Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sharing Talent

Like most jobs, mine offers an unhealthy dose of stress, but there are also amazing perks. One of those perks arrived in the mail today. His name is "Sam." Sam, a portrait of a farmer, was a gift from artist Tammy Lindey. She isn't the first artist to share her talent with me. Painters, sculptors, poets, singers, songwriters, beautiful jewelry from Beverly Grant. Wow! One particular artist named John has simply dropped off amazing oil paintings and sculptures at the radio station!

I'm so grateful for those gifts and the gifts that know no price tag as well. A listener named, Brenda shared a gift too. It was her heart delivered in the form of an e-mail. Upon hearing that my mom will be having surgery she offered prayer and encouragement.

I'm so grateful.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Michelle for VP

Move over Joe Biden. Michelle Obama might be a better choice for a running mate. She's a great speaker, has a lot less political baggage and I'm pretty certain she can take Hillary in a fight.

If ever you wondered how marriage can play a positive role in fulfilling your dreams look no further than Mrs. Obama. Polished, educated and dedicated, she is the perfect example of why it is important to choose your spouse wisely. The speech she delivered at the democratic national convention was the best of the night. The Double O for Double O8.

Can Tyra Be More Annoying?

Even though I figured out the formula for choosing America's Next Top Model sometime during cycle three, I still enjoy the show. There is just one person who blocks my enjoyment of this reality show mind candy, its creator, Tyra Banks.

Just when you think you've seen every possible picture of Tyra in every different wig and pose, SHE'S BACK with more wigs and more poses. Survivor isn't about Jeff Probst. American Idol isn't about Ryan Seacrest. So why must certain reality producers, like Sean "Diddy" Combs and Tyra Banks, force themselves onto the audience. Have they convinced themselves that the audience isn't tuning in for the contestants? Are they using these shows as a trick to get more face time on TV? Is this a last ditch attempt to remain relevant in an industry that celebrates youth? I suspect the answer is all of the above.

Last night I previewed the latest season of ANTM. The mean girl, the awkward girl, the conceited girl, the sheltered girl, the lesbian and the home girl are all back. They've even added a girl who was born a boy. Miss J, Mr. J and Paulina are back. Unfortunately Tyra is also back, in all her posing, camera-hogging, skimpy-dressing glory. It looks like it'll be an okay season... IF Tyra gives us the opportunity to see more of the aspiring supermodels and less one retired supermodel.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Understanding the Ex-Wife a Little Too Well

Call me an experienced dater. I've been single again since 2004. I was with my ex-husband for 6 years. I was his second wife. If his first wife and I were to write a brief paragraph about why we tossed that fish back into the sea I'll bet our reasons would be identical. If fact, after just one date I can tell you why each man I've dated over the last four years got divorced.

Forever the journalist, I always ask a man why his marriage broke up. It is interesting to hear what they have to say. I doubt the reasons they give me match those that their ex has given to her friends and family. It doesn't matter, because generally it only takes a date or two to figure out why a man over 35 is single.

This just might be the rant of a chick in a dating rut, but it sure looks like the men in my age range are single for a reason, a really BIG reason. His ex didn't kick him to the curb because he drank a little too much. He wasn't a little too controlling. He wasn't a little too self-centered, a little too bi-sexual, a little too lazy, a little too angry, a little too irresponsible with money or a little too flirty with other women. We're not talking about the guy who was a little too into porn. Oops! Am I getting a little too graphic? Most marriages can overcome little character flaws. No one is perfect. Its the big singing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs issues that motivate a woman to take off her wedding ring.

My friend, Pete, believes that I'll fall for a guy who feels the same way I do. As I type, this fictional love interest is sympathizing with the ex-husbands of the women he's been dating. Nice fairytale, Pete. We'll see. Until that guy comes along I'll remain a fan of the first wives club.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Open Letter to Elizabeth Edwards

Cancer, a cheating husband and nasty tabloids putting your business in the streets... just one of those problems would emotionally cripple lots of women. I'm praying for you, girl. Just in case you don't have the kind of family and friends that I have, I want to offer my support. You wanna pray? I'm there for you. You wanna have a tabloid burning party? I'll bring the matches. Wanna make fun of that Reille's light-socket hair-don't? I'll make up a game called, pin the hair on the hoochie and we'll have a good ole time.

I have to admit, part of me wants you to leave him. Maybe I never took the "til death do you part" vow seriously enough. I just think that if more high profile women took a stand and in the process, took half of the cheater's fortune and his reputation, maybe it would serve as a lesson to other weak and greedy men. When you stray, YOU PAY! The realist in me, knows there will always be cheaters among us. It must have been a problem back in Biblical days too. After all, the commandment banning adultery was chisled into Moses' tablet for a reason.

Can you blame John for ALLEGEDLY trying to cover it up? Most men do. Guys without the obvious financial means and influential friends that your hubby has, rely on much more primitive excuses and schemes. Luckily for the cheaters I know they aren't famous enough to attract the attention of Larry King or "The National Enquirer." It is much easier to cover your tracks and ask for forgiveness when the entire nation isn't reading about your affair and alleged love child. It appears that you plan to overlook John's indiscretions. Well, women stay with unfaithful men for various reasons. To each her own, but I'm sure the conversations you are having with the kids can't be easy.

And about the kids... as each unfaithful politician, actor, musician and athlete is exposed and we watch the dutiful wives blame the homewreckers and the media, what are we teaching the next generation about relationships? Perhaps this is a lesson in forgiving. Maybe forgiveness is the silver lining that Kobe Bryant's wife and Hillary Clinton discovered. Maybe we're teaching them that preserving your place in society as the wife of a powerful man is more important than holding your man to a lofty standard. I wish I had the answer.

All I know is that our nation and your family is not better off because this story is making headlines around the globe. If the media had finally given you the evidence you needed to walk away, I'd have a reason to applaud. If this story had made such a disgusting example out of John Edwards that other politicians would be scared faithful, I'd have a reason to applaud. There was nothing to gain by exposing the affair of John and Reille.

Right now all I have are tears for a woman who is fighting a deadly illness while raising small children and facing the betrayal of her husband and his closest aides. For the record, I ignored the story the first few times it turned up as I looked for interesting topics for the show. I didn't turn a blind eye because I'd been a John Edwards supporter. I ignored it because as a woman who has been cheated on, I had hoped to spare you and the kids the double whammy of dealing with a private issue in such a hurtful, public way.

God Bless, Elizabeth. This too shall pass.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lover, Friend and Supervisor

I used to think that enlightened men were the ones who knew how to put together a great outfit. They were the guys who wrote love letters. Scratch that. The enlightened guys are the ones who realize the importance of his wife's role in keeping him from living like a caveman. They are the guys who pitch in around the house. Yes, it still counts even if he has to be nagged to pitch in around the house. Why? Because the enlightened man appreciates the role of the woman in his life. At times she may be the nuturer, other times the lover and a lot of the time she is the house manager. Sometimes the manager motivates with bonuses (i.e. booty) other times she motivates with fear (i.e. PMS)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Magical Ages

Some call them page-turners... they are the magical ages that are supposed to add up to major life changes. Sleepy parents can't wait for the first birthday. Many anxious preschoolers can't wait to turn five so that they can go to kindergarten. Tweens look forward to becoming cool teens. Then comes Sweet 16, official adulthood at 18 and hitting the bars at 21.

My nephew is in town. He comes to visit every summer around my birthday. This one isn't a page turner for me. No Big 3-Oh, 4-Oh or 5-Oh this year. I've decided to tell people that I'm turning 71 so they think I look amazing for my age. The big deal around here is that is the first birthday I'm spending with an adult nephew. He drove down with a friend in his own car. He's got his own money from his summer job. He's 6'3". By all accounts he's a man now.

Knowing that he is an adult doesn't make it any easier to treat him like one. After all he and his buddy are the kings of horse play and video games. They take all things X-Box very seriously. I'm resisting the urge to tell them how long they should play. When they bought a refurbished game from a local Play and Trade store, my mom didn't want them to open up the game in the car. How many times were you warned to wait until you got home to open a new toy so you wouldn't lose the pieces? When you are 18 and just purchased the toy with your own money I guess those warnings just sound really annoying.

How do you stop treating new adults like children, when you've only known them as children? Sure, there are signs of maturity, but there are also times when I see the little boy who drew the elephant picture that's been hanging on my refrigerator for 14 years. Eighteen, the magical age that has turned my nephew into an adult doesn't seem to be a big deal to him, but his aunt is sure having a tough time!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Not Just Another Blog, My Friend

Homie, old chum, pal, buddy... what can we use to replace "my friend?" The overuse of "my friend" is widespread. Senator John McCain uses it to address Americans. Doctors, servers, security guards, supervisors... let me tell you, my friend, "my friend" is coming at me everywhere I go. Some people toss it into every other sentence, my friend. Have the people using it simply forgotten my name? Is it something people toss in while they try to come up with something profound or important. Is it the kinder equivalent of "hey you?"

Please make it stop, my friends!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Not-so-skinny Pictures

If you put a dozen super-models on a scale their total weight wouldn't come close to the number of pounds I've gained and lost since my first diet at age 11.

Weight loss inspiration has come from various sources. My first diet was inspired by some serious teasing from Kent Falana in 5th grade. My second diet was inspired by comparisons to my skinny cousin Michelle. There have been other motivators along the way... designer jeans, dance and step competions, a fraternity guy named Sugarbear, a couple good weight loss info-mercials, Janet Jackson's weight loss, a close relative with diabetes....

Even though my grandmother, mother and three out of four of my aunts have diabetes, I must shamefully admit that health has not been on top of my list of weight loss motivators. I have mostly just yearned to buy cute clothes in smaller sizes and to turn heads in those cute little outfits.

I wonder if there are a lot of women like me. I still can't resist reading a story about a chunky celebrity who went from drab to fab (chick magazines love rhymes like that). I know how Mariah Carey lost those last ten stubborn pounds. I've read about how J-Lo dropped her baby weight. I followed the weight loss sagas of Kirstie Alley and Valerie Bertinelli and got really excited when Jenny Craig helped them slim down. I came this close to buying a bottle of Trim Spa when I saw Anna Nicole get back into Playboy shape. But sometimes you gotta call BULL!
Queen Latifah looks exactly the same? She (and her management) were smart to say that she was just doing the Jenny program to eat healthier. But I think for many of us the energy boost that comes from shedding pounds has always been just a positive side effect of moving from plus sizes to misses sizes.