Thanks, World Wide Web!

fat banishing tapewormsJust this week alone the Internet has delivered me pictures of women pretending to like being stepped on and having smoke blown in their faces.

Then there was that ad for losing weight by hiring a tapeworm. – and I don’t doubt that there are at least some people out there just dying to bring one aboard and watch the pounds melt away.

Every singe day I’m amazed by this Internet, this tangled web we have woven, and the way it has worked its stretchy little tendrils into all our lives.

English Ivy has nothing on the worldwide web. Call it electronic kudzu.

This morning Facebook is what has me shaking my head webwise. People keep telling me they can’t find me on Facebook and sure enough when I look for Terry Marotta all I find is a page belonging to someone who sees dead people.

So I began a search for myself under my maiden name, which yielded up the wildly entertaining My Space page of an Irish lad. Here is what he wrote of himself at the time:

“Hay my name is terry sheehy and im 17 going out with susan browne i love u susan !… i like to play basketball football i also like to watch UFC and figthing sports.. Thanks to my fab sis whoohooo and just want to say befor i go to bed just leve a coment and ill comment u back. i like action films and films that kinda do with shit that im interested in and also comedy and going to the cinema.”

Pretty adorable kid, if not the best grammarian! I mean, right?  It just shows you:  even if you CAN’T find your own little self reflected in the big electronic mirror, you can have some pretty good laughs just the same.

Old Ads: Gotta Hate ’em

blow in her face

Anyone remember this one? “Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere?”

I was around when women looked like this. I had that hairstyle. I’d put that at around 1968, ’69 and maybe it’s because I went to a women’s college but I’m pretty sure most women were on to this bill of goods the admen were trying to sell people.

That women liked you to be a little rough.

That showing a sort of casual disregard was catnip to the ladies.

That we all secretly LIKED being put in our place and degraded just a little.

Not so hard to believe advertisers would try that; in fact they’re trying it still.

But the blatancy of it: hard to believe this came out so soon before Oprah took to the air and shined her great spotlight on so many ugly things.

And check out this image below? One long damn way from Helen Reddy’s famous I Am Woman Hear Me Roar anthem eh?

man stepping on woman's head


It just kind of  leaves you speechless.

Quit Yer Gripin’

baby babboonI was in a bad mood that weekend.  It was the weather natch. People are so silly about the weather. What’s that old saying ? As a rule man’s a fool, when it’s hot he wants it cool. When it’s cool he wants it hot, always wanting what is not. True enough!

It had been 41° on the Friday of the weekend before. Then six days later, it was 91°.

“A 50° difference in less than a week!” we all exclaimed. People whined like you wouldn’t believe.  I whined.

I met a man at a book talk I gave once who told me he lived outside of the U.S.  for 15 years and was only just now returning. “What do you notice most about Americans, now that you can look at your countrymen with fresh eyes?” I asked him.

“People complain! They complain about everything!” he said. “I couldn’t believe it at first.  It’s as if nothing is ever good enough.”

That shivered my timbers, I can tell you. I didn’t want to be one of those people.

So I got to considering: Maybe instead of griping, we should actually delight in the variety the world presents. Even the weather, aside of course from the terrifying and violent climatic swings such as the ones that have brought drought to Colorado and tornadoes to Oklahoma.

“I’d really like to try doing that,” I was thinking later that day as I walked into my local cobbler shop or “Shoe Hospital” as its owner has dubbed it.

Here, a young girl around 11 was munching on a chocolate chip cookie and chatting in familiar fashion with the proprietor.

“She must be one of his grandchildren,” I thought, so wide was the smile she flashed him as she ducked back out of the store.

“Is that your granddaughter?” “I asked as I handed over the ticket to reclaim  my newly reheeled boots.

“No,” he said. “She just comes in here all the time. She says she loves the smell of the place.”

“Ah!” said I. “The smell of leather, and shoe polish? Maybe the smell of the oil in these various machines?”

“Exactly,” he said handing me my boots.

“You know it wouldn’t kill you to polish these now and then,” he added with a wink.

I purchased a tin of saddle soap displayed there on the counter then and there,  took a whiff, sighed happily, and exited the shop one happy camper,  through with complaining for a good long while because ...Life is good! (Have an apple.)

We Did It. We passed Another Marker

Forty-three years married. Forty-five years since we forsook all others. This is what our life is like now, only the person pictured needs a skirt and shoulder-length hair. honey where's the butter021 Thanks for finding everything Dave! Thanks for looking after me!

Thanks for the good wished yesterday everyone and.. Happy Weekend!

Still Married After All These Years

25 years in

Today is June 20th; it’s my anniversary. Where has the time gone? It seems just a second ago that we were partying our brains out with our two families and shopping for a dress that cost less than $150.

I remember the day itself. I remember spilling a Sloe Gin Fizz on that gown ten seconds into the reception.

Before the receiving line even. Before the guests had even all arrived. Someone handed it to me and I tried to take a sip. I didn’t even know what Sloe Gin was.

I had never worked a 40 hour week. I would begin all that in September when I would start teaching school.

I had just has my wisdom teeth out. I was barely old enough to vote.

Scarier yet, the picture of us both to the left here? It was taken 25 years into the marriage. AND it was 18 years ago now! Where IS It all going? Carpe Diem for sure.

Maybe later today I’ll pull out the old dress and look for that faint pink stain… But where is the girl? Where is that young bridegroom? Henry Thoreau said it: ” Time is but a stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”

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What Can I Say

What can I say, it was raining again, and my hair was too weird, darker than it should be which looks funny with my gradually  disappearing eyebrows.

That’s a family thing with the eyebrows. Some of my family members have no eyebrows at all to speak of.

At least I started out with some ..

Do you doubt me? There they are on that chick in the middle:

planning the prom at Somerville High School

I guess I was in my early twenties when that picture was taken.

When I was 19 they  were  DARKER STILL:

Me at Smith

(I know, I know. All I need is a mustache and I’m Tom Selleck in a wig circa 1980.)

But even my sturdy Irish brows are thinning now and the it seems the roses have  gone my cheeks as well. At the frame shop last month my friend behind the counter said, “Well hello! Your HAIR is so dark I didn’t know you!”

I mumbled something about how I told my  stylist  how I kind of hated the blonde direction he was heading in so he made my hair dark. But In the days just after he colored it even I could tell it was a mite TOO dark; just a mite too Morticia Addams. Plus I could sense small children edging away.

“I thin it looks better to have light hair around the older face,” she said. Whose older face she meant was pretty clear to me.

And so it was that I ducked into the salon last week and showed him my roots.

“So these are basically the color of old snow,” I said pointing to the half-inch of grey sprouting up from my scalp, “and this is, like shoe polish black, practically,” I added, pointing to the other 15 inches of hair. “So what do you think, can we look for something less dark that will diminish the contrast between the real and the dyed as the hair starts to grow in?”

“Sure!” he crowed. He’s waited for years to throw the whole Magician’s Book of Color at me.

And so yesterday with rain one again pelting down on the Ark we’re all bobbing about on in this soggy month of June,  he lightened it a tad, got out the bleach and the  tinfoil and gave me a kind of maple syrup with tones of umber base with streaks of Christina Hendricks Red.

Christina Hendricks: That’s  Joan Harris on Mad Men,  as I’m sure you know. You see the resemblance I’m sure? Uncanny isn’ t it? 😉

christina hendricks as herself


These June Days

dick & jane at the farmOn June days like the ones we’re in, now the birds begin talking before 5:00 even. Today I heard them tuning up a good twenty minutes before the old clock had even struck 4:00 down in the living room. And even at 9:30 last night bands of daylight still clung to the horizon.

Every year at this time I feel like I’m walking around inside one of those 1940s children’s book you can still find in second-hand stores, with the perfectly puffed clouds set against skies of heavenly blue.

I look around and think Where are Grandpa and Grandpa who the children visit on their farm? Where is the littlest child with her doll carriage eternally trying to dress the cat in baby clothes?

Every year at this time I feel like I’m back in Eden, that state that all of us seem to dimly remember, before we and the world tilted into brokenness and error.

It seems we inhabit a sort of continual Present tense on any June morning with its blossoms and its birds. There is no future to fear, no past to either regret or pine for.

Maybe it’s the color of the grass, or the proliferation of blossoms everywhere. You’re not expecting all these blooms somehow. I know I’m newly amazed every year all the plants that go to the trouble of flowering, even the small humble one that you picture at the bottom of the ladder, that plant whose mission you thought was to clutch soil merely; even this plant is staging a great show of beauty. It reminds me of the bike parades you went to as a kid, your dented little Schwinn festooned in flounce and sparkle.

The world is so festooned right now. Just walk outside and see.

bike parade