New Client Service Direction (and a cat story)

For all you cat lovers out there, here is a picture of our middle child, J.J.

He loves hanging out on my daughter’s former doll bed. J.J. almost died this year from a partial urinary blockage and acute kidney failure. I am pleased to say he’s completely recovered and is better than ever! The vet is doing better than ever too. She finally has the money she needs for that vacation home in Charlevoix. Bottom line: Make sure your cats drink plenty of water, give them wet food occasionally, and request a prescription for cat food that promotes urinary health. This is most important in male cats, under age 10. In our case we found that the cats didn’t like drinking out of a metal bowl. Now that we’ve placed 2 ceramic bowls in different locations, they are drinking A LOT more.

Now, the New Direction in Client Service

Those of you that know me, are aware of my desire to write a book about client service. Until 2015, I was in the industry, and through my experiences I felt I had a story to tell. The problem is that I have fatigue issues, and something about sitting at a computer triggers my symptoms. That, and the text book like draft I was working on, was boring as hell.

Most of my followers, all 2 of you (kidding, it’s a little more) like me for my cats. They have quite the personality. One of them recently took a small stuffed animal from my son’s nightstand. He was wondering where it went. Well, it showed up outside my daughter’s room, undoubtedly as a gift. Meaning, those a-holes took my son’s stuffed animal and gave it to his sister. They like her better and there’s nothing he can do about it.

There, I got my cat story out of the way.

I have been keeping a diary of my client service experiences. I am wondering if this is a better format for a book. Instead of telling people how to do their job, let them discover how to through real life examples. So here, is a first peak into my diary. You won’t find sex and drugs, but you will figure out how much of a demanding bitch I am.

If you think it’s good, bad, or you rather I stick to cats feel free to leave a comment. Just don’t ignore me completely because that drives me nuts!!

Dear Diary,

It’s been a couple months now, but I have to tell you about my experience at La Pita. It’s a large, nicely decorated middle-eastern restaurant about 30 minutes from my house. Overall, I’ve had great experiences there. The food quality is great and the wait staff is attentive. I always get their lunch portion of chicken shawarma and have never had an issue substituting soup for salad or asking for double-rice instead of humus and rice. Hey, the menu didn’t say “no substitutions” and I took advantage of that.

My newly permitted sixteen-year-old daughter somehow got us there. I only screamed once, so it was a successful drive. There, we met my friend Jo-Set and her seventeen-year old daughter, Erin.  They live close to the restaurant and often order carry-out. My husband also works nearby and often takes business associates visiting the Detroit area here to dine. Our business is important to them, whether they know it or not.

I didn’t like our waitress right away. She seemed irritated by our substitutions, which I’ve never experienced there before. She didn’t say no to anything, but I got the vibe she thought we were high maintenance. My friend and I ordered with a smile and said please and thank you. It wasn’t like we were a couple of demanding bitches, so the attitude struck me as odd but I ignored it and went about our evening.

When the meal came, I noticed that my daughter’s double rice looked smaller than my son’s single side of rice. I was told it was the shape of how it was served, which I knew wasn’t right but I didn’t feel like arguing. Later, I realized my son and daughter’s meals had been switched, which is why her rice portion was smaller than his. Our waitress should have figured that out.

One of my favorite parts of the meal is the garlic sauce, called Toum by legit Lebanese people. The chicken just doesn’t taste as good without it. My friend’s daughter asked for a side of it also, since her meal (lamb) came with a different sauce. She orders carry-out all the time, and her meal always comes with garlic sauce for no additional charge.

When our meals first arrived, I noticed my sauce was missing entirely. And, when I asked for it to be brought out, the small cup was only filled half-way.  I didn’t realize I needed to point that out, because I never thought there would be an issue if I needed more. Little did I know my future request would begin what I refer to as the “garlic sauce shake-down”.

When I asked for more sauce, our waitress curtly informed me that my meal only came with one sauce. An additional sauce would be 75 cents. Now, keep in mind my meal was $13, which should be enough to allow an additional garlic sauce. I wasn’t dining in mid-town Manhattan. I was in Dearborn, just minutes from Detroit and close to Ford World Headquarters. Dearborn has the largest Muslim population outside the middle-east. Garlic sauce should not be hard to come by.

I wanted the sauce, so I said something like, “really” and figured I’d deduct it from her tip. I was sure no other waiter would have passed on that charge, and considering I would be eating what this lady brought me, arguing didn’t seem wise.

Things we’re okay until the bill arrived. Not only was there 75 cents for my additional sauce, but Erin was charged this same amount. When she asked for the sauce, there was no mention of the additional charge. And, she always has it with her lamb when ordering carry-out. Why the difference?

When I get upset over things like this, I feel my blood pressure rising and have to talk myself down. I seriously feel like I may have a heart attack when I get like this, and based on my family history it’s not far-fetched I would.  Still, I wasn’t terribly rude to the waitress when sharing my displeasure.  I kept telling myself we aren’t talking about big money here. It’s 75 cents.

Our charming waitress informed us that Erin’s meal came with tahini sauce, not garlic sauce and that mine only came with one, not two. She was unmoved that my first sauce cup was only half-filled or that we’ve never been “nickeled and dimed” at La Pita before.

Then, my friend asked the waitress if we could have a few extra pieces of pita bread to take home with our left-overs. I cringed in my seat. Although we’ve had plenty waiters offer extra bread as we were leaving before, I knew this was not one of those times.  Before I could say, “that’s okay, I don’t need it” the next shake-down occurred.

“I’ll have to charge you for that”.

WTF. This place is literally called LA Pita. We hadn’t ordered much bread during our meal. So, is this how it’s going to be? We should order copious amounts of pita bread, so we can stock pile it for our left-overs, and avoid an additional fee?

By this point, Jo-Set was besides herself, wondering if she stepped into a parallel universe. One where bread and garlic sauce was in extraordinarily short supply. She reasoned with the waitress, explaining we’ve never had to pay for bread before. Out of frustration or guilt, who knows, the waitress said she’d give us 4 pieces each (8 total for the table) but this was an exception and we normally would be charged for this. I don’t think either of us even were looking for 4 pieces. It’s like the waitress assumed we wanted the pita bread loaded into our car trunk, and she was the only thing stopping us.

I couldn’t take it anymore. Surely, the manager of this fine establishment would want to know what we’ve endured. A professionally dressed, attractive, middle-eastern lady in her 30’s approached. I instantly felt a sense of relief. Boy, was that short lived.

Now I understood where the waitress got her attitude.

I always go nuts when people apologize for my feelings or “any inconvenience” because that’s the equivalent of saying there’s nothing wrong here, you are just unreasonable. So, after a couple carefully worded half-hearted apologies, I was told how expensive garlic sauce is to produce. I’ve made it before, not well but I made it. It’s a head of garlic, lemon juice, canola oil, salt and pepper.

Here’s the best part. Because I ordered chicken and not lamb (like Erin) the fact I needed a second cup wasn’t as big of an “offense”. Therefore, she will talk to the waitress about being more forgiving in situations like this, but that garlic sauce charge for the lamb is a different story. THAT makes sense.

We then got to hear how they only use the best halal butcher and travel hundreds of miles to get the best meat. She’ll be happy to show me her receipts, so I understand the expense they incur. I explained I had no issues with the price of the meal or the quality of the meat. I simply thought they should charge a price that wouldn’t require them to “nickel and dime” me if I wanted an additional sauce. Well, she explained, she gets complaints about the price all the time.*

When I mentioned they probably throw away left-over sauce regularly, I was told they PRECISELY measure it and know exactly how much they need. They must also employ a psychic, because I don’t know any restaurants that know exactly how much sauce they are going to consume each night. If they have any extra, they use it the next morning. You can’t win with this lady! She didn’t even disagree that charging for pita bread, to accompany your left-overs, was unreasonable. Remember, our meal comes with hummus for goodness sake, last time I checked you need something to eat it with.

The most frustrating part of this whole thing is the manager didn’t believe us when we explained we’ve never been charged for extra sauce or bread. I explained that if they are going to have this policy, which I disagree with, they need to make it consistent.  In fact, Jo-Set had a carry-out receipt from this place dated just a few days prior. She didn’t have it with her then, but it clearly showed garlic sauce listed with “0.00”.

I haven’t been to La Pita since, but I’ve sure been to the middle-eastern restaurant closer to my house, and have decided that their food is just as good as La Pita’s.

This is what happens when you give your customers the feeling they are being shaken down and you aren’t committed to their experience. Although the manager sort-of apologized and removed the charge**, we both knew she thought we were a-holes. This one visit was enough to turn our positive impression of this place into a negative one. The extra 75 cents for garlic sauce cost this restaurant many times more than that in future profit.

I am confident that the manager had these policies a long time, but the wait staff knew better and didn’t want to risk their tip. They were smart. Our waitress may have done a much better job of following the rules, but she certainly cost La Pita years of future business.

* I thought of saying, “That’s it. My son won’t be having his Bar Mitzvah here!” But these clever quips, and the nerve to say them, never come at the right time.

**My friend and I received separate checks. The manager took the garlic charge off hers but never came back to get my receipt. I am sure it was unintentional, but still, I am still thinking about it aren’t I? I know it’s a little weird that I am, but it’s more the experience in total that gets me. Not so much the charge.




Cats and History, Not Necessarily In That Order


I promised in my last blog I’d write more about the book, Lie Across America. Well, I had to return the book and like most people, I forget half of what I read about 2 seconds later. However, I can tell you this. We treated Native Americans and African Americans horribly. Much more so than I was led to believe in school. Historic sites purposely spare us from some of the ugliness of these things. Not always out of concern for our fragile minds. Instead, the omissions made and the re-writing of history is a reflection of the site’s sponsors shortcomings and agenda.

For example, if you go to the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, CO, you won’t learn much about mining. If the sponsors  didn’t like something that happened or weren’t part of it, it simply didn’t happen. The examples of the people in the museum’s hall of fame in comparison to who should be in it, would be comical if it wasn’t so insulting. Reformers that saved lived and disasters that occurred in the industry are ignored, so we can read more about the wonderful people at Mobile.

What you see when visiting historical sites is really a reflection of who put it there and the societal views when the site/plaque was established. Sure, there are places that get it right, but there are still monuments all over the U.S. where African & Native Americans are placed below the white, literally standing underneath him!  Native Americans are often depicted wearing hardly anything at all. What we see is so heavily influenced by people’s ignorance and discriminatory views, we are often presented with a story that simply is not true.

The United Daughters of Confederacy should truly hide their heads in shame. Not only are they an organization in love with  fighting for slavery- let’s face it, that’s what it was – they’ve convinced entire towns they were confederate supporters, when in fact most of these areas were pro-union. The Daughters have literally put up monuments throughout the United States, celebrating confederate activities that didn’t even happen! One of the most intriguing stories was how this organization helped promote the idea General Sherman literally burned down the south. In reality, it was the Confederate generals who did so when the towns were falling into Union hands. They didn’t want to leave anything that could have been of use to the Union Army. Even that farce isn’t even entirely true. Sometimes they burned down the town “just because”. There wasn’t even anything the Union really needed to use.

I cannot possibly do the book justice. You should read it yourself.

Change of Topic Alert

I was talking to my friend of over 25 years, Rob R. in Chesterfield, MO yesterday. The subject of my blog came up and how little I am writing lately. Hi Rob and Nancy!  I explained that I find myself feeling tired every time I sit down to write and what little energy I have, I use writing my book about Client Service. Of course, I haven’t been doing much of that either. I am pretty much a 1950’s housewife at the moment.

As usual, our conversation led to a discussion about our cats. I told him how my youngest, Cookie, woke me up snoring in my bed the other night. Rob said I can never go wrong blogging about cats, since someone will always read it. He also joked that 50% of the internet is porn, 40% is cats, and the remaining 10% is everything else.  Well Rob, as it turns out, it is estimated that cats represent 15% of web traffic. Here is an interesting article on the subject:

One of the things I do, that drive my kids crazy, is talk to them as if I am their cats. I tell them that the cats speak to me telepathically. In truth, this is more a reflection of my desire to talk to cats than proof I’ve finally lost my mind. I bet you are guilty of doing the same, if you have a cat. If you don’t have a cat, then it’s time to talk to someone about the voices you are hearing.

Wouldn’t it be so cool?

I am working on a list of questions for them, on the off chance a cat translator becomes available on I think I’ll upgrade to prime if that happens. Here’s what I have so far.

  • Why do you put every ribbon, piece of yarn, and shiny cat toy you find in your water bowl?
  • Why do you knock on my closed bedroom door until I wake up and open it, only to walk out 5 seconds later?
  • Cookie, when you were a kitten you’d dig a hole in your litter box, sit with your back turned to me, and look over your shoulder to make sure I wasn’t watching you. What made you stop caring?
  • Who peed all over my carpet when I took in that adult stray cat I found, which I promptly had to find a new home for? Was there a meeting of cats in the dining room, where you planned how you were going to get rid of him?
  • Blackie, why are you the only cat who likes licking water off our just used shower and bath?
  • JJ, what’s the deal with the constant pushing you do on our bodies, when all we want to do is nap on the couch? Do you really think you are going to get milk to come out somehow? Or, are you secretly getting me back for all the times I petted you when you were half asleep?

Well, I probably exhausted your tolerance for cat stories about 3 bullet points ago. Until next time, I’ll leave you with a picture of my boys.


Our cats go crazy when we buy Meow Mix for them. Here they are, sharing their bounty together. The orange one (J.J.) is a little slow intellectually, but he’s the sweetest cat you’ll ever meet.

While we are shouting out people, I can’t forget my #1 fan and BFF Molly S. in Northville. Gurl, you know how to compliment someone and make them feel like they really aren’t the most boring person in the world. I may not have known you 25 years (it’s more like 10) but you are truly a blessing in my life. I will go back to ignoring you shortly, don’t worry!









The Ugly Years

Yesterday I wrote about my teenage years and how I used to straighten my hair with a curling iron. You can imagine how well it turned out! Thankfully, big hair was in and I finally found a stylist who taught me how to blow dry hair. But the big improvement came in the form of chemicals, specifically the Keratin Hair Smoothing treatment. I had my first brush with it (get it?) around 2004. Since then, it’s a miracle I haven’t been approached by a modeling agency. The cost is about $350 and then of course, I have to tip the guy. For any ladies or gay guys struggling with long styling time and re-emerging kinky hair, this picture is for you.

You can derive 2 things from these pictures:

  1. My daughter is a much better looking teenager than I was.
  2. My hair looks a hell of a lot better.

My mother told me on the phones yesterday, “You spent more on your hair by 20 years old than I did in my life time”. She was wrong. I didn’t hit that mark until I was 25.

The best part of the treatment is that you can easily get 9 months out of it. That’s 9 months of not looking like the picture on the left. So if you’ve been toying with the idea of chemically straightening your hair, DO IT!!!! In go to John, the owner of Gjeto’s Salon and Day Spa, in Novi, MI.

Your Guys lil’ Guy- The Six Nicknames You Should Never Use



Trust me ladies, if you’ve used the “I have an excuse” headache too many times this month, there’s a sure way to get out of romantic time with your partner. All you have to do is call your man’s special friend by one of these 6 nicknames. It’s not only sure to kill the mood, it also may send your guy off to therapy!

  1. Speedy Gonzales
  2. Napoleon
  3. Sir Droops-A-Lot
  4. Michael Slowbender
  5. Fetty Not
  6. Lil buddy

Not impressed? Well, I got you on my blog didn’t I? That’s what this list was all about. Getting new readers and testing my theory that low brow sexual references get more hits than articles about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). I am sure many people would have found my last article, about Laura Hillenbrand’s success despite CFS, inspiring. But when you are exhausted 24/7, you don’t tend to look up random blogs on WordPress.

I’ll admit something, but you have to promise you’ll keep it between us. I have the social media presence of an 85-year old woman living at an assisted living center in Boca Raton. Let me take that back. She probably has more Facebook friends. I am convinced I could post I won the lottery and my friend’s picture of her grilled cheese would get more likes. I am not talking about gourmet grilled cheese either. I am talking Kraft singles and Wonder bread.  Which brings me to today’s blog. I am convinced that talking about sex will make me more interesting.

I know that my attempt at coming up with funny nicknames wasn’t that great. But, you have to admit #4 is clever. If you don’t think so, google “Michael Fassbender junk” and you’ll get the joke. That dude is packing and I am not talking about a gun.

For all those white moms who don’t listen to rap, you may find this link helpful when considering number 5. The song just happens to be my ring tone:

What I don’t get is why can’t I find the official music video online? I’ve never had that issue when searching for Taylor Swift’s videos. You can find that bitch anywhere.

I have changed my view of Taylor over the years. I loved the story of how she wrote Tim McGraw in her high school’s bathroom. She was only 14 at the time. At 14 I was watching the Cosby Show while trying to use a curling iron to straighten my hair. I had no idea Cosby was spiking half his female guest stars drinks at the time. In fact, I am pretty sure I never heard of roofies but it was so long ago, maybe it didn’t exist.  Back then, you had to use chloroform.

Back to Taylor. She annoys me. I think it’s because of her “girl squad” of famous women that surround her everywhere. I know that if she wasn’t famous and rich, half these girls would want nothing to do with her. Taylor’s “OMG- I won!” reaction at every awards’ show has gone from cute and humble to stupid and acted over the years. But, the final “I hate Taylor” moment occurred when she threw a temper tantrum over 3 dancers leaving to join Katy Perry’s tour. Taylor claimed Katy was purposely sabotaging her tour, as if Katy would need to do that. As reported by Business Insider, here is the real story:

Lockhart Brownlie said that he and three other dancers had left Swift mid-tour to work with Perry. This was before the feud had even gone public.

Brownlie told the Examiner that he’d worked on Swift’s Red tour for the first six months. Then, he and two other dancers who’d worked with Perry before heard from her. She wanted to hire them again.

“Obviously, we were with Katy for two and a half years, she’s like family to us, so we were like, ‘Absolutely,'” Brownlie told the Examiner. “We weren’t really dancing in Taylor’s tour anyway so I had got a little bored and I really wanted to do a promo tour.”

At least one of the stolen dancers was still working with Perry when she performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show — he was the much lauded “right shark,” Celebuzz reports.

Then, Swift released her video for “Bad Blood.”

We already knew the song was most likely about Perry. The music video alluded further to their feud.

In it, Swift and a brown-haired sidekick (played by Selena Gomez) fight off a bunch of bad guys together. Then, after they’ve beaten all of the men, the brunette counterpart turns on Swift. After that, Swift rounds up a girl group consisting of her real-life besties in hopes of exacting revenge.

Okay, had enough of Taylor yet? We’ll get back to our profound discussion about dick nicknames. You know, I really don’t like writing about this stuff but I figured you’d prefer it to posting the new Nutella brownie recipe I plan to try tonight.

I listed the name Napoleon as a “don’t do” because word on the cobblestone street is he’s really short.

But that wasn’t the case. When you convert his reported height from French to International units (yeah-I am pretending I know the difference), Napoleon was 5 foot 7. According to at least one site, the average male height in France was 5 foot 5. Who knew? Still, I am pretty sure your guy will be insulted if you call him Napoleon. Unless he thinks you are referring to him being a conqueror. In that case, you can forget about watching TLC tonight.






The Real Story Behind Masters of Sex

The real Masters and Johnson don’t quite look like Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen, who play them on T.V.

If you’ve read my blog before, you are aware of my obsession with non-fiction books from the library. If you are going to have a vice, free books, chocolate and diet coke aren’t the worst ones you can have. Unless you have one of those trainers from an extreme weight loss show. They’d have some issues with me I’m sure.

I recently borrowed the book, “The Life & Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson”, by Thomas Maier. It is the basis for Showtime’s original series, Masters of Sex. My initial interest in the series was based on my knowledge it took place in St. Louis. As a native, I love the references on the show, but wondered why they called the Chase Park Plaza the Chancery Park Plaza. As I got more into the series, I wondered what other facts were changed. My search led me to Thomas Maier’s book.

One of the things I loved most about reading is learning how societal views and customs changed over time. Maier’s book was a wonderful window into our repressed sexual views in the 50’s and 60’s. I almost fell on the floor however, when I began reading numerous quotes from someone I actually knew! Dr. Ira Gall was the OB/GYN that delivered me and served as my doctor until I moved to Michigan in the 90’s. He was my mom’s doctor for close to 40 years and was truly a wonderful man. I remember when my dad died suddenly of a heart attack, when I was 22,  I called his office inquiring if he could prescribe sleeping pills. He could have easily just called something in but instead he personally expressed his condolences and called my mother several weeks later to see how she was doing. Dr. Gall’s demeanor was incredible and I will always be grateful to him. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 84. He was a major benefactor of Washington University and the Holocaust Museum and also founded Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, which is located throughout the country.

gall Dr. Gall had a practice in Creve Coeur MO for  over 50 years.

Unbeknownst to me. Dr. Gall worked with William Masters at Washington University and was close friends with Virginia Johnson, who he carpooled to work with! It was great to hear his voice again through the pages of Maier’s book.

As I kept reading, I was confused why the series creators changed so many of the details of Masters & Johnson’s story. Some of the changes made sense, who wants to see Master’s first wife Libby staying home alone when you can have her cheating with new characters? But other changes made less sense. For example, Masters encouraged his wife, Libby, to take the kids to Northern Michigan each summer while he moved Johnson into his home and essentially played house. Why not show that? The show also talked about Master’s late father and how abusive he was as a result of his alcoholism. In truth, he had a brain tumor that may have significantly altered his behavior. The series also indicates that Masters turned down Playboy’s request that he produce articles for the magazine in exchange for funding.  Masters actually didn’t turn this down and both he and Virginia stayed at the mansion in separate rooms, a sham Hefner saw through immediately.

There are many more examples of liberties taken by the Showtime creators, but the one that troubles me the most is the romanticizing of M & Johnson’s relationship. He virtually harassed her into having sex with him for “research”, something she wasn’t interested in doing but felt she had no other choice if she wanted to keep her job. Eventually she was more of a willing participant, but feelings of deep love were never really there, even when Masters left his wife Libby after 30 years of marriage. It was more of a business relationship based on Masters not wanting Johnson to marry another man. She was getting serious with a perfume executive, as depicted on the show, prompting Masters to leave his wife and children. Many of their mutual friends would have anything to do with Masters after that, can you blame them?

The most surprising part of the book was the backwards view Masters had of homosexuality and the book he published claiming up to an 80% conversion success rate with vetted candidates. Although Masters earlier works were carefully documented and scientifically sound, it is widely believed that this information was falsified or at the least exaggerated. The claim that homosexuality is a learned behavior or choice proved problematic to the gay community, setting back their cause for years. It was disappointing to see that Masters published such damaging work.  Johnson and his other colleagues were highly against the conclusions drawn and begged him to make revisions.

Although the series claims Johnson eventually went back and got her BS in Psychology, she never actually obtained her college degree. However, Masters often referred to her as a psychologist and neither corrected people when they called Johnson “doctor”. There were many people that were amazed at the latitude Masters allowed Johnson, considering her lack of technical training and education. However, the fact she was sleeping with the guy probably didn’t hurt. You saw the picture, right? She deserved to run a foundation after that.

I don’t want to give the whole book away, so I will stop here and tell you this. I found myself reading only the first sentence of certain paragraphs because the book was boring in places. If you like understanding historical norms and are a fan of the series, you will enjoy reading the book. If you don’t feel that description fits you, I’d read David Spade’s book instead, with a diet coke and M&M’s of course.

Michael-Sheen-arrived-Lizzy-Caplan-his-sideThe fictional William Masters and Virginia Johnson


Modern Romance

azizShe broke up with me. Didn’t really tell me why. Luckily when you’re the guy, you can just tell people she’s crazy. ‘Hey, Tom, I heard you and Lucy broke up.’ ‘Yeah, man. Turns out, she’s crazy.’ That’s what they always do on Entourage.” – Aziz Ansari

I got married just a few weeks after my 22nd birthday. Although my parents weren’t concerned, several people questioned my age and asked if “I was sure”. Considering we dated 4 years and both finished our degrees I felt this was a ridiculous question. Of course I was ready! Sure, the lady at the bridal store thought I was a pregnant teen bride the first time she met me. But, she was wrong. I didn’t have kids for several more years and 20+ years later, we’re still together. We even like each other some of the time.

We met in the most romantic of places. The Junior’s Department at Famous-Barr (now Macy’s). Within 3 months we talked about getting married when I graduated and we did. It was a considerably different experience than it would be today. For one, Rich had to call me, on a home phone my parents may answer. If we wanted to talk, we couldn’t text, e-mail or tweet each other; we were back to phone calls. If I wanted to show my friends a picture of the guy I was dating I had to drop off 35 millimeter film at the store, wait a few days, and then pick up the printed picture.

I only knew one friend who met her significant other through an ad. She put it in a newspaper, which was the custom of the day, and didn’t admit how they really met until a long time after. There was stigma to the process. Now, more than 1/3 of married people met their partner through online dating sources. I say “more” because we know 1/3 met this way in 2005-2012. You can imagine how much higher the percentage is today.

Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance taught me that and many other things about dating. It was shocking the large percentage of people who married someone within a block of their childhood home the middle of the 20th century. How people chose their ideal partner and the length of time they dated has radically changed in the last 40 years. It used to be you’d look for someone through family connections and if you got along and were mildly attracted to them, you got married within a matter of months. The idea of finding your soul mate and dating for years just wasn’t the norm. Let’s face it, the pool you had to chose from was much smaller without okcupid and If you were too picky, you’d run out of people to date rather quickly.

Modern Romance is a delightful delve into 20th century sociology. I find it fascinating to read about past social customs and if you do as well, Modern Romance will be an enjoyable read for you. I also learned a great deal about the world my children will be facing when they begin dating. Aziz helped me understand how things have changed and the mindset of today’s emerging adults, something I thought I knew but I really didn’t. If you are like me and haven’t dated for many years, this is a great educational tool that will help you relate to your kids, or your single friends, as they swipe right and break-up by text.  And, if you are in the single world yourself, there are some great tips for how to leverage dating sites and avoid first text rejection. Hint: Suggest a fun thing you can do together rather quickly rather than a series of “wsup” texts.

Modern Romance is more scientific than I expected, with study references and graphs, but it’s easy to understand and framed with Aziz’s humorous commentary. You will get some insight into Aziz’s personal life and his affinity for ramen noodles, but don’t expect a biography. I will say I found the book much more interesting at the beginning and skipped some portions towards the end. It was likely because the book was no longer talking about 20th century dating customs, which is what I found the most interesting.

The best part of Modern Romance? You can find it at your library. Well, not at the Northville Library yet. I still have it checked out.

One more thing, if you like my blog I could really use some help. I have a hard time motivating myself to write. I feel like no one really cares what I have to say. Sad right? Well, based on my social media presence it’s a reasonable assumption but I am trying to push past the self-doubt. So, if you don’t mind helping Northville Mom please share my blog with your friends, subscribe if you don’t, and like me on Facebook (if we’re friends). I really could use your support.


Northville Mom & her daughter, Kayla, at our favorite place to vacation. Walt Disney World. Here, we’re touring the World Showcase area of Epcot and just finished enjoying a dancing dragon show in China. I am pretty sure this Dragon can be found on Tinder.


Almost Interesting


I drink an alarming amount of Diet Doctor Pepper and read non-fiction books. That’s pretty much what I am about lately, other than trying to resist the urge to post stories about my cats.

One thing you can’t say is I am spending too much money buying books. That’s because everything I read comes from the public library which is insanely cool. You go to a web site, put in what book you want, and they’ll ship it to your local library; often within a couple days. Just don’t drop coffee on the book because the library is a real bitch to deal with when that happens.

It drives my husband crazy that I read so much, but there are advantages to it. My cognitive abilities are likely staying at the level they were when I worked full-time. At least one study has confirmed that activities like reading lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 47%. Considering I have type 2 Diabetes, I need every edge I can get.

Regardless, the fact is I read, and there’s probably no end to it since it’s something I’ve done since childhood. I fondly remember going to the library with my dad during my teenage years. He’d check out Word War II books and I’d read about unexplained mysteries and aliens. #roswell1947.   I also checked out Cosmopolitan Magazine and learned a whole lot about sex, but that’s another story.

My book of choice now is biographies, which there is an endless supply of. The one I read most recently was “David Spade is Almost Famous”. I was always a Spade fan, but it went to the next level in 2013 when we encountered David at the Scottsdale, AZ Target. My daughter excitedly ran over to me saying, “The guy from Grownups is over there!” Considering this is the same girl who claimed she saw Snoop Dog driving a car within 1 hour of arriving in Los Angeles, I was suspicious. But, due to her insistence I followed her and sure enough there was David. He was talking on his cell phone with his unmistakable voice, with his face shielded by a lowered baseball cap. I wanted more than anything to say, “SELFIE time!” but I just couldn’t do it. Not because I was shy, but because it seemed wrong to interrupt his attempt at being a normal guy shopping at Target. So, I just stared at him for a moment before quietly walking away, wondering if this was my one chance to call the TMZ tip line.

Since my husband didn’t contact TMZ when he saw Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake at the Hotel Bel Air, when they were supposedly not together, I couldn’t justify calling in Spade. I was just too cool to be that person. As luck would have it, when we were ready to check out David was too, and we walked out to the parking lot together albeit in different aisles. My 10 year old son was beside himself with awe and kept pointing at David, who was power walking to his car at increasing speed. The best part, it was an older model Honda! Since David’s mom lives nearby and it was the day after Easter, we assumed he was simply borrowing mom’s car during a holiday visit. And there my friends, is my brush with greatness.

David’s book was an easy read, which I appreciated after a series of books that required re-reading of passages and googling the definition of obscure “fancy” words.  I was surprised to learn that David was a gifted student, studying 2 grades ahead in certain subjects. Like many successful comics, David struggled to get a sketch on Saturday Night Live and felt he was on the verge of being fired every season. Eventually though, David enjoyed success, starting with the “Hollywood Minute”. I enjoyed reading the story behind this skit and other’s such as Down by the River with Chris Farley, Gap Girls with Adam Sandler and Bastard Airlines, “Bye-Bye”. David also went into detail regarding the filming of Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. I never appreciated Chris Farley’s talent until reading David’s book, nor did I appreciate David’s.  I spent a lot of time on Youtube as I read through the book, wanting to see every detail described. It’s amazing how quickly you can be brought to another time in your life through this exercise. I was young and thin for just a few more minutes, thanks David Spade!

Although David detailed his early childhood he didn’t get much into his adult life other than his relationship with Farley. I am sure that will come with time. David’s dad was absent most of his life and did not support his family. His mom was married to a man for several years that acted as a father figure and stabilized their finances, but this too was not meant to last. David however, had a strong and loving relationship with his mother and 2 older brothers. Still, due to their economic situation, David said he had a lot of Joe Dirt “like experiences”.  David’s mother also loved giving the boys photo gifts. One what a t-shirt given to David with his own photo in the top right hand corner of his shirt. Let’s just say the kids had a fun time with that.

I could go on for hours here, but I won’t. Get the book. You’ll like it.


In honor of Chris Farley and Tommy Boy, I will leave you with a quote:

“What my associate is trying to say is that, uh, our new brake pads are really cool. You’re not even going to believe it. Like, um, let’s say you’re driving along the road with your family. And you’re driving along la li la. And then, all of the sudden there’s a truck tire in the middle of the road. And you hit the brakes. Err! Whoa, that was close. Now let’s see what happens when you’re driving with the ‘other guy’s’ brake pads. You’re driving along. You’re driving along and all of the sudden the kids are yelling from the backseat, ‘I got to go to the bathroom, daddy!’, ‘Not now, damn it!’, truck tire, eeeee, ‘I can’t stop!’. Help! There’s a cliff! Aah! And your family’s screaming ‘Oh my god, we’re burning alive!’ ‘No! I can’t feel my legs!’. In comes the meat wagon. And the medic gets out and says, ‘Oh, my god.’. New guy’s in the corner puking his guts out. All because… you want to save a couple of extra pennies. To me, it doesn’t…”

Tommy Boy grossed 32.7 million dollars at the box office.