Thursday, September 20, 2018

HE Who Laughs Last...

I recently wrote what I thought was a lighthearted and humorous piece on the trials and tribulations of womanhood as compared to manhood. But fair is fair and I think the men should get equal billing. So here is another very funny piece (Warning: not to be taken seriously). For the record, I laughed almost as hard reading this one as I did reading the 'letter to Tide' that I featured yesterday. 

I must prepare you though. The following letter is very male chauvinistic and somewhat demeaning to women in general (especially middle-aged housewives), but the Tide letter wasn't exactly what you’d call 'man-friendly' either. Again, I have no idea who the author is, or I would gladly give him credit. 

A wealthy man and his wife were having dinner at a very fine restaurant when an absolutely stunning young woman came over to their table, bent down and gave the husband a big, long kiss. She smiled and told him that she would see him later and walked away.
The wife glared at her husband. "Who was THAT?” she snarled.  "Oh", replied the husband," that was my mistress."
"That's the last straw!”, the wife shouted. "I’m going to call a lawyer!  I want a divorce!"
"I can understand that", the husband replied, "but remember… if you divorce me, there will be no more shopping trips to Paris, no more wintering in Barbados, no more summers in Tuscany, no BMW in the garage and no membership at the yacht club. But the decision is yours."
Just then a mutual friend entered the restaurant with a gorgeous woman on his arm.
"Who's that woman with Marcus?" asked the wife.
"That's HIS mistress" answered her husband.

"Ours is prettier" she replied.

Now… before anyone even attempts to psychoanalyze me… let’s get a few things straight.  I am your average heavily middle-aged, middle-class, kinda over-weight, married, menopausal American woman living in New Jersey. 

Does that make me… cynical? You betcha.
Sarcastic?  Absolutely. Crazy? No doubt. Tired? Deservedly so. Psychotic? No.  

But just in case I offended anyone, let me take a stab at political correctness:

1) I do not think the subject of infidelity is a laughing matter (I didn’t think it was funny when it happened to me. I don’t now, and I doubt very much that I ever will).
2) I don't have anything against rich people or their lavish lifestyles  (Both Bob and I have every hope that we too, will be wealthy someday). 
3) I don’t think it’s easy being the ‘other woman’ OR the wife. Or the husband, the kid, the dog or the cat for that matter (not that cats mean less to me than dogs. The sentence just sounded better using the word 'dog' first).
4) I’m not bitter and I don’t think that men cheat on women more often than women cheat on them (just that women usually come up with better reasons (excuses) than men. Not that men couldn't do just as well if they applied themselves. Not that there is EVER a good reason (excuse) for anyone to cheat in the first place. And not that men never apply themselves. I have personally known several men who always strived to apply themselves at every opportunity).
5) I don't hate men, and I do enjoy being a woman.  I still feel sexy, and hopefully, I always will.
6) While it is true I don't like getting older, I'm not depressed about it (please note that I have nothing against BEING depressed. I have nothing against older people. I’m in training to be one myself).
7) I’m not insecure and I have never insisted, expected or needed Bob to tell me that I’m beautiful, nor does he feel obligated to do so (which isn’t meant to indicate that I look down on people who ARE insecure).
8) I always, ALWAYS look for the humor in everything (but I have nothing against people who don’t).
9) I can be serious when I need to be (but I don’t criticize people who can’t).
10) MOST IMPORTANT: This joke applies to everyone over age 18. Man or woman. Republican or Democrat. For or Against Trump. 

There.  I think I’ve covered just about everything.   If I were any more politically correct I'd be running for President and I don't think this country is ready for THAT... Just in case— I'm Lisa Brooks and I approved this entry.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Dear Tide

Not too many things about menopause are funny. I should know... I'm going through it. I'd rather be going around it, but I don't think that's possible.  Anyway... once in a while I do find something on the subject that catches my eye, grabs my attention and lifts my spirits.

More often than not, it's usually something derogatory about men in general. I don't want to leave you with the impression that I don't like men. My father was a man, and I loved him. My husband is a man and I married him anyway. I have a few younger brothers who were left in my care many times with no subsequent harm. My favorite teacher was a man. More than half of the patients I have cared for in my nursing career have been men, and most of them recovered. All my girlfriends are married to men. My son grew up to be one, and there's every indication that my grandsons will be men someday as well. I love them with all my heart and soul.   

So you see, I have a long history with men. And lots of experience. No matter what we do, it appears that men are here to stay, so we might as well make the best of it. And once in a while, we can get in a chuckle or two. Here's one I had yesterday. Several times. I wish I knew who the author was so I could give her the credit she so richly deserves...

Dear Tide:
  I'm writing to say what an excellent product you have!  I've used it since the beginning of my married life when my Mom told me that it was the best.
  Now that I am older and going through menopause, I find it even better! In fact, about a month ago, I spilled some red wine on my new white blouse.
My unfeeling and uncaring husband started to berate me about how clumsy I was... he complained that I drank too much... and then he insinuated that I was never a good cook either...  One thing led to another and I ended up with a lot of his blood on my new white blouse. I tried to get the stain out using a bargain detergent, but it didn't work. After a quick trip to the supermarket, I purchased a bottle of liquid Tide with bleach alternative, and to my surprise and satisfaction, ALL of the stains came out!
   In fact, they came out so well, the detectives stopped by my house yesterday to tell me that the DNA tests they performed on my blouse were negative. Then my attorney called and said that I was no longer considered a suspect in the disappearance of my husband. This is quite a relief!

I thank you, once again, for having such a great product. Well, gotta go.

I have to write a letter to the Hefty bag people...

Disclaimer: This is a joke. Meant to be funny. To elicit smiles and laughter from sisters suffering the throes of menopause. I like most men. I love a few of them. No men were hurt in the writing of this blog.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

They Alway Said This Day Would Come

I guess you could say that I am an AARP success story. I've been a subscriber to their very informative magazine for several years now and I'm a lot healthier. I watch what I eat. I no longer grab a pill every time I have an ache or pain. I exercise in moderation. Quit smoking. I try not to have more than a glass of wine once or twice a week. I get a colonoscopy every three years and have my girls mammoed every year without fail.

But despite all this progress, I feel disappointed. Lonely. Bored. Left out. Like this is the end of a wild, fantastic party where everyone had the time of their lives, and now they're gone. Just me and a broom standing there surrounded by empty champagne glasses, deflated balloons and confetti all over the floor.  

It's not because I miss the carbohydrates. Or the cigarettes. It's more than that. Much more. I think I'm missing... that way of life. The innocence or ability to indulge without giving a second thought to what the consequences might be. I miss the feeling that I was indestructible. Believing there was still plenty of time left to correct any mistakes I made.  

I didn't have a care in the world. If I was hungry, all I had to do was tear open a package, or pick up the phone and have something delivered. The only time I used any self-restraint when looking at a menu, was when I was trying to decide what I could have for dinner and still have enough room for dessert. I didn't avoid caffeine or sugar. I didn't care about sodium content or calories.  

But those days are over. I am no longer innocent. I know that I am responsible for what goes into my body and I must now suffer for a lifetime of bad habits. My prior indiscretions are here to haunt me. I guess it's time to pay the piper. And the tab is much higher than I ever thought it would be. The day that I never thought would come... is here.  

I'm all grown up whether I like it or not. I can hold my breath or lie down and kick my feet for as long as I want, but I'm not going to get my own way this time. I have to face the fact that I am not going to live forever, and even if I could, it wouldn't be long enough. My irresponsibility, laziness and poor judgment have caught up with me. Damage control is all I can strive for now. 

And, just to show you how seriously I am taking this, I'm going to resist the urge to ask if I can get that control with a side order of cheese fries.  I'm just kidding.  I'm on it...

Friday, September 14, 2018

Who Needs Diamonds?

This is no schoolgirl crush. It's not an infatuation or even an affair. It's a lifelong commitment. Through thick and thin till death do us part. It's who I am, and who I'll always be. Chocolate.  

I realize the severity of my addiction. I've tried to give it up a few times but I always come back. My idea of foraging for food is peeling the tin foil from the individually wrapped pieces of Rolos. Exercise?  Sustained and vigorous chewing of Tootsie Rolls.  Dieting? A restriction on the amount of chocolate you eat each day. 

I know there are other food groups. Their purpose is to keep you alive so you can eat more chocolate. Challenged in some way? There are sugar-free, nut free and dairy free chocolates. There is even religious chocolate; Kosher and GODiva.  If chocolate was available in the Garden of Eden do you think Eve would have gone for the apple? 

Chocolate has medicinal purposes. It calms the beast-like symptoms of PMS and can help heal a broken heart. Throughout history, chocolate has been there. What do you think Napoleon had hidden under his coat? A chocolate bar no doubt. When Marie Antoinette shouted, "Let them eat cake!", she meant chocolate cake. When Gloria Swanson said,"Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up", it was because she had just finished licking the last traces of a chocolate truffle from her fingertips.  

There is no event or situation that isn't improved in some way by chocolate. Chocolate is for everybody, no matter what your age, sex, religion, location, nationality, or income. And it's totally legal and readily available. 

It's an integral part of many holidays. What's an Easter basket without chocolate bunnies? A Christmas stocking without a chocolate Santa? What does every kid want when he goes trick or treating on Halloween? Chocolate candy. Don't even think about Valentine's Day without chocolate. What kind of factory did Willy Wonka have? You got it.

You probably got your first taste from your parents. Would your own mother give you something that wasn't good for you?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Do These Jeans Make Me Look Fat?

I find many more reasons to eat, then not to eat. Recent studies indicate that most Americans are overweight. Getting thin and fit could be construed as… unpatriotic. My friends would worry that I was sick or dying. I don’t want that on my conscience.  And to be honest… I’m nothing if not honest… healthy food just isn’t fun. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Gee… what I wouldn’t do for a Granola Bar right about now!” Or, “Honey, I made your favorite dessert tonight… tofu pudding!”  
No... you haven’t.

Those of you who may scoff at my ideas don’t realize the tremendous amount of thought that goes into non-dieting. And effort. My rationalization skills are far more advanced than those of my very few, skinny friends. The simple task of weighing one’s self is planned, timed and calculated. I’ve found that the best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning. After you‘ve peed, of course.  No sense weighing something that won’t be there permanently. It must be done on an empty stomach. Why weigh your breakfast before you’ve had the chance to digest it and turn it into fat?
The number on the scale sets the mood for the entire day.  If my weight is lower than I expected, I’m surprised and delighted.  I usually reward myself with a big plate of blueberry pancakes with a mountain of whipped cream on top. Oh! And syrup.  Some days… I’m shocked and horrified.  I’m instantly depressed and ashamed of myself. NOTHING will make me feel better than a plate of blueberry pancakes with a mountain of whipped cream on top. And syrup!

I hope that our little talk has lightened you up a little! Pun intended. Ummm… can you pass the syrup, please?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

We Will Always Remember

Today marks an anniversary of a day we will never forget. It brings back memories of both sadness and hope. Fear and strength. Let us remember the victims and their families today, and the sacrifices of the men and women who worked so hard to rescue them.  Thanks to the talented photographers who captured the horror and the American spirit on film, we will never forget.
My oldest daughter Lisa wrote a very moving poem I'd like to share with you.

Nation of Survivors

Written by Lisa Vance

In the bright September morning,

 without warning to us all,

A few thousand lives were shattered 

as we watched two buildings fall.

A billion souls felt empty 

and the flags at half-mast fly,

In the memory of the innocent 

which didn’t have to die.

We’ve lost brothers, sisters, cousins. 

We’ve lost family and friends,

But we’ve made the choice not to forget 

their lives and tragic ends.

Though we’ve had our share of troubles, 

we put them all aside,

As a nation grieves, we find ourselves 

defending them with pride.

We’re a Nation of Survivors; 

with one heart we share a tear.

But we live to serve the memory, 

not giving into fear.

Though they tried to take security 

with the things they’ve done and said

Their acts of inhumanity bring unity instead.

So we stand here as a family. One heart. 

One soul. One voice.

We are challenged by this moment 

and united here by choice.

September 11, 2001

We will never forget.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Where Do I Sign?

After careful consideration, I finally decided what I want to do with my life.  I want to be rich.  I'm not talking comfortable or well off.

I mean filthy rich.
I'm talking Rockefeller category. 
Mark Zuckerberg rich.

  Although I have no previous experience, I'd like to have a chance to prove myself. Who knows? I could be a natural. People might go around saying, "I can't believe she's never been rich before! She acts like she's been rich all of her life!" 

I think I would be a great rich person. Never greedy or stingy. Everyone would share in my good fortune in some way. I'd invest lots of money into research. With my funding, we could possibly eradicate wrinkles, cellulite and gray hair in the near future. I'd sponsor a team of scientists to develop a cure for cancer, arthritis, and menopause. Reverse the aging process. The thought of getting older would be exciting. 

I don't want you to think that I'm some kind of a saint...  I'd indulge myself. I'd hire a personal assistant to follow me around and remind me where I put things and what I was going to do next. I'd have so many twinkling lights at Christmas you'd see my house from outer space. Wherever I went, a miniature orchestra would follow me and play the appropriate music for that moment of my life. Just like in the movies. (Hopefully, they would never feel the need to play the music from 'Jaws' or 'Halloween').  

I'd plant bulbs everywhere. I'd be the Johnny Appleseed of tulips and daffodils. I'd write twenty novels and make humorous entries in my Journal every single day. 

I'd take my grandkids on a tour of the world!

And now that I know what I want to do with my life I just have to start making it a reality.

So... anybody know where I sign up?

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Less-er Me!

The road to a healthier lifestyle starts with one small step. I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets and threw away everything that wasn't healthy. By the time I finished, there was nothing left. I decided that I had to go food shopping. 

By the number of people in Shop Rite, I have to assume that many people still cook and use real food. I know I shouldn't have gone food shopping when I was hungry. All of my cupboards were bare. Think healthy, I told myself.  Healthy? I only eat meat and vegetables to keep myself alive so I can eat more carbs.

Ice cream, Cheese Pop Corn, Entenmann's Cakes. The hardest part was walking through the Bakery Section. I bet they have a bakery in heaven. There is nothing on earth like the smell of cinnamon. I saw blueberry muffins with sugar crumb topping. Strawberry Short Cakes. Cherry Danish.  Chocolate layer cake with buttercream icing.  

The temptations were almost too much to bear.  Actually they WERE too much. If I didn't have a doctor's appointment today, I'd still be there. Only a SWAT Team and a sharpshooter would have been capable of taking me out. Shoppers would have grabbed their children and run to the exit doors, fearing for their very lives. The store manager would have begged me over the intercom not to rip open any more packages of sticky buns. Newscasters would have interviewed my neighbors on live TV.  "She seemed like such a quiet woman.... We're totally shocked."  The surveillance cameras would have shown me clutching a Jewish Apple Cake to my chest. Eyes wild and glazed. Melted chocolate and powdered sugar all over my face.  "Come any closer and I'll eat another one!  I mean it!" 

I can do this. I am the master of my own destiny.The skinny woman inside of me is screaming to get out. 

Sigh! I am going to untie her and remove her gag. Then I'm going to strangle her!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Who me—worry?

I have always been a worrier. I probably worried about the other babies in the nursery shortly after I was born.There's nothing I haven't worried about. My family and friends. Co-workers. Neighbors. My Readers. Facebook friends and their families. Celebrities. Politicians. Foreign governments. Global Warming. My dogs. My granddaughter's kitten. My M-I-L's elderly dog.
Rainforests. Animals on the endangered species lists. Missing Children.

I worry about my own health and everyone else's. The Deficit. Our troops. The American Economy. Crime. The unemployed. How long will Social Security last? Violence in schools and bullies. Sex offenders. The people at church. My Pastor. His wife. The list goes on and on.

Sometimes I worry that I'm not worried enough. Or that I haven't worried about something I should have been worried about. It bothers me when I see other people who don't seem to be worried at all. I worry that their lack of worrying will cause future catastrophes. 

I wonder if worrying will prevent bad things from happening, or lessen the degree of a particular incident. Sort of like a Catholic's Purgatory. If you say enough prayers while you're living, you won't have to spend as much time in Purgatory after you die.

I worry that my anxieties might be a... problem. I suppose I could seek counseling or go on medication. But then I'd have to worry about making appointments, getting there, remembering to take the pills and the adverse effects of anti-anxiety agents on my body.

Somebody has to do the worrying. Don't worry. I got your back!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

You bet I'm old!

I finally decided that since I can't stop the aging process I might as well make the most of it. Once you accept the inevitable, you're free to explore the possibilities!

Watching TV commercials has introduced me to a whole new world of convenience. Hurri-Canes. Granny Go-Carts. Depends (the pretty ones). Walk-In Tubs (I must admit the heated seat, jets, and aromatherapy sound pretty good!) The cell phones and iPads for seniors look easy. I can eat corn on the cob again if I get dentures and use Polygrip. Who needs a home security system when I can wear an emergency button around my neck? Someone will even talk back to me if I'm lost or have a medical question. How cool is that? Hearing aids are now discreet and you can eavesdrop on conversations across the room! 

My kids don't need to feel they're neglecting me anymore... I can have my very own 'angel' visit every day, fold my laundry and pretend she's interested in looking at my old photos. For just pennies a day I can have the funeral of my dreams! My family won't be left with unpaid bills, so they'll have lots of money to buy me a really pretty floral arrangement. 

With senior discounts, clubs, make-up, fab resorts, dating sites, and swinging complexes—getting old has never been more exciting. I bet soon you'll hear savvy men and women saying, "I'm 54 and A HALF years old," cause they can't wait to join AARP. For the second time in our lives, we'll be using fake ID's.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


I hate wearing glasses. At this point in my life, it's just one more thing that I put down and can't find later when I need them.  Unfortunately, I can't read a thing without them.  

Like menus. If I couldn't tell I was holding it upside down, does the waiter think that turning it around for me will make a difference? Since I can't wear my glasses in the shower how am supposed to tell the difference between the shampoo and the conditioner? The more powerful and expensive an anti-wrinkle cream is, the smaller the tube is that it comes in. Who do they think will be straining to read that microscopic print? 

The thermostat. I gave up trying to see the numbers on the display. The heat in our house is usually somewhere between sweaty and chattering teeth.  Remote Controls for TV. Most of the time I just push any old button and watch whatever brings up a picture. If I accidentally hit the 'off' button, I can always sign onto the computer.  

Microwaves. If you want me to heat it up for you it will be barely warm or liquid molten lava.  Watches.  f you ask me what time it is, the best I can do is hold out my arm so YOU can look at it. When did they stop putting seconds hands on watches?  

Caller ID. What good is it? Unless one of us is wearing our glasses when the phone rings, we have no idea who's calling. Cell phones. I have all my most frequently dialed and important phone numbers programmed into mine. But half the calls I make are to the wrong people. No big deal though.  By the time we hang up, I probably won't remember who I wanted to call in the first place.