Monthly Archives: February 2014

On Flirting With a Married Woman

I have been married for 17 years. While I would be horrified if a man who knew my husband or me flirted with me, a girl can’t help but notice that no one at the grocery store or the bar is looking to see if she has a wedding ring. In seventeen years, there have been two times that, for a moment, I thought I might have been flirted with. They have one thing in common, and it teaches an important lesson.

Five years ago…
I was sitting in an office waiting room, feeling good in my white sweater and good hair-day hair. A tall charmer walked through the wait room and opened the door to go out, then CAME BACK to introduce himself to me. Why, after twelve years of marriage, was someone taking notice? Was it the sweater? Probably not. Read on.

Today I was at the grocery store. Some would take the fact that they had not showered yet as an indicator that no one was going to flirt with them, but nooo, not me. Sometimes my hair looks better that way. And I had taken off the sweats I slept in and put on jeans and a clean, albeit bulky, sweatshirt. Keep in mind that the last time I went to this grocery store, the cashier asked me if I qualified for the senior discount. No, that’s not true. That was the time before the last time. The last time was when I insulted the cute college boy’s Canada tee shirt, assuming he knew that there was a U.S. Canada Olympic hockey game on. He must not have, because he looked like he was going to cry, and eyed me warily when we met in another aisle.

Anyway, the point is that I’m still trying to bounce back from the senior discount thing and today, a very handsome man smiled at me. I thought he must have looked beyond (not through, mind you) the bulky sweatshirt and been amused by my whistling the Oompa Loompa song. I said “hello” and walked nonchalantly by with my bag of oranges swinging, and resumed my whistling. As I picked out my tamales on the other end of the store, I saw the man again. He was asking an employee where the manager was, as he had an interview. Just like the man five years ago in the office who, it turns out, was just trying to make a good impression on everyone in case they were important.*

It turns out that interview mode and flirt mode are very difficult to differentiate.

If my little stories have a moral, and they don’t, it is either that a married woman shouldn’t care if she gets flirted with, or Oompa Loompa doompadee dah, if you’re not spoiled then you will go far. But if my stories have a lesson, and I think they do, it is that if you need a little flirting, you should go to a job fair.

*And who also got the job, dated a girl in the office, and left her crying.

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Help For Men This Valentine’s Day

Okay men, you may have one of those irritating girlfriends who won’t just tell you what she wants for Valentine’s Day. She might say she wants to be surprised, but what she really wants is proof that you understand her. But maybe, just maybe, she will help you by giving you a list of things she doesn’t want. This will at least keep you from getting one of those gifts that ANY WOMAN would love and then finding out that your woman is the one exception. Let’s avoid the teary “You don’t really know me” Valentine’s Day. For an example, here’s my list.

1. Flowers. My cat will eat them, and then I will have to clean up the puke. How romantic! I can keep the flowers in a closed bathroom, but then I rarely see them, and someone inevitably forgets to close the door anyway. It’s usually not me, but guess who cleans up the puke? Happy Valentine’s Day!

2. A card with no writing except for what Hallmark wrote. Thank you Hallmark, I’m glad you love me so much.

3. A trip to Hawaii. Most women would go crazy, right? Well so would I. They’d have to stop the flight for my panic attack.

Got your woman to make an unwish list? Great! Now let me tell you what to add to it, just in case this relationship is your first interaction with another human.

1. Vacuum cleaner. Or cleaning product of ANY KIND. Best to steer clear of cooking gadgets, too, whether or not she has told you she wants one.

2. Makeover. She might love makeovers. However, YOU are not allowed to suggest she needs one. Also in this category, books about losing weight. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if she has mentioned that she would like to read such and such a weight loss book, you might think “Hey! I DO know one thing she wants.” Maybe stick with a gift certificate to a book store and let her tell HERSELF to lose weight.

3. Pets. First of all, I believe a person should choose her own pet. Also, she’s going to want to burn everything you ever gave her when she breaks up with you, so don’t endanger a poor puppy OR make your future ex clean up the poop of a living reminder of you every day for the next twelve years.

No pressure, but use the utmost caution. She might act like she loves the weight loss book you gave her, but inside, she is starting the break-up clock. It’s only a matter of time. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Is The Glass Half Full?

I know I’m a pessimist sometimes, okay most of the time, but we pessimists are often called a “glass is half empty kind of person,” and I’ve never thought about the glass as half empty. If I saw a literal glass, and it were half full and half empty, I would say, “That glass is half full.” I’d be glad to have that half glass. (Assuming that the liquid is water, lemonade, or something else delicious. Much fun has been had debating what is actually in the glass.) For some reason, this philosophical question has never made sense to me, and today I realized why.

It’s because life, if it were a glass, would not be half full. When I thought of it that way, my pessimism, as measured by the “glass is half full” question, finally made sense. I’ll explain.

Today, my car died. I was in the left hand lane at a red light. I turned on my hazards and ran to the sidewalk. Any of my local friends will understand why this was a big bummer. It has been pouring rain for three days straight. Because I had thought, “I’ll just be in the car and then in the grocery store,” I hadn’t brought an umbrella. Ironically, if I’d had a glass with me, and I’d held it out, it would have been half full in about ten seconds.

Here’s how I know that life is not a half full glass. The way I see it, if life were a half full glass, 50 percent of the people driving by would have stopped to ask if they could make a phone call for me, or the really daring ones might have even offered me a ride. After all, as you know from my last post, I look like a harmless little grandma. Guess what percentage of people stopped.

Zero. Zero percent.

I stood in the pouring rain with my little grandma socks soaked through. All those people passing by didn’t know that I’d already made a phone call. No, judging by them, the world is an empty cup. I’ll give the cup a little figurative water for the friends I have who would and did come pick me up when I called. I’ll give it 10 percent.

So the question should be, do you see the cup as 10 percent full, or 90 percent empty. Because then I can call myself an optimist. Yay for the friends! Yay for the little teeny tiny bit of water in this dry, dry world.

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I Was Perfectly Okay With Turning 40…

I was perfectly okay with turning 40. It happened last fall, and I didn’t need to dye my hair and try to look 24. (See my post “40 is the new 30.”) I didn’t need to wear yoga pants and use text lingo out loud. I didn’t need to be the cool mom or know who the people on the front of tabloids were. Maybe I was a little proud of my lack of vanity. Maybe I needed to be tested. But could anyone have passed this vanity test?

I pulled into the parking lot of my beloved local grocery store and exclaimed “SMH, it’s senior discount day. I’ll never find a parking space.” It wasn’t easy, and more than one senior stole my space, but I persevered. In the checkout line, and wearing my blue sweatshirt and baseball cap, I chatted with the lady in front of me about whether or not the impulse-buy beef jerky was chocolate covered. “Well, there’s chocolate covered bacon now, so you never know,” I said wisely.

She paid, and then it was my turn. And remember, I was perfectly okay with turning forty. I was okay with the fact that when American Idol started, I was already too old to audition. I was okay with the fact that I’ve probably missed my chance to be in the Olympics.

But here’s what I was not okay with.

The cashier, a woman about my age, with a apologetic expression, said, “I’m sorry, I’m new – do you…qualify for the senior discount?”

It turns out I do have a teensy bit of vanity. While I simply said, “No I do not,” I thought, “Does being new make you incapable of guessing someone’s age within fifteen years? Don’t you think I would have asked for my discount if I wanted it? Was my banter about the chocolate covered bacon so full of elderly wisdom that you ignored my smooth skin and the ends of my hair which aren’t gray yet?”

And then I left, and I thought, “I should have said yes and gotten the ten percent discount.” But I wasn’t old enough to be wise enough to do that. And then I got home and checked the store’s website to make sure that their definition of a senior citizen was indeed 55. No, I was not old and wise enough to not do that.

It was 60.

And then I thought, “My husband’s going to leave me. I have one foot in the grave. I’m really not going to the Olympics, am I. Maybe I should have applied for the job of the grandma who advertises for Kozy Shack Pudding.”

So a tip for cashiers everywhere. Let people ask you for the senior discount. Because it’s hard enough getting over being your real age.


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