Saturday, July 13, 2013


Hair is a funny thing.  Not “funny ha-ha” but rather, funny odd.  Hair (and the issues it presents) provides both a common bond and a divisive wedge between people.  If we don’t have hair, then we want it.  If we have it, then we have too much.  If our hair is curly, then we want it to be straight.  If it’s short, then we want it to be long.  Nearly everyone hates their hair at some point, and we’re happy to commiserate about our hair problems.  Those lucky people who love their hair every day of every week of every year are nearly nonexistent.  We covet other’s hair styles and colors, thinking we would be so much more attractive with that particular cut or color, then grouse (my uptown word of the week!) when it doesn’t look the same on us.  Really, ya think???  Especially when she’s a natural blond and you’re a redhead before you attempt her color???  Sure.  If you believe that, I have a few national monuments with ocean views that I can sell you.

 When we get it cut, the stylist gets it wrong whether we pay more than the cost of a tank of gas at an upscale salon or ten bucks at the local barber.  Never mind our unrealistic expectations that we will look like we lost fifty pounds and twenty years if we get out hair cut like Jennifer Aniston or George Clooney.  (Again, I admit to this illogical thought process—I just know that I’m one haircut away from a size 8.  Don’t judge me; I know you’ve done it too!)  And another thing…it really doesn’t matter how much you pay or what the resulting haircut looks like.  Hair is like grass; it grows.  For some of us, it may be more like growing weeds, but regardless, you’re just going to get it cut again next month.  Grass.
Millions (maybe billions) of dollars are spent each year on hair care products, processes, and restoration.  I’m guilty; I admit it, probably one of the worst.  My bathroom closet contains a multitude of different hair sprays, gels, mousses as well as a wide variety of implements to curl, straighten, and further whip my unruly mane into a socially acceptable hairdo that won’t become the subject of (imagine the thick southern accent) “Did you see the hair on her head???  OMG!!!  Does that woman not own a mirror???  I wouldn’t leave home with that rat’s nest on my head, bless her heart.”  (As most of you know, in the South you can anything about anyone as long as you follow the negative statement with “bless her heart.”)  But I digress.

Hair is definitely a funny thing.  Funny in the platypus sort of way, like a joke God plays as you get older just to see if you’re paying attention to the passing of time.  I’m talking about the hair that starts showing up in unexpected places.  Like the half-inch-long hair you discover protruding from your chin after you spend the day interacting with more people than you did in the last six months combined.  Absolutely mortifying.  And, to top it off, none of your friends bothered to mention it to you.  So, you stock up on tweezers and make sure you never leave home without one.  Complete paranoia takes over as you frequently examine your chin, neck, nose and any other possible site of a creeping invasion of man-hairs upon your person, just knowing that there is a man-hair lurking close to the surface, waiting to spring forward at the most inopportune time.  Arrrrrgggggghhhhh! 

Balding men get really sensitive about their thinning hair.  They comb it one way, then another in an attempt to achieve the greatest amount of coverage.  Guys…it really doesn’t matter!!!  It’s still the same amount of hair!!!  Guys stare at that hair restoration commercial on TV as if they are on the verge of learning the secrets of the universe.  And women are supposed to be the vain ones.  Not even close when it comes to a man and his hair.  They attempt to keep a tight hold on their hair, all hair, including those rogue hairs that exit their scalps and journey to more fertile ground found in the ears, nose, and eyebrows.  These evil hairs grow to unbelievable lengths and wave at passersby when a gentle wind blows.  God help this man, especially if he lives with a ‘groomer.’   “Huh,” you say.  Yes…it’s true…I’m a groomer.  “Really,” you say.  Well, not the dog kind.  The man kind.  Since my first experience with the evil man-hair on my chin, I have been on a mission to eradicate wayward rogue hairs.  (Now would be a good time to feel pity for the man in my house who is frequently subjected—often against his will—to  plucking, trimming, and other hair removal techniques in an effort to combat this vile menace.)  These depraved hairs will not be shaved!  They refuse to submit to my will so they must suffer the consequences.  They will be yanked out by the root and destroyed in the name of all things smooth and hairless!!!  Amen!!!
OK…maybe a little over-the-top, but I see myself as a knight in shining armor carrying tweezers and scissors in a never-ending battle against bushy ears and eyebrows, not to mention those despicable little nose hairs masquerading as a mustache.  It’s just so wrong!  For all you warriors out there who groom your man until he can stand no more, I salute you!  Now go pluck any wayward hairs you find, and if your man has trouble rolling out of bed in the morning, rip out one of those big, long, thick eyebrow hairs—you know, one of those that enters the room before he does.  He WILL get up and you have effectively killed two birds with one stone.  Now that's what I call time management!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Before I start telling you about the latest of my thoughts that have been making my imagination run amok, I want you to understand that I'm not judging or making fun of anyone.  Just one of those things that kind of stuck in my head and won't go away until I write it down.  In other words, just one of those things that makes you go "Hmmmm."   Well, me anyway.

While standing in the checkout line at a large discount retailer, I did what I always do.  I was people-watching.  I'm not exactly nosy; I just like to watch people do what they do when they don't think anyone is watching.  Usually there is lots of scratching, picking, and 'rearranging' going on, but this day was a little slow on the observational front.  So I turned my attention to the customer in front of me.  She was probably in her late 30s or early 40s, well-dressed, and hair impeccably coiffed (that's an uptown word if I ever heard one), so in all honesty, not exceptionally interesting as far as people-watching goes.  Well, not until I leaned over to get a pack of gum...that's when I saw them.  The toebrows, that is.  Now, I expect guys to have hairy, maybe weird-looking feet, but the toebrows seemed a little out of character for this lady.

Hmmmm.  Of course my imagination ran with this like Michael Jackson with his hair on fire.  In my mind, I could just see the toebrows waving in the breeze.  No, better yet, braided...or for a Caribbean flavor...dreadlocks.  Ya mon!  Then thoughts of Groucho Marx and little glasses on toes filled my head, and I had to look at something, anything else as I attempted in vain to avoid the giggles, turning red-faced and teary-eyed.

Now, you have to understand something.  I'm not laughing at anyone; everyone is entitled to wear their toe hair as they please.  I'm simply laughing at the absurdities one's imagination presents when allowed to roam around untethered occasionally.  Just sayin...maybe a little mousse or gel to give your toebrows a little style.  Maybe little tiny barrettes or bows or hair color or maybe even toe hair perms.  This could open up a whole new aspect of cosmetology...toebrow stylists.

Bottom line...whatever it is that you've got going on (or don't have), flaunt it!  Fly that flag high!  That goes for toebrows too.   Just sayin...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How to Get From Here to There

I've been thinking.  Get that look off your face...this won't require a helmet or flak jacket.  At least I don't think so.  So, here's the thing.  I was headed to the airport the other day, so I dug out my GPS (just to make sure I didn't get lost), punched in the address, and took off.  A pleasant, female voice with a British accent instructed me to turn "left" here, then "right" there, and I managed to make it to my destination without any difficulty or delay.  This is the part where I started to think.  It seemed a little "wrong" somehow that this nice British lady was advising me on travel in Arkansas...I somehow doubt that that perfectly proper English accent has ever visited the Arkansas countryside, let alone driven a big, honkin' SUV on the right side of the road while spitting sunflower seed hulls out of the window.  Just saying.

So, on the way home I tested out the other voices available on the menu, immediately discarding the possibility of using the male voices...I mean, after all, what woman really wants another man telling her how to drive?  Yeah, that's what I thought too. The only remaining option was a female voice with an American accent that was so monotonous that she could probably put me to sleep in less time that it took to switch back to the British lady. 

So, I thought a little more.  What did I really want from my GPS?  All things considered, its just a little machine that you lick and stick on the windshield, and off you go, right?  Right.  But again, that little wiggly worm of a thought kept bugging me...and then it hit me.  What I really want is someone who sounds like me, talks like me, thinks like me to tell me how to get from here to there or anywhere in between.  Think about it.  You turn on your GPS, enter the address, hit "Go," and a voice akin to that of Jeff Foxworthy or maybe Trace Adkins or Blake Shelton fills the vehicle with directional advice, Southern-style. 

Think about it...not only that sweet Southern accent that is music to my ears, but also directions given the way we Southerners give 'em.  In case you were born north of the Mason-Dixon line and don't have any idea whatsoever as to what I'm talking about, let me explain.  We don't say, "Go five miles east on Hwy. 22, then turn left on Hwy. 109; drive 2.7 miles, and your destination will be on the right."  That's just not the way we talk. 

So, my SoCo (Southern Comfort-nice name, don't you think?) GPS smooth country voice would give those same directions like this:  "Well now, y'all head on down the highway towards the east like you goin' to the Co-op, but don't turn there.  Go on past a ways until ya see the Outpost...if ya hungry, stop in there and git ya self a burger and visit awhile; the food's some kind of good, and the help is friendly.  If ya not hungry, turn left on the road just before ya git to the Outpost.  Head on out there a ways; go on past the big church on the right; keep on goin' and y'all gonna go over a couple of big hills.  After that, the road is pretty flat but purty curvy, so watch for those big ole 18-wheelers.  Keep goin' 'til ya pass the chicken houses on the right, then look for the big ole oak tree on the right...turn right on the second road past the oak tree, and you'll be there!"

I admit that some of you people who are always in a hurry might go a little crazy listening to this type of directional advice and develop a sudden case of road rage or perhaps a strong desire to hurl your SoCo GPS out the window.  However, for those of us who have been listening since birth to directions be given this way, we know exactly what that GPS voice is telling us to do because we now have a mental image of what this trip looks like. 

Furthermore, I assert that the SoCo GPS would be a good choice for women.  Why is that, you ask.  Well, let me tell you, even though I may offend some of you.  I have observed the fact that women overall have difficulty judging distance.  Now don't get all huffy and write nasty comments to me.  Think about's really not any woman's fault.  After all, as most of you are probably aware, men have been telling women since the beginning of time that this "--------------------------------" is six inches.  So telling us to turn right in 100 feet is rather meaningless, especially if there are multiple places in close approximation in which to turn.  See my point?

The SoCo GPS will probably be carried in stock by the Co-op or farm supply stores.  I can even see myself camping out early on Black Friday in front of the Co-op or the local farm supply store to get one of those babies for myself. to get me one of these!  I'm thinking that I would probably be the coolest redneck around, being told how to get anywhere by say, Toby Keith.

I definitely see a market for this innovative and greatly needed product, even if some folks might place the SoCo GPS in the same category as Billy the Singing Bass.  Not that I would ever admit to having one of those.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Running for What?

I wonder a lot about joggers when I encounter them as I'm driving down the road in my comfortable vehicle.  Why do they do it?  I mean, have you ever looked at the face of someone jogging down the road?  They look like they're in pain.  Not mere discomfort, mind you, but excruciating, puke your guts out, "please kill me now" pain.  Why do anything that makes you look like that?   "Oh, I do it for the exercise," they say.  "Wanna stay healthy,"  they say.  "Gotta stay in shape," they say.  Uh-huh.  Ok...lets get this straight.  So, to stay healthy you jog next to a 6-lane highway, sucking in exhaust fumes that make you hack like a 2-pack-a-day smoker.  Fumes that contain carbon monoxide which prevents oxygen molecules from hopping on the hemoglobin receptors of your red blood cells, decreasing the amount of oxygen transported to your vital organs, like say, your brain. Wait...I think I can actually hear the screams of tiny dying brain cells. 

And then there is the game of full-body trauma roulette.  You know, the kind that occurs when you get run over at 45+ miles per hour because the driver is texting and decided in the deep, dark recesses of his mind that his commute might go smoother if he drove on the sidewalk.  Thump, thump.  Tire tracks & road rash, for a start. I understand tattoos and dermabrasion are popular procedures, but I highly suggest getting them done in a different location.

Another thing...where are they running to?  At least I can understand cross-country runners.  They are nowhere, but heading to somewhere.  Or maybe they're just running from Bigfoot or mountain lions or bears or whatever.  Joggers...they just run...kinda in a circle.  Oh, stay healthy or in shape.  Yeah...whatever.

Yup, sounds like healthy to me.  Think I'll take jogging up, oh, I don't know, maybe, probably...never.  But put Sasquatch or lions or tigers or bears (oh, my!) into the equation, and I'll be happy to take up running immediately and show you how its done.  That is, if you can catch me!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Know When To Quit

I love dogs--big dogs, small dogs, purebred, mutts--I love dogs. If I ever win the lottery, I'll probably rescue every dog in need of a fur-ever home that I can find. 

We currently have 3 1/2 Chihuahuas (I'll explain in a minute), and being Southern girls, each of our doggie daughters has a name that reflects her Southern heritage--Izzy Bella, Beanie Love, Percy Jane, and Faithie Mae.  Percy Jane is the shortened version of her given name, Persephone Jane Ophelia Elizabeth Diane, for obvious reasons.  My ex-husband named her Persephone Jane in an unsuccessful attempt to annoy me; not to be outdone, my current significant other and resident "Doggie Daddy" added Ophelia Elizabeth Diane.  Men...its a good thing Percy Jane is somewhat of a "big-boned" girl; otherwise, the weight of that moniker would kill her.

Izzy was the first one adopted.  Five minutes with her, and I was in love.  I later thought Izzy needed a pal, so I found Beanie to keep her company while I was away for long hours at the hospital.  Unfortunately, Izzy was quite offended by the intrusion and spent several weeks ignoring her new sister, which in turn, possibly caused Beanie to begin a rather nasty nervous habit of carrying her poo around....but that's a story for another time.
Faithie Mae (or FiFi), a half Chihuahua & half who-knows-what, came to live with us last December after her owner could no longer care for her.  She was used to sleeping in bed with her former owner and obviously found hiding under the covers comforting as she adjusted to her new surroundings.
 Faithie Mae (FiFi)
Long before FiFi Mae  took up residence in our house, Doggie Daddy had decreed that no dogs could sleep in our bed.  Apparently, however, FiFi didn't get the memo.  Since Izzy, Beanie, and Percy are rather short-legged girls, this issue had not posed a problem before now.  However, with her longer legs, FiFi was easily able to hop up on the bed where, as far as she was concerned, she belonged.
And so the battle began between Doggie Daddy and FiFi.  He would put her off the bed, and she would circle around to my side, jump back up, and slide under the covers.  When he saw that this tactic wasn't working, he discovered that blowing in her face or on her butt took this little dog to a whole new level of pissed off, causing her to vacate the bed on her own.  Being a smart girl, though, she would wait until his breathing changed, signaling his descent into sleep, and back onto the bed she would come.
Doggie Daddy continued this strategy for a couple of weeks, harboring the belief that she would eventually give up.  Instead, FiFi decided to get even.  Evidently, waiting for him to go to sleep gave her plenty of time to plan her revenge.  As we prepared for bed one night, Doggie Daddy pulled the comforter and sheets back to discover holes chewed in the sheets...but only on his side of the bed!  I guess FiFi decided that if she ate his sheets, then HE wouldn't be able to sleep in the bed!  After finding holes in two sets of sheets and two comforters (including an expensive comforter from L.L. Bean), in addition to a pair of his shorts missing the entire crotch (I can only imagine what her next move would have been!), the head bitch in charge--that being me--advised Doggie Daddy in no uncertain terms to leave the dog alone and let her sleep wherever the hell she wanted.  Eyeing his crotchless shorts, he decided FiFi had beaten him at his own game.  He didn't like it--I mean, what man likes to admit being outwitted by an eight-pound dog?  But he was beaten and knew it.
End game?  FiFi sleeps wherever she wants, and Doggie Daddy keeps his crotch.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Game of Life

First thing, let's get the disclaimers out of the way so everyone can relax.  I'm not trying to sell you anything.  I'm not attempting to convert you to some weird, new-age, psycho-babble nonsense being passed off as "religion."  If you're interested in politics, you probably won't find much here to keep you interested.  And I'm certainly not suggesting we form a commune in the Arkansas River bottoms, eat only green food and drink purple Kool-Aid, and take mud baths with aliens from outer space to stop the aging process while we wait for the mother ship.  But like everyone else, I do have an agenda. 

Thanks to those of you joining me here in the second paragraph, even though you may be sitting there with a slightly wary or confused look on your face.  My agenda is really pretty benign, maybe even a little self-serving since I figure that it’s cheaper than therapy.  I simply want to share a few of my somewhat tilted observations with a healthy dose of humor (or maybe silliness, to some) thrown in for good measure.  Apparently, my gene pool has quite the imagination; or as someone recently told me, “Some of y’all are about a half a bubble off center, and the rest of you just ain’t right.”  Well, yeah…and we work really hard to do it so well. 

With all of the craziness occurring in this country and around the world, I’ve been thinking a lot about life in general lately.  More specifically, about what gives life its, well, life. What gives a life its basic essence, its texture, its definition?  Good ‘ol Mr. Webster defines life as a living being, a period of existence, a prison term, a board game, etc.  I remember getting into trouble as a child after shirking some particular responsibility and my mother firmly telling me, “Young lady, life is not a game!”   I imagine I was in complete agreement at the time since she had just whipped my butt instead of giving me a prize.   

But what really makes life vibrant and three dimensional as opposed to being merely an existence?  The answers are as unique as we are.  Once upon a time, I asked my daughter (then an older toddler) why she had done a particular thing.  She smiled confidently at me and replied, “For days.”  At the time, I wrote it off as childish gibberish.  For some reason, though, her answer stuck in the depths of my mind, occasionally resurfacing for brief speculation as to what she had meant.  Not too long ago, I overheard an older woman say to her companion, “For the days.”  I had no idea what they were talking about, but I immediately thought about my little girl’s answer to my question so many years ago.  It occurred to me that “Days” are the reason we do anything and everything.  “Days” are playing cards in the game of life (yes, it’s sappy, but humor me; I do have a point).  Most of us want more of them.  More days to play out our triumphs and celebrations, to recover from tragedy or trauma, to right a wrong, and to love and laugh with someone, just a few reasons among millions more.  More days to get life right.  More days just to have more.  

Life is a game of sorts.  But is the object of the ‘game’ to have more days just to hoard them, or is it about having more days to give away?  How we play each day obviously determines its value  and whether we win or lose, not only to ourselves, but to others as well.  As I sit here writing (OK…so I’m daydreaming and letting my overdeveloped imagination run wild), I’m tallying the worth of my cards, finding that I have more than I care to divulge that could be worth much more if they had been played at the right time—maybe with my daughter, my church, my community—for as little as a few seconds to extend a simple kindness or for as much as the whole day to change someone else’s game of life. 

When our days are done, will we be holding a handful of meaningless days, or will there be only memories left of days well played?  Play your cards right. Change the game for yourself or someone else. 

Look at it like this…if you’re out doing something for someone else, you won’t be home when the aliens come over to offer you a mud bath and all the green food and purple Kool-Aid you could possibly want.

Game of Life:  Outcome to be Determined