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Showing posts from October, 2018

Interview with an Only Child Friend

If you've been following my humor blog--and 614 of you out there in blogland are--you know that I define the Only Child friend as someone who, despite the fact they may have 17 siblings, still acts as if they're the only child in the family. This person is afflicted with Only Child Syndrome.Not the worst of the personality disorders, but certainly not the best.

 Well, today I got a dose of what passes for "friendship" in my world, and of course it was from someone with OCS.

My friend, who I'll call Susie, recently left two voice mail messages, so I knew I couldn't avoid communicating with her for long. The clock was ticking, and the longer the time gap, the fewer kind thoughts about me she could muster.

 For the past few months, I really haven't contacted Susie. The weather was hot so I didn't go bopping around with errands and lunches. Beside I was nursing my little black schnauzer and my depressive illness (of which Susie tends to make fun, e.g. &qu…

Insults to My Ego

Rejection is tough. It doesn't matter whether it's related to a lover, job, friend or anything else. The message somehow translates (at least to me) that you're not good enough or, at the very least, that you don't stack up with the competition or you're not a good fit. It's discouraging to be told in not so many words that you lack something important and vital that prohibits you from becoming part of the 
"chosen."

My greatest experience with rejection has come from freelance writing. You send out queries, which are really ideas for articles, and you wait for an editor to make a decision. The decision can be based on the appropriateness of the idea, your timing (someone beat you to the punch), or your credentials. Or it can be based on the query itself--was it well written, stimulating, containing enough hard info? If I'd kept a file of all my rejections, I bet I could easily paper my office walls with them. However, it would not serve a constr…

Pets or People?

The other day my husband out of a clear blue sky told me to blog about how I love my dogs more than him. He wasn't angry or judgmental, just resigned. It sounds terrible, I know, especially when you write it down and use a comparative conjunction to emphasize how big a deal it is.

I'm stalling, however. The truth is-my husband is right. His greatest blunder? He's not an animal. As a kid, I would agonize if my ginger neutered male didn't come in the house when I called him. Depending on your age, you may recall that those were the days when most owners let their cats wander in the immediate neighborhood. As a result, they often came back injured by cat fights, wet from rain or snow, or pregnant. Or sometimes they didn't come back at all.

I don't know why we made that decision to let them free roam, but since my parents ruled, I had to go along with it as well. Many was the night when I tearfully went to bed hoping against hope that my cat would be there hungry a…

A Short Autobiography Reminds You Life is short and not to be squandered. So don't

I was born. I was thoroughly educated. I taught third grade. I hated the work. I quit. I returned to school. I worked as a librarian. I had an NBD. I returned to the Real World. I worked in a law office. I moved. I worked as a librarian. I quit. I returned to school. I worked for          a                     very               long                  time as a freelancer. I quit nonfiction article writing.

I now write humor. I'm alive and kicking. My work is therapeutic, finally. I'm earning less than I ever did. My prestige is nonexistent. I'm planning another NBD before I die. I've transformed myself into another person (see red hair, fake teeth, unshaved arm pits, etc). When I read memoirs, I wonder if I could pitch one to an agent. I fantasize, I agonize, I theorize. I wonder when it will all end.


Who Am I?

Did you ever retreat inward to your mind and lose yourself for a few seconds? How's it done? You cast off the "you" identity and look at yourself more objectively. I compare it to the near death experience some people describe, but not as extreme. Near death patients often experience the phenomenon in surgery and describe floating on the ceiling of the OR and watching the doctors attempt to save their lives. This little shade or imperfect clone of yourself floating on the ceiling tiles is your soul--maybe the one Plato described in his philosophical works.

I've escaped briefly (a few minutes) for years. It's a nice place to be for a wee bit. You don't have to take responsibility, you have no guilt, you have no fear, you just float for those few minutes until you decide that the "you" identity you have assumed in reality is okay and needs you back in charge.

I don't retreat for long. I snap back pretty quickly. I'm actually afraid to stay in…

Not Good Enough --for Recovery?

How many people reading this blog feel they're not good enough? You might be asking, Good enough for what? Fair question, but for me it's an across the board answer: I never feel good enough about anything, whether it's writing, cooking, grooming my dogs, or anything that involves a skill or talent.

I always make comparisons, and this is one thing that Recovery Inc.(based in Chicago, IL) tells you not to do. I make comparisons with appearance, scholarship, humor ability--you name it and I've done it.

But there's one comparison I've never made, and that's using the Recovery Method. I am just as good as the average member of  Recovery. Developed by Dr. Abraham Low, an American psychiatrist, Recovery is a self-help program that uses peers to effect change and relief from symptoms.
Nervous patients are invited to support groups that meet weekly throughout the country. It costs nothing and gives a lot in return.

Every meeting is conducted in a similar way. Firs…

Names and Self-Esteem

I love my first name--Janice--but hate my last name--Arenofsky. One sounds like a Gothic romance; the other sounds like a Russian biography.

I think it's important that you like your name since you're using it every day and others know you by that moniker.

 What can you do if you hate your name? Well, you can legally change it. Or use your maiden (family surname) name. If I chose the latter, I would be known as Janice Moster, which was what I used all through high school and college. At first when I wrote humor I planned to use the Moster part as my surname. I was afraid that if I used Arenofsky, people would either not realize I was being humorous at times or would believe that all my magazine articles were funny and not realize the content was often serious. So I bit the bullet and now I'm Janice Arenofsky, for better or worse.

But back to the self-esteem issue. Some people are so low in confidence that their name rankles them. I wonder about a third-grader I once taught…

Memoirs that Hurt

Since I started this blog a few months ago, I've been reading the humorous memoirs of other writers. I was curious what they spoke about, how much they confided to their readership, etc. Most of the memoirs reveal insecurities, bad decisions, and other frailties, but one writer admits to having great self esteem. And I believe she is correct in her self assessment.

The more I thought about this strength, the greater my envy grew. I've always wanted to earn self esteem but I've thrown down so many obstacles in my path that I'd have to be an Amazon to hurdle them. Of course many psychiatrists have told me that people don't have to "earn" self esteem--it's part of the package of being human. You get free will, usually a fairly healthy body and a brain that respects your abilities and accepts your defects.

I must have gotten onto the wrong line when "esteem packages" were being handed out since ever since I was a kid, I've lacked confidence…

Medical Melanoma Alert: Better You than Me!

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 diagnostic tool.

 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 call a mob scene. Natural…