A Few of my Favorite Things

The Christmas ornaments I faithfully unpack every December are fraught with enough emotional baggage to choke the holiday spirit out of the heartiest reveler (never me to begin with). That’s not all bad, of course – Feelings Are Good, or so the self-helpists say. But is it any wonder that, by December 27, I’ve shrouded them again in the same old tissue paper winding sheets and laid them back to rest in their Rubbermaid vault beneath the staircase in the cellar?

If Husband pre-deceases me, that’s doubtless where his ashes will end up.   I will haul him out every year, stick a bow on his urn, and tuck him under the tree as yet another remembrance of things past: Merry Maudlin Christmas.

“Oh dear, dear, dear.”

My Grammy Gould special edition ornaments are splendid. Blessed with boundless creativity, limited resources, great good humor, a needle and thread and some glue, she crafted all sorts of priceless seasonal treasures. Pride of place on my tree every year goes to three peanut-shell birds with yellow felt beaks, perched in a nest crocheted of bright green yarn and glued jauntily to a clothespin with a sprig of festive plastic greenery.

“My soul and body!”

Then there’s the soft-sculpture Mrs. Santa portrait that looks a great deal like Grammy herself, a little worse for the wear after landing on a lit candle a few years ago. The wicker backing blackened and burned, but the front survived – nary a run in that pantyhose face, and I was able to artfully rearrange the fluffy cotton hair to cover some scorching (women do that sort of thing all the time, after all: Hey! If I wear bright lipstick, no-one will notice the big zit pulsing on my chin). Mrs. Santa hangs every year on the door of my refrigerator, right at eye level. I find myself wanting to smile and politely say hello to her whenever I need access.

“Watch out for your neck!”

Arguably my favorite, another cluster of birds is cunningly crafted from a bright yellow man’s work glove, the cuff cleverly turned up to create a nest for each fledgling finger. A few glued-on feathers, a felt-tip marker beak, another sprig of plastic greenery and the bulging slightly crazed wide-set googley eyes that were Grammy’s trademark – it’s a masterpiece that makes me laugh and cry at once.

It’s an ornament from my grandmother O’Brien that always triggers tears, though. Some years, I can’t even bring myself to unwrap it. The thing itself isn’t much – a flat cheap gold-tone wreath dated 1983, dating from my second Colorado Christmas (read, “still far away from home, where I would certainly have been had I cared about the loving family that raised me”). The wreath tucks into a pocket in a card that isn’t much, either. But Gramma wrote me a perfect careful little note in her perfect careful little script and slipped it into the fold behind that ornament. She must have used damned fine paper, since it hasn’t yellowed a bit in 31 years. The ink is a fresh as if it flowed yesterday, the words clarion clear. Just as creative, in her own way, as my Grammy Gould, my Gramma O’Brien crafted some subtle Irish melodrama to span the decades and haunt me  forever (for my own good, and possibly hers):

POB3Each year as you hang this Christmas ornament on your tree, think of me, and say a little prayer for me.

Love, Gramma

This year, after a fortifying glass of wine (OK, maybe two or three – it takes a long time to get the tree up and decorated), I took that card out of its envelope (a big blue ribbon is taped for Husband’s benefit on the front, to cover the Missy & Boyfriend written there) and a dried-out old Happy Holidays sticker fell to the floor.

Gramma apparently did some covering up of her own – that sticker had blocked someone else’s signature on the card: Joy & Murray Hall. Who in hell are Joy and Murray Hall, and what place have they in this intense personal communion with my dead grandmother?

She re-gifted that ornament, the cagey old bird. And she did it so well that I was deceived for three decades. This year, my tears were tears of laughter.

So perhaps next season I can unpack all that angst-laden stuff with a happier heart (provided of course that Husband isn’t yet stored with it)– the tarnished personalized star from my own childhood, the popsicle stick Rudolf made by Son #1, the doily angel featuring the face of Son #2 at about age 4, the baby Jesus clothespin resting on some raffia in a toilet paper tube crib, the 1940’s set of weirdly-tinted plastic angels from my dad’s boyhood home, the hand-painted ceramics my mom ordered annually from an artist friend, and the little stuffed mouse in a Santa hat that my kids named Squeak, bestowed a speech impediment upon, and made part of the family.

“Gimme Teese”

But Squeak is a story unto himself — who am I kidding? He’s never been packed away. Son #1 got him in third grade as a door prize, and he’s been set on a pedestal in our house ever since.  Quite literally.  His is a tail for another time, though, one that reminds us that Christmas is essentially a whimsical season of the heart.

Thanks for reading! Missy
Thanks for reading!

My Father vs. All Those Mothers Out There

Husband whispered something solicitous in my slumbering ear when he came to bed last night.

After almost 30 years of marriage, solicitous interest is almost as sexy as the salacious stuff.  Caring enough to offer a favorite ratty old blanket can be as loving as tearing the blankets off, although there’s certainly a place for that, too.

He laughed at me this morning, since I apparently replied, “That information is posted on the bulletin board.”  He said it was my professional voice, carefully and patiently modulated, full of thinly-masked irritation.  He said I seemed to be waiting for a response, so he answered, “OK!  Thank you very much!” whereupon I rolled back over and started snoring again.

It is high time for summer vacation.

This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. (2.2.127-8), Juliet
This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
(2.2.127-8), Juliet

So there’s an earnest young couple sitting opposite me — he’s in the high school orchestra, and is wearing a tuxedo today.  She’s got his suit jacket over her slender shoulders.  They both have long hair in ponytails and that Tortured Poet look.  Clearly, they are the first people ever to be in love. They are gazing at each other soulfully.  He has just lifted her hand and kissed the palm tenderly.  And rather noisily, I might add, a little wet for my taste.  But he’s young.  He’ll learn.  His instincts are good.

I was going to give them a Mom Look over my counter, but decided that I might perhaps be feeling over half a century old and a bit jealous.

My father always says that youth is wasted on the young.  I used to roll my eyes at such pronouncements.  I suppose I should let him know that he is Right (again, as always, except when we differ slightly over the politics of gun control or certain tenets of Catholicism or whether or not Rose’s Lime Juice should be refrigerated).  A wise and wondrous man, my father.  He taught me how to replace an electrical outlet and how important it is to treat others with respect and dignity.  He taught me to waltz.  He taught me algebra, when I was flunking out during the “learn at your own pace” DIY education craze of the early ‘70s.  He coached me through a year of algebra in a few short weeks, right before the New York State Board of Regents’ exams (which I then passed respectably).  He managed this despite my resentful scowling lack of cooperation or appreciation.  I approached learning to drive with the same grace, and hear his voice to this day when someone is tailgating me and making me nervous:  “HE is not driving this car, Missy!  YOU are driving this car!”


Thank you, Dad.  I can talk to just about anybody and fix just about anything – you passed along some rather wonderful life skills.

Mr. Bryan Kuegler of Williamson, IL, did not have a father like mine. This in no way excuses him – there are few fathers like mine, but the principles he stands for stand tall even in two-bit towns like Williamson, which boasted 230 people in the 2010 census. So, there in the god-fearing American heartland this last week, Kuegler rushes in to courageously assist a fellow bar patron who has clutched his chest and collapsed to the floor.  Kneeling over the ostensibly dying man, Kuegler sneaks a look around and adroitly swipes the man’s wallet, stuffing it into his own pocket with one hand while motioning over the EMTs with the other.  It’s all captured for posterity on the bar’s surveillance video.  The smooth self-serving heartlessness of it takes my breath away.

Whatever happened to human decency?  I’ve always known that people are no damned good (my seemingly sweet little maternal grandmother had a cross-stitched sampler to that effect in her kitchen, and it’s long been one of my father’s mantras), but most of them at least used to try to fake it.  Is there no shame?

I’m even sounding like my father, now.  Good for me!

Here’s another:  A Canadian woman who killed a teen and injured two others after running them over with her SUV is now suing the dead boy’s family for emotional distress, to the tune of $1.3 million. Ms. Sharlene Simon is, yes, taking Brandon Majewski, the child she killed, and his family, including a brother who consequently committed suicide, to court. She hopes to collect for personal damages due to depression, anxiety, irritability and post-traumatic stress.

My heart bleeds for her.

”The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” says Dick the Butcher in HENRY VI, first performed in March of 1600.  Some say that that line has always been misinterpreted.  They say Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges, who uphold justice and save civilization.  They say Dick the Butcher backed a rebel who planned to overthrow the king by butchering law and order in the land.

What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet.
What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other word
would smell as sweet
— except when moldy,
and stored at room temp.

Fie upon that! I say.  The bard knew damned well what he was saying.  Four hundred years later, we still need to kill all the lawyers.

Here’s another:

Mr. Roy Ortiz was miraculously rescued from raging floodwaters in Colorado last September after being trapped in a creek in his overturned car for several hours.  He is now suing the county and his rescuers (yes, the divers who risked their lives on his behalf) for $500,000.  His attorney, Ed Ferszt, says that the rescue took longer than it should have.  “Of course he is thankful because those divers did have a major role to play in saving his life that day,” says Ferszt. “That doesn’t negate the fact that a mistake may have been made.”   Ortiz is also suing two other drivers who hit the washed-out road after he did, pushing his vehicle further into danger.  He apparently has shoulder pain and trouble sleeping.  My heart bleeds for him, too.

How can these worthless GD fools even look at themselves in the mirror?

I grew up thinking that “GD” was a curse unto itself –my father never swears in front of women or children (although Husband has picked up a wondrously colorful colloquial vocabulary from him – I could feel gypped, if I thought about it).   He’ll shout Son of a B! on occasion, when falling off the roof or dropping a refrigerator or building a garage too short for the truck he planned to park in it (“Of course I measured!”).  But no gratuitous public cussing .  He has an unwavering personal code of ethics and honor.

This GD Son of a B of a world needs more of that.

Thanks for reading! Missy
Thanks for reading!

Showing Off Your Goodies: “Paybacks are a bitch, Mrs. Gibbs”

Sometimes I feel sorry for men.  Not very often, mind you – but I do have fleeting moments of empathy when I escape my Missyness and actually pay attention to the world around me.

She is sitting on the edge of the stage, a first violinist.  It is dress rehearsal for the Bernstein MASS, a huge funky powerful 1970’s piece of what my grandfather called “long-hair music.”  He’d have hated the Bernstein MASS – no Catholic worth his salt stops abruptly in the middle of the Miserere to chant, “ . . . half of the people are stoned and the other half are waiting for the next election.”  But, hey, why shouldn’t an agnostic liberal NYC Jewish boy celebrate the sacred mysteries of Rome?  It is the era of Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair.  Protest and cynicism hangs heavily in the air, in clouds of marijuana and patchouli.


“How dare you look at me that way? I’m a Serious Athlete.”

Thanks be to God, the choir does not have to fling off its clothing and cavort wildly about the stage.  We’re mostly middle-aged.  Collective sagging nudity would drive the audience from the hall – The horror!  The horror! – even if we put our handful of  handsome youngsters out in front (they’d run from the hall in horror, too).

She is stunning, this violinist – tall and thin, with severe black hair cut in a flappers’ bob.  Most of the players wear jeans and faded T-shirts.  She shines in a royal blue dress, black tights, and discreet black heels.  (Women will understand footwear so described.  Gentlemen need to know that these shoes aren’t what’s quaintly referred to as “Fuck Me Pumps.”  These shoes have class.  There’s a time and place for 4” stilettos, certainly, but this is not it, and that woman knows it.)

The dress is what rivets male attention.  Simply cut and not too short – with a deep narrow V neckline that’s cut about to the navel.  I think she has used double-sided tape or rubber cement to adhere the fabric to her chest and keep her goodies from falling out.  Every time she bends over that violin, you can hear a collective intake of then-held masculine breath.  Or at least I can – I was in Observer Mode.

Here’s the thing:  She’s showing all but her nipples and offering teasing hints of those, but the men around her aren’t supposed to notice, and if they do, they’re low-brow mouth-breathers who are sexually harassing her.  Mind you, she’s certainly free to show-and-tell her nips if she wishes to – but others are therefore free to look at them.  It has to work both ways.

She’s perfect. He’s got man boobs and weird hair on a weak chin and bad sideburns and a cheap shirt from K-Mart, and he never did a sit-up in his life. Yet look at her adore him! He’s holding a camera, after all.

Then again, I grew up in an era where an exposed bra strap at school meant endless hours of hot mortified shame.  We even wore full slips.

I remember reading some 1970’s sex self-help book back in my babysitting days (plenty of interesting information was available on other people’s bookshelves, rendering my $.50/hour wages tolerable).  To keep your man at a fevered pitch of excitement, you are supposed to whisper on your mutual way out the door that you aren’t wearing any panties.  Such brazen hussydom!

In fifth grade, I win the local Daughters of the American Revolution annual essay contest. I remember sitting on the floor of my grandparents’ living room, shamelessly plagiarizing stuff from their set of encyclopedias.  Grampa O’Brien was very fond of his encyclopedias.  He was self-educated and well-read, and loved nothing better than catching his smart-ass college-student children in errors – casually mentioning Tierra del Fuego at the holiday dinner table, for instance, implying that “she” was a new neighbor, and then crowing with delight when that went over their heads.

So the DAR ladies have a fancy luncheon to honor their essay contest winners.  My mother is invited to accompany me, even though we lack the blue bloodlines allowing us to take personal credit for US independence.  The honor is almost too much.   We are not worthy of those dried-out crustless cream-cheese-and-olive sandwiches.


Decently covered at last,
beneath my Gramma O’Brien’s careful tiny penmanship.

My fifth grade teacher is the Grand Poohbah of the DAR at the time.  I arrive at school the morning of the luncheon all dressed up and excited.  She stands there in her black old-lady lace-up oxfords and peers chinlessly down at me under her steel-rimmed glasses.  She tells me in front of the whole class that I am inappropriately attired.  She sends me home in chagrin to change my clothes.

Here’s the thing:  I am not inappropriately attired.  I am wearing panties.  I am cute as a button.  My mother has made me a new jumper – dark blue corduroy printed with bright 1970’s flowers.  I have a lacy white blouse on beneath it, with a demure tie at the neck, upon which I fasten my special initial pin.  My hair is in pigtails, the better to display my father’s ears.  The jumper is short, as fashion dictates, and I have on orange fishnet stockings.  I feel like a queen.

Queen not even for a day, alas.  I’ve not been able to wear fishnet stockings since.  Husband just doesn’t understand.

The high school where I work has a formal dress code on the books, but enforcing it barely makes the building’s priority list.  We need a tall self-righteous Mrs. Gibbs frowning at the front door, wielding a ruler she isn’t afraid to smack you with.  Mind you, it’s not the adults who arrive half-naked; no Whale Tails are found on faculty (I just learned to identify the Whale Tail:  a fashion refinement wherein one’s jeans are cut so low that the back of one’s thong rises above them.  Ideally, the Whale Tail does not cover the Tramp Stamp tattooed just above it).

The high school is full of maturing young women whose mothers let them leave the house all but naked.  The high school is also full of maturing young men, for whom I as the mother of boys feel sorry.  If the girls have every right to undress, then the boys have every right to notice.  Fair is fair.

Young Missy with Books
Me surrounded by Grampa’s books
— showing a little leg and enthralled with a truck

Don’t be getting your panties in a bunch, here.  I’m not suggesting that males are unable to control their native animal lusts or that females are whores who should be buried in burkas.  I just want to bring back the fig leaf.  For both sexes – the totally cool boys at school slouch around with their pants down below their backsides, belts cupping their butt cheeks.  I can’t imagine what holds their jeans up, unless they’re hooked on the more or less constant erections found in front (see “all but naked girls,” above).  And I don’t care to imagine that.

What’s not seen is so much more interesting than what’s out there on display – that’s the secret lesson of whispered lawless pantylessness.  What we need – besides world peace and a cure for cancer and an end to hunger and poverty – is some elegant trashiness, some refined raunch, and some stately sleaze.  We need the sacred Mass, but we also need Bernstein’s profane take on it.  We need more clothes, worn less formally.  We need Mrs. Gibbs, but we also need that first violinist.

Thanks for reading! Missy
Thanks for reading!

Pride, Prejudice, Pot, and Pants

Guns don’t kill people.  Pants kill people.

A gentleman in Tennessee recently shot himself in the chin when he took off his pants and placed them on his dresser, “at which time the 25 caliber Baretta pistol in the right front pocket discharged.”

Problem SolvedYou’ve got to love a police report.  You’ve got to love the passive voice.   That gun just went off for no reason, through no fault of the outraged incredulous redneck standing there in his dingy tighty whities. He is a blameless victim.  His pants shot him.  He will probably sue Dickies for the crotch seam that pulled the trigger or the rivet that released the safety catch.

This arming of clothing against God-fearing gun-toting conservatives is surely a liberal plot.

Guns don’t kill people.  4-year-olds kill people.

Last Thursday in Detroit, a 4-year-old girl fatally shot her 4-year-old cousin with a gun the children found underneath a bed.  “The female 4-year-old found a long gun underneath the bed and pointed it at the male 4-year-old and pulled the trigger,” Detroit Police spokesman Adam Madera told CBS.  Those bitchy females – you can’t trust them any more than you can trust what’s in your pants.

This arming of toddlers is surely a liberal plot to make God-fearing conservatives who keep loaded unlocked weapons under their beds look bad.

An uncle of mine just added my name to an email he forwarded to all his conservative cronies.  We don’t correspond, and he long ago dropped me from his distribution list since we agree on nothing but the facts that we’re related, scathingly sarcastic, and smarter than average.  He’s actually a very charming male, just as I am a very charming female; such traits run in the family.  We do pull out political rifles, but we only shoot words at each other, and from a distance.

Just $14.95 when you use your NRA Visa!
Just $15.95 when you use your AARP NRA Visa!

Uncle sent a video called “Liberals With Guns” that I won’t link to here because I don’t want my site in any way connected to it.  Think Rush Limbaugh with closer-set eyes, fatter and sweatier and more self-righteous, wearing a Stetson in a vain effort to conceal his bald spot.  But even Rush doesn’t ingenuously and repeatedly hold a coffee cup up to the camera with his picture and the American flag on it and coyly urge that viewers visit his website to buy it.

It’s a sorry day when I find myself defending Rush Limbaugh.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

I stewed about the damned email for a week and just couldn’t let it go.  It was a loaded gun, stuck in my pants and stuck in my craw (like the bullet wedged in that red Tennessee neck) (that fellow is fine, by the way, and has lived to abuse his pants another day).  I had no choice but to respond:

Favorite Uncle,

I hate like hell to admit that I know you sent this just to get my goat and that it did, indeed, get my goat.

We yuppie bleeding-heart pansy-ass liberal Democrats out here in Colorado can now keep goats in our within-city-limit backyards!  Chickens, too.  I haven’t gotten into that yet, but with pot now being legal and all I suspect I’ll stop shaving my legs and start raising personal livestock.  You’ll have to come out and kill it for me, though.

colorado potI actually think that the pot-legalization bill was a conservative plot.  What it’s done is render marijuana totally uncool — so it worked, as a Republican plan to curb drug use. Pot’s main attraction was the allure of danger (but not too much danger–you weren’t likely to be shot to death while buying a pedestrian eighth-ounce).  Now, your parents can go out and buy a bag full and smoke it in front of you (provided they drive all the way to Denver and stand in line for hours and pay exorbitant rates).  How totally weird is that?  No self-respecting hipster wants to be like his parents.  I predict a drastic decline in pot popularity.  The whole thing, despite frenzied national coverage, is actually a non-event, here.

Don't make me defend myself.
You keep your pants on, hear?

I know that some ignorant woodchuck wearing a big cowboy hat and clutching a .45 as a penis substitute may well be the death of me.  Until then, I will continue to believe that our duty here on earth is to take care of each other.  I had this sweet little grandmother in New Hampshire who didn’t have a pot to piss in — yet she’d give away anything she owned to anyone, with a selfless generosity of spirit that I’ve never seen matched.  Yes, she was eccentric and more than a bit neurotic, and the family ridiculed her mercilessly, but she “got” what life is all about.  When she died, an enormous group of friends and relatives was the poorer for it.

We’re all on the same journey, after all.  Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, black, white, male, female, Christian, atheist, rich, poor, mouth-breather, effete intellectual — we all end up rotting in the grave.  We’ll all be dead together.  We all have the same terrors.

— except that I am not afraid that the Gov’mint will be coming in the night to take my weapons or my daughters or my Duck Dynasty videos or the supplies against Armageddon I’ve stockpiled in the cellar.  I sleep well, and soundly.

Mind you don’t throw your pants on the dresser in an unguarded moment.

Your fond niece,


Yes, I shamed him with a reference to his own mother.  A female’s got to use whatever comes to hand when she’s rummaging defensively around under the bed.

It’s all for naught, of course.  “For what do we live,” wrote Jane Austen in 1811, “but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?”   Our pants are full of pride and prejudice.

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Stand By Your Boob

tammy 3

Give him two arms to cling to

And something warm to come to

When nights are cold and lonely

In other words, offer him “plenty to eat at home.”  The first lady of Toronto stood stoically by her man on Friday, after Mayor Rob Ford managed to shock a jaded world by spitting out a colloquial term for cunnilingus on live TV.  He is Jabba the Hutt in a sweaty ill-fitting suit.

renata ford
Let me count the ways.

But if you love him,

Oh, be proud of him, 

‘Cause after all he’s just a man.

Thank you, Canada!  We are not worthy – but you have taken the world’s eye from our own public embarrassments.  You, our refined, restrained and gracious neighbor, have taken one for the global team.

Stand by your man

And tell the world you love him

Keep givin’ all the love you can

Ford’s people called a hasty press conference for (yet another) mayoral apology and carted out his reclusive wife for some heartwarming solidarity shots, on sale for the price of personal degradation.  We can only hope that she kept her eye on the prize during this debasing spectacle – a lucrative divorce settlement and a big book deal, for starters.

Standing by your man does grim things to you, though:  Both Tammy and Renata, here, refuse to meet the camera’s eye.  Their painted mouths are downturned, and deep creases reflect years of gritted teeth and tightened lips.  Fluffy blond hair can’t offset those expressions of disappointment and loss.  You can almost see the thought bubbles:  “How in hell did I ever end up saddled with this boob?”

“What kind of music do you usually have here?”
“Oh, we got both kinds. We got country *and* western.”

And just how did “boob” become a derogatory term for a big fool who makes stupid embarrassing mistakes?  (I did try to research this for you, but met with difficulty.  You kids at home, don’t run a Google search on “boob,” especially at work.)

From what I hear, God doesn’t make embarrassing mistakes.  He sculpted primeval clay into right nice boobs to plant atop Adam’s extra rib.

We can only assume that Eve had right nice boobs, since God made them—even if they weren’t in His own anatomical image.  They were not, at least, the fevered fantasies of a 14-year-old boy, unless we choose to revise the assumed age of our Father.  Perhaps that is why the Trinity includes the Son and the Holy Ghost — we have the old man, beyond good and evil, and the testosterone-tortured teen, with the Holy Spirit around to act as guilty conscience:  one complete human package.

"I know I'm not dumb, and I know I'm not a blond."
“I know I’m not dumb,
and I know I’m not a blond.”

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home. 

If I can take issue with God, I can take issue with Wordsworth, here, who gets all it wrong.  We walk with feet of clay, but lead with boobs of glory.  Gentlemen, you, too, have frontal appendages that lead you about on a merry dance.  You don’t trail your glories, either (at least until that hot blond at the bar withers you with a glance).

Boobs lifted me from a mirthless slough of despond last week (set these words to that old chestnut hymn, “Love Lifted Me”). The dreary gray beginnings of winter never sit well with me, and this year seemed even more weary, stale, flat and unprofitable than ever.

Ten years ago, a bunch of women from my family got together in Portland, ME, to surprise my cousin on her 35th birthday.  My aunt, a rabid dog enthusiast, told my cousin that she was bringing her a very special present with lots of titties, which yapped a lot.  My poor cousin thought she was getting a puppy.  Cousin did not want a puppy, but couldn’t bring herself to tell her mother so.  She drove long hours down from Bar Harbor filled with dread, expecting to be saddled with an unwanted pet, only to find us all waiting to jump out of the hotel shrubbery.

Don’t you be misunderestimating us.

We henceforth became the Yapping Tittie Sisterhood (YTS, to the uninitiated).  We all gather in the Old Port every November for a long weekend of laughing and, yes, yapping.  Presents and brew-pubs are always involved; the career waitress at Gritty’s actually remembers us and watches for us every fall; she even knows which Tittie is late in arriving.  We figure it’s because we’re so swell, but it probably has more to do with the fact that we tip well and make a modest spectacle of ourselves.

The spectacle isn’t always modest.  My sister wanted to do something special to commemorate our tenth anniversary.  She’s been laid up with a broken ankle, and so had time and (arguably misdirected) energy on her hands.  Sister decided, since the Shriners have fancy hats and the Knights of Columbus have fancy swords and the Masons have fancy aprons, that the Sisterhood should have some fancy boobies.  She made eight lush sets of them out of pink felt, discreetly stuffed, embellished with nipples of darker fabric and, for the woman who sports a tattoo, an embroidered rose.  These boobs will henceforth be worn ceremoniously around the neck during meetings of the Yapping Tittie sorority.

My Bosom Buddies

I am forbidden by the rules of the Order  (and, more importantly, by my mother) to share the video taken as we unwrapped and modeled our bolt-on boobies.  I may only offer this staid group photo and invite you to use your imagination, adding that we laughed so hard and so long that our ribs hurt the next morning.

And I was cured of my melancholy.  There is much mirth left to make  – even with the person of the vile slug who’s the mayor of Toronto.  A month ago, that boob in his ceremonial necklace would have cast me into despair over humanity.  Now, I can put on my own ceremonial necklace and laugh as he declares that he is indeed, a fine role model for Canada’s children.

Thanks for reading through! Missy
Thanks for reading through!


Admit it – have you read anything else lately that quoted Tammy Wynette, Shakespeare, the Blues Brothers  and Wordsworth?   Life is indeed a tapestry of rich and royal hue (and now you can add Carole King to that list).