Fashion Shopping Women


I used to wear all designer clothes and bags and hats. Ok, I didn’t actually wear the hats, I just purchased them, over and over again, regardless of the fact that I never wore them. The  new Obama mini me is no longer going to buy designer. Actually, I am going to buy designer things now and then to accent my wardrobe, but things like black pants, and bathing suit cover ups, and basics are going to be non designer.

As an aside, to give you a sense of my fashion sense, I wear all black, unless I can find something darker. Black is good, you can put any touch of color with it, and you can always feel you look your thinnest self which has nothing whatsoever with actually being thin. Recently, however, my friends have asked that I start wearing a bit of color. “Color is free,” says my floral and event designer friend, Claire. “Wear it.”

I set a date for myself (five minutes before I was leaving on vacation, I love pressure), and headed off to K-Mart to start my Obama mini me shopping spree to add color to my wardrobe for my vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. Here is what I bought.

2 bathing suits (I have to add a caveat to the bathing suits. I didn’t try them on, and only intend to wear them from 5:00 am to 5:15 am when I swim laps when everyone else is getting fat sleeping, so I’m not sure they are a good buy. I may have to throw them out if I guessed wrong.)

3, yes, count them, 3 pairs of jeans. I wore the black ones yesterday and love them.

2 pairs of shoes.

1 bathing suit cover up.

1 bottle of water.

All of this including tax came to $248. I was incredulous. I called my sister and told her on the way home, and she was not impressed. “So what,” she said when I told her. “Do you want a medal?” I think I do want a medal.

On my way to the Vineyard yesterday (that’s what those in the know call Martha’s Vineyard, even though I haven’t seen one vineyard on the island yet), I told everyone I met on two ferries that I got my vacation clothes at K-Mart and aren’t they fabulous? This last sentence is a lie, but I wanted to tell them all, and I know they would have agreed. 

I really do feel so good about it all. The jeans were each $22.00. They look the same as my “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans” (What kind of hateful name is that for jeans anway?) which were $149.00. They really do. Maybe after the first washing they will fall apart, but I’m not thinking that after wearing them.

I wish I’d started this new financially frugal self a long time ago. I now hate designers after falling love with my new favorite designer, Kaye Marte. I remember once being in Valentino in New York and noticing that he doesn’t have the same sizing in America as he has in Europe. His sizes go up higher in Europe where larger women are allowed to wear designer cloths and look fabulously larger.

And, all the fancy designers lie about sizing anyway. You never know what size you wear because so many of them pretend that a ten is an eight. They do this so we think we are thinner than we are and buy their clothes because “they fit me perfectly.” It’s insulting to our intelligence ladies! Don’t be fooled! If it walks like a duck, and quack likes a duck, it’s a duck. If you wear a size ten, and it fits you, it’s a size ten, not a size eight.

I saw the Valentino documentary, and while I still think he’s a genius, he’s a snob, and me and my new best friend Kay Marte, are not.

So, I’m on vacation, in my new Obama mini me cloths, feeling oh so money fabulous. I have dumped all my two-faced, lying designer friends of old. Life is good.

Movies & TV Women

Charlie’s Angels

images-3It’s 1976. I’m living in Manhattan working at the United Way in my first job since college at the University of Nebraska. It’s Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m.. This is not a date night. This is the night my roommates (my stepsister and her oldest friend) and I stay home, get 31 Flavors ice cream (the days before Hagen Daas, can you imagine?), and we turn on the tube to “Good morning Angels.” “Good morning Charlie.” I think we might have said the last line out loud, and I mean loud. 

images-2You have to understand. To my mind, Charlie’s Angels were the first successful business women. Single. Able to afford whatever fabulous clothes they wanted with money they earned. They had guns, they drove fast, they were really smart; all the while looking stunning. We sort of looked like them in our minds (I know you are shaking your head, but we really did look good back then). We were energized. And, I think somewhere deep inside a place I can only see now, I felt better about myself knowing there were possibilities, even if they were only on a TV show. 

Kelly (Jaclyn Smith) was kind and thoughtful, Sabrina (Kate Jackson) smart and knowing, and Jill (Farrah Fawcett) compelling and eye catching. Each of those qualities sat in each of us. And, while one of us might say to the other, “You are definitely Sabrina,” we really didn’t have a favorite. We wanted just a bit of each of them rolled into each one of us.

Barbara WaWa and all the other successful women icons everyone thinks of now were not in the forefront then. The empowered women (no offense Gloria Steinem) looked angry and seemed to be fighting wars that had nothing to do with being girlie. In fact, you couldn’t be girlie and be in their club. And, if you weren’t marching or burning your bras, you were working and dating. We wanted no part of the marchers; nor they us. 

There was another thing about the angels. Men often treated them on the show like silly women with no brains. They never were threatened by that, they just did what they did which ended up saying more than “How dare you talk to me that way?” It was a good life lesson. It really was. They knew how powerful they were and didn’t need to have the stupid guys know it too. 

I hear you saying, “What about Mary Tyler Moore?” Frankly, Mary was surrounded by stupid people who were dumber than you know what, so how could I take her seriously? Yes, yes, I know she was Oprah’s idol and I get that. She lived alone, but she wasn’t sexy, and she wasn’t so smart, and she didn’t solve things. She just ran around saying, “Oh Mr. Grant” with an exclamation point at the end of it. 

Eight is Enough was on before Charlie’s Angels at 8:00. Eight is Enough was about a man whose wife died and left him with eight growing children. He was patient, firm and kind. In around season three, a woman enters, gives up her successful career, marries him and raises the kids with him. She is very happy doing that. I never saw her lose her temper, not once in a zillion years. The juxtaposition between the two is perfect for illustrating my point.

I suppose I should mention something about the Farrah Fawcett poster that paralleled Charlie’s Angels, but I’ll leave that to the dribbling boys on Morning Joe. And, I won’t tell them that the reason they liked that poster is not about her body or her teeth. It was because there was something in that poster that said she didn’t need any of them for anything, and you know how that turns guys on. She never married her love, Ryan O’Neal. She said he was too bossy. 

So, on this Wednesday night, I’m going to get some 31 Flavors and watch some Charlie’s Angels which I haven’t seen in years. Rest in peace Ms. Fawcett. And, thank you. 

Politics Women

Sanford & Sin

How could I not write about it?

Back up four days.

Sanford’s staff says he’s off hiking in the Adirondack trails to clear his head. Wife says, “Don’t know where he is. Not worried. Whatever.” Pundits say he’s a little strange, and this is not unusual. I say to my friend Debbie on Monday, “It’s another woman, and he’s at some hideaway.” She says, “Jeeze, do you trust anyone in politics?” I immediately answer, “Sure I do. The girls.”

The thing is, you can’t make this stuff up. Who cares where he is? Is he a good Governor? This news stands out over the Iranian women being taken away in the streets? Who are we?

And, then we have the Politically Stricken Wives Club. Let’s start with soon up for Sainthood, St. Theresa Jenny Sanford. Here is part of her statement yesterday.

I personally believe that the greatest legacy I will leave behind in this world is not the job I held on Wall Street, or the campaigns I managed for Mark, or the work I have done as First Lady or even the philanthropic activities in which I have been routinely engaged. Instead, the greatest legacy I will leave in this world is the character of the children I, or we, leave behind. It is for that reason that I deeply regret the recent actions of my husband Mark, and their potential damage to our children.

I don’t know, call me brutal, but I have never read a more self serving, laughable statement in my life. Aside from listing her resume when there is no job opening that I know of, I don’t really care how hard you have worked for mankind. “I have done so much, so very, very much for the world and my husband, but really all that pales in comparison to what I will do for my kids, alone again, naturally.” Martyrdom looks great on you Jenny. 

At least she didn’t stand there next to him looking like Spitzer’s wife, where all I could do was stare at her poorly tied Hermes Scarf because she looked so pathetic. Why did she go to that press conference?

And, then there was the gay Governor’s wife (What is her name?) who wrote a book saying she didn’t want to stand there when he resigned as Governor over being gay and strong arming some guy in the administration to have sex with him. But they made her. She loved her man, so alas, she did it. But now, she is suing him over and over again, as often as she can. 

I have already spoken of my distain for Elizabeth Edwards when I reviewed her book. She is now traveling around selling it as he hides in their house larger than Italy. And, let’s leave Hillary behind. If we need to go back to her statement on Good Morning America about ‘that crazy woman who is lying,” then we have fallen far beyond pathetic.

Larry Craig and his wife Suzanne at the press conference. Nice glasses.
Larry Craig and his wife Suzanne at the press conference. Nice glasses.

And, I leave you, last but not least, with the lovely Suzanne Craig, standing there denying that her husband is gay as more and more people come out of the wood work to say he is. “I’m incensed that you would even consider such a piece of trash as a source,” she is quoted as saying about one of the people accusing Craig of being gay. Honey, your husband said he did it. Is that who you are talking about?

Listen, ladies. We need to regroup. There has to be a better way to handle these situations.

How about, I have no statement to make publicly on such a private matter. I would ask that you have a semblance of decency and leave me and our children out of this. We need space. Thank you and good bye.

You could have it printed in multiple copies and pass it around as needed to other wives. Save some money buying bulk.

Here’s how to really amortize it. This has to be a reason to vote female. Dump the parties now in play. No more Republican or Democrat. It’s now Boys against the Girls. And, this could be the platform. This idea stems from the obvious, though never mentioned point that not one woman politician has ever had this problem? At least not publicly. So, we are either not so attached to appendages that can only get us in trouble, or we are smarter than men at making sure we don’t expose ourselves to the political repercussions of infidelity. Either way, I think it’s a strong case for Vote Female. 

Vote Female. Leave sex out of politics. Catchy, don’t you think? It could work.

Or, how about No Dicks in Politics? It rhymes too. Don’t like that? Ok, how about Vote Girls. Less Drama than even Obama.

Alright, I’m done. And, I sort of want to apologize for being so hard on the Political Wives Club, but I’m not sure that I mean it. I could be lying which would fit right in with all of this.

Business Women

Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women

I was browsing Forbes online magazine the other day, and I came across the list of 100 most powerful women. “Ooh,” I murmur, “Let’s go look at my peeps.” I had no idea who most of them were. Truly, no idea. “How is that possible,” I hear you ask? “I don’t know,” I answer sadly. But before you judge me, let’s look at the list of the top 25…

Forbes The 100 Most Powerful Women

1 Angela Merkel Chancellor Germany

2 Sheila C. Bair Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. U.S.

3 Indra K. Nooyi Chairman, chief executive, PepsiCo U.S.

4 Angela Braly Chief executive, president, WellPoint U.S.

5 Cynthia Carroll Chief executive, Anglo American U.K.

6 Irene B. Rosenfeld Chairman, chief executive, Kraft Foods U.S.

7 Condoleezza Rice Secretary of state U.S.

8 Ho Ching Chief executive, Temasek Holdings Singapore

9 Anne Lauvergeon Chief executive, Areva France

10 Anne Mulcahy Chairman, chief executive, Xerox Corp. U.S.

11 Gail Kelly Chief executive and managing director, Westpac Bank Australia

12 Patricia A. Woertz Chairman, chief executive, president, Archer Daniels Midland U.S.

13 Cristina Fernandez President Argentina

14 Christine Lagarde Minister of economy, finance and employment France

15 Safra A. Catz President and chief financial officer, Oracle U.S.

16 Carol B. Tome Executive vice president and chief financial officer, Home Depot U.S.

17 Yulia Tymoshenko Prime minister Ukraine

18 Mary Sammons Chairman, chief executive, president, Rite Aid U.S.

19 Andrea Jung Chairman, chief executive, Avon U.S.

20 Marjorie Scardino Chief executive, Pearson PLC U.K.

21 Sonia Gandhi President, Indian National Congress Party India

22 Risa Lavizzo-Mourey Chief Executive and President, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation U.S.

23 Sri Mulyani Indrawati Coordinating minister for economic affairs and finance minister Indonesia

24 Dr. Julie Gerberding Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S.

25 Michelle Bachelet President Chile

Ok, here are my questions. Are you telling me that Angela Braly, CEO of Wellpoint (have you ever heard of Wellpoint?) is more powerful than say, Hillary Clinton, who isn’t even in the top twenty five? Wellpoint, which turns out to be the largest health benefits provider (is that another word for insurance?) in the country providing benefits for 35,000,000 Americans, seems like a big company, but how does that make her world powerful?

Where is Oprah who seems to be more powerful in terms of making change than most of the CEO’s listed?

I refuse to take seriously as a world leader the person who heads Avon. Get serious.

Carol Tome, a mere EVP of Home Depot, is the 16th most powerful woman today? Huh? No offense, but I don’t even go to Home Depot, ever. And, she’s only an EVP?

So, I go to the criteria for measuring the 100 most powerful women and here is what it says,

Our annual ranking of the most powerful women in the world measures “power” as a composite of public profile–calculated using press mentions–and financial heft. The economic component of the ranking considers job title and past career accomplishments, as well as the amount of money the woman controls.
A chief executive “controls” the revenue of her business, for instance, while a head of state gets the country’s gross domestic product. The raw numbers are modified to allow comparisons across financial realms.

Our annual ranking of the most powerful women in the world measures “power” as a composite of public profile–calculated using press mentions–and financial heft. The economic component of the ranking considers job title and past career accomplishments, as well as the amount of money the woman controls.

A chief executive “controls” the revenue of her business, for instance, while a head of state gets the country’s gross domestic product. The raw numbers are modified to allow comparisons across financial realms. 

You know, while I understand that money is power, this is ridiculous. Power in my girlie book, is the ability to move, make change, lead others to better (hopefully) places. I’m sick and tired of it being always about money. 

And, as the crowning blow in this ridiculous missive, one of the sources listed for putting together the list is the CIA Fact Book. CIA FACT BOOK? Are you kidding me? What is the CIA Factbook? I went to Amazon. I’m sure you will be surprised to see there is no such book. CIA and Fact is sort of like an oxymoron anyway, right?

Whatever. Here is my list for the top five most powerful women. It’s based on what came to mind over the past five minutes. I like my list much better.

Angela Merkel                          Chancellor, Germany

Hillary Clinton                         Secretary of State, The US of A

Oprah Winfrey                         Global Talk Show Host

Christiane Amanpour              CNN Journalist

Mary, Mother of Jesus            In absentia 

I think we should all stop being fed things we don’t question, like who Forbes decides are the top women in the world and start figuring it out ourselves. Just my point of view….

Politics Travel Women

Americans & Attitude.

I was watching The View last week. I watch The View because the new Obama Mini Me doesn’t have an outlet for my anger. So I watch The View and choose to hate Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who seems to be someone who thinks she knows it all but doesn’t seem to base it anything intelligent. I get home some nights, put my dinner together and hate Elizabeth. It gets rid of anger that was really focused on others and allows me to better attain my Obama Mini Me. Anyway, I was watching and I stopped dead in my tracks as I heard Whoopi Goldberg refer to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Ahma Dinner Jacket. She actually giggled and said, “I call him that because I can’t pronounce his name.”

The ladies of The View were just honored as some of the 100 most influential people in America. They constantly talk about how seriously they discuss world issues, in a forum for women to see points of view. The hated Elizabeth called him the same thing while she ducked her head down like a demure little girl. Well, hear this ladies. If you want to be taken seriously as people with brains, and you are talking from an American platform to millions of people, and you cannot pronounce a name that no one else in journalism seems to find difficult (including that idiot Mika on Morning Joe – Do NOT get me started on her), then please get someone on The View who can. Barbara WaWa, you should be ashamed to allow that on the air. Truly. To say nothing of the fact that when Iranians see the way we do not take seriously their language, how can you possibly expect them to reach across the Ocean Aisle? 

I remember when I was in the Paris in the eighties. I was in Chanel looking at bags, and there were a ton of Americans like vultures around the counter with soft spoken, dignified French sales ladies trying to cope. There was a big guy with a Texas twang and cow boy boots looking at items. He slammed his hand down on the counter and loudly said, “How much is that in real money?” I was so ashamed. I really was, and I should have said something to the Texan, and I didn’t. 

I hope that it’s just because we are so isolated by oceans that we seem to think that everyone owes us respect for our culture, and we do not return the favor. I hope we start to think as we travel the globe that while we are somewhere else, not only do we owe the hosting country our respect for their cultural ways, but in addition, we are providing them the mirror into what our country is all about.

Whoopi, I like you girlfriend. I know if you read this you would get it right. You seem to care a lot about respect. Start showing some.


If It’s Sixth Grade, It Must be Cleveland

I’m not sure if I moved fifteen times by the time I was sixteen or sixteen times by the time I was fifteen. No matter. It’s my personal timeline measuring stick. When I ran away from home with three peanut butter sandwiches and one change of underwear in the back of my Red Ryder wagon, we lived in Plymouth Meeting Pennsylvania, so I was six. When Scott Ricker took my hand and skated with me down a frozen stream, kissing me before sprinting away, we lived in Northbrook Illinois, so I was thirteen. (Actually, I was twelve but I don’t want to appear like one of those loose girls.) When my grandmother died, and I flew to Cape Cod for her funeral, the airport was in Westport Connecticut, so I was nine. And so it goes. Where I lived is my chronological clock as to my age at the time my life memories happened.

I loved moving. It was a time to start over, recreate myself in whatever way I’d wished was mine in the prior city. I could be Christy in Chicago because Christy Haggerty was amazing in Cleveland. I could be the sophisticated Christine in Michigan, because Christine Elmford had breasts and wore a bra before the rest of us in New Hampshire.

I loved, at least in the early years, being the special person marched into the classroom by the principal, introduced to the class and assigned a Seeing Eye person to show me the ropes. Usually, the most gregarious of students was chosen for this task, so I was instantaneously drawn into the popular crowd. I have often wondered why they didn’t choose the smartest person so she could actually have a friend, and the new person would have her strong academic standards to mirror.

It wasn’t all wonderful mind you. There are real issues with moving so much. Where I lived in second grade, they learned to write in script in third grade and vice versa for where I lived in third grade. This meant I taught myself to write in script, because I certainly wasn’t going to tell anyone I didn’t know how. Personally, though I hold my pen incorrectly, I think I have lovely penmanship, so not much was lost there. Where I lived in fourth grade, they learned their multiplication tables in third grade, and yes, you guessed it, where I lived in third grade, they learned them in fourth. Truth is, I never learned them – multiplication tables don’t have the same necessity value as writing in script. To this day if the multiplication is over a multiple of six, I have my own method of doing it. I divide it in half, multiply it and then double it. This is complex and calls for an example. Eight times nine. Four times nine is thirty six — doubled is seventy two. No one ever knew, and since I was not destined to a math path, there is not much of a down side.

There were bigger problems. I want to take you to the beginning of Bloomfield Hills Michigan, which was eighth grade, so I was fourteen and using sophisticated Christine. It’s early fall, and school has started already. 

When you move a lot, and are presented to the front of the classroom where everyone else has the security of a desk in front of them, what you wear that first day is critically important. My outfit is fabulous. It sings of cool from Cleveland Ohio’s seventh grade. It’s a Lady Bug purple plaid skirt with pleats, a purple v-neck sweater and knee socks that match the sweater.

The best laid plans go awry when you take a chance on purple knee socks on the first day of a new school where all the girls wear nylons with garter belts. I had nylons but they were safely tucked in my drawer for a dance, in case they had dances in Michigan.

I called my mother before second period and was able to set it right before I got to lunch, so not many people saw the Cleveland me. While the chameleon-like mentality of this approach to moving might seem without leadership qualities and warrant the lambs to a slaughter lecture, I assure you it is paramount to a moving person’s future in a new place. Being a leader can only take place after you are a part of the group, and if you insist in purple knee socks in a sea of nylons, you haven’t a prayer of being elected class president. Trust me on this.

While, for some, these stories are the basis for therapy years later, I can’t say that was the case with me.

It’s still with me in my adult years; this need for fresh starts in newly painted rooms. I still move a lot, even though there is no reason for it. If I am not buying and selling my houses under the guise of investment opportunities, I move the furniture around to create a new beginning every time my world shakes. Look, I don’t drink, and I don’t smoke. If the damage of a lifetime of moving can be added up by furniture purchased for the size of a different wall than the one presently housing it, I’d say I’m ahead of the game.

There is one serious lingering issue. In elementary schools across the country when I attended them, you brought in a dime each week to put in a savings account that was run through the schools. I am confident that we never closed those accounts as we left each city. Somewhere, across fifteen or sixteen cities in America, those dimes have added up to substantial amounts that I can’t quite figure out because – you guessed it – I missed Algebra in the move between Bloomfield Hills Michigan and Portland Maine.





Business Financial Women

Sotomayor & Her Finances

My friend, and amazing financial planning expert, Manisha Thakor, did a column on her blog about Justice to be Sotomayor, and her personal finances or lack thereof. Apparently, the Justice elect, (or is it Justice in Waiting?), owes more on her house than her original mortgage and has credit card debt which adds up to close to her total cash savings of $35,000. Another friend said she is a gambler, but that friend is a staunch Republican who would be happy if the bench was filled with all white men who look like her father, so I can’t vouch for that comment. 

Here are the facts. She makes about $200,000 a year, has no children and savings of $32,000. Her worth is all in the apartment she has in Greenwich Village, which has a mortgage ($349,000). Ready for the next part? She supports her mother, and she has helped friends and family financially. She also gives a lot of her money away. She is worth around $700,000, which is basically the market value of her apartment. Bottom line? She has no money.

Women and money are absolutely not reconcilable. We just don’t make sense money-wise.

Twenty years ago, I carried around my divorce settlement check in my winter coat pocket for three months. Every day, when I put on the coat, I felt the certified check in the pocket and thought to myself, “Self, best get this check in the bank today.” Every single day. And, I’m not a stupid person, although you might not realize that from some of the postings on this blog. Spring arrived and I had no other option than to deposit it. In addition, when I went to interview a financial manager, I asked him probing questions such as, “Why, if I will have all this money in your bank, are you going to charge me $.25 per check?” Do not judge me.

I know women who have made millions of dollars working 24/7 and have no idea how much money they have in the bank. And what they do have is in CD’s not even earning the cost of inflation. I have friends who have turned over their hard earned money to new boyfriends trusting them when they have no reason to do so.

Women and money. 

And then there is that idiot, Susie Orman, who takes the soul out of finance. She is definitely not a Susie. She’s a Suzanne, and I don’t want to listen to her ranting about money without heart. Plus, she’s so bossy. I hate that. Talk about sucking the joy out of life. Let’s look at her life. Alone. Running all over the country bossing everyone she meets around pretending she knows everything. If she is so smart, how come she didn’t tell everyone last spring to sell all their stocks the way George Soros did?

Did you know that companies and organizations doing loans in third world countries make the loans to women because they actually use the money to start businesses, pay it back on time, and build incomes that support their families? And, when they loaned it to men, the guys blew the money. So, again, we work hard to make the money, but not to manage it.  

The long and short of it is, maybe the Justice in Waiting has it right? Use the money for what it was made for – to provide items needed to live. To help support family and friends. To put clothes on our backs and too much food in our stomachs. Ms. Sotomayor has no ties to money. She owns no stocks, owes no one anything except the bank for her mortgage. She lives her life unencumbered by financial restraints and time commitments that managing a burgeoning portfolio demand. 

The more I think about it, the more I like her style. Nothing like a mirror image on the bench.

Health Parenting Personal Essays Women

Special Brownies

You might not believe this story, but I swear every word is true.

I had a ‘new’ friend I met at work (I owned a party rental company and she is one of the foremost event planners in the land) who called and suggested we go to the movies. I love movies. Where else can you stock up on bad things to eat, sit in the dark eating them while watching someone other than you fall apart on the screen? I love movies. 

We met at the theatre and she sat down as the lights dimmed and said, “I brought brownies. Do you like brownies? I put something special in them.” I like brownies almost as much as I like movies. And, something special in them? I’m thinking chocolate chips. Please don’t judge me.

We sit back and she hands me a brownie as the movie starts to unfold. Fifteen minutes later, I remember thinking, “That is the most delicious brownie I’ve ever had, and this movie is going to win every academy award in the world. And, I really think my new friend is going to be a girlfriend for life. She is fabulous. What a great night.” Half way through, I thought to myself, “I gotta have me another one of those brownies.” I will say that I knew they had pot in them by then, but I swear I did not know it when she gave it to me. She would tell you if she were here that I would have to be one stupid chick not to have gotten her point about the brownies when she offered them to me, but I still contend I’m smart as a whip.

A little background here. I had gone to my step sister and brother in law’s house for Thanksgiving and met someone who was singing the praises of Concerta. He believed he had ADD and after spending some time with me at the holiday, he thought I should take the medication too. Thinking back now, I should have realized that maybe it was just the holidays that made me appear to need ADD medication, but then again, I am always all over the place. Anyway, I was on the medication and feeling very focused. It’s great stuff.

So, we finish the fabulous movie, lights go up, and I realize I am one stoned sista. We head for dinner and a restaurant nearby, and I order something or other and my diet coke. A little later, I feel my heart start to race. I’m 56 years old, very single, and my heart hasn’t raced in a long while. Lilly’s talking to me, and I am starting to panic. The food comes, she’s talking away, stoned out of her mind, and I start to try and figure out just how fast my heart is racing. Then my chest starts to hurt. I don’t know this person that well, it’s only our second ‘new friend date,’ but I look at her and think to myself, “I have to say something or I’m going to die here and my daughter will think I was a stoner and she never really knew who I was at all. She will never trust anyone in her life again. She will grow up alone without her beloved (exaggeration for sure, but you know what being stoned does to perspective) mother gone and no one to light her way.” 

I look earnestly across the table and say in my most calm voice, “Lilly, you have to dial 911 right now. I’m having a heart attack.”

She stops dead in mid sentence. “Are you kidding me?”

“No, dial 911.”

She grabs the waiter walking by without a moment’s hesitation, looks him right in the eye and says, “Go call 911 right now, my friend is having a heart attack.” He looks at me, and she says, “Now!”

She comes over to my side of the table and starts talking calmly to me and my heart is racing faster and faster, and I know I’m going to die. The policeman arrives just as the ambulance driver is putting me on the gurney. My friend is telling the EMT guy what happened and the officer walks over. Lilly looks at the officer and says in her most, “I’m a planner and know how to organize all events” voice and says, “Officer, could you step over there for a moment? My friend here needs a minute alone with her EMT.” I’m watching this thinking, “She is one good planner.” He’s looking at her thinking, “She is one stoned chick.”

He says, “No.”

The EMT, who gets it for sure, looks at me and says, “Are you taking anything other than brownies?”

“Yes, Concerta for my quick and brilliant unfocused mind.”

They start to move me out and Lilly is still in planning mode, “Clear this aisle please,” she says clearly. “Bride is coming through.” I really think she said that. She says she didn’t. 

We get into the ambulance and I can hear them talking to the mothership on the radio, “Heart rate 199 and rising. We can’t get a vein for the IV.” The dispatcher says, “Just go now. Don’t keep trying. Head to Southampton Hospital.” I realize this is no joke.

I look at the EMT lady and say, “Am I having a heart attack?”

She puts her hand on my arm and says, “You are going to be fine.”

I grab her shirt collar and say, “Listen, don’t f*^&k with me. Am I having a heart attack?”

“I think so.”

“Well please tell my daughter that I loved her and that I don’t use pot.” She just looks at me.

By the time we get to the hospital my heart beat per minute is no longer on the rise, and it’s clear the danger has passed. We go right in to the check in place and a lady is there to take my information. By now, Lilly and I are laughing. A lot.


“Christine Pot Head.” He he he.

“When was your last period?”


We crack up, really loud. The information taker is laughing too and a doctor sticks his head in to see why we are all laughing. My business partner who is waiting in the waiting room said later he could hear us laughing all the way out there. Lilly called him from the ambulance. She didn’t know who else to call and planners call people when they are stoned in an ambulance with a new friend they don’t know very well.

An hour later, I’m in an examining room feeling foolishly fine, and the doctor comes in for his final review.

“We see this kind of reaction to pot and Concerta a lot, although never in someone as old as you.” 

We burst into laughter again, and he is laughing too. I’m such an ass, and he has to point it out to me. 

It’s a few years past this near death experience. I’m off Concerta and back to my old lovable ADD self. I haven’t had pot since then, and we have seen many a movie together and laugh a lot about our night at the hospital. 

Usually I think my missives on this blog have a point. This one does not. Enjoy this fabulous Sunday.

Shopping Women

Victoria’s Secret, Not Mine.

I seriously don't get the point.


I was waiting to take the Luxury Liner bus back to the Hamptons from meetings in New York City the other day, and peeked inside the huge Victoria’s Secret which is the store in front of the bus stop. I saw a plush white chair inside. I was tired and early, so I went in and sat down. I’ve been in Victoria’s Secret before, I’m not totally lame, but I’ve never sat in Victoria’s Secret and looked at the displays as you walk in where the stuff made for those that are paid to have sex is displayed.

I call my friend, C.

“I’m in Victoria’s Secret. Do you want me to buy you anything?”

“Sure, if they have two for one bongs, get them and you can have one and I’ll take the other.”

“It’s not bongs, asshole, it’s thongs, and they don’t have our size. Bongs have true value, and thongs do not.”

“Whatever. Did I tell you my sister bought a maternity thong. I told her she had serious issues and needed to get help before the baby was born.”

“A girl just picked up a pair of panties that is made out of a synthetic material that will cause serious issues if worn for more than one hour. Should I tell her? I hate to leave a sister hanging out to dry. Once you start getting yeast infections, they can’t be stopped.”

“No, you freak. I think you should not get involved. Get involved in lost children on the street. Get involved in Obama’s ‘change the world’ volunteerism if you want. But leave a stranger’s purchase of ridiculous underwear to her ok?”

“Well, I am a mother and if it were my child, I’d want a mother waiting for a bus to step in. Look is Bill there? Can I talk to him? I want to see if he wants me to buy you anything.”

“Yes, he is here and no, you cannot speak to him.”

I happen to know that Victoria’s Secret was started by a man, not a woman. I know this because the man who started it lived near a friend of mine in Connecticut. This was years ago. I’m sure he’s since moved to LA or somewhere more sexual than Connecticut. I remember asking my friend if his wife’s name was Victoria. Oh, surprise, surprise, it was not. I hate men who start companies to make women even more uncomfortable than we already are and make a lot of money doing it.

So, I move my sorry ass out of the chair and go over to look at some of the garments. I pick up this one pair of panties that is fuschia with a huge bow on the ass. I think to myself, what if the bow comes undone while you are walking around and the bow ‘tails’ fall below your skirt? Silly me, you would never wear this underwear with clothes. I get it. Then I think about the poor person who has to iron the bow of your underwear. Jeeze.

I go back to the phone and my friend.

“I do buy Victoria’s Secret cotton 5 for $25 dollar hip hugger underwear,” I mention.

“Not me,” she replies. “I wear white cotton underwear that comes up to just beneath my bra. It’s Hanes and you can buy it in the grocery store next to the produce section.”

Oh my God, I will never look at fruit the same. Ever.

I sit there a little while longer and ponder what a Victor’s Secret would look like? Nothing comes to mind. Not one piece of clothing. Perhaps that’s the saddest thing of all – that there is nothing they can wear to look better to me. I like them just the way they are, my men. I wish it were true in reverse.

Movies & TV Women

Little Flower Children’s Services Luncheon

I haven’t been to a luncheon fundraiser in New York City in a long time. Yesterday was a luncheon raising money for Little Flower Orphanage and Children’s Services in New York City. I love Little Flower and couldn’t wait to go to the big city and see what’s new in luncheons.

Ok, I was wearing my best black shoes, heel around 1/2 inch. I looked around and there were (I swear I am not exaggerating) heels that were four or five inches high on more than half the women, who I assure you were more than half my age. And, they were dressed to kill, not in business suits like we used to wear to lady’s luncheons like this, but rather what I used to think was evening wear. My one friend who came was wearing a pin striped suit. She walked in and said, “Am I the only one in a suit?” “Yes, you are,” was all I could answer. I had to sit down after half an hour of standing because my feet hurt. Those women in those heels stood for another half hour. I think it could be one of the challenges in Survivor. Put on the shoes and see who stands the longest.

These women were so thin that I really can’t even begin to think about what they eat in a day. It would be a fleeting thought. I finally said to the waiter who was passing a wonderful salmon on small potato thing I found quite tasty, “Look, you don’t need to waste your time stopping by all those clumps of women over there. Just come directly here and my friends and I will take care of the tray you are carrying.”

Ramona in her dress...strutting.
Ramona in her dress...strutting.

Ramona, from The Housewives of New York City was there. At first, my friends and I thought, “Oh my God, she’s dressed as if she is going to a black tie dinner.” We didn’t know she was in the fashion show (because she’s so full of fashion?), which was revealed after we sat for lunch. She loved the way she looked out on the runway, and we loved watching her. I actually spoke to her after the lunch and said, “You are my favorite New York City Housewife, Ramona,” in a hushed, we are best friends manner, which of course was a lie, but it seemed fun anyway.

Back to Little Flower. A woman of color got up with her speech nestled in one of those plastic folders with the bar you slide over it to keep it safe. She spoke slowly, with reserve and dignity I can’t muster within myself no matter how dignified the situation.

She spoke of the fact that she has fostered through the system more than 110 young persons. She spoke about some of the kids who left her home because she was too tough on them, and then how they would come back and visit her having recognized that maybe it was a good thing. She said when they leave her, she gives them her phone number and tells them to call her anytime. She looked up from her folder and said, “I have had the same phone number for the last forty years. I will never change it.” I, who have had so many phone numbers my daughter has to write the latest one down, started to cry.

The juxtaposition between this woman of color who took care of more than 100 kids on less than the shoe cost of the room and Ramona strutter was not lost on me. I realize that Ramona being there was great for the turnout and great for Little Flower, but I have to say that the woman who spoke left such a stronger aftertaste that I got the lesson.

I drove in and out of the city (about a two hour ride each way) with five other women who made me laugh. We were rowdy, funny, smart and irreverent the whole way in and the whole way out. I had a swell time yesterday. And, I am glad for the shoes I wear and for what goes on inside the head of top of them.