Woman of a Certain Age

A certain birthday is creeping up on me. No…actually, it’s about to punch me in the face. It’s cocked and loaded and ready to shoot but I’m cool with it. Really, I am.

Last week I was killing time by perusing Ebay and Etsy for vintage clothes when I stumbled upon this:

Not me. Not. At. All.

I had that dress. I wore it in the early 90’s when I still wasn’t legally allowed to be in bars but went anyway. In fact, I rocked that dress back when Kurt Cobain was still breathing and astonishing the world with his rebuttal to 80’s hairbands. I wore the hell out of that tight little number and sang …can’t find a better man! at the top of my lungs while I drove into the city to hit CBGB’s. I smoked skinny little Capri cigarettes when I drank because those weren’t like smoking a real cigarrette…therefore, by technicality, I was not a smoker. I loved Eddie Vedder and imagined that, in a perfect world, we’d meet and get married and I’d be his cool wife who wore tight little black dresses and lovingly mopped the sweat from his forehead after particularly grueling sets.

I wore that dress with cowboy boots and black high heels and drank shots out of test tubes. I might have worn it while dancing on the bar at a place called Roxeanne’s with my best friends, Debbie and Corinne. I probably puked on it. Either way, my ass hadn’t fallen yet and my boobs were still perky. My hair was long and cut like Brenda Walsh’s and I exuded a major Don’t-Even-Bother-Talking-To-Me-Fella kind of vibe.

I was dork.

Last night, Dave and I were driving home from our date night when Guns n’ Roses came on the radio. There we were, two cool, aging hotties hurtling down I-95 with Paradise City and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door blaring from the Saab’s speakers. Momentarily, we felt cool. The songs of our youth filled my ears and made me young again. I mean really young. I felt good and happy and…then the stupid DJ went and called those songs classics. CLASSICS, I say!

My dress is vintage and my music is classic. Bitch is gettin’ old…

Floradora: A Drink and a Bit of History

Last week, my friend Valerie from New Hampshire was in Portland to see the Avett Brothers, and while she was here she turned me on to the Floradora, possibly the most refreshing and summer patio-worthy drink ever.


Valerie arrived on the day that Kate had gone missing and possibly eaten by a rabid monster fox and, right around the time that she was pulling into the driveway, I was realizing that I have just three weeks to complete all the work for my residency. Needless to say, I was slightly ‘off’. Yet, when Valerie whipped up those Floradoras the world was made right again. Okay, not really. I just thought it tasted super delicious and kind of enjoyed the fact that I was drinking a cocktail while my children were parked in front of the television in the family room. What the hell…very Peg Bundy of me, wasn’t it?

So harried mommies, friends and countrymen, I will now share the Floradora recipe with you. Drink one and your mouth will feel happy*


1 1/2 parts gin

1/2 part fresh lime juice

1/2 part raspberry syrup

spicy ginger beer

a lime wheel

2 raspberries


pour gin followed by lime juice and raspberry syrup into an ice-filled highball glass. Now top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel and two raspberries.

*David, who bartended his way through college, mid-20’s and law school, felt compelled to warn me that gin has a tendency to cause a ‘Mean Drunk’. Consider yourself warned and maybe limit your Floradora consumption to avoid punching your best friend in the face and/or picking a fight with that obnoxious mommy who constantly tries to sell you Mary Kay products despite your increasingly rude brush-offs.


Did you know that the Floradora is an ancient cocktail named after the first stage production ever? I’ll bet you didn’t…because that’s a complete lie. The Floradora was named for the first Broadway musical hit that opened in New York in 1901, having originated in London in 1899.  The musical was wildly popular and the beautiful girls of the ‘Floradora Sextette’ were the stars of the time. However, it was Evelyn Nesbit who became the reigning queen and spawned the “Gibson Girl” hairstyle after modeling for artist Charles Gibson’s famous drawing, “The Eternal Question.” Look at that…even before Jennifer Aniston and Farrah Fawcett, women were coveting the hairstyles of the superstars. Evelyn was also at the heart of one of America’s first sex scandals. It involved a love triangle, a shooting and sexual escapades on a swing. Following a very public trial, Evelyn became know as “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing”.

Evelyn Nesbit via http://gotham.fromthesquare.org/?p=283

Look at that, a delicious cocktail recipe and a history lesson all wrapped up into one tidy little post. Cheers!

Gotham Lost & Found, http://gotham.fromthesquare.org/?p=283, by David Freeland was a great read and resource about Evelyn Nesbit.

Quota Filled!

One of the joys of motherhood is that sometimes you find yourself in situations that smack of the social hierarchy of teenage girls and the social pecking order that you assumed you’d left back in high school. One of the things that my grown-ups never shared with me was that, even as grown-ups, some people never stop campaigning for the title of Prom Queen. There will always be a gossip monger, a shy girl, a natural leader and her faithful hangers-on. Every group has a class clown and the handful of cynical girls who feel that the rest of us are simply a herd of vanilla sheep.


There is a seemingly endless stream of adults who have carried those social quirks well into their (almost) middle years. Thankfully, most have outgrown their Goth wardrobes and realized that the black hair dye just makes them look sallow and old.

Last week, I attended a parent meeting for my daughter’s cooperative preschool and, since we’re the new kids, this was my first meeting. Upon arrival, as is my normal modus operandi, I located my clique because yes, we still kind of do that. I sat on the fringes, introduced myself to the stranger at the adjacent table with a smile then proceeded to become a fly on the wall. At least, I tried to be the fly on the wall.

Throughout the history of me, I’ve alternated between fly on the wall and girl who unwittingly finds herself running with the ‘social set’ despite what I think is my weird personality. I tend to alternate between funny girl and tortured soul. In high school I was surprised one morning by the class advisor informing me that I’d been nominated for Prom Queen. I was shocked, kind of grossed out and embarrassed but also thrilled that someone liked me. I was slightly upset that I was lumped in with some of the other nominees, a few of whom were of the not-so-nice variety of girls. Oh God, I thought, do people think that I’m one of them?

I’ve digressed, haven’t I?  Back to the preschool parent meeting…

Fly on the wall posture assumed, I sat back and observed. I think that, like most writers tend to be, I’m a people watcher. I’m not just a people watcher, but a people absorber. I sat and politely listened to the issues at hand at the school. Eventually the reminder that we are a cooperative preschool came up and someone on the executive committee attempted to tactfully suggest that, as parents, we should actually try to cooperate with the various committees. She nicely explained that responding to e-mail is a lovely gesture, as is attendance at carefully planned school functions. The word “cohesive” was thrown out into the room and that was when I noticed that a woman sitting near me began to squirm. Closer inspection revealed that the word “cohesive” was hanging over her head and poking her.

It was annoying her.

Moments later that woman, let’s call her Ann T. Social, spoke up and said, “On the subject of cohesion, I’m not here to make friends. I’m here for my child.” She said more on the subject but I was too busy thinking, Oh-Kaaay, she’s a kind of a bitch to listen.

Just days before our (cooperative) preschool meeting, I invited all of the moms in my daughter’s class over for a night out that involved cocktails.  One of those moms was Ann T. Social. Well, Ann didn’t even have the courtesy to acknowledge the invite, let alone show up. So as she made her bitchy announcement to all of the parents of the preschool all I could think was, what a fucking asshole.

Evidently mommies like Ann T. Social have already filled their lifetime friend quota. In the future, perhaps we should all be required to wear a highly visible Friendship Gauge. Just think about the convenience that the gauge would offer. As we’re introducing ourselves to new parents each year we can all just cut to the chase and skip niceties with the ones proudly displaying their already over-flowing Friendship Gauge.

No hard feelings, honey…I’ve filled my quota. See? It says so right here on my gauge.

Following Ann T. Social’s obnoxiously public snub of every person in the room, a few of us made eye contact, subtly validating that we each thought her remark seemed (über-bitchy) crazy. On my ride home I started thinking about the different personalities I’ve encountered in my fledgling career as the mother of school-aged children. I mentally checked off the list of women that I’ve encountered along the way. Yup, I’m pretty sure that high school never ends and I can’t wait to blog about it. Don’t worry; I’m fairly sure that Ann T. Social doesn’t read Narragansett No. 7.

Who Knew?

One of the phenomena that seems to occur in the life of a married woman with children is the “party.” You know what I’m talking about…the Tupperware party. Only these days the parties have grown to include clothing, beauty products, food, jewelry and sex toys.

I was once invited to a sex toy party and, in a moment of weakness, I accepted the invitation. I had a toddler and and infant at home, David was working out of state all week long and the party was right up the street at a friend’s house. I figured that a few drinks and some laughs was just what the doctor ordered. Well, I was wrong.

In my defense, the invitation referred to it as a “Romance Party.” My acceptance of the invitation was made under the naive belief that it would be about things like edible underwear and massage oil.

Who knew?

What I know for sure is that I don’t want to know what kind of kinky shit the mother of my son’s classmate is into.

I sat in my friend’s living room looking through the catalog, trying to look calm, cool and collected. If anyone had looked closely, they’d have seen the thin sheen of sweat coating my brow. I hadn’t expected the sex toy party products to be so…so..publicly raunchy!

Alberto Vargas

 I became preoccupied with trying to appear nonchalant. As is usually the case with me when I’m out of my comfort zone, I start cracking jokes and over-sharing, working the crowd and making everyone laugh. Really, all I could think was, what’s the safest, least weird thing I can buy to get the of here with my dignity?

The Passion Consultant started the evening with ‘safe’ things like the love coupons and a dirty dice game but cocktails were consumed and, before I knew what was happening she was talking about the Playful Anal Plug and Triple Tickle Dolphins. She instructed that all orders could be made privately, in a seperate room.

image courtesy Google image search

Listen, I’m all for keeping things spicy. I am, truly I am, but can we please keep the ingredients for our spiciness a bit closer to the vest? I don’t want to know what Sue Jones* from the carpool bought at the sex toy party. Really, I don’t. Unfortunately, after that party I did. This group shared way too much information.

I suddenly knew way too much about Sue Jones. In fact, more than I ever wanted to. I really didn’t know Sue Jones at all except for the fact that she drove a black Toyota Sienna and was now the proud owner of a hot pink vibrator and some massage oil.

Suddenly, small talk at the park became awkward.

For the next few weeks, I was plagued by flashbacks. Instead of seeing Brigit, mother of Matt, she became Anal Beads. Cheri, mother of Aidan became Tongue Tickler. Jill mother of Sara became Trickling Trio Penis Sleeves.

Thankfully, we moved away a few months later. I haven’t stayed in touch.

*All names have been changed to protect actual the actual identities the persons involved, but I don’t know that they’d really care since I am now privy to their kink.