A daughter-in-law dedication

My Saturday in SoCal has not been nearly as eventful as this. My son sent these pics from New Haven where he went cross country skiing in thirty-eight inches of snow. I hope everyone is OK and hasn’t lost power or anything!

This is my 200th post–what a milestone! It seems only right that I dedicate this to S, my DIL. She badgered encouraged me to blog, to share my thoughts and snarky commentary (and not bug her and my son so much??) and it was my son who set up the WP account. (I’ll save those accolades for his March birthday post-plenty of time to get your hankies washed, ironed, and perfumed–they’ll be drenched with tears. A mommy’s love is fierce, y’all. Just a warning.) 

miljokeI hope I’m not a bad MIL. I had two of the worst mothers-in-law you could imagine-three if you count my tugboat man’s evil stepmother. The first one wasn’t really that bad; she suffered from a lot of medical problems so I’ll give her a pass for that reason-but she was just a precursor, a forerunner to a doozy of a bitch. Hub’s mom; a laconic thrower of backhanded one-liners–a future post’ll share some of my most memorable experiences.

MIL noteHopefully, that’s taught me not to be SO terrible, but as mom of an only child who happens to be a son whose nickname is Angel Boy and on whom the sun rises and sets, you can bet there needs to be a bit of benevolence, compassion, understanding, and sensitivity on both sides. There’s a def learning curve.

(I’m sure she fondly remembers our house rule of “no cohabitation without documentation” before they were married.)

S has a great sense of humor and a highly developed wit–a great way to deal with a MIL! Right, S?

Although she did recommend I watch “Monster-in-Law”…do you think she was subtly trying to tell me something?

Is my DIL trying to tell me something?

Is my DIL trying to tell me something?

S is London-born with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brown. She’s opened up my world to lots of cool things like Absolutely Fabulous, Gossip Girl, and Downton Abbey. She’s a girly girl in addition to all that brain power. We’ve had a lot of fun together: shopping, getting manis, and making candles. I never had a girl child so it’s been a lot of fun doing things that my mom and I did. As a family, we’ve all gone hiking and camping together–it was DIL who taught me how to “pop a squat”–a skill that’s come in handy more times than I care to mention!

I can’t share what she does-YET-but as soon as I can, you can be sure I’ll shout it to the heavens with PRIDE!

DIL earned a special title.

Isn't she totes adorbs?

Isn’t she totes adorbs?

When she calls (which she should do more often), I’m alerted by the screen telling me it’s Angel Girl.

Thank you, DIL!

The secret of a successful marriage

What is marriage all about? Based upon my personal research, experimentation, and analysis, I have the answers to your questions.

This is for all you young’uns who’re on the cusp of searching for a mate or for the older and hopefully wiser female who perhaps wants to dip a toe back into the dating pond.

Where’s Harry? A Wet Republic pool party in full swing

Do you want a life partner with whom to share your laughs, your tears, your bout with intestinal flu, your pillow and cat-laden bed, and to assist in the breeding of your offspring?

What’s the secret to my long lasting (twenty-two years together, nineteen married) relationship?

The secret is…COMPROMISE. 

Not really. I’m only messing with your head.

What works around here is torture and retaliation.

That’s it. Simple. Torture and retaliation.

It works like magic.

Case in point: My tugboat man goes out to sea for quite a while-usually two months or so at at time. When he returns, all he can think about (other than THAT) is surfing. Yes, he’s a big old surfer baby. Right now there are big winter waves pounding our coast.

sufingdragger-san-diego

This is not my captain because he’s not a dick dragger. That is NOT my term. I didn’t think of it but I wish I had. It’s what the young folks call a boogie boarder. Very descriptive, right? Think about it…

dog_surfing_01

This isn’t him, either. He’s not that cute but thank goodness, he’s less hairy.

sunset_cliffs_05

This isn’t him either, but this is how big the waves were at Sunset Cliffs.

A couple days ago he left at 5:30 a.m. to surf in La Jolla. In case you’re a surfer yourself, waves were mostly six feet with an occasional eight foot set. I was just about on my last nerve with this surf obsesh, so I blocked the driveway with sawhorses and trash cans so he couldn’t pull in the driveway.  Hee hee.sawhorse2C11TrashCanOld.jpg2F5B174A-5A60-43AB-8E0F6CCF2434E2ED.jpgLargerHe had to get out of his truck, move the obstacles, and then pull in.

After that, I used my wiles to torture him into building four more shelves for my lovely collection of shells and rocks.

And that brings us to today. Sunday. I guess the honeymoon’s over.

I was out in the garage chatting up the hubs about tonight’s dinner menu: freshly baked French bread, Caesar salad with my signature dressing, and thought I’d make some Frico at the same time that I make the croutons. I asked him:

“Have you ever had Frico? Do you know what it is?”

“Yeah, I know what a Frico is, I’m married to one.”

How RUDE. HOW RUDE!

This is Frico, I am not Frico.

This is Frico, I am not Frico.

I was being the  best wife ever; I brought him lunch on  a tray while he was working on restoring his rowboat and building yet another shelf (I love shelves, OK?) and THIS is the attitude I have to deal with!? After I brought him a wheatgrass smoothie, fresh pear cut in half and filled with nonfat cottage cheese dusted with cinnamon–blueberry-smiley-face-berries-pixmac-photo-75642785and to make it extra-special, a smiley face out of fresh blueberries–he retaliates with a comment like that? Oh, he’ll pay all right, oh yes he will. We’ll see who’s FREAKY when he takes me to South Coast Plaza tomorrow. We’ll test the limits of his stamina and endurance throughout the huge shopping center. We’ll whet our whistle at one end with Bloomingdales as we march determinedly toward my personal holy grail, (do you hear the trumpets sounding?) as we round the corner to….Chanel–Chanel, the holder of my bliss.

Torture and retaliation-the stuff of which great marriages are made.

Frico, not Freako

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Using largest holes on a 4-sided grater, coarsely shred enough cheese to measure 1 cup. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick liner. Stir together cheese, flour, and pepper. Arrange tablespoons of cheese 4 inches apart on liner, stirring cheese in bowl between tablespoons to keep flour evenly distributed. Flatten each mound slightly with a metal spatula to form a 3-inch round.Bake frico in middle of oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on sheet on a rack, then carefully transfer each crisp (they are very delicate) with metal spatula to rack to cool completely.

“I am sorry, I do not talk to press, but I am fine.”

I’ve been out-beeyotched by a lovely beeyotch herself, Jen of Life on the Sonny Side  who may not have done it on purpose, but corrected my incorrect spelling of beeyotch. I bow to her superiority. That’s role model material, people.

I vow to say this all the time, whether in appropriate circumstances or not.

Since my only resolution for 2013 is to release my inner beeyotch, I’ve been on the lookout for inspiration. These are some of my heroines.

naomi campbell

Photo from naomicampbell.com

According to TMZ, Naomi Campbell reportedly suffered a torn ligament in her leg when she was mugged on a street in Paris. The supermodel was hailing a cab when she was attacked and robbed by multiple assailants reports the NY Post. It is thought they were after her jewelry. The attack left Campbell in a wheelchair and crutches. The Post says Campbell’s boyfriend, Vladimir Doronin, has upped her security since the incident. When called for comment about the incident, Campbell told the paper, “I am sorry, I do not talk to press, but I am fine.” 

michelle dockery

Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary

Downton Abbey‘s Lady Mary exemplifies the refined upper class beeyotchiness to which I aspire. Oh, if ONLY I hadn’t been born in the USA! I just know my life journey could have included a dead Turkish ambassador or two.

Look at the beeyatchy way Anna crosses her arms. She ain't messing around@

Look at the beeyotchy way Anna crosses her arms. Guurl ain’t messing around!

And then there’s Anna Wintour, the beeyotchiest beeyotch of all. MEOW! According to Forbes Magazine, the most powerful woman in fashion continues to use her sway in politics. This year the Obama bundler teamed up with actress Sarah Jessica Parker to cohost a $40,000-a-plate dinner with the President, attended by a glittering array of designers and Hollywood icons. Some speculate she’s after an ambassadorship in London, but Wintour says these are just rumors–she’s quite happy in her current job. Vogue, which reaches 11.4 million readers in print and an average 1.2 million monthly visitors online, opened its digital archives in 2011 including articles, photos and ads dating back 120 years. It’s a thorough fashion history book and a new revenue stream–an annual b-to-b subscription price is $3,250. Wintour has edited the magazine since 1988 and is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

UK SPK™- Part Two

Since my son met and married a girl from London, his language has become peppered with UK SPK™, which I define as words and phrases he’s appropriated from his wife, her family, and friends. Because I like to be as trendy and hip as he is, if only to annoy him, I have incorporated quite a few into my daily life.

When everyone was here for Thanksgiving, my DIL (daughter-in-law) and her sister left behind quite a few gems to share.

I really love this one. You need to use rinse if you listen to a song over and over again. “I love Christina Perri‘s song, ‘Jar of Hearts‘ and I’ve been rinsing it.” Or…to use something a lot; “I’ve given my credit card a rinse this holiday season.” …or to play Candyland with your kids until it wears out, or to read the same bedtime book over and over.

Spunk is a very interesting word. For us who speak American English, it means courage or spirit or full of energy, as in  “She’s full of spunk” or “She’s a spunky girl. However,  for Brits–spunk takes on a WHOLE different meaning!  it’s a slang term for semen. Imagine the shock on DIL’s face when a man at a business meeting told her she had a lot of spunk and she thought he was sexually harassing her!

Cheers–not as a prelude to lifting a glass or a toast, but as a way to say thank you. It’s spoken in monotone with no inflection. Let’s say someone passed you a bowl of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. You would say “cheers”. It’s low-key.

To DIL and her sister, swish means cool–to us, swish is a disparaging term for a gay man and denotes an effeminate personality.

Reem = sexy, great, fantastic. Be reem, see reem, look reem. “Johnny Depp is so reem!”

Error or to drop an error, which means to make a mistake. “I dropped an error and left something in the car”.  The family is sitting around the dinner table and somebody makes a mistake in etiquette and one would say, “Error” and then everyone laughs.

To cotch is to relax, chill, take a rest. Describing something as a cotch means it was relaxed and chilled out. A really great cotch is cotchtastic.

Amazeballs is the same on both sides of the pond. Amazing, obvs.

The last and best one comes with its own hand gesture.

cringe

This is an example. This is how you do it!

The word is cringe–but it’s not pronounced the same way –/krinj/–as if we meant to bend one’s head and body in a servile manner.

This is how to pronounce it the  UK SPK™  way.

/kr-AWW-nJ/ drawing out the w and j sound. This is the perfect word to use when someone says something really unfunny and then everything goes silent, or when someone goes on and on about something which is really boring, or when someone makes an unwanted comment.

“OMG, gurrrl, I can’t believe that Phoebe got wasted and fell down the stairs naked in front of her brother-in-law. That was cringe. Totally cringe.”

What makes cringe totes amazeballs is that, to be accurate, it needs to be accompanied by a hand gesture that is very similar to the Wendy Williams‘s “how you doin”, but with one hand.

So to review, when you find yourself in a perfect situation to use cringe, you’d lift your right hand, (or the hand that’s not holding a vodka marty), and make that WW or “claw” gesture. Got it? Practice makes perfect!

(Check out UK SPK™ Part One)

When DIL/sister were here, we all rinsed “Jar of Hearts”.

Daily Prompt: In Loving Memory and The Last Word

OK, it’s  kinda creepy to write my own obit but I used to write copy at a local TV station and one of my jobs was to call the county and troll the newspapers (way before the internet) to learn  if anybody “important” had died and write the obit so this is not a new concept to me. It’s also a device therapists use to prove some kind of point in couples therapy–I’m not sure what exactly, as I’ve never been to therapy, although many have suggested it! And I do mean many.

Princess Rosebud of Enchanted Seashells is dead. Her stupid ass tugboat captain husband went out to sea and never came home. She was polishing her ten-carat diamond purchased with the insurance money, took a good look at it under the loupe to make sure there wasn’t any dirt in the crevices, tripped over one of her many cats; the diamond flew into the air, her mouth opened to scream, good old gravity caused the trajectory of the diamond to end up in her open mouth, and she choked on it and died.  When her son finally called the police to make a welfare check, the body was unrecognizable because the   eight cats and six dogs had been VERY hungry. The good news is that the swallowed diamond was left intact and looked none the worse for wear.

A lost opportunity, a huge regret, a haunting feeling

During one of my healing retail therapy sessions in the shoe aisle at Nordstrom, an older (and by older, I mean WAY older than me, like late sixties) well groomed beautifully dressed lady was sitting nearby trying on a pair of boots. She had a scarf around her neck that you could tell simply by looking that it was woven of the highest quality cashmere. She had a lovely air of grace and elegance. I think it was that regal essence that reminded me of my mom. She owned that quality too, always dressed head to toe with class.  The woman looked so together that I couldn’t keep from sneaking glances at her while I too tried on boots. I’d been looking for a pair of flat riding boots that fit snugly but weren’t too high, which is a tall order. (ha ha). I’ve never been accused of dressing elegantly. Sexy, flamboyant, stylish, wild even–but never Lilly Van der Woodsen Upper East Side elegant. Lilly van der woodsenHere’s an example of me getting dressed… If one pearl necklace is good, a dozen is better! A ring for every finger, well, why not? We have ten of them, isn’t that what they’re for? And aren’t our arms just begging to be filled with every bangle and charm bracelet in the jewelry box?

My mom would shake her head and say, “Princess Rosebud, haven’t you heard the old saying, less is more?” My response to her was, “Haven’t YOU heard of my saying, more is better?”

So I’m sitting there and this lovely woman is sitting there and she turns to me and says softly, matter-of-factly,

“My husband died last week.”

What do you do when a stranger opens up that way? What do you do? I said,

“I am so very sorry for your loss.”

She continued,

“We had been married for fifty years. I don’t know what to do with myself so I shop all day. I can’t bear to be home alone without him.”

If anyone could empathize with that philosophy, it would be me. Not that I’ve lost my life partner, but when my darling thirteen-year-old kitty died, I felt the same way. I left the house early in the morning and stayed away ’til dark, wandering around the shopping centers like a lost soul. I couldn’t bear to open the front door and know that I’d never again see her face at the top of the stairs greeting me. I couldn’t bear to sleep in our bed and never again feel her jump up and scratch at the covers to join me, nestled against my body, so I slept on the sofa until the captain came back. What made it even more difficult to bear was that it happened while he was out to sea, and I was the one who was unanchored, aimlessly drifting. I totes understood the poor lady’s pain.

“He made every day worth living.”

I asked her if she had family in the area to help her with her sadness, and she shook her head. It was on the tip of my tongue to invite her to join me for a cup of coffee when when my cell rang. It was my son. He needed me to run to the post office before it closed and send him a book he had accidentally left behind the previous week.

As I walked away, I touched her gently on the shoulder and told her once again how sorry I was for her loss and I hoped she’d be all right.

I really, really regret not getting her name and telephone number so that we could meet at a coffee shop or simply make sure she’s OK. I have a feeling she might not be. I do have that feeling. I’ve never seen her again.

For the most part, women are a truly and deeply caring and nurturing community. I dropped the ball that day and it haunts me.  It haunts me.

Hairy Hannukah Harry and the story of Hannukah 2012

…or the continuing saga of my life. As my first husband’s mother said to my mom, “isn’t it such a shame you wasted so much money on her education. She doesn’t really seem to do much of anything, does she?”

Looky here, readers, you all need to stop whining right now. Right now, I say!

I’ve peeked inside your private lives. Here’s a typical scenario:

8:00 a.m. You’re home with your spouse before leaving the house to go to work or he goes to work while you “stay home to take care of the kids” which really means you’re going to Tweet and shop all day and change a diaper or two, only if necessary. Not all of you, but enough to make it true. And I know it’s true ‘cos who do you think I tweet with all day?

Spouse: “I’ll home home at six. See ya.”

{Smooch goodbye}

crzy cat lady bathrobe

This is awesome.

Wife pulls the ratty bathrobe a bit tighter and rebelts it because an important message is acoming…

“Now you come right home after work, don’t stop anywhere; no bars, no strip clubs, nothin’. You come right home, ya hear me?  I’m making something special for dinner tonight.”

Spouse: “OK”

He walks out to the car. Five seconds after leaving the house, before the car even backs out of the driveway, he totally forgot everything his wife said. Typical, right?

6:00 p.m.- no hubby

6:15 p.m – no hubby

6:30 p.m. Here it comes…the power texting, phoning, emailing commences.

{no response}

burned dinner in oven7:00 p.m. Dinner burns. wife drank all the wine, spends time sharpening knives. Candles burnt down to nubs, the smoke of one burnt out candle with its acrid scent floats through the air.

The scissors come out to make a few strategic alterations in his favorite t-shirt.

She opens another bottle of wine.

8:00 p.m. His car drives up, front door opens, “Hi honey, I’m home!”

“WHERE. WERE. YOU.”

‘Wha? Why is it so dark in here?”

Where. were. you. I called. I emailed. I texted.”

“Ohhh…didn’t I mention I’d be late today? I -uh- thought I did.”

-End scene-desperate housewives

OK, I could go on and on but the point is that when 99% of you get mad at your significant others when they’re late; when work or whatever–delays their arrival at the appointed hour–you all need to STOP WHINGING AND WHINING about it!!

Since the world revolves around me, take a walk around South Coast Plaza in my shoes (not the Gucci ones, tho. I wear a 5 1/2 and your feet’d stretch ‘em all out.) I was expecting the captain tomorrow, Thursday. I cleaned the house, washed the windows, planned and anticipated the whole homecoming–even made a new welcome home sign–and he called and said he’d be LATE.

HE’S GOING TO BE A MONTH AND A HALF LATE!

HE WON’T BE BACK UNTIL SOMETIME NEXT JANUARY 201THREE!!

I’m not saying not to be pissed at your inconsiderate spouse–I would never think to deprive you of that joy–just think about ME next time.

OKAY?

Your “late” and my “late” are two different things altogether.

Ahem. Now, to give equal time to my cultural background as a full blooded Jewish American Princess, may I formally present to you my Hannukah installation….with the one and only Hairy Hannukah Harry holding the torah. Eight candles represent the eight days that I had to wait before I could spend more of the captain’s hard earned money and buy a huge bottle of Chance by Coco Chanel (of course.)

Hannukah candles

Forget Elf Shaming, try Hannukah Harry!

Chance by Chanel

Of course I got the larger size. ‘Cos I’m worth it.

Lists. Google. Is it kismet?

I’m trying to figure out how to make sense of Google’s Hot Searches in the United States. What’s the big picture here? What does it all mean? What am I not learning? Why are we here? Here, as opposed to there.  Google has its finger on the pulse of the universe, but I’m just not getting it. Tell me what YOU think. All this randomness is taxing my brain.

Lindsay Lohan, 100,000+ searches. Can’t we all agree that we’re glad she’s not our daughter and move on? THIS GIRL NEEDS HELP. Haven’t we watched too many young people die too soon? There is no good end to this one. In my opinion–not that you asked for it–we should put all the same energy we’re obviously devoting to laughing (or crying) at LiLo into paying down our credit card debt with Rolling Jubilee.  Seriously, let’s help each other climb out of this financial quicksand.

Thursday Night Football, 100,000+ searches. Whatever.

Palestine, 50,000+ searches. OK, I guess there’s half the interest in global affairs as there is in whether Lindsay Lohan and her bloated, distorted face goes to jail again.

Powerball Winner, 1,000,000+ searches. We all wanted to know who it was and direct hate his way because our dreams were smashed into one million little pieces.

Zig Ziglar, 100,000+ searches. He was a motivational speaker. I guess on the day he died, his “alarm clock” didn’t ring. Google it, people.

I’m not interested in people who Google “lunar eclipse” so I’m gonna skip that one and move on to Jessica Simpson with 100,000+ searches. Is she pregnant again? Even I Googled that. I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to see those pix of her at the airport with her fiancé (get married already, would ya? What are you waiting for?) Is that loose shirt hiding a baby bump? What has become of me that I’ve stooped so far below my intellectual potential that I searched the series of photos to see if I could detect a baby bump. I really did.

I don’t know what it all means about the future of our country, but I’d hazard a guess that it means I have way too much free time on my hands.  Raise your hand if you know who Honey Boo Boo is. If you do, you’re worse off than I am.

P.S. And that’s the way to incorporate all of the top SEO words in one blog. Thank you, thank you very much.

Daily Prompt: Audience of One

Picture the one person in the world you really wish were reading your blog. Write her or him a letter.

Dear Mommy,

Your little Princess Rosebud is very very mad at you. You are not here anymore and for that reason I understand that you can’t defend your actions, but I’m still super duper mad at you anyway!

Here’s why:

1. How could you be so stupid as to travel all the way to France, actually enter the original Chanel Store on Rue Cambon, and only buy a scarf. A pretty scarf to be sure, but just a SCARF, a worthless square of fabric!! What good does that do me? You went to France in the seventies; if only you had been a better mother, you would have known that your only daughter would one day be obsessed with Chanel. A good mommy–a better mommy than you were–would have known that and would have made sure I had all my wishes fulfilled. At this point, it would be a VINTAGE bag. I HATE YOU! [Cue sound of door slamming-- just like the good old days.]

2. And another thing, how dare you die before your grandson got his Ph.D. HOW DARE YOU! That was incredibly selfish of you. You know how much he loved you and how he called both of us “Mom” and both of us would answer, “Which one do you want, honey?” I’m the one that had to buy him an Hermes tie and write a note to him telling him that if you were still alive, this is what you would want him to have because you are so proud of him and what he had accomplished. [Again with the I hate you and door slam sound effect].

3. You would totes love the captain. He would totes love you too, but he’s only heard stories about how wonderful you were. He had kind of a crappy mom and you would have filled that hole in his heart.

How could you die and leave us all alone??

Love,
Your daughter, Princess Rosebud

 

VINTAGE VALENTINO FIND, y’all

The universe is dropping some love on me today, that’s for sure. Ommmm. After the gym, I stopped at my secret source consignment shop…somewhere in SoCal…I’ll never tell. But I bet DIL knows which one I went to. OMFG, first I spied the red polka dots (and I’m a sucker for polka dots), and then I looked at the label. Vintage Valentino-fur reals. Then I looked at the price. $40. Forty dollars, are you serious??? Finally I tried it on, and it fits. It’s too good to be true! It’s two pieces. The dress is a sort of a halter top, but very intricate. The top is a snug fit with a flowy skirt, enough to hug the curves but not to make anyone think you’re trying to hide a big belly or some of that good old menopause paunch. The long-sleeved coat is absolutely stunning with handmade fabric buttons. It’s silk, of course, and that famous Valentino red. So well made, it puts my Target outfits to shame. Now I have the perfect outfit to wear for the captain’s arrival! Check out the label–I was telling the truth.