And I Wrote This Book.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Life by Chocolate's Awards Ceremony, The Best of 2010



 Robyn: Welcome back, Millie and Gertie.
     We haven't seen you in months. You been busy?
        Millie (left) and Gertie (right) giggle and blush.
     Millie: Oh, yes. Yes, we've been getting busy alright.
     Robyn: Ladies, you promised to behave yourselves.
     Let's get on with the show.
     Gertie: Millie, did she say "get it on"?
     Millie: Are you kidding? That celibate little prude?
     Robyn: LADIES!

Millie, clearing throat: Welcome to our show! First, let's look at Life by Chocolate's best comments of 2010. They're out of context, but -then again- so are we. There were too many good ones to choose from, but the boss narrowed it down to just three. She wants you to know she appreciates all of your comments, but she had to make drastic cuts. Finances and all. Sorry. Try again next year. Giggle, giggle.
Gertie: The nominees are...

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    Cheeseboy, who said...Although I have actually taken coconut into my veins (long story, but it involves some bad mushrooms, a tube and a night in a Hawaii hospital), I must say they do sound delicious. BUT nothing, and I mean nothing will ever beat the peanut butter M&M. Ever. (7/29)

     Marlene, who said...You know what's even worse than poor spellers? Those who butcher the English language when speaking! (I should know. I was married to one, once!) How about "upholstraphy" instead of "upholstery"....or "forfill" instead of "fulfill"....or "hud caps" instead of "hub caps". Yeah.....that's what I had!!! (I'm not even going to tell you why I married someone dumber than a bag of bricks....you would be pissin' yourself laughing for years to come, and I can't have Depends making a fortune just because of something I said!) (7/12)

     and Kal, who said...Yeh, and all the cute girls have an out of town boyfriend attenting a military academy. I don't buy it for a second. Can't be real or he IS real but hides the fact that he has an 11th toe until the third date. If he was so perfect some woman he is related to would have set him up with her best friend or her best friend's sister who has only nine toes - so in truth it's a fairy tale match that completes the set, as it were. I am not buying it. Any guy who is on a dating site is a goober or drives across country in his refrideration truck and collects bodies. It's a fact. I know because I read it online. Don't be fooled - hang out at the grocery store and talk to men who are shoping alone. If the salad dressing they buy is anything other than RANCH - you jump at that prize steer and you ride him for the full eight seconds. *Okay, I write great comments, but THAT one should be imortalized in a museum somewhere. (10/28)

Gertie: And the winner is...Kal! We're building a Museum of Science, Industry, and Kal's comments. Congratulations, Kal. We'd send you your award, but Robyn says there isn't one. Budget cuts.
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Millie: The next award is for the best photo. Here it is.

Best photo 





**AWKWARD SILENCE**
Gertie: Oops. Hey! Robyn? Where is she, Millie? How did that one get in there?
Millie: I don't know. Try again.
Gertie: Aww, there we go. It's her adorable chocolatey nephew, Jeremy.
Millie: This last award goes to Robyn's best reason for celibacy. Poor girl. I mean, there are so many virtues to this lifestyle. Right, Gertie? She's Jewish, so she doesn't quite understand our devotion.
Gertie: Yes. You got me. I mean, you got it, Millie. Robyn doesn't get any. I mean, she doesn't get it.
Millie and Gertie blush and giggle.
Robyn: LADIES!
Millie, clearing throat: Final recognition goes to Mr. Cemeteries, for this internet dating ad.

REASON #34: What to say? I do dishes, Landry and not bad on the barbecue, I came out to help my sister movie into her new home was offered a job and stayed, SO here to give California a try I was told it was allot warmer here? ..thought Id stay one or tow years pay off my home then decide sell and movie here or movie back home, (still in the air) Not shore how it will sound but it will depend in part if I meet some one out here! just got back into working out need to drop about 20lb like to meet some one to see the sights with have a good dinner with, to go any further than that it all depends on the cemeteries we have, I think if the cemeteries is good the rest can fail.

Gertie: Mr. Cemetery? Mr. Cemetery? Millie, I don't think he made it to the theatre.
Millie: No, I don't think he made it either.
Millie and Gertie look up, then - just in case - down, cross their hearts, and depart for some prayer.
Robyn: Thank you all for watching our show. Enjoy the end of 2010.  xo

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Romantic New Year's Eve, aka On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reason #56


I had a romantic New Year’s Eve once. I even remember it. My buddy Brian hosted a dance-and-dinner party to celebrate the arrival of 1992.

Anticipating delectable dessert, I slithered into my little black dress and drove to The Cheesecake Factory in Redondo Beach, California.

I was not alone for long before Philip conspicuously slid onto the chair to my left. We proceeded to chat and share a generous portion of white chocolate cheesecake decorated in elaborately swirled dark chocolate, sparkled with slivers of almonds. My favorite part was the luscious, crumbly graham cracker crust. But I digress.

On cue (i.e., as soon as I licked the last remnants off of my fork), Philip asked me to dance. We spent the next several hours grooving to 1991’s best: Paula Abdul, Madonna, Boys II Men, Michael Jackson, Celine Dione (I know. I know, but she wasn't hated back then), and more of the same.

At the midnight hour, we separated to make the obligatory rounds, forcing insincerely loving hugs onto everyone in the room. Alas, we were thrilled to reunite a minute later. After some more, and slower, dancing, Philip moved in for a kiss. I still remember the sound of his shirt collar as it brushed against my right shoulder. Our kiss was long and breathtaking.

We continued down that vein throughout the courtship: on a lifeguard stand at Santa Monica Beach under the stars, in the back row of Manhattan Village Cinema during a showing of Beauty and the Beast, and, well, in my bedroom. Don’t get the wrong idea; he didn’t. He simply hinted devilishly at it on a few occasions. It was a relationship comprised of kissing for the sake of kissing, with no real pressure to get to second base, much less hit one out of the park. Ah, those were the days.

I didn't kiss him just for the fun of it, though. I had another agenda. I needed to shut him up. Talking was not Phil's strong suit. The words emanating from his facial orifice irritated, confused, and contradicted themselves, me, and the greater stratosphere. There was the message, “I’ll pick you up at seven,” when, in fact, he did not arrive until nine-thirty. There were the words, “I’m going to take you to Disneyland next Saturday. We’ll get a locker there, for our stuff.” A locker? I was baffled by this nuance; however, intrigued. In all of my ventures to the happiest place on earth, I’d never been privy to a Disneyland locker. That must be something special!

Two days later, he canceled the trip. What? No, no locker? “An apology would be nice,” I asserted.

With a grumble and heavy sigh, Philip sputtered, “I’m sorry, but it’s not my fault.”

Between the kissing and irksome vociferations, our romance ebbed and flowed into January 13, 1992. On that fateful day, Philip invited me to the Santa Monica Boardwalk for, perhaps, his most dramatic performance to date.

“It’s just not working,” he announced, with the agony of a soap opera character whose evil twin – the one that died in a plane crash fifteen years ago- just reappeared; having survived on a small tropical island unknown to scientists, Oprah and the CIA; to avenge all who wronged him, starting with blood relations.

“You don’t talk enough to me….We’re stopping each other from seeing other people.”

You don't shut up.
"What? You haven’t even given me a chance.”

“That’s not the point,” he proclaimed. “And I don’t believe in second chances, but I still want to be friends.”

“Well, I don’t,” I said, heading for my car. I drove to the nearest shopping mall, perused the stores, ate some fudge, and all was well.

Philip might still be giving his speech right now. I’m glad to have since moved 350 miles away.

After I relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, he called Brian to get my new phone number. Brian, a loyal friend, refused to oblige.

At the very least, I can still say I had a romantic New Year's Eve once. I hope you can say the same.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Celebrating Bumpkin's Life

Thanks to my sweet bloggy friend, Georgina/gi gi, I'm reminded that today is Lisa Gaye's birthday. Lisa, the blogosphere's beloved Bumpkin On a Swing, would be turning 41. Cancer prevented that. With every post and comment, Bumpkin's humor, compassion and spunk jumped off of the screen. Today, we celebrate Lisa's neverending spirit, and I'm reposting this in her honor.

In Loving Memory of Lisa, Our Bumpkin On A Swing


The loss of a bloggy friend feels intensely shocking, especially when that person was as exceptional as our Lisa, our Bumpkin On A Swing. I never saw her face, but I know that she was beautiful. Full of zest, spunk, and heart, cancer took Lisa's life within a few short weeks. Please see Trish's beautiful tribute and Bumpkin's blog. Every post is a work of art (on both of these blogs). Despite feelings of inadequacy, I also wish to honor my unique connection with this phenomenal woman.

Our Bumpkin left the earth more healed, and all those she encountered more loved. Lisa saved lives as an Animal Welfare Activist. She and her beloved life partner, Captain John, founded an animal rescue foundation. They also kept us updated on all of their struggles and successes as they fought to tame the devastating effects of the Gulf oil spill. Recently, Lisa and the Captain braved the waters to rescue sea turtles.

I am honored and indebted to our Bumpkin for entering my life this past April. I don't know how she found me, as I don't think we had any mutual followers. In fact, I am like a square peg amongst the glamorous, hospitable Southern belles and fashion divas - nearly 300 of whom have connected with our Bumpkin through the blogosphere. But leave it to Lisa to find me, a Northern California klutz and tacky dresser. She left this comment in response to an Internet Dating/Blind- Date-From-Hell post of mine:

Bumpkin on a Swing said... I love a lady with balls. In the dating world, you just have to stand up for yourself. I vote for a little Demi. [I wrote that I'll be damned or I'll be Demi if I'm going to have a huge age difference with a man again.] ..You get a bloggy thumbs up from The Bumpkin, and you have a new follower!

I was suddenly energized by Lisa's spunk. Blogging was more fun, and I became motivated to dress better. (Sorry Lisa, I've got a long ways to go, babe. But I'm keeping in mind your motto of "champagne taste on a koolaid budget.")

The Bumpkin's kindness continued when I put out a plea to reach 100 followers:
Bumpkin on a Swing said...I'm working on this for you darling, have you met My Trish, she's a beautiful Cajun Belle who will gladly steal your 100th spot! It's gets worse this obsession we have it gets much much worse.


It's easy to tell why Lisa and Trish instantaneously became the best of friends. Trish embodies so many of the same qualities and was happy to help me out too: Trish said... Hi Robyn! Happy to be your 100th follower thanks to my amazing friend Miss Bumpkin! :) YAY for 100, break out the bubbly!

Bumpkin on a Swing said... Cheers to you my friend! Tink!

This is in response to my post about the beach with the above photo:
Bumpkin on a Swing said... We are soul sistas, sniff, sniff, sniff, my beach, my waves, my sand, sniff, sniff...

My last comment from our Bumpkin followed my post about a seductive massage, (7/6/10): Bumpkin on a Swing said... Firing it [a cigarette] up too! Damn it girl!I looking up massage in the phonebook as we speak!

Hers was a spirit that cannot die.

Hers was a life lived with full passion and purpose.

She is an angel among angels.

Our Beloved Lisa, Our Bumpkin On A Swing 12/29/69 - 8/8/10

“She belongs among the wildflowers, she belongs somewhere she feels free."~The Time Traveler's Wife (This quote is taken from Our Bumpkin's blog.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reasons #51-55, aka The Corpse Pose


Everyone deserves a little loving during the holidays, right? Not really. Taken directly from current internet dating ads, here are reasons #51-55 for my choice to maintain a celibate existence into 2011.
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REASON #51: how do you know Santa is a man?
he shows up late, he eats your cookie, he empty's his sack, he comes only once, he calls you a Ho & leaves wile your asleep

I STRIVE TO BE TRUE, HONES AND PASSIONATE.

I’ve got one for ya, babe. It goes like this: How do I know you won’t be scoring the booty of a good woman this holiday season or in the upcoming century? You need to hones your pick-up lines; learn to spell, read, and write; and curb the offensive jokes. That’ll take time.

secrets about men women need to know.We don't care if you talk to other guys. We don't care if you're friends with other guys. But when you're sitting next to us, and some random guy walks into the room and you jump up and tackle him, without even introducing us, yeah, it pisses us off. Oops. I guess you didn’t like it when I tossed my bra and panties onto your head. Sorry. I'll introduce you first next time.

We don't care if a guy calls OR TEXTS you, but at 2 in the morning we do get a little concerned. Nothing is that important at 2 a.m. that it can't wait till the morning. Let me explain something to you, sweetie, sometimes that window is very, very small. Add to that the time involved in texting (not a pretty picture, but we don’t need to go there), the urgency is through-the-roof.

REASON #52: My . . . . . . . . . . . .secret . . . . . . . . . . . .is . . . . . . . . . . . .that . . . . . . . . . . . .I have a BA in Psychology, not a MA. I do not practice Psychology. I'm pairing it with a BS in Human Resource Management, which I now have. [ Whispering ] I’ll….keep the secret about….your doubling up on the BS, but you really should inform your patients and your psychiatrist…[Tiptoeing away from you]…Shhh…

REASON #53: Looking fort love You must be into fortification. Try craigslist.

REASON #54: I'm traveling abroad for 3 days. I need for someone to make sure my cat gets watered at least once ok maybe twice. I once was kicked out of a General Store for looking for something inspecfic. I do not care for burnt biscuits. I think you're attempting humor, but, to be safe, I'll take my hot buns elsewhere.

REASON #55: Spirituality; I do currently go to a real nice church, I do not believe that this is the only way to achieve " Heaven," or is a "Heaven" an after life type of situation but more of a here and now. I did study yoga for 12 years with Rodney Y and Diane V then for the last 3 years I wanted to do more of the survanassa (corpse) pose with my mind shut down so I went to Intuitive Way. Is that across town from Insight? At any rate, you’re not for me. Frankly, I’m tired of my men doing the corpse pose. Celibacy is much less frustrating. Namaste.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Wishes For You, and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!



Dear you (insert name of person reading this), 

I wrote this poem especially for you. 

I love my followers and visitors. You, (insert name as above), cheer me on, guide me, and keep me laughing.

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, stay safe and warm, and remember what's important.

With Love, 
xoRobyn 

Whatever Your Practice

Whatever your practice
Whatever your creed
I wish you the vision
To aid those in need.

I wish you the strength
To conquer your ills
The solace of knowing
You'll take care of bills.

Whatever your practice
Whatever your truth
I wish you denial
To revel in youth.

The loving connections
That tickle your heart
The faith and the courage
To embrace a new start.

Whatever your practice
Whatever your way
I wish you the spirit
To keep hope at bay.

The blessings of safety
The gifts of the earth
The virtues of holding
True to your worth.

Whatever your practice
Whatever your fate
I wish you the inkling,
"It's never too late."

When chocolate's all gone
And life, a big chore
I wish you the means
To go get some more.
                          
                       

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What Would Jesus Do On Christmas? (A Repost)

Over 2000 years since Jesus Christ’s birth, I believe it's time for you Gentiles to get this big shindig of a birthday celebration right. You know I’m not one to mix words, and I'm sure this may be hard to absorb, but Jesus - being Jewish - would not enjoy a ham dinner. So, why do you go all out to ham it up for the big day - honey baked, mixed in with turkey, accompanied by Stove Top stuffing, etc.? I'm afraid you have it wrong, people. Ham ain't kosher.

With all due respect, and explosive irritation, let me gently suggest that Christ might instead prefer Mary’s home cooked brisket.[1] There would be no dairy products with dinner either, since good Jews do not have milk and meat during the same meal. That also means bypassing eggnog, even the generously spiked version. Jesus might rather enjoy a Manischevitz[2] spritzer (concord grape Manischevitz wine mixed with 7-up – Oy, such a treat!).

Furthermore, with deep concern for the environment, Christ would surely be appalled at the killing of countless pine trees, and the grotesque waste of electricity, both of which typify this season. He would instead relish in a birthday party more akin to, say, a bris[3]: a quick and painful ceremony followed by lots of food, 20-30 minutes of the hora[4], and the tireless receiving of kisses from the relatives - then slipping into the next room to eradicate their slobber from one's face, hoping they wrote a nice enough check to justify the "yuck" factor.

At time for caroling, Mary would lovingly tell Jesus to bundle up with lots of layers, because “Jesus honey, you’re going to catch pneumonia. It’s a bit nippy outside.” And in the midst of the singing, Jesus would exclaim, “Ma Zeh? [5] A turtle dove? French hens?”

Finally, exasperated and utterly perplexed, Christ would dart down the street to buddy Shmuel’s house. There, the gang would delight in raucous dreidel[6] games, delicious homemade potato latkes[7] doused in sour cream and apple sauce, and coin after coin of chocolate gelt.[8] “Aah,” Jesus would then sigh with contentment, “This is all very good.”

Note that all Jews will dust off the menorahs again for a mock Hanukah celebration on December 25th, after dinner at a Chinese buffet.

But when Christ had not yet returned home hours later, Mother Mary would shout, "Oh God, I've lost our son!"

HAPPY HOLIDAYS. MERRY CHRISTMAS. ENJOY THE YUMMY FOODS OF THE SEASON.
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[1] Brisket=Juicy, hearty, tender side of beef or veal that is best prepared as a pot roast by a loving Jewish mother.

[2] Manischevitz=The maker of all products kosher, kosher for Passover, or items that could pass as such.

[3] Bris=Circumcision. Details not provided herein.

[4] Hora=Kicking, screaming, clapping, running in circles (i.e., the standard Jewish dance you’ve seen in the movies).

[5] Ma Zeh=Hebrew for “What’s this?”

[6] Dreidel=Spinning top game played on Hanukah.

[7] Latkes=Potato pancakes; yummy good Hanukah food, best enjoyed with a sour cream-apple sauce combo.

[8] Gelt=Money, coins, that are made of chocolate and thus have higher value than the real thing nowadays.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rudolph's Special Problem, a Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus challenges us to create a piece within 100 words, based on a prompt. This week's prompt is bolded below. Check out Ms. Matlock's site for lots of silly Centus posts, along with Jenny's wonderful writing. While you're at it, jump aboard. Saturday Centus is a fun, worthwhile endeavor.

Now, please enjoy my offering.
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Rudolph's Special Problem

Times are tough. Rudolph's lost his charge. The poor deer's tried everything: LED bulbs, performance enhancing pills, Emotional Freeing Techniques...to no avail.

Meanwhile, Santa patronizes Starbucks. Gulping a grande chai nog, he ponders Plan B. Do I pick the Tom Tom, Garmin, or Magellan? Shall I shop Best Buy, Costco, eBay or Amazon? Farklempt,* he skypes the elves for a consult.

Vixen and Prancer strut by, giggling about Rudolph's special problem.

Eyeing Santa's laptop, Vixen sneers, "What was he thinking? OMG! Elves are soooo 2009..."


"Totally," adds Prancer. "Hasn't he heard of outsourcing?"

Santa flashes the deers a gesture that's inappropriate for the season and this Centus.

***

*Farklempt= Yiddish. Utterly flustered and discouraged.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reasons #45-50


Lifted directly from current on-line dating ads, I now present you with reasons #45-50 for my choice to maintain a celibate existence.

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REASON #45: I am very laid back. I speek my mind. I have tattoos.I just like to have a good time. I like to go to the movies rock concerts. You mean, like the Flintstones? Do you drive with your bare feet on the road too? I like to stay home, go out to diner,I like the little things in lif Is lif the medication you’re taking?  I suggest an increased dosage. It could help you focus enough to find spellcheck. Wish I could assist further, but I don't do movies rock concerts.

REASON #46: Well first off I like big butts. I cannot lie. How noble. The other brothers try and deny but when a pretty female walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in my face, you know what happens. Huh? Oh, I think I get it. You’re a butthead. If this made you laugh then I am the guy for you, because that is exactly what I love doing. Making people laugh. You’ve got some work ahead of you, dear. I like smoky old poolrooms and clear mountain mornin's. Are you quoting a beer commercial? Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night... Wait I dont really like girls of the night but the rest of them friggen rock. I like girls and I like the night but girls of the night.. Ummm... anyway. I am open about everything, so if you want to know anything shoot me a line and lets bs for a while.

REASON #47: Me Man You Woman Headline need help, Tarzan.

REASON #48: We love Zeppelin, and great food, and real literature. My wife wants a threesome. That sounds great to me! Can't wait to try. Let's talk about it. She is looking for a very specific sort of girl. We hope you are it. I’m appalled. This isn’t even craigslist. Try Zeppelin’s daughter. Her name is Scarlet, so she’s probably into threesomes.  You could get extra lucky; she might like real literature.

REASON #49: Intelligent, articulate, chivalrous, romantic, very passionate, open minded, dominant but never domineering and sensual. Great kisser (I practice a lot when I am alone!). Hint: I wouldn’t publicize this. Sense of humor - (I laugh at all of my jokes}! (Great way to take one for the team, buddy). Interested in you. But we haven’t even met. Plus, you’re weird. I don't expect you to be barbie or perfect, but I only want to have to carry you part of the time! I don’t want your hands on me any of the time ! I have a profoundly spiritual nature. I am looking to move forward in life. Sweep me off my feet, Grow with me and be the yang to my yin and help me balance out the incredible male energy, passion and charisma I posses! I am worth your time! namaste. Look Dalai, don’t kum-ba-ya when I’m around. Thanks. namaste.

REASON #50: Looking For a Friend First I want to meet a women that wants to make a commitment to spend the rest of are life's together. Let me get this straight, you want to make a a friend who’ll commit to you for the rest of “are life”? Is that so? See, that’s kind of an oxymoron, and so are you. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Shopper Chatter

See full size image

One fun thing, the only fun thing, about holiday shopping is eavesdropping on shopper chatter. There's a little extra bite to everthing people say and do this time of year. Here's three conversation snippets from my last few shopping adventures. Note that my responses are my fantasy responses. I now regret that I didn't speak up.

SCENE 1

Setting: Wal-mart, during my biennial excursion. I'm in the shoe aisle, and the store is shaken by an irate shopper. I don't know if anyone actually saw her, but she was surely heard by all.

Customer, shouting: Where are the wife beaters? Tell me where I can find wife beaters! Nobody's helping me. What's wrong with you people? You don't even don't know your own merchandise! Where are the f*n wife beaters? That's right. I'm an angry customer!

Me: As much as I'm staunchly opposed to domestic violence, someone PLEASE get that woman a wife beater to shut her up! I grab a cashier's mic and announce: "Wife beater to aisle 16. Wife beater to 16."

***
SCENE 2

Setting: Alameda Town Center's outdoor shopping mall, nearing a chocolate shop. Yuppie 30-something'er parents stroll three steps ahead of their four year old son, their poodle leading the pack.

Boy, whining: But I just want some chocolate. I want some chocolate.

Mother, in an I'm so cool tone: Quit moping. Do you like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Because your face is going to stay that way if you keep whining. She laughs, humored by herself.

Boy: But I just want some chocolate.

Mother, in same arrogant, patronizing manner: WELL, I want an airplane. Tell ya what, you get me a plane, and I'll get you some chocolate. She giggles with her husband, both amused by her obvious cleverness.

Me, playing the Social Worker card: Look lady, I'm a mandated reporter, and -raising cell phone- I'm about to contact Child Protective Services. But I'll give you one more chance. Get your boy some chocolate, and we'll just pretend this never happened. That includes your asinine comparison of a plane to chocolate. In this day and age, you think a plane can measure up? You really aren't the sharpest tack. Buy him chocolate, and treat yourself to a sense of humor while you're at it.  I raise my cell phone again.

***

SCENE 3

Setting: TJ Maxx, in between Men's and Women's clothing.
Teen, lifting hanger to show a jacket to his mother: How about this one?
Mother: If he were a pimp, that would be awesome.

Happy holiday chatter, one and all! xo




Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Weather Report

Jeremy and Auntie Robyn, Summer 2010

We work hard to shield kids from all things bad. In the process, though, we rob them of opportunities for self protection.

I wish I'd been taught that life's unfair, instead of being hit by pain, time and again, completely ill-prepared.

I wish I'd been given an umbrella, one that I could use in the sun or rain.

I wish I'd been raised like my nephew, Jeremy.

On the first morning of my visit, Jeremy entered the guest room to announce, with arms outstretched in explanatory fashion, "It's a sunny day! It's a sunny day!"

"You're right, sweetie." I colluded with his denial, as rain continued pounding on the window panes. "It's a sunny day, Jeremy."

"Yeah," he sighed, plopping down beside me on the air mattress. "Rain is too scary. It's dark. I don't like it."

"It is scary," I confirmed. "But today is a sunny day for us."

With that, Jeremy popped up and began jumping wildly on the mattress like a yo-yo on crack. "I'm a rock star! I'm a rock star!" He shouted. "Oh yeah! I'm a rock star!"

Mind you, the kid's growing up in L.A. where everyone and their i-Pod is a rock star. In fact, all inanimate objects suffer from some degree of rock stardom. Soda cans are labeled "rock star," chewing gum, gaudy sunglasses, and glittery T-shirts. You name it. All rockstars. None is quite like my Jeremy, though.

So when I called him to say "Happy Hanukah" last night, Jeremy told me that he got a Toy Story mm-brella for Hanukah.

"You got a Toy Story umbrella? That's very special," I assured.

"Yep. I used it today. 'Cuz it's raining," he said with excitement.

With his umbrella, Jeremy now welcomes the rain.

I hung up longing for the childhood during which I was given an umbrella, one that I could use in the sun or rain. I'm glad Jeremy has one.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reason #44, The Boozer

   

We were panting and sweating during the initial encounter. Actually, he made it look effortless. I, on the other hand, was hard at work. I couldn't keep going for more than 20 or 30 minutes. Those elliptical machines are tough! In parallel fashion with a hottie, though, I was on fire.

"I'm Robyn, by the way," I said between breaths.

"I'm Basil."

Basil? I pondered. Who's named Basil? His parents must've liked natural herbs. But he was cute, in an intellectual Clark Kent kind of way. It could be worse. I could be lusting after a Paprika. I pressed on for 40 charged minutes this time.

By the third workout, Basil asked me out. I immediately agreed, attempting to hide my excitement beneath my panting, heavy breathing, and constant flow of perspiration. Basil would be my first, my first date since marital breakdown. He would leave an impression for other reasons, though.

"Meet me at Cali's Pub 'N Grub. I've started a tab." He texted. I was on my way, and my panting ceased upon reading the message. I'm no drinker. Still, the guy was cute, and a good 10 years younger. Thoughts of cougardom propelled me to the Pub 'N Grub in a flash.

We enjoyed a nice meal, during which I watched him polish off three beers. Focused, instead, on his biceps, I took a few sips of my rum and coke. Good thing the theatre was just across the street, since I'm a lightweight. [Perhaps I should not admit that, but I trust you won't go public with this information. Wink.]

Basil started at the snack line. "Really?? You don't drink coffee??" He pierced me with a look of horror. I never shocked a date like that before. There must be something to the booze-coffee combo that I'm not hip to. Things stabilized when he added Junior Mints and Whoppers to the mix. He did share those during the movie. Or did I help myself? I don't remember. The point is, I got some chocolate. The night wasn't a total loss.

The movie was great too. Sean Penn was phenomenal as Harvey Milk. It's a must-see. Basil, not so much. The dude didn't make a move during the movie, except to grab his coffee and motion for the few pieces of chocolate that I hadn't devoured.   

We strolled afterward, as he expelled stories of intoxication (his). There were parties, and a time when he got lost because he had too much to drink, and so on.

Naturally, we needed to stop for frozen yogurt. At the counter, he mentioned something about alcohol. A woman of couthe and refinement, I blurted out, "Are you an alcoholic?"

"No," he immediately defended. "I drink the average, 3-5 drinks per week. Or is that per day?...Just with dinner, and, wait, there's lunchtime drinks too.." He stalled while silently calculating, then abruptly excused himself to add rainbow sprinkles to his yogurt.

Basil proceeded to end the date as expeditiously as possible. He practically sprinted upon seeing me off. In fact, he didn't exactly see me to my car. It was perhaps within bird's eye view, had he used a supersonic telescope. He stood a football field away to declare, "Well, I'll see ya when I see ya."

Three days later, Basil was on the elliptical machine when I entered the gym. This time, I chose the treadmill across the way, with my backside facing him. In my black tights and cropped T-shirt, I gave the guy a view of what he was missing - were he sober enough to see it.

I never saw him again. I'm guessing he's working up a tab right now. After all, it's 5pm or 8am or 12 noon somewhere.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

On Being Jewish This Time of Year

Jenny Matlock

Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus challenge involves creating a piece within 100 words based on a prompt. This week's prompt is bolded below. Check out Ms. Matlock's site for lots of fun Centus posts and other great stuff. Happy Christmas prep time. May your lights be easily untangled. xo




                                                           ***
Being Jewish was especially hard during the holidays, so I was thrilled to help Maria with Christmas decorations.

“Hurry, we’re making the native tea scene.” I rushed to Maria, sitting by the tree. She handed me a doll and tiny blanket. “Wrap it.” “Not like that!” Maria grabbed them. Flinging her hair in know-it-all fashion, she wrapped the baby just as I had.

“Go pull those apart.” She pointed at the bin of tangled up Christmas lights.

“Can we make fudge next?” I asked. This had to get fun soon.

“Mom does that, without help.”

I just wanted to go home and play dreidle.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

TMI & Dr. Philistine's EXCLUSIVE HOLIDAY SHOCKER, Grand Finale

Dr. Philistine: The world is shocked and saddened by Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s impending divorce. In case you missed it, TMI recently uncovered the scandal. Here it is: TMI clip. Today, I am going to do everything within my power, and I mean everything within my power, to save their marriage. Let’s welcome them to the show. Come on out here, Mr. and Mrs. Claus. ~Crank applause meter to maximum volume.~

Mrs. Claus trances in, wearing a hot red bustier, green jingle belled garter, and black pumps. Mr. Claus stumbles in, disheveled, wearing a Santa suit, with no belt or shoes. Attorney Johnny Candycane follows, and Mr. Claus falls flat on his face. The audience gasps. Mrs. Claus hides her face in embarrassment. Johnny lifts him up, escorting Mr. Claus to his seat. 

Dr. Philistine: Welcome. You’ve been together since 1834. When did your marital problems start?

Mrs. Claus: I have always been a bit bitter that I am not as iconic as he is. Without me and my cookies, he'd still be a clerk at the Kost-co in North Pole Village!
Mr. Claus: 1835, that woman has been on my case every day since....uhhh....what was I saying?


Dr. Philistine: Mr. Claus, do you have a drinking problem? Because you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. You cannot change what you don’t acknowledge.

Mr. Claus: I do have a drinking problem. It's a problem when I don't have a drink in my hand!!
Attorney Candycane offers an affirming nod.

Dr. Philistine: Mrs. Claus, is it true that you have been - shall we say - sowing some wild oats of your own? Because it's time to get real about your life. I said it's time to get real about your life.

Mrs. Claus: That really frosts-ma-butt when he plays the victim about town! Is this about my pole dancing at the Slippery Peppermint Stick lounge? Really, when are we women going to take control of our own sexuality and come out of the prude closet dontchya know? You should have seen the look of shock on the piercer’s face when I got my labias bejeweled! "Not YOU Mrs. Claus, blah, blah, BLAH!!!" This is 2010 Eh??!!! Yeah, I took control of mine and he LOVED it until he noticed everyone else loving it too and he decided to stop taking his Extendz to break ma down!

Dr. Philistine (turning to Mr. Claus): Something's not right here. Look me straight in the eye and answer this: Have you been unfaithful to your wife?

Mr. Claus: You look me straight in the eye. Look at her, would you want to hit that every night?

Mrs. Claus tears off her jingle belled garter, violently flicking and hitting Mr. Claus with it. “You *bleep*in piece of *bleep!*" Attorney Candycane intervenes to subdue her, and the audience chants, “John-ny!” “John-ny!” “John-ny!” Mrs. Claus returns to her seat. Everyone is now calm.


Dr. Philistine (sighing): Very well then. I’m concerned about the elves. All of this tension in the home isn't good for them. They were expelled from school last week. Mrs. Claus, you are fighting for custody. How will you support them?

Mrs. Claus: Dear, I can only say that the new life I have simmering on the back burner is very lucrative. I am the one who offered those boys the luxuries they have now and freedom to NOT kneel down for Claus! He may have "Saint" in his name but he is no angel, dontchya know!! Most of dem are over a hundred now anyways. It's time for them to experience life! Ma boys'll be fine, I'll make sure, Eh.


Dr. Philistine: What do you say, Mr. Claus?

Mr. Claus: School is overrated. Those elves don't need an education. All they're going to do is work in my shop and make toys. Yeah, I'd like to see the wife get a job. What is she going to do, sell pies for a living? Have you tasted her pie? Smells and tastes like bad fish.

Dr. Philistine: Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. How’s your sex life?

Mrs. Claus: I've started manufacturing my own holiday line of personal pleasure electronics, Dear. And as my troop dawgs say:

(Mrs. Claus stands up and does the booty clap before continuing in rap style...)
Poppin' bottles in the ICE----like a blizzard
When we drink we do it right---- gettin' slizzard
Sippin' sizzurp in my ride----like Three 6
Now I’m feelin' so fly like a G6!!
Put your hands up dontchya know!
Like a G6, Like a G6!!!
Now I’m feelin' so fly like a G6!!!!

Mr. Claus (nodding his head definitively, in obvious disagreement): Don't believe anything she tells you. Santa has no problem getting his wooden soldier to stand to attention. Maybe if somebody dressed like her sister, I would want some sex.

Dr. Philistine: Well, we’re just about out of time. But I’ve arranged for you to attend a treatment resort in Texas. It specializes in couples from the North Pole dealing with the 176 year itch, drunken idiocy, Slippery Peppermint Stick Lounge pole dancing, and violence by jingle belled garter. They're the world’s finest team, and they’ll save your marriage on time for Christmas. Are you willing to accept this help?

Mrs. Claus: If I can get my Sizzurp on there, I'll go dontchya know. I love him still. I do. Look at 'em all bowl full of jellyish!
Mr. Claus (eyeing Mrs. Claus flirtatiously): Are these the same people that helped Marie and Donnie Osmond?

Dr. Philistine: Vey well then. Thank you for having the courage to be on our show. Do you have any final words?

Mrs. Claus (She stands up to booty clap again and toys with Santa's fur before turning to the camera): Hi to all the reindeer and elves watching back home, peace out.
Mr. Claus: Who's stocking do I need to stuff to get a drink around here?


Dr. Philistine: Very well then. Merry Christmas, everybody (waving). He greets wife Robinstine, sitting front row center, and they exit arm-in-arm. ~Insert Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You, and cut to the credits~

I am so grateful to the illustrious InvisibleSeductress for playing Mrs. Santa, and the unforgettable PowderedToastMan for playing Mr. Claus. Their creative, outrageous humor is inspirational. Dontcha think? Thanks for all of the laughter with this Holiday Shocker series, you two. Please go visit to commend their stellar performances. Thanks.     Happy Holidays, all! xo

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

HAPPY CHANUKAH!

Chanukah begins tonight. This holiday name can be spelled at least twelve different ways (Spell it however you like, but without an "X."), and is Hebrew for dedication.

On Chanukah, we celebrate the Maccabees' (small Jewish army's) victory over the evil Antiochus (Assyrian ruler) in days of ole We're talking really ole, nearly 200 years before Jesus' birth or the year 0.

At the end of the battle, as the story goes, the Maccabees entered the Holy Temple that had been savagely destroyed. One tiny cruse of oil remained, and this amount miraculously provided light that allowed for sufficient time to rebuild and rededicate the Temple.

In a world where anti-Semitism  - and oppression, in a more global sense - thrives, we are deeply grateful for our freedom to worship publicly (or not). We pray and strive for religious freedom for the Jewish people and all who are oppressed.

Of course, no Jewish holiday is without yummy foods. Chanukah is about deep frying; we use lots of that holy oily stuff called oil. To get a taste of Chanukah, I highly recommend picking up a Potato Pancake/Latke Mix at your local supermarket. You can most likely find these in the Kosher/Ethnic Foods section. Manischewitz and Streit's are two brands, but it's all the same. You just add water and eggs, then get cooking. Mix in a few onion shards, and they'll look homemade. I like to douse mine in the sour cream-apple sauce combination. Of course, I've even enjoyed chocolate chip latkes, but that might not be your thing.

Happy Chanukah! xo

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reasons #37-43

Taken directly from current on-line dating ads, I now present you with reasons #37-43 for my choice to maintain a celibate lifestyle.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
REASON #37:---------SKREEEECCHH--------------Easy there tiger. Had to leave job 1996 complications with ms. I can inartfully walk around, there are other strategies, plain fact is I spend a good deal of my time in a power chair. It's like, "who we kidding". Having said that,anyone there? Oh…Huh? Here’s the real question, buddy: Is anyone there?


REASON #38: love to get dressed up (he cleans up well) and go out dancing. Not joking. Ah, my junk works nicely (God has a kind sense of humor sometimes.) and love live music, and theater (small houses)..Argue like an italian. H E Y ! W H E R E Y O U G O I N G !? Just goin’ for some vino, babe. Carry on, alone.

REASON #39: in no order, big on farmer's markets, cooking, conversation, laughter, mad men, family, NPR. My sense of humor has and complex levels of intelligence, your mileage may vary. You’re clearly a hybrid. Synched w/ lyrics of Steely Dan, the new york cynical sarcastic mood that feels like you're part of a noir film plot.A fellow could do a lot worse. Me likey the noir. Me no likey your noir.

REASON #40: Looking for a woman who gots my back I gots to guess you gots one of those hairy backs. I gots no interest.

REASON #41: Tired of humorless guy? look no further I am a laidback, non judgemental type with a smidge of intelligence. (ok maybe more than a smidge) You certainly do display a smidge of intelligence, and even less than a smidge of humor. Hint: "Smidge" is not an actual word.

REASON #42: Hello, Thank you for taking the time to read my profile. I don’t have that kind of time, buddy, and I’m not even working these days. After considerable thought on this subject I have decided to be very verbose and concise in describing myself and the woman I am searching for. (Please allow me to apologize for the contradiction in terms.) Oy, you are tedious. Let me chop this down significantly, so as not to lose any followers. Trying to describe ones self is a daunting task, as we tend to see ourselves in a different light than we actually are seen and precieved by others. Oh, but preceieption is just an illusion. None the less, I shall endevour to be as neutral and accurate as possible while maintaining a  " Positive Spin" in a P.T. Barnum kinda way. That sentence was extremely painful, in a freak show PT Barnum kind of way. ..Lived in a Norman Rockwell painting for several years with no parental supervision...I suppose if I lived in a painting, I’d make sure my parents weren’t watching me either. Please Someone...Invent a time machine....Attended school in a four room school house....Ran amok (Sorry for the walk down memory lane.)…Became very "hip". Played in many bands, traveled the globe, smoked pot A bit too much, my friend. A bit too much.,..Once again I shall try to be very descriptive and to the point. I am searching for the woman of my dreams. ( Note the use of the singular subject of the sentence.) This woman should be beautiful, smart, sexy, funny, fun, spontaneous, brave, tough, (Able to put up with me.) enlightened, spiritual, sober, psycologically sound, healthy, monogamous, really cool, (Able to put up with me.) very loving and supportive in actions and words. A team player. Most of all this woman and I have to "Click". There must be INTENSE passion, love, respect, and chemistry between us both physical and psycological. We must have a unity of vision for our life together. (Once again, please note the use of the singular noun.) Thanks for pointing that out again, dude. Please note your monotonous use of the term “singular.” Get used to it, buddy.

REASON #43: Need someone to fetch me beers! I have a suggestion, sweetie. It goes like this: Go to the nearest kennel, ask for an empty cage, and stay in it. Don’t come out. Ever.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

TMI & Dr. Philistine's EXCLUSIVE HOLIDAY SHOCKER! Part I.



With his left arm draped over the makeshift cubicle wall, TMI host Nosey Patinsky takes a sip of his ultra super sized Slurpee, pauses to swallow, and announces the following: 

Moments ago, TMI obtained official notice that Mrs. Claus filed for divorce citing “Irreconcilable differences; the guy’s a lush.” Our very own Frosty Showman managed to track down Santa at the Betty Ford Airport in Margaritaville. Watch this!

Mr. Claus, Mr. Claus, is it true that your wife filed for divorce because of your drinking habits?
That b*bleep*ch did what? Hiccup. Hiccup. Wait until I get my hands on her. You wouldn't happen to have any cough syrup would you?

We hear she wants custody of the elves. What do you have to say about that?
She's having an affair with some of them, isn't she? That is sick!! I can fit one of those buggers into one of my pant legs. Believe me, I've tried.

Will you agree to a drug test? How about a paternity test?
Will you agree to a prostate exam? Do I have kids that I don't know about?

Meanwhile, TMI’s Vixen O’Hara cornered Mrs. Claus at Floozyville in Jersey Shore. You gotta see this, guys.

Mrs. Claus, Mrs. Claus, we just learned that you filed for divorce and are trying to get custody of the elves. Is this true? What happened? Was Santa unfaithful?

Mrs C is exiting a club wearing a bustier and ringing her own jingle belled nipples.

He treats the Elven boys like his own personal sex army! I would nurture them and help them to grow--well not physically---but mentally as REAL viable men! Ask Mr C. about Mrs Fields and HER COOKIES!! It's always about the newest and freshest cookies for that man-dontchya know!


Did you have a pre-nup?
Of course we have a pre-nup!! But he won't remember signing it as he was tainted with 80 proof devil water and some X! He loses both sleighs and full control over the wrapping department as well as branded merchandising!


Mrs. Claus flashes a peace sign then removes her fur-lined cape revealing her own unwrapped cookies while jumping in the waiting Jolly Trolly...

Stay tuned as Dr. Philistine gets down to the nitty gritty of this holiday shocker. Can Dr. Philistine save the Claus marriage, or will Christmas be forever changed?

~Insert Bing Crosby's Silent Night and cut to the credits.~


The part of Mrs. Claus is played by TheInvisibleSeductress.  
PowderedToastMan portrays Mr. Claus.
I play Nosey, Frosty, and Vixen. I take no responsibility for the graphic that I created.  
***

Friday, November 26, 2010

Family Togetherness

Mom had creative ways of conserving energy (her own).
She was smart. Bath time was fun.
Pictured above (left to right): Dawn, Robyn, Glenn-David, and Jonathan
September, 1971 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Love (A Repost)

Introduction: The following excerpt was relayed by the fly on the wall. Note that this is the same courageous yet depleted fly that zips from wall to wall whenever he hears someone exclaim, “I’d like to be a fly on that wall.” According to the fly, this brief segment typifies Thanksgiving meal conversations overheard from wall to wall throughout the country.

Junior: Put some turkey on my plate, you bastard.


Stevie: Are you calling me a turkey?


Junior: No, I’m calling you a bastard.


Stevie: Okay. White or dark meat?


Mama Dolores: That’s enough boys. You’re grown men now. Quit the squabbling. Herb, stuff it! Stuff that turkey. It’s too dry, and you haven’t done a damn thing all day to help get dinner ready. Like father, like son. Junior, I remember when your cousin Mike made a pass at Auntie Mabel one fine Easter Sunday. You stood there and didn’t say anything to protect her.


Junior: Ma, I was only 6 years old, and that was 35 years ago. Would you let it go, already!


Mama Dolores: Yes, 6, and a well spoken child, slender and fit, I might add. You just stood there like a bump on a log. Where did I go wrong? It’s no wonder you can’t keep a good woman.


Papa Joe: Dolores, it would be nice if you took the cranberries out of the can and put them in a bowl for a change.


Mama Dolores: Excuse me?! You come strolling in here only 3 hours ago, turn on the boob tube, and tell me I need to do more work to appease your snooty patoody tastes. I’ll tell you where you can put the damn cranberries! Sally, when is that loser of a husband of yours going to get here?


Sally: Ma, he’s sitting right next to me.


Mama Dolores: Oh, well in that case, have him pass the rolls. Wake him up first, would ya, it’s rude to sleep at the table. Let us all now join in prayer. Thank you, Lord, for this blessed meal with our loved ones.

Now for some real love (a non-repost):
Truth is, of course, I am grateful for lots. I'm not talking about parking lots. They drive me nuts. I'm one of those bumbling, purse clutching  shoppers who can never find my car. But I digress. I am grateful for much, including YOU. I'm touched by the great friendships, support, guidance, and mentorship I've received from this wonderful world of Blog. Thank you.

I wish you all an untypically peaceful and loving holiday season! xo

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Holidays

Dear Holidays,


How’d you get here so fast? Let me help you < pause > slip out the back door. Oops, sorry. I forgot I was wearing stilettos. Well, while you’re down there, I’ve gotta say something. Who invited you anyway? What with all that tinsel and sparkle, you think you’re hot to trot. Sweetie, you’re wrong. You don’t bring on the cheer. You incite increased need for Prozac. You multiply family tensions one gazillionfold. All this forced focus on love and happiness just makes us think about our losses and what we don’t have. Face it. You’re a downer, darling.

Financial problems torment us already. There you go, sauntering in, all flirty and stuff. Next thing we know, we have to buy gifts for people we don’t even like. Plus, we have to see them, and eat with them, and even hug them.

On the other hand, ever been alone between Halloween and Valentine’s Day? I can’t even grab a bite to eat without incident. Apparently, it’s unacceptable to eat alone, especially during you. Waitstaff never get it. I always have to overemphasize the “one” factor.

“Yes, I want a table for one. Yes, that’s ‘one’ as in ‘one.’ Me. Yep. I’m alone again this holiday season. Just seat me in that decrepit booth in the corner. Toss me a box of tissue and a bottle of booze. Got any soda crackers? I’ll be just fine. All one of me.”

Oh, quit looking at me with sympathy. I could be on a date, but have you read my dating stories? Check out the archives...See, I don’t have it so bad now, huh?

Sure, I could be with family too, but I’d be instructed to thank Jesus. Now, that’s fine for Christians, but gratitude towards Jesus does nothing to further my dreidle game.

This brings me to potato pancakes. [We're ignoring my dreidle game, 'cuz I'm still perfecting it.] I do love latkes. Those are scrumptious, especially when drowned in the apple sauce-sour cream combination. But have you ever tried making a batch from scratch? It practically takes an act of God. I’m not quite that good.

What’s up with fruitcake, anyway? It’s got no business calling itself a cake. Cake is not ugly or yucky.

Alright, I’ve knocked you down long enough. Come on in, and leave the chocolate-peppermint fudge on the counter. You can come back next year, but only if you bring some more.

With love and sincerity,
Robyn

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Turkey Talk, Saturday Centus

~Pretend Saturday Centus button is here, since it's non cooperative and on a timeout right now. Thanks.~

Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus challenge involves creating a piece within 100 words based on a prompt. This week's prompt is bolded below. Check out Ms. Matlock's site for lots of fun turkey posts and other great stuff. Happy pre-turkey time. xo

“Pardon me,” said Tom T. Urkee,
“What’s all this fuss about?
I’m not so brave. I did not shave.
Mere stuffing gives me clout.


I must be plump but not obese.
I don’t know how to please.


You’ll eat me moist but never dry.
My innards make you cry.


You bite my legs but not my gut,
My breasts, but not my butt.


Feast on my darks, if cooked just right.
Douse gravy on the light.


But deep fry me and all bets are off.
Pass me over. Would ya?”

Friday, November 19, 2010

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reason #36, aka The Barker

He seemed like a normal guy at first. We got lost in typical courtship discourse: How’s it going? Wanna grab a pizza? Can you touch your elbow to your ear?


At some point, though, he began barking. By this, I mean, he barked. He was a barker. I’m not talking about being snippy or an outright jerk. He literally barked.

I called him up one day, and he answered the phone with an “Aarff!” Taken aback, I giggled. Note to self: Dumb move, Robyn. The beastly vocalizations picked up in pace and frequency to an: “Ar-Ruuff, Arr-Arr (snort) Ruff! Ruff!” once every few minutes. This began occurring at mealtimes, in crowded movie theatres, shopping malls, and sporadically during every interaction.

In retrospect, clearly, the guy’s got Tourette’s. At the time, though, I was dumbfounded. I could not believe I was dating a barker, and his name wasn’t Bob.

You’d think with such animalistic tendencies, we had chemistry – if you know what I mean. Nope. On a trip to Tahoe, in a hotel room with a Jacuzzi, with me lounging in said Jacuzzi, the barker chose to sprawl out on the bed to watch TV. I can’t remember which show won his attention, but I’m guessing it was Lassie Come Home.

Now, I don’t have a problem with dogs of the canine variety. However, I do take issue with dogs in human form. Call me picky if you will, but I couldn’t take it any longer. I finally snapped and unleashed the boy.

“Go fetch! No, it’s further. Much further! Good boy. Keep going! Faster, further, further, faster…”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life's Lessons From My First Day of Kindergarten, Part II.

Continued from Part I:

All these years and accolades later, and I finally understand my first day’s trauma. They laughed because I was so tiny. I still am, though I’ve filled out in ways I’m not so thrilled about. Then, it was one of those: “Oh, she’s so adoringly cute and little” guffaws. I don’t tend to field those anymore. Now, it’s the: “You make me feel so tall” patronization. Mark my words, the next person to tell me this will not feel tall when I’m through with them.

As I was saying, they laughed about my height. I’m sure of it. I mean, it can’t be because I had a long piece of toilet paper trailing from the back of my panties, or booger snot runny down my face. Sure, my bangs were jagged, but the classroom lighting couldn’t have been that good –public school funding and all. No, it had to be my precious stature. Right? You agree, don’t you?


You’re sweet, but don’t worry about me. I’ve clearly rebounded. Thirty nine years later, and I don’t even need to write over 1000 words about the saga. Alright, let’s keep it real. I hated being laughed at then as much as I do now. When I strive for humor, of course, I want you rolling on the floor hysterically and wishing you were wearing Depends. When your laughter is unexpected, though, only one of us is humored. I’m not the one.


All in all, I suppose I retained some prolific lessons from my first day of kindergarten:


(1) Adoration might present as ridicule;
(2) Kids are more sensitive than adults; and
(3) When offered an apple, don’t bite. Go for something a lot more satisfying and less healthy.
And so began my life by chocolate.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Life's Lessons From My First Day of Kindergarten, Part I.

Note one: This is me. We can be certain of this because I wrote "Robyn," erased it, and covered it up with "ME" in all caps and blue ink. Note two: Mom did lots of things well. Cutting my bangs straight was not one of them.  
~Kindergarten Photo, Kentwood Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA 1971.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I stood shyly next to mom in the huge room. Mrs. Henry was tall and sort of old looking, with a big dot on her left cheek. Mom called it a mole. She appeared nice enough, considering she would be my teacher for the whole year. I listened intently to her instructions.


It was my first day of kindergarten at Kentwood Elementary School, and I wanted to do everything right. I always did. I always do. The task involved walking to the front of the classroom. There, Mrs. Henry would fasten a pink apple shaped name tag to our clothes, just below the right shoulder. I needed to stand still while she did this. That’s all. Yet, I was scared. I knew I could do it, though. Mom was with me, and I was excited to be in school.


Robyn Engel. My name! My turn! I bounced proudly to retrieve my apple. I don’t remember the apple or the pinning, or if mom went up there with me. I remember only an outburst of laughter that slammed my gentle soul. I didn’t know why, but the parents were all laughing at me. Mommy didn’t explain, as I abruptly retreated to the back of the classroom behind her skirt.

Despite that jolting start, I proceeded to enjoy school over the coming days, years, and decades. I did exceptionally well from that day forward, through high school, college, and graduate school. I even aced my LCSW oral exams on the first round. I was so eloquently boring that they cut me off mid-sentence with an: “Okay, you’re done.”

“But, wait, I have yet to reference the San Francisco Consortium for Seniors Embracing Their Golden Years. And, and I was just about to inform you of the complicated dynamics inherent in a trans-racial, multi generational family system with a pregnant adolescent. She might be a cutter, you know. We’ve got to consider all risk factors.”

“You MAY be excused,” the examiner reiterated, with a glare of impatience that sent me speeding out the door. Jilted, I passed with flying colors.

...to be continued.