Tuesday, November 24, 2020

MOLES? We don't need no stinking MOLES!

Is mole DNA similar to rabbit DNA? And by "mole" I mean a mole on your face or body, and by rabbit I mean literal fucking rabbits. If you have two moles on your face, do their melanocytes then multiply exponentially like the proverbial rabbit? Is my face now a Ponzi Scheme?

Last year I had one small mole on my forehead, which I totally thought was a zit, but it wasn't, because no matter how hard I tried to pop it, nothing happened. Then another one showed up on my forehead and another, then one on my cheek and then two more on the opposite cheek. And now there are two others that have developed beside my mouth. 

If, over the past year, my one benign mole (because, yeah, I checked that shit out with a dermatologist) has become eight, I'm fairly certain that within a decade I will become the Mole-Faced Woman. The upside of this eventuality is that it can, and should, be monetized. 

Today? My skin melts. I go upstairs to pluck my chin, neck and face hairs (because THAT'S a daily thing now) and my skin has slumped like melted wax. My thought process goes like this:


I try to recall all the things that I've done so far over the course of the morning that might contribute to a House of Wax moment upon my person, but it takes me a full 90 seconds of panicked thought before I calm down enough to realize that they are just slinkles (sleep wrinkles). That calm is lost when I realize that those slinkles remain embedded in my skin four fucking hours after I have stopped sleeping on my face AND and I have no recollection of even seeing my face this morning, even though logic says that that shit had to have been there earlier, like WHEN I WOKE UP.   

Do you know that they make pillows for this? To avoid slinkles. They look like the kind of pillow you might wind up on if you have cervical trauma. For $174.00 + tax you can sleep the sleep of the uncomfortable so that your face at least slumps backward while you sleep.

Whenever I mention any of these things to David or Rissa they look at me like I'm nuts.

"Nobody notices this stuff but you."

"Uhhhhhh.... not true. Every other menopausal woman out there notices this shit."

"On themselves maybe, but not on other people. You have to be VERY close to other people like REALLY close to notice what YOU see in a mirror with 5X magnification."

I can't fault this chain of thought. No one other than David and Rissa gets that close to me - especially now, with all the physical distancing and mask wearing. In spite of laser eye surgery, David's eyes don't even really work that well up close and personal and Rissa repeatedly tells me that I am crazy and that I'm beautiful the way I am and I should just accept that fact.   Plus, with me already starting to forget shit? I'm not going to remember what my original face looked like. So the next time I gaze into my 5X magnification mirror, I can just be happy that I own one that helps me locate that mother-fucking white hair on my neck that I've been playing with for the last hour as I've been watching The Crown.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Accept no substitutes

"Mom, Sean Connery died."

"What? Oh no! When?"

"This morning. He was 90."

"Oh... well, that's a good long life, but still very sad."

"Yeah, it is. I know he was your favourite."

"Yes, yes, definitely him, then Daniel Craig."

David pipes up in the background. "Second favourite."

For a moment, I am dumbfounded. "You CAN'T be serious."

"What?" David says, looking confused.

"What's going on there?" my Mom asks on the other end of the phone.

"Sean Connery is your SECOND favourite?!?" I start to stand.

"What's happening?" Mom asks.

"NO! Your Mom's! It's your Dad and then Sean Connery!" David is literally backing away from me.

"Oh, thank God," I say, sitting back down. "I thought you meant that he was YOUR second favourite Bond. That you were going to say some shit about Roger Moore being first, and then I was going to have to punch you in the throat."

"Wow. You are next level with your Connery devotion."

"Heather? Heather?" My Mom is a bit frantic on the phone.

"Sorry Mom." I then catch her up on my David's theory of favourites. 

"Well," she laughs. "He is definitely up there for me."

"This could have been an enormous, terrible, marital revelation for me. I mean, we all know that it goes Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, then the pretty-much-interchangeable Brosnan/Dalton, George Lazenby for giving Bond any sort of emotional grounding and then Roger Moore for camp."

"You'll get no argument from me," says David, hands in the air.  


To ignore Connery's incredible acting talent outside of the Bond franchise would be near-heresy. I haven't seen all his movies, but among my favourites are: amateur psychotherapist Mark Rutlege from Marnie, train robber Edward Pierce in The First Great Train Robbery (he did all his own stunts - it's un-fucking-believable!), space Marshal William T. O'Niel from Outland, monk William of Baskerville who gives Umberto Echo's The Name of the Rose incredible heart, immortal warrior Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez from Highlander, his Oscar-winning portrayal of Chicago cop Jim Malone from The Untouchables, crotchety senior archaeologist Henry Jones Sr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Russian submarine Captain Marko Ramius (still with the Scottish accent) from The Hunt for Red October and ex-MI-6 agent John Patrick Mason in The Rock

Now I'm going to watch all those again and discover some more of his best. You should too.



After writing this post - it was brought to my attention that Sean Connery made some statements in Playboy in 1965 and then again in a 1987 Barbara Walters interview (defending the original Playboy statement) about how slapping women was sometimes warranted. 


I really hate when someone I've respected has done shit like this. Yeah, he was born in 1930, yeah, he was a product of his generation with all its attending thoughts about how women could/should be treated, but outside of consensual kink, slapping women isn't and hasn't been a good thing to do for a LONG time. And yeah, in 2006, he recanted his statement, but then said that the original quote in Playboy had been taken out of context. This is not a man who took ownership of a belief that was wrong nor did he admit to the error of his ways. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

I think I broke him

"Have you ever wanted to buy me a special outfit?" I ask David.

"Pardon?" David asks, turning his head towards mine.

We're in bed, reading. He has a puzzle book and a pencil. He's writing in the margins. I'm reading a contemporary romance.

"Like, have you ever wanted to choose something specific for me to wear?"

 "Choose?" His eyebrows are frowning.

"Doesn't have to be clothes. Like a pair of sexy shoes. Or boots! You like boots." I smile and waggle my eyebrows at him. "I'm a size 9."


"Are you okay? You've gone a little pale."

"What? No, I'm good, I'm good."

"I mean, like if you found a pair of boots that Kalinda Sharma* would wear - would you be, 'I think you'd look good in these...'?" 


"Or, if you had a favourite outfit of mine that you'd like me to wear, you know, that you really LIKE?"

"NO!" He now looks like he might throw up a little.


"Uhhhhh..." If I were interrogating him in a SPEC OPS unit, he would look more comfortable than he does now.

"Hey," I say, now fully turned towards him. "What's going on?"

"The... uh... the thought of me buying you something to wear, that you may or may not like, or picking out a dress for you? It really stresses me out."

"But if it's something that YOU'D like me in? It wouldn't really matter if it wasn't my favourite, if YOU liked how it looked on me. Haven't you ever seen something that you might want me to wear?"

He seems like he might be in a fugue state.

"David?" His eyes have definitely glazed over. "David??" I put my hand on his chest.

"I can barely pick out my OWN clothing!!" he explodes. "I stress over choosing SOCKS in the morning!! That's why I'm so glad when you buy me mix & match clothes so that I don't have to THINK about what I'm wearing!! CLOTHING?!?!?! Buying it, deciding about it, just for ME is STRESSFUL! Trying to choose something for YOU? I... It... I..." 

He is this close to hyperventilation.

"I just thought because I always like it when you get all dressed up. Like if you even shine your shoes for me..."

"Yeah, but you BOUGHT those shoes for me!! I didn't CHOOSE those shoes!!"

"What if you were choosing from the dresses that I already have, or the boots I already have?"

"I trust your judgement!!"

"You don't have a favourite dress that gets you all hot and bothered when I wear it?"




I'm taken aback. I could tell you almost every t-shirt that David has, what his underwear looks like, his dress shirts...

He starts laughing. "Right now, I'm trying to think of your dresses, and literally in my brain is the word GREEN with a question mark beside it!"

I snort. "Seriously?'


"So me saying that you could buy me a sexy pair of boots, that I would actually be wearing for YOU?"

"Scares the shit out of me. I'm on the verge of a panic attack right now." He's nearly hysterical with laughter. It's contagious. Very soon we're finding it difficult to breathe and are almost wetting ourselves.

"Oh love..." I smooth the hair from his forehead. "This was supposed to be like a sexy couples' thing to think of. Not pressure. I was just reading this book when the guy, he picked out an outfit and..."

"And that? That idea? Terrifies me. You... you have great taste in clothes. You always look good. You come downstairs all dressed up and I always think you look good."

"But you, having anything to do with the choosing of that outfit?"

"Not a perk. I will build you anything you want - a deck, a closet, a backyard studio. I will set up every piece of tech in this house, but please, please, please... I am begging you, don't ask me to choose clothing for you." 

"Okay... Okay... You don't have to choose clothing for me." 

"Or shoes!!"

"Or shoes. It's okay, love. It's okay, you don't have to." I hold his face in my hands and kiss him.


"It's all okay."

His breathing has settled a bit. 

I kiss him again. "I'm just going to brush my teeth."

When I come back, David is looking through my closet.

"There are dresses that have green in them." He looks like he's won the lottery.

"Yes, there are."

"I DO remember some of your dresses."

I smile.

"If you ask me to pick between three dresses, I could maybe choose one."

"Only if you want to, love. Only if you want to."


By the by... David is the King of Thoughtfulness. Before we married, he had all of Shakespeare's comedies, in their folio editions, bound into hard covers for me, with every other page blank so that I could make acting notes. When I lost my mind as a working new Mom, I arrived home to a house full of lit candles, a glass of wine, a warm bath and a pair of earplugs to wear that night so that I could get a good night's sleep. One Christmas, he presented me with a calendar, in which he had booked us babysitters for 3 months, so that we could have date nights. My husband thinks of making my dreams come true, pretty much constantly. Just don't ask him to choose out clothing for me. ;-)

*David loves Archie Panjabi's character Kalinda Sharma from The Good Wife - mostly he loves her boots.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

You'll let me know when I'm elderly, right?

"Yes. I will," says Rissa.

"Thank you."

"You are elderly."


"Ma, you're showing all the signs."

"I'm 52!"

"Do you, or do you not implement fall prevention measures?"

"Yes, but that's for the ear thing..."

"Is that a bowl of hard candies on the counter?"


"How many pills do you take each day?"

"Many of those are vitamins!"

"How many are prescriptions?

"Two," I say sullenly.

"What was that?"


"And what else?"

"Iron pills."



"Do you have more than one pre-existing condition?" She raises her eyebrows at me.

"Oh for the... YES! But I only have the ear thing because of the thyroid thing!"

"What about migraines?"

"Well, if you're going to count EVERYTHING..."

"Hypoglycemia??" Another eyebrow raise.

"Shut up."

"All signs point to elderly."

"I would just like to say that when I updated my life insurance, that NONE of my conditions stopped me from getting coverage again."


"Seriously. All my issues? Unless they're heart or lungs related? They mean dick to insurers. So SUCK IT!"

"Is that an early-onset dementia mood swing??"

Saturday, September 5, 2020

My delicate frickin' flower

"I'm telling you Rissa, when you're middle-aged, your vulva gets sassy."

Rissa pauses brushing her teeth. "I'm sorry?"

"Your vulva - well at least your labia - they get..."

"What is happening right now?"

"I was wearing those pants without underwear..."


"I am passing on information that will be useful when YOU are 52 years old."

"About my vulva?"

"Or it might just be your labia. I'm never sure of the distinction. I mean, I know that the labia are the lip bits. Help me out here. You're the nursing student."

Rissa looks like she wants to bang her head on the vanity. "The vulva is the whole crotch area."

"Crotch is the vulva. Got it." I think for a sec. "Crulva."

"Please don't ever say THAT again."

"What? If I make a new word it will forever be clear in my mind."

"Other people's mothers don't share like this."

"But they should! Seriously. You're going to want to know that lace underwear will become the enemy in your 40s and then, when you're 52, you go commando in a pair of 95% polyester / 5% spandex/elastane wide cut pants and your... labia - really it's just the labia - will not be happy with you."

Rissa just looks at me.

"And I used to be able to wear the pretty lacy panties, but now, unless there's a cotton gusset in there with some good acreage, by the end of the day (or night - depending when I wear them) my crulval area is not pleased."

David pokes his head into the bathroom. "Crulval?"

Rissa shudders. "Please DO NOT encourage her."

"Crotch and vulva. The crotch area is the vulva," I say as I brush my teeth.

"Ahhhhhh, I see."

"I'm trying to impart my knowledge of what the female body does..."

"I don't think all female bodies do this," says Rissa.

"Oh, I think they do. You get older and your body gets overly sensitive."

"YOUR body Ma. YOUR body is WAY sensitive."

"I'm going to poll my friends."

"OH. MY. GOD."

"And then you'll know....  Wait! I am going to ask Mor Mor and I will bet you anything that she'll confirm it." 

"I can't see Mor Mor wearing lacy panties."

"Because now she CAN'T."


"I'm sure that Mor Mor would still wear lacy panties if she could. She might want to spice it up now and again..."



"Mor? Can you still wear lacy panties?'

There is a pause on the other end of the phone. "Can I what?"

"If you wear lacy panties or non-cotton panties, do they irritate your lady bits?'

"Well... no, I don't think so."


"I've never noticed that."

"I'm talking about a pair of LACY panties - with a very small gusset?"

David snorts from the other room.

"I can't say that it's ever been an issue for me. I mean, I don't wear a lot of lacy panties now, but I do have polyester panties and they don't seem to bother me."

"But they have a BIG cotton gusset right?"

"Well I've never measured it."

"Aw crap. She's right!"

"Who's right?"

"Rissa. She said that my lady bits are just overly sensitive."

"Well that may be the case. Your body IS sensitive. You know Heather, natural fibers are always best. These new fabrics are all well and good, because they're easy to care for, but you can't beat cotton."

"Yeah, I know. These new fabrics, they bite me in the... well, not ass, but they sure as hell irritate my labia!"

"And this is why you called?"

"Yep. Thanks. Love you." I hang up the phone.

Rissa comes down the stairs. "I told you it was just YOUR..."


She rolls her eyes. "Last night something struck me. You said you were wearing pants with no underwear."


"Well don't do that! If you wear underwear you won't get irritated."

"Yes, but those pants are jersey and if I wear cotton panties with them, the pants will be all bunchy and clingy..."

"WEAR cotton thongs! They MAKE cotton thongs!"

Epiphanic. "Yes. Yes, that's perfect. I can do that. Unless my perineum is irritated."


Please help me get to the bottom of this.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

DIY Nip/Tuck

David and Rissa say that I am not allowed to take up DIY cosmetic surgery. No matter how much I want to. I'd just like to say though, that if my armpits were made up of fabric instead of migrating breast tissue stores, I could put a dart in that shit. 

I am very handy with a needle and thread and excel at following YouTube videos. I'm pretty sure that with some hydrogen peroxide, a shop vac and fishing line I could do some good work. But "because it's flesh and blood with the possibility of infection and death," I'm not allowed to try.  After being my own successful guinea pig, I could offer my APP NT (arm pit pudge nip/tuck) to friends and family. I'd do it as a charitable service for other women of a certain age whose bodies have chosen to metamorphose without their host's permission.

Scratch that - do not try this at home. I just googled it and this was the first thing that came up:

I want to be that body-positive 52 year old with 5 decades of comfortably living in my skin. But instead of reveling, I spend an inordinate amount of time fixated on my extra breasts. I sqwoosh them. I berate them. I feel that they are a beacon to the entire world. I Google "extra weight around middle" and discover that a waist line over 35 inches for a women is a health concern. Oh, for the love of... this is no longer cosmetic! 

Fucking menopause. Its subtitle is literally THE CHANGE OF LIFE. I should know this.

My breasts have converted their now useless milk ducts into even more incredibly bodacious ta-tas?  Huzzah! If I want to stop traffic on King Street, all I've got to do is take a deep breath. Those same boobs that are no longer content to dwell upon my torso and have now snuck across the border into arm pit town?   Give me a sec...  wait... wait... I could hook up small bicycle horns so that when I play with their pulchritude I get a musical interlude!  And... a great new busking act! From which I could make money!  HAH!

Benign moles getting me down? Play connect the dots with all that new skin topography and see how many constellations I have!

To maintain my weight I now need to walk for more than an hour each day and cut more calories, but not so many calories that my body's fight or flight response is triggered?  It's all good! My heart and lungs just LOVE the extra exercise and juggling carbohydrate and caloric math is incredibly helpful to my now failing brain!

When I update my glasses prescription I want a filter so that I can see myself through my daughter's / friends' / husband's eyes. They don't see the extra boobs or the increasing waist line. They see my smile, my vintage skirts with pockets, my me-being-me.

So how about this? I shall focus on my physical health, but not to the detriment of my mental health. I'll walk more, I'll eat things that are good for me, I'll manage my stress by remembering this,

and I won't pick up a scalpel.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

I'm not 20 any more.



"Sweet Jesus..."

"You okay in there?"

"I'm good, I'm good." 

David cracks open the bathroom door. "You sure?"

"I did cardio kickboxing yesterday with Rissa."

"Ahhhhhh... not that kind of moaning."


He winces as I try to walk.

"It's like child birth."


"Kickboxing. It's like child birth. I've done this class at least three other times. But somehow, in between sessions, I forget. I forget the decimation."

My mouth drops open to gather more oxygen as I attempt to move my leg. 

Since the pandemic hit, Rissa is back at home and has been doing virtual fitness classes. We've been rocking the  mother-daughter time this way. Cardio Dance, Zen Barre, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and Cardio Kickboxing. Rissa is 20. She's an ex-competitive-dancer. She's super fit. I... am none of those things.

Most of the classes, after the initial physical fall-out, I learn not to be a moron. I know NOT to do four sets of eight calf raises TWICE during Zen Barre (1 set with feet together and another with feet shoulder width apart). I do not even try to match the burpee count of the HIIT instructor. With kickboxing? I have selective dementia.

It's because I love kicking. I FUCKING LOVE it.

14 years ago, after a few weeks of watching Rissa and David have fun in taekwondo, I got jealous. In spite of my post-gymnast hip arthritis,  I bought a martial arts uniform and quickly became a yellow belt. Kicking night was revelatory. One of my proudest moments was when I almost kicked Sir Glen through a plate glass window. He'd been unprepared for my leg strength. I'd been unprepared for my leg strength. The fact that he had to widen his stance and engage his core whenever I was next up for push kicks? Still makes me preen.

I'd get so fucking jazzed for kicking night. Primal. Powerful. Playful. This one night, we were doing sprints to warm up across the length of the dojang. Run, run, run, run, run. STOP. Burpee. Run, run, run, run run... I was really giving it. And this, for me, was a big deal. I hate sweating in public. I hate panting in public.  I just generally hate being in a group while I exercise. But my reward was kicking the shit out of things afterward, so I would willingly suffer through the moist crotch and the lank hair during warm up.

We were nearing the end of the sprints. I ran, ran, ran, ran, ran, dropped and did a burpee and then I started running again. Problem was, I wasn't fully vertical. Rissa told me later that I looked like a cross between the Roadrunner and the Coyote. My legs pinwheeled super fast and then I propelled myself into the mat, as if I had an ACME rocket strapped to my back. I separated my left shoulder and David, who'd stayed home that night, got a phone call from Sir Glen.

"Hi David. It's Sir Glen from...."

"What did she do?"

After I finally healed, I never went back to taekwondo. But I've reminisced over it. The kicking part. The surprising people with my leg strength part. The feeling so capable and badass part. I crave that shit. It's just that now, at the age of 52, my body's not so happy when I decide once every three weeks that I want to kick. I'm in pain for three days afterward, tell myself for the next week and a half that I won't do it again, but then Rissa looks at me, raises her eyebrows and says, "Cardio Kickboxing?" and I cave.

Friday, May 1, 2020

This isn't the virus you're looking for.

So hot. Sweaty. Can't get enough air into my lungs. Climbing up through sleep knowing one thing is certain: This is it. I have COVID-19. The pit of my stomach fills with panic. I kick one leg out of the blankets, seeking cooler air. The rest of my body feels paralyzed. I have no energy - I'm wading through molasses. I fight to open my eyes. So fucking hot. My chest hurts.


My eyes open.

It's Steve. My cat Steve is on my chest. I'm also having a hot flash. It is NOT COVID-19.

Had I been truly awake I would have employed logic. I have not touched or been within 2 meters of anyone I don't live with for 6 weeks. David is the member of our family who goes out into actual public and whenever he buys groceries/pharmaceuticals he wipes off everything and religiously washes his hands.

But given the current reality you get those random thoughts.

I have a fever. Is it COVID-19?
Are you a woman in menopause? Is this a hot flash? It's NOT COVID-19.

I have shortness of breath. Is it COVID-19?
Do you have a cat on your chest? It's NOT COVID-19.

I have a dry cough. Is it COVID-19?
After you stop cleaning your house fanatically, does the cough stop? It's NOT COVID-19.

I'm achy. My joints are in pain. Is it COVID-19?
Have you been exercising more than you ever have in your entire life? It's NOT COVID-19.

I have a sore throat. It hurts when I swallow. Is it COVID-19?
Have you had any water today? Drink some water. Does it feel better? It's NOT COVID-19.

My head hurts. I have a blinding headache. Is it COVID-19?
Did you drink too much wine/whisky/scotch/vodka/tequila last night? It's NOT COVID-19.


As an empath, my low-grade-dealing-with-a-pandemic anxiety shifts into high gear when I'm stupid enough to read the news before bed.

"Ma? Ma - what is it?" asks Rissa as I flop down on her bed one night in tears.

"So many people are dying. Hundreds of thousands of people are dying. Nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists and PSWs who are trying to HELP the ones who are dying are dying..."

"Okay, no more news for you. Dude."


Nursing students have been asked to take the strain off other medical workers. Rissa now works as a PSW at a Long-Term Care facility for the summer, where, I am thankful, there have been no cases (touch wood).

"Ma? Ma what is it?"

"It's just all the people who live there. They can't socialize. They can't see their families... They can't... hug."

"Oh Ma... Stop. You can't think about it. Yes, it's sad, but you can't think about it."


"No buts. You have too much empathy. Think of it this way. Most people, they get a regular amount of empathy flowing through their bodies. You... you got... 6 times that. You empathize with an ant when you kill it. It makes you a good actor, but it's going to make you crazy."




"Yeah. That too."


So now? Now I don't delve, I don't check stats all the time, I try not to empathize. I... breathe. I place my feet flat on the floor to ground myself. I strike the Superhero pose just like I learned from Grey's Anatomy.  And I thank every deity out there for all the Front-Line workers who  are putting themselves at risk every single day to help us get through all of this.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020


"Are you ready for lunch?" asks Rissa.

"Lunch Time!!" I reply "♩♫ It's Lu-u-u-unch... TI-I-I-IIIIIME!!♬♫ "

"O... kay..." says Rissa, eyebrows dropping in resignation. "What were you planning on for lunch?"

"I dunno. Grilled cheese??"

"Or... tuna melts?"

"TUNA?!?" This is the best idea Rissa's ever had in her entire life. "TUNA! TUNA! TUNA!!!!"  I make my way over to the pantry. "♩♫ We're ha-ving Tuuuuuuu-naaaaaa♬♫ "

"What is happening?" asks Rissa.

"Tuna, tuna, tuna!!!" I grab a couple of cans and dance my way over the counter.
"♩♫ Tuuuuuuuuu-Naaaaaaaaa!!!! ♬♫ "  I pause to take a breath. "That was exciting."

"You are literally the only person who made that exciting," says Rissa. "I am just standing here."

"Yes but you thought of the "♩♫ Tu-na Me-e-e-elllllllts!!!! ♬♫ "

"You're so weird."

"I prefer to think of it as manic without the depressive."

"I gotta say that's mostly accurate," contributes David.


Sunday, April 26, 2020


Remember your first bra?  That verging on A cup, training bra?   This clothing item had two purposes: to mask breast buds and to serve as a horizontal bulls-eye for the boys in grade 5 who seemed to make it their life's work to SNAP the back of that sucker as soon as they glimpsed it underneath your shirt.  Those bras didn't have any padding, so God help you if it was cold and your nipples stood to attention, because everyone would notice them. Boys. Girls.  Teachers. The Custodian. EVERYONE. Or so you thought.

My barely there pre-pubescent breasts sqwooshed into that fabric at the age of ten - already pushing things down,  smoothing  them out. One hook at the back.  Earning my Brownie badge in "Brassiere Closure."

Shopping for that first training bra at The Met in 1978. And when I say "The Met" - I mean The Met department store at the Greenwood Mall in the heart of the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia... Canada.

You move beyond the B cup and you're up to at least two hooks.  By the time you sport those D cups, you'd better hope that you have at least three hooks or there could be a situation.

As I take the bras from their 'delicates' bags to move them to the drying rack - because, let's face it, if you're paying $50 or more for something that reliably lifts and separates your girls, you DO NOT put those fuckers in the dryer - I look at my bra and I look at Rissa's.  Rissa's with its 1" band and two dainty, nay elegant, hooks.  Mine, with the almost 4" band and 4 Industrial/Frankenstein hooks to corral my beauteous pulchritude into its massive cups that (cool fact!) could also serve as hats/medical masks if need be.

Along with the rest of the breast-blessed world who are"sheltering at home," I have mostly been eschewing the brassiere, letting the girls go free range. This lack of underpinning is indeed comfortable - as long as I move sedately. Coming down the stairs in the morning, I find myself riveted by the clapping sway of Itsy & Bitsy, wondering how I can reliably replicate the motion, for NOW is obviously the time to invest in pasties with proper tassels and get on that middle-aged burlesque career track.

Jo Weldon teaches nipple tassel twirling - Northside Media Inc.

"Am I doing it?" I ask, bouncing up and down.

"Please don't make me watch you practice this," says Rissa before subsequently yelling, "Pear! Pear! Ma is shaking her breasts at me!"

"She's doing what with her breasts?"

"I'm learning how to twirl tassels!!!"

David comes into the room. "You're what?"

"I'm learning, " I say as I continue to bounce, "To twirl tassels!"


"How's it looking?"

"Well, there is definitely A LOT going on there."

"What if I try the shimmy method?"

"I'm going to the other room to read," says Rissa.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Because a cat's the only cat who knows where it's at.

"Hey there Handsome," says Rissa.

"Well, HE-LLO!" I reply, modulating my voice to a lower, much sexier, register.

"I am not talking to you," she says. "I am talking to Steve, obviously."


"Because he is the handsomest being in this house," she continues.

"Yes. Yes he is."

"Did I just lose a beauty pageant to a cat?" queries David from the living room.

"You did. Sorry love."

"I am offended."

"You don't have to be. Few can compete with Steve's perfection."

Grumble, grumble, grumble... from the living room.

"If it's any consolation, your tummy is much more attractive than his, since he started licking it bald."

"I'm not sure it is."

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


"Uh-oh," I say as I'm about to step into my bedroom.

"What?" asks Rissa.

"Hold these," I say, pushing freshly washed sheets into her arms. (Sidebar: have I mentioned that I have a kid who never complains when I ask her to be my Plus One in household chores? She's a fucking unicorn.)

"Why?" She looks around suspiciously.

"I had a little ceramic box on my dresser that holds pins and baby teeth. The cats must have knocked it off. Everything's on the carpet now."

"You have a box that... You...?" She shoots a horrified glance to the floor.

"Just don't step on the carpet. I don't want you to step on a pin."

"Or a BABY TOOTH?!?"

"Or a baby tooth," I say as I start to gather up the debris.

"You kept my baby teeth?"

"Uh... yeah..." Obviously.

"You have my baby teeth in a box."

"With pins."

"Ewwwww... That's so fucked up. EEEEEEEWWWWW!!!"

I shoot her a confused look. "Everybody keeps baby teeth. Plus, you're going to be a nurse, you should be okay with this."

"A nurse. NOT a dentist." She shudders. She reaches for a baby tooth and almost vomits.

"You're SO weird."



FYI everyone - according to DOCTORS - parents are supposed to keep baby teeth. You know, in case your kid needs a stem cell replacement. Mind you, I didn't know this until today when I Googled it, but still...


Saturday, March 28, 2020


David sucks at stopping conversations. When he has the opportunity to make a declarative statement that will allow him to be able to walk away? He can't do it.

Thursday, March 12, right before it was announced that schools would be closed and the shit had yet to actually hit the fan, David was antsy to get home. He was in rehearsals with his students for the student-written, one-act play festival. They rehearsed three afternoons a week. At 4:30 p.m., 
the last day before March Break, with the exuberance of teenage drama kids, they were champing at the bit to go through their plays "Just one more time, Sir?"

"Guys," said David. "No can do. I've gotta get home." (This is where he should have stopped talking.)  "It's my turn to cook dinner. It's Perogy Night!"

(There is no Perogy Night.)

"Perogy Night?!?  Really?  Cool! Do you make them yourself?"

"I do!" (He doesn't.)

"Really? The dough and everything?"

"Oh yeah!" (Nope.)

"How do you cook them?"

"Oh, I boil them up first and then like to brown them in a frying pan." (Really? You don't just take them from the freezer and nuke them and brown them?)

"What are you filling them with tonight?"

"Cheddar, bacon and chive." (And chive?!?)

David is a panic liar. He can't do small talk. He invariably says something interesting enough that there will always be follow up questions. Witness what happened when he bought a suit.

When I asked him how the perogy debacle had manifested, he said, "I didn't want to tell them that the thought of having to watch them rehearse it one more time would make my brain implode."

"You were trying to be nice."

"I was trying to be nice."

"That's a good thing."


"Yeah. Next time though, don't tell them that you have to go home to feed your alpaca."

Monday, March 23, 2020


"I've decided against cutting my own hair," I say before heading upstairs to have my shower.

"That's probably a wise decision," says Rissa.

"Yeah, I can just wait until social distancing is over."

"Good choice."

I'm not sure exactly what happens before I make it into the shower, but somehow there are scissors in my hand.

I remember going into my bedroom, and divesting myself of all my sweaty exercise clothes. I know that I walk to the bathroom and remove my Fitbit. I start to pull the hair elastic from my hair... It has to be the hair elastic. I touch that hair elastic and the subliminal messaging embedded in the Unicorn Cut and Double Unicorn hair cutting videos that I'd been consuming over the weekend compel me. I am a fucking sleeper agent!

I tie my (Dry! What for the love of Vidal Sassoon possessed me to do this dry?) hair off with the hair elastic and cut.

I pull out the hair elastic to see the results.


"You okay up there?" asks Rissa.

"Um... yeah...?"

"Heather?" Now David is calling upstairs. "You okay?"

"Yes," I say faintly, looking at the sharp line of hair that is now my first layer.


"I'm okay," I murmur, transfixed by my reflection.

"We're coming up!!"

I am standing naked and dazed in front of the mirror.

"Ma," says Rissa. "When we call you, you have to answer right away. You need to let us know you're okay." (She may be referring to previous incidences of me saying "Uh-oh" before I fall over.) Her shoulders slump and she gives me the resigned-child look. "Did you just cut your own hair?"

"I just cut my own hair."

"Ma, you just said..."

"Oh, thank God," says David as he hits the doorway, Kramer-like. Always my biggest cheerleader, he says, "Hey that's not..." I turn to face him with my dry-cut Mullet. "...terrible."

"I don't know what happened," I say, staring at the scissors. "I just don't know."

"Oh, Ma," says Rissa.

"How is it that this part is soooooo short, but this, is still soooooo long?"

"You can always take a bit more off the bottom to even it out," says Rissa. She puts my hair over my shoulders. "Just take this much more off." She indicates a couple of inches. "No, no wait, let me actually comb a part so that we're doing this scientific-like."

"I just gave myself a Unicorn Cut, can science really help me?"

"It'll be fine."

I cut another two inches from the bottom layer and then I use the twirl and cut method that I think I've seen my stylist use to get rid of the choppiness.

I hop into the shower and feel the bulk of hair at the top and the lack of bulk at the bottom. Even my hands know I've done a bad, bad thing.

Strangely though, when I towel dry my hair and throw some detangler in, it's not that bad. Oh, I'd be completely fucked if I tried to wear it straight - but curly? Curly, I might just be able to con people into believing nothing has happened. #badpandemicdecisions

Monday, March 16, 2020


When you dress for the day, you think to yourself, 

I feel so confident in my pseudo retro-look! My posture is something my mother can be proud of! My shoes match my skirt almost exactly!!!

And then you see photographic evidence of yourself from that day...

Ladies and Germs I give you Heather from a January 2020 event.

How far along am I? That's a great question Susan.

Why yes, I AM Ralph Kramden's sister!

"Fold and Shadow in the Skirt"

And then it struck me, This is not the first time I've created a post like this:

Saturday, March 14, 2020


Sure, the sound of cats having sex is impressive, but nothing can beat the noise of cats out to kill each other. That alarm clock has you leaping from your bed, blood-pressure skyrocketing, arms gesticulating wildly before your feet even hit the floor. Special Ops units use this sound to train their soldiers to be ALERT.

We have three cats: Minuit (10 lb black female, 13 years of age, crotchety, still suffering the effects from temporary paralysis of her back end 6 years ago, frequent vomiter), Steve (18 lb orange tom, 9 years of age, goofy, snuggly and terrified of Minuit) and Lola (8 lb black female, 9 years of age, the Audrey Hepburn of cats, apart from her habit of over grooming her nether regions).

About a year ago, Minuit started to dip her toe in the pool of feline dementia. Every three weeks or so, she'd hiss, growl and generally sound like the world was going to end - but only at Steve. She'd spend 65% of the day cuddling with Steve and Lola and 35% of her day wanting to kill Steve before then grooming him (literally) for his next attack.

Three weeks ago that pattern dramatically shifted. Minuit now attacks Steve daily - sometimes several times a day. Because her back end still doesn't work well, Steve has the easy escape of jumping higher than she can to get away, but once in his 'safe place,' she won't let him leave.

It was time to take action. With dread I took her to the vet, suspecting that it might be time for Minuit to shuffle off this mortal coil.

You see, we've got this rule. Each of our pets gets one round of veterinary extraordinary measures. One near-death experience that costs us several grand in vet fees. They all get one. After that, if the bill is more than $500, I call my friend Narda, our Pet Decision Proxy, and she says, "Put it down."

Minuit's extraordinary measures occurred 6 years ago when she was inexplicably paralyzed from her mid-back down. We did the express blood-work, we did the x-rays, she stayed overnight and in the end, short of exploratory surgery, the vet didn't know what had happened.

I was frank with Minuit. "Dude, you won't be able to use a litter box. I'm not that selfless. I am not shutting off a room in which you may languish and use as your personal litter box. It's not going to happen. You've gotta get your shit together." 

I may have used a gesture across my throat with an accompanying sound effect. Minuit got up, stumped her way out of the cat carrier, meowed determinedly at me, turned around and stumped her way back into the carrier. She was totally channeling John Young from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, "I'm not dead yet!"

She'd had her reprieve and she mostly came back from the paralysis, so it was good that we hadn't offed her. But now, now that she was losing her mind? My hopes weren't high for her returning home after seeing the vet. Our incredible vet looked at Minuit, and gave me my options. We decided on express bloodwork and urinalysis, and I'd leave her at the vet's so that they could get a urine sample. 

After having been away for 3 hours, when Minuit came out of the cat carrier the other two cats lost their minds. She smelled different. Cats don't like different. Steve attacked Minuit, Minuit hit back, Lola screamed at Steve, who in turned looked at me as if to say "WTF??" It made what we'd been dealing with before the vet trip look like child's play. Dozens of cat skirmishes lasted well into the night.

It turns out Minuit has thyroid disease. That makes two of us. (She's hyper and I'm hypo, but at least we now have a commonality of language and can commiserate.) I was to give her liquid thyroid meds and capsule anti-anxiety meds which could be sprinkled in her food. I managed to wrangle Minuit to successfully give her the liquid meds. The powder from the capsules? Another story.

Day One: I mix the capsule with mushed up wet cat food. Minuit eats it. 3:00 a.m. we awaken to Minuit attacking Steve.

Day Two: I mix the capsule with mushed up wet cat food. Minuit refuses to eat it. I add sour cream. She eats it. 2:00 a.m. we awaken to Minuit attacking Steve.

Day Three: I mix the capsule with sour cream. Minuit refuses to eat it. I add grated cheese. She eats it. 2:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. she attacks Steve.

Day Four: I mix the capsule with grated cheese. Minuit refuses to eat it. I add fish oil. She eats it. She still attacks Steve.

Day Five: I visit the local pet supply store and stock up on homeopathic Bio-Calm liquid, high end cats foods and purees. I mix the capsule with high end wet cat food. Minuit refuses to eat it. Steve eats it. She attacks Steve. I give all the cats Bio-calm liquid in high end puree. Minuit attacks Steve - Steve growls.

Day Six: I give the other two cats Bio-calm liquid in cat food puree. For Minuit I just shove the anti-anxiety capsule down her throat. After which, she can barely walk. Her pupils are the size of saucers. She still wants to kill Steve, but now Steve is growling and whacking her on the head as it's been three weeks of this shit and he's had enough.


Day Fourteen: Everyone gets Bio-Calm liquid in various doses, twice a day. We visit the pet store and get Animal Rescue Remedy to drop in their water. I enjoy bourbon. David has several glasses of wine. Minor cat skirmishes can be heard, but we don't care as much. I think we might be able to...

Oh for the love of... 

"Get off of her! You! Quit hitting her! Minuit! Minuit! Let go of Lola!"

A clump of Lola's fur sticking out her mouth, Minuit looks at me all innocent-like. Steve is lying next to the piano completely content not to be Minuit's victim this time. Lola has doubled her body size in fur puff. I calmly reach for the Animal Rescue, dropping it into my palm before smoothing it all over all three cats. I look at the bottle, drop more into my palm and then rub my own face. In the last 10 minutes there have been no fights. Of course all three cats are in different rooms and it's not near feeding time, nor the middle of the night, but I'm calling this a success. 

"David? Do you want me to rub you with this too? I think it might be helping."

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Surviving your toddler's cold

There he is, seated on the love-seat next to the kitchen. In his striped onesie. Trying to blow his nose.

"Morning love," I say.

"Borning," he manages. He is adorable.

"You hungry?"

"Yeb, pleebe."

"How about some eggs?"

He nods sadly. "Pleebe." Poor guy looks so exhausted. I know that he didn't sleep well last night. I ruffle his hair.

I make him a fried egg on toast and bring him a glass of O.J. to wash it down.

"You good, love?"

"Yeb. Dank you."

I turn to plate my own breakfast.

"Oh... doh." He sounds like he's about to cry.

"What is it?"

He looks down at the front of his onesie. "I drobbed egg on me."

Sure enough there's a trail of runny yolk down his chest.  "It's okay love. I'll get you a cloth."  I grab one from the drawer and wet it.

"I'b a toddler," he says as I start to wipe off the yolk.

It is now official. My 46 year-old husband, in his striped onesie, does not have a "Man Cold," he has a "TODDLER COLD."