In addition to her obsession with Richard Feder of Fort Lee, N.J., Saturday Night Live’s Roseanne Roseannadanna was known for her hairstyle. The wig (I hope!) worn by Gilda Radner made her look a bit like a frizzy pharaoh. This is what my hair looks like naturally. Remember that ad campaign, “Got the frizzies?” My response, “You talkin’ to me?”
My hair doesn’t work short, it doesn’t work long. I tried chemical treatment once. It smelled awful and didn’t do much. Granted, that was a while ago. Today you can probably do it with an app. I tried pulling it back, but that gave me headaches.
I’ve started to experiment with anti-frizz products, so far to no avail. But there are so many to choose from! There’s Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle Deeeep Liquid Conditioner, John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme, L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Smooth Intense Xtreme Straight Crème and Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Finish 5-in-1 Serum Spray. Just to name a few. These names seem scary to me. This is hair, after all, not the plague. Although extreme frizz can feel like a curse.
As a teen in the ’60s I wanted Peggy Lipton’s hair, long and blonde. It just flowed, like the hair of every model in every ad I’ve seen before and since. Peggy would toss her head — ever so sexily — to keep it from falling on her elegant face. Mine never covered my face, although it might blot out the sun.
Some people and characters can do frizzy and look cool, or at least adorable. Izzy, a character on the cartoon Phineas and Ferb, tells her buddies she has to wash her hair, then dances to the tune, “Izzy’s Got the Frizzies,” pausing to let us know, “It’s because of the humidity.” In my case, it’s because of the heredity.
On a recent cover of O Magazine — theme, “Let’s Talk About Hair!” — Oprah looks out from under a super frizz wig that was said to weigh three pounds. She called it “my favorite cover ever!” and added, “I wish I could say it was all mine.”
“Your hair looks like Chaka Khan and Diana Ross combined,” said Oprah’s creative director. How cool is that? On her, funky. On me, Halloween. And I could probably achieve that look, wig-free, if I let my hair grow for a year or so.
It’s probably time to make peace with my hair, although not to the point of letting it devolve to what is now its natural color. I’m thankful that my beautiful daughter has brunette Peggy Lipton hair. I just wish it hadn’t skipped a generation.
— Ann Green
Ann Green is a freelance writer, editor, PR consultant and tutor.
According to paranormal experts, ghosts are often spotted as they go through the motions of their former lives: cooking, walking down the steps and peering out windows.
This distresses me. If I come back as a ghost, I’ll be forever hunched over a computer desk, my brow furrowed and my transparent fingers tapping over an invisible keyboard, desperate to make a deadline that’s centuries overdue. On the other hand, my snapshot of eternity may be an echoing cackle from LOLcats or some long-dead celebrity antics at TMZ. Either way, I shouldn’t feel alone, because I suspect the Internet age will spark a new generation of spectral thrills. Get your pencils out, aspiring ghost hunters, for these hauntings of the future:
Selfie Ghost: Manifesting mostly in bathrooms, these ghosts remain unseen unless you look directly into the mirror. You may think you’re prepared, but you’ll still scream every time you glance up and see the faint outline of cheeks sucked in and lips puckered in a ghostly duckface. Legend has it if you turn out the lights and whisper “Boo caught me sleepin’” three times, you’ll see a body slumped over except for a single outstretched hand holding a phone.
Facebook Ghost: These restless spirits manifest only one body part: the hand. Facebook ghosts are attracted to activities such as going through photo albums, reading inspirational quotes or dressing children and pets in cute costumes. If you indulge in these pastimes, you’ll see a flock of friendly, translucent hands giving the thumbs-up sign around you. However, if you’re prone to fiery rants about politics or religion, expect to be forcefully blocked from certain areas of the house.
Texting Ghost: The most oblivious spirit, a texting ghost may not even realize he’s haunting you because he’s so caught up in staring at a small box in his palm. Texting ghosts don’t interact, they just walk through walls, furniture, road signs, and even people. They don’t pay attention to where they’re going, which is likely how they became a ghost in the first place. Sometimes they will slump in a corner near an electrical outlet in hopes of charging their phones.
Instagram Ghost: You’ll never see these apparitions in bodily form, although they’re drawn to kitchens, dining rooms, restaurants and dressing rooms. If you cook a meal you’re particularly proud of or find the perfect pair of shoes, these ghosts will show up. The haunting begins when the atmosphere around you becomes fuzzy and faded, a flurry of bright lights flash around your head, and you hear the snapping of tiny lenses.
Buffering Ghost: A form of poltergeist, the Buffering Ghost doesn’t fling chairs or drag you from your bed. Instead, this ghost keeps you from doing anything at all by pinning you down with an eternally spinning circle. You can wait out a Buffering Ghost and see if the spiritual bandwidth speeds up, but if you spend too much time at the mercy of these rotating spirits, seek out an I.T.-certified exorcist.
Spoiler Ghost: There are two types of spoiler phantoms, and it’s difficult to live with either one. The first type emits an ear-piercing wail while running through the house with ghostly fingers plugged into their ears, especially if you’ve been discussing a book, play, TV show or movie you’ve just experienced. The other ruins every new book or TV show you start by writing the ending across the bathroom mirror whenever it’s fogged up, so don’t freak out if you step out of the shower and see “Everybody dies” across your reflection.
Twitter Ghost: These ghosts are short and to the point; instead of moaning and rattling chains, they’ll leave a hashtagged “Boo” in the magnetic letters on your fridge. Twitter ghosts pile up in one corner, and then follow you from room to room. They are the only ghosts who enjoy being hunted, and love it when you follow them back. Be careful if you do, though, because that will attract more of them. Any house with a high amount of paranormal activity likely has both Twitter ghosts and Spoiler ghosts chasing each other in the attic.
— Beth Bartlett
Beth Bartlett, a freelance writer by day, a humorist by night and a caffeinated procrastinator by mid-afternoon, won second place in the 2013 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ competition (under 50,000 circulation) for her irreverent “Wisecrack Zodiac” column. She blogs at www.plaidearthworm.com.
At a friend’s Halloween party in sixth grade, her dad and uncle jumped out of the woods with chainsaws, and my brain just screamed, “You’re gonna die! And you didn’t even get to trick-or-treat!”
A small group of us were gathered round a bonfire listening to a scary story when we heard the chainsaws revving in the woods, and I quickly jumped behind the others in order to have the best chance of escape, hoping to hit up distant neighbors for candy before the bloody end.
The whole afternoon leading up to that bizarre saw climax was uneasy for me. I got straight off the school bus at my friend’s house, my parents’ assurances that they would still take me trick-or-treating — if there was time — echoing in my mind. As we walked down her lane to her door, I wasn’t sure why I was there. After all, I was pretty certain this dark-haired girl had given me lice in the fifth grade, and she loved to tell tales that got me in some awkward spots. Yet here I was at her semi-secluded home in the boonies, her only guest at an intimate Halloween party.
It was an evening of scary thoughts. What if I never get to go trick-or-treating again? What if these backwoods wackos are really going to slice me up with heavy machinery? What if I can’t get this aluminum foil out of my hair?
Yes, I had aluminum foil in my hair. It was my own fault; I had shown up without a costume, so my friend’s mother decided to weld long sheets of aluminum to my head with hair gel and a blow dryer, covering everything but my face, and I would be…well, some kind of Star Trek alien queen monster, I guess. My extreme anxiety that the foil wouldn’t come off, that I would have to be scalped, made the color drain from my face. I was a pale, nervous creature the whole evening.
When my parents finally picked me up, admiring my metallic do, I asked desperately, “Can we still go trick-or-treating?”
“No, sweetheart. It’s too late.”
Like Sally in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, I got jipped.
But the next year things worked out the way they sometimes do when you have a big sister taking up your cause.
I was the youngest. My siblings were done with Halloween, too mature for the costumes and candy parade. But seeing the longing of a girl who was still telling herself stories in the bathroom mirror, my oldest sister, Vinca, decided to take me trick-or-treating one last time.
Costumes were quickly decided. She was going as a dame. A lover of antiques, she had the intricate shawl, fingerless gloves, silver cigarette case, glasses and large poufy dress. I was going as a gentleman. People say I look like my mom now, but we all thought I had more of Dad in my features then. We painted a moustache on my face, found a hat for my head and a neglected sports coat or something, and I borrowed one of Dad’s pipes that he only smoked at Christmas. I don’t remember how suitable my costume was, but I remember how Vinca looked; it was a grand costume.
Mom and Dad dropped us off in one of the old Dickson, Tenn., neighborhoods, and we went door to door. It wasn’t like the old days when we four kids would conspire all together to build mountains of candy on the living room floor, but it was special. We even stumbled onto the doorstep of one of Vinca’s old high school teachers who was throwing a party. Always a favorite student, Vinca joined in the revelry; she wasn’t embarrassed at all to be caught red-handed trick-or-treating. I was, however, when her teacher asked, “So, this is your little brother?” It wasn’t the first time someone had said that. We had been telling our “last hurrah” story to curious strangers as we went, and not one person saw the little girl behind the pipe, baggy coat and pencil-thin facial hair.
Vinca laughed and said, “No! This is my little sister.”
“Oh, good job! I wouldn’t have known.”
I shook his hand, but I vowed never to masquerade as a guy again.
I don’t remember our “haul” that evening. It really wasn’t about the candy. Before I knew quite what had happened, my sister was married to a Marine, and Halloween was just a night when we’d find boozy teenagers slinking down our long, spooky lane for some chills and thrills.
But I like to think Vinca recaptured a bit of her own childhood that night, even as I was struggling to hold on to mine.
— Hillary Ibarra
Hillary Ibarra is a mother of four and a writer at No Pens, Pencils, Knives or Scissors.
Last week I overheard the neighbor kid say that he got to touch a boob, which got me thinking. First, he made it sound like a pretty big deal so I wondered if I should send a card or buy him a balloon or something to celebrate, but decided against it.
Second, what is the big deal with boobs? Because I overshare, most of you know that I’m not exactly well-endowed and would just as soon go braless if it wasn’t for that little thing called the office and the awkwardness of “alert” nipples in cold conference rooms.
Side note: I hate, hate the word nipple. We need a new synonym for this, like “boob bull’s eye” or “bust bumps” or something.
Anyway, while I got the small bump in the middle of my nose from my grandma, I also got small bumps on my chest and not the titanic ta-tas that she has. In fact, I think my first memory of seeing actual boobs is with her.
I have this distinct memory of being on my grandma’s bathroom counter after she washed my feet in the sink. Apparently I’m a splasher because she had to change her shirt. She whipped it off, turned around and two swinging sacks large enough to alter the tides came flying around in her massive over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.
Quickly looking down at my concave counterpart, it became clear to me that six kids and 60 years could do a lot to alter the female form.
I was both mortified and fascinated by the size of her fleshy pillows. I mean, I knew they were there before in the way I knew my grandpa had tiny bird legs and socks with the balls on the back. But to see those grand gazongas — if only as they passed in a busty blur — was quite a surprise.
After she changed her shirt, we went out to the line to hang her other shirt to dry. There — flying like a flag of fleshy freedom — were some of grandma’s bras. Big, huge white underwire numbers that could double as a hammock for a small child were clothes-pinned right next to the sheets and grandpa’s stained T-shirts on the line.
“So this is what I have to look forward to?” I wondered as I untangled myself from the now-semi-clean sheet I was “helping” to fold. “The rest of my life is going to be spent lugging around bowling balls in a bra that could house newborn squirrels? Won’t they get in the way of the fun things like baseball and teaching Get In Shape Girl on the front lawn to reluctant neighbor kids?”
Well, years later it’s become as clear as the slightly bumpy nose on my face that my cleavage is not a concern, as it doesn’t exist.
Some women might feel insecure about this, like they’re “less of a woman” because they don’t have huge honkers — or any at all. And while I admit that it would be nice to feel a bit more “gifted” in the breasticle area — if only to have something to catch the food that I drop — there are a million other things that I would rather feel insecure about.
I figure you get what you get, and what I got were more memories than mammories from Gram, one faithful bra in my dresser and a pervy neighborhood kid.
Two out of three ain’t bad.
— Abby Heugel
Abby Heugel is a professional writer and editor of trade publications for employment, but a neurotic humor writer the rest of the time for enjoyment. She runs mental marathons in yoga pants and blogs her brilliant insights. She makes you feel normal. She’s the author of Abby Has Issues and Abby Still Has Issues.
Let me just start by saying this, I love my son. Sometimes so much I want to devour him.
However, since turning 3 (less than a month ago), he is driving me nuts. The mommy and Oscar time we previously enjoyed while shopping has turned into all-out battles. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, but when my child is the one laying on the ground of the parking lot screaming because he doesn’t want to ride in the regular cart — he wants to ride in the stupid plastic car cart (that I told him was broken) — I start to get a little self-conscious.
Prior to this, we would go to the grocery store and count apples. I would enjoy a coffee while he would have chocolate milk. Now I have to distract him when we pass the balloons, the doughnuts and the deli. I curse the woman who gave him a free cheese! It ends up in a ball in his pocket, and I don’t find it until it has been run through the washer a week later.
I eventually convinced him to ride in the regular cart because the car ones were taken (God working miracles), but he has got a serious attitude problem and I fear we have created a jerk. There, I said it. My 3-year-old is acting like a jerk. There have been times when he was screaming so loud that I have actually rolled up the windows because I didn’t want people to think I was hurting him. When all he wanted was for me to stop singing the “finger song.” I have actually broken down and cried out of frustration, and I think I saw him smirking.
If you don’t know what the finger song is, and you are curious, you can find it on YouTube, but I warn you, it will get stuck in your head and never leave and you will find yourself alone with your husband on a date making up alternative dirty lyrics.
This time at the grocery store Oscar wanted Cheez-Its. How or why he knew of these, I don’t know, but he can read now. Impressive? Yes, and annoying. No longer can I tell him that those are spicy mushroom crackers (he hates spicy mushrooms); he is too smart. I mean, he literally can read, really well. Every time one of his brothers got into trouble, a viable punishment was to read to Oscar. This has meant hours and hours and hours…and hours of reading time. Which resulted in him reading at age 3. We can’t take any credit, other than our son’s misbehavior.
So I gave in to avoid a screaming fest. He decided he would open it and eat them out of the box. He also has a horrible runny nose and, despite being a problem child, he is diligent about blowing his nose. We have told him to blow and he does so willingly because he hates the feeling of a runny nose. Well, luck would have it, my tissues were in my coat, which I wasn’t wearing. So we have a cheesy orange snot mess on his upper lip. After I inconspicuously dump the fruit snacks in the bread aisle (because the last thing we need is more sugar), we are ready to check out. I approach the checkout with a large 3-year-old with his hand in a box of Cheez-Its yelling “blow me” louder and louder. If having him lay on the cement was embarrassing, this was mortifying. What people don’t know is that all he wants is for me to put a tissue up to his nose to “blow,” but he’s looking more like a spoiled brat who has been repeating his Daddy.
The checkout guy and the bag boy are trying hard not to laugh, but, thankfully, when I ask if they have a tissue, they hand me a paper towel. It worked, at least to stop the escalating volume of “blow me!” The only thing that would have made this even more iconic was to offer him a cigarette. Just when I think I’m free to escape and hide, he discovers that the fruit snacks are missing. At this point I just want to leave, and I have lied so many lies to just get him out of the store that I decided to add one more. I told him we have some at home. I know, we must have a crusty package laying around somewhere so it’s not a total lie, but I just want to get the hell out of this damn store and situation.
I may be a little tired, which is causing my fuse to be short. But it’s hard to sleep when this adorable 3-year-old sneaks in at 12:30 every night and buries himself like a tick in the sheets and pillows right smack in the middle of the bed. He is unable to be pried free without tweezers or fire. Sure, Don and I feel him there between us, but after saying “not it” to each other regarding taking him back to his bed, we both hope the other will give in. It never happens.
Oscar is the strongest-willed little guy I have ever known — and maybe in history. He reminds me so much of his older brother that it scares me. Really, it scares me because it was a rough ride five years ago when Finegan was 3. Plus I was younger then and followed a proper parental code. We even sought professional help on how to deal with his tantrums. Now we are a watered-down cocktail of misheard parenting advice and weariness.
The bottom line is I love my little jerk. At least I know that when he screams “blow me,” he means it with the purest of intentions. It’s only a matter of a decade before those words change to bite me, but by that time, I will be reminded that I have been wanting to devour him since the very first time I laid eyes on him.
— Noelle Elliott
Noelle Elliott is a publicist at the University of Notre Dame, writer and proud mother of four crazy boys. She is also the creator of The Mamalogues, Dramas from Real Mamas, a staged production of readings by women, which has sold out audiences. She is a regular contributing writer for Family and Sassy magazines. In addition, she writes a popular blog, BowChicaBowMom.com, where she shares her triumphs, failures and journey of survival in a life surrounded by testosterone.
(This essay will appear in the winter issue of the University of Dayton Magazine.)
When you’re making an important announcement, a quip can defuse the tension.
After my colleagues laughed loudly, I shared the real news: I was leaving my job to devote more energy to writing and special projects — in a part-time role, in an effort to find that elusive work-life balance. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have expressed their envy.
Before longtime University of Dayton President Brother Ray Fitz took a chance and promoted a 29-year-old newcomer, he asked me, “Can you make a commitment?”
I’ve had the opportunity to help shape the public image of two outstanding presidents, hire gifted creative people, interview the biggest names in school history and announce virtually every major UD news story in a quarter of a century. I’m humbled by the experience and deeply grateful for the trust bestowed on me.
It’s been the best job anyone could ever hope to hold. Still, I will not miss middle-of-the-night phone calls about what one of my favorite administrators euphemistically called “special events” — a little havoc in the student neighborhood.
It’s time to write the next chapter.
Or maybe it’s time to pause, reflect and rewrite the definition of “work.”
Here’s what I learned since quitting my job.
#1: We long for balance in our lives. I received hundreds of emails and Facebook comments, and that theme pervades. We all want more time in our lives — for our family, for our friends, for our passions. “I know so many people who are just drained,” said one journalist friend with twin daughters.
#2: This yearning doesn’t come from just my stressed-out women friends. Men, too, see greater balance. “(I’m still) figuring out for the rat race’s exit ramp,” wrote a younger male friend.
#3: Work is life. A friend pointed me to an essay by Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. “There is so much of me that has grown through work. It is the place where I put my values to the test. … Was I worthy of the trust put in me? Did I pause to let grace have a chance?” she wrote for the Catholic News Service.
I realize how blessed I am to work for a president and vice president who believe I can continue to contribute to the University’s mission and momentum — and are willing to allow me more time for other pursuits.
Observation #4: Our lives are a calling.
“Can you make a commitment?” a university president once asked me. Today, I realize why it’s still so easy to say with confidence, “Yes.”
— Teri Rizvi
Teri Rizvi, founder of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, stepped down as associate vice president for University communications at the University of Dayton in October 2013. She’s currently executive director of communications strategies, a part-time role that allows her more time to write and to work with a planning committee of creative people — writers, marketing experts and a graphic designer — on shaping the upcoming Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.
(This piece originally appeared in the Patriot Ledger on Oct. 22, 2013. Reposted by permission of Suzette Martinez Standring.)
It was a big Vatican-related blooper. What would “Lesus” do? Nobody knows, but Jesus would have spelled his own name correctly. The Italian State Mint issued 6,000 misspelled medals to commemorate Pope Francis’ papal ascension. Oopsie!
On the commemorative coin, the correct Latin phrasing should have been, “Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum et quia miserando antque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequere me.”
Instead it reads (and I’m giving you the English translation): “Lesus, therefore, saw the publican, and because he saw by having mercy and by choosing, He said to him, ‘Follow me.”
I will take Jesus’ lead and have mercy to the person responsible and say, “Come follow me…to the eye doctor.”
At first I thought the “L” was an ancient use of lettering unfamiliar to me. After all, the “U” in Jesus is written as a “V,” which is very common in Latin engravings.
But “L” cannot substitute for “J.” The Roman letter, “L,” symbolizes “fifty.” Fifty-esus? The very sound of it goes from the sacred to the profane, as in “That’ll cost you fifty-esus.” Perhaps some rapper might call himself 50-esus to rival 50-Cent.
It’s handy when mistakes can be melted down, and the Vatican has recalled all of the remaining gold, silver and bronze medals this month.
Make no mistake. I am not on my high horse about the error. I cringe at my own past misspellings, often hastily written. Wrongly spelled names, “open to the pubic,” really, I should know better.
Remember when Chevrolet built the Chevy Nova? They couldn’t understand why it wasn’t selling in South America until they realized that “no va” in Spanish means “no go.”
I got a kick out of reading a list of the worst typos in history. Some errors in judgment were way more expensive than mine.
In my past, I recall an acquaintance who broke up with “Yuko,” and replaced her with a new girlfriend named “Yuki.” A different (slightly embittered) ex of his remarked to me, “He went from monkey to donkey with one letter.”
Well, taking my savior’s lead again, I say, “This, too, shall pass.”
As to the blooper papal medals, the four that were purchased before the major recall will rise in value as rare collector items.
That’s the flip side of the coin. Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s.
— Suzette Martinez Standring
Suzette Martinez Standring is the award-winning author of The Art of Column Writing: Insider Secrets from Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna Huffington, Pete Hamill and Other Great Columnists and the former president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. She writes a national spirituality blog and newspaper columns for GateHouse Media. “My writing goal is bring folks together, think outside the box and laugh at ourselves through the bonds of faith,” she says.
Do you still have your wedding dress?
I do. I never got it together to have it professionally packed and hermetically sealed or whatever it is you are supposed to do with a wedding dress. So, yeah, 14 years later my wedding dress is in one of the bedroom closets. It’s in a hanging bag, which, while a halfhearted effort at preservation, is still an effort. I consider the fact that it’s not stuffed in a Hefty bag with some old towels and stashed in the basement a win.
My daughters came across it not long ago and wanted to try it on. I, of course, obliged. Their small frames were enveloped in the satiny folds, as I pinched the back together and helped them each to the mirror to look at themselves.
And then, excitement shone in their eyes as they cried, “Mommy! You try it on!”
Well. Okay. I could do this. After all, how much could my body have changed after three kids? (I’ll pause while you finish laughing. Um, okay, you can stop now.) I went into my room and closed the door, so I could make a grand “Ta-Da!” entrance. Stepping into the dress, I pulled it up and put the straps over my shoulders. “So far so good,”I thought. “And it still fits in the waist! Yay me!” I said to myself smugly.
And then I reached behind be to pull up the zipper, I got it halfway up and… it stopped.
“Hmmm. It must be jammed,” I thought. I pulled the zipper back down and started over again. Again, I got it halfway up, and it stuck.
It was then I realized that the dress was pulling so tight across my ribcage, and the zipper was gapping so much in the back, that there was no way I was going to get it zipped up.
Had my ribcage expanded? Is this a thing that happens from carrying children? I’m about the same weight I was before I had kids, but just shaped… differently. More like a russet potato. After a couple more fruitless attempts, I realized I wasn’t going to get that zipper to pull up no matter what I tried. But, since denial is my specialty, I had another bright idea.
What if I zipped up the zipper all the way, and then pulled the wedding dress over my head? Ah ha! Surely I could just slip into it, pull it down, and voila! It would be a little tight, but I could certainly handle that for a few minutes. Yes. That was the way to go.
After zipping it all the way up I lifted the heavy garment over my head, and went in headfirst. Layers and layers of fabric cascaded around me as I wiggled my way upward, upward. I stretched my arms toward the armholes. Stretch, reach, wiggle. Almost there.
And then I wasn’t.
The downward progression of my wedding dress had come to an unfortunate halt.
And I was now firmly stuck in it, my head somewhere below the bodice, with my arms pinned straight upwards.
“Um,” I thought. “This… this is a problem.”
I jumped up and down, hoping the momentum would help the dress move downward. No such luck. I was stuck tighter than ever.
Without the use of my arms, which were still pinned upwards, I couldn’t pull the dress the other direction and go back the way I’d come in. I also couldn’t reach the zipper to free myself.
I started to pant inside the heavy lace fabric I was now wedged into, partly because it was becoming warm, but mostly out of rising panic. Did I mention I’m claustrophobic? Fun times.
“Eeerrrggghh! Mmmmmppphhh! Aaaaaggggh!” Hop hop hop. ”Oooooooof!” Arms in the air, I performed moves reminiscent of the inflatable dancing stick man outside of the local muffler shop.
I panted. I sweated, my face mashed against the lining. I pictured my kids bursting into the room to find my lifeless body on the floor, stuck half in and half out of a wedding dress, and clad only in Target brand underpants.
My husband would be widowed. My children would be motherless. “What happened to your mom?” They would be asked. “Oh, it’s a really sad story,” they would reply. “She smothered to death trying to prove she was the same size she was when she was married.” My demise would forever be a moral to a sad tale of vanity gone wrong.
No. I would not allow my children to find me this way. “YOU WILL NOT WIN, YOU HEAR ME?” I shouted, er, gasped, because I’m positive I was dangerously low on oxygen. In mere seconds, I would have been walking toward the light in that damn stupid wedding dress. In a burst of strength and adrenaline, and possibly a split seam or two, I managed to angle one arm just enough to grab the fabric and pull myself free.
Once I recovered from my ordeal, I hung the dress back in the closet. I haven’t gotten it back out since then, but every once in a while I like to walk by it, and whisper threats of stuffing it in a Hefty bag in the basement. You know, just to show it who’s boss.
— Lisa Packer
Lisa Packer is a humor writer, freelance copywriter and blogger. Her blog, Notes from the Shallow End, is a Top Ten finalist for Blogger Idol 2013. She lives with her husband and three children in Cincinnati.