Innergiggler's Blog

Facing our own truth is usually a daunting and uncomfortable experience.  People prefer watching what they perceive as “truth” in others – i.e.  reality TV – even though there’s barely any reality in these shows.  Rather the “players” are manipulated by producers and directors for the purpose of entertainment.  Who wants to look in the mirror?  Really.  Okay, unless you’ve just lost 20 lbs.

I’m not interested in or compelled by any of the “housewives” silliness, most talk shows, make-over or celebrity’s lives behind the scenes – although I guiltily have given some time to the Kardashians.  Uninvolved, empty, lonely evenings can do that.  Watching the sisters interact often triggered  jealously within me – yes – and I became drenched with envy over their innate “sisterness”  – the self-contained sorority of blood that stays with them through eternity.  I’ve always wanted a sister – begged mom as dad hauled her big belly off to the hospital – “Please mom, please bring home a little sister for me to play with…please.”   Now a good look in that mirror.

Disappointment with the boy child ended soon after he arrived and for about 20 years.   Unfortunately sibling rivalry was accidentally encouraged by parents who knew nothing about child-rearing – so there were always “issues” between he and I.  We were taught “he” was the pretty/ or good-looking one and “I” was the smart one.  He never realized he was smart and I never felt pretty until later on in life.

The rivalry eventually re-ignited when bro married “the loving but clueless woman.”  Both she and her “ilk” would have been an enormous snooze fest of a reality show.  Father works hard to support his four-piece family, mother shops, father works harder, mother shops with more verve, father increases drug and alcohol usage, mother is lost in space between Nordstrom racks – eventually the brother body is totally ravaged by cancer dies, he passes away… and she continues shopping. 

I’ll never know why but from the beginning she disliked me – and you can see how I respectfully I viewed her.  Perhaps fortunately I was left out of their lives.  Resentment?  Yes.  Truth?  Was I the perfect sister-in-law?  No.  I did some crappy things.  The mirror is telling me I’m imperfect.

 This blog is about truth!

The truth is there are many events in my past which are eclipsing my Inner Giggler – my mission here is to unleash them with some dignity and humor and to encourage you to do the same.

Time to work on The Inner Giggler Radio Show which airs Sundays @7p pst/ 10p est.  The call in number to listen or talk is 661- 449-1449.  The computer link for listening is

http://BlogTalkRadio.com/InnerGiggler

 

 

After reading Kristine Van Raden’s “Side by Side” blog post this afternoon – I started thinking about yesterday – not like in February 11th, but yesterday as in the early 1900s when my grandparents were strongly encouraged to leave Egypt and practice their errant Jewish ways  elsewhere.  Historical papers claim religious freedom for Jews back then, yet when my cousins went on a family fact-finding mission to Cairo more than thirty years ago – the synagogues were gone and all family-related historical documents had been destroyed.

Before arriving in Cairo, my grandma Frieda’s family lived and thrived in Aleppo, Syria where for many years Jews were accepted and even extolled.  But those days ended as economic conditions in the city became dire thanks to the Industrial Revolution. 

Around that time, my grandfather, Moses (I swear) Mizrahi, his family and most other Jews were  expelled from Constantinople.  The family fled to Cairo where young Moses (please don’t think Charlton Heston here) was eventually in a “planned betrothal” to one named Frieda Mizrahi, a petite red-haired firecracker with a limp.  No one ever quite got the limp story straight, but it was always attached to her tomboy and “in your face” ways.  One rumor offered up that she had skipped school one day, and in an attempt to climb a windmill, slipped and fell. 

I was so used to her right-sided limp I never thought to ask about it.  She was always busy making vats of yogurt with cucumber, humus, stuffed eggplant and her famous baklava, so she never mentioned it.  She also never spoke about her arranged marriage – maybe because it was a given part of their tradition and besides they produced eight offspring.  Something fit right somewhere.

My grandparents had already birthed three of their eight kids when financial and religious discrimination prompted their departure to their next home in Panama around the time the Suez Canal was completed.  Grandma popped out two more offspring here before being summoned by their older brothers and sisters who were flourishing in New York.  The Mizrahi clan – five kids, two adults arrived at Ellis Island speaking Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, French – and fully prepared to learn English which they did beautifully.

Within the next year, 1920, my mom Adele, the sixth of the brood arrived.  Mom was so proud to be the first American-born Mizrahi but felt embarrassed  both by being a child of immigrants and being from the “poor” side of the family.  Her parents didn’t flourish as did grandma’s “Grazi” brothers.  Unfortunately Mom never embraced her Syrian heritage.  TMI?  See Memoir:  “How I Buried My Mom…With The Umbilical Cord Still Attached.”  I used to blame my mother’s` shame for my ignorance, but the truth is I never asked questions until it was too late.  Yesterday was too late. 

Oddly enough, even with all the discrimination and horrific stories of the holocaust, Grandma Frieda would sit by her living room window in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn every Sunday morning and watch  the people walking to church.  Smiling, she would always remark:  “See the church-going people?  It’s good they believe. ”

Kristine’s blog was filled with HOPE for the dreams of the young women of Egypt who have been kept in the background – Hope that they’d have access to education resulting in a positive impact on the policies of Egypt’s future.  I couldn’t help but wonder – had these young women been in power while my grandparents lived there – might they never have left?  Of course then Mom wouldn’t have met Dad – and there’d certainly be no me – or else me in another body.   That too is another blog

For today, I wish ALL the Egyptian youth – male and female – freedom from tyranny and restrictions.

Long live the liberty of spirit and expression.

Are you kidding?  If I had the solution I’d be so rich and famous I wouldn’t have time for blogging.  So let’s work this out:

I’ve got over 60 years of experience searching for a solution.  I used to blame it on mom for requiring I consume cottage cheese and prunes for lunch daily throughout the 1st and 2nd grades – miraculous I made it to the 3rd grade without killing someone – like my mother. 

Fortunately wisdom has accompanied aging.  I realize this is my lifetime challenge – to search for harmony between my mind and my body.  Think Linda, think! 

Previously, navigation through a weight program was often determined by what was on the Best Seller List.  There was one weight loss scheme  wayyyy back in college, where we could eat endless hamburgers and french fries – but no buns. (“Calories Don’t Count?”)  I gained nine pounds.

Then Dr. Stillman suggested I suck on a sink’s spout in the amount of 64 oz. per day, and eat nothing but protein with my protein –  honey in no time at all, pound after pound of flesh melted away.  I was gawgeous!  Apparently he was on to something, I’m still sucking on the spickets…bitching and moaning though it defintely makes a difference. 

Oh the 70s – “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution” aligned itself with the Sexual Revolution.  His plan screamed STOP! to my expanding body and converted my frame into that svelte and sexy vessel just in time for me to spin my way into disco fever.  The addition of exercise was involuntary upon hearing that blaring orgasmic beat.  “Do it baby, do it, yes, yes, yes you will, more and more! YOWWWWWWZA!”

Before I turned all the way around, my dancing days were done because I entered a relationship with Two Left Feet, Frank.  Halt on the spinning and dieting.  Pizza, chocolate and Chinese entered my mouth so fast it forced my head to snap back against the wall as I watched my waistline amplify in geometric progressions.  Agony ensued as I waited and chewed toward that moment of my physical explosion.  As I was about to POP!  a friend of a friend helped me find god and become Anonymous.  No diet – I swear!  Based on a very sound, organized system of principles, god sucked ninety pounds and the guy from my frame.  It was effortless and satisfying.  Unfortunately, with my anonymity – I also gave up some of my identity –  not a requirement here, but somehow I disappeared along with my shrinking waistline.  That was just my experience.  I began to miss myself – which brings me to today.

Now I’ve decided instead of “dueling the futile war on weight” I’m gonna accept that I’ve been kind of like the Middle East and work on a PEACE AGREEMENT!   New plan begins tomorrow.

“You looking at me?”

She moves closer to the mirror.  Shades of Travis Bickel are reflecting back.

“You looking at me?”

The answer is yes.  I’m looking at me. 

Yikes!   I could look a little healthier, happier, thinner, smaller, slimmer – not so chunky!   I could be smiling right now if my bra’s underwire wasn’t digging into my rib cage, or if the zipper on my jeans wasn’t ripping me a new belly button.  I could be more joyous but can’t feel it under these conditions.

I swore to myself this wouldn’t happen again.  I promised “me” that the gym wasn’t going to be a distant memory and that I’d never move back into Pepperidge Farm, ever.  But ya know, when the sky is blue and my life seems momentarily perfect, unbearable, painful, filled with joy – at any of those moments of emotional and mental distraction  – that calls for a cookie, candy bar, ice cream or anything that will sustain my foggabilitty! 

And absolutely no one can tap me on the shoulder and ask, “Whattcha doing cause you’re growing wider!”  Try it and you’ll never celebrate another birthday.

“I’m NOT guilty your Honor, that nosy bitch  – formerly known as hussy – was the guilty  one – she crossed the ‘weight’ line!”  No jury in this country would convict me.  Certainly not in Los Angeles.

Will I find a solution?  Tune in tomorrow!!!

Camp Mayfair – Summer, 1955

I’m eleven years old and my stupid counselors expect me to close my eyes and fall asleep at ten o’clock!  Shit!  I don’t even go to sleep at ten when I’m home.  Screw them!  When the two of them go to sleep – I’m taking over, again.

My watch says 12:00a – Kim is snoring soundly and Mindy’s face is tucked under her pillow where it belongs.  “Roberta – wake up!”

Roberta is up and tip toeing over to Sandy – Sandy wakes up Marsha – on and on – now everyone is dressed and ready –  except Carol Bender.  I march over to Carol.

“Wake up!  Get up!  Now!”

 “I just wanna sleep.   I don’t want to get in trouble.”

“Go ahead – stay here, you piss ass scardy cat.  We don’t want you anyhow!  Fine.  I’ll get her at breakfast.”

The seven of us are off on another adventure  –  a midnight stroll into Monticello where we’re gonna uhm…uh…find something exciting for eleven year olds to do.  Mostly just getting away from camp is thrilling.  No raid tonight – we’re on the move!  Whoppee!

Walking down the road of excitement in high spirits from being bad, we’re giggling and poking each other with delight.  “This is really fun!  We should do this every night.”

Let’s sing!  “Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, greenest state in the land of the free…Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild fron…uh oh!  Shit!  I see headlights – it could be the Camp Mayfair station wagon.  Quick, head for the bushes – ssshh!  We can’t get caught!  Nobody move! 

But everyone is moving and rustling the leaves.  I’m stepping in something soft and scary.  “Sandy, you’re making too much noise.  Stop whining.  Marsha, get back here or I’ll beat the shit out of you.”   I try wrapping my hands around her mouth but she’s squealing so I let go. “No, Marsha, get back here.  Crap!  She’s jumping out in front of the car, raising her hands in surrender.  

Driving back in the Camp Wagon, the silence is ear-splitting, no one dadres utter a word.  I know I’ll be forced to sleep in Mrs. Berman’s room once again for two nights of punishment.  Just the thought of the camp owner’s snores shaking the bedroom walls makes me sick.   And I’m stuck next to her in the bed – all night long.

The next morning I let Sandy and Marsha have it.  “You need to be stronger!  I don’t want to be disappointed again!  And Carol – make sure she doesn’t get her breakfast muffin.  Someone drop it on the floor.” 

CUT TO:  January 26, 2011

I wasn’t allowed back to Camp Mayfair the next summer.  I blamed it on my brother who was always fighting with older boys.  I blamed it on Mrs. Berman – and Carol – and Sandy – and,  and, and…

Years later when I really looked in the mirror, I saw a sad, frightened little eleven year old who took charge at camp because she was powerless at home.  A little girl who mimicked her dad.  When we look at bullies – let’s look at mom and dad too!

Apologies to Carol, Sandy, Marsha, the rest of my bunkmates, the counselors Kim and Mindy and Mrs. Berman who was about 90 in 1955.  Most of all, apologies to myself for being less than I could be.

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.

Saturday’s shooting event in Tucson was horrifying for the country and the world.

It was particularly catastrophic for Mavy Stoddard whose husband was killed by the shooter.

When the shots began unloading and spraying, DORWIN STODDARD jumped in front of his wife and threw her down on the ground .  He simultaneously took that bullet aimed toward her, falling on her body, dead within ten minutes.  She didn’t even realize that three shots were fired into her leg because her husband’s falling on her was too disarming. 

When people ask: “Who would you take a bullet for?”  Think carefully – you may not have time to make a decision.  DORWIN STODDARD didn’t take time to think about it – he just acted.

DORWIN STODDARD IS MY HERO!  People talk; he acted.

I’ve read that the Stoddards were childhood sweethearts re-united in their 60’s after their respective  spouses were gone. 

My husband will be home from work in about an hour.  I have a question for him.  To be continued!

I was looking forward to putting up my next InnerGiggler™ Blog – the focus:  making fun of the deities of the medical profession.  Being silly and hopefully funny is the way I rock – but somehow, since Saturday’s senseless shooting nightmare, my one-liners are too thin, empty, falling flat on my heart – in my chest – in my gut.

Right now there’s a pervasive emptiness clouding the joy most of us look forward to as often as possible.  It’s not the first catastrophe to hit us in the nuts – and it won’t be the last.  Unfortunately, that’s part of the history of the world.  But it never gets easier. 

How can we fix this?  There’s this reality that when we close up one hole another one opens.   Deducting millions from local health care and its facilities leaves an enormous hole in the mental health system.  Of course BULLETS and GUNS being sanctioned to fight wars can’t possibly send a good message to our youngsters.  Even the stable ones.

I dream of the day when killing anyone, anywhere  – is a shocking act.  I only hope this behavior is absent in my next life – cause I don’t see it happening on earth, any time soon.

I’m just saying…

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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