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Month: November 2018

Frantic Holiday Hype

Due to frantic holiday hype observance of Thanksgiving Day descended to serving as a prelude to Black Friday sales.

To begin with, misguided souls, bundled in fleece and thermal wear, sleep overnight on lawn chairs in retail parking lots while television reporters and cameras record the event.

Is it any wonder hyped up consumers charge stores like they are running with the bulls? They are overly caffeinated and desperate for a toilet.  Consequently, the rest of us feel like slugs or spendthrifts because we will pay more.

These antics produce stories for national and local newscasts. The day after Halloween, newscasters begin helpful hints on how to avoid the hazards of last minute shopping.

Under the guise of avoiding holiday stress, a grinning, giggly journalist begins a series of reports on how to survive. She is not old enough to have survived anything except puberty.

Why have we allowed the media to brainwash us into believing stress is a certain reaction to the holidays? We have more technology and conveniences at our fingertips than any other time in history.

No longer does hosting a holiday event involve fattening and slaughtering animals for food. Decorating is no huge ordeal with all of the retail options. No one gets punctured fingers stringing popcorn and cranberries.

To create more emotional landmines the endless articles about family dynamics proliferate during the holidays. Ranging from dealing with narcissistic family members; the difficult mothers in law; how not to relive your painful childhood memories; and how to revive your joyous childhood memories.

These touchy-feely suggestions are outmoded and there are obvious solutions to all of these issues.

• Stop watching television after Halloween.
• Shop online and enjoy Thanksgiving.
• Give up holiday decorating by declaring it environmentally irresponsible.
• Invite Mrs. Paul, Mrs. Smith, and Marie Callender for dinner.
• Skype and generous portions of white wine can render even the most obnoxious family member tolerable.

Hardcore traditionalist maybe horrified by these suggestions, but deep inside every woman is a holiday nonconformist waiting to emerge.

Note: Originally published December 2011


A Moment of Clarity

Donald Trump gives no indication he is ever going to have a moment of clarity.

For most cartoon characters that defining moment arrives when an illuminated light bulb hovers about the head of the dufus de jour. However, Trump gives no indication he is ever going to “get it.”

My southern grandmother had a sure-fire remedy to enable dim-witted males, as she put it,  to “see the light.”

According to her even the dumbest, severally challenged would turn on a dime once their noggin felt the full force of a ten-inch cast iron skillet.

Grandmother graduated to a higher realm an eon ago, but I like to imagine her having a conversation with The Donald.

For instance, Donald’s statement, “I know words. I have the best words.” I imagine anyone making such an ignorant unfettered, stupid statement would become acquainted with the back of her skillet post-haste.

After that,  a moment of clarity provided by her cast iron skillet would halt Trump’s US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and he’d agree to let Neil deGrasse Tyson explain climate change to him.

I have no doubt my grandmother would be waiting for Donald’s return visit from Puerto Rico’s hurricane with a two-fold strike from her cast iron skillet. She would explain why the leader of the free country doesn’t throw paper towels at people who have lost everything.

If Trump’s tariff on steel created an increase in the price of cast iron skillets, that would prove to be his undoing.

Grandmother knew how to turn a phrase, or more accurately return a phrase. (I know this from personal experience.)  Donald’s schlocky phrase “lock her up” would return to haunt him and he’d find himself cooling his heels in the outdoor smokehouse with the other turkeys.

Thus far, no one has been able to reign in Trump. Perhaps there is a newly elected grandmother in Congress who will bring her cast iron skillet to Washington in January.

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret


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Conflicting Science

Staying current with science and fashion is maddening these days.

Just when I think I’ve got it figured it out, a new study changes the rules.

A recent study, (probably covertly sponsored by the adult beverage industry) indicated the moderate use of an alcoholic beverage could stall memory problems and possibly decrease incidents of Alzheimer’s.

Another study indicated a small amount of alcohol consumed on a daily basis benefits the heart. Red wine reputedly has some health benefits. Beer may be helpful in slowing the advance of Osteoporosis.

A conflicting study (probably covertly sponsored by the religious right) indicated an increase in breast cancer in women who consumed one drink per day. The study concluded women should abstain or limit themselves to one alcoholic beverage per week. Clearly, breast cancer is to be avoided at all costs.

If I follow the new guidelines, are heart disease and dementia lurking around the corner?

Being slightly dim or having a minor hitch in your ticker is not a bad trade-off for being cancer free. On the other hand, one could do as one pleases, and wait for another study.

Fashion is a challenge, especially to those of us with generous body proportions. One fashion fix indicates hip-length jackets are best to mitigate a large booty. Other states we should cover up with a knee-length tunic or jacket.

This is clearly a no-win situation. Either the thing is exposed for the whole world to see, or it wobbles surreptitiously beneath a glob of fabric. A large following is nearly impossible to hide short of major surgery. Industrial strength Spanx tends to leave us breathless.

Hairstyles for round faces are especially troublesome. One stylist states short hair is best, while another says long hair lengthens the face. If your face looks like a dinner plate, you’re screwed anyway so wear a hat.

Pantyhose, a creation from the seventh circle of Hell, is making a comeback. Most people I know haven’t worn them since God was a boy. I wonder if their re-entry is not an evil plot by the Republicans to create jobs.

I have concluded my lifestyle changes will predicate that hopefully, I will be cancer free, but perhaps ditzier than usual. In case my family and friends do not recognize me, I will be the one in slacks, wearing close-toed shoes, sporting a hip-length jacket and topped by a purple hat.


Note: Originally published November 2011

Screw the Man Cave, It’s Time for Every Woman to Have Her Own She Shed

The revolution begins, and every woman should demand parity for the man cave…a she shed.

For some time now, the man cave has enjoyed prominence in home décor. Featuring a ginormous big screen tv, well-stocked bar, and a recliner; an enclave no self-respecting woman would ever want to visit.

While pretending the room doesn’t exist, wives surreptitiously place room deodorizers in strategic locations and close the door. The cleaning lady makes the sign of the cross and refuses to enter.

For generations, children have escaped to a tree house or playhouse for relief from adult interference, but for women, there was no place to escape. We wised up and created our own space; the she shed.

She sheds are located far from the man cave, kitchen and laundry room. Children are told to go to the important place; the man cave, if there is an emergency.

I don’t have a she shed but if I did,  it would be something like this:

There would be no tv;  soothing music, accompanied by the gentle trickle of a chocolate fountain, would replace the play by play.

No one would dare to disparage my luxurious daybed piled high with as many throw pillows as I want and a coverlet that is “a pain in the ass.”

My mini bar would have an unlimited supply of pinot grigio and white chocolate almond turtles.

Plants and flowers flourish would flourish, and unwelcome indoor fungus gnats would not.

I’m not sure if a she shed will fit on our patio, but I’m checking it out.





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Fun Facts About Venus and Mars

As long as there are batteries, label makers, and boxes, Venus and Mars will be planets apart.

When is it time to give a triple-A cell battery a decent burial? In our household, when remote devices balk, they undergo tortuous scrutiny. Mars shakes the batteries until their little hearts quiver. If this initial effort at life support fails, he proceeds to the battery tester. If there is a minuscule indication of life, the batteries survive for use in another unlucky device. In the meantime, the program Venus wanted to watch concluded hours ago.

The label maker indicates the battery is low, but Venus knows this is similar to the blinking yellow traffic light and keeps on labeling.

Venus waits patiently for the label to print. It huffs, puffs, and refuses to produce a label. Venus surreptitiously replaces the comatose energizers. Violá, a label makes an appearance. Mars hears the gentle tinkle of batteries hitting the waste receptacle and immediately rushes to resuscitate them in the battery tester. Again, they pass muster and join the inventory of iffy batteries.

Used boxes devour available storage space. Mars steadfastly maintains he must have all of these boxes. One never knows when a box will be required.

File folders, wire baskets and post it notes clog Mars desk. The overflow spills to adjacent bookcases and additional wire racks. He is a walking Wikipedia should he ever locate whatever could have been googled in seconds.

Advance planning with directions is a completely foreign concept to Mars. We have had some interesting travel experiences, If you don’t count the time we were lost in a really, really scary neighborhood in Matamoros, MX.

Venus does not own a battery tester. If devices requiring batteries do not function, she puts in new ones and watches a George Clooney movie.

Hide the label maker from Mars. The learning curve is too deep.

If the boxes don’t say “Prada”, they hit the dumpster.

Venus’ desk is neat and orderly. She scans important papers and saves on back up hard drive.

Venus prints travel directions after the scary experience in Matamoros, MX.

As long as there are batteries, label makers, and boxes, Venus and Mars will be planets apart.


Note: Originally published May 2012. 

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Tomorrow Marks the End of Paid Political Lies

I’m beyond weary of paid political lies on television.

After making the most hideous, unfathomable bald-faced lie, the politician states their name and announces he/she approves the ad.

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret

The fact that someone approves such a message is enough to cost my vote. (And yes, Ted Cruz, I am talking about you.)

Dan Patrick’s ad features him posing beside a vintage truck, wearing jeans whose pant rise reach his armpits and we are supposed to take him seriously? First of all, no self-respecting Texan would appear in those jeans.

Then there is the really, really bad hair dye job. (Maybe he has reason to fear public restrooms.) When he starts talking Texas values, most Texans probably switch the station, as soon as the Imodium kicks in.

Some voice-over actors must be desperate; I recognize the one who does the well-known ice cream commercial. I was surprised to hear him switch from the voice-over oozing nostalgia for ice cream and front porch swings to a message from the dark side.

That brings us to the truly desperate who underscore the reason they most likely will not win. Screaming family values while touting an unholy alliance does not remove the stench of the association. An endorsement from DJT is not unlike a smooch from a mafia crime boss.

I made three trips to the liquor store, purchased two dozen bags of hot and spicy Cheetos and a dozen bags of salt and vinegar potato chips.

I hope Texans vote Texas values and I don’t have to dip into the second bottle of vodka.

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Is Nanna A Bigot?

Is Nanna A Bigot?

This is a question voting age young adults might be asking if they have watched television journalist interview older people or more specifically old white people.

The recent ad on television, “You’ll Be there, I won’t” a satirical nudge to get young voters to the polls, while humorous, unfortunately, reinforces negative conceptions about older people.

Televised focus groups with a cross-section of regional voters conducted by an earnest-faced journalist typically include the area curmudgeon, usually male who is an avowed Trump supporter.  His female counterpart most often is a retired woman, who hasn’t changed her hairstyle since the Truman administration.

As an older white woman, it is presumed I am a Trump supporter, guilty by association, an assumption that fills me with outrage.

I can’t claim that I know multitudes of old people, but I know quite a few. 

None of them voted for Trump.

Most of them voted for Obama, both times.

None of the Nanna’s I know are racist.

Most are in favor of universal healthcare.

Many are pro-choice.

We are not in favor of a border wall.

We’ve seen the effects of fascism.

Most of us are in favor of legalizing marijuana. (Believe it or not, some older people smoke pot.)

We believe assault rifles belong on the battlefield. We grew up and lived most of our lives in an era before people were permitted to carry guns. Now we have church, school, mall, and road rage shootings.

We support separation of church and state, ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We couldn’t give a rip less about who someone marries or which bathroom they use.

Please dismiss any concern you might have about Nanna being a bigot.

If you hang around an older white person long enough there is a good chance you will find a liberal snowflake who wouldn’t be caught dead in a red MAGA ball cap.

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