November 29, 2009

Good God, Quit Tempting Me!

I'm not Rachel Ray. The kitchen and I have never been what you might call symbiotic. Still, my kids never starved. Au contraire, because of my short-order skills, they knew restaurant etiquette before they could crawl. Since the kids have grown up and perfected their cooking chops, my skills have simmered to a fine fragrant reduction. Add 3 cups couldn't care less, 2 cups clueless, and one entire carton of cooktard. Throw all that into a 60" baked dish, infused with a little holiday zest, and you get one saucy piehole I like to call ME.

While I didn't inherit the Great Cooks in America gene, I did acquire the Shovel-it-all-in gene, and that makes it particularly hard when it comes to the holidays—which, if you didn't know, is designed solely to make big fat gobblers out of us all. I hesitate to pooh-pooh our Thanksgiving food fest and the whole reason we celebrate it (which is--um, why?), but is there nothing more diet friendly than the celery tray? Between turkey and potatoes smothered in gravy, marshmallows, jellies, breads and rolls, all manner of casseroles, and incredibly edible pies, all your weight loss and maintenance efforts are shot from here to Memorial Day. Who's in charge of this conspiracy?

This T-Day, I called on my dormant inner chef for a healthy alternative. I made our dinner's single diet friendly concoction of green beans almondine, which I scarfed up along with at least one helping of everything else within reach. And I mean everything. My lack of willpower is exceeded only by my disdain for it (That, and my penchant for pies--and the Swiss Alps of whipped cream).

But enough is enough. World, I am on a mission to eat healthy for the next three weeks—until Christmas. I know that's as realistic as Santa dropping a Lexus LS down my chimney (I mean, since I don't have a chimney); but I don't want to feel like a stuck Christmas pig when I hit the holiday parties in my sexy yuletide frock. I don't want my New Year's resolution to be once again "I vow to lose excess baggage in the winter months even though it's fucking cold, and I don't want to take my clothes off, especially to get into workout gear, which is my least favorite outfit, when I'd rather be cuddled up by the fire (if I had one) with a good book and a handsome man."

My will has been shaky in November, but I hereby resolve that you people will not be able to tempt me with candied trail mix, honey-roasted nuts, warm chewy cookies, decadent fudge, toffee Florentines, pumpkin lattes, or any other wicked seasonal confection.

Seriously, you turkeys, give a girl a break!

November 24, 2009


Brace yourself. This will come as an unbelievable and devastating shock. Maybe you better sit down. Okay, so, well, here it is: I am a loser.

See, I've never won anything—at least not since 1966, when at the age of eleven I participated in a cake walk at Campbell Hill Elementary in Seattle. Then, in a parade not unlike the Bunny Hop, I promenaded around a big circle of chalk-drawn squares and happened to land on a square with the right number scrawled inside.

Voila! they said. You are the proud owner of a cake. A sugary pink, three-layer, cherry monstrosity, which I promptly devoured ALL BY MYSELF. I have no clue if it was any good because I pretty much inhaled it.

Perhaps that was the game turner. Perhaps my assigned Fickle Finger of Fate or my Personal Brand of Karma said, That's it, Mo-Folina, you are not ever winning anything again, since you have brought shame upon the person who made the only thing you ever won by selfishly vacuuming it up in one fell swoop ALL BY YOURSELF.

As an aside, back then I was a stick who could eat any amount of food and never gain an ounce. Even I hate me now.

Back to Bad Luck Betty . . . This good luck drought singlehandedly explains my inability to win the Lotto and therefore retire while I'm still young and sweet.

To recap, since 1966, I haven't won a fucking thing.

That is, until this week. After repeatedly entering my bloggy buddies' giveaways over the last year and NEVER winning so much as a feminine hygiene product, I am the proud owner of a sweet little makeup bag, handmade by Crystal at Chaya's Corner. I didn't even have to promenade for it. Thanks, Crystal!

And now that my luck has changed, I think I need a trip to the corner store.
Go here to see Crystal's Etsy Shop and all the cool things she makes.

November 22, 2009

Fickle? Kinda. Not really. Well, okay.

As a public service, I want to enlighten those in the dark.

In general, girls are fickle. We get only a little less fickle as we age. Having been around the block a time or twenty, we are certainly more resolute about some things, but now we deliberately reserve the right to change our minds—because we can—and we will even verbalize this caveat at opportune moments.

"Oh, man I want that black car—it's aaaall shiny and sleek. I mean, I would look HAWT in it. Gotta be mine! UNLESS something totally weird makes the deal unworkable. In which case, I want that little red one. It's aaaaall shiny and sleek."
We want to do or have something really badly, until we don’t. And as we get older we develop the wherewithal to analyze and explain our changes of heart with the folksy eloquence of a Palin ghostwriter so it doesn’t seem that we’re inherently befuddled, just in touch with our base. It’s no wonder guys can’t keep up.

Before my 20s, my fickleness showed up in crushes. I was infamous for putting boys through the Bubble Gum Test. How fast can you chew ‘em up and spit ‘em out?

Case in point #1: Really cute 16-year-old Dale. The day we’d established our mutual crushes, he later took off his jacket, and I discovered he was wearing the very same striped, purple, gold, and red cable sweater I was. It was the ‘70s—we strived for androgyny, but still . . . Kinda girly, dude. So he walked me home from school wearing his twin sweater, which slip-stitched its way into my psyche like a fat ball of yarn poked through with bamboo knitting needles. By the time we got to my house and he’d kissed me (with his mouth over my entire face), I had let loose my quick-change artiste. Chew, chew, chew, spit!

Case in point #2: Greg, the foxy senior on whom I had a life-altering crush, who finally gave me a second look after a lot of fawning and flirting on my part. We convinced him to ditch school with us for an impromptu trip out to Lake Pleasant. It was winter; we had no swimsuits. The potential lurked for skinny dipping. My evil plan was working perfectly. Until I decided my nipples would be bigger than my boobs in that cold. But Greg kicked off his shoes, dropped his shirt and jeans, and ran into the icy waters in only his boxers. All eyes were glued on him. Look at that physique! How macho to brave the elements! And he’s interested in ME! Then he came out of the lake in a hurry, visibly chilled, with little Bojangles popping his head in and out of that little boxer flap with every step over the rocks. Holy crap! Chew, chew, chew, spit!

I really wanted to write this for some time, but then I changed my mind for reasons I can't explain; and then I just said, WTF, go ahead, Princess. People need to KNOW this shit. So there you go. Consider yourself publicly served.

November 16, 2009

Hold It!

Raise your hand if when you sneeze, you also pee yourself a little. Don't be shy. It happens. Guys included. This convulsive expulsion bursts out at over 47 mph (or 75 km). At that speed, if you didn't release a little pee, you might spurt around the room like a balloon. Conservatively, at least 33.3% of all females who sneeze—or cough or laugh or do aerobics or, my favorite, jump on trampolines—leak a tad. Dude, party's over.

FYI Kegelmeisters, your beloved kegel can only do so much. I personally perfected the Squeeze-n-Sneeze. Cross your knees, brace yourself, and then ACHOO! But everybody knows what you're doing, right? Don't answer that.

Recently I went to a doc for a urodynamics test. This is THE worst test you can undergo ever. EVER. One word, people: cath (short for catheter, which can no longer be uttered in my presence without me shriveling up and whimpering in a corner). You get a cath up the old U-ha and suddenly you're in your tech's face spitting: "Kill me now, or get that mo-fo outta me before I kill you." I mean, I'm just guessing. Ahem, as a result of that torture, my doc decided I was a candidate for the bladder sling. He said, "Why don't you try a pessary first, though, before we go the surgical route?" And I thought he was my advocate.

See, a pessary is a flat, circular, spacecraft-hard plastic device about two inches in diameter, with holes. Think giant white button, circa 1950. Think Frisbee inside your tummy control pantyhose. Think flying saucer embedded inside the Holland Tunnel. A pessary sits horizontally inside the hoo-ha. Its position keeps the urethra in place so you don't leak when you sneeze. Sounds like a reasonable solution, right? Except for a little thing called logistics.

Issue One: blind installation. It’s not like you’ve got a telescope that sees around corners.
Issue Two: we’re talkin’ deep into the jungle, people. Remember when you lost your earring down the drain? Did sticking your fingers down into that little hole really work? Could you have used a Nifty Nabber for gripping that sucker?
Issue Three: navigating tender vajajay tissue with fingernails, especially acrylics. Does this really need explanation?

After only 48 hours, I tossed my pessary into a drawer.

TG texted me two weeks later: Hey, what's that thing that looks like a button in your room?
Me: No clue.
TG: Kids are playing with it.
Me: Still don't know.
TG: They're tossing it around like it's a Frisbee.
Me: Nope, don't have a—wait, looks like a little disc, with holes? White? Hard plastic?
TG: Yeah.
Me: You don't want to know what that is.
TG: Destructo had it in his mouth.
Me: Um, how about those Cowboys?

I knew then what I had to do. To protect the nanababies from future trauma--the kind that can only come from their mom telling all their friends that they once chewed on a Feminine Frisbee, I signed up for the bladder sling. That's what I've been up to the last week and why I haven’t blogged. When I heal in six weeks, I'll let you know if the Squeeze-n-Sneeze will be part of my repertoire ever again. The Feminine Frisbee will not.

November 5, 2009

The Point

One reason I write this blog is to make a point about being me. Oh, yes. There is a point. You see, I am an, um, older woman. Not so old as to have AARP on speed dial, but old enough that my offspring have offspring. (I warned them, but they insisted on having sex, so now there are kids everywhere.)

These days I share a home with my daughter, her husband, and their rugrats. I work a full-time J.O.B., and my true passion as a writer is realized whenever I choose the risky behavior of getting myself in flow (Settle down, I operate in private and wash my hands afterward). I am the grateful beneficiary of fabulous friends and family who love and support me, not to mention the hundreds of dedicated Fragrant Liar readers and followers. I'm healthy in mind and body, wealthy in vitality and spirit, and wise in experience and common sense (shut up). I'm single—okay, divorced—but in a relationship (refer to surprise FaceBook announcement). While I am unique, I am not uncommon.

Therein springs the point.

We of this day and age are redefining what it means to be in so-called midlife, propelled by necessity to think not only outside the box (not that box, Otin), but outside the bedroom (okay, maybe that box). We want to replenish, rejuvenate, and rethink where we're headed and how many peeps we're taking with us. Our new wealth of connections in cyberspace have emboldened us.

Less than a hundred years ago, our mommy/nana counterparts were on their last ovary. They were overworked, weathered, and worn out by now. If they were unmarried, they were spinsters or widows. Current midlifers have shifted the tectonic plates of tradition, as has every generation, but now the pace of change seems exponential because technology allows us to communicate on a scale we never could have realized back when we were stretching a string between two empty Alpo cans. I'd like to thank the first geeky people who came up with bloggy theorem, but I don't know any. They did this.

I am a revealer. I share with you the details that inform my life, including the entertaining and embarrassing bits—voluntarily, which does strain my credibility, I know. However, my choice of self expression says loudly that no one pigeonholes me (not that pigeonhole, Otin). I speak candidly here because I am "out there," unafraid and unapologetic. (Mostly.) Judge all you want, people.

See, women of my day and age don't wait in rockers with curlers in their hair for the young'ns to visit anymore—although I am in the market for a recliner with a convenient holder for snackage and drinkage and garbage so I don't have to miss a moment of my fave shows.* And kiddos? Call first, will ya? No, we modern midlifers move and shake, even if solely for our own benefit. We seek purpose and fulfillment. We value quality of life and the chance to keep learning and growing. We revel in camaraderie and acceptance of who we are. We choose to not be invisible. We demand that our voices matter.

And that's the point.
*If I didn't want to get out and have fun so much, I might invent a pleasant catheter experience so my feet never had to hit the floor. Oh, and have you seen the recliner that pops you upright with the press of a button? One second you're in repose, then BOING! you're dancing with Gilles! That one's got my name on it.

November 2, 2009

Wicked Red and the Wolf

So this is Wicked Red Riding Hood and her Wolf.

Grrrrr . . .

Hope y'all had as much fun as we did, traipsing through the dark, on the hunt for tricks and treats . . .