Saturday, February 21, 2009

POCKNIS - THE LANGUAGE OF MEN

Pocknis – noun – Language of Men – meaning) If it doesn’t have anything to do with their pocketbook or their penis, they cannot hear you! This word is not found in any dictionary. Why? Because I made it up!

The success of any relationship is, of course, communication. Now that communication can come in many, many ways as you well know! Emotional, physical, spiritual… blah, blah, blah! Let’s face it; Barbie and Ken have been the ideal couple for over 50 years now, but HELLO!! They can’t speak to each other!

Barbie: “What are you thinking, Ken?”

Ken: “Huh?”

And they have no “anatomically correct” parts, so how could things possibly go wrong?

Anthony & Cleopatra, Romeo & Juliet…. Both famous couples. But, again, HELLO!! These women committed suicide! And so did their lovers! Pfft… chalk it up to lack of communication! They didn’t know how to speak Pocknis!

When talking to your man, get to the point! Men do not dawdle. They want to get there NOW! Haven’t you learned this from sleeping with them? When your sons come home from school and tell you how their day went, it takes them less than two minutes from beginning to end. Oh, but when your daughters come home, they can go on for hours about their experiences. Take a clue here and shut up! Men do not want to know all the details, only the pertinent facts.

I realized my man listened most intently when I was spending money, discussing money that I spent or money I was going to spend. That is when I had his full attention except for the times I was discussing sex: his sex, my sex, our sex or their sex. Men will talk about sex all day long. Men have over 5 billion thoughts about sex every 3 seconds. We know this because our government has paid thousands of dollars on sex research (somewhere) that tells us this. I actually had a man, who works at a very large Fortune 100 company, tell me that I would not believe the number of men that go into the restrooms at work and masturbate. My mouth dropped open (which I was afraid he liked). How do they get anything done at that company?

Men are not mind readers. You gotta spell it out to ‘em. “No, not there, a little over to the right. Farther up. YES! YES! THERE!” <~~~~~~ Like that! They are also, not deep thinkers. I know we often ask our men, “Honey, what are you thinking?” But in reality, who gives a shit? They are men! Not rocket scientists! Well, some are, but most aren’t. When you are pissed and say, “I don’t want to talk about it right now.” They are more than willing to oblige, so don’t waste your time acting all coy. Haven’t you noticed they filter everything we say? Besides, if you dribble on and on, they probably aren’t listening anyway.

Instead of, “Honey, I want us to spend more quality time together,” try, “Honey, I just bought this sexy new nighty and thought we could try it out this weekend after you take me to dinner, just the two of us.” BAM!! You got your dinner!

Or, instead of, “Hey, the gutters need to be cleaned, when do you think you might get off your ass and do that?” try, “George, the handyman, said he would only charge us $500 for cleaning the gutters, I’ll make the appointment for next week.” BAM!! I bet you have clean gutters in less than 24 hours.

So, I say to women everywhere, “Learn to speak Pocknis!”

Friday, February 20, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover - Bathroom Edition Or WTF Did You Do To Your Bathroom?!?!

It was a long, cold winter

and I was stuck inside for hours on end


bored SH*TLESS!!!


and this is what became of my boredom.


I sent the pictures to my son


He called and shouted into my ear, "STOP ALREADY!"


It's a good thing he called when he did!!


Because if you notice... the walls are still bare and I was just thinking to myself, "What can I do with these walls?"


One just never knows what these depressing winters are going to bring... This year, I got painted cabinets!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Karma, Dating & Divorce (not necessarily in that order) The Finale AKA IS THAT A LIT CIGARETTE IN YOUR PANTS OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME?

As it so happened, my kiddies and I entered the lobby of the restaurant at the same time Scott and his crew were arriving. After introductions all around we made our way to the bar and ordered drinks. He seemed a bit dumbfounded at first, yet instantly polite, well versed and well mannered, even offering to buy the entire first round. He towered over me, which was great since I stand six feet tall in a pair of heels.
Scott’s brother-in-law whispered in my ear informing me Scott had been kept in the dark about meeting me that night. Thus, I understood his surprise when we followed him to the bar and joined them. We chatted. We laughed. I learned he was CFO for a very large public utility company in Chicago. Scott’s sister and I stepped outside for a quick smoke and a little bonding. Back inside, we shared funny stories, another round of drinks and one shrimp cocktail. Haley and Jack wanted to make it short and sweet since they had plans with friends later that evening so, I managed to make our excuses and we headed back home.
“Well, whadcha’ think?” I quizzed Haley and Jack for their opinions, still a little uneasy.
“Man, I really like Vegas,” Jack mumbled in his best Elvis Presley voice.
“It’s hard to tell, it’s early yet,” Haley shrugged.
She was right. It was too soon in the game to make any judgment calls. He seemed nice enough and he wasn’t bad looking either. I gave myself kudos for I had finally cracked open the door of my box.
My children’s stay flew by and once again I was driving to the airport sending them off to their perspective far away places. I was alone again. Me, and of course, Apollo, now sixty-eight pounds of puppy. Four weeks went by and I hadn’t heard a peep from Scott. I figured he wasn’t interested and chalked it up to the distance between us.Just as my winter blues set in, my phone rang and it was Scott. He was coming into town for the weekend and wanted to see me both evenings. Hot diggity! I had an ACTUAL date! Two of them even! I knew that I definitely wanted my own car with me, so I told Scott I would meet him at the restaurant. I didn’t want one of those awkward good-byes at my doorstep, you know, like you see on television, where all the neighbors are watching. I was playing it safe. A friend informed me that it wasn’t a real date unless the man came to your house and picked you up in his car, but I refused to believe her. I had a date, and I knew it! Two of them!
As the coming weekend approached, I became a little apprehensive. I phoned my sister, Lori, “What are you and David doing Friday night, I have a favor to ask,” I explained the situation.
She listened intently to my request that she and her husband, David, just “drop by” the restaurant where I was meeting Scott. She agreed, and besides, I think she was curious and wanted to get the low down firsthand. While seated by a window at the restaurant waiting for Scott to arrive I noticed it had begun to snow. Lori and David arrived well before him and we waited together. And we waited and we waited. The winter storm blew in and soon, so did Scott. He looked a bit disheveled after what was expected to be a two-hour drive had turned into a four hour, nerve-racking drive.He ordered a whisky and settled in, perhaps a little too much. By the time dinner arrived he was downing his third drink while his hand kept creeping under the table resting on my leg. Lori and David were busy grilling Scott about his youth, his kids, his job and anything else he was willing to divulge. I spent the evening gently removing his hand from my thigh. Scott was telling David all about the little retirement “shack” he just purchased in Montana. “Ten acres of bliss,” was how he described it. His home in Chicago was on the market, but he was keeping his third home on the beach in Northern Michigan for vacations. I had to admit, he sounded too good to be true.
Have you ever felt that tiny spark of electricity when things feel right? That little tingle you get inside? Well, that eluded me. It was more like our wires were crossed. I was trying to like him, I honestly was, but I just wasn’t feeling it. What was my problem? The hand thing definitely bothered me. Lori and David made their exit and instantly Scott’s body language changed.
“That was interesting, I feel like I just got out of the witness chair in a courtroom,” he sighed.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” I grinned, though I really wasn’t.
“I can be alone with you now,” he grinned from ear to ear and I got a sudden knot in my stomach.
“I have something to show you, I’ll be right back,” and off Scott sauntered, returning with a large three-ring-binder notebook full of pictures of his “shack” in Montana. It was amazing; cathedral ceilings throughout, wrap around porch, large great room concept loaded with windows on all sides to enhance the views, and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace at one end of the room.
“You’re beautiful. I really, really like you,” he began complimenting me, and I know I should have felt flattered, but again a red flag went up. Too much! Too soon! He offered to take me shopping on the Miracle Mile. He told me how glad he was that we’d met and tried holding my hand, but I was having none of it. How could he know if he liked me, we’d only just met? I questioned myself. Was I that out of touch with how dating had changed? I only knew this man was much more into this relationship than I was. I was here to scope things out, just to see if I was ready to date yet, but I was beginning to feel Scott saw me as his future. The more I looked at his pictures the more I realized that living on the side of a mountain in Montana was not at all how I envisioned my life. I wanted easy access to Saks’s and Nordstrom’s shoe departments. I liked being able to run down the street for milk and ice cream at ten o’clock at night. These are the things that are important to me, damn it!
These pictures reminded me of something, what was it? I froze. All of the sudden, it dawned on me! Paul Sheldon! Annie Wilkes! “Misery!” Kathy Bates and James Caan! Only the roles would be reversed. It would be me, the woman, who would be trapped, confined and at his mercy. A chill went up and down my spine. I had visions of being strung up to a bed with bricks at my feet. I needed to get out of there. I felt a panic attack coming on. I began making excuses and reached for my coat. Scott walked me out to my car, which was now covered with inches of snow. He immediately ran over to his vehicle, which I now saw was a huge truck, grabbed his scraper and began wiping heaps of snow off of my car windows. I stood patiently, waiting and getting ready to thank him when, before I knew what hit me, he grabbed me and was kissing my mouth. I began pushing him away, so hard that when he finally did let go, I almost fell on my keister!
“I just had to get that out of the way!” he laughed as he took off toward his truck leaving me feeling appalled. I scurried to get inside the confines of my car.
Laughing! How could he be laughing when I was in insulted? I had explained to him on the phone that this was my first time out since my divorce, baby steps, baby steps, but he was leaping! A leap I was not equipped to take. I drove home, looking in my rearview mirror all the way making sure I wasn’t being followed. I didn’t want any surprises when I reached my front door. How many bushes did I have in front of my house? Six, yes, if there were seven, I was in trouble. I pulled my car into the garage and darted across my front porch to unlock the door, counting the bushes along the way. I flew into my front hall, locking the door behind me. I immediately turned on the security system and hugged Apollo.
The next morning I was dreading another date with Scott. Why had I agreed to two evenings with this man? Maybe it was me. Had I become too comfortable living alone this past year? Perhaps I was wrong about wanting someone in my life right now. Maybe, just maybe, I would never have anyone in my life and I should just get used to living alone, enjoying grandchildren and living for family holiday get-togethers. I wanted to back out, but he had driven all the way down from Chicago in a blizzard, after all. I felt obligated. He called to confirm the time and once again, I showered and readied for another date. I arrived at the restaurant at seven-thirty, for another go around. Scott was waiting at the bar with his sister and brother-in-law. I was glad to see they were there and actually felt very relaxed not having to be alone with him, again. They were such naturals at putting people at ease and welcomed me like family.
“Hmmm, like family,” the thought gave me pause.
His sister ordered appetizers and things seemed to be going smoothly until Scott began drinking more and more. As the evening wore on, his drink changed from whiskey and water to whiskey with a splash of water. Red flag! Red flag! I longed for my box. Again, the compliments came flowing from his mouth to my ears, but I wasn’t hearing them the way he intended. Each compliment made me step back. I felt as if this man was planning our wedding. Then, he made the mistake of telling me how much he enjoyed “that kiss.” My back went rigid.
“Really? Because I thought it was a total invasion of my personal space,” I calmly retorted, looking him right in his baby blue eyes. I was wondering if he had somehow missed the sexual harassment classes at that big corporation in Chicago.
Scott’s demeanor turned immediately. His face took on the look of a hurt puppy. I realized this man was not used to people saying “no” to him. I wondered if he hadn’t been in such a high-powered job that everyone tiptoed around him.
“Yes, Scott, of course, Scott, how would you like your coffee, Scott?”
We finished dinner and he asked me for a ride to his car, which was parked at another location.
Sneaky, I thought, feeling suffocated. By the time we got to my car I was feeling edgy so, I reached down for my cigarettes, grabbed my lighter and inhaled. Ah, nicotine! It was freezing outside, but still I cracked the car window so the smoke would blow out. We continued talking and he kept his hands to himself as I drove. Finishing my cigarette, I rolled my window down even further to clear the smoke and tossed the still lit cigarette out onto the highway.
“Something just hit the back of my head!” Scott uttered.
“It did not!” I exclaimed, looking at him in disbelief and thinking, “It’s too early in the season for bugs to come flying in the car.”
“Lois, I’m telling you, something just hit the back of my head and I think it was your cigarette!”
“Let me check the back of your coat to see if there’s a burn,” I insisted. He turned around but I saw nothing.
“Nope, nothing,” I shrugged my shoulder at him, “Are you sure it was my cigarette?”
“Lois, what else could it have been?” he responded with an accusing gaze.
I just kept driving because I couldn’t believe this was happening. I had never had it happen before. I began worrying he was right and that my car was going to catch on fire and explode!
“Do you think it landed in the back seat?” I glanced back to make sure my seats weren't smoldering, didn’t see any smoke and kept driving.
“DAMN!" he screamed, "It’s down my pants! Your #&%@ cigarette is down the back of my jeans!”
He flew up and out of his car seat.You should have seen him! My jaw dropped! My eyes widened to the size of Montana! He threw off his seat belt. I was careening down the highway at sixty-five miles per hour sitting next to man with a lit cigarette down his skivvies and I wanted to laugh. I wanted to laugh so hard I could hardly contain myself. I thought I was going to pee my pants!
“Dear God, what kind of karma is this?” I implored silently.
Scott tore at his backside, grabbed the still burning cigarette butt, and tossed it out his window. If looks could kill, I’d be dead right now.
“I’m sooooo sorry!” I exclaimed in my best possible apologetic voice, “Are you ok? Did you get burned?”
“Did I get burned?” Scott gawked with astonishment.
“Of course he got burned, Dummy,” I wordlessly admonished myself.
“When you get home, you’d better wash it good with soap and put some Neosporin on it,” I tried being sympathetic.
“Lois, you burned me! I’m crushed, you burned me last night and then you literally burned me today,” he glared at me with a crazed look in his eyes.
I had no words. I knew if I opened my mouth and started talking I’d launch into laughter. Then, I realized, this wasn’t about my karma at all, this was about his karma. He was the one with the burned ass. I instantly felt relieved of any responsibility. Fate had stepped in, that’s what it was, divine intervention! He’d forced a kiss on me and tried making plans for my life, so my heavenly angels were taking care of it by retaliating and putting him in his place. I privately expressed my gratitude to them. I was thankful when we finally arrived back at his car and I could send him on his way.
Three days later his sister called, “Scott’s in the hospital up by Chicago and he’s hooked up to an IV with major antibiotics dripping into him. What did you do to my brother?”
My heart plummeted to my stomach. I was sure I was going to be sued. I didn’t know how to respond.
“Didn’t he go home and wash the burn? Did he put Neosporin on it like I told him?” I felt desperate.
Now, I could hear laughter through my phone
“Here’s Scott,” she snickered and I heard her handing the phone off.
“Hi Darling, how are ya? We’re just joking ya.”
Darling? I was not his darling! I failed to see the humor. I didn’t want this man to contact me again. It scared me. He scared me. I scared myself.
I went quietly and comfortably back into my box, but I didn’t shut the door completely. I want the door open so I can let the light shine in and I can see out. I don’t want to miss anything or anyone that may come my way. I am there with Apollo, waiting, preparing myself for my next adventure. I’m working on taking the walls down too. Many times I have longed for the old Lois; saucy, reckless and adventurous, who wasn’t afraid to go skinny-dipping down at the lake late at night, but things change and I am a different person now. I have come to terms with the fact that Haley may never come home. The world is her oyster and she is out there living her passion, who am I not to encourage her to do so. I am also aware that Jack may never come home, either. He is on his own journey and I accept that it is out of my control. I can’t even control Apollo, much less Jack and Haley. I have even come to accept my mother’s rosary as a blessing.
This experience certainly taught me a lot of things; one, I don’t want to get laid as badly as I thought I did, two, I’m not as lonely as I originally thought I was and three, money isn’t everything, but I really knew that one already. Oh, and four, be more careful with my cigarette butts! TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Karma, Dating & Divorce (not necessarily in that order) Part Two

Six months of sleeping with a dog that was now almost the length of my bed made me realize it was time for me to break out and find a date with an actual human being. I had not only constructed a box, I had established my own private cloister.
“Lois, darling,” I muttered to myself, “You know you are never going to meet anyone sitting home night after night reading books and watching television.”
“Yeah, yeah…. I know, I know. I’ll get out, I will! I promise. Next weekend maybe,” I answered myself.
In therapy, I became enlightened about meditation and how to seek my angels’ advice for what it was I needed in my life. I knew I needed healing and spent many an evening curled up with Doreen Virtue and Louise Hay. I read as many of their books as I could get my hands on. I lit candles, sat quietly (which was no small feat with Apollo dropping his toys at my feet every two minutes) and meditated for hours. I thanked God, my spirit guides, and any angels that were listening for the many gifts they had given me over my life-time; supportive friends and family, wonderful children and for leading me to a job which I found quite satisfying. I read about karma and placed small altars throughout my home. You’re not going to believe this, but I got out my childhood rosary and hung it on the mirror in my bedroom. It was comforting. I played soft music while sitting patiently, waiting for messages. I changed my inner thought processes, trying to be more positive and easier on myself. I stopped expecting perfection and learned to go with the flow.
Finally, I made a list of qualities I wanted in a mate, whoever and wherever he was. Passion, humor, honesty, trustworthiness, spirituality and integrity were just a few. I read it every night before I went to bed. I thought about it during the day. When it is meant to happen it will happen, I assured myself. Wanting it to be right this time, I was in no hurry. Patiently, I worked on my mission. I was not about to rush things and then have them go awry. Besides, I was still quite comfortable in the shelter of my box I kept telling myself.
My second holiday season as a single woman was fast approaching; Christmas parties with no date, no intimate presents from a lover and only Apollo to rest his head on my pillow at night. I had to make a move. A group of co-workers were headed out for drinks one evening and I jumped at the chance to join them at a local Italian restaurant.
I cozied up to the bar taking a quick glance around for any plausible new talent. Seated next to me was a friendly couple about my age. I introduced myself, as is my nature, and struck up a conversation. My friends soon arrived and the couple joined us for dinner. The fact that I was newly divorced soon reared its head into the conversation.
“She’d be perfect for your brother? We need to introduce them,” I heard the husband say as he leaned into his wife. I was floored, flattered even. It pays to step out of your box, I thought. They told me he, too, was newly divorced, held a very lucrative position with a large corporation and was a really, really, nice guy. They had definitely piqued my interest. His name was Scott, he’d grown up in our little town and was currently living in a suburb of Chicago, but drove down every few weeks to visit family. I felt my angels must be looking out for me after all, wrote down my phone number and handed it to them. My spirits rose. A date! I might actually have a real date!
My ex-husband e-mailed the next day to let me know he was flying our daughter, Haley, home from West Africa for the holidays. I was thrilled! It was going to be the best Christmas ever. I couldn’t have asked for more, both of my children home at the same time after all we’d been through. My prayers had been answered. I was overjoyed! I touched the pale, blue beads of my rosary hanging in my bedroom. Had I become my mother after all?
As promised, a few days after Christmas I received a phone call from Scott wanting me to meet him, his sister and her husband for a drink. He’d caught me off guard. I was so wrapped up with my children being home for the holidays I had almost forgotten about Scott. Quickly, fear set in. I scanned my brain searching for any possible reason why I wouldn’t be able to join them. Rarely does this happen, but I came up blank. Could this possibly be that spark of hope glittering into my life?
I agreed to meet them but informed him my children would be joining me. I was nervous and a little excited. I hadn’t had a date since the ripe old age of twenty-four. I was now fifty. Haley was right there when the phone rang, overhearing the entire conversation. She played along acting very excited, but my son, Jack, was having none of it. He had his own plans for the evening. I pleaded with them, “Please don’t make me go alone. I need back up here. I need your opinions, damn it.” They finally relented.
Goody! Goody! Goody! I had a pseudo date! I wanted to dance! I cranked up my Etta James CD and the kitchen dancing commenced! It’s simply impossible to sit still when Etta starts belting out those tunes.
“Yeah, you got me where you want me now, Baby, what you want me to do?” We all sang along showing off our smoothest dance floor moves, “I’m goin’ up, I’m going down, I’m goin’ up, down, down and up, any way you want, let it rooooooooooll.”
Having Haley home helped relieve some of my tension. We giggled just like old times while getting dressed. She always had a way of making things fun. I wound my long red hair up on top of my head, pulled on my favorite black sweater, added pearl earrings, and polished myself off with a mist of my very best perfume. Voila!
“Do you think he’ll like me?” I called out to Haley from my bedroom, my insecurities sneaking up on me.
“Mom, what’s not to like? Have you looked at yourself in the mirror?”
I paused, lipstick in hand, gazing at my image in the lighted, magnifying mirror.
“Yes, Haley Dear, I have looked at myself in the mirror, more times than you could imagine,” I thought.
No longer the demure young woman I once was, I looked tired and I deplored these bags under my eyes now. I longed for a face-lift to rid myself of this chicken neck. Shots of Botox to stop my lipstick from bleeding and new perky breasts would be nice too. I craved a tummy tuck. No amount of moisturizer could save me now. Why I didn’t demand more money during the divorce, I’ll never know.
“Do you think he still has hair?” I called out.
“I pray he doesn’t have one of the beer guts!” she chuckled.
“We’ll soon find out!” I answered.
“Wish me luck, Apollo,” I reached down and scratched his ears good-bye and handed him a treat. Haley, Jack and I then hopped into my car and drove out to meet my destiny.

To be continued…