Baby Boomers Archives

January 30, 2008

A Global Mid-Life Crisis?

Last night on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Dr. Nancy Snyderman reported on an interesting phenomenon: that no matter where you live in the world, it seems that your happiness takes a dip in mid-life. Apparently, if you make it through this downturn, your happiness then zooms up again to equal what it was in your younger years. A global mid-life crisis. Then, this morning, FOX News' Sheppard Smith reported on the same study. Apparently, in the U.S. this dip occurs for women in their mid-40s, while for men a little later, around 50. But, in general, this is, indeed, a global phenomenon.

It is a small world, after all.

Interesting that they could study this. It has seemed to me that in mid-life, there's a natural tendency to ask, "Is this all there is?" And, if you're dissatisfied with the answer, a drop in happiness ensues for several years, until you can figure it all out.

Tim and I experienced this (both in our 40s - he's always been rather precocious). It's why we did the "bus thing" in the first place. Like many people, until we reached our late 30s, we had gone through life feeling rather invincible. Not only was it inconceivable that something bad could ever happen to us, even our very mortality seemed suspect. When we hit our 40s, this changed, as our contemporaries experienced sudden, unexpected tragedies: A friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. A colleague died of a heart attack in his sleep. Both of us, for the first time, could feel creaks and aches in bones we hadn’t thought about since anatomy class. Over the years, as psychiatrists, we each had treated people in our practices who had looked forward to all they planned to do in retirement, but when the time came, were too ill to travel or too devastated by the death of a spouse to live out their dreams.

Those lessons started hitting home as we officially breached middle age. We knew we were fortunate in that we would always have jobs; neurosis is a growth industry, after all. We could afford to do the "bus thing" now and go back to work later.

Unfortunately, it seems Tim has taken this now scientific phenomenon as "proof" he should buy a Corvette. Since he just turned 50, he figures maybe the bus thing wasn't really his mid-life crisis after all, but if he gets the sports car of his dreams, he can forestall the Big Dip.

It was really pathetic to watch a grown man stare at the TV during Dr. Snyderman's story and plaintively whine, "Corvette... Corvette... Corvette... "

Even more pathetic when he's pining away for his new toy while inside his hugely powerful old one - a 40,000 bus.

February 7, 2008

The Biggest Little City aka Reno 911

This is Morty's new favorite spot while we're moving - ie, snoozing on the "dog bed" up front, right between the driver's and buddy seats. (I wonder why Tim always exclaims, "Another cat picture! Oh, good! We just don't have enough of those.")

On our way to California, we stopped in Reno, NV, where Tim grew up, to visit his family. (Any Reno 911 fans out there? Tim loves his home city. I don’t think he really gets how the show makes fun of it. Or, maybe he’s just in denial. It’s been known to happen.) Since Tim was about to go to the Big House, we treated ourselves to a fabulous steak dinner at Harrah’s Steak House. We were chatting with our waiter, Tony, and discovered that (a ahem certain number of years later) he took over Tim’s boyhood paper route at the Reno Gazette.

I got treated to tons of uproarious biggest little city humor. You know, the kind that’s just so darn cute. (Fortunately, Harrah’s has quite the extensive wine cellar.)

“Didn’t you love trying to hit Mr. Krakowski’s cat when you threw the Sunday edition?” OK. Not really, but that might have been a wee bit more interesting, at least.

It sure is a small, small bus world, though.

Reno provided one more opportunity for nostalgia. On our way out of town, we stopped for gas at Baldini’s, the very same place during the start of our bus year, where the door finally jammed for good (after opening three times at 60 mph our very first day on the road, nearly sucking me out each time) and we had to call a locksmith to open it and save our pets from the sweltering 100 degree heat. He was supposed to stop by our RV park the next day to provide us with a more permanent fix, but never did show up. When I finally called his store, I was told that he had quit.

I guess seeing a grown psychiatrist cry was too much for any man. DSCN0049%20%28Small%29.JPG

February 15, 2008

This Woman Driver (Sort Of)

Litpark posted a wonderfully funny blog entry about her basically (sorry Lit) being a lousy driver. I can relate, because well... I assume I am, too. I say "assume" since I always thought I was a decent enough driver. But since we live in a democracy, I suppose I have to go with the majority opinion here and I've not only heard from my husband often enough how bad I am behind the wheel, but an awful lot of strangers, as well. OK. They don't actually tell me so much as yell it at me. That's why I never have driven our bus. Oh, no. Instead, I'm the navagator (or, as Tim likes to call me, "Nagavator") which frankly, is almost as insane as having me drive.

I have no sense of direction and I can't read a map. So why does the Captain have me consult Rand on a regular basis? (Rand’s a little anal for my tastes, anyway. Reading all those little numbers along all the superfluous squiggly lines can be blinding.) Instead, once when he wanted me to figure out how far we were from a campground, I found the distance scale. Fifteen miles was about the size of a knuckle. Five knuckles later, I offered, quite satisfied with myself, “OK. Five times fifteen is seventy-five. But it’s really a little less than a knuckle length, so . . . we could be anywhere from forty to seventy-five miles away.” Tim rolled his eyes. Just then I spotted the “Mileage Between Cities” chart at the top of the page. Why hadn’t Rand made this more obvious? Like I was supposed to figure out that buried in all this map stuff was actual useful information. (Sometimes I think Rand is just showing off. No one likes a braggart, buster!)

“Oops!” I chuckled.

“How much more is it?” the Captain sighed.

“Actually, we’re only twenty-two miles away. Guess knuckles aren’t the best way to measure.”

“Apparently not yours.”

February 22, 2008

Total Lunar Eclipse Or Pass the Joystick

There was a total lunar eclipse two nights ago - outside, in real time and everything. It'll be the last one until 2010.

Tim and I watched it from the trailer park we're staying in. We also watched as all the other adults stared up at the sky along with us, while their kids stayed inside watching TV or playing video games. (It's easy to tell what people are up to in their homes if you live in a trailer park. Too easy in many cases. Don't ask.)

Yes, I know I tend to be a shut-in (or as we shut-ins prefer, the more politically correct term, "hermit"), and I will usually do just about anything to avoid the outdoors (I had once after all, when tired of craning my neck to view a meteor shower, announced, "I'm going inside to watch it on CNN"), but eclipses are kinda cool.

Only in an old fashioned, I'm-a-relic kinda way, I guess.

May 1, 2008

The Shoe Off - And Next Contest! (My creativity apparently has its limits.)

So, the fabulous Polly Kahl has goaded the equally fabulous Robin Altman (aka Dr. Shoes) and (fabulousness not to be declared, that would be rude) royal-with-200-shoes me into having a shoe-off on our blogs. Although Polly cannot wear stylish shoes anymore due to her back problems, she nonetheless graciously got us started off on her blog. I think she gets extra points for creativity with the gold swirls, don't you? However, I don't want to be too generous here, and fortunately for them both, they can do psychotherapy (Polly's an M.A. and Robin a kiddie shrink) on one another, as I plan to win this thing! So check Polly's blog and Robin's blog and let us know whatcha think!

Now, for the this month's contest (and since I'm being lazy, you can too!): For a signed copy of QUEEN OF THE ROAD (and the moose poop thingy), simply comment on any of my blog posts during the entire month that relate to the shoe-off. If you mention the shoe-off on your blog, drop me an email (doreen at to let me know and I'll also enter you. Have a blog and a comment? You get two chances to win! (For those of you without blogs who think this is unfair - duh... this is a monarchy.) On May 31st, I shall randomly pick one commenter as the winner. (April's winner to be announced shortly. Actually, I have no idea if she's short.)

Let the shoe-off begin! (And, if any of you think, after seeing our offerings, that you can compete, by all means... BRING IT ON!)

And, oh yeah, yeah, YEAH: Check out Chris Eldin's blog May 3-9 for Author's Week,
"a week of contests, prizes, fun! And don't forget, hobnobbing with famous authors!"
(I'll be one of the, ahem, "famous authors" for her Author's Week at the end of June.)

So, since Polly posted 5 shoes, I figured I would, too (but, realize, as my subtitle says, I have 40 more to offer up) starting with:
Since I wrote about this pretty Prada pair on Polly's blog, I thought I should post the actual picture. Note the silver kitten heel. These were purchased on Ebay, some years ago for something like $20.

Shoes deux: this fine suede pair of Via Spigas. I bought these years ago as well, don't remember where and really don't care. Aren't they sweet?

Richard Tyler actually does my favorite pairs (and I have a few). These are navy and purchased on Ebay for a song.

I thought I would include some (near) flats: Donald Pilner. Very comfortable (and affordable, when purchased at one's local used clothing shop).

Last but not least: My ringer. My ace in the hole. Read 'em and weep, Robin. These beauties were purchased in Italy 20 years ago. Mercifully, I don't remember how much they cost. But, I got 3 other pairs bought on the same trip - so ante up!

May 21, 2008

My Fabulous Book Group

Last night my very own, fabulous book group (the one I've been in for over a decade) did QUEEN OF THE ROAD off galley copies. Thanks, ladies!

Of course, they were very complimentary. (What else were they going to say? They knew my onion rings would have made great projectiles.) And, for once, everyone finished the book! (Ditto - well, at least they said they did.) But, I was particularly gratified that in addition to the humor, they also "got" the underlying themes:

Don't wait - live your dreams NOW.

Keep challenging and stretching yourself.

The most important thing is to spend time with the people you love.

So, without further ado, here's my fabulous book group:


(Photo taken by our knights in shining armour, Peter Gail and his friend Michael, who had a camera in his cell phone, and saved the day when my camera refused to work.)
Jane Ann Hebert, Dina Horwedel, Sheryl Allen, me, Robbie Barr, Susan Wientzen at the Dark Horse, whose sister restaurant, The Bum Steer is mentioned in QUEEN OF THE ROAD as the place Tim and I had our first date. (He tricked me into going - the name couldn't be more appropriate.)

A few of the women are mentioned in the book:

Jane Ann has worked with Tim. Last night, she had to answer the question: "Is he really as great as Doreen portrays him?" (Hmmm. Wait'll I do that next edition.) Answer: "Yes." (There's that whole onion ring thing, again.) But then, she added, "And, what's really great, is you can tell how much he loves Doreen." Made even my cold, shrivelled heart melt. Thanks, Jane Ann.

Susan got some ribbing because in the book, I call her, "the most gorgeous woman I know." So, of course, she had to point out that I've had PRK - twice. (Maybe that explains my blinking in the picture.)

Sheryl, I term my "insane" friend, because her dream is to hike the Appalachian trail - 'nough said.

Robbie is mentioned in the acknowledgements as one of my beta readers, because I very much appreciated her judgment. (She's a judge - get it?)

Dina, who has had a fascinating life, providing aid in destitute, war-torn areas around the globe, had been in our group years before, then left to do her good work. She came back only recently and we're selfishly thrilled to have her with us, again.

Acknowledged, but not present, are Eileen GIlday and Deborah Ramirez who couldn't be there last night. We missed you, ladies! See you next time! (Geez. I hope it's not something I wrote.)

PS - Mom. I know you're going to be royally P.O.'d as only a Queen Mother can, that all these ladies have read the book and you have not. But, I wanted you to read the real book (you know, not a typo-filled, mistake-ridden, no blurbs yet galley copy) and I only got those last week. Yes, I know, I haven't sent you one of those, either. And, yes, I know in desperation, you ended up ordering one on Amazon.

I'll be happy to sign it for you.

May 26, 2008

Don't Put Off Your Dreams

In anticipation of QUEEN OF THE ROAD being published in one (GULP!) week, I thought I would post some excerpts with lessons learned.

When my long-dreaded thirtieth birthday arrived, I really wasn't as upset as I imagined I'd be, for I had achieved a much more important milestone: my sartorial centennial. I owned one hundred pairs of shoes. Then, at age forty-four, I found myself trying to cram a mere half that number into a living space of 340 square feet.

The whole thing was Tim's fault.

When he announced he wanted to travel around the country in a converted bus for a year, I gave this profound and potentially life-altering notion all the thoughtful consideration it deserved.

"Why can't you be like a normal husband with a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?" I demanded, adding, "I will never, ever, EVER, not in a million years, live on a bus."

Something less than a million years later, as we prepared to roll down the road in our fully outfitted, luxury bus, it occurred to me that Tim had already owned a Corvette, long ago when he was far too young for a midlife crisis. While I pondered who he might be seeing on the side (and whether his having an affair might prove less taxing than living in a metallic phallus on wheels), I wedged and stuffed – and, oh my GOD! bent – the cutest little Prada mules you've ever seen into my "closet," which was really not a closet at all, but much more resembled the cubbyhole I'd been assigned many pre-shoe-obsession years ago at Camp Cejwin. How had I let myself go from "never ever" to..this? Both Tim and I are shrinks, but he's obviously the better one. It took him five years, yet he whittled down my resolve, no doubt with some fancy, newfangled brainwashing technique ripped out of one of our medical journals before I could get to it.

So, here is the first and one of the most important lessons we learned from "the bus thing": Don't put off your dreams. Tim finally convinced me by explaining, "This is just something I really want to do – while we're young and can still enjoy it. I've done everything right all my life, the way I was supposed to do it. Now I want something for me. And I want it with you."

I realized even then that he had a point. Like many people, until we reached our late thirties, Tim and I had gone through life feeling rather invincible. Not only was it inconceivable that something bad could ever happen to us, even our very mortality seemed suspect. When we hit our forties, this changed, as our contemporaries experienced sudden, unexpected tragedies: A friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. A colleague died of a heart attack in his sleep. Both of us, for the first time, could feel creaks and aches in bones we hadn't thought about since anatomy class. Over the years, we each had treated people in our practices who had looked forward to all they planned to do in retirement, but when the time came, were too ill to travel or too devastated by the death of a spouse to live out their dreams.

Those lessons started hitting home as we officially breached middle age. We knew we were fortunate in that we would always have jobs; neurosis is a growth industry, after all. We could afford to do this now and go back to work later. For most people, it takes some terrible catalyst to change their lives. We're living proof that it doesn't have to be that way. We don't have to wait. We can change our lives NOW. And, it doesn't have to be something as drastic as taking an entire year off. That happened to work for us, but the bus is a really a metaphor; everyone can find their own "inner bus" whether it's taking an adult education class in something they've always wanted to learn about, volunteering in their communities, or rekindling an old interest that went by the wayside years ago.

What would your inner bus be?

Next, another important thing we learned: Don't let the spark die.

(This is from the first chapter of QUEEN OF THE ROAD: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus With a Will of Its Own, that's going to be published June 3rd by Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House. You can read the full chapter, see pictures from our trip, videos, podcasts and a lot of other fun stuff on my jam-packed website,

May 29, 2008

Don't Let The Spark Die

The Nudist RV Park

Although I protested as long as I could, my husband and I did eventually hit the road in our bus with our two querulous cats, sixty-pound dog - and no agenda. So, another important thing we learned on our year-long adventure was: Don't let the spark die. It's crucial to keep challenging and stretching oneself. My pre-bus life had been so comfortable - too comfortable, in fact. It had become rote and routine. During our bus year, we actually became grateful not only for the adventures, but the disasters, as well (fire, flood, armed robbery, my developing a bus phobia and finding ourselves in a nudist RV park, to name just a few) because they helped rekindle that spark. We are afforded amazing opportunities in our country, and we all work very hard to achieve our goals, yet often we get there and feel like there’s something missing. If you're asking yourself, "Is this all there is?" Maybe you need to get on that bus - in whatever form it takes.

June 1, 2008

Spend Time With The People You Love

(First, a pause for another video: The Meltdown Cruise.

It, along with the Nudist RV park, are on my website, More videos to come.)

Another important lesson we learned is that all that really matters is spending time with the people you love. It sounds so simple, doesn't it? And, while it's true that in traveling around the country through 47 states (including Alaska), we met incredibly diverse and unique people, we also found that we all had one thing in common: Wanting to love and be loved. Yet, that's not what most spend their time doing. We had been guilty of that, as well.

On the bus, we learned how crucial it is to downsize and simplify our lives so that we don't end up supporting a lifestyle filled with things instead of people and experiences. Although Tim and I are polar opposites, I think that's partly why we have so much fun together - even if it's doing something that might not turn out as planned.

By now, you know that the out-of-doors is not exactly my thing. Well, after meeting a remarkable man of the bush in tiny Wrangell, Alaska, I decided that if he could live for days in a tree in the rain along the river hunting moose, the least I could do was try hiking, again. Tim was thrilled . . . until we hiked. For it was on Sitka's Harbor Mountain that we took what I would come to term The Alaskan Death March. Although even I had to admit the scenery was spectacular (ocean, islands, distant peaks, yada yada) the lack of an escalator on the steep climb nearly did me in. And why should I suffer alone?

So I devised the Five Stages of Getting Grief from Hiking with Doreen: Denial ("We're not going all the way up there, are we?"); Anger ("I can't believe I let you take me on this stupid hike!"); Bargaining ("If we stop now, I'll have the energy to do another hike tomorrow. Really, I promise!"); Despair ("Oh, why did I ever let you talk me into anything over three miles?"); Acceptance ("Fine. But this is absolutely, positively, the last hike I will ever go on for the rest of my life!") Recalling a disappointing hike through a rainforest we had taken two weeks before, I felt compelled to add a sixth stage, one which only occurs in extreme circumstances, at a perfect storm of elevation gain, accumulated mileage, mud and bugs: Confabulation ("Look at the dog! You're killing him!"). Finally, when I nagged enough to make even Tim agree to quit, I clutched the poodle to celebrate, beaming as I attempted to reinforce the wisdom of my husband's capitulation.

"I'm so glad you didn't make me continue to the top. This way, I could actually enjoy how beautiful it was. I'd even do it again."

"Really?" Tim retorted. "I wouldn't."

I hope you've enjoyed reading a little about our extraordinary journey. It you want to learn more (or just have some laughs) please visit for pictures of our trip, more videos and podcasts, book tour appearances and events, as well as the entire first chapter. If you do stop by my website, please be sure to click on the "Share a Thought" link. I'd love to hear from you.

June 12, 2008

Love At A Nudist RV Park

Now I have your attention! But, that really is the title of my Huffington Post article which ran today.

And, if you want to see my video of this incident (now, I REALLY have your attention), please go to my website, and click on the (yes, we're nude) picture of me and Tim in front of our bus on the left on the homepage.

August 31, 2008

Queen for a Fortnight

I'm 49 today. (Really.) Big Whoop.

Actually, that's what I'm sure Tim thinks, as my poor Royal Consort has to put up with much more than just my birthday: I use my queenly powers (self)-bestowed at birth to declare an entire Royal Birthday Week. Watch and learn, Ladies-In-Waiting....

Especially since this year, as my birthday falls on a Sunday, We wondered just when the week should begin. Sunday you say? Silly commoners. Shant We celebrate prior in Royal Anticipation? Ah, but if We start the Sunday before, what about the post celebratory festivities? Quite correct. This year (and every year when Our - and by "Our," We mean mine and only mine - not to include Sir Tim) birthday falls on a Sunday, We hath hereby decreed a Birthday Fortnight. Herewith, some highlights:

Last week, had hair done with Tonya Auville, the Royal Coiffer at Salon Bellissimo. Tonya is also known as the Curl Whisperer. She had me over to her book group a few weeks back to discuss... me:

(That's Tonya sitting behind me.)

Saw Willie Nelson (and his biodiesel bus) at Red Rocks.

Had lunch with good bud, Susan. Suffice it to say, we had a delish dish (thinking of you, Katie). I mentioned in QUEEN OF THE ROAD, that Susan was my most gorgeous friend. (She tried to get me to go to a yoga class, and I figured, if it works for her... Unfortunately, didn't do much for me.) She's the type of woman who just gets even more gorgeous with age. I'm going to have to rethink our friendship.

Had my memoir called, "Brilliant" by Jerry Wexler on his blog and he didn't even know it's my birthday fortnight.

Last night, my lovely neighbor and friend, Lauren, had her former book group, the "Bad Girls" of Longmont (only "former" since Lauren moved to Boulder) over for a fabulous Queenly party to discuss QUEEN OF THE ROAD and just have fun. She didn't know it's my birthday, either. (Well, at least beforehand.) This was the second book group Lauren arranged for this QUEEN. The first was one we went to in nearby Firestone, hosted by one of her clients, Tara:


Aren't we all resplendent in our tiaras? That's Tara in front and Lauren behind me in the pink scarf. (Looks like there are several friendships I'm going to have to rethink.) Unbeknowest to me, this club read both QUEEN OF THE ROAD as well as my first book, I KNOW YOU REALLY LOVE ME. Since IKYRLM was published 11 years ago, I felt rather court jester-ish, as it was far easier to answer questions about QotR. I mean, I am 49, people.

Lauren is an ultra-fabulous hair stylist in her own right (nearly all of the dozen or so women last night get coiffed by her) as well as an amazing photographer. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures last night for you to judge the former, but as for the latter, take a gander at these she did for my website.

Today, the Big Day itself, I slept in (that's what the rest of the world calls staying in bed until 10:30 am, right?) And, finally (well, only finally for this blog post, not my birthday fortnight), Sir Tim and I strode down (where's the liveried help when you need them?) to the Boulder Creek Hometown Fair...

... where we had Royal box (as in crated) seats for the Zucchini Races:



Attended a Royal Joust:


as well as The Theatre:


Sir Tim is now resting up in the Royal Chambers prior to resuming his driverly duties to take Us to dinner tonight.

To all who have already wished me a happy birthday: Thank you! To all who have not... yeah, yeah. What do I want from you?

September 4, 2008

More on Our Birthday Fortnight (If You Don't Like It - Get Your Own Blog)

On the Actual Day (Sunday), we headed to Prospect for dinner (not in our bus, but in my convertable Saab, which Tim is ashamed to be seen in, let alone drive - isn't Our Royal Birthday fabulous?) Prospect, just outside of Longmont (yeah, I know that clarifies it for you), is billed as Colorado's first New Urbanist community. Whatever. I thought it was kinda cute in a Prisoner-meets-Deadwood kinda way. (Ah, dating myself with the former - how apropos during my bday fortnight.) We half-expected to see a giant white ball bouncing down the streets before it was deflated by a shotgun blast. (Patrick McGoohan, are you taking notes? If not, "Be seeing you." Oh, don't say it. I'm pathetic.)

What do you think?


Now, here's a street I could live on:


After dinner, we returned to the castle, where We changed into Our usual attire...


Other Royally celebratory activities this week include:

As if they haven't already done enough for this Royal, Celestial Seasonings has posted the QUEEN OF THE ROAD webcast We did at their fabulous tour center a few weeks ago. Even if you don't want to see it, go on over to get the winning entries to their QUEEN OF THE ROAD tea-tini contest. (They look quite delectable - can't wait for Sir Tim to make them.) This is what it looked like when we recorded it:


That's Bob Kennedy with the camera.

Do check out and sign up for the Celestial Seasonings Adventure At Every Turn Book Club. Obviously, they take great care in their selections!

Finally, Jerry WAXLER (sorry, Sir Jer), posted yet another glowing tribute (is there any other kind?) to Your Queen's missive on his blog.

The Queen Father (is that what they're called?) also had a birthday this week, as will the Queen Cousin (now, I know something's wrong in this case with that one), Doug, in 2 weeks. So, happy birthday Dad and happy birthday-to-be Doug! Enjoy these 19 days a year in which we are the exact same age. You're turning 50, right? Meow.

September 24, 2008

Tim's Demented Aunt and Jim's Unit

Tim was gone most of last week, visiting his buddy Jim at some God-forsaken cabin Jim's sister and her husband are building in Westcliff, Colorado. It's not even actually in Westcliff. That would probably be too civilized for them.

Linda and Joe are truly off-the-grind kinda people. They work when they have to (as engineers at a major tech firm), just so they don't have to work - like, terribly much. That's why they're building this thing (and I do mean they are building it) as a summer home in that God-forsaken place.

When Jim first invited Tim down for a visit, I called his wife, Lisa, who happens to be a close friend of mine, as well.

"Lisa! Let's also meet there. It'll be great to see you!" I exclaimed.

"Uh... Doreen," she stammered. "I-I don't think you realize what this place is like." She went on to explain that it's beyond rustic. So much so, that she's never even been there. Like, they just got indoor plumbing. They use solar power, so essentially freeze at night - well, there is the wood-burning stove for the entire thing. They're so far from anywhere, in fact, they only go to the supermarket once a month.

"OK, Lisa. I really want to see you - but not that much," I conceded.

"Me, too."

Jim takes his RV to the cabin when he drives from their home in Prescott, Arizona to visit Linda and Joe. He calls his rig his "unit."


He and Tim slept in it.


This is why they didn't sleep in the cabin:




The morning Tim left me at home, he said good-bye with a concerned look on his face.

"OK, Sweetie. I did the laundry, so you should have clean underwear. The dishes in the dishwasher are also clean - I just ran it last night. I gassed up your car, so you've got a full tank. There's - "

"You know, it's not like you're leaving your demented aunt alone for the week." He shot me a dubious look.

"Fine." I continued. "So how come you didn't hire a sitter?" His face lit up.

"You think there's still time?"


When Tim got home, the first thing he noticed was that the electric blanket was on the bed.

"You used the electric blanket?" You would think he knows me well enough after nearly 20 years not be incredulous about my inability to maintain any modicum of body heat - even while it was still officially summer.

"The bed just wouldn't warm up without you in it." He shook his head and gave me a look of despair.

"That's because you have no soul."

Very nice.

The second thing he noticed is that I was in my PJs. It was 4 pm. (Those of you who know me know it was most definitely not because I had gotten ready for bed early.)

But, something was amiss.

“Sweetie, is your nightgown inside out?” I looked down.

“Yeah. I guess it is,” I shrugged.

“Sweetie, PLEASE take it off and turn it right. It’s bad enough if people see you in it all day, but if it’s inside out, they’ll start offering to help me toilet and feed you.”

Very, very nice.

Finally, that night, we saw on TV it was something called "National Stay at Home Week." They pay someone to think up this stuff? I proudly proclaimed, "See? I'm ahead of my time." Tim, recalling that the gas gauge on my car still indicated, "full" upon his return, rolled his eyes.

''Only a week? Amateurs."

November 12, 2008

Livin' Just Enough, Just Enough for the Cit-ay!

That's Crescent City, California, folks! And, even more accurately (sorry Stevie), let's substitute "surviving" for "living." We'll get most accurate at the end of the next paragraph.

How could I have neglected to tell you anything about the place we're parked for the next couple of months while Tim does his time? Well, if you were here, you'd know. Perhaps our nickname for the place will give you a clue, "Crescent Shitty." Or, when we're feeling particularly affectionate toward our home away from home, simply, "The Shitty."

Why in the world, then, should you keep reading about this place? Look at it this way: The more you learn, the less likely you'll ever feel the need to come here yourselves. That's a good thing. Trust me.

Granted, the beaches are gorgeous. If you simply stared out at the ocean all day, you might forget you're actually "in the shitty." But, you've got to turn around, not to mention actually go to town, sometime. Poor you. Or us, as the case may be.

Herewith, some Shitty highlights (or lowlights - you decide):

Since there's a harbor with, you know, boats and everything, I had been looking forward to eating loads of fresh fish. Thing is, you can't buy fresh fish at any store in town - not even the (two) grocery stores. The only way to get fresh fish is right from the fishermen themselves, but they won't filet it for you. Believe me - I asked. The grocery stores are another issue - the nicest one in town is 23 miles up the coast in Brookings, Oregon.

Ah, the harbor. The lighthouse's fog horn sounds every 7 seconds. Every 7 seconds. All day, every day. 7 seconds. It's like Chinese water torture.

As the subtitle of my books says, I have approximately 200 pairs of shoes, although I regularly wear maybe four. I like admiring the rest on my shelf - like works of art - but I haven’t bought new shoes in ages. I thought I’d been “cured” of that particular obsession while living on the bus. But, in Crescent City, I bought my first pair in a very long time: Waders. At Wal-mart. Oh, Queen of the Road, how far hast thou fallen?

Last year while we were here, I saw this Elephant Seal on the beach by our rig:


She seemed to be in distress (even more so than one would expect simply being in The Shitty), so I went to the RV park's office. They said not to worry, "she's just molting." Hmm. This Queen has always believed one should molt behind closed doors but, oh, well. Kids these days. The marine center said she’d come all the way from Alaska, and was headed to the Faulkland Islands to… hook up. I turned to the seal and gave her some free psychiatrist advice (which, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for), "Honey, there are perfectly nice seals next door in the harbor. But, if you insist, I hope he’s worth it." (Clearly, this seal has no sense if she stopped here to pick up a new coat. She should have gone just a little ways down the coast to the Nordstrom in San Francisco. Good luck finding anything nice here in The Shitty.)

It has been way too long since I got my hair done in Boulder - including weeks of ungodly humidity. As I observed when we were in Arkansas - which looks positively cosmopolitan compared to this place - think Hindenberg disaster - “Oh the humidity!” Tim wasn't crazy about my new look either, but as I always say, why did he marry a Jewish woman if not to be disappointed every day of his miserable life? I found this salon (notice it’s conveniently located on the fishing harbor). I think I’ll just wait until we get home.


No Scissors 'R' Us for this royal. What do you want from me?

One plus is that in nice weather (so, every few weeks), Tim and I walk on the beach. I love watching the pelicans skim the water (Pelican Bay has pelicans! Who knew?), but some kind of seagull flock recently got to town. They are decidedly less enchanting. Prior to our last walk, I had just washed my hair. The seagulls kept flying overhead.

"You better not poop on my hair" I called, more than once, eyeing the sky warily.

"Keep looking up and it won't be your hair you get it in," Tim snickered. Told you he's evil.

Unfortunately, the pelicans are soon migrating south, so we'll only be left with the seagulls. Tim lamented that fact, saying, "Even a bird-brain knows to get out of The Shitty for the winter."

On the plus side, we can walk to Turf Club (although do we really want to?):


Tim thought maybe we should give it a try. Feeling scatalogical (what else is new?), I commented they should change the "f" to a "d".

Tim said, "I don't think anyone will notice." He has a point.

Anyone have a nomination for Worst Shitty?

February 21, 2010

The Bra Whisperer

Ever see those Oprahs where women who think they know their bra sizes get sized and find out they really don't?

How in the world can a woman not know her own bra size? I always thought that was so idiotic.

Well, I'm an idiot. (As if you didn't know that already.) But, turns out there's more than one idiot in our house.

You know how men always think they can discern a woman's bra size? (Oh please, oh please: Tell me I'm not the only woman married to one of those.) Well, Tim is not immune to priding himself on that score. Maybe it's a physics thing.

In any event, when I went to my local Nordstrom for a bra last weekend, it was specifically to get sized. I knew what I'd been wearing for years wasn't quite right, but I certainly had no idea how wrong it was.

Meet June, the Bra Whisperer (that really is what they call her). She measured me, listened to my preference for styles, then went in search of the perfect slings and hammocks to meet my needs. But, before she left the dressing room, I had to know. I'd been wearing a 34C for decades.

"What size am I?" I asked.

"You're a 34 triple" she replied.

"Triple what?"


"DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD???????????" (Well, OK. Actually DDD.) I was shocked. Just like those idiots on Oprah.

June gave me an uncomfortable smile, as if she was used to women being horrified when they found out their true sizes. I guess she wasn't use to me.

"Triple D!" I did a little dance with my thumbs up. "Way to go!!!!" (Look, I was totally flat-chested until my second year of college. Some things just stick.)

When I got home, I proudly informed Tim of my new Triple status. He was just as shocked as I. Unfortunately, he simply refuses to admit he was wrong and goes around muttering about "bra inflation." (I guess that's better than refering to June as "The Boob Wrangler.")

My new bras are so comfortable (including my new exercise one), Tim wants to know if this will induce me to get dressed more frequently. I'm pleased, therefore, to announce he remains the sole idiot in the house.

On March 11th, all Nordstrom lingerie deparments will be hosting Nordstrom Fits America. If you buy a bra, proceeds go to breast cancer research. They're taking appointments now. So, get fit, ladies! (Just don't tell your men. I'm not sure they can handle the information quite as well as we can.)

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About Baby Boomers

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in the Baby Boomers category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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