Innergiggler's Blog

Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Five year old Linda wanted one thing and one thing only:

“I wanna be in the Peanut Gallery of the “Howdy Doody Show! “  I wanna meet Buffalo Bob and laugh with Clarabell – yell at Mr. Bluster and gawk at the beautiful Princess Summerfall  Winterspring. 

Monday through Friday I was glued to this oddly shaped box watching these characters in black and white, hoping, praying, begging to be a part of the Peanut Gallery.

And then, like magic, I came home from  first grade on a Thursday and mom said the tickets had arrived and that both me (age 6 now) and brother Mitch (age 3) were going to be in the Peanut Gallery in three weeks.

I was happy, but didn’t know if I could actually wait three weeks.  I felt a funny knot in my stomach every day while asking mom, “how much longer?”

 “Tomorrow?   Are we going tomorrow?  The day after tomorrow?”

Eternity finally arrived.  We got into Dad’s car and drove from our Brighton Beach, Brooklyn apartment house all the way to “the city” which was Manhattan – to a place called Rockefeller Center.  I had to put up with endless details – but I knew it would be worth it.  I’d just like to say I didn’t think my brother should go because he was only three but mom told me to be quiet – in a very loving way.

I could barely breathe.  We were standing outside a room where people were counting us and taking us away from our moms and dads – and leading us – oh god – leading us to that very same Peanut Gallery I watched on TV every day.   As they moved us into rows, I again complained that Mitchell was too young but no one was listening to bossy me.

As they seated us, we were told that this was a very special day because Buffalo Bob, Howdy Doody, Mr. Bluster and the treasured Princess were all on vacation.  And that Clarabell would be running the show.

“What???”  I started screaming – we’re not going to see Howdy and Buffalo Bob?”

“No dear,” said some mean lady with big black glasses who was trying to shut me up – you’re going to see Clarabell so pay attention now!”

Clarabell walked out and asked as Bob normally did:  “What time is it?”

I did not respond with the normal “It’s Howdy Doody time,” because it wasn’t.  Instead I screamed – “It’s NOT Howdy Doody time!  It’s not.  Don’t let them trick you.”

The mean woman then tried to get us to sing the theme song – but I wouldn’t.  I was tricked and I was mad!  I actually caused a bit of a commotion so that mean lady moved my brother and I to the very back corner of the Peanut Gallery.

In all the days I watched the show – the main characters NEVER took a vacation.  I was sure I’d done something wrong and cried all the way home in the back of my dad’s car, asking “Why?  How could this happen?” And although I continued watching the show most days, my heart was no longer in it.  I focused more on “Captain Video” which was on right afterwards.

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I’ll take a dozen.  Oops!  Not so fast.

Inspired by my avid commitment to research – I decided it was time to investigate what some used to call a “naughty store.”  I’ve been contemplating this trip for awhile, and today is the day.  But as I approach the parking lot entrance I’m re-considering this up close and personal visit based on my sloppy self (après gym).

Maybe I should go home/ shower/ shave/make-up or better yet, do the investigative study next week or month.  I’m sure 2012 will also be an orgasmic year.  On the other hand – I want to be bold, brash, audacious – a woman of substance.  Yet, maybe I’d feel more comfortable if I lost 30 pounds first. 

“To hell with confidence!”   I make a right turn into their parking lot.

Head held high – I approach and open their heavy glass door, thankfully escaping a hernia – then march inside like a storm trooper – who exudes poise, assertiveness, self-love – but still I open with a joke  “Am I going to be carded?”  The store manager smiles and asks if I need help with my shopping.   She may not be able to interpret my answer through the incessant stuttering, but instinct tells her to point to the back area of the store.

My mouth automatically drops open in surprise – but my instinct tells me to close it quickly.  The west wall area contains a massive number of pulsating, quivering, perhaps throbbing possibilities in all different shapes, sizes and – colors – so many colors.  Suffering from Erectile Dysfuntion?  Forget Cialis – you don’t even have to show up.  Just send one of these massive, girth-expanding phallic prototypes to your partner then go play a round of golf.  You’re not needed.

Talk about penis envy!  Actually I won’t.  But there’s more than Dick Tracy here – they should call the store Orifice Plus!  The only missing open tissue connection so far as I can see is the ear – and that’s probably because I’m not wearing my Contacts and my glasses are in the car.

I continue my exploration – picking up devices, putting them down – sometimes very quickly.  I check the prices and then grab my wallet.  Small store robbery?  Orgasms are expensive!   I dare you to pop your cork for under $75 and you can fancy up for $150.  The smaller, cheaper devices are perhaps better suited to whisking crumbs off your shirt than sending you on a trip to the land of Anais Nin

I’m watching folks as they just mosey around – like they were shopping in freakin’ Macy’s.  Just taking their time, no embarrassing rush necessary. These tourists are younger, obviously more relaxed and comfortable in their sexual skin. I’m loving watching couples comparing the apparatus, chatting, giggling. 

And the longer I am in the store, my rapid heart beat seems to be relaxing.  I pick up a few items and bring them over to the smiling sales lady.  Without a prompt she picks each one up, demonstrates their strong points – verbally.  She makes a strong recommendation, even though it isn’t the more expensive item.  Her name is Melissa and she is really sweet.  I’m almost totally comfortable now so I offer her my credit card with my very own name.  For research purposes of course.   I’m making a few more jokes, but not out of nervousness. 

Melissa is laughing – so I’m giving her my biz card with my blog address.  “I’m writing about this tonite kiddo!”

I boldly, confidently walk out of the store with my plain, black, nameless shopping bag at my side and head straight home to Rob.  Life is good when I allow myself to be – myself!

Someone please save me – pull the remote out of my hand – or better yet, just shoot me.   Now!

After two months in our new house, I finally prepared and cooked a whole meal for Rob and myself.  Then despite my desire to jump on Facebook to connect with all my bffs – I cleaned up.   Yes.  Every pot – three – and pan – one – is now sparkling and returned to its rightful place.  Completely – no cheating.

Exhausted, I’m plopping my tush on the uncomfortable living room couch – the new one will arrive ???  – ohhh it feels good anyway.  I can reach the remote which fits perfectly in my right hand where it belongs.  I’m ready for some cool TV.  CLICK!    

There’s this man on TV meeting one beautiful woman after another – and even though they don’t know him – they appear to be begging this unknown quantity to marry them.   Clicker – transfer me to a better world.

I’m stuck in some desperate fake reality.   I can’t move.

I didn’t turn it off.  I watched the whole thing.

I’m a woman of taste – and uh – substance.  If my intention was to be “leisurely” I could have watched last week’s episodes of “Days of Our Lives” or “Law & Order:  SVU” repeats.

I look to the left, to the right.  No one is watching.  I’d like to drape a cloth on every mirror in the house now. 

How about  I just giggle at my foibles.  I love foibles!  I even love saying the word. 

FOIBLES!  FOIBLES!  FOIBLES!

Hey!  Will you marry me???

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Although consequences pervaded the lives of many in 2010, there remains an air of optimism for 2011.  Here are my top five affirmative experiences for 2010: 

  1. Said “yes” to an offer to plant myself in a Goddess Garden where I’m growing emotionally and creatively along side the most beautiful human flowers
  2.  Created & launched the “Inner Giggler” Blog which delights many including me.  The fear that no one would read it isappeared with the acknowledgement that I can’t predict responses – but I can keep sowing… 
  3. Allowing new and untested friends to love me – then taking the love in and letting it flow freely from me to them and others 
  4. Leaping off the financial “safety” plateau of the “too small” apartment and landing in a lovely house accepting the financial challenges
  5. Accepting and embracing that I am a worthy, vital, sexy, funny and loving woman – with lots more to contribute in this world…even at 66 – yeah!

Looking deeply into the mirror I ask myself:  “How can I change that feeling of fear which keeps me living small?”

LINDA – Recognize where and how the fear manifests:

Sometimes it looks like me sitting on the living room couch with the remote control in my left hand and a bag of corn tortilla chips (sometimes yellow – sometimes blue) in the right.  The race is on – which hand is fastest? 

It’s a tie.  I go from CNN to CNBC at the same rate it takes to stuff 11 chips in my face.  With this kind of excitement – who needs a bigger life?  I’m totally mesmerized by the news – like the terrible snowstorm preventing holiday travelers from reaching their destinations.  I saw one couple at LaGuardia in NYC who have spent three days trying to get to their honeymoon.  Then – OMG – unplowed streets of NYC outer boroughs resulted in unnecessary deaths when EMT units couldn’t get to patients needing immediate hospitalization.  One woman was beside herself having just watched her dad succumb to a perhaps unnecessary death.  My left hand fingers drop the remote to pick up the tissues – I am now bawling.  I need more chips to soothe myself.  Shit!  The hummus is all gone – BOO HOO!  Mommy!!!  Crap, she’s dead, just when I really need her.

Quieted down now, I realize that I am living a full life – just not my own.  I am sooo totally embarrassed.  I wonder what Rob is thinking of me.  Is my behavior pushing him toward thoughts of divorce?  I’ll teach him…

Ensuing argument thwarted.

I rush into his Man Cave and am greeted with his big beautiful smile.  He doesn’t have time to judge me because he’s too busy loving me and living his own life.  In that order.

Back in the house I realize I was so engrossed in the lives of others that I never went grocery shopping today- so I’m searching for the grocery flyers for sales – they guide my food shopping.  We need something to eat besides tuna fish.  And we’re out of hummus.  Oh it’s so dark and cold out. I don’t feel like dealing with irritated, tired shoppers at Ralph’s – just because unlike me, they were out working all day.

I’ll do better tomorrow – but it’s time for Jeopardy.  Maybe I’ll record that and watch yesterday’s episode of “Days of Our Lives.” 

Tomorrow will be a day absent of fear and filled with self-love and accomplishment.

PART THREE – TOMORROW

Here we are on the precipice of 2011.  Should I create a bunch of insincere resolutions or just look right into the mirror and ask – what’s my worth?  Who am I and what do I want? 

A home in movie star, glitzy Bel Air?

A diamond necklace?

A new sports car? 

My friend had a home in Bel Air and her husband was constantly humiliating her in public.  After five years she crawled out of there with a few remaining ounces of self-esteem –

My domestically violent boyfriend bought me a diamond necklace – well it had some diamonds on it – I didn’t even like the necklace but I wore it.  Eventually I faced the fact that he’d never stop violating me.  If you don’t feel worthy – it takes a long time to figure this out.

Dad surprised me with a sports car – a Corvair Monza convertible – when I was in college.  He enjoyed showing friends what he gave his daughter.  Read the rest of this entry »

My birthday was quickly approaching and I’d always bought myself some kind of gift.  A nice article of clothing or a modest piece of jewelry would usually be perfect but I was coming up empty.   I was unaware at this time that my IPOD had suffered a stroke and would need a replacement.    

Stopping into Bed Bath & Beyond my attention was drawn to the strangest looking menorah I’d ever seen.  Used to celebrate Hanukkah – the Festival of Lights – menorahs are generally pretty generic.  My mom always kept an electric one in the living room’s big bay window of our home  on Long Island for the eight days.  But that was a very long time ago.  Despite my desire for a more extravagant present, I deemed this as my gift, determined to celebrate the festive holiday this year. 

My husband and I don’t have a bay window here in our Westchester, CA house of only 45 days, but there are several other plain windows facing the street. We are the new neighbors.  As I was considering where I’d place the celebratory ornament tonight, a rather uncomfortable feeling came over me.  I knew there weren’t any synagogues in this new neighborhood – but I had seen several churches.  Upon mentioning the discomfort to my husband – who was born a Christian but by age 10 had completely retired from religion – he reminded me of a story I’d once shared with him:

A month before entering my junior year in high school my family moved from Queens, NY to East Meadow, Long Island.  Our immediate neighborhood was primarily Jewish – but the town was split in half with a majority of Jews or Christians living on each side. I didn’t know the 11th graders in my neighborhood were enrolled in a different school.  I was about to experience what it was like to be the minority for the first time in my life.    

Being the new kid in school was scary, but a sweet 11th grader named Connie invited me to sit with her and a bunch of her friends.   Happy to be included anywhere I immediately said “yes!” A combination of sophomores and juniors – we giggled, shared teacher/ parent/family stories as well as general girl stuff.  It was fun and I definitely looked forward to lunch. Sometime during the second week I thought I heard an anti-Jewish comment.  Surely I was mistaken.   A few weeks later I heard another – which was followed by laughter.  I was unsure how to handle this.  Gratefully, weeks went by without any prejudicial comments and then came the third remark.  Everyone laughed except me – and except Connie.  She sat stone-faced.  I sensed she knew I was Jewish but was letting me handle the situation.  Rather than deal with the discomfort and discord, I followed up on an invitation offered by some Jewish girls to join them for lunch in a different area.

Lunchtime with these girls felt immediately more comfortable.  Paranoia-free, I didn’t have to think about being “different.” However, instead of the general laughter and silliness I’d gotten used to with the other group, I noticed these girls maintained an enormous focus on everything and anything negative.  So it was okay to be a Jew – but not so great to be happy.

“The lunch room lady with the cleft palate purposely shorted me on mashed potatoes today.  What a bitch.”

“Did you see Sharon Scott standing in assembly with the ugliest dress on the face of the earth?”

“I can’t believe Cindy O’Neil stepped on my brand new loafers during chemistry and now I have a scuff.”

We were only 15 or 16; we lived in middle class “prosperity” of the early 60s – had plenty to eat, sizable roofs over our heads and clean clothes.  These particular girls had no appreciation for life and generosity. 

By the middle of the second week of “Jews only” I decided to return to the first group aka the “shiksas*” and re-engage in heavy giggling and silly conversations.   I would keep my mouth shut –  they were just making harmless comments. 

That was until the second week when one of the girls noted that the gym teacher would never pick a Jewish kid to participate in the annual sports night.  I was shocked.  Wow!  They really didn’t know about my background; I just listened.  The conversation continued pointing out the teacher’s history of anti-Semitic bias – concluding “that” was a given – no Jews allowed.  I looked toward Connie and her beautiful blue eyes were dim; her pink lips were pressed tightly, appearing very white. 

“I’m a Jew!  I’m Jewish.”  It was like a volcano of lava spewing out of my throat clearing my heart and palate.  Quiet.  No one said a word – but there appeared to be a smirk on Connie’s lips – and they had returned to their natural pink color. 

“I don’t care about Sports Night, but I didn’t know I automatically couldn’t participate.”

“Well…uh…if you want to – I’ll talk to Mrs. Jensen” streamed uncomfortably out of Carol’s mouth.”

And now, as the official Jewish sentry:  “Maybe everyone should have a talk with Mrs. Jensen and Mr. Stevens!”  (The principal)

Amidst the frenetic clanging of dishes and silverware, the table became uncomfortably quiet again.  Finally, a sophomore named Margaret turned to me:

“I’m so sorry for the insulting comments and attitude.  Thanks for putting up with the prejudice.  I’m glad you’re here.”

The silence was broken and everyone had something apologetic to add.  That was fifty years ago and I am forever grateful for the experience.  Mrs. Jensen suddenly changed her mind and included “some” Jews; and that felt so damn good. I took action that was uncomfortable and it “mattered.”  

Despite this success and others I’ve had fighting discrimination in other categories, here we are in the 21st century and I’m afraid to display a religious reference to my heritage.  What’s this Jew to do?


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