Return to Sender

I got a Christmas card returned as Undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service yesterday. Yesterday, as in the second week of March. As in I’m a third of the way through the bottle of perfume my husband bought me. As in the leftover turkey and ham are long gone from the freezer, having been casseroled to the nth degree. Where has this card been for three months?

This makes me wonder if we shouldn’t rethink this thing we call sending things through the mail.

When the people of the future excavate our landfills and realize that we spent valuable December hours addressing and stamping cards, many containing photographs that had to be scheduled, shot, rejected, reshot, bickered over, paid for, printed and decorated, some of them blood spattered from paper cuts, they will surely say, “What the eff? All that work and money, just to express the hope that these quasi-friends will have a happy holiday or that the season will be greeted? What a bunch of shits-for brains.”

And just wait until they get a load of the yellow strips saying UNABLE TO DELIVER.

“And they just kept on sending them,” Excavator Nicole will say. “Looky here. This one chick in San Francisco seems to have just kept sending cards out to the wrong address for five freaking years.”

I’ve got three words for you.

Jacquie. Lawson. E-Cards. (more…)

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A Letter to My Cousin’s Husband, Bob, Who is a Dentist

Dear Bob,

Don’t be alarmed that I’m writing a letter to you. You aren’t being visited by a 19th century Pride and Prejudice character. It’s just me, your wife’s cousin.

I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately, because I’ve been taking care of some dentistry problems. Nothing serious, just your average everyday stuff that people have to deal with when their “permanent” teeth stop living up to their nickname.

I have not skipped a biannual visit to the dentist since I was in college. And I take excellent care of my teeth. (I do, you know. I honestly do. Despite what you may have heard and the “little bit of perio” that one nasty-ass dental hygienist said she could see in my Facebook profile picture. Yes, that happened.) But despite all the  twice daily flossing, the $150 Sonicare toothbrush, toothpaste so expensive it’s behind lock and key in Walgreens, and not having popcorn since 1989, my teeth are being assholes. (more…)

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Who Needs the President at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?

So. President Donald Trump is skipping the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year. People, let’s just all calm down, and that includes you Samantha “I’ll Put on My Own Dinner” Bee. This is not a huge deal. If this were high school, the class president would be refusing to attend the Chess Club Banquet. His absence is not worthy of your outrage. In fact, it might be a lot more fun if the comedians don’t have to face their accuser.

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is affectionately referred to as the Nerd Prom. So it’s no wonder the political and media celebs and the smattering of Hollywood types who love the event are saying the equivalent of, “Um, like, whatever” while adjusting their pocket protectors.

Trump won’t be the first president to ditch this event. But he is the first one to do it for no adult reason. Jimmy Carter missed one year because he was exhausted. Ronald Reagan’s excuse (“Um, I was shot? In the lung?”) was more valid, plus he phoned in jokes that killed. Trump isn’t imaginative enough to come up with a good excuse. He said it wouldn’t make sense to go to the dinner and “pretend” like he doesn’t hate the White House correspondents. He’s never had to muster up good manners and protocol and he’s not going to start now.

So that’s fine. Because the White House Correspondents’ Dinner isn’t about the president. It’s about the other people who show up. (more…)

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call your mother

Kellyanne, Call Your Mother. I Know How She Worries

Having the last name Fitzpatrick is interesting.  It’s different enough that you remember it, but just common enough that you can share a name with a good number of people. And with a first name with those same qualities, it was only a matter of time before someone in the news was named Diane Fitzpatrick.

Like Kellyanne Conway’s mom. Thankfully, Kellyanne looks — and is — old enough to not be my daughter, so there isn’t anyone who knows me who thinks I count among my offspring a pollster-turned- um . . . whatever she is now.

But because I share Kellyann’s mom’s name, I already relate to her. I don’t know a thing about her, but I can picture her and I can guess what kind of mom she’d be. Exactly like me. (more…)

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vacation face

Saving Face on Vacation

I know a few people who are in the skin care and beauty biz and I have a request: Can you come up with a cream or something that takes away Vacation Face and Travel Body?  It’s a real 21st century problem. The first person who invents something that when you look in a hotel bathroom mirror you see anything other than your Irish grandfather could make a name for herself. I would volunteer to be the spokesmodel. I’ve got tons of before pictures you could use, many of them from the last big trip I took.

The trip was the longest in my personal history and was actually multiple trips rolled into one. With two huge suitcases and a couple of carryons, I moved in and out of my sister’s house in Cleveland three times in the course of a week. I stayed in four different hotels and other houses in three states. Did you ever wake up when you’re on vacation and for a second you lie there not knowing where you are? Yeah, I did that twenty times. It started to get old. Also gotten old was . . . well, me. I started out looking like a young-at-heart, happy-go-lucky, healthy(ish) middle aged housewife  with clear skin and a spring in my step, and came home looking like Keith Richards with a beer belly. (more…)

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facebook party header

Party at Facebook! RSVP at STFU

This is going to be a long metaphor, so you’re going to have to use your imagination. The last time I tried to go all Kafka on this blog, I wrote about the squeaky wheel on the right side of my car (get it?) and I had people recommending their mechanics. I’ll never make it as a political commentator, but my car purrs like a kitten.

I swear I could write a whole book about Facebook and how it’s misused and misunderstood. Now that everyone and his Great-Aunt Christine owns a piece of it, you have too many people with too many opinions about how it should be used and more importantly how other people aren’t doing it right.   Everyone thinks Zuckerberg is on a fainting couch in a gold paneled ballroom eating peeled grapes and counting his stacks of five-hundred-dollar bills, but I think he’s curled up in his mawmaw’s house mewling, “But it was supposed to be just for the Harvard kids!”

Facebook has become a cacophony of personalities, judgements, bragging, accusations of bragging, name calling, accusations of name calling, one-upmanship and the cattiest behavior since sixth grade. Remember radio dials? When you could turn the knob, running through all the channels so quickly that none of it made sense? Facebook is like that except after the first run-through the radio picks up and hurls itself through the china cabinet. (more…)

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