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Showing posts from May, 2018

Sibling Rivalry Sucks!

My sister and I were not always #estranged, but we were always competitive although I was not usually aware of it. In hindsight I know now that my sister (who I'll call Sally because I don't like the name) felt insecure in the family for far different reasons than I did. While I never felt worthy enough, she was worried I might be too good and displace her Number 1 position. So she #indulged in  a tacit denial that she and I were related.

She couldn't quite bring herself to admit that she had a younger sibling. I call this attitude #OnlyChild Syndrome, and I've mentioned it before. Sally had a bad case of it throughout life, and it led to fierce competition on her part. She got the best grades, was the best piano student, was the best religious scholar (rewarded by her #BatMitzvah at a Newark, NJ, venue known for excellence in food and catering), the best college student, the best lawyer's wife, the best mother, and, of course, the best daughter.

Unfortunately by …

Funny Meets Friends

When I reflect on my #trip to Orlando, I realized that I laughed and had the most fun at the off-script happenings. Oh, yeah, Disney's Epcot, The Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios were #enjoyable, especially the Avatar at Pandora with all its virtual effects and #Beauty and the #Beast with all its sing-along music and dance, not to mention its over-the-top frilly costumes. But what really made the vacation fun was being with friends unafraid to show their true selves and thus reveal all the silly mistakes we humans make every day. Let me catalogue a few of the chuckles Rosa, George and I had during a week of living, eating, sleeping, and playing together. (Rosa and George are a #married couple I met in NJ during my mother's unfortunate stay in a nursing home.)
1. THE RAIN  From the minute I stepped off the plane, every meteorologist and forecaster  in the state of Florida predicted a deluge for the coming week. Something about a tropical storm or hurricane named Angelo stirr…

The 10 Stupidest Things I Ever Did

If you're like me, sometime in some place an elementary school  teacher advised you that doing something dumb doesn't make you dumb; in other words, condemn the action, not the person. It made sense until you--or worse, someone working or living with you--caught you doing a series of dumb things. Then you began to worry and wonder as your self esteem dropped to a new low.
An occasional #dumb action most people can get away with, but a series of stupid behaviors can actually erode your self confidence and transform you into a lesser version of yourself. That's what happened to me. Here in no particular order are the 10 #stupidest things I ever did:

Once upon a time in neo-paleolithic times, I was out on the #dating scene scouring the earth for potential cavemen. I was teaching third grade at the time and pretty much hating it so I agreed to go to Florida with a few friends over winter vacation. As time went on, a few girls dropped out until finally it came down to me and ano…
I decided a long time ago that #revenge was a natural response for me. #Anger aimed outward signified justice, fairness. Especially if my oppressor refused to apologize and accept responsibility. What other option was there? #Forgiveness? Letting the other guy off the hook when he/she does not feel that any transgression was committed? Doesn't make sense to yours truly.

Well, I read a half dozen books on that subject and, frankly, I knew forgiveness wasn't a choice for me since I'm a spiritual atheist (which I define as someone who believes in absurd happenstance rather than a supreme being). You have to really bathe in selflessness to accept the idea of forgiveness, and I'm not into that. #Selflessness, that is.  It didn't help that my astrological sign is Libra, which emphasizes #fairness. I figure people should get what they deserve. I'm not proud of this philosophy, but I accept this as one of my most human flaws. Some people may call me bad or morally defic…

My Five Most Miserable Vacations

Anyone can have a #miserable vacation. It doesn't take much:  bad weather, altitude #sickness, food #poisoning, ratty hotel, the list goes on and on. And that's for norms--normal people with great expectations for an enjoyable holiday. Folks like me, your basic #dysfunctional neurotic, can have a total meltdown if even one thing goes wrong. Here's what happened to me once upon a time and here were my honest-to-goodness reactions:

#California See Everything from San Francisco to Santa Barbara: My expectation was to see beaches everywhere I looked, but of course in #SanFrancisco they were basically non-existent. My husband tried to tell me that I was jumping the gun, but I insisted on calling our travel agent and giving her a hard time. "Why did you suggest this trip when you knew darn well I wanted to  be near the beach? I don't care about the sharks, the sea otters and the beautiful view of Alcatraz. I just want to rest and relax. John Muir what? I don't care a…

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

Did you ever notice how exhausted you feel once you board your plane to whatever #vacation spot you've chosen? There's a simple reason: Over the past 10 days you've been hard at work prepping for the Big Trip. If you, like me, are leaving a #spouse at home to babysit or rake the leaves, then you've had to shop for food so he won't starve and you had to call all your friends to make sure they will be available should an earthquake strike and the cell phones lose power. You also have to clean the house so your mate won't add to the stench that is already there, and do the laundry, which has increased threefold now that he knows you won't be there to wash his whities.

Besides the spousal preps, you also have to deal with your pets. That means buying food for them, cooking if necessary, #grooming them so they won't look like mangy mutts when you return, and most importantly, reading the riot act to the person who will be minding them in your absence. That w…

Relatives We Love to Hate

One of the reasons that I distance myself from #relatives is parental role modeling. Yeah, it's not fair to blame the parents for all your mental hassles, but in this case, the shoe fits. History tends to repeat itself, and so do #families. Take my father, for instance. He had a dicey background--he was an only
child (never a good start) whose mother died of cancer when he was about 21. Mostly his father was the pivotal factor in his life, and from what I remember (I was only 7 when my grandfather died)
and what my mother described, my grandfather was a dictator of sorts. Kind of like a member of the gestapo without the Nazi influence. He washed windows for a living and had a #dog named Sportie, so he won points that way. But I remember he was pretty strict. I practically fell asleep at a seder, but he still continued the pre-dinner readings. All in Hebrew I guess. Probably an orthodox Jew and a smart one at that although he committed the ultimate sin (according to my father) by …

Disgusting Habits I Have

I'm filthy #dirty, but not in the classical sense. I shower regularly, but I've been known to throw out an FU when the spirit moves me. On the other hand, I don't mention my toilet or sexual habits or joke about intimate body parts like a #penis or #vagina.

OCD and Co.

I can only speak for my own brand of #OCD. I'm not #HowieMandel who has come clean (metamorphically and literally) regarding his #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder, and right now I can't think of any other celebs who have been tortured by this anxiety disorder. You may think it's all about checking doors and stoves or counting the number of times you must touch a wall. Or you may think it's a clean-freak disorder in which you must wash your hands a certain number of times or take a shower five times a day until you feel the ugly nervous gnawing in your throat disappear.

Well, my type of #OCD was like none of the above. It's probably not unique in psychiatric circles, but I have never met anyone who behaved in a manner similar to mine. Of course, few people would telegraph this #disorder since it's nothing you'll ever win awards for.  First off, as far as I can figure, my OCD came as the direct result of way too much #anxiety. Some of the #anxiety was genetic, an…

Medical Miracle or Mess? You decide

I'm disgustingly #average. I can get off on someone else's medical misery, say a hip replacement or orthopedic surgery, but I'm god-awful afraid when it comes to my own health woes. Which is why I don't go to the doctor too often or submit to colonoscopies, MRIs, mammograms, urinalysis, gynecological exams, bloodwork, or any other 21st century indicator of diagnostic #problems.

 I figure the less information collected, the less everyone has to worry about. And it works for me, except in the area of dermatology.When I was younger, I #cried and carried on--and also went regularly to the #dermatologist--due to acne. And it wasn't the easy, primetime, #Hollywood type where you look in the mirror and see a zitz and say, "oh my!" and squash it with a tweezer or something equally unhygienic. Oh no, I had to get the full-blown variety. I never actually counted the number of pimples or blackheads, but they had to fight for room on my face. It was what you'd cal…

Poop: Who's Is It"?

I have six #schnauzers, but even when I had fewer pooches, I sometimes had to ask myself, Who did it? I'm talking poop here, and, yes, I'm also talking blame (see my previous self-blame blog) My #dogs are housebroken, but sometimes for whatever reason--#dietary upset, illness, gas, or just for kicks--one of them will have what we like to graciously call an "accident." It's usually in the dining room or living room, but in reality, it can happen almost anywhere.

Self Blame Is A Bitch

It's ironic that this is a shorter version of the original "Blame Game." I say "ironic" because just about an hour ago I inadvertently deleted the original version in a simple cut and paste. This is a first even for me. I'm no computer pro, but I usually don't make those kinds of #mistakes. I'm still kicking myself for this one. Which brings me to the whole point of this article.
Playing the self-blame game is easy to do and extremely dangerous. It happens often to most people, but the lucky ones are able to get off the blame with a metaphorical slap on the wrist, but people like me take blame to a whole different definition. We luxuriate in it, bathing ourselves in negative self-talk. It never even occurs to me to blame someone else or just attribute a mistake to bad luck or fate. No, when I cannot justify blaming another person, place or thing, I default to myself.
This is a lousy #habit I got into at an earlier age due to my natural inclination to p…