|Posted on February 19, 2018 at 11:10 PM||comments (0)|
Like many others, I have been thinking about the #metoo movement. A lot. First of all, it’s about time! But before I go further, I should disclose that I’m a 64 year old recent retiree. I was in the work force for 45 years. I’m in a 30+ marriage to my soulmate and sweetheart, Pepper. Another woman. Prior to Pepper, I dated men only and was married to a man for 15 years, which has given me a unique perspective on both sides of the aisle so to speak. Having had both a wife and a husband, I can tell you the joys and challenges of both. But that’s another story for another time.
While I probably won’t be directly affected by what happens next between men and women in the workforce or playforce, I am still very interested in what it’s going to be like now. For one, Pepper and I are parents of a 20-year-old son and an 18-year old daughter. This has me wondering. Will it be so much better for my daughter than it was for me and other women in the olden days? And on the other hand, it will be potentially worse for my son?
In my story, the world is turned on its side for the next few years—hasn’t it already been turned upside down for us? So what’s another 90 degree rotation in the big scheme of things. From now on, only girls and women can approach the opposite sex for dates, coffee, conversation, a dance, sex and any other courting rituals that have traditionally be assigned to the man or boy. Think about it. A man will no longer wonder if she is truly interested. She approached you. She asked for your phone number. She said, “Let’s have a coffee and roll! Or “Let’s have a roll in the hay!” Just don’t confuse the two. No more guessing. No more embarrassing yourself by walking across a crowded room because you thought she looked at you just a little longer than usual, only to be turned down and have to take the walk of shame back to the support beam you were holding up. How could you be so wrong? Never again.
A comedian used to say that “women are psychic. They know if youre’ going to have sex.” It’s so funny because it’s so true.
I opened with “it’s about time!” because we have seen all too well what unwanted, non-consensual sexual advancements and assault can do to a person. But I am also romantic and hope we will manage to find a way to still court one another. That my daughter will feel the thrill of hearing a guy say, “I’ve loved you since 8th grade. I was just afraid to talk to you because you were so pretty!” Or that my son may get to do do what my father did to entice the woman of his dreams.
My parents met on a crowded street in London in 1940. He was a handsome immigrant from Hungary, fleeing his homeland from the impending Nazi invasion and she an Irish beauty having left the old sod to live in a big city. My father spoke very little English but carried a small English/Hungarian dictionary with him to get by. The moment he saw her, he was smitten. He impulsively walked up to her and kissed her on the nose. She instinctively pushed him away while an English bobbie looked on, with an impish smile. My father began quickly pointing to words in his dictionary expressing his adoration and pure intentions. She walked away. Spoiler alert. The story didn’t end there.
He got a job where she worked. He moved into an apartment across the street from hers. Sounds like every RomCom on the top ten list in women’s magazines. Today, I think we would call that stalking. But it was that hopeless romantic who pursued my mother for months till she finally said “yes!’ and ended up marrying him. And, is the reason I—number seven of eight children—am here today. My son could end up in jail for doing anything similar. My daughter could miss out on the most amazing man who can only pursue her from afar. Because after all, it is only the respectable, honorable men who already avoid offending women at all costs, and who will now double down and stop doing anything that could remotely be considered harassment. It’s like the people who voluntarily take sexual harassment and anger management classes. It’s typically the ones who don’t really need it in the first place.
Even in the stone age when "I was laughing myself silly at Mary Todd Lincoln’s baby shower," as my daughter would say, we all knew the rules. You weren’t supposed to date the boss or the subordinate. A professor wasn’t supposed to date his students even though they were over 18. “Supposed to" are the magic words. People did it all the time. But we all understood right from wrong.
When Pepper and I became acquainted, we were just friends. It took me a good nine months to realize that I had feelings for her. “Those” feelings. But as any good lesbian will tell you, they would never pursue a straight woman unless she made the first move. It just isn’t done—despite what you see in Orange is the New Black. In the real world, lesbians just wouldn’t cross that line. So, I knew I had to make the first move. I already knew she had feelings for me. That 8x10 picture of me hanging if her office was a clue. I invited her out to dinner and I told her I had something to tell her before dropping her off at her car. We pulled in to a place for a drink. There I took a sip of my drink, which till today she swears was an amaretto sour, which I have never had in my life, but I digress. I gulped it down and said, “I’m attracted to you.” Just like in the movies, she proceeded to grab her things and got up to leave because she fully expected and heard me say, “I can’t be your friend anymore because of that lesbian thing you have.” Another spoiler alert—we ironed all that out and have been happily coupled since 1987.
Even though this was obviously brand new territory to me, I did know the rules of dating. I was 10+ years older than she. While I gave her—and myself—the green light, I took great pains to not take advantage of her youth because of my age and life experience. Young ladies can be sensitive and easily hurt, I found out very quickly. Men seemed to be used to the ups and downs of a relationship with females and just kept their heads down and repeated, “You’re right. I’m wrong.” a lot. Courting a woman was a great deal more work. She’s right and I’m wrong. A lot. Women are high maintenance. Unlike a man, who requires so little to be happy—food, sex, beer, sex, time alone, sex, TV, sex, TV and sex. So I’m throwing this out there to you young whippersnappers. If a man tried to grab me by the puss at my advanced age, first I would laugh out loud. Then, I would take a quick gander in the mirror to see if I really still had it. Then, I would punch him straight in the throat. But, that’s just me. I really have a lot of great advice for attracting and keeping a man—if you want one. The working title for my next book is “Men: I don’t want one, but if you do…” It will be chockful of tips and scenarios for catching that man and keeping him happy. As for women. I’m still perfecting that.
|Posted on November 11, 2017 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
Before I begin my story, let me just say that I come from a long line of suffering people. Victims of the holocaust, untimely loss of loved ones and a series of unfortunate events, as they say, is in my legacy. Apparently, this has afforded my people a wicked sense of humor. The ability to laugh through, above and beyond our sorrows.
We wept for days, weeks and months when we lost our parents and two of our siblings as openly and loudly as we shrieked with laughter…at the funeral home, at the gravesite and in the hospitals we commandeered as we held vigils. It’s in our DNA.
With that said, I have thought a lot about the recent accusations and admissions of sexual harassment, abuse and assault that is dominating the news. The film industry. Government. Sports. No one and nothing is exempt. Women and a few men got woke and are coming out in droves to tell their stories. I will leave it to others wiser and more schooled to analyze the reasons and offer thoughtful plans for what needs to be done to stop this insanity. I can’t help but wonder “what if?”
What’s in a Name? – Never name a building after someone who’s still alive. They have time to go bad on you. Wait until the donor has been dead for at least 10 years and only after there has been a thorough background check. Nothing is worse than naming a college football stadium after a Heisman Trophy winner only to have him murder his ex-wife and her friend. Or something like that. “The Harvey Weinstein School of Drama” is sure to go down in flames with the “Madoff School of Economics” and “The Weiner Ethics Institute.”
Sex in the City, State and Federal Government – Let’s go back to the good old days when members of the three branches of government were one sex. Only turn it on its head and restrict service to only females. Then, we can get on with the business of running our country instead of fighting criminal charges. Naturally, this isn’t completely fool proof. I’m sure if you search hard and long, you may eventually find one woman who may have whipped open her tattered chenille robe in front of a troop of boy scouts and yelled, “Hold my martini! Time to earn a new badge, boys!”
Good Gals – Remake every great movie with a female cast to preserve our classics for eternity no matter who rots like an old avocado. Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro and Ray Liotta can be replaced with Melissa McCarthy, Helen Mirren and Cher. Can you just see Melissa now?
“These jeans make me look fat?! Fat how? I mean, fat like I'm a cow? I'm here for you to flippin' judge?! How da eff am I fat? What da frack is so fat about me? Tell me! Tell me what's fat?!”
She then kicks off her spanks, wraps it around his neck and chokes him out.
Cool Hand Lucy – Jodie Foster, Gal Gadot and Lucy Lui find themselves on the wrong side of the law and end up on a chain gang in Texas. We open to a thong-clad Channing Tatum become a human chamois as he sloshes over his car that he just happened to park along side the gang swinging hoes in the middle of nowhere. Gadot walks up to him, slaps him in the face with his own rag, hands him her rake and says, “Do something useful and finish my row, pretty boy!”
Later, back at camp, bored and frustrated, the prisoners stage a competition of two pregnant inmates. Lui wins by giving birth to twins, 10-lbs each, with no epidural, while tweeting. She’s back at work the next morning with a double baby Bjorn strapped on as she whacks those weeds.
So, what if? Can good things come of bad things that happened long ago? What if? Maybe if we believe. What if we start by believing those women like we believe those little boys?
And I don’t know about you, but I think it would be awesome to see Hallie Berry kicking ass at a white supremacist’s rally screaming, ‘I’ll be Black!”
|Posted on September 21, 2017 at 1:50 AM||comments (0)|
When I was a little girl and my birthday was just around the corner, I couldn’t contain my excitement. With my parents and eight kids, our family had built-in birthday parties. I shared mine with my sister who was 4 years and 3 days older. But, our mother made sure we each got our favorite cake. Strawberry shortcake for her and chocolate on chocolate with a side of chocolate for me. And Pepsis for everyone. It was the only time we actually got real soda. Typically it was jugs of Kool-Aid in our fridge, which my older brothers affectionately called “bug juice.” I think it was to deter us younger kids from drinking it. But we were fearless and would live forever so we filled up our Flintstones jelly glasses over and over. But on birthdays, we each had a bottle of Pepsi.
“Away with this swill,” we’d declare as we pushed aside the watery bug juice and chugged our sodas.
Several decades later, things are a little different. I still love my birthday, don’t get me wrong. But my priorities have changed. Instead of dropping hints of a doll or cowboy guns and holster I eyed in a magazine, I’m making annual medical appointments. Like a classic car that was once shiny and new, this body of mine periodically needs some work so it’s easiest to remember to do it in my birthday month.
Some of my parts are rusty. Others need a tune up. While still others are may eventually need to be rebuilt. I wonder if I can ask for Sophia Vergara collection of spare parts.
Like a 20-step preventative maintenance & safety inspection, I open my calendar, get on the phone and start checking off the list:
Headlights – Fortunately mammograms are not necessary every year for women of my advanced years. It’s actually helpful now that my pretty and perkies are long and loose because I can just sit in a chair near the door and flop those girls up on the vice grip making it less involved for me.
Grill – Keeping up with cleanings and lying about flossing “at least once a day!” helps to avoid the dreaded gum planning. The words sounds nearly as awful as the procedure.
Radiator - Avoiding hormone supplements, I’ve managed to keep those hot flashes at bay with a great gift from my friend, Patti—a personal fan draped around my neck.
Under da hood – A tisket, a tasket, all my eggs were in that basket—once. Today there is nary an egg to be found. Not that I’m looking to make the Guinness Book of World Records for birthin’ no baby or anything but it’s sad to think that there’s an old codger out there still producing sperm while my factory was closed in the recession.
When the OB/GYN finished cracking it all open and reeling back his tools, he happily remarked. “Well, this is the last time for this!”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well at your age, medical recommendation is that you no longer need this…” and then muttered something about life expectancy, no point and a dried prune. At least that’s what I heard.
“Well, I beg to differ. I still need this!” I protested, flipping up my paper gown to reveal my aging nether regions.
“Oh, no,” he laughed. “That’s not what I mean. It’s just that there’s no medical reason to test you for certain issues related to your, well…
“Hoo ha?” I offered. “Doc, I’m an old lady. Just give it to me straight. Well, not really. I’m married to woman.”
Suddenly a red light went off in the room and he ran out, screaming “Emergency!” I’m sure it was connected to that wand he was holding to trigger an alarm to go off to get him out of the room.
I’m continuing my yearly ritual of fluid replacement, alignments, and recharging the battery. This year, it includes a better fitting bra to refine the shock absorbers so I can continue to strut this ’53 Model J for many more years to come.
Copyright 2017 Judy Lane
|Posted on February 21, 2016 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
Parents strive to make their children happy. When they are infants, it’s not too difficult. You feed them, change them, bathe them and rock them to sleep. They cry, you cry, no one sleeps, but ultimately, everyone’s in love with each other. In elementary school they start telling you what they want. Mostly what other kids have and that they absolutely can’t live without. And it becomes a little harder to make and keep the little dickens happy but they still love you unconditionally, and consequently you’re happy to oblige. Then comes the mother of all stages—puberty. It’s like having a menopausal, flesh-eating bacteria-ridden small person with pms and PTSD blended for the perfect unsmoothie. It’s then that you realize the only thing you can be sure of is that you will make them UNhappy.
There is some satisfaction in knowing that you really don’t have to work at this. Just do what you normally do and voila! they are pissed. Here are just a few of the sure-fire way to make and keep the youngins unhappy till the day they leave the dungeon in which they are trapped with the likes of you.
“You make me feel like dancin’” Faster than a cat can lick its arse, their lopsided smiles will be wiped from their pusses if you even think about bustin’ a move. It could be as simple as rocking gently to a song on the car radio to striking a pose on the dance floor at somebody’s Bar Mitzvah. When Mama got low, so did their respective, pubescent faces. You would think that I had stripped down to my 36-hour and granny panties and slid down the drainage pipe or something. I only did that once and they were very, very young and couldn't possibly remember. But, I digress.
“Cheers!” Their life goals at this age can be summed up pretty simply: avoid being seen with their parents and play Strip or Dare Beer Pong. But at home, you suddenly have Carrie Nation monitoring you.
“Are you drunk?” Shea asked me as we clinked a glass of champers as the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve.
“Apparently not,” I replied, “Because I can still see and hear you.”
“SWAK!” A peck on the cheek, holding hands, smiling and winking at one another in public are signs of a happy, healthy marriage. But not if you’re their parents. You are disgusting aging porno stars invading your kid’s holy space. Once you gave birth to them, you became empty vessels from the waist down. Your goods apparently dropped out in the grocery store one afternoon and were swept up with the rest of the trash. When my sister was divorcing at the ripe old age of 41, her preteen daughter was understandably upset. She asked her if she was planning on ever getting married again.
“Maybe,” my sister said.
“Why bother?” she scolded her. “It’s not like you’re ever gonna have sex again anyway.”
“Buwahahahaha!” You may smile, chortle, snicker, and sputter through burlap sack, but whatever you do don’t laugh. Just don’t. Full frontal giggles, guffaws, and other face-consorting glee is apparently another no-no—particularly, if punctuated by a snort.
So what is the common denominator here? It’s the stuff we adults do when we are happy. Sing, dance, drink, laugh and get merry with our honey. While you spend your life wanting them to be happy--and you know it--they seem to want just the opposite for you--clap your hands.
But, hey! We’re in charge. We’re the ones who pay the bills. We’re the kings and queens of our castles. So, I say: Turn up music! Pop open the corks! Laugh and sing maniacally in your drawers! Right after the kids leave for camp.
COPYRIGHT 2016 JUDY LANE
|Posted on October 9, 2015 at 4:50 PM||comments (2)|
It’s pretty much a parent’s job to embarrass their kids. It’s an unwritten law that has been going on since Eve spit on Cain’s cowlick. Despite the level of embarrassment you, yourself, endured as an adolescent at the hands of your own parents when you swore, “I’ll never do that!” there you are doing “that” and this and the other.
No one starts out the day saying, “Today, I’m going to the market, pick up the dry cleaning, deposit that check and oh, yes, embarrass my kid.” Pretty much it just happens. Like finding money on the ground in the parking lot, which is a good thing. Or running into an ex in the supermarket when you look like crap, which is a bad thing. But, in any case, not what you planned. Stuff happens.
So when we took our son, Cory up to UCLA to begin his college experience, my only intention was to get him there safe and to see for myself where he would be living for the next nine months.
Earlier in the day, in true Cory fashion, he left us a funny note to wake him up.
“Please wake me no later than 9. I promise to wear underwear.”
This was informative and thoughtful considering just days earlier Shea snuck into his room to grab a “big brother” shirt to wear to school and instead was stopped in her tracks by the furry, red Neanderthal lying on top of the covers in all his glory. All I heard was a door slamming and “Uuuuuuugggggghhhh! I’m never getting married!”
Since I’m a hip with the hap and cool with all that, I naturally tweeted this clever note complete with hashtags #gonnamissthatguy and #UCLAbound. A little bit of knowledge truly is dangerous.
With Cory driving and Shea and Pepper snoozing in the back seat, I began checking my Facebook page to find a message.
“No way!” I gasped.
“What?!” Cory responded, thinking something terrible happened.
“UCLA Housing favorited my tweet!” I replied excitedly.
“Should I even ask?”
When I read it to him, his expression was the same as the time I told him I accidentally invited his friends to “snap chat” with me. How was I supposed to know you couldn’t just add them secretly?
I hadn’t even dropped him off and already I was at Strike 1.
Cory says that Pepper and I both embarrass him equally, but differently. Pepper embarrasses him in small ways on a regular basis. I, on the other hand, do so less frequently but in grand style. Like the time I got locked in the high school courtyard between a classroom and the Performing Arts Theatre, where Cory and his team were in the middle of an mprov competition against a rival school. The gate was padlocked from outside and it seemed the only way out was through an open door I spotted. As I felt my way through the darkened room, I could hear muffled sounds coming from behind a huge black curtain. I peered around that curtain to see about a dozen kids lined up on the stage. Before I could turn heel, one pair of eyes caught mine. Those beautiful, caramel eyes that used to stare up at me in adoration when I held that baby in my arms were now wide open and staring in shock. He was mouthing something, motioning widely with eyebrows and arms.
“C’mon out and find yourself a seat, Mom!” he appeared to say.
Which I promptly did tiptoeing along the perimeter of the stage down the stairs to the floor.
Apparently, I don’t read pantomime so well. He was actually trying to say, “Go away! Go away! You’re not my mother!”
All this “silent” commotion drew attention to me under the bright lights of center stage.
“Who is that?!” yelled the referee.
“It’s Cory’s mother!” someone shouted out with glee.
“Cory, that’s your Mom? the ref continued. “What’s her name?”
Barely audible, Cory replied, “Judy.”
That’s when everyone on stage began chanting, “Judy! Judy! Judy!” Soon the entire audience joined in. “Judy! Judy! Judy!” as I sheepishly made my way up the aisle to take a seat next to Pepper and Shea, who was now covered under her hoodie and slunk into the seat.
Today, as we we pulled up through the line of cars winding their way to move-in day drop off points, Cory looked at Pepper through the rear view mirror.
“Don’t say anything to anybody,” he chided.
“Me? What did I do? I’m not the one who twattered to the world!” she protested. “So, I can’t even speak to your roommate, Carlos?”
“Oh, that reminds me,” he continued. “Please don’t walk up to any random Hispanic male on campus and say, ‘Are you Carlos?’”
In silence, we made it to his new digs. Carlos had already checked in, laying claim to his side of the room. Just like a man, Cory immediately surveyed the two areas.
“He has about 8 inches more than I do.”
On each bed was a lovely hand-woven backpack with the UCLA logo emblazoned on the front.
“Look!” Pepper exclaimed. “Welcome gifts for you and Carlos.”
“It’s nice, but it looks kinda feminine, don’t you think?” I said.
“Yeah,” Cory agreed. “Let’s give it to Shea. She’ll love it.”
I flung the pack over my shoulder, snapped a few shots of the room and my boy and we were ready to surrender him. Just then, Carlos arrived and Cory made the introductions.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m Judy.”
Pepper smiled and nodded and said nothing as instructed, but stepped behind Cory to mouth to Carlos.
“I’m not allowed to talk to you.”
As the awkwardness hovered in the air like a green cloud, it was apparent that it was time to leave. Cory walked us out to the courtyard where we made our very classy, unemotional good byes. Although, I did hear distant cries of “Why?! Why?! Why do you want to leave us?!” and there was at least one crazy broad hanging on the boy’s leg as he tried to drag himself back in the building. But that had nothing to do with us.
Just as we got back to the car, I received a frantic text from Cory.
“Bring that bag back! Carlos had them made for us!”
Cory rushed down to meet us at the car to retrieve the purloined bag and explain what happened.
“He says, ‘hey dude, did your Mom take that bag I made you?’ and I, being a Lane, said, ‘what bag?’ He showed me his and said that he had them made special for us. So I said ‘yeah, my moms are always doing sh*t like that.’”
And so it begins. The payback for all the embarrassment his Moms caused over the years—daily and bi-annually, respectively. He has now painted one mom as a silent whack job and the other as a klepto.
Upcoming parents’ weekend should be quite the experience. Pepper plans to bring Carlos and Cory matching boxer shorts. I have something much, much bigger in mind, naturally. I hear Pauley Pavilion can accommodate thousands…
COPYRIGHT 2015 JUDY LANE