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Not Ready for Granny Panties
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The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words–Print and Ebook Now Available! (FOR NEW NRFGP POSTS, SCROLL DOWN!)

FOR NEW NRFPG POSTS, SCROLL DOWN!

By: Mary Fran Bontempo

It’s here! The next book in the Not Ready for Granny Panties series, titled The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words, is now available in print and ebook versions. Check out the out this fabulous video below by NRFGP own amazing illustrator, Pat Achilles! (Am I using too many exclamation points?!!! I’m really excited!!!!!!) The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words, along with Not Ready for Granny Panties–The 11 Commandments for Avoiding Granny Panties, is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. Order yours today!

The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words

We women talk—a lot. Yet, the words that take others to their happy place often make us miserable. Words like “vacation,” “dinner,” and “holidays” can leave us breathing into a paper bag with our head between our knees. It doesn’t have to be that way. Join Mary Fran Bontempo and redefine the “dirty words” that make women cringe. You’ll laugh, learn, make some changes and trim your “dirty words” list down to size!

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An Almost Perfect Vacation

By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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Me and Dave enjoying Florida, as evidenced by Dave smiling. He usually looks like someone’s sticking bamboo shoots under his fingernails in photos.

Ultimately, it was the bathrooms.

After nearly 35 years of marriage, with the anniversary coming upon us in June, my husband, Dave, and I decided to take a vacation to celebrate. We traveled to Florida, spending a few days in Sarasota, a favorite spot, with the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico beckoning, and then on to Disney World, because we’re weird that way.

It was the first major vacation that didn’t involve our children. And, sorry, kids, it was fantastic.

No schedules. No agenda. Nothing to see or do but exactly what we wanted, which, lucky for us, usually turns out to be the same thing.

We had wonderful meals, one especially memorable at the Columbia Restaurant in St. Armands Circle. And then there was the 70-something guy who fancied himself quite the entertainer, belting out both “Uptown Funk” and “Blurred Lines,” while we alternately gaped in disbelief and applauded his moxie. Hysterical.
 


 

Disney has always been our go-to, much to the chagrin of my friend Kathy, who cannot in her wildest imagination figure why we would want to tromp around a theme part overrun with kids to stand in line for rides we’ve been on a dozen times before. I can’t explain it either, but we do exactly that, and we love it every time.

It was the perfect vacation, so you’d think we’d be sad to see it end, right? Wrong. Not only were we not sad, we moved up our flight by a day and came home early.

We’d had our fill of public bathrooms.

I’m not sure what happens to people when they use a public bathroom. Even in Disney World, where things are generally scrupulously clean, the bathrooms are disgusting. Or maybe it’s the people using the bathrooms. Either way, I stepped in more pee in six days’ time than a zoo keeper cleaning a monkey pen. (And I will spare you the video I took of a giant gorilla turning his butt to the humans staring at him and divesting himself of several gallons worth of pee, shooting us a look of disdain after he was done. Oh hell, no I won’t. It’s below.)

 


 

I could kind of see it if I were a man and over or under-shot my aim with that appendage they need to use. But women? What are you ladies doing in there? We sit down to pee. If you’re standing up, you’re probably going to pee on the floor. And apparently, a lot of you are doing just that.

Believe me, as somewhat of a germaphobe, I get the cleanliness thing, which is why I never pee in a public bathroom without first lining the seat with that annoying paper thing, toilet paper, or both. Assuming, that is, that the seat is not soaked with pee and must be wiped first before lining is even attempted. Why is the seat soaked with pee? Are you squatting and going around in circles? What is that about? And yes, ordinarily I’d just go to another stall after seeing a pee-soaked seat, but after waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean for 35 minutes, and then trying to find a bathroom in Adventureland, an open stall is the only option, unless…well, let’s leave unless to the imagination, in which case I cross my legs and hop up and down until a free stall opens up, hopefully sans seat pee.

And don’t even get me started on the sinks. Why are they always soaked? Are people showering in there and I just missed it? Why is it so hard to wash your hands without flinging water all over the rest of the bathroom? Then there are the sticky floors, the wet and dirty paper towels and God knows what germs still living and thriving on the door handles….

About six days in, we just looked at each other and said, “What do you think about going home a day early?”

Yes, the vacation was amazing. But so is using the bathroom without stepping in pee. It’s nice to be, and pee, at home.

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Hello Doris! A Movie Review.

dorisby: Chrysa Smith

Sweet Sally Field. I can never get let go of her roll in ‘The Flying Nun’ which I watched (hmm) religiously as a kid.

But here she is, post Forest Gump, The Amazing Spider Man and some less significant tv roles. And she brings all the things we love together—romance, youth, quirkiness and her sweet ways in her role as ‘Doris’—the odd older woman who works in a Manhattan ad agency in the film Hello, My Name is Doris. Dressed in mismatching plaids, stripes and solids, Doris is never seen without her cat-eye glasses, and often seen with an additional pair of reading glasses. Her pin-in hairpiece and colorful headbands add to her bohemian quality, which turns out to be a win-win in a young person’s world, as her younger co-workers find her to be oddly ‘hip.’

But Doris is actually a loner who happens to fall head-over-heels for the newest recruit at the agency. A handsome young transplant, he at first, humors Doris, but the friendship quickly turns into a close confidante for him; a potential romance for her. Her best friend (Tyne Daly) thinks she’s lost her mind, but as good friends do, stands there to pick up the pieces when the saying ‘there’s no fool like an old fool’ comes true. Doris goes through a variety of schemes to wind up smack in the young man’s path, which brings her great fun—if for only awhile.  Her dreams are vanquished, if only temporarily, when she posts something on Facebook that actually breaks up his actual romantic relationship.

Meanwhile, her brother and his wife are trying to coerce Doris out of her over-crowded, hoarded, long-term home, shared with her recently deceased mother. Her hoarding is intricate to the plot, as it seems, hoarders get stuck in a period of time and can’t part with anything sentimental at all.

In the end, we’re left with a open-end, not knowing what might really happen for Doris after all. She has agreed to clear out the house and perhaps, make a new beginning, but her day-dreaming about her heart-throb transitions from fantasy to reality—or does it?

It’s a cute flick for women ‘in-the-middle’ and anyone who likes to see the power of a triumphant woman.

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The Need for Indulgence

By: Mary Fran Bontempo

woman-674977_1920Whatever it is–a manicure, a spa day, a piece of chocolate, or even a new lipstick–indulgence is a must for women, and one we too often forget. Heck, we don’t forget it; it never registers to begin with!

We’re busy, over-worked, tired, and we don’t take care of ourselves. The good news is, it doesn’t take much. But we have to put ourselves, and a little indulgence, on the program. Click here to check out my latest piece for Best Kept Self–and indulge yourself!

 

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The Ghosts of Easters Past

By: Mary Fran Bontempo

White vinegarWhite vinegar.

As scents go, it’s hardly one that you’d think would elicit fond memories. But I’m literally sitting here crying as I think of the ghosts of Easters past.

Any mother who celebrated Easter with her kids, at least when my kids were young, remembers the smell of white vinegar. It was the essential component when dyeing Easter eggs.

That’s what we did back in the day, before those mesh bags filled with plastic Easter eggs from China became ubiquitous during the Easter season.

I get it. I mean, the process of dyeing Easter eggs was laborious, smelly (see: white vinegar, above), and messy. Not to mention wasteful, because how many kids actually ate the eggs after dyeing them? When the other option is candy, few children opted for a hard-boiled egg. Plus, those plastic eggs came with the element of surprise. What was hidden inside? Candy? A dollar? The only thing hidden inside a hard-boiled egg was an egg.

Easter eggsStill, dyeing Easter eggs with my kids was a special tradition. Gathered around the table dropping brightly colored discs into cups filled with pungent white vinegar, then carefully dipping the egg into the cup, their little faces shone with anticipation while waiting for the once white egg to be transformed.

And remember those funky wire contraptions that lifted the colored egg from the cup so little fingers, and the freshly colored egg, were spared the mess?

I loved those days. They were all too short. But now, I have Emma, my darling granddaughter, with whom I plan to again dye Easter eggs. I hope we can make new memories together. Maybe some day, she’ll smell white vinegar and think of a happy time with her Franny. I know I will.

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International Women’s Day–Google’s Doodle

Tuesday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. Enjoy Google’s take on the #OneDayIWill campaign with their Google Doodle below. What’s your “One Day I Will” dream?

 

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Betrayed By the Bag-less

Mary Fran Bontempo

I first wrote this column years ago, when I needed a new vacuum. I hated the bag-less then, and I hate it now, only now, they no longer make vacuums with bags, as I discovered when I had to buy a new one again last week. If only my current story’s end could have been as happy as the one at the end of this old column….

 

Dyson_DC07_Vacuum_CleanerI should have known it wouldn’t last, and it serves me right.

After twenty some years, it happened. I fell for a younger, newer model, casting aside the loyal, tried and true like a pile of used junk. The old relationship just wasn’t working for me anymore and instead of more of the same, I wanted out.

I admit now that it was superficial; I was taken in by looks, deceived by empty promises, with no regard for past loyalties. The way I discarded our pairing was simply shameful, and against the advice of my mother, in whom I had smugly confided my intentions.

And just where did it get me? It brought me to my knees, puzzling over what was wrong. What happened to those first sparks, the jolt of power I felt when we first began? I couldn’t imagine why or how I had been deceived.

It’s time for the truth. My neon yellow, brand-spanking new bag-less vacuum was a complete waste of money.

In my defense, it was nearly impossible not to be enticed. My old vacuum looked exactly like the one my mother still had from my childhood. Some bland, non-descript color, that annoying inflatable bag and no tools on board—they were stuffed in that clumsy box shoved in the back of the coat closet. I mean, seriously, everything eventually becomes new and improved, right? How could I not be seduced by the blinding color, the amped-up motor, the cute little dust cup that would free me forever from trying to fit those stupid paper bags with the cardboard piece on the back over that impossible to fit plastic port? More important, how could I resist a headlight that worked?

In short, I couldn’t. So I trashed the old vacuum, literally, leaving it forlornly sitting at the curb to meet its demise. I gleefully unpacked my new model and put it together in minutes. (I’m the only one in the house with a complete tool kit, which I hide from my husband, but that’s another story.) I vacuumed every day for a week, initially repulsed by the stuff my new love sucked up, but eventually delighted that I finally had a partner which showed me with each emptying of the dust cup just what I thought I had been missing.

Before long though, I began to notice some unsettling developments. While the dust cup visibly displayed its contents, it failed to completely contain them, resulting in a vacuum which had to be wiped down after each use to remove external dirt. After only a few months, the brush all but stopped revolving, and most insulting, the headlight burned out.

I hauled my ailing appendage to the repair center, a place I had visited only once before in the twenty-five years I owned my old machine, and faced the music.

“I wouldn’t use one of those bag-less things if you gave it to me for free!” the scornful repair guru said. “You know that ridiculously priced brand that looks like an alien space ship?” he asked, while he proceeded to count the number in for repair. “One, two, three…six today and eight yesterday! Here’s what you really need.”

Humbled, I handed over my credit card and loaded my mother’s brand of bland, old-fashioned, bagged vacuum into my car under the reproachful gaze of the repairman, who included extra bags to get me started.

I’ll use the ugly thing and recognize the beauty in its utility, but when all is said and done, I have to borrow a line from my kids: I hate it when Mom’s right.

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Lady Gaga Sings the National Anthem

Mary Fran Bontempo

From a meat dress to a Golden Globe win, to an Academy Award nomination, Lady Gaga continues to surprise. Her rendition of the National Anthem at yesterday’s Super Bowl was pretty fantastic. Not Whitney Huston, but a decent first runner-up. If you missed, see the full performance, below.