“It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas in July……”

I had a mountain of paperwork to slog through last night- my desk was hidden under piles.  True- the piles were labeled- “to be done- June”, “to be done May”….but these mountains needed to be conquered.  And it was going to be a long time till I even reached base camp.  When life gets like this, I need someone special in my corner.  Who you ask? (I’m assuming you’re riveted and can’t wait to find out……..)

Mindless TV.

I love mindless TV.  My choices are either Big Bang reruns, HGTV, or Hallmark Mystery Channel.  The winner last night was Jessica Fletcher.  I love a town where the population counter keeps going down because someone gets murdered every week.  I like to imagine that Jessica’s house contains about a thousand closets, because did you ever notice that she always has the exact right outfit to wear, no matter what the occasion?  Who knew that the lifestyle of Cabot Cove would have a need for about a dozen ball gowns?  I live in NYC, and I currently have 0 ball gowns hanging out in my closet.  Really- we should have the same stuff- we’re both real/faux writers……

Along with tales of murder and mayhem, Hallmark Mystery offers something else.  Commercials.  Have you ever seen the commercials they play during the shows?  My favorite might be the one that points out that I have crepey neck skin.  I already obsess about my not so flat abs, not so tone arms, laugh lines around my lips, and the bags under my eyes.  I didn’t think about my neck.  I’ve lived my entire life thinking that my neck would stay forever youthful…but no.  It turns out that you can tell how old someone is by counting the lines on their neck.  Good thing there is an international super model there to point this out.

As if the trauma of crepey neck skin isn’t enough- I got another shock last night.  Somehow I have missed that it’s Christmas in July.  It’s not on my holiday calendar that I upload to my phone, iPad and laptop.  So how did this happen?

No really.  Why did this happen?  Why are there ads for sales on Christmas merchandise?

Why are they showing Christmas movies?

It’s July.

You know, where Americans celebrate Independence Day.

Where it’s 3000% humidity in NYC.

It’s taken me years to reconcile hearing Christmas music before Halloween.  Am I just days away from hearing carols on the radio?

To be clear- I am no Scrooge.  I love the time of year between American Thanksgiving and the New Year.  I decorate my apartment.  We trim the tree as we light  Hanukah candles (multi cultural household).  I am down for celebrating every religion, every person- I love the holiday season.  I look forward to the holiday season.  When it is between the end of November and January 1.

Am I being too much of an aspiring curmudgeon?  Am I overthinking this? (cause I never overthink anything, ever)

So I did what we all do when faced with deep thoughts on life:  I googled. I googled  Christmas in July.  You know those moments in life that you instantly regret?  Count this as one of them.

Apparently, people throw Christmas in July parties.  There are Pinterest boards about Christmas in July.  An amusement park is having BOGO to celebrate Christmas in July.

And on that note- all I can say is I’m sorry.  I’ve been a bit pre-occupied.  Your holiday greeting cards are going to be late this year.  I won’t be sending them out until December.

 

 

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Screwed….

It’s been an eventful 12 hours for me.  The Husband got home from the Dominican Republic last night at about 9.  My daughter got home about the same time from her pre-community service mani/pedi.  Things from husbands trip are literally all over the house.   Daughters things are also in disarray as she finished up packing for her trip.  Her trip which required me to wake up at 2:15.  AM. Because we had to be at the airport at 4.  AM.  And since this is the city that never sleeps, you must give yourself an hour to drive 15 miles.  (FYI- we reached JFK from Manhattan in a record 22 minutes.  Then spent 45 minutes searching for caffeine and tried to bribe retail doughnut establishment into opening early but stale cough drop and forever stamp not enticing enough)  But anyway.  I’m tired and cranky and house is a mess and there is a bag of moldy laundry fresh from Caribbean.

Now look at my featured image.  See that screw?  That lonely screw that looks like its missing its friends?  I found that under the dining room table.  Obviously I looked under the table- but no screws were missing.  I looked under the chairs, turned them over, but alas- everything was intact.   So where does the screw belong?  Who knows.  You see, we share our abode with a cat.  A cat who sees things on the ground and bats them around.  So the screw could literally belong to any piece of furniture in the house.  From any room. I’ve been wandering around my small, sparsely furnished apartment in search of the hole where this screw belongs.  And I can’t find it.

But never fear.  I have a strong premonition that tonight, we will find out where the screw resides.  You see, my Mother in law is coming over tonight- visiting from Florida.  I’m sure she will sit on, or put something on, whatever this screw belongs to.

Please tune in tomorrow for the continuation……

Dear Husband….

The Husband has spent the past few days in the Caribbean, celebrating the 50th birthdays of four of his friends.  I’m going to allow you a rare glimpse into our personal lives by sharing our email correspondence.

TO: Husband

FROM: Wife

Hi!  Hope you are having a great time.  It has not been same around here without you.

Going to sleep was different- it was funny sleeping under the covers- I missed playing tug of war with them in middle of night.  I think I figured out your secret though….after you pull them you roll on top of them so I can’t possibly dislodge you….But the jig is up- expect a better comforter grabbing competitor when you get back!!!! LOL

It was also odd not to be wakened by your sexy voice, asking…”Are you eating breakfast?  What’s for breakfast?  Do we have bananas?”  And as you’re eating breakfast, the age old question…”What’s for lunch?  And have you thought about what you’re ordering for dinner tonight?  Maybe we should pull up the menu so we can plan a food strategy….”  And speaking of food- the dog actually ate all her food….she never does that when you’re around……

It was lonely when I was doing a face mask and a hair mask.  No one entered the bathroom saying…”Ooh- what’s that brown stuff on your face?  Does that stuff really work on your hair?  Is this really relaxing for you?  Have you thought about breakfast tomorrow?”  I needed to turn up the music to drown out my sorrow….

TTYL

TO:  Wife

FROM: Husband

All good.  Went snorkeling today.  I wasn’t allowed to dive for some reason.   Food is awesome.  All inclusive and they always have a food spot open.  Amazing. Oh well.  BTW- did I pack underwear?  FYI- Told you that you can’t survive without me.

TO: Husband

FROM: Wife

Did you check outside pocket of suitcase?

TO: Wife

FROM: Husband

Got it.  Thanks.  I’ll be home soon!  Miss me?

 

 

The Tale of a Husband Packing- a play in 1 act

The Setting:  A living room in NYC

The Players: A Husband and Wife (for this performance, played by me and the Husband)

The Premise:  Husband is packing for a weekend jaunt with his posse, four of whom turn 50 this year.

H: Which suitcase should I use?  Medium or small?

W:  Small

H: But the stuff doesn’t fit in the small.

W: OK.  Use the medium.

H: How much underwear should I bring?

W: One for every day plus an emergency pair.  

H: Should I bring linen pants?

W: Are there any restaurants with dress code?

H: How would I know? (husband is cluelessly throwing clothes into suitcase-in hope that wife will take pity on him and help)

H: Do you know where my dive card is?

W: Is it in your dive bag?

H:  Why would my dive card be in my dive bag?

W: OK.  Check your ski bag.

H: Not funny.  I can’t scuba without my dive card.

(Wife stands up, looks in pocket of dive bag.  Amazingly finds dive card, log book and 15$ Belize currency)

W: Voila.

(Husband is holding mask and breathing tube, looking at them quizzically.)

H:  Do you know how to connect the tube to the mask?

(wife takes the apparatus from husband)

W: Is your insurance paid up?

H: What?

(wife correctly puts mask thing together)

W: Nothing.  Here you go.

H: Cool.  I didn’t realize you had to take that piece out and slide it in there.  How did you know that?

(husband continues to throw random sporting things in suitcase)

H: Should I pack my inhaler or carry on?

W: I think you should carry on.  You know, if you have trouble breathing while you’re mid air and all.

(husband is browsing through box of travel size toiletries)

H: What’s the difference between facial moisturizer and facial cleanser?

W: You have two masters degrees, right?

H: What?

W: You clean your face with cleanser, and moisturize with moisturizer.

H: Do I use moisturizer?

W: Bring it in case you get sun or wind burn.

H: So I use it after the cleanser?

(husband puts toiletry bag in suitcase.  struggles with closing suitcase)

H: I hate the zipper on this suitcase.  It’s in such an awkward spot.

W: I promise you- all suitcases have zippers in pretty much the same way 

(wife effortlessly zips suitcase)

H: Have you seen my headphones?

W: Gym bag?

Husband is finally packed- suitcase, tennis racket and tote by front door.

H: How are you going to survive without me?

THE END

 

 

Community Service?

My daughter is going to Central America next week for a community service experience.  According to the itinerary, they will spend an hour painting a school (for which she was required to watch a two hour video on how not to waste paint) and an hour working in a day camp (and was required to watch a 3 hour video on what a child is).  I’m imagining a meaningful college essay on how this experience changed her life.

The summer of  2017 totally changed my life.  I was fortunate enough to get my parents to pay exorbitant amounts of money to send me on the most awesome adventure community service experience.  I learned so much about painting- I painted an entire  half of a wall.  And the kids were so cute.  My background in French really helped out when teaching Spanish speaking children English.

Preparing for the trip was also life changing.  I learned a lot about my mother when I told her I hadn’t actually looked at the packing list.  Oh how we laughed 4 days before the trip when we realized I needed 60 items out of the 75 things required.  And the joy as we measured out suitcases and backpacks and realized that none of them met the size requirements.  I’ve never had such an intense bonding experience with her.  Money truly can buy happiness.

I also learned so much about health issues.  The pills you need to swallow to protect you from typhoid are sort of big.  I realized that if I stuck the horse pill in a jar of jam, and ate the jar, you don’t even realize you’re swallowing a pill.  I was also glad that anti-diarrhea medicine really does work, and is not just an advertising ploy to get us to buy it.

Though the community service time was extensive, we managed to get in some fun time.  We squeezed in surfing and rafting and zip lining and hiking and swimming.  But I was there for the life changing experience of helping others………

You see- this essay is just writing itself.  I’ll give you an update when I read her journal  have a meaningful mother/daughter conversation with her in three weeks.  For now, I’m glad to be a proud member of Amazon Prime.

 

 

 

 

Sorry- 35 and Older Only

A few weeks ago I read that a new club would be opening in NYC.  The theme is 70’s ,80’s and 90’s music- the clientele is 35+.  Though I’m not much of a dancer, I find this concept highly desirable.  It will be nice to go somewhere and recognize all the songs, to see dances that neither whip or nay nay.  It got me to thinking- what else would benefit from an age make-over?

Fitness classes.  In my normal Sunday body conditioning class, we’ve already sort of done this.  The over 40’s end up on the left side of the room-what we refer to as the geriatric section.  When the instructor is particularly grueling, it’s nice to have lined faces to grimace along with as we realize we can’t do 100 burpees.  It really provides motivation too- hey, if that old guy can do it, so can this old girl.

Book stores.  Now I enjoy zombie/vampire/dystopian books as much as the next guy, but sometimes I’d like to find interesting books on the first floor. Not the fifth floor. In the corner. Under the dust.

Drug stores.  I would like to go into a store that has all the anti-aging products in one section.  The other things the store could sell would be hair dye, heavy moisturizer, (frankly, products that moisturize everything), orthotics, gingko biloba, and bifolcals.  The store should also have a sign listing the most commonly bought items by the 35+ community  just in case we forget what we came in for.  And forgot our shopping list.

Clothing stores.  I would like to enter one that doesn’t play music at levels akin to the eruption of Krakatoa. ( Sometimes, for fun, I go up to an employee and silently mouth the words of what I want.  I enjoy seeing them scream “WHAAAAAT” over and over again.)

Restaurants.  I think that an awesome centerpiece would be one containing attractive flashlights.  It might look nicer than 6 people pulling out their cell phones.  Perhaps print the offerings on both sides of the menu.  This way you have the option of reading the menu of the person sitting opposite you.

Theaters.  I would like to purchase inexpensive mezzanine seats in a theater that doesn’t have stairs that feel as if I’m scaling Everest while wearing heels.

These are just a few thoughts off the top of my head.  As much as I love watching the vitality and exuberance of the Millennial generation, sometimes I’d like to mingle with the boomers and the gen exers .  They usually have higher credit limits.

 

 

 

Outlaws: A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday was Father’s Day.  In honor of the day, the husband, the daughter and I went out to dinner with my parents and my Father-in-law.   I then posted a picture of my daughter with her two grandfathers on Facebook, much to the dismay of my divorced mother in-law. Evenings such as this are always thought provoking, and now, blog worthy.  So in the spirit of my recent lists,you will be relieved to know, I now have the honor of adding- how to be a good parent-in-law.

In no particular order:

  1. When your grandchild is born, suggest that you should co-parent, because you know exactly how things should be done
  2. Do  continue to buy your child underwear. Everyone wants Mom to purchase their boxers, briefs and thongs
  3. Ask them how much money they make and how much their mortgage is.  Pout when they say it’s none of your business.
  4. If your child marries someone that is a different religion, make sure you supply them with all the cultural doo-dads your religion uses.  I’m sure your son/daughter in-law wants to learn Yiddish.
  5. Rearrange the things in their home.  They love to see you reorganizing their bathroom cabinets.
  6. If your child and their spouse are going through a rough patch, make sure to ask for a house key, because you will be moving in when the offending spouse moves out.
  7. If you are divorced from your child’s other parent, get mad every time your child sees your ex.  Nothing spells family harmony like Facebook comments.
  8. Talk about all your child’s exes, and how great they were.  This should be accompanied by sighs.
  9. When dining at the home of your son/daughter in-law, make appreciative comments like, “Oh.  This is an interesting way to make steak.”
  10. Give your opinion on literally everything.  Back it up with “But you don’t need to listen to me.  What do I know?”

Families are a wonderful thing.  Cherish these moments.  It can only make you closer. Alas, I don’t think I will have the pleasure of becoming a mother in-law.  For some reason, my daughter doesn’t want in-laws  to be married.

 

Pre-Marital Counseling: Renovation

I am sort of obsessed with HGTV.  I an awed by the creativity and thought process of the design professionals.  They are able to see a vision in their head, and then make that idea come to life.  I am also intrigued by the interpersonal dynamic of the couples purchasing a home.  I like to see how they interact, compromise, and get through difficult situations.  Because of this,  I feel that pre-marriage counseling should be in the form of a home show.

It would start with the host/real estate agent giving the engaged couple some fake money in order to purchase a house.  The catch is- they give them 10% less than what houses can be purchased for in their desired neighborhood that match their exact criteria.   We then move on to Stage 1- short answers.

Step 1:What type of house does the couple want?  If they’re both  craftsman, they can move on to step 2.  If not:  Can a sleek contemporary marry a cozy Victorian?  Will she go crazy when he uses her doily as a dust rag?  Will he go crazy when his marble console table is overrun with frog statues?  Can a two story colonial be content with a ranch?

Step 2 Closet space.  Has one partner already claimed the master closet?  Has the other partner commented more than once about the number of shoes owned?

Step 3 Open concept.  How does partner A react when B says…”I know this looks like its a load bearing wall, but just imagine if this wall didn’t exist.  Look how open it would be!  How much could it cost to take down this wall?”

Step 4 The backyard.  Partner A says “How hard could it be to maintain a five acre, sloping yard?  Look how much room for entertaining.”  What does B think about mowing a hill?  And entertaining large crowds?

Step 5 Color.  “OMG look at that gorgeous shade of yellow in the living room!  I’ve always dreamt about living in a room that looks like the sun” says A.  B, dressed in black, thinks what?

So now the couple has completed the first stage of pre-marital counseling.  If they still want to get married, we move them onto Stage 2- the practical exam.

Step 1 Begin by making the couple share a single vanity bathroom for a week.  Frankly, if they can survive sharing a sink , they can face any obstacle life throws at them.

Step 2 Then let them renovate the bathroom together.  Have them remove toilet and trail toilet excess throughout house.  Have one partner accidentally break tub, the only thing they were keeping from the bathroom.  Let them miscalculate how much tile they need, and after laying it down, let them realize they are lacking tiles to complete job.  Then tell them tiles are now backordered for 8 weeks.

Step 3 Let them hire a contractor to fix kitchen.  Have contractor work for a week, enough time to take everything out, then have contractor not come back for two weeks.

This would be the end of stage two.  If the couple survived this, they are lucky enough to make it to Stage 3-timed reading.

Purchase five items of assemble yourself furniture, including a bookshelf that must be secured to a wall.  Leave them in middle of floor. Place instructions in front of them.  Give them one hour to complete.  Use of internet or phone a friend not allowed.

I firmly believe this form of pre-marital counseling would help you decide if your partner is indeed your soul mate.  If you could make it through this, you can survive anything.