Tag Archives: advice

Dear Abby

Between you and me, I would love to have a job that required me to write a humor and/or advice column every week, kind of like Carrie Bradshaw minus the fashion sense, sexual escapades and nicotine addiction.

dearabby

However, no one seems to want to pay me a salary — or anything at all — to do this because life is unfair and TV lies.

But I’m not giving up on the dream to offer unsolicited advice, and thanks to weirdos who Google strange things that lead to my blog, I can pretend that I’m the next generation of “Dear Abby.”

Along with random search terms such as “sugar-coated bullshit,” “rabid badger with a banana clip,” “somebody just sneezed in the living room and it was grandpa” and “I thought it was you but it was the wine,” I also get some questions in my spam folder that obviously need to be answered.

How do you tell if old people are addicted to bingo?

For your own safety—and that of geriatric gamers—it is very important to look for the signs of this affliction. Luckily, I have experience that I can share.

As I’ve stated before, these people have been through wars, marriages, children, Depressions and depressions. Now they no longer worry about recessions as much as they do if Gertrude next door stole the extra Nutter Butter from their snack tray.

My point? They’ve got nothing to lose and they play for keeps. Or rather, they play for candy, which along with popcorn is the geriatric equivalent of crack.

Signs of addiction include hoarding the Bingo chips/cards that have no inherent value, distracting opponents by faking physical ailments like “my oxygen tube is kinked!” sabotaging fellow players’ lucky charms—creepy Troll dolls, figurines, a favorite snot rag, etc. and mumbling things in what they claim to be “Binglish.”

Does sticking feathers up your butt make you a chicken?

First of all, you get points for the “Fight Club” reference, but those points are immediately deducted for taking this quote literally. In a metaphorical sense, it means that you shouldn’t try so hard to be something that you’re not. Not only is it a lot of work, you’ll probably look incredibly stupid in the process.

But in case you’re a freak, I’ll address the literal sense and say that sticking feathers up your butt will result in you looking like a pornographic peacock, not a chicken. If that’s how you roll, more power to you, but perhaps you should pick up a book now and then.

If I were a turkey, where would I be?

My guess would probably be that you would be on a farm, glad you’re not a chicken in the presence of the person who asked the question up above.

Is it bad if you go through a car wash with Vanilla Ice?

Interesting. I would say that if Ice offers to take you through a car wash, you shouldn’t turn down the offer. The car wash isn’t cheap unless you go through the $5 Happy Hour special, at which point I would ask Ice to also take you out for a drink and to include that footage in whatever low-ratings reality show he is gearing up to debut. Be sure to drop in my name.

Have the squirrels found you yet? You should run.

Do you know something I don’t? Crap. Perhaps I should take your advice.

Until next time, my friends!

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Ask Abby Anything, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 in the “Ask Abby Anything” series that makes me feel selfish but that I’m writing because I am a WARRIOR who will do anything to make you people happy. Plus, it’s a holiday week when nobody’s on the Internet so I’m less insecure about such a self-involved post.

So without further ado—nobody likes too much ado—here is Part 2.


“How is it you’re single?  I don’t swing that way, but I do like your warped and twisted sense of humor.”

Yes, I take “warped and twisted sense of humor” as a compliment, which might be why I’m single. Or I’m single because I don’t date. I think that’s kind of how things work. There’s a long history of things that have lead up to this decision, but it boils down to the fact that I’m totally okay on my own.

I wouldn’t completely dismiss the possibility of dating a bit. However, I don’t put much effort into it, so unless this suitor comes to my door selling avocados, I’m pretty much destined for spinsterhood.


“How did you decide on your comfy couch?”

As you probably know, my couch gets me. We spend our weekends and weeknights together. There’s nothing I look forward to more than hanging out with some snacks and reading, writing or watching TV (see “Why are you single?” above.)

When I bought my house I found this one at the second store I went to. It matched my new paint, the ends reclined with foot things that came out and the price was right.  My thinking was that if it was what I liked, there was no point in searching for something better—even though now it’s covered in a blanket to protect it from hairballs.


“Do you have a favorite hummus recipe that you use?”

Yes, it’s really super easy. I get in my car and go to the store, locate the Wild Garden hummus and bring it home to live in my fridge until I stuff it in my face. It’s organic and has only a few ingredients but a bite that I really enjoy (warning though—the jalapeno flavor is WAY spicy.) I thin it a little with water and use it as a dressing for salads a lot.


“C
an you ride a unicycle?”

I’ve never actually tried a unicycle, but I rode into both my mom’s rosebushes and a fire hydrant when learning to ride a 2-wheeler and my coordination hasn’t greatly improved from that point, so I’m going to assume that I can’t. (Although maybe I should try—blog fodder!)

But I can still do the splits all three ways and carry 8 bottles of beer at one time (skills mastered while working as a cocktail waitress—don’t ask.) I have talent.


“People keep telling me that when I stop looking for a partner, that is when I will find him. Is this true? If it is true, how does one stop looking?”

I’m no expert (see above) but I never understood people obsessed with finding a husband. Live your own life, create your own happiness and your energy will draw in people who are meant to be in your life.

I might liken it to trying to remember the name of something you forgot. The harder you try and think of it, the slimmer the chance of it popping into your brain. Then one minute you’re in the shower and “BAM!” it comes to you. (Not that a husband is going to appear for you in the shower, but you get my point. I hope. If a husband DOES all the sudden appear for you in the shower, don’t drop the soap. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.)


“Worst job you’ve had?”

I’ve had some crappy jobs, but I would say it was working at a video store in high school. The video cases themselves were always dirty and gross, as were some of the people that came in there for porn. My supervisor was a 40-year-old guy who still lived at home and giggled when saying “Adult Video.”

We were required to wear a white dress shirt, black pants and a necktie. Yes, a tie. Not only was the tie not fashionable for a female, it also wasn’t practical when I had to clean the popcorn maker—scraping out the burned-on artificial butter and caramel syrup while practically hanging myself with the tie.

Eventually smelling like burned popcorn every day and being told I had to work every holiday and holiday eve, I started to want to purposely hang myself with the tie and quit. 


“Where can I buy your books?”

OK. No one asked that, but you can get read about them here and we can wrap up this ridiculously long post. Now I’m going to ask the five people on the Internet this week to entertain me: 

 Worst job you’ve had?

Your Life Lessons

I meant it last post when I said that if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you people are funnier, smarter and saner than me.

Another thing I’ve learned is that most people don’t come back to read the comments, and considering everyone should know to never try to brush a cat’s teeth—thank you for that one, Dana—I’ve compiled another list of life lessons as added by you guys on that Life Lessons post.

Enjoy (and check out their blogs if I linked to them.)

Your Life Lessons

Robyn: Never underestimate a young child’s enthusiasm for discussing bodily function in public. Also, never assume that the doctor will knock before coming in the room when you’re putting on your paper gown – change fast.

Fishducky: Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s almost ALL small stuff!

Crazy As Normal: 1) Double check the smart-ass reply you are sending via email is really going to just your friend and not “Reply All.” 2) You should always check and make sure you locked the door in a public restroom. 3) If you forget how many days are in a month, you can count on your knuckles.

Heather: From the wrapper of the Dove milk chocolate square I just ate while reading this post: “It’s ok to slow down”.

Basia: 1) Write love letters, and not just to a guy. To your friends, parents, old English teachers, yourself. 2) Never watch Criminal Minds when you’re home alone at night. 3) Pet a dog. Seriously, it’s 99 percent of the reason I still haven’t been locked up in the loony bin.

Estelle: No one is getting any younger and life’s end result is the same for all of us.

Hazlnutt: 1) Always use spell check and 2) It doesn’t matter if you are right.

Jacquie: Two permutations on a theme — Live and let live and don’t judge others lest you want to be judged by them. I know both are old, but there does seem at least to me for there to be some merit in them.

Alex: I’m just going to quote Kurt Vonnegut who is like, WAY wiser than me and who said, “God damnit, you’ve got to be kind.” I try to be, mostly, except for when I’m not. Still…good advice.

Counting Ducks: “The wisest man is often the one who moves the least.” Unless he’s sleeping or too fat, in which case the saying doesn’t work.

Gia: You can make delicious brownies. Just read the directions first. Measuring cups are your friends.

Liz: There is no advance without adversity.

Kim: 1) Swans hate children very much, and will attack them. 2) If you laugh at your brother getting attacked by a swan, you will get grounded. 3) It is much easier to judge someone and hate them, than listen to them and love them.

Jen: Don’t grab a goat by his horns. Also, never wear black hose with white shoes. It’s just bad.

Katie: 1) When you think something is a bad idea, it probably is. 2) Don’t be afraid to let go of a toxic friend just because you have known them for a long time. 3) Oh, and don’t expect to have a clean house when you have kids…it WILL not happen and you will just be disappointed.

Rach: There is power in looking silly and not caring that you do.

Phil: You got a brain, use it. Go outside and play – at least 10 minutes a day – no matter the weather (although if it’s flooding/ blizzard you might want to adjust that a bit?)

Theresa: You have to fall down to grow up.

Alison: I before E except after C or when sounded as A as in neighbor and weigh. Plus some other exceptions that they don’t have rhymes for.

Paige: If the Tupperware has been sitting in the back of the fridge for more than six months, cut your losses and throw it out. What waits inside is worse than most nightmares.

Carrie: Treating others how they’d like to be treated sometimes goes over way better than treating others as you’d like to be treated.

Julia: All you really HAVE to do is breathe—everything else is optional.

Eva: If the package says four servings, it probably means two.


I love you people.

The end.

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P.S. Feel free to add more to the list.

Live and Learn

Not to stereotype, but the Internet is full of people who proclaim to be experts on everything from parenting and cooking to pictures of animals wearing clothes (thank god for that last group though, right?)

I am no expert on anything other than how not to do various activities, but I have still learned a few things in my 31 years. So while I don’t always follow my own advice—or remember everything that I say—I’m sharing a few things below.

And if you make it through my list, I demand—demand, I say!—that you add a couple things you “know” in the comments as well. Why? If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you people are funnier, smarter and saner than me.

That’s one thing I’ll never forget.

Life Lessons—So Far

  1. The universe owes you nothing. You owe it to yourself to make things work.
  2. You can get through anything if don’t look too far past today.
  3. Righty tighty, lefty loosey.
  4. You don’t have to win—or participate in—every argument.
  5. It’s far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without you having to tell them.
  6. There are those who dust and then vacuum and those who vacuum and then dust. The latter group is wrong, by the way.
  7. Work is work. Most people don’t love their job, but most people also need money.
  8. Time spent doing what you like is never time wasted.
  9. Hurt people hurt people. Often those who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most.
  10. The best way to make yourself feel better about having to wait in a long line is to look at the people behind you.
  11. Teeth are jewels, not tools.
  12. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  13. You learn by doing, even—or especially—if that means doing something wrong.
  14. For every action, there is an equal and opposite overreaction.
  15. There is no baseline for normal. Once you realize this, it takes the pressure off.
  16. What you do every day is more important than what you do once in a while.
  17. Share.
  18. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  19. Non-stick pans and self-cleaning ovens? Lies, nothing but lies.
  20. Everyone has a story. Not everyone has plans and not excuses.
  21. A writer writes. A painter paints. Action trumps intention.
  22. The best sign of a healthy relationship is that there’s no sign of it on Facebook.
  23. People think their way out of doing everything that’s worth doing in life.
  24. Read. Books.
  25. Sometimes life does give you more than you can handle. Never be ashamed to ask for help.
  26. Don’t pull the tail of a goat or scratch the top of a buffalo’s head.
  27. Envy is a waste of time. Be better, not bitter.
  28. If you have more than one junk drawer, you have too much junk.
  29. Take your time.
  30. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.
  31. If a car is held together with masking tape and plastic wrap, always let them merge. They obviously have nothing to lose.
  32. Drop the ego. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. No. 32 is really hard.
  34. Busyness does not equate with productivity.
  35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  36. People rarely RSVP to pity parties.
  37. Thinking, “Could I make a bigger mess?” is basically just issuing a challenge to yourself.
  38. No matter how lonely you might feel, there is always someone who can relate to you.
  39. Never judge a book by its movie.
  40. If you mean it, say “I love you.” Say it often.
  41. You can—and will—always be humbled by something or someone. This is a good thing.
  42. Overprepare and then go with the flow.
  43. When in doubt, just take the next small step—even if you’re clumsy.
  44. Old people are wise beyond our years.
  45. Sundays are for washing floors and clothes, not for washing hair.
  46. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  47. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” –Buddha
  48. I hate ending things on an odd number, so this is the last one is basically filler.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

P.S. I have been nominated as one of the Top 25 Humor Blogs over at SkinnyScoop. While I’m not sure what that means, I would be most appreciative if you could to click over, scroll down to my blog icon (the second one under When Pigs Fly) and click “like.”

But don’t do that before you add your own Life Lessons here.

Remember No. 17.

Dear Abby

Hello faithful readers!

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, my name is Abby. This lends itself to people pointing out that writing “Dear Abby” reminds them of the once-popular advice column founded in the 1950s by Abigail Van Buren.

This picture doesn’t relate to this post, but it says “Abby” on my sweater.

I am not Abigail Van Buren—or an Abigail, for that matter—but I do like to dispense helpful advice to anyone who is brave enough to ask. However, in a shocking turn of events, a) no one has offered me my own syndicated column and b) no one has really come out and asked me for advice.

Perhaps I’m an intimidating figure, what with the tens of fans that I have, so I’m just going to go ahead and assume that the search terms that lead to my blog are actually anonymous questions from troubled souls looking for guidance from me.

Once I added a question mark to the end of these terms, it became clear that there are quite a few pressing matters to attend to! However, we’ll start with this one, as it appears it could be time-sensitive. 

Dear Abby

Q: Need to bury pet rabbit. How long does rigor mortis last?

A: I believe you’re actually wondering how long it takes to set in, as although I’m no doctor, I think it lasts forever. Either way, you stumbled upon my blog through that search for good reason. I can speak to this particular situation with personal experience (about the rabbit and not rigor mortis of my own, although as I get older I feel like I’m dead.)

When I was but a wee little Abby with issues, I had a pet bunny named Mitten, cleverly named for the white mitten on his black foot. One day I was at a friend’s house and distinctly remember that we made mini personalized pizzas in a janky E-Z Bake Oven.

Upon my return home I was informed that sometime between my departure and the pizzas, poor little Mitten had died.

While I was told it was of “natural causes,” it was later revealed that my dad—an unsavory character I don’t often speak of—had in fact cleaned Mitten’s cage with a mystery ingredient just hours before Mitten’s demise.

These were pre-CSI days, and I still harbor a wealth of suspicion.

But to answer your question—not about whether my dad was a Mitten murder, but rather about rigor mortis — the little rabbit’s legs were sticking straight out by the time we tried to put him in the shoebox/coffin, and this was only a couple hours past his “alleged” peaceful passing.

What followed was slightly traumatic, but necessary, as a proper burial was of course, a must.

So we cut holes in the end of the box, wrapped his body in a towel down to his little bunny thighs and shoved his stiff-ass legs through the holes.

After what I would like to recall as a rousing eulogy and chorus of “Circle of Life,” poor Mitten was laid to rest in the pet cemetery, gone but not forgotten.

According to the search terms there are many more questions I could touch on today—“is an ass crack sexual harassment” and “drunk nun book club,” for example— but I feel that’s enough for right now. I don’t want to overwhelm you with knowledge.

But if you, my dear readers, have a situation of your own in which you seek counsel — whether it’s serious or seriously funny — feel free to shoot me a note.

I’m just here to help, after all.

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Sweet Advice

After careful consideration, I’ve decided to only take advice from chocolate—namely Dove Promises.

I’m not a big dessert person, but I do enjoy a little piece of chocolate every night—something I consider my chocolate closure on the day. As such, Promises usually wind up in my cart over the other mini treats due to the fact that you also get a little note inside the wrapper.

Let’s take a look.

be

There’s a big difference between being busy and being productive, and I’m trying to remember that it’s called “conserving awesomeness” and not laziness. So often I’m already thinking of the next conversation, the next meal, the next post, etc. that I’m not really “in” the moment.

Note to self—human being, not human doing.

daring

I’m not that “daring,” so to speak, and I think it stems from an incident when I was little and pumping away on the swing set. “Someone” dared me to jump off and be like Super Grover from the Muppets. I had some good hang time, but landed directly on my tailbone. From that point on I carefully screened all my dares.

Thanks, Mom.

flowers

Unless you’re at a funeral, it’s hard not to smile when you see fresh flowers. I don’t randomly buy myself bouquets, but I spend money on my flowers because I find calm in nature—except for bugs.

Especially that one bug that somehow manages to keep circling my head while I’m walking even though I’m flapping my arms around like an idiot to get it away. But other than those laced with neurotic bugs, flowers make me happy.

smileDove

Sometimes people look at me like I’m nuts when I smile at them—and no, it’s not when I’m flapping my arms around my head like an idiot to swat off the bugs—but I don’t care. A smile can make someone’s day.

However, this wrapper isn’t really advice and it’s a little bit creepy, no? I don’t really know this “Dove,” so how does “Dove” know what my smile looks like? (And honestly, it’s not that great of a compliment considering I don’t actually accessorize with anything more than cat hair at this point.)

tastedove

GAH! My laugh? How does “Dove” know what my laugh sounds like? And now that I’m thinking about it, what’s with signing all these notes with “Love” and using an exclamation point?

I think things are moving a little bit too fast. All that I wanted was a piece of chocolate, not some sugar-coated stalker. One more chance…

advice

Okay now, hold on. 

This wrapper is proof that “Dove” is not in fact a sugar-coated stalker, as they’ve obviously never read my blog and the “advice” that I spew. If they had, they wouldn’t make this ridiculous suggestion.

Now that I feel a bit better about things, I have no problem passing along the final advice I received:

treatdove

Be it chocolate or flowers or simply a laugh, treat yourself today.

And per Dove’s suggestion, your bill is in the mail.

Sweet advice, indeed.

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You Get What You Give

I’ve been given a lot of advice over my 30 years on this planet, and there’s no way I could ever single out what I would consider to be the “best” sentiment.

From my grandma’s endless wisdom and constant reminders not to park next to a white van with no windows to the nurse who told me to do one thing every day that scares me, I would say it’s all been valuable (and taken with a grain of salt—wise advice in and of itself.)

But I am always brought back to:

“You get what you give.”

And while most of the time it has nothing to do with materialistic things but rather a giving of yourself to the universe, the giving of gifts is brought to the front as the holiday season rolls around.

The gift of pets being terrorized by holiday garb.

Along with my aversion to gluttony when it comes to the food—I checked, and green bean casserole is still not on the endangered species list since my post—I have an even greater aversion to the gluttony of consumerism that happens each holiday season, a time often filled with overspending and underestimation of what kind of gift would matter the most.

Before you apply the Scrooge label on my, let me explain.

My line of thinking is that something from the heart trumps superficial items that no one really needs and/or no one really wants but receives out of obligation and convenience.

In other words, you won’t find me camped out at Best Buy for three days to buy some video game/phone that will be available for sale a week later, going into debt at the mall to show someone how much I care or knocking down old women in Walmart on Black Friday.

To each their own, but the obsession with things bothers me.

Unless those things are cats in hats. (Old picture, RIP Wendell.)

My family agrees, so we pick and choose a few special things to get each other and try and do something nice for those who can’t afford the “needs”—usually the local Humane Society—instead of buying things we want. It’s much more satisfying.

But with that said, I love finding a few special things for someone.

I love the second I see or decide to make it, and because I’m me, I want to give it to them that second. I have never been given the gift of patience, and when I have something special up my sleeve, it’s hard not to pull it out like the fabric softener sheets I usually find up there halfway through the day.

And when I get a gift like that, it isn’t the present itself, but the fact that someone randomly thought of me and took the time to let me know. I want to give that feeling out to someone else, and even though it might feel like a waste at times—does anyone even care?—I have to believe that they do.

After all, if frustration stopped everyone from giving a piece of themselves, then no one would get to enjoy the simple, thoughtful gestures that make the holidays—and every day—a little bit brighter.

You get what you give.

Although I consider this my one and only rambling holiday consumerism rant of the year,  this post was also in response to the Studio30 Plus prompt:

The Best Advice

P.S.  I truly am horrible at holding on to things I could give away—another reason I will never have kids—so I have to say that there will be something you can both get and give on this blog in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned.

Carry on.

Farmers Mark-etiquette

This past weekend I went to the Farmer’s Market for what will probably be the last time this year, as Michigan tends to get cold and nasty in the blink of an eye.

market

It’s not as fancy as other Farmers Markets, but I love it.

Since I’m still in the “denial” stage of the temporary end of this relationship, I figured I would write a post about our courtship before I progress to the anger and mourning stages of this transition.

Actually, this post was sparked by a few things I observed and overheard the last time I went, so thank you to the douche canoes that neglected to use what I consider Farmer’s Mark-etiquette.

Let’s begin.

Most markets bring in an eclectic mix of people—everything from yuppies with their soy half-calf sugar-free oxygen enriched lattes and hippie types with their messy ponytails and fair trade sandals made of bamboo bark to  families and people like me—most often clad in yoga pants with my reusable tote, ready to knock over the elderly and small children for the perfect loaf of mini pumpkin bread.

In other words, it’s a bit of a market melting pot.

There are a couple of rules that are spelled out on signs, one of them being “no dogs” in the actual market area due to the close quarters.

market3

This doesn’t stop people from stuffing the little ones in bags and sneaking them in, a sight that continues to amuse me on an almost publically unacceptable level.

There are also rules that aren’t spelled out, perhaps assumed as common sense. However, if you’ve ever talked to another human anywhere, you know there should be no assumptions when it comes to common sense.

So if I were deemed the Market Queen for a Day—a position I anoint myself with in my head every time that I go—here are the rules I would post:

  • They are samples people, this is not a buffet. Take one or two and move on.
  • Dogs might not be allowed, but children are. With that said, strollers that are three-wide and plow through like a semi need to be banned. Also, it is not cute when your child who is just learning to walk is staggering down the center of a busy aisle at the pace of a turtle, causing people to run into each other, possibly smashing delicate produce and toes.
  • Bring your own bags, if possible, as carrying around 12 plastic bags while touting your earth-friendly awesomeness paints a picture of confusion.

marketbags

Now that, Alanis, is irony. Rain on your wedding day is just shitty luck.

May I suggest you do not say the following things:

  • These carrots/radishes/etc. have dirt on them!
  • Do you have change for $100 bill?
  • If I buy two pounds at $2/lb, can I get a discount?
  • Were these parsnips humanely killed?
  • It’s cheaper at Wal-Mart.
  • How come you never have fries or creamed corn?
  • Do you use the good pesticides?
  • How much for just one?

While breaking any of these Farmers Mark-etiquette rules is not a punishable crime, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that other market goers might harbor inclinations to beat you senseless with a preservative-free baguette or sharpen their aim with a fresh arsenal of golf ball-sized (dirty) radishes.

And as Market Queen for a day—at least in my own head—I can’t promise I won’t join them.

What crimes against carrots and common sense have you observed at the market ?

Senior Moments: Dating

It’s time for another installment of Senior Moments and the genius that is my 90-year-old grandma. We’re back in the dining room again, but this time the meal is not the center of attention, but rather the lack of a beefcake in my life—a subject that has been brought up on more than two (or 202) occasions.

cancel-date-home-watching-tv-confession-ecards-someecards

Seeing as my grandma was married when she was 18, the fact that I’m 30 and single still baffles her mind. However, at 90 years old, people who refrigerate their perishable items still baffle her mind.

At any rate, I’ll set the scene.

It was me, Gram, a resident we’ll call J and her (single, middle-aged) daughter, B at the table—the usual crew. The nurse doing meds in the dining room was not a crowd favorite, and Gram loudly proclaimed her to be a pain in the ass multiple times throughout the meal. I didn’t tell her to be nice. The nurse is a pain in the ass.

The pain in the ass walked by our table and in a fake smile on her face and told J she was looking nice. Gram looked at her with disgust, picked up her fork and pointed it at J before saying, “That woman can eat shit.”

I grabbed Gram’s arm and did the, “Gram, shush” thing before she dared me to “shush” her again with her death stare usually reserved for ballgames and people trying to take away her mashed potatoes.

“She can eat shit,” Gram continued, keeping her eyes on me before looking back at J, “because J knows she looks nice every day. She doesn’t need that pain in the ass to tell her that.” 

I was glad I didn’t shush her. 

With that she winked at J, set down her fork and proceeded to go on dispensing advice like a Polish Dr. Laura. Apparently two of the young aids were talking to Gram about dating that week, something she felt the need to tell me and B about over her pistachio pudding pie and coffee.

We were told the following things:

  • When I was younger, it was about finding a good Polish man. If you were bored, it was because you were too picky or not trying hard enough. If he’s boring, go bowling with him. There’s nothing boring about bowling. Just remember to let him win once or twice.
  • Don’t be so stubborn. He doesn’t have to look like a movie star or make a lot of money. You don’t want ugly kids, but if you wait too long, you won’t have any kids at all.

B and I met eyes at this, and it’s possible I rolled mine, prompting Gram to say, “Did I mention you by name? Did I say that you’re too old and too picky?” before moving on with a shrug.

  • You have to spice things up. I remember your grandpa would come downstairs while I was doing the washing and bend me over the washing machine. Sometimes I was annoyed, but it never lasted long enough for me to care.
  • If you’re in a car with a man and he starts to get fresh with his hands, tell him to knock it off. If he doesn’t listen, open the door and kick his ass out of the car. Tell him to go find a floosy on the avenue and then take yourself out for ice cream.

With that she returned her focus back to finishing her coffee before leaning over and conspiratorially whispering, “Abby, come here.  You see that woman at the table across from us?”

I looked and saw the same 85-year-old woman that always sat across from us gumming at a cookie.

“Look at how her bra strap is showing and her shirt is falling down,” Gram said with disgust, wiping her hand on her John Deere “clothing protector” before continuing. “Men don’t find that attractive. It’s sloppy. Take note of that.”

“I don’t think she even knows it’s showing Gram, as her oxygen tube probably moves her shirt around,” I said, not adding that an 85-year-old woman was probably not trying to snag a man when she couldn’t even snag a pea with a fork.

“That’s no excuse,” Gram said with a scoff. “She looks cheap.”

A male aid walked up and wheeled the senior slut away, providing an opportunity for Gram to tell me that when she was my age, “Well, I would have been married for 12 years at that point, but if I wasn’t, I would sink my clamps into that beefcake.”

Drained of the will to argue much more or explain that the definition of “beefcake” for  a 30-year-old woman in 2011 wasn’t a homosexual male nurse with bigger boobs than my own,  I simply looked at her and felt a wave of affection wash over me.

“Gram, come here,” I whispered conspiratorially. “I love you.”

She turned to me and with said with a sigh, “Abbuchucka, I love you so much that it hurts.”

She was quiet for a moment before adding, “Then again, that might just be gas from the crap that I ate.”

With that I gave her a kiss, smoothed back her hair and told her I had to head home. She gave me the standard warning to be careful and not pick up any strange men.

“Then again,” she said with a wink, “maybe you should just take what you can get.”

Well played, old woman, well played.

Beware the Mall

Today I will use this blog to educate the dozens of you that flock here on a monthly basis to skim my posts.

Why? Because the mall can be a dangerous place.

The fact that I don’t particularly enjoy shopping for clothes is not a secret. While I enjoy walking around the mall on occasion, the general premise of immersing myself in an environment of consumerism and hormonal teenagers is not exactly my idea of enjoyment—minus the bookstore, of course.

And while I realize that shopping in Michigan pales in comparison to shopping in big cities like L.A. and New York, I thought I would pass along a few of my tips for surviving the mall—a mall PSA of sorts—for those of you who share my sentiments.

  • First of all, if you don’t have money to spend on anything “extra,” you will come across 1,001 things that you actually like and want to buy. If you have a gift card or money to spend, you will find nothing. With that in mind, proceed. 

Scent of a Woman—or Man

  • The perfume counter is a trap. I try and rush through this maze of pink packaging, celebrity endorsement posters and overpowering scents  without making eye contact with anyone wearing the minimum 3 lbs of facial makeup, a nametag and a fake smile. They will corner you and spray you with things that you will not be able to scrub off for days.
  • The cologne counter holds it’s own danger, at least for me. I’m not proud, but I pick up the bottle, a sample strip and spray—brought right back to the one that got away (insert semi-happy sigh.)

*However, other colognes remind me of the one that stayed too long. I don’t stop to smell those. In fact, I might just give the evil eye to anyone who walks by wearing that particular scent.

Gangs

  • Beware the teenage girls! They travel in packs and although their behavior is predictable, it can still be a cause of concern. You can spot them by their clothing—either they try entirely too hard or not at all. For example, they will be overdressed in an outfit more appropriate for a dance club than the mall,  despite the fact they have never paid for a piece of clothing themselves (minus the thongs and lacy bras they bought without their parents knowing.)

dont-shop-online-mall-shopping-online-mean-girls-demotivational-poster-1260266613

  • On the other hand, some will feel it’s socially acceptable to wear pajama pants—occasionally rolling down the waist to reveal aforementioned thong—and flip-flops. While I’m not fashionista, I would think that if you took the time to put on makeup and the Bump-It in your hair in an effort to impress the dude working in GNC, you could find a pair of pants that you haven’t slept in. 

* Their male counterparts do not pose such a risk, despite their Bieber-esque façade. They are simply there for the food and the girls, in that order.

Germ Gym

  • Filled with things for them to climb on, slide down and fall off of, the children’s play area is a breeding ground for everything that will cause you to feel miserable. This can be the result of the loud screaming, both by parents and children, or the fact that every germ from every disease will be crawling around said play area and soon transferred to other shoppers walking by. Avoid this area at all costs.

* However, if you are a parent of the teenage girls above, make them sit there for an hour and observe—best birth control ever. 

Technical Difficulties

  • Just walking through the mall can be dangerous, not because you might be inclined to trip over your own feet or going up stairs like some people who blog, but because of technology. People will be walking in groups and texting other people in groups, meaning there are numerous groups of people walking around with their heads looking down or stuck up their ass.
  • They will not appreciate it when your stubbornness does not allow you to yield to their rudeness, they run directly  into you and you snarkily excuse them when they fail to do so themselves. They will scoff, glare and most likely text about what an asshole this person at the mall was.

*You can do the same.

Book It

  • The bookstore is pretty much a safe environment, although you do have to watch out for paper cuts and falling subscription cards from the magazines you stand there and read for free instead of actually buying. Plus, there is always the danger of spending too much money, but if you have to spend it on something at the mall, you can’t go wrong with books.

sign

So I hope you at least learned something from this post so that your time has not been wasted.

If you haven’t yet, I will leave you with the fact that a Komodo dragon uses it’s long tongue to pick up smells in the air, zeroing in on rotting meat from more than a mile away.

If you knew that, I got nothing, which is how I came home from my last trip to the mall-except for that paper cut.

Do you have any mall dangers you care to share with the class? The more educated we are about these things, the safer we will be.