Snooki and the Clown, Power Couple Extraordinaire

As a keen observer of life’s absurdities, I blog about all sorts of things that amuse and annoy me. I’ve mentioned such diverse topics as mutant sheep with big butts, customer service, Ronald McDonald, birds drunk on fermented berries, Facebook, Twitter, Justin Bieber, Snooki and the woman who texted herself right into a fountain at the mall.

Out of all my posts, 2 stand out for having brought the most views to my blog from people who were searching specific terms. So, I offer a grateful thank you to Ronald McDonald and Snooki, who are responsible for a combined total of 731 views.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a fan of Ronald or Snooki. Snooki, I have never watched more than a minute of Jersey Shore and I am mystified by your success. Though I think you’re in your 20’s, you sport big 1980s hair and wear so much mascara that I don’t know how you keep your eyes open. You squish yourself into unflatteringly tight clothes, drink far too much alcohol and can’t seem to recite a complete sentence that is not liberally peppered with the F word. You make it uncomfortable for me to admit that I am, in fact, a Jersey Girl.

Ronald McDonald, I know I’m in the minority on this, but I have never fallen prey to the allure of cheap and greasy fast food. It’s not that I don’t like a good French fry, but overall I think your food is just, well, nasty. As for you personally, I’m sure you’re very nice for a clown and I don’t mean to be a clown bigot, but you and all your clown friends scare me. You’re creepy.

Together, however, Snooki and the Clown could be the next big power couple. Think of all they have in common – Snooki has big hair, Ronald has big shoes (come to think of it, Ronald’s hair is pretty big too); they share a fondness for make-up, lots and lots of make-up; and while Ronald poisons our young people into obesity and heart disease, Snooki is infecting their minds with repeated examples of how young people can become famous and make lots of money, despite having no talent and exerting no effort beyond what it takes to drink enough to fall down.

I imagine a large garish wedding, where guests will dine on Big Macs and drink until they pass out. Shortly thereafter, a new reality show about the newlyweds will premiere, followed quickly by allegations of extra-marital affairs and a messy divorce that will temporarily crash Twitter.

All of this will no doubt bump my blog stats up considerably. Remember, you heard it here first.

I Want A Cake, A Big Cake

March 16, 2012. On that date, I’ll turn 50. I’ve heard that some people find this birthday particularly hard to deal with, but so far, I’m unphased by its approach.

It’s true that I have a hard time reconciling the number 50 with my inner clock, which sometimes tells me I’m 9 years old or 27 or 42 or even 70. For the most part, though, there are some definite benefits to the whole aging phenomenon. There’s a plethora of things I no longer worry about, like:

1. pimples

2. braces, retainers and the dreaded headgear

3. shaving my legs everyday during the summer (every now and then seems sufficient)

4. trying to please people who are hard-wired to be un-pleasable

5. mean girls

6. fitting in

7. thinking I’m not good enough, talented enough or capable enough to do something that’s important to me

8. waiting for my “real life” to begin, once I graduate or get married or start a new job

All in all, I think I’m okay with the whole 50th birthday thing, as long as there’s a cake, a big cake.

Corporate Communication, Lesson One

Dear Dental Insurance Company,

Here’s a tip. When you are updating your system and that update will affect your ability to respond to customer phone calls, please state that fact BEFORE you tell your customers that for their convenience, your customer service lines are open 24 hours a day and before you send said customers on a big fat waste of time trip through your automated phone system. You should not END the automated phone call by stating, “please call back in one hour, we are updating our system,” rather you should BEGIN the phone call that way, don’t you think?

Sincerely,

Annoyed customer who really does not want to call you back in an hour

Diary of a Facebook Virgin

A few days ago, as many of you know, my Facebook aversion was overcome by my maternal need to keep in touch with my son, who’s now away at college. I rationalized that I could keep the FB thing contained, that I’d provide the bare minimum of personal information required, and that I’d simply connect to my kids and a handful of close friends and family members.

You’re chuckling and gently shaking your head at my naivete, aren’t you? I don’t blame you. Within seconds of opening my account, a business associate sent me a Friend Request, followed quickly by family members, old friends and even friends of my kids. How could this happen?  I was trying so hard to FB anonymously, though I now understand that the terms “Facebook” and “anonymous” are mutually exclusive.

I turned to my resident Facebook expert, my 14 year old daughter, for advice. “You don’t have to accept the Friend Requests. Just ignore them,” she recommended. She emphasized that under no circumstances should I accept requests from certain individuals. “Don’t connect with Sheila (not her real name) – she posts a lot of crazy stuff and whatever you do, don’t connect with Sheila’s mom – she’ll send you endless Farmville requests.” She’s a wise young woman, my daughter.

So, I tried to give myself some guidelines about who I should and shouldn’t connect with. Family, close friends and local business people with whom I have real life connections all seemed to be okay, though that list far exceeds my original friending intentions. On the other hand, most of my children’s friends, mere acquaintances and people I couldn’t stand from high school would be permanently placed on the “Not Now” list.

What about my blogging friends? They don’t fit neatly into any category, but some of them have become “real” friends, though we’ll probably never meet or even talk to one another on the phone (do y’all remember when people used to communicate like that?). I figured I’d decide on a case-by-case basis.

Last night I was telling my daughter how shocked I was at how FB connections grew like kudzu, despite attempts to keep them under control. I listed the people I had connected with, including a few blogger friends. “Mom!  You connected with your blogging friends?!  You don’t know those people! You should NEVER connect with people you don’t know in real life!”

I was proud of her staunch adherence to this very sensible rule and chagrinned that I had violated it. I tried to explain that I felt I knew them pretty well and that I was confident that none of them were stalkers or serial killers, but she was not accepting any excuses. Be forewarned, however, if you are one of my blogging buddies and we become friends on FB, I will not hesitate to unfriend you (is that the correct term?) if I begin to suspect that you are a stalker, a serial killer or far more mentally unstable than I am.

I have one final FB faux pas to confess. Again, the words of my daughter: “Mom, I know you’re new to Facebook and have a lot to learn, but please do not Facebook chat with me EVERY time you see me on there. I mean, I’m right in the other room!”  I explained that whenever I see her beautiful face pop up in the little chat area, I feel like it would be rude to ignore her. “No, really, it’s okay to ignore me, please,” she pleaded. Ok, ok, I get it.

To be fair, however insidious Facebook is, it has allowed me to chat with my son almost everyday. Worth it? Yeah. Happy about it? Nope.

Doomed

Imagine you’re planning your wedding. You’re crazy in love, yet overwhelmed by all the details – invitations, guest lists, venue, catering, flowers – it’s expensive and you want everything to be perfect.

What could be more important to a bride than walking down the aisle in the wedding dress of her dreams? (I mean, besides finding a quality groom.) Of course, finding the dream dress is no simple task. Along the way, there will be drama, there will be disappointments, and ultimately, triumphant joy, and you can watch it all unfold on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress.”

If you haven’t seen the show, it features brides who come to a high-end bridal boutique to shop for their wedding dresses. They almost always arrive with an entourage – the mom, the sister, the best friend. Sometimes they even bring along the soon-to-be mother-in-law, all the bridesmaids, cousins, neighbors and a random male friend.

The sales people at the boutique must manage the clashing personalities of the entire shopping group, with the ultimate goal of helping the bride walk out of the store with a dress she truly loves (preferably an expensive one), no matter what anybody else may think of it.

The other night the show featured a bride who was accompanied by the usual contingent of friends and family and she also brought along a very special guest. This foolish woman brought along her fiance’s ex-girlfriend, whose reaction to every single dress was, “uh-uh, Shaun ain’t gonna like that.”

I believe this bride more appropriately belongs on a show entitled, “Have You Lost Your Mind?” While she did find a dress, sadly, I feel sure that her marriage is doomed.

A few helpful guidelines seem to be in order:

1. If certain friends or family members tend to be critical of your every move, opinionated about things that are none of their business, or feel compelled to complain about the simplest of things, leave them home.

2. If you are unable to follow rule #1, elope.

3. If your fiancé sees no problem with having his ex-girlfriend involved in planning your wedding, reconsider your choice of grooms.

Mazel tov!

Another One Bites the Dust

Saturday, August 13, 2011:  You may have felt the Earth shift ever so slightly on its axis. A small but remarkable thing happened and I’m certain it will cause a ripple of consequences throughout the universe, though I can’t say just what they will be.

For years I resisted it, I shunned it, I refused to be drawn in. Sure, my kids do it, my dad does it, 99.99% of my friends do it, but I was determined not to fall prey to it.

Now, all that has changed. I gave in. I opened a facebook account. I know, I know, I hear your disbelieving gasps, but I had no choice.

Last week my son left for college. And, though I’ve learned to text with some degree of competence, he doesn’t reply to my texts. He’s forwarded me exactly 2 emails, one about transcripts and one about books, devoid of any “hey mom, I’m doing great” or other personal nugget of information.

It all became clear. There was only one way for me to ascertain on a daily basis that my baby is alive and well. Facebook. I’m sure all you parents can understand why I had no choice. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. I’m relieved to report that he accepted my friend request, that we had a lovely FB chat and that he’s going out for pizza tonight.

But it doesn’t stop there, does it?  I feel the pull of the facebook vortex sucking me deeper and deeper into FB oblivion — friend requests, photos, walls, chats, all expanding exponentially and infinitely. I’m holding on tight to the guardrail, but I fear it’s only a matter of time before I fall.

The things we do for our kids – sheesh!