The Weight of Aging?

So, in the not too distant past, I was lugging my “pocketbook” around (which is really more like a large tote), and noticing that it felt extraordinarily heavy.  Not just when I was carrying additional items, like, my shoes and a book, but just with, what I considered to be, “everyday” items…. you know, a wallet and a makeup bag, maybe a pen or two.

I was sure that there must be something in there (i.e., maybe I threw my moisturizer or body lotion in there by mistake) which was causing all that extra weight.

The first thing I noticed was that I was carrying three bottles of “medicine.”  One was a large bottle of hospital-brand Excedrin, which I rarely use because it has caffeine in it, so it’s only good for daytime use– and that’s only if I don’t have Advil–which I also carried in a small bottle, which additionally contained melatonin (put in there for an overnight stay at a hotel), meclizine (because once you’ve experienced vertigo, you never go anywhere without it), and aspirin (just in case I, or anyone in my vicinity, believes they are in cardiac arrest).  The third bottle was a rather large item containing my skin/hair/nails supplement.  Now, while three bottles is a little ridiculous, I didn’t think it was causing all the weight in my purse–but I did manage to remove at least one of the bottles.

Hmm… what else could it be?  Yes, my wallet has a bunch of junk in it (i.e., old “discount” cards that I bought from random school kids which I never used and expired the previous year), “extra” store cards which were there just in case the mini-card attached to my keys became lost, and etc. etc.  So I cleaned that out a bit, but surely, a few extra cards wasn’t causing the problem.

Well, what do you know— out comes the makeup bag.

When I was younger, I always carried a big pocketbook.  I remember I was often stuck with carrying lipsticks and compacts of other people who didn’t carry pocketbooks (what???!!), and they would get thrown into my bag along with my one–yes, ONE, lipstick, and my compact.  That was really the extent of my makeup needs for a night out on the town.

Fast forward twenty years later, and I’ve got four lipsticks that I can see, in my makeup bag.  Then there are two more, found in side pockets of my bag.  Then there is a lip gloss, a shiny tinted lip balm, and two chapsticks (I admit one was not supposed to be in there, it was my in-the-car chapstick which somehow got in my purse).  And that’s just for the lips.  There is also a liquid foundation bottle, two different compacts, a gigantic bronzer, a brush for the bronzer, a foundation stick, a highlighting stick, a liquid eyeliner, a pencil eyeliner (what the heck!!???), and an eyebrow liner.  What have I come to??

Funnily enough, I always really loved makeup but never wore a lot of it.  I never wore foundation, and only wore eye shadow if I was feeling fancy.  Now I’ve got enough in there to to style an intercontinental wedding party on a moment’s notice.  I felt a bit sad for myself, realizing that having a tan, or clear, not-old skin was no longer an option for getting me out the door with a bit of mascara and lipstick.  I thought, “Oh, this is how you know you’re getting old (apart from the other obvious things)…. a million tools needed just to look non-monster-like…”

And then….

I discovered YouTube.

Well of course, I didn’t discover it discover it, but I did quite a bit of viewing.  And there is another post I will do on this, so I won’t go on forever (ha), but I was in shock when I saw a lot of young ladies discussing the beauty products they would be bringing whilst away on vacation.  I watched some other videos, where they would show how they did their makeup for a “light” day…… Ho-ly Moses.

I’ve realized that, in fact, I may be under-equipped compared to these little’uns.  Here I was thinking that my senior-ity was the reason for needing so many tools, when apparently, I needed more.

All in all, I have become determined to lessen the weight of my makeup bag and just get over myself.

After I’ve taken a trip to Ulta.


Random Ridiculousness

Ah yes, it has been a while my friends!  So, to ease you back into the joy of reading my wisdom-enriched posts, I thought I would start with a light and fluffy piece regarding some random recent and yes, ridiculous notions.


I was driving in the car recently, and suddenly, an announcer was urgently asking me, his rapt audience, if I was tired of having sweaty palms.  It turns out, in fact, that I do not suffer from this malady, but I was transfixed, nonetheless.  He went on to commiserate about the fear of shaking another’s hand, of destroying important documents (!), etc.  He then went on to assure me that a cure was at hand (heh).  Introducing, “The Center for The Cure of Sweaty Palms. ”  I looked at my radio, which, as an aside, is an XM radio, so it shows on the screen exactly which channel/song/advertisement is currently playing, to see if I was tuned in to one of my comedy stations.  Surely, I thought, this must be a “funny” advertisement from some troupe of actors or comedians.  It was not.  It was for real.

Now, anyone who knows me, and who knows anything about the world, knows that I automatically made a reference in my head to The Ministry of Silly Walks.

Of course, I am not trying to downplay the situation of traversing life with such a debilitating condition, I’m sure it’s quite awful.  But I really do think that this “Center for the Cure…” could have at least used some sort of scientific word in its title.  I’m not sure if their inference is that folks with hyperhidrosis are not intelligent enough to understand the scientific-ness of their condition, or if it was just a really lazy person who christened the building/office/whatever, but, for Pete’s sake.

On a similar sigh-inducing glance at the world of medicine, in particular, pharmaceuticals, I only pose one question:  Is it truly necessary to indicate, in the 2 minutes worth of warnings (in a 3 minute advertisement), that one shouldn’t take XYZ if one is allergic to XYZ?  Okay, two questions: Have we really gotten to that point?

And lastly, which is completely unrelated to my other two observations, I ask, are “convenient resealable” packages really that great?  I don’t think I’ve ever been successful with ripping the sometimes-perforated-sometimes-there’s-a-convenient-tab-either-way-I-rip-too-little-or-too-much-or-have-to-use-scissors-which-isn’t-convenient-at-all openings.  Even the large bags with pull strings, I only have a 50% success rate.  Sometimes there are minutes of internal discussion while examining the top of said packages, as to where exactly I should be tearing, in order to keep the resealable part fully functioning…. surely it can’t be that far down, it’s too close to the seal…. is there a dotted line that I’m missing here?…. is there a picture of scissors?  I don’t know if I’ve just gotten weak in my old age, or if it’s just too new-fangled for my brain, or if it’s really just another way that we’re all being duped, but I call shenanigans here.

Of course, maybe if my palms weren’t so sweaty, the task would be easier.



Dramatic Performances

If you know me at all by now, you know that the English language is something very near and dear to my heart.  You would also know that the tendency toward abbreviating, textspeak and whatever moronic, lazy new thing is out there is likely to cause me much teeth gnashing and rending of clothes.  Today I’m going to hone in on a few expressions, commonly heard, which make me a bit bonkers.

First up:  I just can’t stand drama.

Now, for my showbiz friends, I’m not referring to drama on the stage, where the participants are purposefully performing, and hopefully being paid for it.  I’m referring to lesser dramas, ones set in the workplace, the dinner table, a family wedding, whatever.

What I have found is that often, when I meet a person who says, “I just can’t stand drama,” it is soon discovered that, what the person means is,  “I actually thrive on drama, and cause as much of it as I can.”  These are the folks who wail for 45 minutes about their uniquely long and arduous commute to work, who always have a worse scenario or ailment to what you’re discussing (“Oh, you have a brain tumor which has to be removed? Well I had FIVE, and they ended up having to remove most of my brain!”), and who purposefully bring up conversations between people just to see what happens (“Weren’t you saying something the other day about people who wear red patent leather shoes?” Enter lurking nearby third party wearing red patent leather shoes).

Second:  Now, I’m not/I ain’t gonna lie….

Oh, you’re not?  Gee, thanks.

Not a horrible phrase on its own, and it can be rather humorous if used in whatever weekly reality t.v. show is au courant, but pretty sad if the utterer is a standard liar.  (If you’re not a standard liar, I’m not referring to you, so please feel free to continue using this expression.)

There’s so much fun in that expression, because the implication is that the person, in all their honor-bound goodness, is choosing this opportunity to tell A Truth, when, quite possibly, they could have just lied about it.  Why, we should count ourselves blessed!  What follows will certainly be life-changing.

What’s excellent about this expression is that it often contains a nugget of information about the person which probably should have been kept hidden.  “I’m not gonna lie, I’ve kicked a few dogs and set my cat on fire, but this guy just went too far.”  The other implication is that the person, who has now spoken A Truth, has quite possibly not taken the honorable route in your prior dealings with them.

The good news here is that, the person has lied so many times, at least you know the statement they’re about to say is possibly true.

Or is it?

Third:  Who DOES that?

This phrase is used a bit too often.  It was funny back in 2016, but annoying now.  And, much like its neighbors listed above, is sometimes uttered by someone who may not do that, but has done plenty of other that-s to negate any comraderie you might have felt with them in their story that follows.

A few helpful hints on using this phrase:

  1. If you have referred to your private parts using a four-letter word, in a staff meeting, you probably have no right to use this phrase.
  2. If you served 6 days past-its-due date seafood at a party, saying that it would be fine because it was cooked, and 4 of your guests got sick, you probably have no right to use this phrase.  Even if you were still proud of the fact that you got such a great deal on the food.
  3. If you have asked for the leftover flowers at a wake in order to use them for your Serving-All-Seafood Party extravaganza the following weekend, you probably have no right to use this phrase.

If you’re one of those people who peppers your conversation with any or all of the above phrases, and you also happen to be a drama-causing fibber-sort of person, please know that your clever but overused expressions are not fooling me one bit.  Who DOES that?  I’ll tell you who.  Probably YOU.

There.  I feel better now.


P.S.  I may or may not have fabricated some of the examples provided in this post of mine.

But, I’m not gonna lie, I actually like drama.

Olden Dayz


I was recently watching a few commercials distributed by Hebrew National hot dogs, and they got me to thinking about how times have changed.  They’re actually pretty funny  (though I’m not sure that the whole “strict” theme works), but also, slightly sad.  Yes, this is going to be one of those, “things were better in the olden days,” type of posts.

One of the commercials centers around the idea that modern Moms no longer have the leisurely time to prepare a family dinner and sit down at the table, due to the fact that their kids have an abundance of activities (which require Mom taxi).  And, while true, and likely irreversible, it’s a little sad that the family dinner at the table has become an archaic practice.  While it’s great that there are so many more things with which a child can become involved (and, thus, the entire family), it makes one wonder what we all did when we were kids, when soccer and karate hadn’t yet been invented.

I recently had a conversation regarding swimming pools, and the fact that parents want them for their kids, and the kids don’t appreciate them.  I mentioned the fact that there are a million other distractions for kids these days, things that make them more than happy to stay in their rooms.  I noted that, when we were kids, the pool was pretty much the only entertainment you had.  That, and the neighborhood.  There were no video games, there was certainly no hanging about and yapping on the phone all day (more on that in a bit), you were pretty much forced to go outside.  And you had to be home in time for dinner, or else.  During the most wonderful, fabulous, carefree days of summer, you would even get to go back outside after dinner (but you did this thing called, “chores,” first…. sweeping the floor, cleaning the table, washing up), and FINALLY reunite with the friends you had seen 2 hours earlier. You would swim, wander around the neighborhood (only to the end of the street) hoping to find dropped coins, or engage in whatever adventure you could design, at least until the street lamps came on.

Sometimes, when you were a little older, and baseball season had started, you could go to the local park, and ogle the boys from your school, and the mysterious foreigners who were from other schools districts.  You would wander around, still hoping to find dropped coins, and sometimes be able to afford something exciting at the snack stand, like a bomb pop, instead of the standard, “can I have 27 Swedish fish,” order.  And finally, you would wait until the very last minute before running home, trying to come up with fantastical stories as to why you were a minute late.

Now, the other hot dog commercial reminisces about the powerful center of the household, the telephone (well, it’s about “courtship” back in the 90’s, but I’m taking some liberties here).  When I was growing up, the kids certainly didn’t answer the phone, until they were “older.”  The telephone was Parent/Older Kid Territory.  And it was always answered.  There were no answering machines or call waiting or caller ID back in the Olden Days, which kind of sucked, because you never knew what you were gonna get when you picked up.  I remember that, as kids, you were taught that if you were home alone for some rare/strange reason, you never answered the door if the doorbell rang, and if someone called, you were coached to say that your mother was in the bathtub and that the person should call back.  You never said, “my mom isn’t here,” because of course, kidnappers/killers would be immediately at your door the moment they knew you were alone. 

There were many rules regarding the cherished telephone, involving the fact that your friends, and you, should never call someone during dinner time.  You would get in trouble if your father had to interrupt his meal to answer the phone, and sometimes, the person would be told to call back after dinner.  You didn’t always get to talk to whoever was calling, because, by golly, dinner was in progress, and how rude of someone to call at such a time.  You also didn’t call after 8:00 if it was a school night (and you were young— like, up to age 12, probably), and you would be mortified if the phone rang, and it was for you (God forbid if it was a boy), and it was 7:59, and your parent would say that you were in bed.  Because of course, the cool kids were all staying up to watch t.v. all night long, and you were the only one forced into her room at such an early hour.

Along with that came the fact that if a boy was calling, he really did have to ask “permission” to speak to a girl.  Which is why that commercial is priceless…. the poor kid sweating it out, asking permission to speak to the daughter, and the father sitting right next to the girl on the couch, listening in.  Now, I don’t necessarily think we have to stick to that rule completely, but there is something to be said about the fact that the daughter was cherished and protected from those hormonal, disrespectful boys who called at 7:59 (“don’t their parents know this is too late??!”), and the idea that the boy had to man up at a young age, and acquire approval for social discourse lasting approximately 3 minutes.  I actually made Spenser do this when he was about 6 or 7, as I was flabbergasted at the idea that some hoochie girl had given him her phone number (“does her mother know that she’s giving out her phone number!!??”) (“and what do you intend to speak to her about??!”).  I actually called the girl’s home and spoke to the father, and told him that my son wanted to ask permission to speak to the daughter.  He laughed, and surely thought I was joking.  But I wasn’t.  And Spenser did it.

He thought I was ridiculous, but, too bad.  It was part of the education to be at least somewhat respectful to girls, even if their parents didn’t require it.

Anyway, there were a lot of good things about the Olden Days, and I’m only talking about my Olden Days.  We’re really missing a lot of things from multiple Olden Days of the past, but I suppose that will be saved for future conversation.  In the meantime, if you’ve spent $12k on a pool, force your kids to swim in it at least 3 times this summer.  And then make them come in/away from the video games for dinner at the table, promptly at 5:00, just once per week.  Share some conversation.  Regale them with stories from your childhood, about walking to school uphill both ways, about playing in the snow for hours in the winter, and the importance of learning how to make the right kind of pretend salad out of grass, leaves, and probably some poisonous berries stolen from a neighbor’s yard.

And then wait patiently for 10-25 years to see what they say when their kids are growing up in an easy life of robot maids and motorized sidewalks and meal capsules that can be downed while training their holographic dogs…..







So, it has been 308 years since I’ve written, and, since I’m procrastinating about the various projects that I should be doing, I’m sitting down to write.  Maybe I should procrastinate about projects more often.

Anyway, this is going to be one of those dissertations on the variety of annoying television commercials about which I’ve been ranting in my head, for some time.  And, now I think of it, I may make this into several posts, because the more I write, the more I think of things that should be included for discussion.

I’m grateful to say that I’ve missed my opportunity to complain about the $%@*%^(@ Time Warner Cable commercials that were on every 6 seconds before they switched to Spectrum (thank you, Spectrum).  I had a whole 3000 word post about (a) the number of commercials and the weird fact that sometimes other commercials would come on for a half second and then a Time Warner commercial would bully its way onto my screen instead, (b) that obnoxious guy- the one who rides the tricycle at the birthday party, barges his way into the neighbor’s home to bring a plant, and has a pissing contest with the bearded guy about what countries they can call in an unlimited fashion, and (c) the fact that, because I had a strong dislike for the company and their costs and their obnoxious commercials, I was planning on looking into an alternative to cable.  But, lucky you, Spectrum has taken over, and I don’t have to complain about them for now.

I will, however, take the opportunity to talk about the scary monster lady in the Dove chocolates commercial.  Now, I really feel a little bad in complaining about this, but I have to preface this with the way in which I often end up catching a glimpse of this oddity.

I happen to DVR pretty much everything that I usually watch, mainly because I am an old granny who goes to bed just after sundown because I’m up at 4:41, but also because I want to fast forward through commercials.  And one day I was fast-forwarding through 13 minutes of commercials and caught a glimpse of her.  I didn’t really know what the commercial was, simply that it was a rather old (?) wrinkled lady with glamorous hair who was eating something and closing her eyes in ecstasy.  My first thought was that it must be some kind of funny commercial about zombies (no joke– I was probably watching The Walking Dead).  Or maybe it was some commercial about “Our Time” or KY for seniors (sorry).  My second thought was that it reminded me of the scary old lady/old man mask that was the remnant of a Halloween party attended by my parents long ago- the one that used to scare the crap out of Spenser.  When I stopped to rewind, I was like, “What the crap IS this??  Why would they think this is a good way to sell their product???”  I didn’t even get what the whole idea was, I was entirely focused on getting to the part with the old lady and secretly demanding that there had better be a real clever punch line in the end.

I finally did a Google search on the thing, because I expected to find a load of previously searched topics equal to my, “what is the deal with that scary lady in the Dove commercials?”  There wasn’t.  But Google knew to who I was referring, because there were multiple opportunities to see the full deal on YouTube.  SO- first of all, the version that I’ve been seeing is waaaaay shortened from the original (15 seconds to the 1 minute original).  Until I saw the original, I don’t even think I really realized that the old lady was the one doing all the other things in the commercial, over the years, in the same dress.  I understand French (a bit), and even the song didn’t click it all together for me.  So, if you are as frightened as I about that lady, I’m including the full length commercial at the end of this, which will make you feel guilty for being shocked and afraid.  And in closing about the scary lady (and it’s only like, the last 2 seconds of the ad), I’ll say this:  I actually love old faces.  I think they’re beautiful, and telling, and should be revered.  But when seen in fast-forward with no context, it’s Freddy Krueger time.

Falling into the same genre of commercials that creep me out are the “recent” batch of ads.  The ones where the blonde lady is experiencing the “dream” rooms of various people.  I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed any of the ad campaigns with the lady from The Hunger Games (I had to look it up because I couldn’t figure out where I knew her from), but I liked the fact that they used a Eurythmics song, so, I tolerated them.

Every single one that I’ve seen from this batch has me saying, “ew,” and fast-forwarding even faster.  First- the one with the guy who has shaving cream on his face while being shaved by a magical razor, while he’s playing with a paddle ball in his towel.  It’s gross, and I don’t like it.  I don’t even get why it’s his “dream” to play with a paddle ball in the bathroom.  I guess it’s supposed to be funny (flash forward to the blonde lady with shaving cream on her face– hardy har har.), and maybe I’m overly serious about this stuff, but it’s just weird.  Especially the part when a plop of shaving cream falls to the floor.  If they had only shown the splat on the floor next to his bare hairy feet, it might have been tolerable, but, no.

The other really bad one is the guy in his dining room.  I’m not sure what the significance of a muppet who resembles him and a giant fork with eyes and a guy in an old timey diving suit is, in relation to a “dream” dining room, but, it doesn’t make me think, “ha ha, clever,” it makes me think, “this is just overly weird.”  Click.

And lastly, there’s the lady with the dream closet, who is being massaged by her clothing.  I’m not even going to comment, because just writing that first sentence is enough.

I realize that dreams don’t often make sense, and I strongly suspect that I’m losing some of my humor in my old age.  But, maybe the fact of the matter is, these commercials are lazy and strange, and our collective eyes should no longer be assaulted by such silliness.

On that note, I’ll leave you for now.  Stay tuned, I’ve got more on the horizon.