November 26, 2011


Monday Outlook: High 26, Low 19

Ah, just how I like Palm Beach. I'm happily trading in the drizzle for some sizzle for a couple of days, heading to the track with a lineup of Mercedes AMGs. Of course that means the packing must begin, a true magic metric of careful selection to fit in one carry on.

It will come as a giant surprise that I am unorganized ::cough::. As I was doing laundry, I realized I wanted to pack the jeans I was wearing. So, I took them off and chucked them in the machine. This is not an uncommon thing to do, but then I must race back upstairs in my undies, hoping the boys don't see me. I yell 'close your eyes!' really loudly. If I don't and they spy me, they act like someone threw acid in their eyes. Sometimes I just yell 'close your eyes!' for no reason. After a few minutes, someone will ask if they can open them.

Whenever I chuck a suitcase on the bed, Maggie glares at me. Then she storms out of the room. Well, as much as 7 pounds of cat on 4 inch legs can storm. She hates me going. The boys surround me with love as well. Christopher will ask how early he has to get up to take me to the airport. Ari will ask how much money I'm leaving them. I can tell behind their words there is a real sense of loss there. JoJo leaves the room and forgets who I am. Hell, there are days I wake up and don't know where I am, making me wonder if aging is really just the onset of turning into JoJo.

I've been watching the news with all those people shopping. I hate shopping. I hate malls. I hate people who shop in malls. I cannot imagine elbowing someone in the neck to get a $4 sweater or $1.50 blow dryer or whatever the deals are. How much crap do we need? And everyone they interview says they're doing their Christmas shopping, which means they're buying you that crappy sweater. I worked retail for a lot of years. Every time there was a boxing day sale or a midnight madness or whatever, it was a chance for stores to put all the crap they had out front. You could slap a price tag on the Tupperware container someone left in the staff fridge, and someone would buy it.

Hey! Maybe I'll have a midnight garage sale! I have junk I don't want, don't recognize, and in some cases, I'm not even sure if it's mine. Details. A roll of masking tape, a darling little apron with cash pockets, and I'll be my own Midnight Madness, Home Edition.

You would think with the world economy in the toilet, people would be forgoing buying junk all together. I might suggest to my family that we have a Little House on the Prairie Christmas. When I was a kid reading those books, I used to be filled with awe at how creative they were: a penny, a scarf secretly knit all year, a small sachet of toenail clippings, and a rock in the shape of a stone. Those people really knew the meaning of Christmas.

Maybe I'll just go around wrapped random things up, like the Griswold Aunty on Christmas Vacation, and give one sister a salad spinner I never use, and the other one some packages of Swiss Chalet gravy. For the boys, I think I might itemize a list of how much they've cost me all year, then draw a line through the total and tell them their gift is writing off their maintenance.

Ari's already asked for some kind of warm pajamas. It's so he can remain in his basement mancave later into the season. I checked them online. They have a hood and a rear flap and are made of some fabulous warm material. If they had a built in microwave and a urine capsule, he'd never come upstairs.

Back to work.

November 25, 2011


It wasn't just about the car...


That's Aaron Prevost and Rick Bye at last Saturday's Upper Canada Region Porsche Club's annual dinner. We were the keynotes speakers for the event, speaking about Aaron's fabulous ride last May. While Rick and I may be more accustomed to events like this, it was really wonderful to go through this with Aaron. He had a blast. He thought he'd be too nervous to be on stage. I told him to relax, just tell everyone they looked great tonight. Instead, you know what this kid said? He hops up there, leans into the mic and says "Joe?". Joe Lawrence is the president of Porsche Canada.

Joe, who is the front row a few feet away says, "I'm here, Aaron.". Aaron turns his way and says, "I'm just wondering when you're going to start making all the Porsche controls with braille markings." And the kid was worried. The Club gave him that jacket in the photo, and we could barely get him to take it off. A beautiful leather and melton jacket with all the Porsche patches, he was thrilled. He texted me from Ottawa the next day checking if he could wear it in snow and not ruin it. I told him he could. 'Awesome!'

It was Rick, however, who brought everyone to their feet. Asked if he's learned anything from this experience, he simply said, "this kid has changed who I am. I've never before seen so much ability in the word 'disability'". And he meant it. If you know Mr. Bye, you'll know he's a man of few words. I've met him several times over the years, but it wasn't until this story with Aaron that I actually saw the man behind all the stories - and as one of Porsche's best racers, there are stories. Rick himself has had 3 near death crashes, and the worst one wasn't on the racetrack. Given a 3% chance of surviving a horrific crash on a U.S. highway, he fought his way back. He's a quiet guy, but his work with Aaron has been wonderful.

As for Aaron, I got back to our table, and asked where he was. His sister, who'd accompanied him, pointed to the dance floor. A girl had made a beeline for him and hauled him up to dance. Later that night, another pretty little thing had him cornered for ages. He was beaming. Around midnight, as people were heading for homes or hotel rooms, I asked Aaron if he was flagging. He wasn't. We all had rooms in the hotel - the Westin Harbour Castle is fancypants; Aaron and Kristen were suitably impressed - and I thought Aaron might want to crash after such a long day. I'd picked them up in Brantford around 4 in the Panamera; okay so it was me who was tired.

Nope. He wanted to go the hospitality suite. Kristen headed to her room, and I went with Aaron to the after hours room. With a beer in his hand and an attentive audience, he answered questions and chatted (though mostly with a lovely little blonde girl). Kid had fun. It was great.

Thanks so much to the UCR and Porsche for inviting us.

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November 22, 2011


babbling


It didn't deserve to be capitalized, which gives you an idea of what you're in for, should you choose to continue reading.

First, Saturday night with the Porsche Club was amazing. Aaron is such a doll. I have pics - I'll post one tomorrow, I'm too lazy. I've been running around like the proverbial headless chicken, and even the idea of finding the camera cable and actually doing something as complicated as clicking 'download' is beyond me. Sorry. Anyway. Full post of Aaron and the Porsche club tomorrow.

You want to know how I know the Christmas season is officially upon us? A Santa parade? Christmas carols? Nope. It's my first ad for Ov Glove, or however you spell it. Once the As Seen On TV ads start, you know you've descended into festive hell.

Maggie is sitting at my elbow as I work. She's been fed. It must be love. I love Maggie.

I was talking to someone the other day about the new Fiat. I drove it in New York, and totally loved it. As we talked, I mentioned that I really hoped nothing would stick up it's ugly nose to screw this car up. Chrysler posted a few days ago that sales are far off what they wanted, but admitted it's due to the fact they've tried to develop new dealerships just to sell the tiny cars. As the bricks and mortar construction of said dealerships have stumbled, so have sales. They're looking long term. Or so they say. But today, as I trolled around on Jezebel, I've learned a sordid truth: those Jennifer Lopez ads, where she's driving though the 'hood, expounding her love for the gritty side of that 'hood? You know, cuz she's Jenny from the 'hood? (yes, I just like saying 'hood). Well. Double. She never left L.A. to film said gritty 'hood, which is the Bronx. I must admit: I do not like Jennifer Lopez. I don't get it. Sorry. I just don't. I find her the epitome of everything that is wrong with fame: she can't sing, she can't act (though George Clooney brought out the best in her in that early movie I forget the name of; it could have just been George, though. I admit it.) She's pretty but forgettable, and a smokin' ass isn't enough to make me forget how cloying she is. And now, she can't even fly to New York to drive a darling Fiat? Bah.

I spoke at Queen's Park yesterday about being crazy. I'm speaking at CAMH tomorrow night for the same reason. Just thought I'd throw that in there. Motorcycles, Porsches, bipolar. I always have to make sure I pack the right speech.

I read an article today that hair dye is killing and maiming women in the U.K. This is horrifying. I'm heading to the lab tomorrow for an overhaul, and while I don't want to die, nor do I want to have dark roots. I am shallow. So shoot me and kick some leaves over me.

I filed a column about a dead squirrel today.

Oh, that pic up there? That's an outtake from my TV show that I'm going use to take over the world. Okay, maybe not. But I'll be damned if I'm not gonna try.

November 18, 2011


Remember Aaron?

Sure you do. Blind kid who raced a Porsche around Mosport in May.

Anyhoo. Tomorrow night, I'll be downtown at the Westin speaking to the Upper Canada Region Porsche Club. The only reason they want me is because of that article. And I'm totally thrilled to be going, because Aaron Prevost and Rick Bye are coming with me.

Aaron lives in Ottawa now, but he's been in Brantford visiting friends this week, so I'm picking him up tomorrow. I had to swap the 911 for the Panamera today, to have enough room. I know; you're crying for me. His sister is coming too, so it'll be nice to finally meet some of his family. Rick has had his Dad and brother out to some Porsche events this past summer.

You write a story, and you move on.

Except sometimes the story stays with you. I adore this kid. We stay in touch via phone and Twitter, and I know Rick talks to him as well. He calls us Mom and Dad, which I find funny. Rick often calls me Mom. I find that disturbing.

So tomorrow it's onto high heels, into a dress, and off to the Westin Harbour Castle.

I'm looking forward to it.

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November 15, 2011


Finally raked the leaves...look what I found!


Sun is shining, it's a gorgeous day, and I have to work and work and work. What would I rather do? Well, drive and drive and drive, of course. Sigh.

Oh, it's a 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.

November 13, 2011


Long walks on the beach

Of course scientists want to quantify dating and romance. That's what science is for: to suck the fun out of everything by analyzing it to death, or at least down to the little nibbly bits. I happen to love science, but this article in the New York Times looking into the trove of information on the human condition now available because of online dating sites is a little deflating, if you ask me.

A caveat: I've never used one of these sites. I absolutely believe it's the equivalent of meeting a guy in a bar, like that time honoured way of my youth, but I haven't. I have friends who actually met and married after meeting on line. I know lots of people who give it a shot. But am highly suspect for all the reasons revealed in the article: the amount that people lie in their little introduction paragraph. Apparently, everybody lies. In my head, Leonard Cohen just sang that. Anyway. Women lie about their weight and their age and use old pictures. Men lie about their height and their age and how much money they make. Seems both genders are shallow and critical. Wait. That sounds just like being in a bar.

I remember a bazillion years ago, you had to go the 'Personals' section of newspaper classified to find love. I also remember my sister Roz (who will kill me for this) and I used to read those obsessively. It was mean; it was awesome.

One day, it must have been thirty years ago, she found a keeper. Some guy had run an ad saying he was 3 and a half feet tall, had no teeth, body odour, was broke, and lived in his mother's basement. Something like that. Because this was thirty years ago, there was a phone number with it. She called him. He'd apparently had tons of calls, and they laughed for a few minutes, and then she called me. He was some English guy who thought these ads were a scream.

Now, a professor of psychology at Berkeley (of course) is trying to understand a) what people lie about and b) why they lie. Duh. A guy in the piece laments that if he puts that he is (correctly) 44, people will automatically assume he's 48. It's like the world's biggest, dumbest bell curve.

I remember talking years ago to that friend who was using dating sites about his bio. I told him I should write it, not him. He had no clue what his best attributes were, and writing your own bio is like tickling yourself. You can't do it. He thought that was a brilliant idea, and of course I decided on the spot I could set up a whole business around it. I meet you for 15 minutes, then I write you a bio. Done.

Reading this article has tweaked that, however. I read about people meeting for coffee, then having to escape because the tall, dark and handsome guy who made the date sent the 3-and-a-half foot guy from the Toronto Sun personals ad in his place.

I think all those first coffee dates should write the profiles of the person they just met. Think about it: honesty all around, and such great reading.

November 12, 2011


Just sitting here, minding my own business...

...and this comes in. I get weird emails; we all do. I love the ones from RBC, informing me that my banking information is 'needed right now please enter your passwords to this email: johnsballs@hotmail.com' or something like that. I don't bank with RBC. Or, the one I've been getting lately from 'cogeco' informing me I've reached my limit for emails. And to quickly click here and enter my blood type. Sure. I kept one I got from the FBI, somewhere, informing me that I needed to contact them to find out about the report they were preparing on me. It has an official seal. I know it's official; it looks just like the floor in the foyer of the FBI building on Alias. I loved that show and often had dreams that I could kick ass like Sydney, all the while harbouring a not-so-secret crush on Victor Garber. Me, not her. He played her Dad; that would just be creepy. Geez.

Anyway. As much as I loved my FBI report letter, part way through all the very official information, I found a line saying, 'do not call and report that you are receiving this letter. This will get you in very big trouble'. Then again, it took me all the way to that line to believe this was not an FBI missive. What can I say; I live for subterfuge.

But just now, I got the email I've cut and pasted below. I love languages I can't understand. The only part I get is the 'raineyraja', and the only place that is my user name is the New York Times, a million years ago. So, that tells me someone is digging through their data banks, somehow.

No, I don't know what this is. You think I'm gonna click it? Not likely.

raineyraja

lsommerfeld@cogeco.ca で作成した YouTube アカウントの、登録プロセスが完了していないので、お知らせいたします。下記のリンクをクリックして、登録を完了し、アカウントをアップグレードしてください:

http://www.youtube.com/signin?username=raineyraja&feature=neup2>

アップグレード後は、他のすべての Google サイトで使用しているアカウントで YouTube にログインできるようになります。

: YouTube アカウントをアップグレードしないと、2011/12/10 に削除されます。 問題が生じてご不明な点があれば、YouTube ヘルプセンターをご覧ください。

今後ともよろしくお願いいたします。
YouTube チーム


A mighty wind

Much as I love that movie, that's not what I mean. I am still sitting here, fnigres corssed, that a fierce wind will pick up all the leaves littering my yard and carry them away. I should be raking. I do not feel like it.

I have a huge maple tree out front that leisurely drops its leaves. I know in my wee heart that I just have to wait until it's done; going out before it's finished is futile. It's stubborn. I love raking maple leaves because you can actually get somewhere very quickly. Stupid little oak leaves take forever, though the absolute worst are those sticky little locust leaves. I think they're locust; I don't have one, but a neighbour does and I hate them. I have to pick their nasty little locust leaves out of my lawn, they have to rake my big, blowing around maples out of theirs.

I've told Ari he has to help me rake tomorrow. The back is the toughest, because we have to haul all the leaves to the front yard to dump them on the road. We live in the core, so we get the leaf sucker coming around, which is great. But then I have to find a tarp to haul the leaves all the way out front. When the kids were little, I'd tell them it was like a wedding dress made of leaves. They would look at me blankly. Boys are no fun.

I've told Christopher he has to put all the planters away. I have a bunch of big heavy ones all over the yard. He just looked at me and said 'you made me get them all out, and you never planted them'. This is true; I never managed flowers this year. Some seasons just get away from you. This past year has had four seasons get away from me.

So I'm debating raking; I'm debating vacuuming; I'm debating the pile of laundry that would give a mountain goat pause; I'm debating sorting out photos, getting groceries, changing beds and writing. I'm thinking of washing the shutters, sorting files for tax time, and cleaning out my closet. I've lost a leather jacket somewhere. Seriously. I can't find one of them. It's making me crazy. I'd rather lose a kid than a leather jacket. I'm kidding. Nearly. The kids always come back.

So, a ton of things I haven't done. What have I accomplished? Well, I've had a cat or two on me all morning, so there has been much absentminded petting taking place. I've written a column that made me cry, so I have to put it away until it doesn't make me cry. I've started strong-arming an editor I want for a project I have in mind (the fact she's family should put me over the top, I'm thinking), I've been scripting some additional scripty stuff for the pilot, and rightthissecond I've decided to throw a total spanner into the works. I'll tell my producers another day. They're not family.

But mostly I'm just looking at the leaves.

November 8, 2011


Square Off - Tuesday

Posting embarrassing videos of your kids on line? Yeah, that's not remotely okay.

Join us on CHCH 11 at 5:30.

November 7, 2011


And a small yellow bird will save her...


I'm reading around in Salon.com, and there is a little yellow bird marching about at the bottom of the screen. I've seen him before, but I don't know where. I don't know if it's a Salon thing or a computer thing, but I am loving this little bird.

I should be working, but I'm off my mark this morning; it's like everything in my brain was placed an inch to the left while I slept, and I'm having a hard time getting everything back to rights. It's not just the time change, though I'm sure that's part of it. Maggie sleeps on me all night and sits on me all day. It must be winter.

Anyway. I was trolling through my usual reading this morning, and the little bird popped up. He has a wee broom and was sweeping for a while. I desperately wanted him to pop out and start sweeping in my home. Then he was just walking around whistling. I'm presuming this; I can't hear him. I'm also presuming he's a he, if only because my late wonderful Uncle Gale used to whistle, and I always associate whistling with him.

I'm sure Webgod will pile in and tell me the little yellow bird is an ad for something, and that I already know that, and maybe I do. But for now, I'm just happy with this little yellow guy perking up my Monday morning.

I just tried to post a pic here of the boys when they were 6 & 9. I think it's too big, and I don't know how to smallen it. The Star didn't run the pic with my column (someone tell me if the Spec did, wouldja?), but I love it. And it's one of my favourite columns so far, too. My relationship with my kids is in a big transition right now. I can feel it; they're growing up and we're talking more and it's pretty great. Well, Ari is talking more. Christer pretty much never shuts up. He's his mother's boy.

Ari flopped on my bed last night when I was watching TV. He immediately put on football. I do not like football, but I patiently stare at some rather cute rear ends while my kid demands I watch replays. I pretend to watch replays.

Christopher went to see something called Deadmau5 on Saturday night. It's pronounced 'deadmouse'. He then spent most of yesterday (after he finally got up at 4pm) showing me stuff he'd recorded on his phone. I nodded kindly, much like I used to when he was 3 and showed me his flag collection over and over again. Then he started calling me to see video on Youtube of the concert. I had no clue what I was seeing, only that it was loud and crazy. His girlfriend bought him 2 tickets for his birthday. He took his best friend Michael. He didn't know why I found this funny.

Kettle's on the stove again, cat's on my lap again, and it's time to put my brain in gear and keep it in my own lane.

Wish me luck.

Oh! I nearly forgot. The Poor Sod popped in on Christopher's birthday to stuff a hundred bucks in his hand. We broke up last summer, but he's awesome with the boys. Anyway. He came back a couple of days ago to give him another $500. For the smoking bet. He was here when I made it with the boys (same time as that picture was taken, actually) and he'd promised them he'd go 500 if they made it to 20. I hesitated and told him he was part of the $1000 I gave him. He firmly said nope. I said make it 400, you already gave him 100. Nope. The Bet isn't part of the birthday gift. Every time I told him it was too much, Christer told me to be quiet.

Edit: Webgod is a star. He made the pic work!

November 6, 2011


Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Awards

Had a great night last night co-hosting the Awards. Wee bit intimidated going up there with Pat Gonsalves - the man pretty much owns the podium, and his voice is so recognizable. He's a generous guy - and a big help when the script threatened to wander. 11 new inductees - lots of history, lots of treks down memory lane. For some of the treks, you needed a sherpa for all the luggage, but it was a hoot.

Driving home this morning, I made a huge scientific discovery: you've probably long heard that traffic collisions increase following a daylight savings time change. It's not because of where the sun is; it's because everyone is trying to reset the stupid clocks in their cars. I think I deserve a Nobel for figuring that out. I had an Intrepid once that I don't think I ever did figure out. I just drove around with the wrong time for 6 months. Like the clock in our bathroom. It's right today!

I'm off to take photos today of children and puppies for a feature. Wait. Wasn't it W.C. Fields who said...damn.

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November 3, 2011


Morning ramblings

How could I not post this? I mean, it was serendipity that I even found it. The Awl has a feature called Amusingly Horrible Things...that people say. Bosses, mothers, and the one I linked, strangers. As I've been amused and bemused lately by such offerings, I thought it only right that I posted it.

I also like when people say 'bemused' and mean 'amused'. I read a piece somewhere a few months ago that essentially said 'there are so many words that people screw up, we should just adjust the meaning and go with it'. I was not amused. When in doubt, go bastard? I think not.

I woke up confused this morning (see how I did that?). I had the strangest dream, and while it wasn't bad, it was odd. It left me a little funky (not smelly, just befuddled); not like the lottery dream, where you wake up and find out you're broke again and have to give back the yacht you just bought and named The Santa Lorraine. My boys actually call it The Lottery Dream. And I know when they've had it, because they come down so, so sad.

I dreamed a had a pack of kids with some guy. They were darling and all swirling around like in The Sound of Music, with all the blondness but without all the singing. Anyone who knows me believes right now I've confused 'dream' with 'nightmare' and you may be right. But there were all these kids and they weren't bothering me at all, which made me - in my dream - try to figure out who the Magic Sperm man was. He kept turning away from me in my dream, but I'd know that butt anywhere. The good news was that waking up to just my original kids was the opposite of The Lottery Dream: relieved to have less. Unless Julie Andrews was part of the deal. Oh! You think it was Christopher Plummer?!

Meetings, meetings, meetings. I'm co-hosting the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Awards Saturday night with Pat Gonsalves (who is awesome - that is all), and I will need some steel to stand in front of a room full of several hundred bikers and admit I don't have my licence.

Maybe I'll wear my Harley boots under my dress.

November 2, 2011


Here, kitty, kitty, kitty...

Oh. I was at a medical office today, and when I came out the most darling kitty was mewing at me. He (yes, I checked) was probably 5 months old, a gorgeous black and white sweetie. This is my favourite kitten age: all spindly as they grow into their size, and this baby was a short haired beauty.

It's a busy parking lot, and he was walking around among the cars, and underneath them. I skooched down, and he came right over for a love. I knew he was a pet; he was too pretty and too trusting. He also smelled like smoke, which kind of made me gag, but led me to believe he'd probably escaped from a nearby apartment - and if that's what it smelled like, I didn't blame him.

Anyway. I was looking around to see if anyone was looking around, but they weren't. I didn't want to leave him there - too many cars. I picked him up and he was happy to ride around in my arms as I attempted to play Are You My Mother (you'll probably have to be a parent to get that reference), but when I set him down he immediately splashed into a puddle, and started drinking. I scolded him and picked him up again, and he promptly put little wet paw prints all over my shirt. I did not mind this.

I couldn't take him with me. I knew Ari got out of school soon, and I thought I could come back with Ari and we could take him to a shelter. He was obviously someone's, and Maggie and JoJo have not been asking for a little brother. Not at all.

As I stood there like an idiot, a woman pulled in and parked. "Awwwwww...." she said, as any thinking person would. I told her I was scared to leave in case he got run over - it's a busy parking lot. I told her to watch him while I backed out, and I would come back with my kid. She did.

I have a pink Victoria's Secret tote bag they gave me free-with-purchase in the car. I purchased something I can carry in my hand and they gave me a bag I could conceal a body in. I never thought I'd have a use for it, but I figured it would be the perfect thing to carry him in when Ari and I returned.

I got home and called my sister Roz to tell her. Roz had two cats that each lasted 22 years. Now she has no cats. I described my kitty. There was a pause. "Am I supposed to say 'I'll take him?'" she asked, "because I'm not."

When Ari came in, I barely got the words out and he grabbed the keys and we headed back. Mostly Ari just wanted to drive. Back at the medical office, there was no sign of my kitty. I'd told Ari if we found him, I'd stuff him in the bag and take him to Animal Aid. Ari glanced at the pink tote bag, and raised an eyebrow.

"I'm keeping him," said Ari.
"No, you're not," I retorted. "Maggie and JoJo will kill him."
"I could use a basement cat. To stay with me in my cave," he replied.
Ari has taken to living in the basement with his computer. My Mother of the Year Award is in the mail. Now he's thinking of accessorizing with a cat.

We did find another cat wandering around, but it was an adult cat, obviously from one of the houses nearby. Ari offered to kidnap this cat.
"That's a grown up cat," I said. "I'm not worried about her, it's the kitten who was in danger."

I'm glad whoever owned the kitty came and got him.

Really. I am.

Mostly.

November 1, 2011


Hey, baby, I think I want to marry youuuuuuu.

Ugh. Just read another 'surprise wedding' blurb. Some guy did it this past summer in these parts, and now a woman did it. Can't find the link; it doesn't matter. The deal is that your beloved asks you to meet them somewhere, you show up and they throw you a *surprise!* wedding. Yeah. The whole thing.

You know, some surprises are nice. I'm reaching here; I hate surprises. A lot. But I can imagine a surprise like, a cheque arriving that you'd forgotten about, or your kid vacuuming while you were out, or getting to the checkout and finding out everything is 30% off - those are pleasant surprises. But a wedding? Yeah, that'd be a killing.

I get that I'm a wedding scrooge. I really do. Too much over the top crapola on TV, too many women spending thousands on a dress they can't afford, too many family battles over stupid stuff. A lovely wedding is a gift in itself; a lovely marriage more so. I just rarely see either, though I could get out more, it's true.

Speaking of gaily wrapping empty boxes, I wrote a column a couple of weeks back about a stranger taking me to task for my looks. I basically said "meh, works for me" and left it at that. And then I got this note in the mail:

Dear Lorraine Sommerfeld,

You are mistaken. Personal packaging is the most important thing a woman can do, along with cooking delicious meals. That is, if she wants a dedicated husband who is attracted to her.

I thought only of my duties and forgot to embellish my looks. My husband always sat in a house around the corner with a couple where the woman embellished her looks. I was more educated and intelligent than she was. She had 2 men and I had no one.

After she died (ate too rich and died of a heart attack) and after my husband died (age 86) her husband and I got together and I now embellish my looks to the very best of my ability. he is devoted and attracted to me and I'm finally happy.

Don't underestimate looking great!


She signed it. Her handwriting me reminds of my grandparents old country script, and I read the whole thing in my head with a German accent. Of course I adore her. I mean, the two of us have wildly varying goals, but you gotta love the spit and the holler of the lady. I can understand her advice even as I don't take it. A dedicated husband has never been at the top of my wish list, even when I had one. I have been known to embellish my looks on occasion, but mostly I forget.

After putting together the letter with the other rambunctious thoughts in my head, at least I know I am smacking two birds with one stone: no embellishment, no surprise wedding.