What I Learned About Women From Vintage Advertising

If you drive a Maserati, a pretty woman would like nothing more than to hold your shaft and give you...a driving lesson.

See the one that's winking at you? She's winking because she's gonna give you the herps and then use that pistol to steal your wallet. Be warned fellas, girls with spiders in their lady business wink a lot.

I'm not exactly sure what they are selling here. Plate collecting? Mousse? Fear of brazilian waxing? Retro-crotch? Merkins?

Santa is a perv and perhaps a stocking fetishist.

InsetDo you want to know that this guy is thinking about how to get more innovative with crotchless panties? Frederick's of Hollywood was wise to drop Mr. Frederick from their ad copy. Looks too much like a FBI Wanted Poster picture.

This is what happens to cougars?

The ad copy reads

"...After one look at his Mr. Leggs slacks, she was ready to have him walk all over her...If you'd like your own doll to doll carpeting, hunt up a pair of these He-Man Mr. Leggs slacks."

This ad tells me that if you have fancy pants it's ok to stand on a pretty lady's head.

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This Should be Fun, or Humiliating or at Least a Book Review

One of my clients has a son the same age as mine so we trade stories and notes and suggestions. A few weeks ago she told me that her and her husband had embarked on the detailed where babies come from discussion. I immediately started thinking that perhaps my husband and I were behind the ball on this one. I asked how it went.

"Oh, not good", she told me, "not at all good."

Apparently this gentle parent-child conversation about the miracles of life had ended with her nine year old son in tears, yep, crying, big, wet, messy nine year old boy tears saying something along the lines of "Daddy does that to you ?" in disbelief and confusion.

So, needless to say, I am a wee bit gun shy about telling my son that yes, Daddy gives me a back rub and begs until I let him put his pizza* in my oven(and sometimes my microwave) and then we watch another episode of Six Feet Under until we fall asleep.

Then I remembered one of my all time favorite books, discovered at my cousin's house so many years ago.

Does this ring a bell for any of you??
This is the book that explains an orgasm to kids, so, uh, reading this with my nine year old should be a lot of fun for everyone.

It feels like a sneeze but much better, and if Daddy's feeling generous, you might get four or five"sneezes".
My husband and I do not look like that. He has hair on his head and I wax. Oh and for accuracy kids, Daddy's way too tall to have sex in the bathtub. We actually look a lot more like this.
Nothing screams intimacy and tenderness like bubble wrap thigh highs on a man.

Unless you're Daddy.

I ordered the puberty version. I figured I'd give Where Did I Come from a chance to sink in before springing puberty on him.

Can't wait to hear what he tells his friends.

*I actually told the bebe that Daddy has a pizza rather than a penis since she is all about the tmi right now. I figured this would avoid an embarrassing mishap at places like the grocery store and bank. Now if she tells the teller that I was eating Daddy's pizza, the teller will just think my husband likes to cook traditional southern Italian food. When she's older, I will tell her the truth, that that is where jewelry comes from.

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Image Entendre

My nine year old just recently began to clamor for use of the computer for looking up things for school. Because neither Gene nor myself have Safesearch, this usually entails searching for him with the monitor hidden from his view until we can confirm there isn't some manner of inappropriateness lurking for his tender eyes. Lest you think I am being over-cautious, let's just remember that Google search algorithms don't always give you what you're after.

Potentially Innocuous but Dangerous Google Image Searches
apple pie...very good
cherry pie...not so good

melons...not fine

tea bag...very bad

babe-very bad

girl taco...not at all ok

two girls and a pup....awwwww
two girls and a cup...ick

groomed cat...okay
shaved kitty...definitely not okay

spanking...not good

X-mas...surprisingly not ok

tickle...not ok
wrestle...still not ok
canoodle...again not ok
lallygag...surprisingly ok
lollipop...mostly ok
sucker...very bad

snake in its natural habitat...still fine
grass snake...fine
snake in the grass...disappointingly fine

ned flanders...fine
ned flanders porn...predictably not okay and a little creepy

tattle tale...ok
bad girl...very bad

salami...surprisingly still fine
wiener...not at all good

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Sunday Holmes

Ode to Mike Holmes(the Canadian professional contractor not the ice hockey player)Oh Mike, you brawny, blonde, chiseled charmer, you Adonis of abodes, you domicile dreamboat. In my fantasy, you walk through my front door in your coveralls and steel-toed boots. You look around and then pull me into your arms and tell me it's all going to be okay. Then you go to town......noticing the way the crown molding ends abruptly without the correct finishing pieces. I show you how big chunks of the bathroom tile was never grouted properly. You use words like vapor barrier, code, standards, shoddy and I think I am going to explode on the spot from the size of...the job. Then you tell me it's going to be alright, you are going to fix everything. Then you pull out your big tool......belt, and you get started. You rip out stuff and then you put it back right. You finish things the way a girl ought to have things finished.


My husband and I bought our house from people who had made lovely cosmetic upgrades but either did much of the work themselves or used substandard contractors because corners were cut. Gene and I watch Holmes on Homes whenever we can and can I just say, he is everything that is right about Canada. He is a craftsman of the highest order. This morning while we watched the show, I cautiously told my husband that I was developing "feelings" for Mike Holmes.

Me: I think I have a crush on him, is that ok?

Gene: Honey, even I have a crush on Mike Holmes, it's okay.

So Mike, if a google alert makes it's way to your inbox and you read this, my husband and I decided that if you were to ever make me an indecent proposal, I could heartily accept. We don't even need the million dollars, but I can accept only on the condition that you give our house a good once over.

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I Fell Asleep Beneath the Flowers For a Couple of Hours On a Beautiful Day

I am an extroverted introvert who has always enjoyed the space inside my head. I have frequently said I could be relatively content in prison given time to myself, books and maybe a sundry of art supplies. Oh, and freedom from random shiv shanking. My husband has told me more than once that this ability to withstand confinement coupled with the fact that I watch so much Forensic Files scares him a little. Just don't do anything bad I tell him, and you don't have anything to worry about. Sure, I'd miss the outside world but my imagination would make a fine companion for ten to life.

I grew up an only child and an avid daydreamer. Stacks of books took me far past the borders of the city where I grew up. Books gave me the pieces to build upon. When I was young, most of my daydreams took on different forms of wish fulfillment. I was a jet-set fashion designer, a symphony conductor, a foreign double agent and even a ballerina, never mind I'm only five foot tall. I was Karen Von Blixen on a coffee plantation in Kenya, going on safaris, learning to use a gun. I was the muse Kira from Xanadu skating figure eights in my basement, the soundtrack booming from my giant 1980s boombox. I was Laura Ingalls Wilder, Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins, Francie struggling for a better life in Brooklyn.

Many of my reveries wreaked of the dramatic. I was never very graceful but I can sing so many of my fantasies were my own little musicals, put on in my bedroom for no one else but me, and maybe a reliably unimpressed house cat. Think one part theater, one part the Judy Miller Show. Put on the soundtrack to Evita and I was Eva atop a balcony addressing the little people. I think I wore clear through my vinyl copy of the Grease soundtrack. I would tease my hair, put on slutty clothes pilfered from my moms closet, slip on my red Candies and stand in front of my mirror with one of my mom's unlit Winston lights dangling from my lips. Tell me about it stud. True to girly-girl form, every daydream had an accompanying outfit.

Once in awhile, someone else was let into this usually personal reverie. Ask my cousin about the impromptu operas I performed for her. Scarves tied to our heads babushka style, I'd sing/talk about being taken from our parents in Russia(no we're not Russian) and being forced to be slaves of a prince, or labourers in a work camp. I'd see the expression on her face at first was one of skepticism and mild embarrassment but it quickly turned in to full scale buy-in as she tightened her babushka and lamented with me about the mother country. I think my mom might have made me watch Doctor Zhivago one too many times. Even as we got older and the “operas” stopped, she'd still call me a couple of times a week at bedtime and make me sing to her over the telephone until she fell asleep. I guess that could be considered a delayed standing ovation.

Now that I'm older with a husband, three kids, two cats, one dog, a mortgage, a small business and more, many of my daydreams have been replaced by anxiety dreams. Daydreaming as a child was probably the result of plenty of time on my hands and an active imagination. My adult anxiety thoughts are no doubt the result of not enough time on my hands and that same active imagination. Now I worry less about the monsters under my bed and more about the dust mites. Did I leave the wax warmer on when I left the spa? Is it burning down at this moment, the fire trucks littering the street to hose down the inferno. A florist five businesses down got held up at gunpoint a year ago. I wonder what if they had hit my spa and found me and my massage therapist instead of a doughy, overweight gay bear peddling petals? Are my children getting enough DHA, Omega 3s? I hope that toy the bebe is chewing on doesn't have lead in it, damn the grandparents and their Big Lots, Chinese imported, lead ridden, foot gouging, room cluttering, car littering crap.

Thanks to 9/11, the fact that our house is in a relatively busy airport pattern, and probably too many Donnie Darko/Weeds viewings, I have visions of planes careening through our roof. I worry about my husband being hit and smushed accordion style in the crazy L.A. rush hour traffic. I follow a truck with steel pipes battened in and I ponder decapitation by steel pipe before switching lanes. I think about people breaking into my house and taking my children, Darfur, unequal education opportunities, poverty, peacekeeping, climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem losses, oceanic dead zones, child sex rings and world hunger. Don't get me wrong, I don't obsess and I'm not at the point where my anxiety requires medication, well more medication. It's just that I have so much now that I have so much to lose. The dangers of the real world are so much scarier than the stuff that worried me as a kid.

Now my wish fulfillment daydreams are saved for my frequent bouts of insomnia. As my husband lay next to me, still save for his rhythmic breathing, and the kids are safely tucked into their beds, and the dog lays on her cushion in the corner of our room and the cats are curled up on any one of the beds of my children, this is when I feel calm enough to dream bigger. I'm not Sandi or Francie or Ludmila anymore but I do see myself doing the things I hope one day I will. I see myself travelling around the world with my husband. I see a time in the future where I have some time to myself again, time to read, to draw, to meander through a day with nothing to do. I see my children grown and healthy, happy living their own lives, being their own people. I see myself holding my grandchildren, released from the responsibility of raising them right, free to spoil them relentlessly to my children's chagrin. I see myself a few years from now, walking up to a podium at a small bookstore to give a reading. I see my husband and I, hitting each milestone in our life together, our relationship morphing to fit the changes in our lives. I see myself calmer, mellowed with age, wizened with experience, though I'm pretty sure I will always avoid those giant steel pipe carrying trucks.

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Madmen Indeed

"Lollipops Bubble Duds, Mother-Daughter Favorites" -because there is nothing daughters like better than to wear the same underwear as their mom. I don't know about you but swinging with my mom in our undies is one of the special times I remember most.

The message of this ad is pretty clear to me. Boys in bubbles love biscuits. Now try saying that quick five times.

Ok, this one is for the married ladies. If perchance you still wore stockings, or substitute something else more modernly worn, would your husband ever look at you the way her husband is, with disdain over your run. He's eyeing her suspiciously like her shabby stockings are an indication of her inclination toward communism. The best I can get my husband to notice is if I have gone from blonde to brunette or actually have a boob hanging out.
Ahh, the good old days.

Ladies, are you ready for the gun show?? Meow.

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If I Knew You Were Gay I'd A Baked A Cake

Click here for newest post on the Birds and the Bees FormerlyFun style


My daughter Clare just turned six. We asked her what she wanted for her birthday.

Me and Husband: So what do you want for your birthday?

Clare: Uh, uh....... Louie.(Our fat grey cat)

Me: You want another cat?

Clare: Uh-huh.

Me: No more animals, mommy can't take it.

Clare: No, a stuffed Louie.

Husband: You want us to stuff Louie? Ok, hold on let me go get him.

Clare: Noooooo! I want a stuffed animal that looks like Louie.

Me: Okay, well that's more reasonable. What else.

Clare: You know what I like, rainbows, kitties, fairies, cupcakes.....(at this point she enters her "happy place" in her head for a few minutes no doubt imagining this place that has rainbows and kittycats and fairies and cupcakes.) We wait for her when she does this. It happens. A lot.

(5 minutes later she's back)

Me: I can't really get you a rainbow and we have reached our houses 1700 square feet fairy maximum, how about something a bit more tangible.

So she tests the waters.

Clare: Well, uh, you could get me a Bratz doll?

Me: No, because Mommy doesn't want you to be a whore. (I think I said this in my head)
You know how I feel about Bratz dolls, if you still want one when you graduate college, I'll buy you one then.

Clare: Fine, markers.

Me: Good, that's something I can work with.

Clare: I mean lotsa markers, a lot, of you know, markers.

Me: I think I can make that happen.

So I try to find a stuffed cat that resembles our pet Lou who is dark grey. Funny enough there are lots of white cats with pink noses and blue eyes but dark grey in the toy market is almost nonexistent.

I manage to find a grey Webkinz cat on Ebay and low ball on three of them hoping I'll get one.

Guess what? Clare got triplets by accident and if I would have known in advance the reaction, I would have done it on purpose because each subsequent cat after the first elicited more squealing until the glass in our kitchen cabinets just shattered.

Getting her a rainbow was more difficult, none on Ebay to speak of. So I thought and thought and finally came up with this.Yes, I am a golden god of cakery. It's got real fruit(raspberries, blood orange, lemon, lime, blueberries, blackberries) and real frosting made with butter(mmmmmm) and about 4 pounds of powdered sugar(mmmmm, diabetes). She was served what she thought was a big white blah cake, but when I cut the first piece for her, rather than more squeals, there was just a hush.

Mom, this is the best cake ever. Even the adults were blown away by the sheer novelty. And it wasn't that hard.

So if you are coming out and you want to mark the occasion with the right amount of festiveness. Or you want a non-confrontational, foodie way to tell your gay teenager, mom and dad are cool with it, this is the cake.


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Formerly Fun Facts

I have an unhealthy obsession with green sweaters and printed cardigans.

My hands are so small they have been referred to as "paws" by more than one man, as in, "look, your hand look like little cubby bear paws, awwww."

I have an awesome sense of smell which is great for cooking but sometimes detrimental in my line of work.

I have only been in love once, and I married him.

I love cats but after having spent the last year and a half with our dog Lucy, I realize I am not really a dog person.

I am fond of adopting completely odd personas in public and will sometime use foreign accents to enhance my enjoyment of the facade.

I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone.

My husband is the nicest person I know.

Having someone to do arty stuff with is one of my favorite things about having kids.

I am anal retentively clean but inordinately lazy so my house always looks just ok.

I make my kids do a lot of chores, my mother in law thinks I am preparing them for the foreign legion.

I like porn but don't watch it because I think it subjugates women. Maybe I'll just watch more male gay porn as I think I would feel less guilty about that.

I wish I would have traveled for a year or two after college before getting a real job.

I could go to prison and as long as I had a some things to write and draw with, a camera, Photoshop, food and stuff, I would be ok for a really long time. In fact, somedays, I fantasize about this a little.

I think corporations are inherently evil and responsible for many of the things I think are wrong with the world.

Monsanto is the devil.

Some of the best students I knew in highschool were among the worst cheaters. I hope it was the pressure that made them do it but I still think it's skeevy and I think about how to make sure my kids don't become those kids.

I want to try stand up comedy but I am terrified of it.

The system is broken.

I am amazingly optimistic and inherently cynical, sometimes I wish there was a medication for that.
Postscript: For HereinFranklin, here is my latest printed cardigan, and you'll see it's free of appliques or Christmas trees:)

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