Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I'm Gonna Bitch-Slap Envy Right out of my Hair

The countdown has officially begun: seven days until I begin yoga teacher training. Entries from my journal include such phrases as “I feel in a way that yoga has given me back my voice” and “I feel very powerful.” Until last evening, when I became paralyzed with anxiety and doubt. I CAN’T EVEN DO A HEADSTAND. Those kind of thoughts are invading what was my calm, tranquil, ready mind. WHAT AM I THINKING!!!!! I feel like I just graduated from sixth grade and am getting ready to enter a masters’ program in physics.  I’M NOT READY!

Part of it is a dirty little secret: Envy, which has been my companion for more years than I like to think about. He’s always by my side, bitch-slapping me, whispering in my ear, insisting that I compare myself to that long drink of hot water standing there with the hot guy and perfect children getting ready to board their yacht for a quick trip around the world.

They don’t call him one of the seven deadly sins for nothing. He’s nipping at my heels even before my training begins, but I’m on to that green-eyed bastard. I’ve forgotten more of Dante than I ever knew, but he also had Envy’s number: envious people had to totter along (probably in stilettos and with one arm tied behind their backs) with their eyes sewn shut with wire. Ouch – that would really smart.

I know that the hot babe might also be eyeing me with envy. Her husband might be a controlling jerk (yes, I know you’re thinking of the sick fuck who murdered Cecil the Lion), one of her kids might be really sick and she might be dreading the trip. She might want to trade places with me in that moment because I obviously don’t live on kale and mineral water, I’m laughing with friends and I don’t have to worry that pirates are going to overtake me on the high seas.

I work hard not to compare myself to others – it’s soul-sucking and can be especially hard during yoga practice when I feel envious of the young, thin, lovely lasses who flow so gracefully through class, as if they were faeries dancing on my lawn. Then the double-whammy hits: envy makes me a bad yogi!  Shame on me! And then the triple play: if only I’d been more athletic when I was younger, if only I had pursued gymnastics or dancing or running instead of wine and vodka.  My running career consisted of two events years ago:        
  • I occasionally worked out at a gym with a humorless woman who relentlessly walked the Stairmaster. She was desperate for a fourth person in a relay race, thought I was being modest when I said I didn’t run and browbeat me until I agreed. So my friend Krissy and I showed up at the race, each wearing shorts and one half of a pair of tights, a la Flo Jo. We thought we were hilarious. Not so the Stairmistress, who was pissed when she saw us and even more so when I took 72 minutes to run a quarter of a mile and then laughed and said, “I told you I couldn’t run!”

The beautiful Florence Joyner.

  •             My friend Mitzi and I decided to compete in a mile race at work. For exercise, we ran to Taco Bell and stuffed ourselves, then plodded back to work, complaining bitterly the whole way about how full we were. We also thought we were hilarious when we didn’t have enough money to pay for our feast and tried to bargain with the cashier; the guy behind us finally threw the difference on the counter. He was not amused.

But I digress. Just one more reason I’m not ready: my mind doesn’t travel in logical circles and I haven’t had to study or memorize things since the flower children were in power.

However, I’m moving forward. I’m reading a book called The Gifts of Imperfection, where the author says, “If we want to know why we’re all so afraid to let our true selves be seen and known, we have to understand the power of fear and shame. If we can’t stand up to the never good enough and who do you think you are? we can’t move forward. 

Yeah, baby - I'm moving on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Just call me Yogi (or Boo Boo)

On the cusp of my 63rd birthday, I have signed up for yoga teacher training. This is a blog I posted on the site of the studio where I practice and where I begin my training next month. I hope to document my journey - I've been away from writing a blog for a LONG time. I hope my loyal fans are still out there.

“…and when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
-          Paulo Coehlo

Frankly, as a good friend would say: sometimes the universe has its head up its ass. It’s not a good time for me to take teacher training, to say the least. My husband is unemployed, I have a daughter in college, my job does not pay well, we have debt, the thought of being in the studio at 8 a.m. on WEEKENDS makes me crazy, I'm too old, I suffer from anxiety and am losing my mind and memory more every day...... and what if I fall and break my hip?

So of course I signed up.  I’ve been feeling euphoric, panicked, absolutely ready for something new in my life, utterly convinced that I’ve made a ghastly mistake and everything in between. At first I signed up thinking it didn’t matter if I ever teach: I just want to find some missing and undiscovered parts of myself.  On reflection, I’ve discovered that I want to be a teacher. I want my students to feel all buzzed and blissed out when they leave the studio or my porch or a lake or wherever I choose to teach. I’ve come to the studio before from a really bad day and with a chip on my shoulder and have left feeling at peace because of my yoga tribe. They give me more support than a good pair of Spanx.

Bonus: I am actually willing and eager to work for it, as opposed to some previous unfortunate behavior on my part, which was to want something REALLY bad, wait for it to come to me and be pissed when it didn’t arrive, all nicely packaged. This, unfortunately, will not stop me from whining during training:  it’s too early! It’s too hard! It’s too hot! Sweetie peed on my homework! Wendy is so mean! I’m hungry! Everyone is better than I am! I can’t do this! How did I ever imagine I could do this? I’m not spiritual! I won’t graduate! I didn’t sign up to learn a foreign language – utta-say what?

Say YES!

“And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” Thank you, Meister Eckhart.

Dedicated with much love to Stephanie Young, a yogini who lights up the world. Here she is in all her glory.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cocktails and Moonlit Nights: Parts 2 and 3


Part 2:  During the Vacation

Waiting for the plane to paradise. Yes, that's a stuffed seahorse peeking from my dress.

Two things you should know about my sister and me: we think we are hilarious, and it doesn’t take a lot to amuse us.

I offer this story from many years ago as an example: we strolled through a mall wearing badly applied makeup: imagine one of those hooker-looking Toddlers with Tiaras had applied it in the middle of a tantrum because her girdle was too tight. To top off the look, we pretended to be toddlers as we ate our Hostess chocolate cupcakes.

Then we visited the makeup counters and made good use of the samples. Saleswomen showed respect in those days! One of them tenderly tried to wipe a bit of chocolate off my face but gave up and put on her brightest smile: “There, that shade is so flattering! Why don’t you head right over there and get a spritz of perfume?”

Vacationing in the Dominican Republic was even more fun. Activities and excursions were offered 24/7! However, who needs any extra activities when you have a beach or three pools to choose from AND the buffet is always open AND the alcohol is free? Plus we each brought thousands in small bills, and for $5 a pop, we were reminded several times a day how muy Bonita we are.

This young man made $5,000 on the trip!

We took part in only one activity: what we thought was water aerobics. Three people appeared by the pool, waving their arms, singing, and performing choreography such as step-ball-chain to canned music. We made a beeline there: keeping up one’s appearance is not as easy as it might seem. Step-ball-chains are kind of difficult underwater, so we just kept moving: jumping and waving our arms with abandon – we were dancing in paradise! Until we noticed people on bar stools in the pool looked as if they were watching a funny movie; some of them looked embarrassed. The big clue arrived in the form of the dancers leaving after about five minutes. It wasn't THAT embarassing.

People love my sister: not only is she very funny, but she radiates kindness. She was undoubtedly a Dali Lama in one of her previous lives. She also speaks Spanish and was adored by resort workers who were used to hearing only, “More beer, POR FA VOR!” and “My husband has vomited in the bed – can you clean it up?” Because I was with her, they loved me too: we were Barrrrbarrrra and Susanna, the big happy muy Bonitas.

On the beach in a designer outfit my youngest daughter made for us.

Big, happy bonitas on our way to the beach after our morning apertif.

As you have probably guessed, we pretended we were twins and dressed accordingly. Toddlers dressed alike look cute (unless they’re in a horror movie and you KNOW they will carve someone up later in the movie with a straight razor, and let’s not even talk about those red outfits Michelle Dugger made her kids wear that time). Women of a certain age who dress alike:

Live like the sisters in the old movie “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

“Blanche you're not gonna sell this house. Daddy bought this house, and he bought it for me! You don't think I remember that, do you?”

Live in a run-down Victorian with “wildflowers” growing all around and windows with the cardboard taken off when spring arrives

Have 93 cats (not counting the strays), who mark time patiently until the old bags weaken and can be taken down

Losing their marbles together in a nice home so that when one dies, the other won't remember and will just think, "Oh, Susanna just went to the bathroom. She'll be back."

Although I look very happy in the picture below, I laughed the most the evening after I sprained my ankle whilst fetching a drink from the bar.

Before the Fall. What was in those drinks?

Barbie procured a wheelchair for me and served as my transportation coordinator. Which reminds me of again of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"

Blanche: You wouldn't be able to do these awful things to me if I weren't still in this chair.

Jane: But you are, Blanche! You ARE in that chair!

We have to leave the next day, and as she’s wheeling me back to our room after dinner and a few drinks in the lobby bar, she insists that I moan a bit. By the time we reach our room, I sound as if someone is using a Crème Brule Propane Torch on my gums. We are laughing so hard that one of us pees our pants. That, my friend, is the essence of a good vacation.

Part 3: After the Vacation

Endless emails about the fabulous time we had and how Seabiscuit (el Biscotti) had to go to rehab after his week of debauchery.


You are not imagining things: there is another set of twins in this picture!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cocktails and Moonlit Nights: Part One

I heard of a couple who thinks of vacation in three stages: anticipation, being there and cherishing memories.


On February 24 I received an email from Barbie, my sister, with the mysterious title “an offer.” It started with “Sugar Pea” and within the body was an offer indeed: she wanted to take me to the Dominican Republic the last week in June. She made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

You can see why I had to say yes.

I leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow, and will be traveling incognito, as always.

Our other companions.

Now that it’s down to the wire, I have started my demented worrying. Yesterday I woke up and my little toe hurt: I was sure it would turn into gangrene and I couldn’t go. What if I wake up with an agonizing toothache on Sunday? What if I’m in a car wreck on the way to the airport? What if my dogs are kidnapped? This evening (Saturday), I couldn't reach my youngest at the pool, where she works: I immediately thought, "Shit - if she's been kidnapped, I can't leave tomorrow!"

My packing behavior is also the same: I’m going to pack light! But first I have to throw everything I own into my suitcase because you never know about freaky weather or the effects of eating and drinking heavily: sure, those pants look pretty good on me today, but how are they going to feel at the end of the week? Did I mention it’s an all-inclusive resort, which translates into “it’s okay to be a glutton because I paid good money for this!” Actually, I didn’t: my very generous sister is treating us to a week in paradise.

Stay tuned.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Dingo Ate Your Baby

“So you’re having a basal cell carcinoma removed from your face? That’s too bad; one of my aunts had that and they had to scrape off most of her nose and remove her bottom lip. She looks terrible. I hope you have a reputable doctor. What kind of insurance do you have?”

“Oh, you'll love the beaches in South Carolina! Just be careful driving there - a friend of my cousin’s husband got into a terrible accident on the way to that same place. She had to stay in the burn unit of some hospital for months – she was burned, like, all over her body. She used to be so-so in the looks department, but now….well, you can imagine. I heard her husband is cheating on her. A tacky person might think, well, who can blame him? But I don’t necessarily think that’s true, and God knows I wouldn’t spread that rumor.”

“Congratulations! I hear you’re having a baby! How far along are you? Oh, that’s too bad - you’re at that stage where so many women miscarry. If I were you, I would just stay in bed for the next two months. You can’t be too careful. And I wouldn’t even tell anyone before you get that test that tells you, you know, if the baby’s…….right.”

Do any of you bitter buzzkills recognize yourselves in the above conversations? What the hell is wrong with you? I heard one such story today from a friend and overheard another nimrod in the hall the other day yammering horror stories to a guy about to go in for surgery. So, I’ve put together some guidelines for you..

“My sister is having surgery next week and I’m really worried about her.”

Don’t Say: What’s wrong with her? Man, I hope she’s got good insurance. My friend is living in a hovel downtown because her husband racked up so much in medical bills – if you ask me, his drinking had a lot to do with him being in the hospital. And he died anyway – I can’t believe the hospital is still trying to collect from her! But I’m sure your sister will be fine. What did you say was wrong with her? ”

Say: I’m so sorry to hear this and I know you must be worried. How about if I take dinner to her family the night she comes home? And let me know if you need me to watch your kids while you’re at the hospital.

“My sons are going to hike the Appalachian Trail! I know they’ll have a great time but I’m still a bit anxious.

Don’t Say: Hell, I don’t blame you! Remember that movie Deliverance? I’ve heard parts of the trail are just like that. I hope they are packing guns. And carrying those pellets to clean the water – I’ve heard of so many people getting stuff like diphtheria or polio or something and dying right on the trail. And sometimes people eat the bodies. Seriously, I read that somewhere.”

Say: That’s fabulous! They’re young and this is the time to do it. Try to convince them to keep journals and please keep us updated as they go.

“My daughter got the lead in the school play!”

Don’t say: You’re pretty excited for a junior high production – it’s not like she got on a reality TV show or something. You know that most kids never make it big – I’ve heard of so many girls waitressing and hooking while waiting for their big break. You really need to prepare her for the real world. But really, that’s good news. Maybe I’ll try to come and see it.

Say: That’s great – I bet you’ll get the vapors watching her on opening night! What play, and when does it open?

And as for the proper response to the buzzill in any situation - I don't even have to tell you, do I?

Say: The Dingo ate your baby.

Please feel free to share your own versions of such good Samaritans who have made your day. I'll share my particular favorite:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Love is a Many-Flavored Thing

If you could do one thing tonight to make your man happy, what would it be? Would you greet him at the door dressed only in saran wrap and offer him a perfectly made martini?  Would you send the children to the grandparents and cook his favorite meal - in the nude?  Come on - these are nice things, but what would REALLY make him happy?

A blowjob, of course. He won't even care that you haven't showered or waxed your moustache - because he loves you just the way you are - when you go down on him. However, he might not want to kiss you afterwards (ewwww!).

The people behind a new product called Masque™ have solved this timeless dilemma by offering women "orally dissovable (sic), flavored gel strips" that "will take the intimacy between you and your partner to a new level."  The company believes that it is "not only making quality products to enhance personal intimacy, but also changing the way people think and talk about foreplay around the world." Or at least in the U.S. and Canada. 

And they come in yummy flavors: mango (New!!!), chocolate, strawberry and watermelon.

Here are some FAQs from yourmasque.com (yes, I broke down and found the website after seeing an ad for it yesterday in Marie Claire - at the orthodontist's office, no less):

Couldn't I just use a peppermint or an altoid?
Masque doesn't overwhelm the flavor or cover it in the way a mint does.

Is masque just like a Listerine® strip?
Masque is similar to Listerine® strips in that they are both dissolvable oral strips. The similarities end there. Masque actively conceals the flavors associated with going down on your man.

Does it protect against STDs/STIs?
Masque does not protect against STDs/STIs. We encourage customers to use standard safe sex practices when using our product.

And my favorite question:

How does the product show up on my credit card statement?
The charge will simply appear as MASQUE in the descriptor line of your statement.

The product is sold in packages of three for $12; each package contains three strips - individually wrapped, of course.  I'm not great in math, but I bet breath strips, mints or gum are a much better bargain.  What REALLY gets me is that I didn't come up with this idea.  How could I be so stupid reaching into my tin of mints all those years and not thinking "wow, I never thought how selfish it is to give a  hearty blowjob and not use something like this afterwards - I am so self-centered!!!!!!"

Masque even has a blog; I thought it would be rather spicy but here is the first entry as of this writing: 

Did you know that the most common birthday in the US is October 5th? Did you also know that October 5th is 9 months after New Year’s Eve?

And Masque has "Events"  such as "Masque girls hang out with Flava Flav backstage." Which makes me wonder what they reply when people ask "Say, what does a Masque girl do?"

A friend suggested that men might benefit from a similar product. So I'm putting out the call - what should we call it and how should we package it?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reasons I'm Fabulous

There are so many reasons to admire me: I'm smart, I'm funny and I've been told that my knees are quite fetching. I'm also a good mother, a faithful wife and a loving and loyal friend and sister. However, please please please don't tell me you admire me because I've adopted children! Especially if it's followed by "....of course, I could never do that - you don't know what you're getting!"  You make it sound as if I did it out of a sense of noblesse oblige vs. simply wanting to raise my own children to grow up exactly as I want them to be. And being the sensitive type, I also hear "I have a better toy than you do" underneath their words, even if the person has four grown children who never visit.

No, I didn't know what I was in store for.

A disclosure: Yes, I would have liked to have gone through the childbirth experience, complete with blowing up real good and slapping the hands of strangers who felt the need to touch my belly.  And breaking down when well-meaning strangers felt compelled to say things like "my aunt was about as pregnant as you are when she miscarried. Don't eat any turkey - it spoils way too quickly." Although as one of my friends pointed out years ago, I get gassed up to get my teeth cleaned, so actual childbirth might have been traumatic for me. No, neither John nor I felt a loss that we have not passed along our genes. As we say in our house, we come from a long line of alcoholics and horse thieves, not to mention having bad eyes and generous rations of madness passed down from relatives who like to keep things real.

In no particular order, here are comments I've heard over the years:

"You're a saint!!!!" or a variation of something like "with all the kids in the U.S. who need homes, how could you adopt internationally?"

"What will you do if it doesn't work out?"

"I bet you love them just as if they were yours."

"Do you have any children of your own?"

"Why didn't you adopt special needs children? They are the ones who really need homes."

"How much did she cost?"

"Where did you get her?"

"Does she speak Chinese?"

"Will she speak Chinese?"

When standing in line at the grocery store, I am often tempted to get back at all the strangers who have accosted me over the years. I  imagine myself pouncing on an unsuspecting woman, standing in line with her child to buy some bread and a roasted chicken because she is too tired to cook after a long day at work.  "So, how long did it take for your afterbirth to come out when you had your little boy? Did you eat it? Because I read that Tom Cruise said he was going to eat Suri's placenta and the cord! How gross is that? What are you making for dinner?"

Or "I bet you had to do in-vitro to get your twins. How much did that cost you? And then I bet you had a C-section. Poor thing: your bikini days are over! I've heard that Vitamin E works well on that gigantic scar you must have."

But I refrain, because I was raised better than that. Just like I don't ask questions like "so why did you park in a handicapped spot and then run in here wearing those fuck-me stilletos? Have you no shame?"

One more thing, while I am on my soap box:  Please don't call my girls my forever kids - the phrase makes me want to puke. They're just my kids.