Monday, April 30, 2012

354 Days - Sex, Bea, Judgements and the NFL

An old Overbrook buddy of mine sent me a friend request through Facebook last year and so we spent some time catching up on who’s done what over the last however long. “You’re still a musician? Good for you, man! That’s great”… “Wow, you’ve got two kids? No shit! What are their names?” And off we went in to Facebookreconnectland. The topics were many and the subjects started pouring out like chubby topless chicks during closing time at Mardi Gras ---  “Atlanta” “Game Show” “Brothers Past” “Center Lanes” “American Babies” “Second Marriage” “Diamonds” “Touring” “Life” “Love” “Age” “Marriage” “Kids” “Beatrice” “Roman”…
And then, the following conversation ensued:
Tommy: “Roman? Man… that’s a great name. A strong name.”
Me:Roman? YES! Roman. And that’s exactly what Todd said… he liked it because it was strong. Todd is 6’2”, and I’m 5’10”, so we knew this would be no small boy. And he wasn’t. 3 weeks early, he was 8 lbs, 6 oz. He would have been a ten pounder had he gone the distance. But the hair… oh, the hair. My girlfriend Debbie said ‘He looks nothing like a Roman. He looks like a Wally.’ That settled it, Roman it was and Roman it is. I love Josh Homme so I have this fantasy of Roman being this super tall, bad-ass redhead sex machine. Yes. I hope my son gets laid. A lot. I’m not freaked out at that. I hope he’s great looking and works it to his advantage. And that he finishes Harvard.”
Tommy: “I'm glad you want Roman to get laid, and I’m sure he'll be the second coming (no pun) of Wilt Chamberlain. Now do you feel the same about sweet little Bea??? Probably not, right?”
Me: “Uh, yeah. I want Bea to get laid… as an adult woman (not a young teenager) yes. Yes. There’s no double standard there. But I want her to get laid for sexual gratification and empowerment, and not for ‘boys to like her.’ I want her to be sexy and feel sexy. I want her to treat sex as something special, but also something mandatory. I don’t want her to marry the first guy she sleeps with. God knows I didn’t. I want her to be aware, and be protected, and be anything but naïve. Women require sex as much as men. We want it, need it, and deserve it. I hope men want her. I hope she experiences what it feels like to be wanted and I hope she does with that feeling whatever makes her happiest. If she’s 5’10” at 24 with a long auburn locks and C cups and she wants to tap the great looking quarterback of some NFL team because she can see in his eyes that he wants nothing more and she would get off on knowing that she’d leave a lasting impression on him that he’d think about often and take to his grave, then yeah, I am totally okay with that. Talk about your run on sentence!”
Tommy: “Ummmm… that explanation was ridiculous. (I mean that in the best possible way) And to be honest, that was the hottest run-on sentence I think I have ever read. ;) You better make sure she never goes to an ‘American Babies’ concert once she hits 18.”
Todd: “If this fucking friend of yours thinks he’s going to fuck my daughter I’m going to kick his fucking ass. Seriously? Who is this asshole?”
Actually that last part never happened but I imagine it would if Todd ever knew about the conversation Tommy and I had which should happen……..riiiiiiight……….. abooooooouuuuuuut…………….now, since he just read this post.
My point to Tommy at the time (yes gang, there IS a point) was that I wasn’t going to wish for my children anything that I hadn’t wished for myself. I do want my kids – both my son and my daughter - to experience real, honest, GOOD sex when they are adults, and are responsible enough to do so. I will make it a point to teach Roman that a woman isn’t to be taken for granted and that she should be treated as the wonder she is both in the bedroom and out. Did I say wonder? I meant goddess. And Bea, well, I imagine that Bea will truly be a “little me” and while it might be hard for me to tell her to not do the things that I know I already did, I will instill in her, or at least try, a sense of responsibility so that she may hopefully take that with her and make the proper decisions as it pertains to her sexuality.
I never had sex drunk and I didn’t touch drugs so I never had sex high. Those were my own rules.  I always made sure that no matter what age I was, I was sober when it came to the act, and the reason for that was so that I knew I could own whatever it was that I did. It’s the control freak in me. I don’t lay blame. I take responsibility and for the most part, that has opened other doors for me in my life. The first time I had ever been pregnant was when I was pregnant with Roman, and the second, was when I had been pregnant with Bea. Call it responsibility. Call it control. Call it luck or call it fate, but I was always protected and will talk to my kids about that when the time comes… down the road, of course.
I know it’s early to be thinking about this, but if the next ten years goes as quickly as these first ten have (I’ve lived in Atlanta for nine now) then no time is too soon to put air to my ideas on how I will hopefully handle the inevitable situation.
Roman... Beatrice... If you read this one day, whether mommy is here or not, this is what I have to say to you both: Enjoy your lives but remember that you are also responsible for the lives of others in some way, shape or form. The choices you make will determine how other people live, but your deciding factor should always be your very own happiness. Don’t settle, but don’t intentionally hurt. Don’t be irresponsible, but don’t neglect your bodies. Don’t ever do something that you don’t want to do, but don’t not do something if you think someone might judge you. You will always be judged, because that’s how people are, but no matter what happens… no matter what… your mother, I, will never, ever, judge you.
So, go… enjoy. Your whole lives are ahead of you. And there’s a whole world out there, and a lot of good sex to be had... after you're eighteen, of course.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

356 Days - Saying Goodbye to F*ck


There. I said it. With no asterisk. Happy now?
I’ve been lucky enough in life to have made friends with a few writers; one of whom I’ve been friends with since before I had pubes… can you imagine? It’s like I can’t even think of myself without pubes. They’re such a part of me. Not that they define me or anything, but damn, I feel like they’re one of my closest friends… you know… they’ve always been there, can sometimes get in the way, but overall, you're still pretty proud of them. Anyway, Anthony and I have been friends for a long, long time. I’m talking first grade, when they bumped him up from kindergarten because he was so deity-damned smart. Asshole. Did I say “asshole?” I meant to think it. Sorry. Anyway, my pal Ant is the best. He’s largely responsible for finding me on Facebook in 2008 which in turn domino-effected into bringing back a group of pals that was formed in the late seventies before anyone really knew who anyone really was. This is my crew; my do-or-die group of homies. My posse. My peeps. The people who knew me when I was at my truest, and here we were yet again, not judging, and not pretending, and just “being,” all thanks to Anthony. 
There is a line in the movie “Stand by Me” that is delivered by the narrator, Richard Dreyfuss, that states the following: “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” This can be said about my sacred group from the old ‘hood. Stefanie, Brian, Mark, Anthony and me, well, we’re something special. These are the people who I feel that no matter what happens in my life, would never judge me. And I know that they know that I would do the same. I love them in my soul, and that’s where they will always stay.
Anthony, along with some other very talented, brilliant and trustworthy friends of mine, took the time to call me or write to me about my blog and what I’m doing with it and where they think it could be headed, and one of the pieces of advice I received was that I should either start saying “fuck” and ditch the asterisk or stop using the fake-me-out version altogether. This frightened me; not in an “I’m seventeen and late for my period by three days” way, but, pretty God-damned close. Can I say “fuck” knowing that my extremely religious family members might be reading? Can I use it without coming off as a trashy low-life who simply wants to seem to her readers as “edgy”? Can I fake it and still be funny a-la the Jon Stewart/Daily Show bleeps? Or do I have to go full force into the realm of Bill Maher if this blog is to be genuine, honest and above all else, true?
I debated the idea for many, many minutes. I’m kidding… seconds. And I realized that the fact that I was having a debate about it in my head clearly showed me what the outcome of the suggestion I received should be. When I feel like saying “fuck” at any other time in my life, I say it. I don’t debate it. I don’t question it, and I certainly don’t hold back. Unless my kids are involved, of course, but to be frank, by the time my kids are old enough to find and/or read this blog, I’m sure they will have heard/used the word “fuck” and likely, have already experienced the verb aspect of it. Ummmmmm… cue cringe. And yet also, screw it, good for them. But that’s a story for another post.
So… starting today, with this post, 356 days until my fortieth birthday, I am ditching the asterisk. I’m stripping myself and my blog of all things that are not part of who I am. I don’t “LOL”… I refuse to "LFMAO" … and I have never, ever, "f*cked"; not once in my life. I FUCK, like a banshee, and I’m God damned proud of it. And hell, I hope you all stick around to see me fuck some more. Should be fun.

Friday, April 27, 2012

357 Days - From Conservative Executive to Cougar Dominatrix

This blog was born out of a genuine desire to share what a woman who is approaching middle-age goes through in the final year before it hits. Its intent was to give some insight from the point-of-view of someone who intends to not “go down” without a fight, and more importantly, to never diminish the sexiness, beauty, appeal, or passion of the forty-plus group of women who make the dawn look a little brighter every morning that the earth exists, which leads me to today’s shining, shimmering, strawberry scent-filled topic… Hair.

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Long flowing locks have been my thing ever since I shaved my head completely bald in the winter if 1993 for no reason other than I was bored. My stylest has said that it was the greatest gift I ever gave my head other than that time Fabio accidentally rubbed his balls on it when we were on his yacht in Lake Como. Did I say accidentally? I meant… Hey, look! Someone left a copy of “50 Shades of Grey” with a “FREE” sign on it!!!

Some might say that my hair defines me and I don’t disagree. It’s long, and, well, I’m long. It’s a lovely brown with hints of blond and strands of copper and silver interspersed. But most importantly to me, it’s all mine. I stopped coloring my hair a year after I moved to Atlanta for a few reasons. For one, it’s costly as f*ck, as I’m sure most of you gals know. Another reason was time... I felt like I would rather do so many other things with my time than waste it sitting in a fume-filled chair while I listened to a 22-year old girl say “like” sixteen times a sentence while she told me about her best friend’s best friend’s best friends’ niece’s shoes. Not that I don’t like shoe conversations, but c’mon, everyone has their limit. But the biggest reason I gave up coloring my hair was that I wanted more of my personality to be represented in the way I looked and my true color was a huge part of that. Every day I dress for work and every day I choose a different theme – One day its vintage “I Love Lucy,” another, “hottie librarian,” on Wednesday,“conservative executive” and maybe I end the week on “cougar dominatrix.” Er… I’ve actually not worn that one yet. I’ll wait until Todd is out of town to pull that one off. Point is, that’s part of who I am, (and, probably why I love Halloween so much.) Every day my hair is different, too: Up, down, straight, curly, wavy, braided, bun, ponytail, etc. The hair matches the outfit usually, so the hair is also part of the theme. These are the facets of my life – the things that make up who I am – and to even think that I should be expected to cut my hair because I’ve gotten older makes me shake. ‘Bad shake’… not “OH MY GOD THAT’S THE SPOT!” shake. That’s clearly not ‘bad shake.’ That shake good. Me likey that shake.

In 2007, writer Esther Rantzen penned the following: “There's the unattractive truth that when most people get older, their hair changes texture and becomes coarse and difficult to tame. Think of all those elderly hippies with their brindled hair flying in the wind: not a good look.” She said “An older face framed with straggly long hair looks sad, even when it's not. It takes a young, round face with plump cheeks and a tight jawline to carry off long locks.”

Hey, Esther… have you seen yourself? No? Well, here you are:

Honey, a bag on fire and a beating with sledgehammer wouldn’t make you look better. You really think that long hair makes an older woman’s face look “sad?” Jesus Christ, lady, look at yourself. Remove those dentures and you’d look like Droopy Dog on downers no matter what length your hair was. Screw you, Esther. Screw you and the gay personal trainer Andie MacDowell rode in on last week. Who the f*ck are you, anyway? And why did I reference you? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

Listen up, and listen good. DO… WHATEVER… MAKES YOU… FEEL BEAUTIFUL. If you feel fine… no, sorry… if you feel ‘FINE’… then those who look upon you will feel fine, too. You will smile more, and you will laugh more, and I guarantee that you will live more. Let you, define you. And let Esther have her short, ugly hair.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

359 Days - "CRIMSON CHICKEN HANGER" (aka The Bully Post)

There was this period of about three years in elementary school when I got bullied a fair amount. The school was never home to me since I started going there in the middle of the school year in fourth grade and never really quite fit in. I had short hair, wore extremely large glasses, was already about 5’8” in the 6th grade and… this will sound weird if you’re not from Philly, but… I wasn’t Irish, which didn’t float in an Irish school in the Irish neighborhood of a largely Irish city.
I wasn’t Irish. It’s so weird to say that sentence as the reason for being bullied. I wasn’t Irish. Funny thing is, I actually am Irish – a fair amount of it, too – but my last name was Palumbo and to be frank, I didn’t want to be f*cking Irish if these assholes were. So, that, the glasses, the slow-to-put-out… or, rather, the no-to-put-out-because-Jesus-Christ-have-you-looked-at-me, the brains, the fact that my family lived in low-income housing, the dreadful “Beaker-From -the-Muppets” style haircut, and the size ten shoe at age eleven all made for not just one hell of an unpopular tweenager, but one hell of a bully magnet.
There are days that I try finding Christine Volkmann. Wait, am I not supposed to use an actual name? Okay. There are days I try finding “Shristine Flolkmann.” I look her name up on Facebook but oddly enough, there are a fair amount of morbidly obese, ugly Irish/Polish/German ladies with the same name on there; how is anyone supposed to tell them apart? One lady looks seventy but I’m still not quite sure that she isn’t the Shristine Flolkmann I’m looking for. The Irish do like to drink and smoke, after all (oh, hush! Don’t be so thin-skinned.) I’ve even dreamt of sending private messages to them all with a picture of my naked butt crack holding the stem of a sign that reads “Kiss my ass you ugly Irish slut.” But, that wouldn’t be appropriate, now, would it? I realize it would be stooping to her level and yes, I understand that she was “just a kid” at the time and that she has likely become a fine upstanding citizen and active member of her town’s PTA, but, I also believe that God exists, so, you be the judge.
The fact that her face is still burned in my memory all these years later - twenty-six years later - probably bothers me more than the “EAT ME RAW” note she passed to me in the seventh grade during religion class. I had no idea what that meant or why she and her fatties were laughing so hard about it at the time. Actually, I still don’t find it even the least bit amusing. It may as well have said “CRIMSON CHICKEN HANGER.” I mean, I’d at least laugh at the nonsensical nature of that statement. I think she may have even spelled “raw” wrong. How do you spell raw wrong? This is the mental giant that made me a nervous wreck for all those years? Pffff. Screw her and the Budweisers she passed out on. Living well is the best revenge! An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind! And a multitude of other awesome quotes I just found on!
But the quote that stuck with me most as a teenager was one by Marcus Aurelius which states… “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” And not long after first reading that, and that entire experience, I understood, but vowed never to be bullied again. And I never was. And Shristine Flolkmann lived fattily ever after. In my mind, anyway.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

360 Days - Andie MacDowell Can Bite Me

There’s this unwritten rule out there that says that a woman should “dress her age” as if when we’re born we’re handed a gift package from world leaders that includes a sterling silver rattle, “Miss Manners Pocket Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior,” something pink, pressed powder (one doesn’t want to have a shine!) and eight laminated flash-card style guides showing you what is appropriate to wear for every decade between your single digits and your eighties.  It was originally ten cards but the world leaders (all men, of course) decided that if you lived past eighty-nine you could wear whatever the f*ck you wanted in celebration of not experiencing death. Yet. Thanks, guys. As they say down here in the women-doting (sarcasm) South… ‘Preciate it.

In February of this year, Andie MacDowell was asked for one piece of advice that she could give to her fans during a television interview. One piece of advice. Think about that for a minute… if someone said to you, “Hey, person, you have millions of people (men and women) who adore you, with some even hanging on your every word. You can say one thing to them. One. JUST one. They are listening and may just follow whatever piece of advice you give them, so make it good!” I would fall apart, personally, maybe more so by the fact that there was millions of anything following me that wasn't bees after that honey and pollen-bath spa incident. But that Andie, man, she wowed ‘em in her Southern style flauntin’, L’Oreal makeup wearin’, fifty-three year old bein’, advice-givin’ way… by telling her minions to ditch the short skirts and dress their age. Well done, Andie. Well done. So, you apparently didn’t think “wear sunscreen” was good enough advice for those who, oh, I don’t know, want to not die a horrible death from skin cancer? Or, say, maybe mention the health hazards related to sodium intake? Or smoking? Or FIFTY MILLION OTHER NOT F*CKED UP PIECES OF ADVICE?! Dress your age? That’s the best you could come up with? Screw you, Ms. MacDowell. Screw you and the gay personal trainer you rode in on (not that there’s anything wrong with that. I once rode a gay personal trainer and it’s actually a damn good hamstring workout, so I recommend it.) I got your ‘dress your age’ right here, a-hole.

I wore a mini skirt today. Actually, at roughly six feet tall in the boots I have on, I would even go as far as to say I wore a micro-mini skirt today. To work. In my office. Where I am Senior Vice President of my Forbes’ Magazine highly-rated company. It didn’t halt my creativity, distract my co-workers, or bring my productivity level to a halt. I didn’t get cancer from it, nor did it make me need a new kidney. I was still able to drop both children off to school, after I made them a hot breakfast and washed their faces. Still drank my coffee in the exact same way that I did yesterday, when I wore pants. Way back yesterday. I still loved the same people that I love, and loathed the ones I loathe, with the exception of having added one fifty-three year old South Carolina-born brunette who starred in the highly denounced, overly titled “Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.” Imagine that. I wore an article of clothing, and… why… it didn’t even affect me, or my life, or those around me. As a matter of fact, my choice of apparel didn’t negatively affect anyone today (though, I'm pretty sure it positively affected a few of the older gents in my building.) Especially not Andie MacDowell. Or Tarzan, grey, stoked or not.
In case you haven’t been slapped in the face enough with this fact from reading a previous blog post here, I’m a believer of a different age-old rule… that one goes “if you got it, flaunt it.” You want to wear leopard print to a funeral? Carry on, Cougar. Have the desire to hoist your boobies up higher than your collar bone? Perfect! Who needs a neck? Unless it’s holding diamonds it’s useless to me anyway. Do what your momma told you not to, gals, because rebellion isn’t just for teens and liberals any more.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

362 Days - What Makes a King Out of a Slave?

The Wizard of Oz is my all-time favorite movie. As a child who grew up in a less-than-stellar environment, the once-a-year showing of The Wizard of Oz on one of the three major television networks that existed at the time (I call it the B.C. period of television --- Before Comcast) was a highlight in my house for every family member. It allowed me to escape to a world that I never thought I’d know, and I don’t just mean one of dwarfs, flying monkeys and green-faced bitches. I did, after all, grow up in the era of Ecstacy. I mean that for a couple of hours, usually on a Sunday night, I didn’t have to hear my parents fight about bills or booze, and I didn’t have to listen to my brothers plot their stepfather’s death, and I didn’t have to think about the fact that I couldn’t go on a field trip because there wasn’t enough money to send me. I could get lost in a galaxy that was beyond the rainbow, and sometimes, two hours is all you need to keep you going in life, even when you’re eight or nine.
What makes a king out of a slave? Courage. What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage.
I had a school girl crush on the Tin Man. To this day he remains my favorite character in L. Frank Baum’s masterpiece, and not just because he was sweet and loving and romantic and sincere… but because he was, well, let’s face it, The Cute One. He was the Davy Jones (God rest his soul) of the original literary Fab Four. Not super talented, and not the comedic relief, but loveable nonetheless. The Scarecrow would have been Mike Nesmith (the talent and the balls) Dorothy would have been Peter Tork (kind of green; a bit naïve) and Mickey Dolenz, a CLEAR Cowardly Lion (the fun one that you really couldn’t have made it without.) And while my heart belongs to the Tin Man forever, there is a huge chunk of it that has been carved out for that damn, stupid, loveable Lion. For without him, and I’m sure we all agree, the plan would have never been able to work.
What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage.
I have never been one to hold my tongue and some have even said that I lack a certain filter when it comes to speaking my mind, asking for things or sharing my opinion, no matter who the listener may be. I don’t think those things have to do with a filter, necessarily. I think that they stem from a certain courage that is rare, especially in women, and that is often confused with “bitchdom.” My courage got me where I am today including right here, writing this blog. My courage moved me from Philadelphia to Atlanta, where I set out to start an entirely new life knowing no one but the man I would eventually marry. It allowed me to stand in front of my now ex-husband and tell him that I didn’t want a life with him anymore. It’s allowed me to stand in front of my now current husband and confess things to him that I never thought imaginable. It got me in the cab that drove me to the auditions for a nationally televised game show and likely won me the opportunity to be a contestant. It allows me to wear mini-skirts at my age, let my gray hairs grow in, and refrain from ever having Botox injections. It kept me alive when I didn’t know if my sixteen-week old son would die from the seizures he had suffered from five years ago. It has given me more than my fifteen minutes of fame, and will stand alongside me taller than ever as I venture into middle-age. It is as big of a part of me as my heart, my brain and my home. It is truly and undoubtedly, the Lion in my life.
What makes the Sphinx the Seventh Wonder? Courage. What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage.
Getting old isn’t easy, gang. But with a little courage, it’s not so hard either. Every day you are presented with choices and your courage will determine whether or not you are the player or the spectator. I, myself, enjoy a good game. I’ve always been a sports gal and plan on getting dirty until the day I drop dead. When I look back on my life I want to think of myself as the Nolan Ryan of womanhood. Like, “Yeah, I got old, but dammit, I was still giving it my all.”
What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the ape in ape-ricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
Well, it’s not Courage, that’s for damn sure.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

363 Days - Bikinis, Martinis, Milkshakes and MILFs

I want to be buried in a bikini when I die. One of the very first memories I have as a child was wearing a bikini that was given to my mother by her friend who visited Hawaii in the late seventies. At four years old I knew I’d never go back on getting as close to naked as legally possible again. I can sum up my existence in bikinis, as each one has told their story. And I never have fewer than a dozen in my closet at any given time. One never knows when one will be swept away on a twelve-day cruise of the Mediterranean, now, does one?
Today’s blog post is devoted to the bikini and the enjoyment I’ve had in it. I’m calling it “Bikinis, Martinis, Milkshakes and MILFs”… read on and you’ll see why.
Philadelphia, summer of 1976 --- The country’s bicentennial was in full swing in the birthplace of our nation. The city’s most beloved mayor, Frank L. Rizzo, hosted a magnificent celebration that included our nation’s then suck-ass president, Gerald Ford. I was three at the time and on July 4th, 1976, The Palumbos celebrated 200 years of this country’s independence (and my brother Steven’s 9th birthday) by doing what any God-fearing, flag-loving, British rule-hating, apartment-renting family would… we walked to Marrone’s and got water ice and milkshakes.
Now, at the time, I didn’t realize that My Milkshakes Would Bring All the Boys to the Yard, but then again, we didn’t have a yard, did we? We rented. We had a back porch. Did the boys come to the back porch? No. Never. But only because Frank the Greaseball would have shot them because he would have thought that they were trying to get in his tomato plants. But had the little boys known what would have been waiting for them on the back porch in the summer of ’76, they would have taken the risk. Yeah. Uh-huh. Six year old Gino would have been begging for them milkshakes. Yeah. I know das right. ‘Cause I was there on that hot summer day, and I was waitin’ with my fake plastic “Shmarbie” dolls … and I was sportin’ … my bikini…

Paradise Island, Bahamas, summer of 1995 --- “I’m going to throw up.” “Bar, you’re not going to throw up. You wanna half a Valium?” “No, are you f*cking crazy, Nick? I don’t take that shit. I can’t look. Wait, what’s better, should I look? HOLY SHIT WHAT WAS THAT?” “It was the landing gear going up into the plane, you goof.  Jesus Christ, this really is your first time on a plane, isn’t it?” “Just hold my hand and don’t talk, please. I’m going to faint.” “What about a drink? You wanna drink?” “Yeah, I wanna drink. Get the girl. Get me a Whiskey Sour or a Martini or some shit.” “Are you serious? You’re not serious, right? What do you think they have top shelf open bar on the back of the plane? This ain’t Egypt nightclub, Bar… it’s a plane. I’ll get you a beer.” “I hate beer. We’ve been dating for four months and you still don’t know that I hate beer?” “I forgot! What the f*ck! I’ll get you a wine then, better?” “Yeah. Whatever. That’s fine. Thanks, Nick. I love ya.” “Yeah. I love you too. Just put that flower bikini on when we get to the hotel and I’ll forgive you for being stupid, goof.” “Fine. But only if they have a pool.” “This conversation isn’t ranking as one of the smarter moments of your life, is it?” “F*ck you, Nick.”

Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA, spring of 2006 --- For my thirty-third birthday, Todd decided that we would spend a weekend away in a cottage at a little retreat in Georgia called Callaway Gardens. He suggested that I take all of the necessities needed for a romantic but athletic weekend getaway in the hot Georgia springtime: hiking boots, mountain bike, bathing suits, sunscreen, and my OBGYN’s cell number in case my water broke. Oh, did I fail to mention I had been 32 weeks pregnant? Ohhhhhhyeaaaaaaahhhhhhh. Have you ever seen a massively pregnant lady in shorts on a mountain bike? I hope not from the back, and suggest you NOT look if the opportunity arises, because you’ll never be the same again if it happens (shudder.) But oddly enough, when it came time to relax by the pool, I didn’t think twice about donning my bikini. I know that a lot of women out there would never dream of putting themselves in a bikini during their pregnancy, and I can respect that, but for some reason, whether it was the beautiful natural grounds surrounding us, or the heat that was sending me into pre-term labor, I felt like I needed to be as one with nature as possible. Whoever I paid to shoot me in the face if those words ever came out of my mouth just walked up my front steps, I believe. WOW, that’s a large gun. Honestly though, I really did feel beautiful, even with how big I was, and that feeling had tripled when the two early-twenty-something University of Georgia students sitting next to me at the pool went off about how “AH-MAZING” I looked and referred to me as a MILF. Thanks Courtney and Carly. I miss our MySpace talks! Love ya!

Backyard, suburb of Atlanta, GA, today of 2012 --- I don’t really have a story about today. Actually, I really do have a story about today but today’s story is to be shared between a select amount of people and my future therapist. I’ll save it for a post some years down the road and leave it at that.
Today, I am thirty-nine years and two days old. I have had two husbands and two children – in 2006 and in 2010 (the kids, not the husbands) – and I have lived a lot and laughed a lot and loved a whole lot more. And today, all of these years later, I still enjoy putting on a bikini, whether it’s to get a little sun or simply just to piss people off. Today, I think I did it for the latter.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

365 Days - The Year Mark

So I sat in front of my PC late Wednesday night (I’m a PC, not a Mac, btw) after three-quarters of a bottle of Chenin Blanc (really? Yes, REALLY! Chenin Blanc is BACK, baby! So are shoulder pads and "stories") and stared at the blank computer screen with a look on my face similar to Sarah Palin when asked any question that has to do with foreign affairs. Blank, in other words.  

“How do I start this?” I thought. “How do I start this without coming off as a self-centered, somewhat conceited, egotistical attention-whore?” I thought. Then, I thought “I can’t. That’s what I am.” They say acceptance is half the battle, right? So…  

Welcome to the blog of a 39 year old self-centered, somewhat conceited, egotistical attention-whore! Pull up a chair! Oh honey, not that one; that one makes your thighs look fat. That one, yeah. That’s good. And here’s an afghan. That’s better. WELCOME ONE AND ALL… or better yet, WELCOME, ALL FIVE OF YOU! Today, is my birthday!!! For those that would like to send gifts, I don’t mind that much if they are late, as long as they aren’t too late, and you may email me at for my P.O. box but do it quickly. First come, first serve. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!! Did I mention that today is my birthday? IT IS! 

So my birthday was supposed to be the official “launch” of Eve of Forty but as you know if you’ve been reading, I had a little premature female ejaculation and released it earlier this week. Sorry. I’m really sorry.  That’s never happened to me before. I’ll clean it up. I swear. In any case, this blog was created with the hot pre-cougar/cougar/jaguar/mountain lion in mind. Moms or non-moms alike are welcome. Friends and family are welcome. Men, as always, just like in my twenties, are welcome. I hope that you aren’t offended by things I say/have said as this is all written in fun and mostly tongue-in-cheek. Oh, and my husband is reading, so mind your comments even if I don’t. He’s open-minded but he’s also bat-wielding. Love you, honey!  

Enjoy. Have a giggle. Curse me out. Walk my path. Whateva. This is mine, bitches. Mine, all mine. Not much is these days, but this thing is. 

Did I mention… IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! IT IS!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

366 Days - My Love Affair with a Mind-Screwing Frenchman

I’ve been having a love affair for years with a Frenchman. His name… is Inner-Saboteur. Oh, don’t gasp. Todd knows about it. It only happens once a year and usually the dates of the rendezvous coincide with that of my birthday. You see, I’m one of those folks who sets themselves up for disappointment even when the grass is green, the skies are blue and a rainbow is shining from the depths of my ass crack. It happens – I mean, I make it happen - just about every year on my birthday, and this year I didn’t let myself down. This year, my beautiful Inner-Saboteur and I… well, we got downright kinky.  

Here’s how it usually goes down: 

First, he whispers sweet things in my ear like: “You only received one card and it’s the 17th” and “Why aren’t more people inviting you out for drinks?” because those things, he knows, get my juices flowing. Then he usually works his way, with his fingers, up to my temples because my mind is where he knows I’m the weakest. “You can forget about the Ipad,” “You can forget about the Yanni tickets,” “You can forget about an email from any of your exes, baby… you’re just… not… that… important.”  

At this point, Inner-Saboteur has me exactly where he wants me. He knows that going for my ego is a sure fire way to f*ck me hard, and hell, who doesn’t love a birthday f*ck, am I right? So he gets inside me and that’s really when the fun starts.  

“You won’t hear from your father. Again.” 

“No one will show up at your office with flowers.” 

“You know you’re bound to get in a fight with someone you love.” 

“The lingerie that you won’t get wouldn’t fit anyway.” 

“Have you seen your ass in a bikini? Please. The trip to South Beach should be the last thing you would want right now.” 

And as he can feel that I’m losing control, he goes, full force, into the finale… 

“You’ll never be happy, and you’ll never be satisfied, because that’s just who you are, Barbara. It’s never enough, no matter what people do.” 

And I collapse on my bed of self-loathing as I ponder all of the emotions that his words have stirred. Yep, it’s April 18th. And yep, I’ve done it once more. I’ve sabotaged myself into believing that I will be having a miserable birthday yet again, and the God damned day hasn’t even started. I’m AWESOME! Seriously!! No one on earth could screw up a happy moment better than I could, man. Momma always said: “If you’re going to do something, do it better than anyone else” So, yeah, add “screwing myself over” to the list behind crocheting winter scarves, winning at backgammon and making a jewish-style beef brisket. I rule at sucking, and I’m getting better at it every year. I. Am so. F*cked.  

And don’t dare make a comment about the Yanni tickets. I’m seriously not in the mood.

Monday, April 16, 2012

368 Days - What Would You Do With a Second Life?

What Would You Do With a Second Life?
10:10 pm, Friday night, April 13th… ((Bzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzzz))
The phone reads “Mom cell”… the only word to describe “mom cell” is, well… F*ck.
"This is it. This is the call." I think to myself. The Call. You know "The Call." "The Call" with a Capital "C"… the one that tells you that your father/mother/son/daughter/brother/sister/husband/wife is dead because of a heart attack/tragic car accident/robbery gone bad/drug overdose/drunk driver/aneurysm/enraged lover/liver failure/suicide that happened only moments before. The Call. The God forsaken, f*cking Call that you get at 10:10pm or 3:07am or 6:58 when you know your alarm isn’t supposed to go off until 7:05. The Call that you curse. The Call that you loathe. Or, The Call that you wish for, depending on the life you’ve led and the person you are. No judgments here, mind you.  I’ve had my fair share of wishing The Call on for reasons of my own.
"Barbara… it’s mommy" (Of course, because I’m who I am and she’s who she is I immediately give her the mental version of ‘duh’ in my mind. Shame on me.  Pathetic, really.) "Yeah, Ma. What’s up? What’s the matter? What is it?" I can hear her sobs on the other end and I think that it’s my father. My father; whom I haven’t spoken to in years because I finally reached the point of no return in our relationship. And emotion came over me and I braced myself for whatever the next sentence was while I sat in his lap attaching plastic Easter eggs to his mustache, and while I ran after the half-ball that he hit with the sawed off broomstick down at JFK stadium before they knocked it down. The Call was waiting for me, and I was ready for it whether I liked it or not.
"Barbara. Uncle Jay asked me if you could do something. He (sob) said that (sob) you are connected to everybody on Facebook? (she closed the statement out as if the word “Facebook” had been the word “Flogerhoplestengardenstein”… like she had never heard of it. May I present… my mother, ladies and gentlemen) And (sob) he wanted you to (sob) tell everyone (sob) that Jason is dead."
Jason is dead.
Hey. Everyone. Jason is dead. Details to follow.

What Would You Do With A Second Life?
Todd and I sat around the California dining room table while Uncle Jay went through the huge shoebox of pictures he had collected of all of us over the years. Timmy at his graduation from high school. Roseanne, Chris and Amy with their mom. My brother Steven when he finished Air Force basic training. Johnny and Kathy at Christmas. Me, at my first wedding. And pictures of our children were in the same box. Madison, and Ryan, and Roman, and Santo and Amanda. And he took each one out of the box with such care and passed them around. He knew each by name without looking at the back. And I looked at this man – my mother’s youngest sibling and the one that I always favored most – and I thought to myself "I would have loved to have had a father like him."
And then, he opened up to us. About his childhood. About losing his father at the age of three and his mother to breast cancer at the age of nine. About the relationship that he’s had with his own son, Jason, and the mistakes he made as a parent and how he wished he could do it over again. "I raised him with a heavy hand” he said “only because I didn’t know any other way. I had no parents and was raised by my brothers and sisters and that’s how they raised me" and I could see the pain in his face, and the hurt in his heart for both the parents he had lost and the parent he had become, and at that very moment it made me love him even more and hold him dearer to me than most people in my life.
I thought of him first when The Call came in. Of how life comes full circle. He had lost his father at three, and now his son was lost to his own daughter, who was not much older than one. And I cried a hard cry. You know the type… the ones that blind you from all light in the house. The ones that make you breathe heavier than your last 5K. The ones that make you sick, or vomit, or fall to the ground like you were shot in the knees by a sniper. I cried a genuine cry for the loss of a family member; of a blood that I never took the time to know. And I cried for the loss of a family member as I knew him; for my uncle, who would be a different man to me and those who know him from this day forward. The man I always knew was now dead; replaced only by a shell of himself that was born on April 13th, 2012, at not much more before 10:10pm.

What Would You Do With a Second Life?
Would you put the doughnut down?
Would you have had the abortion?
Would you say "I love you" more?
Would you not have that last drink?
Would you give your husband a second chance?
Would you not abandon your child?
Would you go back to school?
Would you go to school at all?
Would you have that affair?
Would you read them the book when they ask?
Would you not raise your hands?
Would you make love in public?
Would you spend more and make less?
Would you make more and spend less?
Would you tell your father to f*ck off?
Would you tell your mother you aspire to be her?
Would you go to Paris?
Would you go to jail?
Would you go where no other man has gone?
Or would you simply… just go?

I ask you now…
What Would You Do With a Second Life?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

372 Days - The Time Post

If you’re a mother like I am then you know about “age-by-weeks” because there was a time when your baby’s age was determined that way and no one thought twice about it for the first year.

“Awww… she’s so big! How old is she?”

“Oh, she’s just past 32 weeks, thanks!”

“WOW! She’s so chubby!!”

“WOW! So are you!”


(more silence)

“Hey look, free Doritos!” (sound of footsteps running away/stroller wheels screeching/Starbucks cup being thrown)

So today, I’m bringing it back to basics. Today I’m 2,027 weeks old. For those without a calculator handy, that’s 38 years and 51 weeks. For those without a brain handy, that’s one week until my 39th birthday and the last year in my thirties. So what does this all mean, you ask? Oh, my dear friends, who am I kidding? You wouldn’t dream of asking for fear of getting an answer! How does the ‘Gen Y’ saying go? FML?? Anyway, here’s the scoop/the dilly/the deal/the answer (I tried to cover all generations there, see?): It all means, in a nutshell, or, rather, a tampon applicator (just to keep the “lady-theme” going here) that my time is running out. Not my “time” time, mind you. I hopefully have plenty of that left, but my, you know… tiiiiiiimmmme. Like, my “Tuh-ime.” Or, my “t-t-t-t-t-time.” Time for goodies and fun spots and wowsers and eeks. “Table-top” time. “Cooking naked and feeling comfortable about it and don’t let the new burn get you down” time. “Victoria’s Secret half-off-panties-buy-three-get-laid-free shopping-spree” time. SEXY TIME, DAMMIT! It’s fourth down, gang! And I’m at the 39 and 2 (age plus amount of kids) but the thing is, my quarterback is 6th string! It ain’t lookin’ good, people! My time is running out faster than Mitt Romney at a PETA convention. Or Rick Santorum in a sweater-vest-less Wal-mart location. Or Newt Gingrich at a … okay I’ll stop. Point made, I’m sure. It’s crunch time, is what I’m saying. And my goal for the next year other than writing this blog in my free time (sarcasm plus irony = blogger goodness at its best) is to not just feel sexy again, but to genuinely BE sexy again.  

If Sofia Vergara can do it at 39; if Diane Lane can do it at 47; if Julianne Moore can do it at FIFTY-PHUCKING-TWO, then G*d damn, I’m going to do it, bitches. This 2,027 week old woman is going to DO IT. Come with me! Let’s do this!

Time. It’s all about time, kids.

My time, is now.