sunny side up

I told my children recently that when you walk into someone’s house and it is grand try to look into their eyes and not overdo the ‘wow, your house is friggin’ huge’. If they are nice rich people make sure you tell them their house is lovely. If they are mean rich snobs comment on a small – very small – vase of  simple flowers only and then ask them what their sign is.  When they say ‘do you like my indoor pool?’ Say ‘what is your favourite colour?’ It might kill them but it will be good for them.

I went to a dinner party recently and the couple was just dying for us to ask for a tour of their  newly renovated house. I am trying to be more generous so I said “please can I have a tour of your newly renovated house”. Inside I am thinking if I have to look at one more walk in closet out of SATC (Sex and the City- have you been asleep) and fabulous ensuite bathroom with dappled afternoon light and a look that says no one uses it, I might scream. Sometimes I feel I still live in a college dorm. Keeps me young, though.

It is not that I don’t like this stuff- I love it.  I just never got the memo that says it is at the top of the list.

The tour was riveting but the finale was superb. In the master bedroom – all ooohs and ahhhs over millwork and blah blah blah – all eyes turned to a pair of undies -not fresh and sunny side up- that just did not quite make it into the hamper.

Human, after all. Even with the  wainscoting,  jacuzzi and room for a pony.

NB after my hugely successful book comes out and I have a walk in closet and a eucalyptus steam room, I promise I will still be me.

check out HOW TO SURVIVE ALMOST ANYTHING on my other blog Flying Solo

running for cover

She wore a  romantic white skirt with layers of tulle like a ballet tutu. Her top showed her brown shoulders and arms and the warm air made her feel like a fairy. She felt beautiful but her heart was heavy.  The wedding was in a garden on a perfect  summer night.

She had not been out much since she left her marriage  a few months earlier and although eager to attend this event, she wondered how a wedding would make her feel- hopeful or devastatingly sad? She had attended her own wedding several years ago with all the excitement and hope that she now saw in this bride. Cynicism buzzed around her like a pesky fly.

A friend said -come with me I want you to meet someone. She panicked. It was too soon. She ran to look for the washroom to hide. She was told only the bride could use the pretty washroom- she would have to use the other one. In the middle of an elegant hallway wallpapered  in velvet jacquard,  sat a toilet and all around it people drank champagne and laughed and danced.

She pulled up her beautiful skirt and used the toilet right there. She swallowed  her humiliation hard, her  dignity suffering.

When the girl woke up she realized it was only a dream. For a moment she searched her mind to remember the truth of her life- and then it washed over her like a blackness. She had no privacy in real life. The dream is her life. She is newly separated and the world seems at a  beautiful party as she sits exposed in the middle of it. No privacy. A scramble for dignity. A fight for cover.

Check out TELLING MILLIE – new post on by clicking here

solicited compliments

The fine art  of soliciting compliments is extremely difficult to explain but extremely important in light of unsolicited advice. It is not a pleading nor a begging, it is more of a backing into compliments.   In  fact, if done properly, the person complimenting you will think the compliment was entirely their idea.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, flattery will not change your life, but on a shitty day it can give you a lovely little lift.

Although a beautiful thing said from someone you love and admire is worth noting, don’t underestimate Bernie the furnace guy saying ‘ You are young and beautiful; you will remarry in a jiffy.’ (sounds like a second jiffy divorce but a cute line nonetheless).

Don’t be pathetic with the soliciting of compliments and definitely don’t play the ‘single mother’ card with strangers or friends. You are strong and capable and don’t need pity. However if the stranger has just brought in a new fridge and wants you to carry the old one to the curb-it is time to pull out the ‘single mother’ card. If he is cute and does not have plumber bum, flirt gently for a discount. If no discount, make sure you get a compliment. A good compliment can be better than saving the g.s.t.

good ones said to me- worth saying to friends in difficult timesor accepting from friends when  dished out to you

-you are the strongest person I know (this is not a compliment when it is encouraging you to carrying a fridge out to a curb)

-you are amazing

-I  believe in you

-you inspire me more than Oprah

-you should write a book, a mission statement, a song, a poem, a national anthem, a blog (weird idea )

-look what you’ve done (and then they make a list of all that you have done-even the obvious and definitely with embellishment)

-have you lost weight? are you getting younger? you have great personal style, my children want to live with you, my husband loves you, my father says if he were 25 years younger he would be after you.

GIVE IT-here fiction has its place, as does hyperbole, exaggeration and glossing over. Go for it.

TAKE IT-Back yourself into a compliment today- It requires a certain amount of suspending disbelief  but if you can get people to tell you daily that you are beautiful and strong you can fire your personal trainer.  Think of the cash you will save.

Check out bikini shopping  and other horrible adventures on my other blog-flying solo at