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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Yoga and I: The Dysfunctional Couple of the Decade

I’m happy to announce that yoga and I are back together again after a long break. He’s so much better looking than I, and there’s no explanation as to why he continues to take me back. It must be my nice personality.

My relationship with yoga is like one of those on-again off-again doomed relationships. We both know he’s too good for me, but hot damn if we can’t help ourselves from meeting for a casual drink once every 6 months.  I sit at the bar and cry in my chardonnay about how tired I am all the time and how I can’t seem to keep any kind of focus (“Oh, look! A butterfly! In a bar!”), and if we could get back together, it would help me in so many ways. And he nods sympathetically, even though I’m talking about myself again, and then he reminds me that I was the one who couldn’t commit to the relationship and it was I who wouldn’t take suggestions on how to better myself. To prove his point he says, “Now hold that plank for five” and I start to weep.  “Okay, for two, then,” he says, and now I’m just moaning. And then I get off my barstool and say, “This was a mistake.” And he goes, “I’ll always be here for you, though, if you ever need me.” And I’m all, “But you’re so hard.” And he goes, “That’s what she said.” And then we laugh and I go home and eat three-quarters of a box of Cheez-Its and a half pound of Russian chocolates and never exercise again. (more…)

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Lather, Rinse, Repeat — and Repeat and Repeat

I have a new temporary substitute hair stylist who is trying to convince me that I shouldn’t wash my hair every day.

This is like telling a 58-year-old woman that she should give up a lifetime addiction to mayonnaise and switch to gluten-free vegan soy Tofu Whip. Don’t even.

Temporary Substitute Hair Stylist says daily shampooing is bad. It’s bad for my hair, bad for my own personal happiness, and it dates me. It’s also bad for the environment, so it is frowned upon in my home state. You can take the girl out of Ohio, but you can’t force her to be a water conservationist and even California won’t come into my bathroom. I don’t think.

I have washed my hair every day for  approximately 48 years, with a handful of exceptions. In the 1970s, it was what girls did. Through long straight hair to pixie cuts and everything in between, my daily morning routine started with taking a shower and washing my hair. Part of the reason back then was I was in adolescence and the hormone tornado that was going on in my body was producing enough oil in my hair to deep-fry candy bars for entire Midwestern states. (more…)

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Finishing Unfinished Business in Not in My Wheelhouse

I was standing in my sewing room, staring at a half-finished quilted mixer cover that I was making for my mother-in-law for a Christmas gift when my husband walked in and asked me what I was doing.

“I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to get this gift for your mom finished in time for Christmas,” I said, boring my eyeballs into the seams, willing them to, at the very least, loosely baste themselves.

He paused before saying, “Not sure if you knew, but it’s Dec. 31.”

Yeah, I knew, smart ass. I didn’t mean literally in time for Christmas. I meant just not late enough to have it be misconstrued as a gift for Christmas 2017. And I already have a gift in mind for her for next year: a matching oven mitt that I’m hoping to finish by mid February 2018.

After standing there, the both of us looking at the pinned-together mixer cover for a few awkwardly silent moments, my husband said, “So, which of your sisters is going to get over here and finish it for you?” (more…)

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