I miss you, Grandma.

13 Mar

As you all know from my last post, I was able to spend a week back home in Mississippi visiting family, relaxing and last, but certainly not least… eating like a hog turned loose at a trough full of Sunday leftovers. I gained 5 pounds in 6 days! Of course, I freaked out when I got home and after one week of daily workouts, I’m back to my fighting weight again. Who knew that a steady diet of Cici’s Pizza, chili cheese burgers, fried pork chops and BBQ could pile it on so fast?! I thought vacation calories didn’t count. I was sadly mistaken, but Jillian Friggin’ Michaels has whipped me back into shape.

So here I am, one week later, reliving my visit, and I find my thoughts returning to the one person that has made the greatest impact on my life. My Grandma Bonnie. Just thinking of her evokes feelings of acceptance, warmth and the unconditional love that she has always given me.

Before I go any further, I feel it necessary to give you a bit of background on Grandma. Her husband, Harold, died when she was only 41 years old leaving her with five children to feed. To make matters even more difficult, she had no job (he wouldn’t allow her to work outside the home), no car and lived in what could best be described as a “shotgun” shack. For those of you wondering what the hell does that mean; a shotgun shack is a ramshackle house where you could fire a shotgun from the front door through the back door and hit little to nothing in between. To describe it as small is an understatement.

Past

Grandma went to work at a convalescent home washing dishes on a 12-hour shift.  Yep, you read that right – 12 hours on her feet washing heavy pots and pans in boiling hot water. The convalescent home was three miles away. You’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s not so bad.” Not if you’re driving. My grandma walked to work. Three miles in the morning and three miles at night since her shift ended at 8:00 pm. When I asked her once how she did it, her answer was, “What choice did I have? We needed to eat and I had bills to pay.”

As tired as she must have been, she always had time for me. I remember her taking a cake decorating class and I would stand on a chair in the kitchen watching her practice making roses with frosting. She would always tell me I could eat the roses that didn’t turn out so well. I would stand next to her, anxiously worried that all her roses would be perfect and I wouldn’t get one. Needless to say, I got more than my fair share. Looking back, I strongly suspect she messed up her roses on purpose as it gave me such delight to eat the bad ones.

I was a very imaginative child and this was fostered by the enormous amount of books she bought for me. Looking back, I don’t know how she was able to afford them. She bought me the entire set of Mark Twain’s books when I was in fourth grade. I devoured them in record time. She purchased a set of encyclopedias when I got older and needed them for reports. I actually read the encyclopedias and nothing excited me more than when the yearly world book arrived in the mail. I would sit at her kitchen table, happily eating whatever she had prepared and feeding my mind at the same time.

As a result of my reading and over-active imagination, I was convinced the glass doorknobs in her house were diamond doorknobs. We were rich! She laughed when I asked her and she assured me that no, we were not rich. I didn’t believe her and thought maybe it was a family secret. I had just finished a book where a family discovered millions of dollars glued to the walls behind their wallpaper. Eureka! Grandma had a bedroom with wallpaper – all I had to do was find the money. She caught me carefully peeling the wallpaper off one strip at a time. Horrified at first, she asked me rather strongly exactly WHAT was I doing? I stood in front of her, trying to explain while nervously shuffling my feet. I was afraid she would be mad at me for destroying her wallpaper. I was wrong. She started laughing, hugged me and let me finish my work. Needless to say, I didn’t find any money, but I did systematically trash her walls. My imagination then led me to her storage building where I was convinced a treasure trove was hidden, but that’s a story for another day.

From the eyes of a child I looked up to my grandma as a woman to be loved and respected. She was my refuge, my strength and in a world of chaos, the one person I knew would always remain the same. Alzheimer’s changed that…

Present day

Grandma Bonnie is seated in her wheelchair when I walk into her room. Her face lights up when she sees me and says the same words I’ve always heard, “Hey, honey. How are you?”

The love in her voice makes my throat tighten and the tears threaten. I swallow hard, kneel in front of her and say, “Hey, Grandma. I’ve missed you.”

She strokes my cheek with a work-gnarled hand, fingers ravaged by arthritis. We talk, visit, laugh and share old memories. During the course of the conversation, she drifts in and out of the present. I am grateful that she remembers me as I don’t think I could bear it if her eyes gazed upon me with no sense of recognition.

As I start to leave, I lean over and hug her, feeling the frail, bird-like bones underneath my hands. I hesitate and say to her, “Grandma, I want you to know that you’ve always been so wonderful to me. It’s important that you know that, okay? You were the best grandmother anyone could ever have.”

She looked up at me and with eyes full of tears said, “Honey, I’ve always tried. I tried to be a good mother and I failed. I wanted to be a good grandmother.”

“You were, Grandma. You were the best,” I whispered, struggling to keep from breaking down. We hugged. I told her again how much I loved her and promised to come back the next day. I walked out onto the front porch where my mom waited. All I could say was, “We need to leave.”

I cried all the way home.

My grandma went into assisted living on Monday, March 7, 2011. This blog is for my cousin, Shannon, who has done an outstanding job with Grandma. She has taken on an enormous load tending to her needs and handling all the details when it came time to put Grandma in a home.

Thank you, Shannon, from the bottom of my heart. If you’re reading this to Grandma now, please kiss her and tell her I love her.

Lisa D

How to Speak Southern and Not Sound Stupid

6 Mar

I recently returned from my yearly pilgrimage to my hometown of Hattiesburg, MS. This is a trip I always look forward to for a variety of reasons. Primarily, I miss my family – parents, two brothers, numerous nieces and nephews (my brothers took that whole “go and procreate” thing seriously) as well as aunts, uncles and my grandmother. The second thing I miss the most is the food. Fried, barbequed, skewered on a stick and served with a side of ranch dressing – it’s all good to me! But hands down, the best part of my trip is reconnecting with phrases and words familiar to me, but would leave anyone not from the South virtually clueless.

That being said, I decided to jot down a few of my favorites mostly because a) they make me laugh and b) maybe my friends/co-workers will stop looking at with that WTF?! expression on their face when I speak. (Kidding!) Okay, not really.

So here goes…

Fixin’: to commence or in layman’s terms – about to – commit an act

Example: I’m fixin’ to head to the store. You wan’ go?

Translation: I’m going to the store. Would you like to join me?

Subtstitution: fiddin’ (same definition, different pronunciation)

Jeet yet: questioning as to whether or not you have consumed food

Example: Hey, I’m heading to Ward’s for a lil’ one. Jeet yet?

Translation: I’m going to Ward’s for a small chili cheese burger. Have you eaten yet?

Buggy: shopping cart or grocery cart

Example: Hey, baby, grab a buggy, would ya? (overhead at Wal Mart)

Translation: Would you mind bringing a shopping cart with you upon entering the store?

Wija dija: questioning if you have brought a particular item with you upon arrival at destination

Example: I need to haul some stuff. You didn’t bring your truck, wija dija?

 Translation: It appears that I might need to borrow your truck for carrying purposes. Did you happen to drive here in said truck?

Toted a cussin’: to be the recipient of a verbal smack-down

Example: I tell you what, when I was done with her she knew she had toted a cussin!

 Translation: My oral skills are so eloquent that the recipient of my agitation was aware of my feelings after I revealed how I truly felt about her.

Assault and Battery on a bitch: a felony perpetrated against an evil female

Example: If I had done what I wanted to do, which was bust her right in the mouth, I’da toted a charge of assault and battery on a bitch!

Translation: My anger management classes appear to be working as I was able to restrain myself from committing an act of violence.

Whauwant: what would you like

Example: Whauwant, baby? (said to me upon entering Ward’s for my artery-clogging favorite: a chili-cheese burger with extra pickles

Translation: What would you like to order today?

I gotta tell  you, the last phrase was hands-down my favorite. Why, you ask? Well first of all, Ward’s is a staple of cuisine in Hattiesburg. Nothing says good food like a greasy, orangey-looking burger swimming in a sea of chili topped off with a side of fries and a Co’-Cola. The best part, though, was the cashier asking me what I wanted. Picture a large woman with t-shirt stretched dangerously close to the breaking point spelling out W—A—R—D—S across her ample chest. She uttered this phrase with such feeling I wanted to launch myself across the counter and spill out all my troubles while being held tight in her arms. I caught myself in time as I thought that might be a little more than she bargained for when she began her shift earlier that day. I wiped the moisture from eyes, whispered to myself “I’m home!” and asked for a Big One combo – the grandfather of all chili-cheese burgers, fries and a Coke.

Hmm, maybe she would consider doing a little side therapy if I asked nicely. Along with serving me greasy food. May not fix my issues, but damn, wouldn’t it be tasty?

 Til next time,

 Lisa D 😀

Destroying Your Self-Esteem One Click at a Time

31 Jan

This blog courtesy of guest writer, Paul. Read it and weep. Or laugh. Or both cuz that’s what I did. – LisaD

I have decided to characterize my explorations into the field of “Dating over 40 from a Man’s Perspective.” It seems that after much prodding, pushing and cajoling by friends and family; I decided to attempt to re-enter the world of dating aka shoving your self-esteem off a cliff.

So, it’s a new day and age, how hard could it be to starting dating again? According to TV commercials I should be able to order up a suitable female companion by just asking my car while driving to “GPS-a-Date” right? Now, I first must again stress, how reluctantly I entered this project, my second wife (wow, how painful to even say that) was, and is, a hard act to follow.  I am sure that post-divorce statements as such those  have significant bearing on my ability to prosecute this campaign of “dating” and probably worth a few house payments to a psychiatrist, but I digress. I don’t have internet access in my car, BUT I do have internet access and according to Zoosk, Eharmony, Match, Plenty of fish, etc. finding the “love of my life” is only mouse click away, for a price, of course. After watching all those commercials, I wondered why all dating isn’t vetted and scrubbed by 39 areas of compatibility, personality tests, and visual preference checklists. That thought begets another observation, why do these sites offer monthly, quarterly, and annual memberships? According to the commercials, it’s a match made in heaven! Well, since it’s so scientific I’ll just sign up for a month as this gives me PLENTY of time to find a date!

So, I decided to give internet “matching/dating” a try. Step 1: sign up, easy peasy; step 2: answer all the questions – easy again, well things are looking up! Step 3: answer what “I” am looking for in a match. Hmmm, now that’s interesting and thought provoking… maybe I’ve got a shot here of defining the perfect Logan’s Run sort of 21st Century mail order date. At that point I had a flash of a Eagles song “I am looking for the daughter of the devil himself, I’ve been searching for an angel in white, I’ve been waiting for a woman that’s a little of both…” Back to my “what my date will be like… boxes checked- check!  I am really feeling pretty sporty about now; this internet thing is going make this very painless. Step 4: in 1000 characters or less describe yourself to prospective dates. WTF! Describe myself! Wait, what about the boxes and tests and all the other stuff? Oh great, I have no possible idea where to begin. I am a resourceful fellow and thought I might go look at my target audience, read their profiles and see what I am up against.

Originally I had very specific ideas as to how this would work. I would take the tests, answer the questions, etc. and at the other end (per TV ads) out pops a compatible match. So, I access the search function button and voila up it appears. Wait, that can’t be right. It has two criteria – age and distance from me. Where are all the 39 areas of compatibility? The personality profile matches? Chemistry quotients? Age and distance? Really? Coupled with that Step 4 thing I am feeling a little bait and switch is going on here. I reined in my cynicism and decided I will just work with what I have. So, I am 49 and I usually have a five-year rule so that means 44 – 54. Geebus, 54! God, I am middle-aged! I’m in the middle of being friggin’ OLD! I have to carry on with this or keep hearing about it from my concerned “circle of friends and family,” which I might add, don’t have to deal with “dating at my age.” I still think this is at least a better idea that a “blind date” set up by people I haven’t seen for 20 years. At least my dating abilities (or lack of) will be without critique and gossip by the community. So, I estimated how far I was willing to drive for a date, entered the number, took a deep breath and clicked “Search.”

MY GOD!  There are literally thousands of results, 20+ pages! There are that many single women in my area between 44 and 54?  Well, maybe there is a ray of sunshine in my dreary post-divorce life. Okay, just start at the top and read through a few.

Oh, look they are trying to have a catchy tag line. (Note to self: come up with a catchy line. Maybe Renaissance Redneck Seeking Cultured Country Girl). Oh, there are pictures, cool.  Wait that means I need pictures. Oh God! My pictures look like a US postal service wanted posters! Who am I going to ask to take my picture (with a straight face)? What will I wear?  Okay focus, Paul, back to the profiles.

First up is “Christian woman seeking God fearing man for LTR”;  wait a sec, all her pictures are in the bedroom wearing pseudo lingerie and must have had Madonna’s Vogue playing in the background because she is “striking a pose” rather suggestively, I might add. Maybe she is playing to the Jimmy Swaggart kind of man. So I read on to see what she desires in a man. Oh look, her income threshold for a man is 150K. WHAT! Wait a min. honey; your little burlesque show wasn’t that good. For that kind of money you better have had the plastic surgery done already; at best you may be a fixer upper.  Nah, I’ll pass.

Next up is “No drama mamma, giving, fun woman with zest for life”; huh, sounds “fun” I guess. Let’s see, she has 20 pictures! First picture, looks like she is at a pub having a beer with friends (how fun is that?) she is social that’s good. Second picture she is at a different pub drinking something blue and she looks hammered. More “fun” apparently. Pictures 3-20 ALL have her in some state of inebriation and a few with cigarette in hand. WAIT, I specifically checked the “no smoking” in my preference list and she has “doesn’t smoke” on her profile. Well, pictures to the contrary and she listed “drinks occasionally.” I guess being awake is the occasion and I am sure she has no drama as she is blasted most of the time and is pseudo catatonic. At this point, I do not want to know what she meant by “giving.”

 “Curvy and vivacious” you guessed it – no pix, but has ample food references throughout the profile. Gee, I wonder why there isn’t a picture? Guess she is going to find a man to love her “for the beautiful person she is on the inside without clouding it up with all that physical beauty issues.” Note to ladies: men are visual, we need a picture. There is nothing wrong with being a full-figured woman. Men have different tastes, but we all like to see our prospective date.  Why would you bother to create a profile without a pix?

OH Crap! I need pictures. I don’t think the pictures with me in camouflage will work, then again it might scare off only a certain kind of woman or it could simply scare off women completely. Who will I possibly get to take a pix of me?  I have to trust they aren’t just blowing smoke up my ass telling me “Oh it’s a great pix”… yeah right! I am about as photogenic as a set of PR head shots for a carnival sideshow agent. Screw it. I’ll just do it myself… where is that camera?

Hmm, well I have this laptop camera thingy right in front of me, why not just use it? So I go comb my hair – that took 2 seconds as I keep it very short. I better gussy up so I washed my face, shaved, put on a little cologne (don’t ask me why, it was confidence thing I guess), sit down,  now how do I make this thing take a click wait, I wasn’t rea click dy. WT click F! Oh it’s a timer thing, fixed that – hey, wonder what I looked like in those pix? Maybe one is a keeper.

As I peruse recent documents in the picture folder on the laptop, I am also accessing my cerebral cortex where I keep self-image stored. Oh, there is one.. let’s see…. Jesus H. Christ who is the friggin’ old bastard on the screen!… Holy shit that’s me… I …ah ugh..ah ah I… that isn’t.. OH God I’m screwed! Those camo pix are starting to look pretty good right now.  Now I understand why you create a profile without a picture. You know women at least get to use makeup. Well, who would  know if…wait a minute I am NOT going the route of metrosexual…. it was totally just me not being ready I need to relax, smile and try this again… okay I close my eyes and think of Austin Powers photo shoots, set the timer thing again… okay deep breath and click click (turn head a bit to the left) click (other side) click (give them that mischievous devil may care smile)  click (serious look) click (chin down) click (chin up) click. Okay let’s see. Good God! These are worse! Mischievous smile? I look like a friggin’ mug shot of a serial killer. Serious look? Well, I look serious alright as in deadly serious without the “ly” just dead. DAMN! I know, I know, its the lighting. Yep it’s the lighting alright. Who am I kidding? The fact there is light is the issue – if I take these in the dark they would be an improvement! I’m going with the camo pix for sure. I’ll just crop them and find a way to make them work.   I’ll just focus on “wooing” my perfect match with my rapier wit and sales ability. Oh  NO!!  This brings me back to describing myself in 1000 words or less! WTF! And I am paying a monthly fee for this destruction of self-esteem?

This is all I can handle today. I will re-group, start writing my witty, humorous and intelligent description of me. First, I will start pondering a tag line. Hey, that Renaissance redneck thing might be an option…

Perilous Paul

I Know What Men Want. Really.

20 Jan

I have a secret, guilty pleasure.

No, it’s not what you think! (God, some people are so perverted.)

I read the personal ads on Craigslist.

What? You can’t honestly tell me you never read them and had a WTF? moment. This is voyeurism at its finest. And I am a guilty participant.

My interest began innocently enough. It all started with the Showtime series Dexter. During the first season, the lead character Dexter was communicating with a serial killer via the Missed Connections section on Craigslist. Up ‘til then I thought this site was a place you went to buy a used sofa that smelled like cat pee. I was mistaken.

Here was a place where people with unique needs could seek out the company of those who would be understanding and supportive of said needs. In layman terms, the whack jobs could troll the crazy waters looking for that one special lunatic. It was love at first read.

Only problem was I was somewhat virginal (quit laughing) when it came to deciphering personal ad lingo. Then I discovered internetslang.com. Nice. I found out that BBW = Big Beautiful Woman and apparently every man out there wants one. It’s also considered to be a win-win if she has BANGERS = Boobs aka Sausages (I’m thinking patty, not link). Scoring a HWB = Hottie with a Body would be a major coup especially if she agreed to be a CSP = Casual Sex Partner. Unfortunately, it’s usually men who are AAB = Average At Best that post these ads in the hopes of snagging an LTR = Long Term Relationship. But as much as I love trying to crack the code of what men really want in a woman, I have a perverse appreciation for those who just put it out there with no sense of shame or embarrassment. A few of my favorites are:

The guy in Bloomington who wants a girl who stutters. I don’t get it. Does he stutter, too? Wouldn’t finishing a conversation take freakin’ forever if BOTH of you have a speech impediment?

The man who doesn’t want to have sex with you, but he does want to smother your feet. I don’t even want to know… okay, I do want to know, but I couldn’t find anything on Google under “foot smothering fetish.”

The woman seeking a eunuch. For realz. She’s worked behind the camera in the porn industry for so long she can no longer look at a man’s privates. Hehe I totally get that.

But by far, the poor man in Minneapolis who wants to meet a woman who isn’t repulsed by the fact that he is an ABDL = Adult Baby Diaper Lover. He’s been posting forever so I’m assuming no hits. Ya think?

So I’m laughing with my friends from work about personal ads which segues into men and what they really want in a woman. Jennifer mentions this guy she kinda likes and how he seems to be interested in another gal that is, shall we say, lacking in the looks department. Actually she smells like patchouli and could miss a meal (or 20). Jennifer asked us what could it be that Sasquatch had that she herself was missing?

“Beer-flavored nipples,” I replied.

My other friend Sandy looked startled for about two seconds before she burst out laughing.

Men don’t really want a BBW or a CSP or even an ACG = Asian Cowgirl. They want BFN. Preferably Heineken.

Hugs and kisses!

LisaD 😀

The Silent Victim

28 Dec

My name is Buddy and I need your help.

I have to make this quick while Ma’s in the shower. I completely get it that I’m the recipient (target?) of her love and adoration. I mean, who can resist me? She’s always telling me I have the sweetest little face and that I’m her little pumpkin. (I kinda like being her little pumpkin.)  I was minding my own business during the holidays… relaxing, napping, eating and napping some more.

Yeah, I'm in my happy place.

Then things took a dark turn. Apparently, Ma thought it would be cute to dress me in my parka.

I look stupid, Ma! All the guys will laugh at me!

I hate this jacket. It makes me look fat, especially from the side.

Does my body language convey my true feelings?

Wait. It gets worse. Ma took me to Petco and bought… ANTLERS! What, Rudolph got fired? God.

The inhumanity of it all! Where's PETA? Huh? ASPCA? Anybody?

Please. I’m begging you to stage an intervention. Ma needs a hobby, a date, something! I can’t take much more of this! I heard her talking to Ana about how you can get Uggs for dogs. She calls them Duggs and keeps telling me how cute I’ll look in them. Worse, Easter is just around the corner and I know there’s a pair of bunny ears with my name on them!

Oh, man, I gotta go! She turned off the shower and I don’t want to get caught. Please, please, help my Ma and you’ll be helping me.

And if you don't help me, there will be pain. LOTS of pain comin' your way!

Being Cool Comes with an Expiration Date

4 Dec

One of my best guy friends, Gabe, listens to music that is, for the most part, way outside the box for me. I’ve listened to his stuff before and mostly I just came away with, “Wow. That’s really loud.” So when he asked me to go with him and listen to a few bands at a local establishment, I was receptive to doing something outside the norm. Did I mention that Gabe is ten years younger than me? Until last night, I never gave it much thought as we get along so well and have a lot in common. In all actuality, ten years is a generation and oh honey, did I feel the gap.

As with any woman, choosing the right look for an occasion is critical. I’m thinking a cool outfit comprised of skinny jeans, boots, cropped jacket ought to do the trick. My hair is full (flat hair is against my religious beliefs), make-up is light and pretty (a shout-out to Maybelline mauve eyeshadow) and a few spritzes of my favorite floral perfume. I’m feeling pretty fly as we walk up the steps and best of all, I’m having a THIN day. The stars have aligned and I’m congratulating myself on a cool, hip look.

Do you remember that one time in high school when you left the house thinking you looked great only to realize upon arriving at school that you looked ridiculous?

This was one of those moments.

Almost everyone was wearing black. I quickly looked at the women’s outfits for moral support. Oh. No. They were in black, too. And eyeliner! Lots of eyeliner and it wasn’t just on the women. Most of the women had really dark hair and all of them had a look of practiced indifference on their face. I’m assuming there were a lot of dye jobs out of a box walking around, but that gave me no comfort. I had never felt so… BLONDE in my entire life.  I quickly skittered over to a table and sat down trying to blend while we waited for the music to begin.

As it got closer to start time, Gabe led me down front so we could be directly in front of the bands. I mean, it would be a tragedy if you didn’t get the full kidney-pounding effect from the pulsating speakers, wouldn’t it? So I’m squashed between one tall Justin Bieber look-a-like on my left (WTF?) and two girl midgets on my right. Okay, they weren’t really midgets, but they WERE short. Gabe was behind me and as I was soon to find out, this was a good thing.

The band comes out and as expected, the music was an immediate assault on my ears. I could feel my eyeballs bouncing in rhythm with the shrieking guitarist directly in front of me. The singer was screaming into his mic and for the life of me, I couldn’t understand a single word he was screeching. I looked around me and realized the others were singing along. How in the hell could they sing along when nothing coming out of his mouth resembled words? Just a steady stream of howling and wild gestures accompanied by head-banging. Hey, when did head-banging come back into style? I thought that went out when Jon Bon Jovi cut his hair. And oh, look at that! The drummer has a mohawk! Well now, this puts a whole new spin on things. I lived through the 80s – these kids aren’t bringing anything I haven’t seen before.

The only problem is I still can’t understand a single damned word coming from the howler monkey’s mouth as he flails around on stage. I resort to lip reading. Oh, he just said mediocrity! Hey, I think he said I’m sorry! (I’m getting pretty good at this). My feeling of achievement ended when the crowd suddenly erupted into jumping up and down while banging into each other. I jerked around and screamed into Gabe’s ear, “Why are they doing that?” He screams back, “Because they can!”

Oh.

Justin Beiber is bouncing up and down like a crazed Tigger on my left and the midgets on my right are banging their heads, slinging their hair around when I am shoved hard from behind. There’s a human being surfing the crowd, passed forward over the top of our heads before being dumped unceremoniously over the security gate for the roadies to scrape up. I suddenly realized I was in a real, honest-to-God mosh pit. (cool factor rises a few notches at this realization)

A roadie suddenly appears and runs down the length of the security gate, squirting water into various people’s mouths from a water bottle. Gabe motioned to the guy that I needed some water which I flat-out rejected. “Lisa, you have to get into the spirit of things!” I responded with, “Are you nuts? I don’t know where that bottle’s been! Nasty!”  (loss of cool points due to middle-age comment about germs)

As the music continues, I come to realize that the band(s) are angry. They are singing One Man! One Fight! while shaking their fists in the air. I’m at a loss. What are we supposed to be angry about? I can be as angry as the next guy, but I need a specific topic. Oh, I know! I’ll be angry about hidden cell phone plan fees. Better yet, ATM fees! Nothing pisses me off more than getting charged for using a rogue ATM. Now THAT is something to rage about.

The singer takes a moment to renounce the war we’re not supposed to be fighting and support our troops. I’m all in for supporting our troops, but which war are we upset over? I need clarification. Iraq? Afghanistan? War on drugs? War on Wall Street? I wanted to raise my hand and ask, but I felt that would send my cool stocks plummeting. Not willing to risk it, I kept my angry face intact by thinking about my HMO.

The music comes to an end and everyone crowds around the merchandise tables. Feeling the need to prove my coolness by purchasing a black shirt, I approach one of the black-garbed, bored-looking assistants and ask her what the name of this particular band means.

 “Standing together, united, in a state of aggressive euphoria,” she disdainfully says to me.

Oh.

“Well, can I have one with the pretty colors in a small?” (cool points shot to hell after this remark)

Overall, the night was a fun experience and yes, I would do it again. Once my ears stopped bleeding, the music was actually pretty good. My kidneys have stopped trembling and I will feel major cool when wearing my anti-establishment t-shirt.

Best of all, I’ve already chosen my rage-against-the-machine topic for my next venture. I needed something to whip me into a mental frenzy. Nothing so mundane as hatred against the oil companies, Wall Street or the intrusiveness of Big Sister/Big Brother into our lives. I needed something REAL.

Magazine subscription cards.

I hate those things. Every time I buy a magazine I have to go through it and remove those annoying cards before I can enjoy my reading. That just riles me up, I tell you.

Someone has to take a stand and that someone is… me. And I’ll be my wearing pretty-colored shirt, too.

 Til next time,

Lisa D 😀

Grow Old Gracefully? Bull*%t!

14 Nov

One of my favorite movies ever is The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills. I received it (finally!) as a Christmas gift a few years back and my daughter will attest to the fact that I watched it so much the DVD now skips. There’s a classic line where the father of Margaret, the mom, says to her, “Margaret, I can see you’re the kind of woman who accepts the coming of age with grace and dignity.” She, of course, blows her top and retaliates by going on a huge make-over, shopping spree thereby turning back the clock and looking years younger. How I wish it were that simple.

Now that I’m single again, I can’t help but notice that parts of me look waaay different than they did the last time I was single. Part of it is the usual, “Oh, you’ve had a child. A little wear and tear is to be expected.” Really? Wear and tear? Personally, I found the effects of pregnancy to be more along the lines of, say, the aftermath of a train wreck. A really bad one involving lots of carnage. Although when I point this out to my loving daughter hoping for a smidgen of remorse, I get, “Well, it’s not like I wasn’t planned. You brought this on yourself.” How I ever lived without her love is beyond me.

 I decided that a mini-makeover was in order. It was time to take inventory of what could be repaired and to hell with what couldn’t be repaired. I figured an exercise routine, proper nutrition and beauty products would be an excellent way to kick-start my new lease on life.

I began with beauty products. Holy shit. Have you ever really looked at what’s available in the beauty aisle of your local store? I was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of products that promise to “Make you look younger overnight!” or “Your friends will secretly wonder if you had a facelift!” Most of them are creams, serums, lotions, some form of something or another (probably sheep placenta) that you slather on your face before going to bed with the promise of looking younger in 7 weeks. RESULTS GUARANTEED! My personal favorite is the semi-mask you put under your eyes before going to bed. It’s these little sticker-like doohickies you put under your eyes and supposedly you wake up one day with no wrinkles. Right. Personally, I refer to them as character lines or the old tried and true, laugh lines.

During a conversation recently with my mom she made the attempt to compliment me. At least I hope that was her intent. She commented, “Lisa, honey, you still have a lot to offer. I mean, you ARE showing your age a little bit. I’ve noticed you have a few wrinkles, but you wear them well.”

“Mom, I would rather call them character lines, if you don’t mind.”

Silence.

“Sweetie, you can call them anything you want. But at the end of the day, it’s still a wrinkle.”

It’s impossible to argue with the truth so I shut it.

I ended up purchasing items that I trusted – Noxzema for washing my face, Oil of Olay for morning, Pond’s skin cream for nighttime. That’s the biggest commitment to reducing wrinkles that I can make for now.

I did discover one trick while doing facial gyrations in front of the mirror one night. Stand in front of your bathroom mirror (lights on, no cheating) and look at your reflection straight-on. Every character line is visible – no getting away from that even when you squint. I tried. BUT, if you tilt your head back just a bit, the lines tend to fade away. Yes, I am aware that I couldn’t see them as well helped considerably; but gravity was finally working in my favor and pulling my wrinkles, er, ‘scuse me, laugh lines away from my face. Why, I looked years younger!

 My solution: only be friends with tall people. That way, you’re always looking up and they’re always looking down. It’s perfect if you ignore the fact that walking around with your head tilted back does make one look somewhat Norma Desmond-esque from Sunset Boulevard.

Whatever.

“All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up”

Next up: nutrition. For the most part, I’m a pretty healthy eater. I tend to eat a lot of brown rice, chicken, steamed vegetables and yogurt. I’ve also made the switch to 1% milk. (That stuff’s friggin’ nasty. It looks like cloudy water, but I’m determined to develop a taste for it.) I also try to drink a lot of water, but I gotta tell you if there’s a Diet Pepsi Max within walking distance, the soda wins every time.

My bad food habits include the bowl of miniature candy bars in my fridge (small ones don’t count), the pork rinds in my pantry (loaded with protein, ignore the fat) and my inability to avoid cookies. I adore cookies of all kinds. I bought a box of gingersnaps thinking, “I hate gingersnaps. These will last forever.” Pfft. More like 4 days. While I still hate 1% milk, apparently I’ve developed a taste for gingersnaps.

Exercise: simple enough. I do like to run, but during Minnesota winters, an indoor alternative is best unless the idea of freezing your ass off (and that’s in the literal sense) is your idea of good workout. I bought Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred workout DVD. Now, I’m thinking to myself that I’m in pretty good shape; this should be easy. Maybe I won’t be shredded in 30 days, but I’ll take frayed around the edges.

I thought I would die on day 2 of Level 1. I wanted to die. Every part of me hurt so bad, even my hair was sore. I survived (4 weeks of torture) and was congratulating myself on making it to Level 2.

Big mistake.

I was halfway through my first Level 2 workout and was convinced I was going to throw up my pancreas along with a kidney. My quads were burning, my shoulders were trembling and I had tears in my eyes as I cursed Jillian Fuckin’ Michaels. I hate her.

Why are you doing it then, Lisa, if it’s so miserably painful?

Two words: Fwappa Fwappa.

I had been slacking off on the workouts a little bit when just the other day I had a funny, enlightening and yet strangely terrifying conversation with a friend. We were laughing about an old episode of Golden Girls and how they discussed that as a woman gets older, you never want to be “the one on top.”( I’m sure I don’t have to explain the semantics here.)

As we’re laughing, I’m remembering a similar conversation with another woman a couple of years ago. She was more descriptive as she discussed a recent encounter with her husband.

“Good God, I’m sure from below I looked like a shar-pei! Bat wings and boobs flying everywhere! It probably sounded like Fwappa! Fwappa! But hey, the lights were off!”

I thought I had completely repressed that particular conversation, but now it’s come back to haunt me. So here I am on a Sunday evening finishing up this post and waiting for Jerseylicious to come on soon. But before I indulge in my new favorite trash TV show, I have one final task to complete: yep, a workout. I will turn on Jillian Michaels and spend the next half hour cursing her existence yet ensuring that I will not hear that horrible phrase in my dreams for at least tonight…

Fwappa! Fwappa!

Til next time,

Lisa D 😀

Date Breakers 101

31 Oct

After my last date resulted in me humiliating myself, I felt the best solution next time would be to go on a date that was less stress-inducing. Apparently, I am not yet ready to go out on a date that involves dinner AND conversation. I had spoken with this guy, Mike, and he suggested we go see a movie together. Now that seemed to be more along my speed. I mean, how hard could it be? Uh huh. Famous last words because I was soon to discover I am my own worst enemy.

I’m getting ready for movie night and oh, this is so much easier. Jeans, cute top, boots, I gotta say it again… “Girl, you are looking fiiiiiinnnnne!” My ego sufficiently boosted, I head out the door. Arriving at the theater, I park and wait for Mike as we had agreed to meet a few minutes before the movie started. I’m doing a last-minute check in the mirror – lipstick: on lips and not on teeth; hair: I’m having a good hair day thank God; eyes: nothing goopy in the corners. Houston, we are good.

Mike texts me that he has parked and I hop out of my car. I see him a short distance away – so far, so good, he doesn’t have a Quasimodo-like appearance which is a start. I’m happily thinking this may work out better than I had hoped. I was wrong.

Before I go any further, I will admit that I have a list of weird things in my head that will put a guy in the minus column should he commit one of the infractions on said list. I know, I know, I’m a shallow bitch, but it’s not like the rest of you don’t have a similar list in your head, too. While you would like to think you have more depth than me, you don’t. You are just as shallow as I am. I’m just honest enough to put it out there on behalf of ALL of us. As I’ve said before, I’m a giver.

Stepping back into movie night, Mike walks up and the first thing I notice is that he got way too happy with the hair gel. Not only is his hair spiked, it’s little hard spikes poking out all over his head. Irrationally, the image of Pinhead popped into my mind and there it remained the rest of the night. I checked out his attire and the shirt was decent, jeans looked good, moving down… ooooh noooo. Pointy shoes. I hate pointy shoes on men. Actually, I have a sub-list in my head that is dedicated to men’s shoes and the dos/don’ts involved. Don’ts include: pointy shoes (great for killing roaches in corners, but that’s the only redeeming quality), loafers with tassles (too girlie), anything with Velcro (not quite ready to jump into the geriatric pool), flip flops (attractive feet are a must, so if you have hooves, forget it), and the mother of all shoe wear mistakes: crocs (no explanation needed).  Dos include: tennis shoes (not the bright white, ghetto-fab shoes, either), some boots (not cowboy), a small selection of casual shoes which must be pre-approved by another woman with taste. Yeah, I know it’s a small selection to choose from, but I don’t make the rules. Okay, in this case, I do make the rules.

Deciding to be the bigger person (feel free to laugh out loud), I choose to ignore Pinhead’s pointy hair and matching pointy shoes. We head inside and he steps in front of me to pay for our tickets. I glance down at his back pockets and, Dun Dun Dun!! He’s wearing girlie pants. His pockets are embroidered and bedazzled within an inch of their life. Good Lord, his jeans are prettier than mine! I cannot handle guys who wear girlie jeans. It’s just wrong on so many levels. I trudge inside, we watch the movie and yes, he was nice. Not my type, but nice. Afterwards, we were walking to my car, talking about current events (of which he knew nothing) and he admitted that he never reads. Anything. Not even the paper. Well, thank you Jesus! I feel so much better ending this relationship before it starts due to a  lack of intellectual compatibility rather than “I hate your hair, your shoes and your pants.” I feel less shallow already.

All this being said, I decided to bare my soul and share a few of my mental list Don’ts. Now, you can laugh with derision at my insensitive attitude, but I would prefer it if you commented on this post and shared a freaky thing or two about yourself. You can always post anonymously. LOL

I’ll start with the top five things that make me cringe:

Grody teeth: You know exactly what I’m talking about – admit it. Teeth that are dirty, yellowy or worse, have not met up with Mr. Floss in several years resulting in a most unattractive level of crud. Gak.

Ear wax: It makes me sick. Go to the freakin’ pharmacy and buy some freakin’ Qtips.

Hooves: If your feet are dirty (especially the toenails) and your heels are cracked with calluses, I never, ever want to see them. Ever. I mean, seriously! Your feet are at the bottom of your legs! Do you never notice them? Clean them, exfoliate or sandblast them, I don’t care, but for God’s sake do something!

Girlie Attire: Step away from anything that is embroidered, hand-painted or God forbid, bedazzled. You will not look sexy, you will look stupid. And women will laugh at you.

Bodily Functions: Do not, under any circumstances, belch, blow your nose (mucous-y noises make me queasy), dig in your ears, pick food from your teeth with ANYTHING, adjust your crotch, chew on your fingernails, or the coup de gras – pass gas in front of me. I have no desire to see you dig anything out of your ear(s) or mouth, emit any type of odor/sound/bodily fluid or see you adjust the trouser snake.

This is just my top five, folks. I know what you’re thinking and yes, I can be shallow. But hey, you’re right here with me. Come on, share a little with the rest of us and carry your “I’m A Shallow Bitch” card with pride! And by all means, men, don’t hold back. I would love to know what it is about women that make you pull the plug on a date before it even begins.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

LisaD aka Shallow Bitch 😀

Trolling for Seniors… A New Rock Bottom

17 Oct

My last post was all about the loving advice only a mother can give her daughter… (snorting back laughter). It was actually more along the lines of weird shit my mom said that has left me apprehensive when opening my sock drawer.

To be fair, both parents have offered up ideas they believed would be helpful as I navigate the world of dating. I would be remiss if I didn’t share the inspirational nuggets of wisdom offered up by my dad. I begin with nugget #1 given to me shortly after my divorce:

Lisa, honey, do you think you’re too old to get your hooks back in the water?

What are you talking about, Dad? Too old? It’s not like I’m ancient!

Now, honey, all I’m a ‘sayin is if you’re gonna try and land a man, you gotta get yourself a hooks in the water hairdo. You know what I’m talking about… when women get divorced, they all go out and get the same hairdo. It’s all big on top with those short little pieces that hang down in the back.

(Well, what do you know. Apparently there’s a universal hairdo that announces to the world I’m divorced and desperate.)

You know, Dad, I’m good. I think instead of hacking my hair off just yet, I’m gonna sit on the pier for a while.

Nugget #2:

Lisa, honey, your momma tells me you’re not happy with the way some of your dates have been behavin’. She says they been trying to go from first base straight to a home run.

(Side note: discussing pick-up lines from other men with YOUR DAD will leave you with a weird feeling afterwards. Trust me on this one.)

Yeah, Dad, that’s been pretty much the case on almost every single date I’ve had.

You haven’t been bringin’ ’em back to your place, have you?

NO, Dad!! (embarrassment really starting to kick in right. about. now.)

Well, honey, what’s the age bracket of these men you been seein’?

They’re around my age. Roughly 39 to 45. Why?

Oh, honey, you can’t date men that age! They done lost their mind.

(What? I’m dating insane people and I don’t know it?)

Men that age think of one thing only: getting it.

I think we all know what “it” is and I feel slightly nauseous just hearing the words come out of my dad’s mouth.

All they think about is ‘When’s the last time I got it and when’s the next time I’m gonna get it.’ Men don’t come to their senses until they hit about 60. Then they start thinkin’ normal again.

So you’re saying what – I should date men who are in their 60s? Oh, gross, Dad! I can’t date men your age! Everyone will think I have Daddy issues! Not to mention, again, that’s just gross!

Honey, I’m just tellin’ you that’s the way it is. Nothing to be done about it ‘cept maybe wait ’til your about 10 years older before you date again.

Dear God, this is getting worse and worse. I had no idea dating was going to be this difficult. At this rate, by the time I’m ready to date again I’ll be too old to care.

Problem: What I’ve been doing isn’t working, so it’s obvious I need to make changes.

Solution: The Golden Valley Living Center

It’s perfect! The Golden Valley Living Center is a retirement home and it’s just down the road from me. The men who live there are well into their 60s and according to my dad, they’ve come to their senses by now! Problem solved. My plan is simple.

Hooks in the water hairdo? CHECK.

Golden Valley Visitors Pass? CHECK

Speak with Jesus via Leggs Control Top Size B Off-Black hose? CHECK

Look out, senior citizens, I am back and ready to BINGO!

Til we meet again,

Lisa D 😀

Jesus Speaks Through Pantyhose

13 Oct

You’re probably thinking, “What the (insert word of your choice)?” right about now, aren’t you?  That was pretty much my reaction when it was explained to me, so you’re not alone in your befuddlement. I mean, we’ve all read the stories or seen it on the news where a person is earnestly explaining how Jesus’ face suddenly appeared in their taco or in the tile of their recently renovated bathroom floor.* But to find out Jesus speaks through pantyhose is something so remarkable that I simply could not keep it to myself. Something this profound must be shared…

After reading my Woman of Substance debacle, my mom called me later that night to commiserate and offer words of advice. The conversation went something like this:

“Lisa, honey, my face was as red as could be when I was reading your blog. I was just humiliated for you!

Thanks, Mom. Trust me when I say it was worse living it than reading about it.

Well, I just wanted to tell you that you never should have gone on that date. The first clue to cancel would have been finding the run in your hose. That was God’s way of telling you to stay home.

Mom, what are you saying? Jesus was trying to tell me something and I wasn’t hearing Him?

That’s exactly what I’m saying. When you realized you had a run, you should have called it off right then and there. Jesus was telling you not to go. By the way, were you able to shower before your date? (What? Conversations with my mom never flow in a straight line – there’s always a hard left somewhere and this would be it.)

Uh, no, Mom, I didn’t have time to shower. What does that have to do with anything?

That was your second clue from God. You should have said you had malaria and stayed home. If you’re not clean, you shouldn’t be going out on a date. Did you have time to take a Texas bath?

Mom, I have no idea what you’re talking about… how does Texas factor into this scenario?

A Texas bath is when you use a wet washcloth to wipe “certain” parts of your body and sprinkle yourself with powder. It’s also known as a whore bath, but we’re not gonna use that term.

Uh, no, I just cleaned up the regular way.

Okay, well, just remember what I said. The next time you decide to go on a date and find a run in your hose, what do you do?

I listen to Jesus and stay home.

That’s my girl! I love you and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Bye now!

I hang up the phone and sit there gathering my thoughts, or rather what’s left of them after having a conversation that included Jesus, pantyhose and the personal hygiene habits of women of questionable moral standards. All this time I’ve been looking for direction from above only to find out that Jesus was in my sock drawer.

Who knew?

LisaD 😀

*I actually read a news story about a couple who swore the face of Jesus appeared in the tile of their recently remodeled bathroom. All I could think was that I could never pee in that bathroom. hehe