If you're dying for me to express my opinion on any topic, email me. Or, if you have something you'd like to say, perhaps I'll set up a "Guest Vanity Spot."


Welcome to My
vanity.gif (4499 bytes)

If you're familiar with the vanity cards, you can bypass this explanation and jump right to my own personal monologues and diatribes. If you're not familiar with the concept, read on.

At the very end of most television shows, the production company is allotted a few seconds to flash its name and logo onscreen (e.g., David Letterman's Worldwide Pants logo).

Chuck Lorre, the creator of the The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and the old Dharma and Gregg show, uses a unique, changing "signature" for the close of each week's episode: If you videotaped the close and hit the pause button on your VCR, you'd have seen a paragraph in Chuck's own words, expressing his personal beliefs.

Knowing I'm never going to have my own hit series or my own production company, I figure why not spread a little vanity around my website? Okay, it's our website. But, as with my kids, for the moment I'm the one who's feeding it and cleaning up after it, so until it turns 18 and starts taking care of itself, I am in control.

Choose to view my vanity cards, or not…which, by the way, fortunately don't have to be prepared each week, because I can just do them when I feel like it.

Vanity Listing

February 6, 2010

I, for one, am totally enjoying Facebook and some of my new best friends of old that I never knew.  We come from all walks of life...all different high school cliques.  And we talk a lot about how much we wish we knew each back in the day.  Of course, most of us probably aren't quite the same person we were back then because, well, life's experiences change things.  I've always done better at writing (or talking on the phone more incognito-ish).  Here's hoping they like me, and I like them, as much in person (at the reunion) as we do in text.  If not, I'm going to be really disappointed and just a little bit pissed. ;-) 

P.S.  Love the ;-) emoticon.  You can say just about anything you want when you end with a ;-)  It's a beautiful thing.

November 21, 2005

The reunion is just days away, and admittedly attendance figures are disappointing.  Thanksgiving weekend might have been a bit of a novelty last time, so more came.  Parents and Morgantown connections may have passed on (or away) since then. Or family commitments are elsewhere. Pocketbooks are a bit emptier lately. (Does anyone still call them pocketbooks?)  Maybe more are coming, but just didn't have time to pre-register.  More want to come, but think they can't because they didn't pre-register.  Or, in the case of one curmudgeon, the request to just be left alone.  (That's not fair.  I shouldn't call them a curmudgeon since I don't know their motives.) 

In my case, I'm just going Friday this time because I just couldn't justify the time away from family.  And can be a cheapskate.  I think I might regret it.  Even though the list of attendees doesn't include most of my old friends, it's amazing how friendly I became with people I didn't talk to back in high school.  They're not the scary or snotty or rude people I thought they were.  ...Oh, okay.  There's probably an exception or two to that statement.  ...But I'm sure someone out there thinks the same of me, so we're all in good company, I guess. 

Hope you'll change your mind and come...or hope to see you there for at least part of it...or hope to see you next time.

Okay, well this was just so not funny I'm going for chocolate now.  ...Even though I only have five days to lose 55 pounds.

June 16, 2005

It's a wonder, with the way I'm feeling these days, that I'd even want to consider going to a reunion.  I had a pathetic, albeit humorous, exchange of emails with a friend today on the trials and travails of getting older.  I broke a tooth and am getting a crown. She was recovering from a root canal.  She had to go on high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol medications. (I'm merely on anti-depressants, thyroid medication, pills for ulcers and getting monthly allergy shots.  We're both in varying phases of menopause (The guys are all hitting the back button now.), while reliving the not-so-glorious part of pregnancies past:  toting around huge bellies.  There's nothing more depressing than realizing your belly now sticks out further than your once proud 38Cs...who now hang their heads in shame.) 

Hot flashes are even hotter when you're wearing a suit jacket 365 days a year--to hide the turkey wattle arms. The gray hair now has to be dyed every 4-6 weeks instead of every 6-8 weeks.  And God is getting back at me for calling Mrs. Sisler "old jelly legs."

My point to being so open and honest?  I certainly hope no one's thinking of not coming to the reunion because of things like the above.  Undoubtedly there will be a few people there who came from a great gene pool...and still look great in jeans, and at the pool.  Undoubtedly there will also be young members of the second wives club there. (And, unfortunately, few, if any, second husbands from the Demi Moore-Ashton Kutcher Association.)

Forget about that minority. Come join the balding, sagging majority of us, whose fat asses have created our own distinct and personal line of middle-aged thongs.  If I'm wrong, and you come and end up being miserable, I'm sure one of us can loan you an anti-depressant.


September 22, 2000
November 3, 2000
November 9, 2000
January 2, 2001
February 4, 2001
October 14, 2001

September 22, 2000

In case you don't remember--I'm sure--I was "Shyest" in our class (though apparently not quite as shy as George Cyphert, who didn't even show up for our school paper photo-opportunity. I'm not sure what came over me that day that I showed up. I hate anybody and anything who isn't kind to me, so I typically avoid scales and cameras.) Since graduating though, I've had quite a few people tell me that (vs. shy) they thought I was a snob in high school. I cannot figure out how anyone can mistake "shyness" for "arrogance." Pay attention now:

  • Arrogant: Head held high; nose in air.
  • Shy: Eyes and nose directed pointedly towards the ground, making eye contact only with the cracks in the floor.
  • Arrogant: Haughty tone to voice; often loud to draw attention to oneself.
  • Shy: No tone to voice; so low you're not sure if the person has actually said something, or if there is a draft coming from somewhere.
  • Arrogant: Acid, biting tongue.
  • Shy: Okay, those who really knew me know sarcasm is my middle name, but most everyone else, I'm sure, would figure my tongue would fail the litmus test.

The moral: Not everyone was what you thought in high school. Give everyone a chance at the reunion. (Of course, I think we all know who was, is, and always will be exactly what we thought they were in high school. But…my acidity lips are sealed as to whom we might be thinking about.)

Back to Vanity Listing

November 3, 2000

I'm sitting in my cold, dingy basement (It's too late and I'm in too nasty of a mood to refer to it as our "gameroom" or "my office" in some attempt to impress you.) putzing around, trying to get a bunch of backlogged info on this site, thinking to myself, "Are you nuts?  You didn't even like high school.  Why are you doing this to yourself?" 

Tell me you do this kind of "talking to yourself, too.   Or maybe I am nuts.  Or maybe it's a female thing.  Or a Catholic thing.   Anal retentive.  Obsessive compulsive.  Take your pick.

So when I start pondering like this, I can't stop my brain (which means I'm not going to get any sleep tonight).  So I'm pondering, "I wonder how many people that are coming to the reunion are coming back:

  • to re-live past glory days.
  • to prove to others how much "better" they are than when they were in high school ("Now I'm a rich nerd!"; "I've gone from six-hundred pounds to sexy in 25 short years.")
  • to deal with some lifelong "haunting" (an unresolved relationship; an apology not expressed).
  • to revel in the downfall of others (see who's gotten fat, bald, gray)

Oh, yeah.  I guess some could just be coming because they think the events are fun and there's no devilish undercurrent at all.  That thought is so nice and noble....but not nearly as interesting.

And then why are there people who don't come?  My husband says he didn't like anyone then so why would he want to see them now.  My response:  I won't say I didn't like you then.  I didn't know a lot of you then.   (Although I'm amazed at how many I did looking at emails.  Of course I probably know who you are and you're sitting there thinking, "Well I didn't know you.   And yes, you are nuts.")

I wasn't real wild with the 10th reunion--people still seemed to be into that "making an impression" thing and hanging in the usual cliques.  I thoroughly enjoyed the 20th.  I talked to people I'd have never dreamed of in high school, and had a great time.  So for that, I'm really looking forward to the 25th.  I guess that's why I'm sitting in this cold, dingy "gameroom".....

Back to Vanity Listing

November 9, 2000

How many of you are deja-vu-ing your adolescence through your kids?  Sometimes when my daughter comes home with a particular worry or woe, it hits so painfully home.  I was relating a gym class horror story to a co-worker, Gina, and she told me how much she hated gym.  One year she was the lone lower classman and everyone delighted in pelting her with the volleyball.  She said she still cringes in fear when she goes to any picnics with volleyball nets.  I never did manage a cartwheel and at least one daughter has inherited this gene.  Watching her struggle in jazz class conjured visions of Mrs. Sisler trying to force my body and others' to do things they were never intended to.  I assured Gina volleyballs will come back to haunt her when she has kids.

My other daughter (yes, she's really mine) has mastered the feat of cartwheels, and excels in other gymnastic endeavors.  On one hand, I think "there's cheerleader potential here," but I've decided there's a secret society of cheerleading here in Bethel Park.  I never see anything about when or where to sign up, but all of a sudden there are these little children of ex-cheerleaders showing up in their coveted pleated skirts.

I suppose I should investigate it more...but then I think I'd end up dealing with a whole lot of "growing up" issues that I just couldn't relate to (particularly when I read some of the more popular crowd's memories).   Maybe this is all part of God's plan--cheerleaders raise cheerleaders, sports heroes breed more sports heroes, the musically- inclined raise more musically-inclined.  

My daughter is just thrilled at the prospect that she'll be a quiet, introspective, creative and sensitive (so I've been told) late bloomer.  I keep trying to assure her that in the end she'll find she's made some really strong friendships and developed a great personality and fine sense of humor.  Great personality?  The kiss of death at that age.  And she's not buying it any more than I did at the time.

Back to Vanity Listing

January 2, 2001

I knew this would happen.  Such great plans to write immediately after the reunion with all my many observations,  thoughts and reactions. "Immediacy" was key, particularly with this increasingly forgetful stage of life most of us are going through.  (I'm assured by 20/20 that it's it's a "normal" for us forty-somethings. And as we all know, they don't lie.)  As in, a typical conversation between me and my husband of late is:

Adoring Spouse:  What were you saying?

Me:  Was I saying something?

Adoring Spouse: I think so.

Me:  Was it important?

Jim:  I don't remember.

But I didn't get to capture my immediate thoughts; I quickly donned my Santa suit and got swept up in role #463 of the working mom.  I promise more stories as they pop into my head, but some quick notes for those dying to know:

Some Things Never Change: 

  • There were some people who looked like they put on "grown up" clothes but otherwise had stepped right out of the yearbook.  No age spots, no varicose veins, minimal wrinkles.  These would be the people we hate , I mean, envy...er... admire.  In the gene pool of life, they got there's from Lee or Levis (timeless classics) while I think I got mine from Dickies.  Who?  Nancy Lorince, Joy Van Eck, Rachel Neal, Doug Bowers, Dennis Maust, Kim Hindman, Mary McEwen, Mark Stephens, Ralph Scumaci quickly come to mind.  There were others, too, but as I said, the mind is going.
  • For the most part, the "life of the party" types were still that; wallflowers were their same reserved selves.  Victoria Cather and Andy Ice had all of their cheerleading squad energy and enthusiasm; the Friday night band never missed a beat (I'm assuming they were just as good as in '75; remember while they were in the clubs getting high on coke, I was at Giovanni's drowning in my fountain coke.  Note:  I know they weren't really getting high...on coke (and is that how you spell that kind?)...but it makes for such good, contrasting imagery. And speaking of...I sure had a hard time envisioning the Mark McIntrye I knew in grade school ever wearing reindeer antlers and a grass skirt (you'll have to check out that picture).

Some Things Do Change:

For Better...

  • Some people look way better than high school and/or act much nicer--I can't name names because then they'd know what I thought of them in high school.
  • It sure is nice to not care what other people think about you...for the most part.

And for Worse...

  • Hair gets grayer and thinner (unless you're female, in which case every color on the L'Oreal palette could be spotted...because we deserve the very best.)
  • Things that used to point due west have headed south.   Or, as a male friend pointed out, things that should head north are lucky to make it southwest...proving the fact that as you get older, you know where you want to go, but you just can't get there anymore.
  • The music gets much louder in your old age (or maybe it was turned up so loudly to ensure those of us losing our hearing could hear it).  Anyway, there were several comments that sounded a lot like our dads--"They call this music?", "Turn it down so I can hear what people are trying to say!"

Okay, well that's not a bad list for a start.  As Arnold Schwartznegger (I know that's spelled wrong, but...) said, "I'll be back."

February 4, 2001

I'm back...but not with reunion stories (sorry..a distant memory already and I have a beef to get off my chest.)  My daughter was telling me about a friend who's being picked on by a bully.  (Thankfully none of my kids have had to deal with that personally yet.)  I gave her all "the usual" responses:

  • "She should make sure she doesn't show that it's bothering her.  If you hold your head high and don't look intimidated, they'll leave you alone because they're getting no response."
  • "Well, you know bullies are just people who are insecure themselves and they try to feel better about themselves by picking on someone else."

Those are the types of things that are easy to say when you're older and wiser...and when it's not your kid.  But of course I got to pondering on the topic (which always leads to an "on paper vent").  I wondered if bullies ever get over it or if they just remain bullies their whole lives.   I wondered if they ever feel bad about what they do.  Those being bullied never forget.  Twenty-five years later you can still wince. 

My husband had an instance or two of being picked on.   There's really only one instance of my own that sticks in my head.  Maybe I'd better make that one "repeated instance" that sticks in my head;  I'm sure there was the occasional dog bark from a stranger when I was walking down the street.   (Too bad that "Who Let the Dogs Out" song wasn't popular back in the 70s.   I might have thought I was being complimented instead.)

I remember this guy...jerk...(not in our class so don't try to guess) who used to bellow my name out like a fog horn when he saw me in the halls.   When I'd see him coming I'd try to slink down and merge into the nearest crowd of people so he wouldn't see me.  It was terrible to feel so helpless and petrified.   To this day, I wonder how it made Mr. Jerk feel.  Does he still behave this way?  Does he even remember wrecking a year of someone's life, and how many others' lives did he do the same to?  (Oh, wait. It's 25+ years later so I guess it's a bit longer than a year.  But now don't think I'm a fruitcake and have been sitting here for 25+ years wringing my hands and losing sleep over this.  I only wince when I hear a fog horn...which isn't that often in Pittsburgh.)

Everyday I lecture my kids with a good old "Treat others the way you want to be treated."  What do the parents of bullies lecture their kids about?  "Treat others like crap?"  I suppose bullies would say I'm too thin-skinned. (Oh, I wish...any adjective with "thin" in it I'll take.  Although combine "thin-skinned" with "big-boned" and it's a pretty scary sight.)

God says not to judge others; leave that to Him.  And of course did I ever stick up for anyone else being bullied?  No.  I was just fine letting someone else be the lightning rod.  So who am I to judge?   Well, off to tweak that lecture:  "Treat others the way you want to be treated...and if you see others who aren't being treated that way, go to their defense." 

October 14, 2001

I'm finally getting read to upload this web with pictures...feeling quite guilty about letting people down.  Of course, since last year though, I've lost a wonderful father-in-law to cancer, lost many co-workers to several lay-offs, seen my country bombed and thousands killed and now endure biological terrorism.  I guess in the grand scheme of life we should just be thankful we're alive to have the memories...pictures or not.

PH03099I.JPG (45173 bytes)

If you're vain...does that make you an ass?