going down an Alice-in-wonderland tunnel at least I wouldn’t be alone.

So there we sat in the hobbit house, trying to not hit our heads on the ceiling, just a simple table covered in lace.  My friend Jess kept wiping her eyes because the prices were all wrong and there was a bottle of wine on the menu for thirty-five thousand dollars and she thought maybe they laced the air with hallucinogenic drugs.  But alas the waitress came along, just a wee girl of fifty wearing a prairie dress with spitfire hair and told us that bottle of wine wasn’t actually for sale. “It’ll kill ya perhaps, young lassies, with all the air bubbles and such trapped inside.  But it’s a family heirloom, yeh.” So we decided to live and order the house red and the lady’s voice said “Aye, a good choice,” and the cadence of her voice rose and fell as if she descended from the streets of Dublin and I WAS TERRIFIED AND ENTHRALLED ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

So the courses began, and us girls all sat around giggling as the potato soup was served and we attempted small talk as if we are not all in a hobbit house sitting around a table covered in lace.  After a while my friend needed to use the restroom so she transcended into the bowels of the earth somewhere to the left and came back to the table as if she were having a life-threatening brain spasm. But in reality it was just the facilities, which included a green bathtub and a faucet connected together by strands of electrical tape and a cherub that looked out the window at nothing that overcame her. So my other friend Becca braved the dark and I offered to tie a string to her so she’d never get lost but she went in like a hero and took iphone pictures of the statute of a woman staring at your private places holding towels.

So between the salad and the beef they brought out a palate cleanser, but not the real kind, just lemon sherbet from Wal-mart, and we were just so giddy about all the absurdities we looked around and realized no one else was laughing and we must in fact be caught in a dream. But our best friends are all there so it was actually quite delightful and I drank red wine that in hobbit-money probably costs thousands.  I had a hunch the other patrons were in fact staged and it was all some big gag and a muskrat dressed in a three-piece suit would very soon appear with signs that said “Happy 40th, Josephine!” and we’ll all say “no, no, you’ve got the wrong girls.” But no one jumped out from the kitchen so we sat eating carrots cooked in maple syrup, but not the real kind, just Aunt Jemima’s from Wal-mart, and we toasted our future travels to Ireland where we could start a gang because we were all a good six-inches taller than all these other red-headed hotbloods and we could take this place down.

So we finally got the bill and although I had a groupon they said the actual cost of the meal would have run us about $469 so the suggested tip was around a hundred bucks and we’re like “but we live in the real world, thankyouverymuch” so we paid for our wine and we took our iphone pictures and we ran out of the hobbit house as fast as our legs would carry us.

I haven’t laughed so long and so hard in months and when I think of that green bathtub and my friend having a brain spasm and that waitress in the prairie dress and the hobbit house as we sat around a table covered in lace I am exceedingly glad we went, because it was all just so brilliant and colorful and strange. And it’s times like this that memories are seared and if we were all just sitting around eating a blooming onion at Outback on a Tuesday night we’d have no great stories to tell.

Because life, my dear friends, is a huge book that can’t close because it’s so jammed with stories. I’m so blessed and delighted to live inside of it, with friends who laugh and a heart that’s open and a life that sings, so when we run out of little houses after sitting around tables covered in lace we can say we had a life well lived, and friends that are well worn, forged in the tunnels of green cherubs staring into nothing.

It’s just luck of the Irish, I suppose.



Odd and Curious Thoughts, Downton Abby Edition

(1) I’m fairly certain that no matter what time period we’re floating around in, Miss O’Brien should not have hair curls that resemble horns.

(2) That Cora.  Always smiling with her head turned like she was just handed a newborn kitty that smelled like baby powder wrapped in a bed of roses.  I was just getting to like her in that angry, I’ll-never-forgive-you-for-killing-my-daughter way, but now we’re back to the eerie smiling.

(3) How in the world did all those people find outfits in shades of cream?  Can you not play cricket in sage or pale yellow?  It looked like a Martha Stewart wedding for crying out loud.

(4) Speaking of color, the ladies were all matchy-matchy at Sybil’s Christening, like they all went to David’s Bridal the day prior and made off with clearance bridesmaid’s dresses.  Cream for cricket, breezy lavender dresses for events at churches that involve your dead sister’s child being brought up in a way you don’t approve of.

(5) I’m so bitter that we are left with blood dribbling down Matthew’s sweet face.  But all this “I’ll love you til I die, you’re really a nice little Mary” foreshadowing business was getting a bit dull.

(6) So Molesly gets drunk and starts shrieking like a banchee, which is good fun, but don’t we all get tired of seeing him played the fool?  One of these days he’s going to rip off his clothes and he’ll have washboard abs and tattoos.  Then who’s laughing?

(7) At least Edith is working and Mary’s mothering it up and we don’t have to just watch these women’s dreadful boring days of getting up, eating, changing clothes, and eating again.  With all that sitting and eating I’m shocked they aren’t all chubby little cherubs.

(8) I like to say Lord Grantham.  It’s so prestigious and elegant.  I think I’ll start referring to my father as Lord Franklin and see if he can conjure me up a butler, some tea, and an estate worth millions.  See also: Being a Countess should get you free Starbucks

(9) Lady Rose looks like she’s taking meth or perhaps has a nonstop Red Bull habit.  Why is she always giggling?

(10)               Daisy, quit wearing that dumpy hat.  Seriously.  You’re about to own a farm and you’re young.  Pull yourself together and tease up some bangs.

Laugh Until Life Makes Sense


I’m not a big fan of bumper stickers.  I find it odd that people want to display their political sentiments on a used Honda for the world to see.  I find it annoying to have to stare at hateful words about our President at the stoplight in front of the grocery store.  And I’m amazed so many people put stick-figure families on their mini-vans to display how many people and pets live in their households.  Yes, yes. Michael plays soccer.  You have a cat.  Riveting stuff.

My own daughter asked that her school name be displayed on the back of our Chevy Tahoe.  But do you think given my poor driving and bad texting habit I want to announce what school we’re affiliated with and have people stare into the car from afar to see if they know me? You don’t know me.  I’m likely to run into you from the rear by accident or be smirking unpleasantly at your family of stick people.

So it might surprise you that I slapped a bumper sticker on the back of my car.  Yes I did. The very woman who is constantly shaking her head at the stupid Jesus Fish / Darwin Fish debacle.  It’s on there, firmly planted square in the middle.

Laugh until life makes sense.

It’s one of my life mottos.  So when I saw this sticker a year ago, I immediately went home, created a (very often unseen) circle of clean with a paper towel and Windex, and stuck this saying on my back window.

Sometimes I check my rear-view mirror and see my daughter lip-syncing to Katy Perry, or notice that my son has used his squeezable yogurt to finger-paint on the back glass.  But quite often I simply catch the word – laugh. It’s written not only for the cars behind me, but for me to see when I need it most.  There are times I don’t feel like laughing. Times when I’m gripping the wheel in prayer that I’ll make it until lunch.  And yet somewhere in there, there’s a silver lining.

Given enough space and distance from pain, life can be funny.  What other attitude is really worth having? Who wants to hang out with people who scowl all day, eat fiber, and gripe about the lack of comfortable pants?  My oncologist said that people who laugh a lot really do live longer.  From one who’s made it through some rough health patches, I can use all the help I can get.

When my own life gets hard, I lose weight.  I end up putting the coffee creamer in the pantry and buy multiple cartons of eggs.  My dentist tells me that I might need a root canal and I realize my sobbing cry face looks like a hollowed out whale. So I go to the mall to invest in a quart of face cream but catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  How did a homeless woman end up at Neiman’s? Don’t they have security in this place?  Oh, wait.  That’s me, wearing a sweatshirt from high school that says Coca-Cola Classic.

And just like that, on my way to the YMCA to choke out a run on the treadmill, I smile.  It bobbles up and down into a chuckle, which erupts into a real belly shaker, and a few cackles later I’m in full-on snort mode.   Did I really go to Neiman’s wearing sweat pants with a hole in the knee?  Am I seriously going to need a root canal?  Why in the world do I have all these freaking eggs?

This life we live doesn’t make sense.  There is so much killing and suicide and death and mental illness.  There’s chaos and disarray and a dusty, cursed earth.  And yet we are made for more than this.  We are not in this place forever.  The righteous will not be moved, and you can only do what you can do in a day’s time.  And when the really hard stuff hits,  you’ll be prepared.  After a night of no sleep, you’ll wake up to discover you’re out of coffee, your kid’s school uniform is dirty, it’s snack day at your kid’s preschool and all you have is raisins, and some wild animal has knocked over your trash can in the night, strewing trash all over your front lawn.  You  have to fight demons and hurt with friends and heal from grief and now this? Yeah, it happens.  And it’s a tiny bit funny.

Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything.  A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.  3:4.  So mourn and sob and weep and sigh.  Take Advil and Zanax and buy more coffee.  But in the end, realize that you have enough eggs to make quiche for the tri-county area, and that’s just downright weird.

As for me and my Chevy Tahoe, we’re dwelling in this season of laughter as long as we both can, puffing and choking and driving toward the bitter end.



Quote “until life makes sense” credit:

Olympic Fever

I love the Olympics.  They make you feel and do strange things, such as:

(1) Mutter to yourself, after a bottle of vegetable oil topples out of the top cabinet, “Oh man.  So close.  It sucks to fall.”

(2)  Hold your head up high and prance around on the pads of your feet as you walk across the kitchen floor towards the trash to dump used coffee grounds.  Because you normally walk that way and all.

(3) Comment on the form and mistakes of random gymnasts you’ve never heard of before last week who fall off the pommel horse.  After all those years of studying the pommel horse.  Finally, a chance to show off your knowledge.

(4) Look in the mirror and think, “I could so totally rock that.  I’m hitting the YMCA tomorrow.”

(5) Ponder nicer looking women’s swimsuits.  I mean really.

(6) Pray that someday, your daughter will never, ever win a gold metal in the Olympics.  Because if that happened, you’d be that mom who’s all weepy with mascara running down her face and her hair tied up in some strange pony tail with a USA flag sticking out of it.  The world would see you jumping and screaming “she’s miiiiiiiine!  That’s my baby girl!  Right there in the ugly women’s swimsuit that makes her look like a dude!”  Do you want to be that mom?  Do you?

(7) Wonder if anyone actually watches horse jumping.  The Queen might, but it’s England.  And her granddaughter is competing.

(8) Allow your 6-year-old daughter stay up until 10:30 pm so she can see synchronized men’s diving, answering fun questions like “why do they wear one half of a girl’s bikini?”  There are no good answers.  Mention something about aerodynamics and change the subject.

(9) See quite a lot of Ryan Lochte’s shaved chest, and finally,

(10)               Max out your tivo with events you don’t care about, just so you can fast forward through them and feel you are watching.  Because men’s team volleyball needs love too.

It’s the Olympics. The one time you will watch insane amounts of sports on television, feel proud to be an American, and cry at Proctor & Gamble commercials. Give these hard-working athletes their moment of fame, until one comes in 7th place.  Then you can critique their form before forgetting all about them because they won’t have endorsement deals and their face will fade from your memory.  Good effort, folks who spent ten years of their life pursuing one solitary goal only to have their dreams dashed on time-delayed television.

Toodles, ya’ll.  I have fencing to watch.  Go U.S.A!

My fancy pedicure

All spring, I’ve wandered around with dry, calloused heels.  I thought it was about time for professional attention, so I bopped over to my favorite day spa.  I say day spa loosely, since it’s really just a Vietnamese nail salon that happens to have daytime hours.

But I’ll take it, and I sit down to the usual French pedicure and the pleasure of a barely-functioning vibrating chair.  It’s always the same, really.  They shove a paper in front of me with all sorts of upgrades and add-ons, but I always refuse in the name of economy, or habit, or fear that they might start painting elderflowers on my big toe because of a communication breakdown. But this day was different.  On this day, I’m doing something fancy.

The lady seemed shocked with I told her what I wanted – the extra-long pedicure with citrus scrub.  She nodded at this with approval, like I had solved a world’s riddle or chosen the right name for my first-born child.   “Ah, you’ll like it,” she said.  I planned on it, since it cost an extra ten bucks. I looked forward to feeling the tension ooze out of my body through my feet.  What girl gets to have citrus scrub on a Tuesday afternoon?  I do, suckahs.

I closed my eyes as I started to ease my feet into the water, but a moment later yanked them back out.  Why is this water a thousand degrees?  Are they trying to scald my nails off? “Too hot?” the lady asked as she nodded up and down with vigor.  If she was nodding, didn’t she already know the answer?

A bit of cold water later, the nail lady reaches for a Tupperware container with a strange orange substance that looked like gritty Gatorade.  Ah, the citrus scrub. Things are looking up.  At that very moment, I received a work phone call, my old office in a panic about a constable standing there with a subpoena demanding medical records.  The lady nodded at me again as she smeared this orange salty goo on my legs.

I was in the middle of my conversation about subpoenas and court orders when the nail lady began grinding this gritty substance into my legs.  My dear woman, you aren’t trying to get dried-on egg from a frying pan.  These are my legs we’re dealing with. As she begins to rub the top layer off my shin off, my phone beeps in with a physician who wants to go over a bad patient encounter.  A vague, orange-like smell rises to my nose.  It’s like my five-year-old’s lip smacker in “raving raspberry” that smells nothing like an actual raspberry but instead some cloyingly sweet imitation that only kids (and consumers at Bath & Body Works, apparently) just love.  And it was so bright I began to wonder if it might have been radioactive.

This lady is going to town rubbing fake orange salt into my legs – really putting her weight into it – while I’m trying to conduct business.  Why is she focusing so much on my legs?  Is she ever going to get to the toenails for goodness sakes?

I finally end my phone call and try to start editing a paper.  But the television on the wall is showing a Lifetime movie about a skinny girl in a fat suit to show those mean country-club snobs how awful they are to the plus-size crowd.  Just when I’m trying to fix a comma splice, the main character rips her fat suit off. How can I possibly not watch that?

The lady proceeds to slap hot towels on my legs (that now contain multiple abrasions from all the scrubbing), which burn like hell.  She whips through the nails like it’s an afterthought and then tells me to wait under the dryer.  I look outside with a sigh.  What was once a beautiful sunny day has now turned into a downpour.

I pay my extra fee for such a fancy pedicure and hobble to the front door. “Come again!” the lady says to me.  I reach down to touch my calf, only to realize the salt residue hasn’t been washed off and there’s a sticky substance remaining.  It rubs against my jeans and I’m a bit grossed out.  And annoyed.  And wondering if I might get skin cancer from that toxic, possibly radioactive orange goo being involuntarily pressed through my epidermis.

I am beginning to think it was all one fat joke. “Did you see her face when I put on those hot towels?” the nail lady says to her cousin. “That’ll teach them to stay off their cell phones.” All the ladies double over with laughter as they turn up Lifetime television. One woman puts the orange gel back in its protective case, so it doesn’t harm the environment.  And because left uncovered, it might kill everyone in the room that breaths in the toxic air.

And to think I paid extra to get something fancy.  What a sucker.    

Odd and Curious Thoughts of the Week

This is a new series I thought would be fun.  At random times, I will share odd and curious things that entered my mind over the course of the last week.  They have no rhyme or reason to them, except to prove that I am actually, quite a bit, more-times-than-not, maybe-a-teeny-bit insane.

  • Today, I saw two grown men buy a cartload full of generic-brand grape soda.  Who likes generic soda? They unloaded cases of the stuff into their expensive car and drove off, and I was left scratching my head.   What in the heck are they doing with all of that?  And why didn’t they buy it in a variety of flavors? I almost stopped them to ask them a series of questions.  Are they just going to drink it?  Are they making cheap vodka shots out of it? It’ll rot your teeth, you know. Then I realized I don’t know these people. Move on, you weirdo, staring at other people’s groceries.
  • I saw a fox on the way to my son’s school last week.  Just crossing the street like it belonged there.  I felt I stepped into Aesop’s fables.  I expected there to be a bunch of grapes hanging on a tree somewhere and for the fox to learn a valuable lesson.  Okay, I didn’t actually expect to see a bunch of grapes hanging on a tree.  That would be weird. But then again, I didn’t expect to see grown men buying ten cases of generic soda.
  • I almost stepped on a scorpion last night.  I screamed like a baby and made my husband go kill it.  I couldn’t even wrap the dead little bugger up in paper towels and haul it to the trash because the stinger might still be active and pierce through the paper.   Those little pinchers are evil.  Do I really think scorpion poison can sear through paper and miraculously penetrate my skin causing extreme pain?  Do all my rational thinking skills evaporate after 9 pm?
  • Friday night, I invited friends to dinner fifteen minutes before I asked for them to be there.  As in – “hey – it’s 5:45 pm.  Wanna meet up at 6?” Because other people certainly have no life and sit around waiting for me to call.  Even if they didn’t have plans, they’d have to take the bat mobile to make it across town in fifteen minutes. Where are my manners? But how cool if it had worked out?
  • I made kale chips the other day.  Tossed them in olive oil and baked them until they were hot and crispy. I sprinkled them with salt and crunched every last one down.  My family made faces at me and said they were more than happy for me to eat up all that hot wrinkled lettuce.  “You go on ahead,” my husband said.  Whatever, people that I live with.  Those suckers were tasty.
  • A friend recently informed me that store-bought pie crusts are full of lard, which I didn’t think I cared about but it turns out I do.  I drove many miles to a store to buy whole-wheat, lard-free pie crusts, only to discover they cost five bucks each and I wouldn’t be home for hours.  It was a waste to leave them in the car to thaw.   So yes, I actually drove to a health store with every intention of buying pie crusts, and then changed my mind and left empty handed.  I am now dreaming of quiche and I wasted thirty minutes of my life last Tuesday.  I did manage to grab a free sample of hand lotion on my way out, so it wasn’t a total loss.
  • I asked my husband what type of bread he wanted me to bake tomorrow.  Did he have a special request?  What about sourdough?  Did he have an affinity for honey? He gave me a strange look, akin to find a new hobby or maybe go out more.
  • I placed numerous items (I won’t mention how many) in an online shopping cart at the most amazing/funky clothing store on the universe.  I wasn’t planning on actually buying them, because I am not cool enough and don’t have that much cash, but somehow adding them to my cart seemed entirely appropriate and not at all frivolous.
  • I was so desperate for something sweet the other night that I took a spoon and dug it into a jar of peanut butter.  After I finished the spoon-o-peanuts, I was a bit embarrassed with myself.  Have I really sunk to this?
  • Last, but not least, I received a response from an incredible literary agent in New York who said for me to be patient with him and that he promised to read my manuscript in the next few weeks.  I looked back at the version I sent him and noticed a glaring spelling mistake in the first paragraph.  I sent him and his assistant an apology email asking them to read the attached version with no spelling error.  I then made another error in the email to the agent, which caused a third email that simply said “I swear I know how to read and write.  Please believe me.”  And yet they don’t have to.  That’s the funny part.

Onward to next week, where more insanity will (very likely) ensue.

My favorite things

Everyone has favorite things.  I’m not talking about a crackling fire or the smell of cut grass, but real tangible things.  And let’s be honest.  Nobody really sits around thinking about raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens.  Who’s thankful that kittens have whiskers?  Isn’t it just naturally assumed they’ll be born with them?  Are some poor kittens born without whiskers, the poor suckers running around hairless and whimpering?  If someone is even thinking of cat whiskers, I suggest they find a hobby.

Here are a few of my favorite things that are actually cool.  Raindrops on roses, I swear.

(1) Perrier with Lime.  It’s sparkly.  It makes me feel fancy.  There’s just no need to drink tap water when you can drink spring water from the south of France.  No’ sir.

(2) Starbucks blond-roast.  It’s smooth and silky.  It gets me through the morning after a long bender of writing.

(3) Gruyere cheese.  Anytime, anyplace.  Even my five-year-old knows to stay away from it.  It’s more precious to me than chocolate chips.  And that says a lot.

(4) Oatmeal dark-chocolate cookies from scratch.  Nothing can top it.  Except for perhaps Gruyere, but that’s not a fair comparison.

(5) TIVO.  I can no longer comprehend a world where you cannot pause live television and fast-forward through commercials.  I shudder to imagine it.

(6) MAC powder.  It’s quick, and it covers your sags, bags, and dark circles.  It’s better than a night’s sleep for the look of your skin.  I’m always a sucker for those MAC salespeople, their faces all painted up with odd colors and tool belts of brushes dangling from their hips.

(7) Down bedding.  I like to lie on top of it, wallow underneath it, and basically sleep atop one big marshmallow.

(8) Loreal Tubes Mascara.  Just go buy it.  You’ll thank me.  It peels off your eyelashes in little tubes, and I think that’s just glorious.

(9) My apple computer.  If I didn’t have it, I’d crawl back to the store scratching and crying and immediately buy another.  I’m a total addict.

(10)               Salted caramels from Dean & Deluca.  Or Williams-Sonoma. I’m not that picky, I swear.  Okay, maybe a little.  If you get me caramels from Target I’m throwing them in the trash.

On the other hand, there are things I can’t stand:

(1) Hominy.  It’s bloated and strange.  It looks like little tiny fur balls.  Why eat corn that’s all puffy and weird tasting?

(2) Shrimp.  To me, they are the ocean’s cockroaches.  I stay far, far away. Don’t tell me they’re good on the grill.  Do you roast other pesky insect-like creatures and sprinkle sea salt on top?  I don’t think so.

(3) Daytime television.  You deplete brain cells by watching it.  Resist the urge to find out who slept with the pub owner’s cousin who recently was convicted of murdering the Baroness’ housekeeper.  Because honestly, these aren’t real people.  Who the heck cares.

(4) Double negatives.  You don’t gotta do it.  You just don’t.

(5) Candles that smell like cinnamon rolls.  They make you hungry.  Why torture yourself?  Wouldn’t you rather smell flowers or fresh linen?  Why walk around with your mouth watering?

(6) Car commercials.  Someday I’m going to hear a witty and soft-toned commercial about how a car can change your life. But until then, all I see is a bunch of bad ties, balloons, and unnecessary yelling.

(7) Cheap eye shadow.  You know when you are on vacation and you forget your make-up?  You end up at Wal-mart buying Cover Girl?  It’s trash.  Go free and natural until you can head back to Nordstrom.  Trust me on this.

(8) Automated phone trees that don’t use “0” for the operator.  Why use six or some other goofy number?  Zero, people!

(9) Rice cakes.  There is just no need to eat cardboard.

(10)               When celebrities gripe about their private life being overly exposed.  Choose to be a veterinarian, and your problems are solved.  But the moment you get paid over two million to be in a movie, I get to know what your dog’s name is and what color underwear you like best.  That’s the way this thing works.  Deal?

Until next time. . .