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Dinner Party

I suppose that in Paris, if you are invited to someone’s home for dinner, it is really about the wine. Or maybe in New York City, it is about the sparkling conversation, or maybe the clothes the women are wearing. I guess in most cities, it is not really about the food.

I think this is wrong. I live in Ohio. The heart of the Midwest. Although if you look at a map, Ohio really ISN’T in the middle of the west, but I digress. We have dinner parties in Dayton. There are glamorous people hosting them. Not at my house, however. Another digression. What bothers me is the disingenuousness of all this. Because in my opinion, dinner parties should be about the dinner.

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View from the Empty Nest: Food Fatigue

I fully understand teamwork. Division of labor makes all kinds of sense. But somewhere along the line, the division of labor over here has become depressing. At least to me.

Of course, I am sure that my husband must get tired of mowing the lawn. But he only has to do it in the summer, and only once in awhile. And being outside, strolling behind the mower and stopping to talk with the neighbors doesn’t seem all that bad to me. Well, ok. Sweat. But otherwise.

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Yours, Mine and Theirs: What Autism Looks Like… Really

I read through the test results, which may as well have been written in Japanese, for all I got out of the therapy-speak and scoring, but there… under “Conclusion”… there was what I’ve known, all along.

My daughter, Curlytop, is one of many, many people in the world who reside within the Autism Spectrum.

God, I was so relieved to finally have an accurate diagnosis! I was so ready to fax off the results to the misdiagnosis-giving-ADHD-zealots, and reiterate my desire that their bunk label find a home where the sun doesn’t shine! I mean, I’m no proctologist, but I’m pretty sure I know where to put that faulty diagnosis. I was so grateful to be on the road to accessing more services, and getting more answers! I was Supermom, on a quad-shot mocha, ready to rock that shit!

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Yours, Mine and Theirs: Motherhood Ruined my Jams

My new car has satellite radio, y’all. This is a new, exciting, grown-up thing for me.

Initially, I was in love with the idea of “all 80s, all the time,” just one click away from “badass hits of the 90s,” but reviving the music of my youth isn’t the walk down memory lane I’d hoped for.

How the hell did this filth become the anthems of my youth?! Looking back on my fave songs from adolescence and teendom, I don’t know how my mother restrained herself from burning my Walkman. Is it possible becoming a mother, myself, has made me *gasp* scrutinize the lyrics of songs I once belted out, with abandon?

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View from the Empty Nest: Just Your Average Joe

I read an article recently that made a lot of sense, and it also caused great relief. The gist of the article was that our common perception of what is “average” has been vastly inflated by the media. The result is that most of us think what is “normal” is actually far above it. Let me cite an example: Granite countertops. Whenever I watch HGTV, all the young couples looking for their first home absolutely insist on granite. I mean, they actually say things like, “Granite countertops are a must. If the house doesn’t have them, we are afraid that’s a dealbreaker.”

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Yours, Mine and Theirs: Fifty Shades of ‘Meh’

So, there’s a movie coming out this weekend. 50 Shades of Something? A lot of my clients are really excited about it, and as a sexual health educator and purveyor of intimacy-enhancing items, I won’t say it’s been bad for business. What I will say is… I don’t see the point.

As you may know, the movie is based upon a trilogy of books which are — literarily speaking — a shining example of mediocrity. As a writer, they were painful to read. As a busy mommy, frankly, I found them yawn-worthy.

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Yours Mine and Theirs: Oh, the Emptiness…

It started in the bathroom. Upon waking I had to pee so bad, I was having third trimester flashbacks. Maybe it was too much caffeine, or maybe it was the last glass of wine before bed, but I had to go.

The sweet relief of release was tainted by the empty toilet paper roll staring back at me from the spindle. No back-up rolls, either. Ugh. Thankfully, I’ve trained hard for the Drip-Dry event of the Porcelain Olympics, and managed a near-perfect score, though it was early enough in the morning that I didn’t have any judges present. (The kids wouldn’t wake for another 30 minutes.)

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View from the Empty Nest: Flu 101

Are you one of the few people in the US who hasn’t had the flu yet? You might need some tips from the rest of us who have had it. Follow these, and perhaps your flu experience will be more pleasant and fulfilling!

  • For heaven’s sake, stock up on tissue. I find that the kind with the lotion is overrated. Your nose will get all chapped anyway. So:
  • Stock up on Vaseline. Actually, this is an understatement, because anyone who bought a jar of Vaseline in the last twenty years still has a lifetime supply in that jar. But if you don’t have any at home, get that one lifetime jar. Rubbing it on your nose and lips is soothing. I am not certain that it really heals anything, but when you are at death’s door, soothing is a good sensation.
  • Don’t be afraid to call your doctor’s office, or page your doctor at midnight. Remember, this is what he/she signed up for in med school. They are paid for this. Get the idea of “I don’t want to bother him/her” right out of your mind! My doc was great, and he told me to use both Nasacort and Afrin one right after the other. My nose really hurt, but he was right, clearing out my head did help slow down on the stuff running down my throat that made me cough my lungs out. I won’t use the “m-word.”
  • Go ahead. Moan around. You have earned this.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. I hate fluids.
  • On one of your repeated phone calls to your doc, be sure to get a narcotic cough syrup. This will be the only way you will be able to stop coughing long enough to sleep. And the pleasant buzz is just a nice little side benefit.
  • Plan on coughing for weeks.
  • Plan on complaining for weeks.
  • As long as you have symptoms, you are contagious. So this is another great benefit. It gets you out of stuff like grocery shopping, working, and going to the gym.
  • Facebook is a good indicator: when you no longer see posts from your friends about how horrible they feel, then maybe the worst of the pandemic is over. It might be safe to go out in a few days. Oh, and it also might be time to stop posting agonizing details about your own cough, how many days you have been wearing the same pajamas, and the last time you took a shower.

I am feeling much better now. I must admit though, that I am a little nostalgic for the good old days of my virus, when I called my doctor so often that it was kind of like having a new boyfriend…
Exciting News!!  Molly’s new novel is available for Pre-Sale! Find it on Amazon.com

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View from the Empty Nest: Reach Out and Touch Somebody. But Not Literally.

Sherry Turkle is an MIT professor who has written a number of books. She began as a real fan of social media. Oh, gosh. Some of you may not know what that is. Facebook you know about, right? Well, that is one social media platform. There are HUNDREDS. Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Tsu, Reddit. The list goes on and on.

Millions of us—maybe billions of us, use social media every day. And apparently, the majority of the billions use it every few minutes. Is this alarming to you? It is to Professor Turkle. I wasn’t alarmed until I heard her speak on the Bill Moyers television program (during which I tweeted five times). Turkle says that we get a strong surge of pleasure each time we visit a social media site. Kind of like taking a bite of chocolate. This jolt of positivity is so strong that we can’t resist it.

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View from the Empty Nest: Wrong Number

Remember land lines? When the phone on your kitchen wall would ring, and you would answer it and talk to somebody? And that was it? You couldn’t see people’s lunch photos on it, or get a text message? Life was so much simpler then.

Now, we feel compelled to stay in touch with everybody all the time. I think that the population of the world really needs to see the latest pictures of my grandson, so I post them on Facebook and Twitter, and spend a bunch of time texting the latest snaps of him in, say, his lobster Halloween costume to all my friends and neighbors.

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