Friday, October 24, 2014

Ten Worst Things About Having a Cold


Okay, it’s fall and I’ve got my first cold. This means, one, my mind is mush and I can’t think of a single thing to blog about, except, you know, my cold. And two—I can’t remember what two was.

In any case, on to the ten worst things about having a cold.

1. The House. When I am sick, I switch to minimal mode. Actually, I don’t. I still do the laundry, cooking, and ironing. (Yes, I do the ironing—do you know what the stack looks like if I skip a week?!) On the other hand, I get phone calls from my kids saying, “Hey, Mom, you are resting, right? Tell me you’re resting.” I love phone calls from my kids.

2. The Vaporizer. I cart mine around with me all day and it hisses, spits, and blows camphor steam in my face. On the other hand, I’m telling myself that it’s a medicated facial. My skin had better look radiant when this cold is over.

3.  Cold Medicine. This worst thing about this is that I can’t take it. I have a “sensitivity” to decongestant, which is another way of saying that if I take cold medicine my heart will beat so fast I get to visit ER. On the other hand, the alternative to cold medicine is a Hot Toddy—bourbon with lemon, honey, and hot water. At least if you have a nasty cold, you’re happy.

4. Snot. Okay, I don’t need to explain why this is heinous. On the other hand, you don’t notice if your allergies are bad.

5.  Sneezing. This is not a problem you want to have if you’ve given birth to four large babies. I will not explain this. And there is no “on the other hand.”

6. No Sense of Taste. This means the very cool pork butt roasted with chipotles and chocolate will taste like dirt. On the other hand, the tea that got left out in the sun and went bad—yeah, you won’t even know it’s spoiled when you drink it.

7. Focus. The ability to concentrate and edit is totally shot. On the other hand, Netflix!

8. A Frightening Reflection in the Mirror. The bathroom mirror reflects back an image that makes you look the love-child of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Grendel's mother. On the other hand, you don’t care.

9.  Sleep. When I’m sick, I can’t sleep. So I ponder—my novels, the state of the world, the health of the dog, etc. On the other hand, I’m getting lots of practice trying not to worry.

10. Yeah, I can’t think of a tenth one. So this will have to do. Besides my vaporizer is seriously spitting—it’s actually blowing out rings of stream. I’d watch in fascination, but I think I put too much salt in the water and it may blow a household circuit. Yeah, that’s happened before.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Married Man's Guide to Women's Shoes and What They Mean

This sling-back pump is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo by Olivier Luma.
The other Sunday morning, I was late. So I asked my husband to grab my black pumps. He came back with black sandals. I said, “No. Black pumps. Those are heeled sandals.” He went back to the closet and came back with another pair of shoes. I sighed. “Sweetie, those are mules. I need pumps.” Eventually, I found the pumps.

It occurred to me that if a man doesn’t even know what a shoe is called, then there is a whole world of shoe communication that he does not understand. So I’ve written a husband’s definitive (short) guide to women’s shoe types and what they mean. Here it is.

Pumps. A woman wears these with a suit. They have a heel and enclose most of the foot. (Though there are open-toed and sling-back versions, which have nuances of meaning. But that is beyond the scope of this quick reference guide.) When I wear them it means, I can pump my own gas, but if you want to do it that would be great because I don’t like smelling like gasoline.

Sandals. Strappy shoes that expose the toes. There are two main types.
   One, the heeled party type. These mean I plan to have fun and am not opposed to drinking something with bubbles.
   Two, the flat type. These mean Take Me To the Beach. Now.

Mules. Something you side your foot into. As in, I’m as tired as a pack-worn mule and can’t be bothered with fasteners. You should probably pour me a double strength espresso with a twist of lemon.
            N.B. If they are Birkenstocks, it means I’m over forty and I’ve gone through a granola phase.
 This should be nipped in the bud if it threatens to come back. Seriously, do you remember the tofu phase?

Kitten heels. Playful shoes with a tiny, thin heel. They mean I’m feeling girly and playful as a kitten. (Think Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million.) They also mean, after the kids are in bed, I would totally be open to playing hide and seek with Nerf dart guns in the dark.

Sneakers. I can pump iron. I can run like the wind. Okay, maybe not. But I can
beat myself shadow boxing. And just so you know, it means we’re eating healthy tonight.

Stilettos. The name obviously comes from a type of spy knife. Think tall, thin high heel that could be used to stab someone. You think this means “sexy.” You are wrong. This shoe means I-am-feeling-so-confident-that-I-don’t-care-that-these-these-things-are-going-to-give-me-back-spasms-later-today. These shoes mean you will need to find a bottle of Aleve and a tube of muscle pain cream.

Slippers with wool socks. I need a nap, an intravenous drip of a caffeinated beverage, and/or a break from the children. Afterwards, a long, hot bubble bath.
Hopefully, this clears everything up.

Ladies, did I miss any?