You Probably Don’t Smell Bad

During my week of Typhoid, I’ve fallen prey to ads that have become like earworms, worse than that haunting cars for kids commercial. Blaring like Max Headroom is the near-alarmist ad for a product that preaches a cure for crotch odor, including front and back and pits included–all natural ingredients, too, to combat your natural emissions. The ad is just one person very close to a camera, urging you to try the product because butt sweat.

I miss FDS ads of the 70-90s where a woman walks through a mist and feels good.* Even Summer’s Eve doesn’t go into detail but shows women walking across a verdant field and one of them is feeling no-so fresh. It’s not an emergency, just maybe a twinge of putrid nether fungus. Generally, though, everyone smiles while malodorous droplets are beading through their white pants. There’s no shame–just friendship and confidence.

Where has the romance of smelling bad gone?

My inner tween is horrified by this age’s blunt commercial, though in a way, the directness of it provides more information, which its ancestors didn’t. As a tween, I thought FDS was a body hairspray of sorts and Summer’s Eve, somehow related to menstruation or sex (I didn’t know which and there was no Google and my mom just said, “It’s not necessary.”). Another thing to worry about when you’re already immersed in worry.

After three years inside, we must all be nervous about being in public again. How terrible to go out and stink. Julia Roberts doesn’t worry about this, so we shouldn’t.

*Officially, am old.


Tis the Night Before Everything Needs to Be Cooked or Else People Will Be Very Disappointed in You…

To get into the spirit, I am watching cheesy holiday movies on Lifetime and scouring Facebook for kitchen activity. There are vegan orange creamsicles in the freezer, all kinds of Fresh Direct items in the fridge, and a bottle of sparkling rose waiting for me…whenever the Typhoid?Sinus infection?That other thing?Common Cold leaves my body. I am sick but feeling the joy of the season–when I’m not coughing up my lungs.

Because my family (mostly me and my brother) has a history of being sick on Big Occasions, I don’t think lightning will strike me. In these COVID times, it’s better to stay home than infect others. If I were where I had planned to be, I’d be lying on a guest bed with the door shut. I might have jinxed this Thanksgiving with my post from a few days ago. Despite this, I am choosing to remember with fondness times when sickness played a part in the holidays.

We had many Christmases when either my brother (Christmas is his birthday) or I would be staring feverishly into space while everyone else was celebrating the birth of Jesus and Patrick. Sometimes, I’d get a whiff of Patrick’s sick vibes and would feel a little queasy myself. This lasted into adulthood. Soon after I moved to Manhattan, Patrick came to his birthday dinner feeling “fluish” and, while I kept an eye on him, I secretly wondered if I might be sick, too. The second he went to lie down in another room and because I thought he might eventually develop stomach flu and be barfing his brains out, I stopped eating and made lame excuses to my mother, skedaddled my butt right home. Patrick admitted years later that he’d had a hangover and not flu. Damn him!

My fifteenth birthday gala was marked by me doubled over with gastritis at the family meal. It was in Cape Cod, and the third time something bad had happened to me there so I’ve never returned to the breathtaking haven that normal people enjoy. It’s possible my 500-calorie diet and pack-a-day habit contributed to my stomach issues.

Then there was the time my high school BFF named me her Maid of Honor and on the wedding day, I developed strep throat, suddenly massive sandpaper hell strep throat. Somehow I made it through the ceremony (almost fainted). But at the reception, I did spend most of the time with my head on the table. In the pictures, I still look fresh as a daisy, the magic of being 25.

Sam made one cameo sick disappearance on my birthday when he caught strep and had to confine himself. You can tell Sam is sick when he wants nothing to do with you. It’s a bit shocking since, as we know, he’s friendly as can be. Not when he feels bad. Just close the door and go about your life.

So maybe you can’t be 100% there for every occasion. At least for me, there’s comfort in knowing my loved ones will be having fun…and hopefully, the pumpkin stuff will exist for another couple of weeks.


Sunday Pet Peeves

I’m waiting until the last minute to post. My Nanowrimo buddy is also catching up. We’re not even halfway through the month because this is hell. A microscopic version of hell is the pet peeve and I have many. Here is what I’d love to avoid in future:

Characters who are overloaded with trauma, agita, quirks, predictably too much sadness to lift their heads for the virile foil or romantic interest. I just can’t help with this one. Sure, a character can have major issues in their life, but not everything all the time. As in real life, that person who always shows up at three in the morning needing your help, well, you kind of want to run in the other direction. Kitchen Sink characters don’t do it for me.

Shocked and pregnant heroines don’t always toss their cookies (a repeat): I’ll admit, barfing in movies or novels grosses me out and gives me a case of the eyerolls. It’s an obvious way to show a person’s reaction to terror or the heroine’s being in the early stages of pregnancy. Writers, why don’t you try something else aside from this obvious act that we all know is coming? Not everyone barfs as the plane is crashing or in the 8th week of pregnancy.

I’m only realizing now that I care about how the toilet paper roll should go. This could be a pandemic thing.

Omitting the comma of direct address. I feel as if my message isn’t getting through. At least once a day, I read a submission where the comma of direct address doesn’t exist. Hi mom. Did you get dinner Brad? The first crime is leaving out that comma. The second is not capitalizing “mom.” The third is killing Brad for dinner. We can’t let bad grammar take over the world.

Canceling anything but meetings. Even though the world would be a better place without certain abhorrent humans, I’m over the term “canceling” anything except meetings. Can we take back this word so that it only applies to appointments? Canceled people come back after a period of mourning. We forget. We think, okay maybe they weren’t so bad. We put them in movies again. We hire them. We publish them. Create documentaries about them to examine what went wrong and even if it’s from the victims’ POV this time, it’s really still from the canceled a-hole’s POV. The canceled ones return and are loved anew, raking in our $$$ because flaws are juicier than virtues. Damn. Have I become cynical?

Now it’s time for Unsolved Mysteries to see is Bigfoot exists.


Does this count as a post?

I didn’t plan well enough. Now it’s almost 9pm and I’m with my beautiful mother and husband. I have no time left to post. We may never leave since Mom and Sam are talking about stocks and some guy who lost 14.6B in cryptocurrency (which I don’t get). While they are talking $$$ I am secretly typing this on my phone.

Why can’t they talk about something more interesting like Bachelor in Paradise? How Eliza made a terrible decision in leaving Rodney to go after Justin. How dumb it is to buy powerball tickets. How satisfying coffee cart coffee can be. I’d love a cappuccino right now. Or an Ambien. I’m hearing “municipal bonds”—this has to do with municipalities I think. Chipotle, price points, shares, splits. It could be a long night. Two people I love very much enjoy talking about finance and not Essie nail polish, White Lotus 2, or Jennifer Aniston’s reveal in Allure.

I think they’ve just figured out I’m not listening…


Eyeworms Inspired by Mom!

Nanowrimo friends and others reading this, I bring you a steaming pile of Nothing Good today due to screen nausea from other work. My creativity is gone, like my 22-inch waist. I am phoning in this post.

Lily Tomlin GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

All I really want to do is play videos on repeat. Turns out my mother also does this and we commiserated last night on this obsessive need to rewatch our faves. This is how I knew for sure that we were related. Here is what my mom and I can’t stop watching, well, she only admitted to the first one:

Wishing my family could have executed this kind of love fest at my wedding. Though my wedding was still awesome!

I sent this to my mom yesterday, as I keep trying to get her obsessed with Hamilton and this is my favorite song from the show, sung by the fantastic Leslie Odom, Jr .

Then I veer away from Lin-Manuel and go immediately to Gwen. I’ve watched this at least 500 times. Can I take credit for her marrying Blake? I predicted it in 2014. This is when I do a search for psychic medium videos. What’s this new dance clip?

I’ve seen this maybe 510 times, and so has everyone else (134 M views). I started training last year to replicate Tom Holland’s movements. My first assignment was to do a cartwheel. Had to find a DIY vid for that undertaking.

But here is the real master of dance. You may say Fred Astaire, I say Gene Kelly. Where did all the great entertainers go? They were excellent human beings back then, right?

Ooh, I can’t forget about Missy Elliott, my other fave. I mean, she’s so perfect.

By this time, I’ve been on Youtube for at least an hour, losing brain function with each view and forgetting that Ariana Grande, H.E.R. and Taylor Swift are also geniuses. I could do this all day.

They say the second week of Nanowrimo is the hardest.


Should vs. Want

On the weekends, I used to create a long list of things I should do. I suspect you might, as well. Like Miranda, we have errands that fulfill our dutiful narratives. But do you need to do all this shit? Thanks to the pandemic and too many signals that Life Is Short, I try to steer myself toward what I want to do on a free day. More paint-my-nails-a-beautiful-color rather than clean-the-bathtub.

Okay, I do still have a very long list of shoulds. Like finish that Big Project (only 6 pages left), take the cat to the vet, and, yes, I do need to clean the bathtub. But here is what I want to do today:

  1. Finally watch Gaslit starring my go-to for mood uplift, Ms. Julia Roberts. I remember, as a full-fledged-working-and-living-by-herself-adult, that moment in 1990 when I went to see Pretty Woman in a theater by myself. It wasn’t Citizen Kane, but I have enjoyed her in everything since (except Mary Reilly).
  2. Go to Home Goods and find sparkly things to put in the apartment. This might be a dicey endeavor but Home Goods is a treasure trove of crap you need.
  3. Iron clothes. I can watch Julia while doing this. The only thing that prevents me from ironing is the laziness over pulling out the board, the iron, the starch, the lint brush, and hangers.
  4. Now that I think about it–and it’s Sunday–I don’t want to leave the apartment and I don’t have to today. This is a pandemic feeling so I have to figure out if it might be better to go out. Or do I melt into my beautiful couch?
  5. If I’m honest, I want ta big piece of cake with frosting. It goes well with coffee.
  6. Super-honest, just deliver me to the nail polish aisle in Duane Reade. I’ll grab all the Essies and we can share.
  7. Bold truth, I could easily lie on the floor to do a special type of yoga where you close your eyes. This can also be done on a mattress and under the covers.
  8. Full disclosure, it would thrill me to put on my special wig and just see what happens.

Happy Sunday to all of you and please feel free to comment on those radical things you want to do today to lift yourself up.