Tag Archives: experience

Why Chris Martin owes me a refund

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So. I went to see Coldplay for the third time last month. Those of you who’ve read my blog, know me or have driven next to me in traffic know I love Coldplay, specifically, Chris Martin and believe he is magical. Not like a unicorn, because they only exist in the mind of the truly innocent and that guy from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but still as magical as one can be without the ability to spew glitter on demand. On second thought…

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I was depending on Chris Martin to help me recover from my Annus horribilis, which is not Latin for hemorrhoids but Horrible Year, a term I learned from Elizabeth the Second after she tripped over a Corgi three years back.

 

My year, however, has actually been worthy of whatever award they give First World People when life has smacked them about for more than a week or two.

 

Hold on to your wigs and keys, as Dave Letterman used to say when he cared about what I wanted to see on TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love Stephen Colbert and watch him most every night, but I wish I could have my cake and eat it too and, also that Dave would pop up from time to say something smart and snarky before sinking into his beard again, while Stephen Colbert continues to amuse.

 

Anyway, here’s a list of what has gone on in my life since March 2016. Ironically, I was given a mood leveller in hopes that I would stop dragging my nose on the ground on a regular basis, instead, it knocked me on my ass for 5 weeks while I laid in bed trying not to move my head, which caused vertigo and a plethora of unpleasant symptoms no one truly wants to hear or experience, trust me.

 

As I pulled slowly from that sinkhole, I fell into the larger crevice of my father’s death, followed closely with my big brother teetering on the edge of death for a number of weeks and then, one week after her 16th birthday, my dog, Gracie Louise Greco barked at her last mail carrier, successfully sending him from my porch, gripped in terror, or so she likely thought.

 

By this time, it was late June and I pinned my hopes on Chris Martin, who, most likely was blithely unaware and mostly goofy, because as Dr. Phil says, the past is the best predictor of the future.

 

I had bought my tickets last December, splurging mightily and shockingly to my more pragmatic friends. As a freelance writer, I won’t be taking any solo trips to Paris or even Peoria any time soon. Still, I thought, I love my Coldplay and I took a leap of faith that I would continue to receive a fairly regular, two or three gigs from The Daily Herald on a monthly basis, thereby paying off Chris Martin in hopes he didn’t send out one of his goons to break my kneecaps. Luckily for my legs, I did so and proceeded to squirm and squeal in anticipatory joy for the weeks leading up to the concert.

 

The concert was at the end of July and I would be in the second row between the stage and one of two runways. He would probably have to sit in my lap to perform a couple of songs as I intended to be in his way. My hope was that I would have my face splashed on the evening news: Local Woman Arrested After Chris Martin Incident.

 

Sigh. I dreamt of it nearly every night, knowing that this would end my losing streak and begin a new age of delight and peacefulness if I managed to ignore the conventions and subsequent elections.

 

Unfortunately, and apparently Chris Martin caught wind of my upcoming intent to violate my probation and removed the two ramp, replacing them with one ramp down the middle of the floor. The following ensued.

 

One week before the show I got a letter from Satan AKA Satan. Dammit, Spellcheck, I’m trying to write Satan and it keeps changing it to Satan.   Hang on. Ticketmaster is the accepted term, but, just for the record, I agree with Spellcheck.

 

So, the letter was from Ticketmaster, telling me, due to a production change and I was now sitting in the 24th row, unless I wanted to return those tickets and try to do better, which I did. I ended up choosing 12th row floor tickets, which seemed to be stage right, but turned out to be stage Southern Illinois.

 

Yada, yada, Big Storm, yada, yada $49 parking, yada, yada, jumping kids obscure any view I might had in the steam bath that was the floor of Soldier Field. One more yada, yada, huge storm, buckets of cold water. Concert is cut short, or so I heard as I was in a cornfield in Springfield.

 

My friend and I muddled our way back to our car in a deluge and it took three days before ducks stopped following me, thinking I was a lake.

 

So, suffice it to say, I am less than cured of my 2016 malaise and am open to ideas of how to get past this year without having to live through autumn and Satan. Winter. I meant winter. For the record, Spellcheck is on a roll.

 

By the way, I still haven’t received my refund from Satan. (Ticketmaster. Not Winter.)

 

 

 

What I Forgot to Tell My Son

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What I Forgot to Tell My Son

Whilst checking out at Target, I inexplicably shared with the woman ringing me up, that my son was moving out that very day. She peered at me like a small hen who had just rang up all of the ingredients for my world famous fried chicken minus the chicken and then asked if I left my son with anything.

I thought she might have meant torn towels and cracked dishes,license-plate

but she soon clarified she meant advice on how I expect him to behave.

What I should have said was I expect him to behave like he always behaves,

like an enormous galoot that trails coins, socks and guitar picks wherever he goes, but instead I told her, my son is 25 and if he hasn’t figured out what my life lessons were, it’s a little late to start now, although I still call him baby and occasionally try to pick him up, which is beside the point, but absolutely relevant when I visit the chiropractor.

She went on to discuss why teenagers can be assholes, advancing a theory which was neither relevant to our conversation or more than 10% true, but I thanked her because that’s how you get people to stop telling you things, and rolled my cart out of hearing. For all I know, she is still discussing the topic with confused replacements of me, but who can replace me, so never mind.

While driving home, I wondered what he’d say if asked about what I taught him over the time it was my chance to espouse philosophies and demand compliance. One thing’s for sure, it would be quite different than what I think I told him, so I thought I’d try to advise him one last time (kidding! I’ll never let up on him. Poor kid is an only child).

After a great deal of deep thought, here’s what I came up with.

There are seven deadly sins; sloth, envy, gluttony, anger, Curly, Larry and Doc. Try them out, pick which one you like and stick with it. My favorite is sloth, but you’ll need to figure this out for yourself.

Try not to be swarmy or smarmy.

Don’t wear white after Labor Day…or ever. I’m the one who did your laundry so, trust me on this.

Do not befriend or fall in love with anyone who can’t name The Beatles by their first and last names. Only marry someone who can tell you Paul’s first name and Ringo’s given name. The Ringo point is less important, naturally.

Try to be kind. Yes, even to the guy who argues that Yeti’s are eating his potato chips while he sleeps. There’s no need to jeer him unless your friends do and then, of course, join in.

Watch out for women who ask; Notice anything different?

Do your damn homework. Even if it’s irrelevant, like Algebra or Physics.

Even though you will always love me best, you probably shouldn’t tell women this on the first date…or the thirtieth. Maybe just keep that our little secret.

No one is better than you and you are not better than anyone else. Except for people who leave clothes on the floor is store dressing rooms and people who leave their shopping carts in handicapped parking spaces. These people are stupid and evil. Avoid them.

This is not 100% true, but people who use mustache wax are clinically insane 90% of the time. Approach them with caution.

When deciding whether or not to participate in an activity; ask yourself, will this make a hilarious story to tell my mother? If the answer is yes, do it and try to take videos. If the answer is no, move on to the next ridiculous activity you are inclined to participate in.

Never end a sentence with a preposition. (Do as I say, not as I do. Doobie doobbie doo.) Make of that what you will.

If anyone wants to fight you, seem to happy about it and they’ll wander off.

Finally, become a rock star so I can meet Paul McCartney and Chris Martin. I’m sorry but you just don’t meet enough people I want to meet as a Forensic Psychologist. (I know. I just can’t remember the title you’re aiming for.)

Wait. Don’t forget to tell me you miss me with a fiery passion, even if you haven’t given me a second thought in days.

Oh, one more. Lie.

Why my 55th Isn’t About Senior Discounts

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Depending on how long it takes me to complete this missive, I will either be 55 in a few days

55.

55. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

or last week. Unlike most people, who get sick and then after a few days, recover, I feel the need to prolong the process to wring every bit of attention out of looking and feeling like hell with the added bonus that I don’t have to work or cook dinner. So, I may be writing this between naps, which take up most of my time these days.

So. 55. If you’re under 30, you’re thinking, Wow! That’s really old! What century were you born in?

Well, kids. I was born before The Beatles invented color. I was born before the previous statement could be countered by the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz on our televisions. You know, when Dorothy steps into Munchkin Land? Aside from the height challenged population, and the large, plastic vegetation Munchkin Land could be Downtown USA if DT, USA decorated itself in shades of grey (Not that kind. No one behaved like that before color was invented.) and determined it’s leadership by dropping houses on the opposition, which might be, in some cases, a model worth considering.

So, 55. If you’re over 40, and not yet 50, you’re probably thinking, good thing I’m not that old. You may also think 15 years is a long time. Keep telling yourself that, no need to become despondent as the sands in the hour-glass race past before you can even turn the damn thing over again.

Once you have a child, of course, time goes by in triple speed. Enough has been said about this phenomenon and I don’t need to delve into it here, but suffice to say, Sunrise, Sunset is a terrible song to play at your wedding. If you hate your parents and hope that they remember your wedding day as the day they wept into the rental tablecloths, gagging on tears, go ahead, be that person. Otherwise, have a heart. Karma is a bitch and all that.  Also, if you have any aged child, do not click on the above link; not unless you have hours to throw down the weeping uncontrollably well.

It’s not that my life at 54 is a living hell. The problem, as Doris Day (ask your grandparents) put it is, you grow out of it. Hence, 55.

At this point I have a husband whom I love and respect, who has put up with me for 35 years and that’s nothing to sneeze at. (Has anyone ever sneezed at less than impressive facts? Does anyone still use this expression besides Doris Day and me?) Putting up with me is quite an accomplishment because I am, after all, me, which is something no one else has even tried to be and for good reason.

I have the best son possible and made him myself from materials I had around the house, which, as anyone can tell you, is quite unique. Despite the fact that he has cruelly abandoned me to attend college and have a life of his own which doesn’t revolve around being available for movies and lunch dates, I love and respect him as well. (Next time he comes home I’m going to perform some sort of evil deed which will make it impossible for him to leave my home of his own volition. Please, don’t tell him this.)

I have lovely friends, some of which knew me before I met my husband and son and still like me, or so they say when their birthdays roll around. Most of them are older than me so, I like them too. Those that are younger, make up for it by speaking up when we’re talking so I don’t have to say, Eh?

There are many members of my family that I don’t want to shoot and who feel less than violent toward me, which anyone with a family knows, is quite an accomplishment.

Yet, 55. 55? That means in less than a decade, I will be 60 and then who knows what will happen next? (I do. I’m just hoping someone will come up with a time travel device before I hit the sixes. It could happen.)

And while, we’re at it, 25. That’s how old my son will be the day after I weep into my hands until I need them to eat cake. How can I be 32 if my son is 25? It defies logic.

Something tells me that my grandparents were happy to see 55 as their fore bearers considered 40 a ripe, old, age and thereby spent very little time wondering if wearing Spanx under your jeans will cut off the circulation to your legs. When my darling Mother-in-Law was 55, by golly, she looked how I feel and, I can only guess by what I know about her now, spent very little time wondering how to meet the lead singer of her favorite band.

So, 55 is on the horizon and I can live by their example and attempt to act my age or I can avoid mirrors and get slapped with a restraining order by Chris Martin (and wouldn’t that be a nice birthday present since he lives in Santa Monica these days?)

It occurs to me, as I became well enough to this project, on the final day of my 54…ism, that it might be about balance; the inner me and the outer me, but anyone who had seen a my dinner menu since I’ve been ill knows balance is not always my forte.

But, I can have a go. Inner me, which has seen enough life to know what is and isn’t important, meet outer me, who doesn’t recognize the surface me and fears the long-term process of disappearing until nothing about the outer me is recognizable. Shake hands. Make peace. Work together. Happy Birthday.

Why newspaper?

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A Woman Reading A Newspaper

No, this is not meant to represent the most current example of a woman reading a newspaper.

I was reading the newspaper today. I know this can be confusing to some people who might mistake that sentence to mean I was reading the news as produced by an online service or ironically reading news which was meant to be typed on paper and delivered to one’s door, and was instead ingested it on-line.

What I mean to say is, I was reading the newspaper…

news
n(y)o͞oz/
noun
noun: news
1. 
newly received or noteworthy information, esp. about recent or important events.
pa·per
ˈpāpər/
noun
noun: paper; plural noun: papers
1. 
material manufactured in thin sheets from the pulp of wood or other fibrous substances, used for writing, drawing, or printing on, or as wrapping material.

…as God intended; printed up, tossed into a non-recyclable bag and retrieved from the shrubbery because my stupid dogs refuse to understand the history of newspapers as it presented on television.

There are multiple reasons why news should arrive on your doorstep, mainly so your neighbors can see what you wear to bed and at what time you awaken, in order to make further judgements about you after they’ve discussed your car, the color of your house and the type of people you allow inside.

Luckily for me, most people have departed their homes, already dressed in their laughable fashions and driving off in their less than acceptable vehicles by the time I stagger out of bed, feed my dogs and head outside to find out what happened yesterday.

A-ha some of you may be thinking, because you’re at work and people who shout a-ha at work are then required to share their astonishingly inventive idea. Whether you have an astonishingly inventive idea is relative but it shouldn’t involve animals doing your work for you. Trust me, I used to be a preschool teacher.

No, you’re a-ha is more of a, “I have bettered your argument that newspapers are better than on-line news sources as papers are slightly lagging in new information and thus not in keeping with the very definition you have put forth.”

Oh, shut up.

Do you now see the main reason why newspapers are better? Had I been reading your (my) opinion online, I would feel compelled to suggest that you cease expressing your typically arrogant opinion and continue to compare you, no matter how tenuously, to Hitler in a little box which is labeled “comments”. (It’s mandatory to invoke Hitler by the third comment of every disagreement on-line. I’ve read
this online so it must be true.)

Meanwhile, this morning, I yelled at my newspaper at least six times and the person whose opinion I was violently opposed to was none the wiser. If I felt determined to be certain that I thought that the folks protesting at the capital would have probably stayed home if children were starving but, in this case, got dressed in their laughable clothing and drove in their less than acceptable cars for miles, simply because they think of themselves as better human beings then the rest of the populace and also feel the need to write Hitler on a placard, I would have to take action which requires time and thought.

Sadly, if I want to inform someone who has attempted to prove themselves an imbecile in the newspapers that they have been successful, I have to write a civil letter to the paper, which must be considered civil by an expert in civility before publication.

This does not happen on-line. I have commented on the lives of celebrities and the importance of a global economy with the exact same level of commitment and hostility and, had I read these same articles in the newspaper, I would have once again startled my dogs with my loud protestations and then turned the page. Why? Because other people are wrong and they need to know it online. In the paper? Not so much.

Now one might reasonably say, don’t read the comments.

Shut up! You remind me of Hitler with your nonsensical nonsense. And that couldn’t be said on letters to The Editor of The Chicago Tribune. You’d need to say something more along the lines of:

After reading the article in last week’s Tribune concerning the events occurring the week before, I feel the need to point out similarity between the protestors and a certain historical figure whose mustache left a lot to be desired. It might be better if those trooping around the capitol building make the attempt to keep their misguided and uninformed opinions to themselves.

Upon proofreading the letter, I’d realize I’d just said “Shut up, Hitler” and the editorial board would be unlikely to print it upon which time I would hit delete and wander off.

And that’s why newspapers are better. Part One.

Why a Lack of Vulgarity Can Be Amusing. (Rated PG-13) (R For My Mother)

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Because my mother was uncomfortable with the human body and its functions as I grew up, she came up with unusual names for urination and defecation, (and everything else). The urination euphemism wasn’t as bad as the defecation word, and really didn’t stick with me, otherwise the following question might have inadvertently offended me: Is it wet where you’re sitting?ifwt-grandma-surprised

That’s right, my mother called urination wetting. Therefore the above question would insinuate that I don’t have control of my bladder, which I usually do; less so since my son trounced around on the poor organ before his birth, but still, “Hey!”, might have been my answer, but I speak Normal Person now.

The bigger problem for me has been her name for a bowel movement: Something Special. Yes, you read right. My mother would ask me, upon exiting the bathroom; Did you do something special or wet?

Needless to say, but I will anyway, Delta Airline’s former slogan, spoken majestically by Oprah Winfrey at the end of every show as a thank you to the airline which transported her guests to Chicago, never failed to amuse me: “Delta Airlines, Something special in the air.”

I’m a little embarrassed to say, this still makes me laugh. Even as I typed, alone on my couch, I giggled. This isn’t a rare event, as anyone who has lived with me for any amount of time will tell you.

I amuse myself. My son recently pointed out that I am probably my best friend. I responded in the same way that I would if someone would tell me that they brought me something special, but he’s right. I silently entertain myself and laugh out loud. That’s neither here nor there, but as a trait, it really is something special. (Take that as you will.)

I have evolved or deteriorated linguistically, depending on your outlook, from my mother, who was horrified when I told her that she had been mispronouncing the word Volvo, a car company, after hearing my sister-in-law, an immigrant from China, mispronouncing the word as the anatomical name for a part of a woman’s nether regions.

“Look!” She’d announce, as we drove along. “There goes a vulva! Sue has one of those!’

That was a real head swinger the first time I heard it. She saw this where? On the expressway?

Once, I understood, of course, I laughed until I wet. See, how that sounds more lady-like?

Being perceived as lady-like is a number one priority for my mother. For me, not so much.

When she still held the reigns of my life, she sent me to charm school, hoping a magical transformation would result and I would exit, wearing lovely frocks and using euphemisms for private parts, or at least stop me from flopping down the street like David Cassidy, (her words) The experience didn’t suck as hard as it sounds.

I’m sorry. It was not as uncomfortable as I had previously anticipated.

My friend and I attended together and, as a result I learned that “shitting bricks” referred to a person’s level of unhappiness and had nothing to do with something special.

At 12 this elicited a shocked response which I muffled so as not to be detected as young and naïve. Soon after, however, I mimicked this phrase as it applied, even slightly, to every situation and that’s what I learned in Charm School. That and the fact that girls who seemed lady-like were often less so when it came to inter-personal social situations.

I’ve moved on to words that would cause my mother to have the vapors at least, if she understood what I was saying or gesturing.

For years, my mother thought giving someone the finger had an entirely different meaning from what it means on the freeways where all the vulvas are.

Once, as I was visiting her in her current home of Georgia, we were driving along and my mother marveled at how many people from her native Pennsylvania lived in the south.

I asked how she recognized Pennsylvanians and-I kid you not- she gave me the finger. I wondered what I had said to elicit this vulgarity from my mother.

Turns out, flipping people the bird was some sort of Pennsylvania thing in my mother’s mind and meant, “Hello and how do you do, Fellow Pennsylvanian!” when, as we all know, it’s more of an invitation.

All of this information may make the casual reader consider my mother’s sanity as something less than attainable for her and they would be right to an extent, but mostly my mother’s behavior stems from a complete naïvete which arose from living her first 19 years in a town which was apparently run by the Disney Corporation and her expectation that the rest of the world complied with Uncle Walt’s rules for behavior (pre-1970s or so.)

Luckily, she considers me less of a vulgar excuse for a lady and more of a curiosity, so if anyone tells her about this blog, I’d be less than pleased…if she understood the meaning of the word blogs, or online or Internet or DVR or !@#$%^!

Just let her live, happily saluting her fellow Pennsylvanians, who, seemed less likely to signal their Pennsylvania roots while I lived among them briefly, than my fellow Chicagoans, who must make up the largest population of former Quaker Staters in all of the 50 states, including Pennsylvania.

She lives in a nicer place and she’s happy there.

Why 32?

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Side mirror with warning legend

Side mirror with warning legend (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The older I get, the less likely it is that I will reach my target age of 32. 32 is not only in my rear view mirror, it is dozens of mile markers back and I can’t find a turn around on this stupid highway.

Sometimes, in my dreams, someone asks my age-usually Chris Martin of Coldplay- and I answer-not even coquettishly, because the reality, in my dream is-32.

At some point however, in my dreams- which should be exempt from reality- I realize that, although I feel like I have all the earmarks of 32-a lack of gravity induced sag and a smooth glossy surface, that 32 is laughably off target and when I say laughably I mean ludicrously. (I hate that guy That was for those of you with some knowledge of rap music. We will discuss if speaking rhythmically over someone else’s music qualifies as music at a later date. Maybe when I’m nostalgically wishing I was 34.)

There are many logical and scientific reasons I can no longer be 32, but logic can be defeated by mental disturbances and science? I got a D minus and a defeated shrug from every one who ever tried to instruct me in that bastard of a subject. (In full disclosure, I received that grade in a great deal of my high school classes, not because I’m unteachable, but because I preferred not to leave my bed in the middle of the night. Admittedly, I’ve always maintained that night ends when I wake up and that tends to be more in the brunch-like area of the day, still, it was too damn early and sometimes Hard Days Night was on the morning movie. Remember that? They used to cut out so much of a movie in order to sell stuff to housewives, who had a legitimate reason to be home, that by the time it ended you sometimes came away with the idea that John Lennon was singing love songs to Madge, the manicure lady, who soaked people’s hands in dishwashing detergent. How weird was she?)

Where was I and does Guinness have an award for people who stuffed the most words into a parenthetical remark?

Oh, yeah. My son. Sort of.

My son is 24 and is coming perilously close to become 25, which as many of you know, is a quarter of a century. Now, you may be asking yourself, just how old is this lady? And the answer is 32. Shut up. I’m not fully awake, so until the dogs bark at the mailman, I’m 32.

Sometimes I wonder, but mostly I don’t because I know the answer, why 32? Why, out of all the ages, 32? How about 17 when nothing was physically impossible and I was completely clueless about what constituted a fat stomach? Meh. Seems bland to me or maybe my mind has wiped the year off of my wet board of a memory, leaving a slick white surface, which, by all accounts is dull.

Why not 23 when going out dancing 4 nights a week along with regular Jazzercise proved that stamina is the answer to weight loss, a point that would become irrelevant in my late 40s? Well, 23 had its merits, but I was forced to wear a frizzy perm and large shouldered blouses, plus my normal hearing was replaced with a ringing in my ears as a result of standing in front of amps in small bars and expecting that my hearing would not be affected. None of which seems appealing.

My forties were OK, but I spent most of the decade worrying that I would turn fifty, not considering the fact that not turning fifty was a much worse predicament.

Now, just as I suspected would happen, I’m 54. Fifty-freakin’-four! And I expect to reach 55 a day before my son turns the big 2-5.

So, why 32? I was the mother of a small person who thought the sun listened to me when I rebuked it in the car. (The visor actually did the muscle work in that situation, but I took the credit, because, as we know visors are inanimate objects.)

I was the mother of a person so small that he was portable and happy to be so.

I was the mother of a person who wore what I put on him without complaint. (Actually this is still the case as my son is happy to get free clothes as long as I do not attempt to put them on him myself.)

I was the mother of a little person who sang songs to me in the grocery cart, who told me all the things which are important to three-year-olds and attempted to slip out of his crib without disturbing me because he thought I should sleep as long as I felt the need to. I’m serious. He actually operated like that.

I was still wearing the frizzy perm, but, on the whole, all was right with the world. Except when I spent time worrying that he would outgrow this age and I’d be less than happy with the next, which goes to show that cluelessness is not limited to any certain age in my life.

Anyway, as usual, I’ve lost my point, (as Groucho Marx would say, if you wear a hat, no one will notice.)

Oh. My inner world longs for 32, while my outer world, by necessity, is dealing with 54 where I’m worried about 60 and I beginning to think Oprah is a liar what with her insistence that fifties are the best years of your life.

Or maybe she just recognizes her age and accepts it. Or maybe, just maybe, she makes millions of dollars which compound, as times goes by, making her content.

Either way, 55 is coming up on the highway of life, and once again, no turn around, although the exit is visible, as it was at every age. I’ll just drive past till I run out of gas, although I can’t guarantee to keep my eyes on the road ahead and not in my rear view mirror, where I wish there was still a car seat.

How to have a Perfect Marriage in Six Easy Steps

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As a person of advanced years, one might think I have valuable advice to offer on any number of topics. One would be wrong. There are few subjects of which I feel I have the expertise to offer up with certainty and a whiff of condescension, but, as a rule, since no one listens, I just wake up in the middle of the night and go over the details while begging myself to go back to sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, with little to no encouragement, I will offer my opinion, but I’ve grown to know that, although my opinions are almost always correct, they are seldom recognized as the rule of law; it has been a hard truth to accept, but we all have all cross to bear.

There is one area, however, by virtue of my thirty-four years in the trenches, that I feel I can offer a few words of wisdom, keeping in mind that, because it’s aimed at people younger than me, it will be completely ignored.

The following is my six point guide to a perfect marriage. Follow it to the letter and every day with your significant other will be better than the last, especially if you spent yesterday with your in-laws. (Just kidding in-laws.)

Rule One: Don’t get married.

Marriage is a lot of things, many of them not awful, but marriage is not a magical wand and it will never make a relationship improve. If your fiance is surly, squirrely or a goat herder by trade, he will, most likely, remain so after the wedding you’ve planned all your life and fear will never take place if you don’t settle for sharing your kitchen wt a herd of goats or maybe sheep, either way, it’s just not sanitary. Remember, it’s better to be alone than to wish you were or so I’ve been told by people who aren’t alone.

Rule Two: Always go to bed angry.

 So you’ve been fighting, or not speaking, whichever annoys your partner the most for hours and now you’re tired and long for sleep. Your mother told you to avoid going to bed angry and you’ve heeded this advice so I have no sympathy for you. Now listen to your Aunt Jamie; go to bed, sleep, live to fight another day. What is worse than being just this side of coming up with an alibi for the last night your spouse was seen alive and then growing delusional with lack of sleep? Sleepy anger is the cause of more near misses than any other phenomenon. (It’s hard to precise while aiming a deadly object, bleary-eyed with exhaustion.)

Rule Three: Your Spouse is as annoyed as you are.

 This is related to rule two and should be considered a cautionary tale. Say your birthday has arrived and your spouse either completely forgot or presented a gift which illuminates his preference for watching football when reputable stores are open. Now further suppose he goes out the next day, to a store, while football is on and returns with a super deluxe wood chipper for himself.

You’re angry and then you’re hurt and you cry and then you’re angry once more and you lie awake at night wondering if anyone would think he accidentally fell into said chipper and thereby relieve the inevitable suspicion the officers of the law might have when pieces of your beloved are found in your garden mulch.

I promise you, your significant other has spent as many nights plotting your demise for some slight you innocently and without malice perpetrated. Every marriage is going to run the gamut from devoted love to murderous rage; if you’re lucky it ebbs and flows through out the years on both shores. If the ebbs outnumber the flows consider not killing your spouse. There are a number of other options, including holding a grudge.

 Rule Four: Never do anything because your parents did it.

Marriage is personal. If you and your spouse agree that party hats should be worn during love making or that neither of you mind buying new dishes every week rather then washing them by hand, do that. I don’t care what they do on TV and I don’t care if your neighbor who watches you from between the slats of the blinds thinks you’re weird (and who’s he to talk?) make your own rules and get better curtains.

Rule Five: Do not have children with your spouse or anyone else unless, two decades from now, you are prepared to come face to face with a person who looks, thinks, talks and walks exactly like the person with whom you decided to throw caution and articles of clothing to the wind on a random night when there was nothing on TV.

Ask yourself, do I like this person well enough to accept his DNA to create a mini-him which I will be required to love with all of my heart and soul despite the sneer of my darling child’s face that screams “Perhaps I should have built a baby with the goat herder?” If not, don’t procreate. You’ll thank me years later unless your lack of children develops into a lack of grandchildren which we all know is fatal.

Rule Six: Don’t take advice from anyone unless you agree with them somewhere inside of you. When I was engaged I was taken aside by members of my church warning that my future husband would not let me go to church. My dad told me Italian guys go bald and get fat and beat their wives. My mom told my husband to make sure he cooked chicken thoroughly. My mom was right, (who’d have thought.)

I think that pretty much covers things. I have some advice on child rearing which you can also ignore if the mood strikes you, but for now; go to bed.