Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Very Polyamorous Thanksgivukkah

Gothukkah poster. Photos courtesy of Dana Gitell

I decided to give my husband an early Hanukkah present, and he couldn't have been more delighted. My husband met the woman who would change our lives at our synagogue during Saturday morning Shabbat services. Soon she began saving a seat for him, and they would join in prayer while I slept in. They shared many common interests like bike riding, and going to sporting events. Our boys loved her cooking, and enjoyed her vast knowledge of sports trivia. She even impressed my mom, "Why can't you make a left turn without a stoplight? We're never late when your husband's lover takes me to appointments, and she brings better snacks. Oh, and that soft, silky skin. The woman simply glows. You know, I don't think I ever gave your husband enough credit."  It was time to take the next step.

She officially moved in with us a few weeks ago. We quickly settled into a comfortable routine. When our son came home for Thanksgivukkah break, she didn't mind going from room to room gathering up his clothing. She even convinced him to make his bed without raising her voice. Our son was thrilled that she made all of his favorite dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It stung a little the first time he called her mom and me Mrs. Pick, but I was too full to fret over it.

Since she was busy cooking, cleaning, and raising our son, I had to bring something to the table. I thought long and hard about what I could contribute to our polyamorous relationship. As she was preparing our Thanksgivukkah feast, I generously offered to give her the night off.

After our son went out for the evening, I invited our husband upstairs while I casually slipped into my sexy long flannel nightgown with matching tube socks. Then I put on his favorite TV shows, and was ready for action. Each time he said 'what' or 'hmm..,' I delivered the actor's lines with reckless abandon. I even watched him play with the remote while he cranked up the volume. Earlier in the day I had his polyamorous partner carry up the mini fridge from the basement where I loaded it with his favorite food, and drink. He couldn't have been happier, as he lay giggling in our king size buffet.

Strange thoughts started going through my head while I tossed and turned. How were we going to arrange our cemetery plots? The odds were that I would die first. Would I simply be cast aside at one end of the cemetery, while they would spend eternity together?  And if our husband went first, would she continue to cook, clean, and move furniture around for me? Were we destined to become a couple of old maids together though she was technically older, and a much better maid?

Just as I was about to drift off into sleep, I woke up in a cold sweat to the sound of the burglar alarm. I ran downstairs, and almost tripped on our son's hat, gloves and shoes that were sprinkled like bread crumbs leading to the back door. The wind had blown the garage door open which set off the alarm while the boys slept. There was no polyamorous Mary Poppins to clean up the mess, and phone the alarm company. I didn't get my Thanksgivukkah wish after all. Boy was my mom going to be disappointed.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ladies' Room Confession


I was silently singing happy birthday while washing my hands in a department store restroom, when a stranger approached me. She looked like she was around my age, and felt the need to tell me that she had an accident in the stall. Naturally I assumed that she didn't get there in time due to a weak bladder, or stomach ailment. That wasn't the case. Her problem was that she "miss-aimed," and soiled her pants. 

How does a seemingly sober fifty plus year old woman "miss-aim" in a toilet? Surely she has had many years of practice. Was she trying to save time by not pulling her pants down, or did she squat instead of line the seat with toilet paper?  Should public bathrooms have instructions on the doors to prevent future accidents like this from happening?

She looked at me, as if she was waiting for a reassuring response. A friendly pat on the back, and "we've all been there," just didn't seem appropriate. Sure, I thought about asking her to become Facebook friends, but I couldn't help thinking about the next poor soul who would be doing the "slip 'n slide" in her stall.

I was pondering all of these questions, as I was trying to get the electronic paper towel dispenser to work. I tried everything from waving across the machine to banging on it with my elbow. Of course, a fresh paper towel came out on her very first try. That she knew how to do. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Forking Over The Perfect Holiday Gift

HAPIfork Bluetooth  Enabled Smart Fork

Every year it seems that the holiday shopping rush begins earlier and earlier. Now there is the added pressure of an event that has not occurred since 1888; where Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah collide. Thanksgivukkah is upon us, thus creating a new shopping frenzy. Instead of  getting into the holiday spirit by searching for the perfect turkey menorah, I decided to look for the latest  innovation from the Brookstone catalog.

The ad that caught my eye was for an electronic fork that helps you, "eat slowly, cut calories and feel great. The HAPIfork alerts you with vibration and LED lights when you're eating too fast. It also measures how long it took you to eat your meal, the amount of fork servings per minute and more. Upload information via Bluetooth to your smartphone so you can track your progress." 

The HAPIfork video shows an attractive mom who is enjoying herself at lunch with friends, and dinner with family. The whole family was counting their calories together at dinner with their colorful HAPIforks, but I couldn't help but wonder what would happen to the other family members outside the safety of their own home.

Any boy who brought his HAPIfork to school would be at high risk in the cafeteria. Other boys would notice his fork lighting up, and he would be ridiculed for days. The worst scenario would be if after he was attacked on the playground, he realized that he had accidentally thrown out his $99.99 fork in his paper lunch bag, and came home to another round of fighting.

What if this unfortunate boy had a twenty seven year old brother who relocated to a small town for a new job? In order to meet girls he signed up for a dating service, and tried hard to stay in shape. He arranges a date with the girl of his dreams, and takes her to the nicest restaurant in town. The conversation and wine are flowing smoothly until the salads are brought out. Then she notices that his fork is vibrating and lighting up. When he explains that he is simply trying to eat smarter, she looks at him like he's nuts.

Then his boss approaches him on his way to his table. "Nice toy you got there Brody. This looks like something that a man would need if he can't think for himself. Maybe something that your mom got for you? (Brody nods)  I thought so. Since you must really miss her, why don't you fly home to spend Thanksgivukkah with your family. Take all the time you need, 'cause your job will NOT be waiting for you when you get back."

When the bill arrives, he realizes that he barely has enough cash to pay for it. Brody would've asked his date to pitch in, but finally caught on that she wasn't still in the ladies room.  He works out a deal with the restaurant manager...

While he's finishing up washing the dishes, one of the other employees notices the HAPIfork. Brody pretends that he doesn't know where it came from, but the bus boy tells everyone who it belongs to. On his way home, they jump him in the alley, and beat the fork out of him.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

IWSG: Still Struggling


It's time for another edition of  Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to visit all of the talented members of this group that is over two years strong. The following is a repost from December 2011.

Still Struggling

She runs into his arms sobbing, "The letter came today, and they rejected my manuscript. This was the fifteenth publisher who turned it down. All of my hopes and dreams are over. I'm finished!"

He gazes knowingly into her eyes and says, "Got anything to eat? I'm starving!"

Then the director yells, "Let's take five everyone!" He gives the chiseled actor an 'attaboy' slap, before he motions the beautiful actress over for a chat. He tells her that her performance lacks realism, and suggests that she spend time with a struggling writer to better understand her plight.

The next day, the beautiful actress goes over to the struggling writer's apartment. She has trouble making her way through the crumpled up papers, magazines, and books until she finally stumbles upon the struggling writer. They are about the same age, but the struggling writer looks worn out in her baggy sweatpants, and oversized unraveling robe. She apologizes for not having showered, as she doesn't have any running water.

They end up spending the day laughing, crying, and fighting over remnants of sweet and salty snacks. The struggling writer shows the beautiful actress her pile of rejection letters while they wrap themselves in blankets to stay warm, because the landlord turned off the heat. The writer helps the actress rehearse her scenes while interjecting double doses of angst and plucky determination.

They say their goodbyes before nightfall, so that they don't have to continue rehearsing in total darkness. Not once does the beautiful actress offer to invite the struggling writer into her luxurious Manhattan apartment to have a warm bath, a nutritious meal, or sleep in a lovely heated spare bedroom during one of the coldest nights of the year.

The following morning, the beautiful actress confidently strolls back into the playhouse. She is assured that her new "method acting" approach will impress her director, as well as, entice her chiseled leading man. As she gets closer to the stage, she notices that they started without her. Her leading man is facing the director, while another woman is saying her lines. The beautiful actress with a newly acquired pulsating vein in her forehead, rushes the stage to confront her.

She can't believe her eyes. Her competition is simply gorgeous with cascading auburn hair, breathtaking features, and a perfect figure. Her voice sounds familiar, but she still can't place her. Then the director chimes in, "Sorry kid, you just don't have what it takes. We decided to go in another direction."

While the beautiful actress stands motionless, she overhears her former leading man invite his new costar to join him for a drink later. Suddenly it hits her, "You're the struggling writer that I poured my heart out to yesterday. How could you do this to me? And how could you deceive me by not washing your hair, and hiding under those ridiculous plus-size rags?"

Then the struggling writer/ knockout actress replies, "I deceived you? I bent over backwards trying to teach you how to act, and in return you let me rot in that freezer of an apartment. Besides you idiot ingrate, I'm the one who wrote this play!"

Friday, November 1, 2013

How We Were Almost MIA When Our Son Became An Esq.


Yesterday our older son was sworn in, and admitted to the Bar. He was presented with his license to practice law, though we were almost not present for the ceremony.

The ceremony took place at the Arie Crown Auditorium in Chicago. It's located at McCormick Place which is where my dad officially became a CPA over forty years ago. I'll never forget driving to the city with my dad, and brother. I was probably nine or ten at the time, and I had a terrible bout of car sickness. While we were all excited about my dad's accomplishment, I never saw the inside of the auditorium.

After I got sick in the ladies room, I thought I'd feel better if I walked around a bit. This worked for a few steps until it began again. Since there wasn't time to make it to the bathroom, I ran to the nearest trash can and missed. I was determined to make things right, so my aim was better on the next try. By the end of the ceremony, I had made my mark in every trash can in the lobby. At one point, I thought a strange man was following me too closely in the deserted hallway. Fortunately, any concerns I had were short lived, as he slithered away when I hit the final barrel.

Afterward, we picked up our grandpa, and went out for a lovely lunch. Of course, I made a complete recovery, determined not to miss a meal. Our older son never heard this story before which made us question the events that followed.

A few weeks ago, my husband did a Google Search on the number of people who passed the Bar Exam when he found an announcement about the admission ceremony. Later we asked our son why he didn't mention it, and he replied, "Because I didn't think it was a big deal. Everyone gets sworn in together, and then it's over."

Fortunately,  my husband found out in plenty of time, and we were able to attend. The Illinois Supreme Court Justices, and Bar Association Representatives gave short meaningful speeches. One of our favorite speakers advised, "Never argue with a fool, because from a distance people will not recognize which one is the fool."

It was very emotional watching our son and over a thousand men and women take the Attorney's Oath at the end of the ceremony. We went out for a quick lunch before we took our son back to work. It made us think about how lucky he was, as many of these lawyers may not even have jobs.

It's a good thing that we won't be arguing this case in court, because the judge would definitely rule in our favor, as sharing this important moment in our son's life was a very "big deal." My husband said it best, "What greater gift should parents have than seeing the return on their investment."