I’m Published!

Well, it was an eventful couple of weeks.  I must say that it was a really terrific feeling when I found out that my first piece ever was published by the Huffington Post Blog!  I was with my daughter when I got the email saying that my piece had beeb published, and to receive good news and have your child be the first to know is a wonderful feeling.  Also, my daughter got to see that, in addition to being a mom, I do other things that make me happy.  She didn’t really understand the concept of publication so my happiness eluded her.  I asked, “How would you feel if you made the gymnastics team?” and a huge grin spread across her face and I said “That’s how I feel right now.”  And we held hands and walked home from school and it was just the most complete, filling feeling.

The following week, The Huffington Post Blog published my second piece in the Comedy Section!*  Now I need to buckle down and do some real work.

*I have been trying to type “woo hoo” for the past five minutes and my autocorrect keeps changing it to “woo too.”  Autocorrect fucker.  Is there someone inside the computer fucking with all of us?  I think there is, because my phone changes “Jake” to “kale.”

Etiquette

Word-Letterpress-2105990

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines etiquette as “The conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life.”  So, even if you weren’t bred well, you can still choose to follow the rules of etiquette in order to act appropriately in social situations.  I mean, I guess there’s a nitty-gritty area in the etiquette world in which just being willing to follow authority’s lead is not enough.  For example, I once read about someone who said, “My Uncle is in jail.  Do I still need to send him a wedding invitation?”  My common sense tells me that that person should get a new uncle, but I can’t answer the question about whether the uncle should get a wedding invitation.  Emily Post probably can.

Now, I know that I’m opening myself up to a lot of potential criticism by writing this post.  After all, I’m certainly nowhere near perfect when it comes to not committing faux pas.  But I hope that I’m not doing any of the following:

1. Not Waiting Your Turn.  There are many examples in which people just don’t get this one right.  I’m not sure if they get it and just don’t care or if they’re just oblivious.  But, for example, if you walk into the lobby of a building and people are waiting for the elevator, you can’t just sidle up to the front of the pack as if no one else is standing there.  Similarly, if you go to a restaurant that opens at noon and doesn’t take reservations, and if when you get there there are other people waiting to go in (even if there is no actual line), you don’t get to rush in first when the door is opened.  What is going through these people’s minds?  I imagine it’s something like “Yeah, I see all of you but I don’t care.”  The next time this happens to me (when I’m the person who was there first) I’d really like to have the nerve to say “Are you ok???” and when the person asks why I’ll respond “I think we need to get you to an eye doctor because clearly you can’t see all of us standing here.  Or you’re just an idiot.  Which one is it?”

2. Wearing Sunglasses Inside.  Are you drunk?  Hungover?  Evading the law?  I don’t get it.  Moreover, there’s a time and a place to leave sunglasses on top of your head when you go inside.  That time and place is not during a school tour/interview or during a meal. The lights may be fluorescent but our eyes are not on top of our heads.  We’re not frogs.

3. Not Remembering a Name. If I don’t remember your name but you remember mine, don’t keep saying my name just to make me feel bad. I get it. You remember my name and I can’t remember yours. You win.

4. Welcoming a Newcomer. When someone new joins you and your friends at dinner, a nice thing to do is smile and make them feel welcome. You know what smiling is, right? It’s when the muscles in your face pull the sides of your mouth up so your mouth is in the shape of a U. You should try it sometime! FYI, a smile is also the opposite of a frown.

5. Your Bag Doesn’t Need a Seat. If you are waiting for a service and the waiting room is so crowded that people are standing, when the person sitting next to you gets up, that’s not an invitation for you to put your bag in the empty seat. Your bag doesn’t have feelings and it doesn’t get tired.  (As I’m writing this, I just thought of a business idea: handbag babysitter! Also known as Handbag Consultant, also known as Vice President in Charge of Wardrobe).

6. The Customer is Always Right. If a restaurant patron pulls a long hair out of the middle of her burger, the manager should not say “I’m so sorry about that! But, just so you know, none of the people working in the kitchen has long hair.” We see what you’re doing because we’re not stupid. You’re being very polite about the hair but you’re telling us that it’s somehow our fault. Now, I’m no chef, but I don’t know how my hair could have gotten into the middle of the burger unless I made the burger. And if I did make it then I don’t need to pay for it. So it’s free, right? Along with the rest of the meal?

Tell me what rules of etiquette you see being broken!  Does it annoy  you as much as it annoys me???

It’s Always a Special Occasion

Cookies

Sigh.  I just love sweets.  I just love them so, so much.  I always tell my husband that I want to open an ice cream parlor/crêperie, but methinks you can’t make money if you eat all of the product.  Sigh.

When there’s sugar around I can’t think about anything else until I’ve had some.  This extremely powerful “desire” (let’s not label it) goes back a long way.  I blame the problem on my parents, of course.  This is how the memory goes: When I was little, my parents took me to a candy store where I was allowed to fill a bag with whatever candy I wanted.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  Best parents ever!  I ate a few pieces and then my parents took the bag away and hid it somewhere.  Worst parents ever!  I looked for that bag of candy for years.  No exaggeration.  It was the early 80s and the cabinets in our kitchen had sliding wooden panels, each with a small circle into which you would insert a finger to slide the panel open.  I scaled that wall of cabinets like a Mount Everest climber, inserting my toes and fingers into the slots for support.  The elusive bag of sugar was never recovered.  As you can see, I’ve totally gotten over it.

From time to time, I get serious about reducing my sugar intake.  I even went so far as to convince myself that sugar is poison (I think it might be), but then I told one of my children that sugar is poison and she wondered why I would let her eat poison.  #parentfail.  So I had to eat sugar again, just to prove that it wasn’t actually poisonous.  Yes, that’s what I told myself.

I know (logically) that the only way to cut down on sugar is to cut it out completely, cold turkey, goodbye.  However, such a drastic move would be very difficult for me because there are so many special occasions on which I feel that it’s ok (maybe even necessary) to have sugar.  Below is a partial list of special occasions.  Let me know if you can spot the problem.

1. It’s Passover and I can’t eat bread.  Therefore, since I’m going to lose weight, I can eat as much sugar as I want.

2. It’s been a bad day.  Everything sucks.  I deserve something sweet to make me feel better.

3.  It’s been a great day.  I have so many friends.  And I’m so thin and beautiful.  I tried on clothes and I fit into a smaller size than I thought I would have.  I have the most successful Blog on the entire Internet.  Hell, I OWN the Internet!  I deserve something sweet to celebrate.

4. I picked up a box of cookies to bring to a friend’s house and all but two of the cookies had sprinkles.  I had to eat those two sprinkleless cookies because they were feeling left out.  Crazy???  Crazy considerate! 

5. It’s Sunday.  Sunday is the worst day of the week because the weekend is drawing to a close.  There’s wasn’t enough time to get everything done that needed to be done before the start of the week.  Monday will be here momentarily and we’ll be back to the grind.  I deserve some sugar to make me feel better.

6.  It’s Monday.  There’s way too much to do.  I’m stressed.  I deserve some sugar.

7.  It’s Tuesday.  Forget about Sunday!  Tuesday is actually the worst day of the week.  Tuesday doesn’t bring anything to the table.  At least Monday goes by quickly because there’s so much to do.  Tuesday stinks.  I deserve something sweet for putting up with Tuesday.

8.  It’s Wednesday!   The week is more than halfway over.  Time to celebrate with a little sugar!

9.  It’s Thursday.  Thursday is awesome because when I was in Middle School I had double English on Thursdays and English was my favorite class.  Thursday deserves to be celebrated.  Sugar time!

10.  TGIF!  Sugar.

11.  Saturday.  Ah, Saturday.  The weekend has just begun, we’re spending time with family and friends.  Life is good.  Let’s celebrate with a sweet treat.

12. It’s my birthday!  We’re having cake.  Lots and lots of cake.

13. It’s my daughter’s birthday!  My son’s birthday!  My husband’s birthday!  That random guy on the street–I’m sure it’s his birthday too!

14. I just did a cleanse.  Nothing but liquid for two days.  It sucked.  But, my pants are looser and I got a lot of veggies in, so guess what I deserve???

15. There’s a bake sale at school and the money is going to be donated to a great cause.

16. It’s my son’s school’s benefit and the benefit chairs spent hours setting up the dessert tables.  It would be rude to walk right by them.

17. I just sat through the longest, most boring, most painful, most deserving-of- an-eye-roll meeting, and I managed not to roll my eyes (externally) more than 10 times.  I deserve a reward.

18. I’m at an outdoor birthday party in October in the rain and the hosts didn’t have the forethought to provide hot drinks.  I deserve to give someone a smack but, since that’s not socially acceptable, I’ll have two pieces of birthday cake instead.  I’ll show them!

And so it goes.

What are you trying to cut down on?  What are your excuses for not giving it up?  What are your suggestions for cutting something “bad” out of your life?