How Can You Be that Steamed over a Steamer?

Black Friday actually brings comfort to women going through infertility I think. It’s what we wait for all year. Finally, finally other otherwise rational people acting like they’ve lost their minds. Holiday shopping is the only time of year women taking fertility hormones feel like just regular people in the crowd. And, as predicted, people from everywhere lost their minds on Black Friday.

The most disappointing one was the women in Michigan fighting over vegetable steamers. At first I heard the word “steamer” and thought they were battling over some heavy-duty cleaning machine. Then when I heard it was a vegetable steamer, it all just got a lot dumber. Apparently in the U.S., we take our nutrition so seriously, the very thought of someone taking our vegetable steamer makes us hostile… violent even. See? We all think of vegans as these Earth saving, meditation-loving, yoga enthusiasts. On Black Friday their true colors come out.  People are ridiculous. How in the world can anyone get so riled up over a vegetable steamer of all things? You can drift off into a deep sleep just by saying: “vegetable steamer”.

Who even wants one? To me, it’s a no-win gift. Unless somebody kept telling me they really longed for one for some reason, I wouldn’t ever buy anyone one. It’s like giving them a treadmill. Nobody I know loves me enough to be okay with me buying them an unsolicited treadmill… or vegetable steamer…  and I don’t want one as a gift either. If I got it from my husband, he does all the cooking so we’d both know he was really buying it for himself. And if I got it from a coworker: Too much pressure. “Oh, great. Now what? Am I supposed to use it?” They’d be inspecting my lunch every day from the next table to see if I’m using their present… Giving me dirty looks every time I unzip my lunch bag and they smell peanut butter. Who needs that?

Usually if I want steamed vegetables (which I never do) I just take that bag out of the freezer and throw it into the microwave. You know it’s done when you prick open the bag, taste a forkful and every vegetable has the same flavorless flavor. When I want to eat well and we get Chinese take-out food, my go-to is steamed chicken and broccoli which tastes like a punishment to me. It’s not what I want at a Chinese restaurant. It’s what I’m saddled with. I spend the whole meal feeling sorry for myself and saying to my husband: “At least yours looks good.” I’m the terrier under the table waiting for him to drop a piece of something with flavor down to me.  If we both are eating well that day, there’s no point in even ordering. There’s nothing in them there cartons worth mooching.

So here are these women in Michigan getting their blood pressures up over a vegetable steamer. How very ironic. A deep fryer, I could understand…. More on that next week… Funny that I have twice as much to say about deep frying than I do about vegetable steamers.

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No Grilled Cheese for Thanksgiving Please!

It happens every year. The first cool breeze wafts through the air and with it comes the smell of panic from infertile people everywhere. Everyone– Infertiles and Fertiles alike– anticipates the holidays… Everybody thinks: Family! Food! Traditions! But  Infertile folk also think: Interrogations! Thanksgiving is upon us and all those struggling mightily to conceive here in the U.S. hold their collective breath.

Thanksgiving makes many of us tooooo full. Too full of parades, football, dog shows, turkey and… most of all….too full of chatter. And inevitably, among that chatter, somewhere between the opening kick-off and Tupperwaring next week’s lunches, people feel compelled to start talking about kids: Kids who are running around the living room like lunatics because they’re still high on Halloween fun-size candies. Kids spoon-flicking stuffing across the table who make you consider reconsidering “this whole ‘baby’ thing.” Kids ditching cranberry sauce under the table whether or not there’s a pet on the premises, because someone decided to break from family tradition and use a recipe instead of a can opener. And so while half the people are bragging about their kids to you and the other half are fantasizing about relocating the kids’ table to the un-heated garage,  there always has to be one yutz who will look at you and bring all other conversations to an abrupt and screeching halt with one simple phrase: “Speaking of kids… ”

Oh Geez… and they’re off.

“Aren’t you trying?” (wink wink to the husband)

“You shouldn’t be waiting so long. I mean, you know it’s harder to get pregnant as you get older.” (Knowing glare at the wife)

“How long have you guys been married? Oh, we had three kids by the time we were married that long.”

And while you’re being grilled like a cheese sandwich, you’d think you’d at least gain some sympathy, if not actual support, from those at the table who had been grilled in holidays past: Uncle Dave who was taken   out of a National League ballpark and ended up either incapacitated or incarcerated. Nobody would say which. Or cousin Sue who’s brought three different boyfriends to the last three Thanksgivings. (I once made the error of saying “Warren looks different.” To which she replied: “It’s a different Warren.”) But no. It’s every cheddar and gruyere for himself.

And then the fricken infertility poker game starts with everybody trying to raise the ante… A family twist on the true meaning of Cutthroat Kitchen. It’s only your life. Why not turn it into a game show?

“I have a friend who had twins at 40.”

“I have a neighbor who had triplets at 42.”

“I read about this woman in India who had quadruplets at 51.”

Luckily most of the time, you don’t have to respond or even speak at all. These Thanksgiving think tanks are usually running on empty from the start and quickly head out to the Sea of Stupidity.

“Whatever happened to the Octomom?”

“John Travolta’s wife had a baby at 61 or was it 49?”

“Isn’t he married to Kelly Clarkson?”

Yeah, there you go. See? That didn’t take long at all. And this year we have someone unexpected in our corner who hasn’t been present at previous Thanksgivings. If somehow the chatter gets diverted back to us, all we have to say to instantly deflect it away again is: “Hey, did you guys hear what Donald Trump said today?”

*If you’d like to take a look at my ebook, it is available on Kindle (click on photo icon on left) as well as Kobo and Nook. Also, please visit my posts at Fertility Authority including: “Real Housewives of Infertilityville”:

One Holiday Job I’d Have to Pass On…

There are all kinds of holiday deals available these days, but for some, cheap, cheaper and cheapest are still not good enough. And if you can’t beg or borrow, stealing is always a viable option.

Years ago, my cousin did the old “underwear switching” scheme at the mall that girls used to do in high school: You know, you try on undergarments in the fitting room and you put on theirs and walk out and leave your ratty ones in the store. Of course I can’t blame “peer pressure” in my cousin’s case since she was forty-two at the time. She got busted too. Oh, please. Even I know all those stores have women sitting on the other side of the fitting room mirrors or up in some back room watching you. I usually wave to them when I first enter the fitting room and before I leave. It’s interesting. I’m disgusted at guys who put cameras in places so they can watch women undressing, but feel sorry for women who get paid to do it. I’m always thinking: I try on things in dressing rooms and sometimes I’m so appalled just looking at myself in the mirror, I want to shriek in terror. Who knows what unspeakable horrors she’s witnessed during the course of her career?

I would think “fitting room security” would be ranked way up there on the “professions with the highest suicide rate” list. Looking all day at the unwashed and unshaven. All of those body parts flailing around and wrestling with clothing that they have no business getting acquainted with. Boobs over here, thrown over there. Front fat becoming back fat. Back fat becoming side boob blob. Size 14 thighs  torturing size 8 jeans. Size 8 thighs torturing size 4 jeans. Zippers east and west with the Amazon of blubber flowing out in between. I’m sure nothing would be more attractive to any woman… gay, straight…any woman… than looking at me looking like I shoved an over-yeasted bread dough in my pants and now it was rising… everywhere. Over the top of the front, the top of the back, through the button hole: A moment ago, on the hanger, the button hole was wrapped contently around its friend, the button. Now they’re estranged: A traumatizing day trip away from each other… I’m baking a healthy, happy, loaf in there to be sure.

You’d think the dressing room attendants would be team players and run interference.

“I’m sorry, Honey. Security has requested you not try that on.”

Not that there are dressing room attendants anymore. Remember those people who gave you a number so they knew that you’d brought out the same items you’d brought in instead of wearing them home under your own clothes?

I could never do that security job. Especially if I wasn’t well out of the customer’s earshot. I would have to comment. I would absolutely have to. Sometimes to myself…: “Why does she think that’s a good style for her? This is doomed from the start. What did I expect? Look what she came in wearing. Ugh… I knew I should’ve called in sick today.”

And then, of course, sometimes I’d have to comment…to them… from my side of the camera: “That’s just offensive. Take it off! Take it off now! Never mind who said that! It’s the voice of good taste. Take it off now!!”

“This is your conscience speaking. You’re not twenty and you’re not Demi Moore. Do not… I repeat…Do not try that one on!”

“Ugh, I know you’re stealing that bra. Throw some clothes over it and just get out of here. I just can’t relive this in court. Please just get dressed. Faster… Faster.”

Maybe that’s the way to cure perverts. Let’s try some therapy. Let’s see what happens when he doesn’t get to pick whom he watches or what he gets to see. “Okay, you skank. You want to watch women undress? Here you go. Sit right there and don’t look away. No no. I said: ‘Don’t look away.’  What’s the matter? I thought you loved to see women in their underwear. Well, here’s your chance. We’ll be back next week…after the Black Friday sales, the Door Buster sales and the BOGO sales are over.”

Until February, My Beloved Mets

People like me have no business being baseball fans. I’m so loyal, I’m stressed out all the time. My team, the NY Mets, just lost the World Series. It took me eight minutes to type that last sentence. I knew once I put in the period, I could live in denial no longer. I even debated whether I should use the word “loyal” because it rhymed with the team they succumbed to. And I’ll be the first to say right here: 1) The Mets can hold their heads high. They got a whole lot further than anyone ever imagined. 2) All the credit in the world to the Kansas City Royals. They’re more than a team of great players. They’re even more than a team of great clutch hitters. You could feel their energy and momentum dominate each of the four games they won. In the last two games, every Mets fan in the world held his or her breath at the start of the seventh inning. The Royals might have been down by two runs, but you wouldn’t have known it by looking at the dugouts. They were confidence personified while we embodied the unnerving rumble of a stomach cramp. They could taste the sweet tang of victory. We could taste the stale- whatever we ate yesterday that we shouldn’t have eaten again today that was going to end us up in the exact same place tonight that we ended up in last night.

Call me a lousy fan, but out of sheer exhaustion (changing the clocks didn’t help) not boredom, I assure you, I was already dozing off between pitches all the way through the seventh inning stretch of the last game. But when “things” started to happen: Bases were loaded and our hitter hit himself in the knee cap… and inexplicably finished the at bat even though he couldn’t stand on his left leg. (I wondered: What would happen if he got a hit? Would the bat boy and the third base coach run over and carry him to first base?) Then our pitcher who begged to stay in for another inning walked the first batter… I had an eerie premonition of the night before. It was already the eighth inning and we were winning, but it didn’t feel like we were about to win. I told my husband when the game was tied at two: “If this goes into extra innings, I’m going to sleep.” And it did, so I did. Okay, I’m a sucky fan but I was not about to relive game one: Freak out for fourteen innings, only to have my heart broken…again. I woke up the next morning with my Mets ring still on to find out the Mets’ fingers would end their season bare.

I’ve read a lot of negative posts about the TV coverage of the World Series so let me climb on that bandwagon for a sec. From comments made by the commentator (and his immense forehead) to shots of everything while a guy was at bat except the at bat: A split-screen of what his swing looked like two years ago compared to what it looked like last year (can we see what it looks like right now?) to angle views from behind the umpire which is a perfect position if you want to block us from seeing everything going on at the plate, to overhead shots in case you ever wanted to watch a baseball game from a helicopter, to my personal all-time favorite: A close-up of the Mets’ former general manager talking to a guy next to him while the guy on the other side of him noshed a pretzel.

Besides repeating stories about players over and over again… trade deadlines, short-stops crying… they choked us with “who gives a fk?” statistics:

“The team who rearranged their collective balls and said the word ‘contribute’ the most during interviews have won 19 of the last 23 World Series.”

But then up on the screen came “The Statistic”. It was meant to boost Royals’ fans, but it ultimately provided me with the strength to keep me from taking sleeping pills and hibernating until Spring Training:

“13 teams who have lost in the World Series, returned the very next year to win it, (including Kansas City.)” Of course, 12 teams also returned the next year and lost again… but I can only handle half of the stat right now. I hope you understand.

This season… Affects me

I was going to call this post: “I Fall for Fall” but I couldn’t live with myself if I had, not to mention I would feel like I was writing a Kohl’s commercial instead of a blog. (“Fall for Fall! Girls tights– 30% off!”)

I never appreciated autumn until I’d graduated everything. All fall meant to me before then was another grueling school year was about to begin. I held my breath for a couple of weeks until the Jewish holidays would toss me a reprieve where I would trade a few unbearable days at school for a few unbearable days at synagogue. I did okay in school but I was definitely one of those people who was waiting for all sixteen years to just be over so I could start my life already. So much for living in the present moment.

Once I graduated college, I realized I had this clearly unnatural, insatiable appetite for foliage. I visually vacuum up every leaf. For weeks every year at this time, I drive well below school zone speed limits, prowling around neighborhoods near and far, stalking every tree in case it decides to turn colors.  The best I can describe my emotional state while doing this, is to say it’s probably how Stephen King would feel if he tried his hand at poetry. There’s likely some place in each town I roam where I’m supposed to register so they can track my movements.

And it’s not just the foliage. Of course I watch all of the Charlie Brown holiday specials– even the “B” side ones that ride the coat tails of the classic episodes. (Granted, I usually end up nodding off several times during these “bonus” episodes. It typically goes like this: “Our forefathers zzzzzzzzzzz. Pilgrims zzzzzzzz. Miles Standizzzzzzzzz”)

My husband just doesn’t understand why I absolutely must watch each cartoon in its proper order when it’s on TV. His favorite holiday tradition is telling me every year:

“You really don’t have to see it when they put it on you know. We have the DVDs.” Have you ever heard such insanity?

If it were left up to him, we would watch the Halloween special in March and the Thanksgiving special in July. How could I be with a man who doesn’t know right from wrong?

He begrudgingly watches the Thanksgiving special with me. I also force him to partake in the delectable Charlie Brown Thanksgiving feast I’ve prepared to eat during the showing: Buttered toast, jelly beans, ice cream sundaes, popcorn and pretzel sticks. It’s the least he can do after I’ve slaved for hours over a hot toaster, dumping snacks onto paper plates.

And my peculiarities don’t stop with the Peanuts gang. Whenever I walk down the block, I wave to the trick-or-treater my neighbor has on display on her lawn. And naturally, I also go trick-or-treating. Sometimes I wear a costume. Sometimes I don’t. Either way, it’s equally ridiculous for different reasons.

My husband accompanies me, all decked out in his best “spouse who’d rather be anywhere in the world but here” costume. While I skip up to each door swinging my oversized pumpkin pail, my husband waits at the curb: The perfect compromise between “close enough to watch the spectacle unfold” and “far enough to avoid public humiliation by association.” (Oh sure, but he has no problem sticking his hand in my bucket to take out my goodies as we walk… Let me rephrase that.)

My husband is the epitome of a supportive spouse. One who goes along when his head says: “I really don’t want to do this” because his heart says: “How would I explain that my wife got killed because she strolled into a crack house alone at midnight in search of ‘just one more piece of candy?'”

Trying on Halloween Costumes is Spoooky

Dressing up for Halloween- some years I’m into it, some not. If I go ahead with it, I choose what I’m going to be very carefully. My costume has to meet strict criteria: I must be able to see. I must be able to breathe. I must be able to pee.

I also don’t do props. On a long night of party-hopping or trick-or-treating, I can’t be bothered every twenty minutes wondering where I left my pacifier or my sword.

Some years I think I’m making it easy on myself by going for a store-bought costume. No cutting, gluing or hunting for accessories that they have every day at every dollar store all year long, until you need it. I can just buy the thing and be done with it. It’s always a mistake. More costly than the ridiculous price of the costume itself is the emotional price. Trying on Halloween costumes is about as depressing as trying on bathing suits. The costume always looks so cute on the girl in the picture on Party City’s wall. But somehow, when I try on the costume, my parts never go where her parts went on Party City’s wall. This year, I tried on a white Wilma Flintstone costume. I figured: “It’s one simple piece. How bad can it be?” (A rhetorical question everywhere but in a dressing room.) I scrunched up the dress from the bottom and shimmied my head through it. And that’s where the journey ended. Not one single part of the dress made it over my shoulders. It may have been a costume for someone else, but it was basically a forty-five dollar neck brace for me. I debated whether to take it off or put one bone in my hair and another sticking out of the dress and go as a victim of a Stone Age hit and run accident (or a prehistoric prostitute since I was in my underwear from the neck brace down.)

We all know we’re doomed when anything in this universe is marked: “One size fits all”. Granted, sales would probably plummet if the tag told the truth: “One size fits nobody.” They try to be more diplomatic nowadays and say: “One size fits most”. Even still: Define “fits” say I, the woman wearing the pricy neckwear.

One aspect worse than bathing suit shopping: The fitting rooms at one of our party stores has the mirrors outside the dressing rooms. How could this go wrong? Allow me to tell you. There are two unisex dressing rooms side by side. Forget the fact that every time you emerge from one of them to look in the mirror, the person next in the sprawling dressing room line makes a beeline for the swinging open door, leaving you to explain in the mirror that you’re not actually done with it yet. You’d have thought your garb would have been a hint. This isn’t a sneaker store. Chances are you weren’t planning to throw your clothes in a bag and wear your Cat Woman suit home.

Truthfully, you really don’t have to even look at  yourself in the mirror. You can tell if your ensemble’s a disappointment by the looks on the faces of the strangers in line. All around there are people pretending not to notice you– people looking at their phones, asking their kids what they want for lunch– all in an attempt to keep them from guffawing in your face and/or conceal their feelings of pity and horror.

After which, dozens of customers around the Country every year at this time, quietly back their way into the dressing room, close the door, and die of a self-inflicted gun shot wound. Then the employees drag out the lifeless body, signal the next person in line: “This room’s free” and incorporate its previous occupant into a window display, all the while whispering their “no returns after October 21st” policy into their ear… just in case.

(Please check out my Laughing IS Conceivable eBooks on Amazon, Kobo, & Nook.- The “infertility” eBook on Amazon can also be accessed by clicking the book icon here on the left)

We Make Halloween Scary… for Shoppers & Employees Mostly

Of course the second the school supplies fly off the store shelves, the Halloween supplies are already standing there on the dollies, waiting to be rolled in and take their place. This has to be the suckiest time of the year to work at a Walgreen’s. I mean, I don’t think they have to say anything embarrassingly corny to the customers like: “Have you found everything you need in our spooktacular Halloween aisle?” (Like I remember thinking when I went to an ice cream place where the employees sang the orders, my first day working there would have been: “Yeah, I’m not doing that. Bye.”) Basically the lousy thing they’re stuck with at this time of year, at least in our neighborhood Walgreen’s… is us.

Walgreen’s is like our own little interactive Halloween museum: It’s okay to touch and try stuff on, but we go there knowing we won’t be buying anything. It’s free entertainment on a rainy day. They generally don’t let me on the germy climbing contraption at McDonald’s anymore, so this is it. (Although sometimes I can convince the manager at McDonald’s either 1) to go with the height limit not the age limit or 2) that somewhere at the top of the slide I have a very small (practically invisible) child who desperately needs my assistance.)

Walgreen’s usually has an ample Halloween aisle. When those automatic doors fly open, my husband and I head right to it… and press everything with a button… sometimes all at the same time. So if you happen to be working there or unfortunately shopping there at the time, expect to be tricked and/or treated to a fifteen minute concert booming from the seasonal aisle of various versions of “Monster Mash” colliding like a train wreck with cackles, howls, and shrieks. Then there’s the light show. Every blinking, strobing, blinding bulb inside a skeleton, a werewolf or a vampire with a “try me” sticker will be tried (by each of us. After my husband shows me a display, the rule is that I must get a turn pressing the button myself… and then my husband must mumble “baby” under his breath… and not in a breathless, naked kind of way.)

Then, you might catch my husband walking around wearing a grotesque rubber mask of Donald Trump or a glimpse of me galloping past the pharmacy on a broomstick, occasionally bumping into an unlucky teenage boy who’s unloading boxes of tampons as fast as he can for $7.25 an hour.

Then we have to go up and down the Halloween aisle again walking and talking in case there’s anything that’s motion or voice-activated that we might have missed because they had no buttons to press…

Then we have to take a quick cursory stroll around the entire store to make sure we haven’t missed any goblins on display elsewhere. We’ve yet to actually creep into the store window and pose with the pumpkins and the giant blow-up spider but get a little bit closer every year.

I think management secretly hopes we’ll do something illegal instead of just obnoxious so they’ll have a reason to call the police to haul us out of there. I don’t think “being really annoying” is just cause to throw us out, though we’ve definitely pushed the boundaries of a valid “loitering” charge.

The last stop on our museum field trip is the Halloween candy side of the aisle where we really let our imaginations run wild. No mere mansions or sports cars for us. No. We aspire to, someday, being able to purchase the 174 count bag of Hershey’s miniatures.

And on the way back through the automatic doors, we wave to the cashiers and yell: “Thanks!” implying of course, a longer version: “Thanks for not calling the police or shooting us yourselves!” We feel it would be just plain cruel of us to say: “See ya at Christmas!”, when we’ll return to do an encore performance with all of the dancing Santas and blinking Rudolphs. Obviously the cashiers don’t care what we say, as long as we say it on our way out.

(If you or someone you know could use some Infertility Humor, please click my eBook icon on the left. It’s a bestseller in its category on Amazon, has been downloaded by thousands and recommended by dozens of top fertility experts. And my new mini eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School is now out. The Amazon link is: Both books are also available on Kobo & Nook.)

5 Things You Never Say to an Artist

While working on my next eBook in the series, tentatively titled:  Laughing IS Conceivable: Even When You’re at a Dead-End Job, I’m forced to think about all of the dead-end jobs I’ve had. They are aplenty.

There are a lot of very good reasons why during a person’s professional life, they’ve had a dead-end job here and there: You need extra money. You take something while actively searching for something better. But when you’ve had, as I’ve had, count ’em… twenty-three dead-end jobs… there’s something very wrong with you. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I tend to exaggerate. Twenty-three dead- end jobs. Really Lori? Yes. This time I have documentation.

Often normal people take a job that sounds promising and then find out they were told a lot of BS about the job’s potential during the interview process and, damn, it turns out to be a dead-end job.  Normal people don’t set out to find a job with no future. I, however, do. In fact, the deader the end, the more I like it. And there’s an explanation for this besides a simple case of masochism.

From the time I was very little, I knew I was some sort of a… for lack of a better term…an artist. I went from writing cookbooks when I was seven (okay, copying  cookbooks and calling them my own), to writing a novel,  to writing poetry, taking drama classes, singing, stand-up comedy…

And as I’m sure you’re aware, people in the arts will often take whatever job we can to support our habit. The job itself doesn’t make any difference. They’re all pretty much interchangeable: Whatever will buy us paints or get us home early enough to perform in the theater at night or allow us time away to travel for a gig.

The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn and am still working on is: People who don’t understand why “you’re so smart” and “so good at so many things” and “you did well in school” and yet you’re subjecting yourself to nowhere jobs… never will. It’s nobody’s fault. Artists are just not wired the same.

My family never got it. I see shows like “So You Think You Can Dance?” where parents have given up careers, sold their house and moved across the country to support their kid’s dream. I can hear my father’s voice if I’d ever even suggested such a thing: “Yeah, you gotta case. Could you move over? I’m trying to watch the game.”

So while it may be impossible for regular people to relate to why we are what we are, I’d like to leave you with some phrases that many of my relatives have oft-used and ones I’d like you, for your own well-being, to avoid: Trust me when I say: Our artistic energy can twist into hostility in a flash.

1) Don’t ever refer to an artist’s endeavors as “a nice hobby”. What am I collecting snow globes here?

2) “You can always go back to it.” This means, I think, that you can go to college, get a degree in something that matters not to you, so you have a career doing something you hate just a little bit more with each passing year, so that when you’re old and frail and drinking heavily and resenting everyone around you for ruining your life, you can go back to doing what you knew at twelve, you should be doing. Can’t argue with that.

3) “If that’s what you want to be”. I’m going to take a leap and say that being an artist is like being gay. (You can even be both at the same time.) You may or may not want to be either or like being either. Certainly nobody sets out to be either. And both artists and gay people, in being true to themselves, often upset the apple carts around them because it’s more convenient for people around them if they were neither. Oh well.

4) “At least you’re making ends meet” When singers can’t sing and dancers can’t dance, what they hear is: “True, you sold your soul to the devil but at least now you have money for rent.”

5) “You should have something to fall back on” so that if this life you’ve been sent here by the Universe to do to enrich humanity doesn’t work out, at least you’ll know Excel.

I’m not a pig… I’m a slob… Well Actually…

A few weeks back, I wrote about being a pig. I can say with certainty that it’s not a self-esteem issue. I look at myself objectively and say: “Wow. You really are a pig.” From eating food off the floor to using the spigot in the bathroom sink as a water fountain, the evidence speaks for itself. So when someone close to me witnesses one of these actions (and I freely do almost all of them in front of people) and they mumble “Pig”, I really can’t be offended. It’s like calling me “short”. What’s there to dispute? I am. By just about anybody’s standards.

I realized after I wrote that post that being a slob isn’t exactly the same as being a pig, and I’m both.

There are women who are low maintenance. I’m no maintenance (in the beauty and hygiene categories anyway.) I shower occasionally, brush my teeth regularly, and use deodorant every morning when I remember. Everything else I can justify doing seldom to never.

1) Shaving is seasonal. If my various growths can be covered up by long sleeves and pants, I’m fine. In the winter, it’s my little extra layer of furry warmth. Even in the summer: If it’s not long enough to flail in the wind and scare children at the beach, it’s fine. Please. There are sights on the beach way more repulsive than my infrequently shaven parts. Besides, my hair is blondish. Too light for anyone to see in the sun.

2) Brushing my hair (on my head)- I have very thick, curly hair. Brushing would just take the curl out.

3) Ironing- It’ll just smooth itself out eventually during the day as I’m wearing it. Besides, I walk so fast nobody will even see the wrinkles.

4) Stained clothes- It’s probably just a water spot. It’ll dry as the day goes on. Or my hair will cover it. (Some hair on some part of my body is bound to cover it.) Or it’s the same color as my shirt so it will just blend in. Or I’ll tie a sweater around it. Or I’ll just tell everyone it happened on the way to work and it was too late to change. They don’t have to know I put it on that way.

5) Heels- I can’t wear them. I have high arches.

Here’s the thing: Women are always willing to forego comfort and convenience for beauty and sexiness. Not me.  I used to be 5’3″. Somewhere in the quicksand of life, I’ve lost nearly an inch. If the trend continues, next year I’ll be a large hood ornament. The year after that, my husband will be carrying me on his key chain. The year after that, my niece will add me to her charm bracelet. I don’t care. I will not wear heels. They’re uncomfortable. All of them. I’m a sneaker girl all the way. Typically on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, since it’s a day of mourning and repentance, you don’t wear leather shoes to synagogue which would be like you’re celebrating, so many of us wear sneakers. Sneakers with skirts and dresses? Count me in. That’s my kind of religion. It may be a day of repentance but below the ankles I’m rejoicing. (I’m sure the tradition really started thousands of years ago when a Jewish woman was schlepping through the desert in heels on her way to temple: “Oh no. I can’t do this. Haven’t our people suffered enough?”)

6) Skirts- If I’m not going to shave, I have to do the pantyhose ballet which requires at least three deep plies to get them up and on. Perhaps I can star in a new reality show: So you think you can put on pantyhose? No. I shan’t. Okay. Jeans it is.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that I don’t bother with make-up either. So if you ever hear that I was stopped by a cop for putting on make-up while I was driving, you’ll know it was a clear case of mistaken identity.

You know how some women primp until they get married and then slowly let themselves decline? I  met my husband at a party where I was wearing a sweat suit, no make-up and a pony-tail with a mind of its own. He can’t possibly claim he wasn’t forewarned.

(And if you liked the above, please check out my Laughing IS Conceivable eBooks about 1) infertility 2) Back-to School on Amazon, Kobo, and Nook at the links below.)

Amazon: (Back-to-School) or click book icon to the left (Infertility)



From End of School to Back to School

The following is a preview of my new eBook mini: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. It is currently available on Amazon@ . (Available on all devices with a free Kindle app including Windows 10)

Chapter Previews:

Introduction: There’s that space of time between when the old school year ends and the new school year begins. Some call it a summer vacation. To us, parents of triplets, it’s a competition: Which will arrive at our house first: The school bus to drive the kids to a new school year or the padded van to dump us in the loony bin? And as the new school year approaches, there are tasks to do and big decisions to make: “Should I drive carpool this year?” “Should I home school?” No and no… Next.

Chapter 1: Everyone has a different idea of summer fun: But nobody’s looks like this. The key to summer survival is sending my children away from home on a daily basis… anywhere… but home.

Anywhere but home, is a place where, I’m told, my children are always, somehow, very well-behaved… And for those few times when we absolutely must be together, we can be found at fast food play areas, under crafts tents, and at other free events that keep the motto: “You get what you pay for” playing in our heads all summer long.

Chapter 2: When the summer “fun” finally, mercifully, “I thought it would never end” ends & the Back-to-School BS tasks begin. Doctor visits, shoe shopping, clothes shopping, school supply shopping, haircuts… Being the perfect mommy that I am, I have it all neatly divided into two very organized, very manageable “To Do” list categories: 1) Things I’ll do half-assed 2) Things I’ll blow-off completely

Chapter 3: The School Calendar: Because my nine year old kids apparently need more days off a year than I’ve had in my entire working life. I sometimes wonder if the school calendar is created by the same people who created my cell phone bill. The goal: To confuse me so completely that I won’t even be lucid enough to ask questions. Year round calendars. Traditional calendars. Teachers’ work days. Early release days. They provide the calendar in five languages. I called my friend Mitsu. Apparently it makes no sense in Japanese either…

Chapter 4: Meet the Teachers: “Pleased to meet you. You’re not pregnant are you?” I have nothing against pregnancy. I was pregnant once myself, you know. I just would rather that all teacher pregnancies take place when none of my kids are their students. I have three kids in the same grade in three different classes. I’m just politely requesting that 3/5 of the grade’s teachers hold off making any additions to their families until my kids have moved on to the next grade, that’s all. Teachers 4 and 5 can do whatever the hell they want.

Chapter 5: The Bus Situation- Because every year there is indeed… A Bus Situation Heaven forbid there’s ever a flood or wildfire threatening our neighborhood. But if there ever is: It can have my car. It can have my house… but it can’t have my bus stop. Mark my words: After all the normal people are safely evacuated, there I’ll be: A pathetic lunatic, lying face down, arms outstretched, clutching the pavement on the corner of Bartlett & Widman yelling: “No, not my beloved bus stop! I’ve fought too hard to give you up now!”

The Wind-Up: We survived from “End of School” to “Back-to-School”… more or less I’ve made it through the summer and all of the back-to-school preparations. The kids made it to the first day of school and it’s time to sit back on my laurels and wallow in my own success until they get home. The only thing that could possibly go wrong now is that I might pull a muscle as I twist to catch a glimpse of me patting myself on the back in the bathroom mirror. If I may say so myself, I’ve done it all perfectly… Or have I?