Posts

The Great Couch Quest

Will We Find a Sofa or Sadness?

The Great Couch Quest

Some quest for El Dorado; some for the Fountain of Youth. Others seek world peace or an end to poverty. Well, good for them.

Handsome Hubby and I have our own noble quest. We search for something of beauty; something that will bring joy to family and friends. We seek a couch, comfy and chic.

We have pursued our noble quest for ten months so far, and so far, we have met only hardship, dashed hopes, scorn, and failure.

Seemingly simple you might think to buy a living room sofa, one that’s soothing and sleek … and somewhat affordable. And also, ideally, delivered before the End of Days or, at least, before the next round of holidays and birthday celebrations. But simple it is not. Read more

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To Facebook Friend or Not to Friend?

Late to the Social Media Party

To Friend or Not to Friend

“This year, for the first time, more than half of the US population will use Facebook.”

So proclaimed a recent report, but it is, of course, already outdated. It was outdated, in fact, one minute after it was published, because at that very moment I signed onto Facebook for the first time.

I know. I was late to the social media party. I resisted for a long time. My generation was raised to be more private. Communications were personal, one-on-one. To me, Facebook seemed a return to the days of multi-user party telephone lines, when the operator—and anybody and their mother—could and would listen in.

For years, I prided myself on standing apart from the Facebook nation. “It’s for the kids.” “I’m too busy.” I even resisted the beguiling thought of using it to “spy” on my children, and boy, was that tempting!

But now I have succumbed, succumbed in a big way. Although I must be honest. The reason, initially, wasn’t social, but Read more

You Can Make a House Smart, but Not a Homeowner

And That Smarts

Smart House, but Not a Smart Homeowner

You can make a house smart, but not a homeowner. I know from first-hand experience. You see, I live in a smart house. “Live” is perhaps an inaccurate description. “Trapped” is a better word.

You see, I have a techno-wizard son and an enabling husband, who enthusiastically says “yes” to every new electronic device the “Techno-Wiz” wants to install and program into our house.

My friends think I’m lucky to have the Techno-Wiz on-call 24/7 to solve my computer needs, but I know the ugly truth: He and my husband are engaging in a modern form of gaslighting, ostensibly working to modernize the house in ways I don’t—and will never—understand. It’s driving me crazy and that’s their real goal. Read more

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Throw in the Towel in 2018

The Path to Enlightenment

Throw in the Towel

You know the expression “to throw in the towel”- meaning to give up? Well, I am trying the opposite. I’m turning to towels, dishtowels to be specific, for inspiration and wisdom in 2018.

Maybe it is the challenging times we live in. The nation seems more divided than ever. We’re all scared about a possible war with North Korea. And I personally feel adrift, desperately trying to figure out what to give my sister-in-law for her birthday this year.

So, you can imagine my delight the other day when birthday gift shopping online, I found inspiration, indeed true enlightenment in … of all things … Read more

Period Trackers. Not for Grammarians

But for the Gals

Period Trackers. And I'm Not Talking about Grammar Apps

Here’s a cute, true-life story, compliments of a dear friend of mine. The subject is period trackers. And spoiler alert: this is not a new computer app for grammarians, but for gals.

The period trackers I’m referring to are computer apps that track menstruation cycles, and while admittedly most “women of a certain age” didn’t need this, my friend’s story illustrates how the subject of the “birds and the bees” has become even more complicated … and comical … nowadays. Read more

Thin Lips and Thin-Skinned

Only the Brave Visit the Plastic Surgeon

Think lips and thin skinned

My dear Middle-aged Muddlers, last week as you recall, I “documented” my struggle to combat the shame of a droopy mouth and thin lips.

In my 20s, 30s, and 40s, I used excessive amounts of lip liner, lipstick and lip gloss to compensate. I also awkwardly smiled a lot to mask the droop.

In my 50s, I “graduated” to injectable fillers. They were costly. They hurt, but they helped.

Then one day my dermatologist told me that fillers were no longer the solution. Age, genes, and gravity were winning. If I wanted a perky pout, I needed stronger medicine. I needed plastic surgery.

Specifically, I needed a corner lip lift, a tricky procedure involving incisions on each side of the mouth with no place to hide the scars. Done poorly, the procedure leaves the patient resembling Batman’s nemesis, The Joker. Having seen pictures of botched procedures, I assure you, that is no joke.

My dermatologist referred me to a plastic surgeon, one of the “pioneers” of the corner lip lift procedure. I made an appointment, canceled it and called to re-schedule. I repeated this cycle of hope and fear three more times before I ultimately met the doctor. It was time to meet my re-maker. Read more

Scratchy Sheets and Thread Counts

We're Having Trouble Under the Covers

unhappy couple peering out from under marriage sheets

Early in our marriage, my husband and I kept track of who owed whom what. We kept itemized lists for most everything, but most of all, we counted movies. I liked foreign films, preferably with subtitles. He liked, no, loved, action films, preferably with lots of blood.

Usually, it was a zero-sum game. One foreign film for one action flick. If the foreign film was so boring that even I had to admit it was boring, I had to pay up with two action films in a row. If the bloody action film was so violent that even Handsome Hubby (HH) had to look away, I’d get two foreign flicks as recompense.

Then, at some point through the many years and the many movies, the system broke down. We stopped counting. As long as there was good popcorn and the seats were comfortable, we were a happy movie-going couple. No give and take required. A natural film equilibrium had been achieved. We both took this as a sign of middle-aged marital bliss and contentment.

The Battle of the Bed

But, of late, a new source of counting has creased our otherwise happy marital countenance. We’re having trouble in the bedroom, more specifically in bed. Read more

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CIA? Me, a Spy? Oh, My

The Day The Agency Called

Diana Riggs as Emma Peel

I’m not sure what prompted the recollection. I was just sitting on the couch watching some silly spy movie for the 17th time with Handsome Hubby. Somewhere between the commercials, the snacks and nodding off, I engaged in a little middle-aged woolgathering, the way we of a certain age do from time to time. I remembered something I hadn’t thought about in a long time – my own, true-to-life, almost CIA spy adventure.

I was young. (Like I said, it was a long time ago.)

I had studied in the then-Soviet Union, had two degrees in Russian Area Studies – political science, history, language, and economics, and spoke Russian with some degree of fluency.

Then the CIA called.  Read more

I Embarrass My Husband

The Subject is Flowers

I embarrass my husband. It’s true, I do.

It’s not my weight. My table manners. My political opinions or even my high-pitched snorting laugh. It’s gotten to the point he won’t be seen in public with me – or to be more precise – he won’t go for walks with me.

The path I take, he takes no more.

Read more

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