Category Archives: Daily Life & Humor

Bouncing Back, Moving Forward

I am more than fairly amazed at my 11-year-old son’s resilience.  He’s had a tough couple of days, but it seems he is not at all taken down by happenstance that might crush an adult; he simply bounces back.  I am not speaking of his ability to down 16 Swedish Fish and two packs full of gummy worms in one setting without gaining an ounce, (in good time my son…in good time!), but rather the day-to-day stuff that can reach inside his bony little body and put a choke hold on his fledgling self-esteem.

For example, last night was the last game of his baseball season.  His team had been down 5 to 1 but had rallied during the final inning and brought it back up 5 to 4.  We parents were in a rapturous lather and were cheering our little on men to victory.  When my boy got to bat, the kid before him had been walked to first and the bases were loaded.  Two outs were showing on the board.

Let me stop here to say that my son loves baseball.  He has improved greatly this year, but sadly, although he made some good plays, he does not excel at batting.  He got one hit all year and it was a bunt that went foul.  I silently blessed the other parents for not groaning  audibly  when he stepped to the plate.  (They’re good people, these baseball parents).  Strike one…ball one…ball two…strike two…strike three.  Game over, season over.

While I died a thousand squirming deaths for him and tried to pretend I didn’t notice the other parents avoiding eye contact, he came bouncing up with his bag over his shoulder, corn chips in one hand and G2 in the other.  “Hold this” he said, slinging the chips at me as he used two hands to bring the oversized bottle to his mouth, and tried to open it with his teeth.  I watched his undisturbed countenance for a moment.  Wordlessly, I held the chips back out to him, traded him for the bottle, opened it and handed it back.

On the way back to the car, my husband broke the heavy silence.  “That sure was an exciting game.  Too bad you guys didn’t pull it off.”  There was no pregnant pause, although both of us wanted to give Bryce the opportunity to talk about what had just happened.  “Yeah,” he immediately replied, “I’m gonna spend the summer getting really good and then I won’t miss again!”

And this is where I find myself in awe of the child.  He didn’t bluster about “losing it for the team.” He didn’t pout and shuffle his feet or declare that he “sucked.”  And most surprisingly of all, he didn’t look remotely like he might want to cry…it never crossed his mind!  He believes he is a good player and that he will work hard and come back even stronger.

What a wonderful, beautiful gift this child has and I will do all I can to cultivate it.  Now if I could just cultivate a little of that for myself!

Me? Running? You Betcha!

My friend Amy is a “rock star” when it comes to running. If I remember correctly, she was on scholarship to a college in Virginia thanks to her accomplishments when she was on the track. So, needless to say when I decided at the age of (insert clearing of throat hear to cover the number I’m trying to hide) to run a 5 K for charity, she was the person I asked for advice shortly after I attempted to train.

Amy was very excited to give advice and even offered to run with me on the weekends. Given that I had never really been taught any kind of technique, especially with breathing, rolling from heal to toe, or gaining additional energy by effectively employing my arms to increase circulation, her consultation was a treasure.

Let me let you in on a little secret: I really loathe running. Loathe it. I have always said that I will not run unless George Clooney is in front of me. However, this may be because I had a dreadful and short lived track career in the 9th grade and because, quite frankly, it is HARD!

And so begins story time, reader. when I was in 9th grade, our little Catholic school in Greensboro must have come into some extra money, or our young gym teacher got adventuresome. For whatever purpose, Mrs. O’Neal decided to form a track team. Since my friend Missy and I finished pretty well on the required course we ran in gym class, we were invited to join the team. I was a “sporting lass” and decided I would give it a try.

Let’s just say it wasn’t a successful venture: we had just one meet. Mrs. O’Neal knew when to quit.

Due to her inestimable confidence in me, or more likely, her lack of options, Mrs. O’Neal chose me, with my short and stubby legs, to participate in (insert derisive snort here) the long jump. Yes, the long jump. The girls I competed against looked like full grown women to me. They had long legs, full breasts, and I’m pretty sure had been shaving their legs and armpits for 7 years prior to the meet. I watched the first girl jump and she cleared, oh, I don’t know — 30 feet? When it was my turn, I ran with all my might, leapt as high and far as I could and maybe hopped a foot. My opponent laughed right out loud, but graciously added, “that’s okay honey, you tried…you tried.”

I will spare you the debacle that was the relay race. I did not run again until a few short weeks ago.

It all started when my nephew’s wife Krissy invited me to attend or participate in a 5 K race to benefit Peacehaven Farm (http://www.peacehavenfarm.org). Being a non-runner, I quickly wrote her a check. But Michael and Krissy had been working so hard for the disabled in their community for some time that I was inspired by their dedication. So, I decided to participate – but not just to walk the event, to run in it. And George Clooney was not eve scheduled to appear, much less be in front of me. Just the same, I knew I had to get in shape fast. I went to my gym and talked to the trainers who set me up with a program called “From Couch Potato to 5K in 6 weeks.” I got on the tread mill and worked the program diligently. But I knew that while the treadmill was good practice, it was unlikely that the track at Peacehaven would be moving beneath me. Enter Amy.

Amy and I have been running together for just a few short weeks. Although she has been off the track for several years herself, once we decided to run together, she was back on. She taught me what I needed to know. She helped me with my form, breathing, and graciously did not absolutely smoke me right off the bat. She’s always very complimentary of me and encourages me to continue when I start to fade a little. She’s even decided to enter a 5K of her own in a few weeks.

Today as we ran together, I noticed we seemed to have developed a rhythm together. Our breathing is easier, our pace relaxed but steady, our goals and plans gelled. Its like we have developed this Vulcan mind meld, and it’s awesome. I don’t loathe running quite as much and as a matter of fact I have even begun to enjoy myself. I look forward to time on the path with my new running buddy; to the quieting my my mind with the sound of our breathing and the beat of our feet on the pavement.

Thanks to Amy, the memory of failures on the track are gone. I don’t have to win, I just have to run. And I may not need to chase George Clooney after all.

Those Kids

Sometimes, it’s all worth it.  Sometimes you get the much anticipated gift of knowing your hard work has paid off.  I am speaking of course, of when your kids “do you proud.”

We live in a small NC town where people know each other or know more about each other than they would prefer.  In a town like this where anonymity lasts about 5 minutes after you move into your neighborhood, it is crucial that your kids not become — you know — Those Kids.

Several few weeks ago we were dining at Gianni’s, one of our favorite restaurants in uptown Concord, and the waiter in the pizza loft was chatting with us as he was taking our order.  He mentioned that he had a band and was going to play a gig for his album launch at a kitschy little restaurant/pub across the street called Little Robert’s.  Our teenage daughter Clarke chirped back that she had a band, too, because first of all Kevin is a good looking young fellow, and secondly, she’s a teenage girl with functioning eyeballs.

Kevin, invited her band to open for them without having heard the band at all, which was both generous and brave of him.  We realized this was a great opportunity and immediately encouraged her.  She said she would check with her band and let him know for sure.

I asked how much she would be paid.

Well, since Kevin is of legal age, he and his band were being paid in beer.  Clarke would be paid with experience.  Still, it was a good opportunity.  She got her band members to agree and she and Kevin agreed a few days later that they would perform for about 20 minutes.

The band practiced several times.  My husband Frank and I made all concessions to ensure she got as much practice as necessary, as we were very excited for her and proud for her to have the experience.  We told our friends and family about the gig, and several people agreed to come.  This thing was happening!

The night before the gig, we were back at the pizza loft enjoying ourselves and Kevin and Clarke were chatting about the next night.  Then he said it…the thing that changed everything…he said he was looking forward to her 30 minute set.  Clarke doesn’t speak rock and roll and took him very literally at his word.  She called the band members the next day and said they needed to throw in a couple of covers to stretch the set and make the 30 minute requirement.

The bass player would have none of it.  He baldly stated that it was a recipe for disaster and that the band was in fact NOT ready for the gig.  He was not coming.  After several hours of back and forth with the drummer and  lead guitarist discussing plans and attempts to convince the bassist that everything would be fine, the efforts came to nought.  The boy would no longer answer his phone and fled to his girlfriend’s house.

His reason for not showing was simply that because it would make the band look bad for them to show up and not play well, so he refused to try.

And this is when our girl began to shine.  She called the lead guitarist and stated that she had made a commitment to Kevin and that people were counting on them.  “We may suck,” she told him, “but we’re going to play no matter what.”  The guitarist, Heath (God bless him) agreed.  This was at 3:30 pm when they were supposed to be at the pub for a 6 pm sound check.

Clarke spent the rest of her afternoon coming up with a song list of covers and original music, printing the music she needed, tuning and practicing.  She timed each song to be sure they met the time requirement.  She went to the pub, met up with Heath and they went over the music from sound check until set time.  (The drummer, for reasons unknown, also did not show that night but it turned out to be for the best.)

She and Heath rocked it.  Make no mistake, our Clarke is very talented, and for that we are extremely proud of her.  But the fact that only half of the band showed up, and she made it happen with a fresh set of tunes and sheer determination blew us away.  It blew everyone away.

I told Heath he was my hero and kissed him on the forehead.

I told his parents how awesome their son was.

I danced when my daughter sang and embarrassed her to tears, but she kept singing.

Yeah, Clarke and Heath are Those Kids:  Those Kids that made us proud!

Adventures in Driving

Like most Catholics, I am a firm believer in the help I receive from Guardian Angels. Tonight, as my daughter and I set out on an errand, I prayed that Jesus would cover us in His protection…forgetting all about poor Flossie, my Guardian and friend for Life. Luckily for me, Flossie shows patience with me.  Otherwise, I’d have been dropped from the protection roster long ago.

Anyway, on our merry way home, Clarke had to change lanes in order to make her turn. There was a short span of available lane for her to use and she dutifully checked her blind spot, as did I.  Neither of us saw the *insert your favorite insult here* coming from behind her to pass her, and as she was half way into the lane change, this (ahem) individual came careening up on her right side, blowing the horn and maintaining position with a roaring engine.

To say I “squeaked a bit” might be an understatement, but rest assured the squeak was in stereo. Clarke pulled back out of the lane allowing the (ahem…) individual free rein to speed by us and jet forward another hundred yards, so that he or she might get to wait at the red light just a little sooner than would have been possible had they applied their brakes.

Once our hearts were out of our mouths and we could speak through the panting, I told her I pray a blessing over people like that. “Heck, it’s only traffic,” I said, “Grow up, chill out and move on…ya know?” “Yeah,” she breathed, still stunned from the experience. “So, it’s a good thing our Guardian Angels were looking out for us, huh?” she asked. Then she said she didn’t know the name of her Guardian Angel or whether she had a girl or a boy protector.

“Flossie!” I said. “Mine is named Flossie!”

“How do you know that?” She said. “I heard you’re supposed to pray to them and ask them to tell you their name,” she stated, matter-of-factly.

“Well, I did that,” I replied. “I did that and my angel said ‘Flossie.’ I heard it in my head.” Then I began to laugh. I began to laugh really hard.

Clarke glanced at me as if she thought she might have to keep driving to the funny farm and drop me off.  You see, I had been imagining meeting Flossie. What if our little incident had turned out for the worst and I came face to face with my very own Guardian Angel? In my mind’s eye, Flossie was standing by the side of the road, arms crossed wearing a disgusted look. Head shaking side to side, Flossie, who closely resembled Mean Joe Greene, growled at me, “Flossie! FLOSSIE?!” That wasn’t me talking in your head — that was that jive-ass Gabriel messing with me again! Pleased to make your acquaintance, Claire…the name’s Crusher. Now, c’mon and I’ll take you to God…

…she’s got a thing or two to talk to you about!”

Thrum and Buzz

Since my father’s passing several years ago
There began to grow in my
inner, spiritual ear,
a persistent buzzing.

It was faint at first
but as I have excelled to those years
When he, at my age, was sole parent,
the thrum yet increased.

Rizzz! I heard when we got a dog
My father thought dogs to be
Antichrist incarnate

Ruzzz sounded the alarm
more firmly still
when my teenage daughter
casually flaunted the word
“butthole” at the family dinner table.

Shaking my finger within my ear
to clear the gnat-like noise,
I could not clear
that growing disturbance
which somehow also
brought familiar comfort.

It was when my husband
announced the impending
ponytail intended for his crown
that the low hum began
and would not cease

Riiiiiiizzzzzzz screamed the noise
the morning I fixed my beloved’s hair
into a beguiling golden cascade
and my daughter wore blue jeans to church
My head sought to split from the
whine so like a dentists drill.

Oh MY – when the full impact
washed over me
What sweet relief to know the source
was merely the sound
of dear Papa Bear
spinning in his grave.

Aside

Dear present self, Just like so many other writers before you, you have chosen to write a “from future self to present self” piece of work.  As lame as that is, (and I know you know it is) I still … Continue reading

For better or not so better

We recently went on a weekend camping trip.  It is the same camping trip that has been organized by a group of friends from our high school since 1983.  It’s called Summer Soltesz after the originator, Steve Soltesz who unfortunately passed away 2 years ago.

The weekend was very much the same as in years past, but also different in so many ways.  First, many of the attendees are parents, so the original party weekend in the woods now involves a pavilion where our children perform, drinking games are replaced by beading and crafts, and most everyone is asleep pretty early.  It’s come to be a truly great family weekend.  That’s not to say that there aren’t still drinking games, but they happen after the tents are filled with mouth breathing little ones passed out from a day on the lake.

One of the major changes wrought on this event is the shifting status of families. Whereas in past years also, young couples were forming and new people were brought into the event through marriage, this year several long standing marriages were reported in jeopardy.  Given the large number of families that have come to camp each year, this should not have been a surprise, but it still was.  The reality of  (1) not seeing the usual couples together because one stayed away as a result of the separation, or (2) seeing two people who literally have a hundred mutual friends sitting frostily at separate camps, was unsettling. I was sad for all of us.

At the end of this strange, and yet still wonderful weekend, there was much to   absorb.  Frank and I worked silently together to strike camp beginning shortly after we got up until close to lunch hour.  And as we were ready to leave, Frank had one final bit of bad news:  He had just padlocked the trailer with the truck keys inside.

It was hot.  We were tired.  It was time to go and we couldn‘t leave.  Frank asked around for a bolt cutter to get the padlock off, and actually found someone who had one to lend.  Unfortunately, it was broken in the attempt to get to the keys.

Did I mention it was hot and we were tired?  Since we had a car and dad hat the truck, the kids wanted to leave and let Daddy catch up later.  When I told them we were not leaving Daddy, they had a ton of suggestions for how he might succeed (Bad Idea).  It was lunch time and everyone was hungry, but first, we decided we would go to Walmart to buy another pair of bolt cutters…and a t-shirt.  My beloved’s shirt had been “decorated” by a bird at some point during our morning’s work.  After 20 + years together, I had learned one thing about how to deal with my husband:  when Frank is upset/hurt/angry/frustrated, my best bet is to shut up, stay calm, and be supportive.  And so we all drove to the Walmart, got his tools and tee and headed back.  The kids and I waited in the air-conditioned car as Frank went back to struggle with breaking into our trailer.

The children began prompting me with what we should tell Daddy he should do.  I whispered to them the secret:  “When daddy is frustrated and saying ‘big words’ it is best for us to be quiet and wait to be asked for  help instead of offering any help.”  That’s when my lovely son Bryce said,
“Mommy, maybe we should pray for Daddy.”
I replied, “I already have.”
Me too! he cried.
“Me too!” chuckled my daughter, Clarke.
“But, said Bryce, “I want to pray all together.”

And so we did.  And at that point, Frank go into the truck.  (Yeah, God!)

Later, as we were headed down the highway toward a late lunch, something very important became apparent to me and I shared it with the kids.
“Do you know what you witnessed today, kids?”
“No, what?” they asked.
“Marriage,” I told them.  “That is what marriage is.  When things are inconvenient and frustrating and not working right:  remember that you are in it together and support one another lovingly and quietly.”

That and the Grace of God has helped us through.
Hopefully, the kids got the message.

 

American Idol Experience – Mom’s perspective

I took my daughter to audition for American Idol this weekend and learned many valuable lessons.  Let me end the suspense right off the bat:  Clarke did not get past the first round but she did get to audition, which not everyone does.   Had we driven several hours and waited from 5 am (YES, 5am) until 3:15 to audition, and she had NOT gotten to sing for anyone, the frustration level may have been more than we could have endured.  However, we were spared that and I am grateful.

What you see on TV, if you ever watch the show, is thousands of excited fans waiting gleefully in line to get into the audition venue.  It’s a big party, right? Let me let you in on a little secret:  the mass of people in line to audition is not to be under estimated,  it’s frightful.  It’s more a cattle call than a curtain call.  No one that shows up screaming joyfully on the screen is actually that excited – they just want to get into the venue.  After all, Charleston at 5 am begins the day at 85 degrees – the thought of the sun coming up struck more fear into me than it would have had I been a vampire.

At 8:30 when we finally got in, the air conditioning did in fact bring brief and actual joy to contestants and guardians.  Then we got to our seats.  The TV hype began immediately.  A constant loop of Lady Gaga’s “On The Edge of Glory” played so that everyone could learn the song and participate when it was time to film.

For those who had not jumped from the upper levels to escape the inane song in sweet and welcome death, a few treats were in store.  One of the low level producers let the crowd know what to expect: we would be filmed for TV – all 12,000 of us.  We were to shout ridiculous phrases and then jump up and do the wave and hold up banners (if we had them) as the camera panned around the coliseum.  They had us chant, “If Scotty McReery can do it, so can I!”  and “I am the mouth of the south!”

It was at this point that I elected to get in one of many long lines to buy an some way over-priced  food.

In line, I was pleased to find I had escaped singing along with the crowd for the filming of  “Edge of Glory.”  Although I sound bitter, this is not the case:  we had air conditioning, a seat that was not pavement, and eventually, we even saw Ryan Seacrest – the AI people could have gotten anything from us.  Anything except $6.50 for a bottle of water!

Ryan got the crowd genuinely excited for about 30 seconds, then evaporated for the remainder of the day.  This made the entire trip “worth it” for Clarke, so I was glad for that. The low level producer then explained how the sections of the coliseum would be brought to the floor of the complex, lined up in groups of four and marched up to one of the 12 tables of judges beginning at around 11 am. (And you will be shocked to know that J-Lo, Randy and Steven were not present at any of those tables.)

After an early lunch of salted soft pretzel for me and nachos without cheese for Clarke, we shared a $3.50 clear soda to save her white dress from any insult or injury.  While we waited for Clarke’s turn, thousands of contestants marched up to the judges and did what they came to do.  Winners exited to the “winners room” stage left with a  golden ticket (but not THE golden ticket) and non-winners had the long walk of shame to the right of the coliseum.  Guardians of contestants under the age of 18 were put in a corner of the floor of the coliseum that I referred to as “parent time out” to await their childrens’ fate.

Let me insert here a few notes about a full coliseum of very talented and nervous individuals.  The singing one hears in the hallways, corridors, sections of seating areas and from the floor during auditions is phenomenal.  There is a TON of talent out there and a 15 year old can get a bit shaken up.  And at any point the producers can say, “Thank you for coming out, but we’re done.  Try again next year” and they will pack up their kit and kaboodle and leave like the Cat in The Hat.  So, part of the nerves everyone feels is whether there will be an audition at all.

The smell of bathrooms reflect the fear in a major and unsettling way.

During the first part of the morning, golden tickets are handed out like candy.  One after another walks left to the cheers of their peers and a few quietly take the walk of shame to the right.  By lunch hour, less and less walk left and more and more walk right.

Clarke’s chance to audition did come around 3 pm.  Tickets were fewer and fewer and I was just grateful she was getting a chance to sing.  Her practicing had been lovely and hopefully intimidating to those around her.  I went to parent time out and she began the long journey toward her chance.  As I stood on the floor, I heard one after another incredible voice and watched in shock the rejection of many talented individuals.

I did not get to see or hear Clarke’s audition — parent time out was near table 12 and Clarke’s audition was at table 2.  So I shook and prayed and kept my eyes glued southward.

Waiting for Clarke to emerge from the other end of the floor seemed longer than waiting to give birth to her, I swear, and I had no drugs to dampen my anxiety.  She emerged finally with the other three contestants from her table, got her wrist band snipped by some soul-less drone and began, not the walk of shame toward me, but a walk of extreme grace — with a large smile and arms stretched out for a hug.  I ran out to greet her, arms out too and heard Parent Time Out heave a collective “awww” for us.  I was doomed to cry either way, but I was so very, very proud of her and would do it all over again.

She got some good feedback – she got to sing 2 songs (Alison Krauss’s “Lucky One” and Paramour’s “When it Rains”) and they said she did very well but that she was still young and had time on her hands.  They encouraged her to come back again in a year or two, reminding her that Haley Reinhart didn’t make it her first time either and that David Cook was 28 when he won.  So, I see a return trip in our future – the girl just rocks.

Lessons learned for next time:

1. Register early – EARLY and get a good seat and audition before the judges are sick of everyone.

2. Ignore the rule that say “one bottle water can be brought per person” — bring three each in your back pack.

3. Ignore the “no chairs” rule.  They have a place for the chairs to be stored before you enter the venue that can be picked up later.

4. Once you are registered and have your seat, there is no need to show up at 5 am to stand in line.  Arriving by 7 should be sufficient.  If you still feel the need to get there at 5 am, get to the port-o-johns before the sun comes up.

5. Do not be intimidated by other singers.  There is a lot of talent out there; the fact that someone else can sing does not diminish your own abilities.

6. Don’t forget a moment of the experience.  You’ll have it forever whether you go to the winners room or walk the other way.

7. Ryan Seacrest really does seem shorter in real life than on TV.  But that remains to be seen at a later date.

Back to Bliss

It has been many a year since I have been where I was tonight.  As noted in my last post, my husband and I bought a Miata last week.  We’ve been out and about in it a few times, but tonight, we drove to Kannapolis to a lovely little wine shop that serves a magnificent dinner.  Wish I could remember the name; however, I know where it is, so I’ll just keep going back until it sticks in my mind.

Tonight, where I “was” (that place to which I have not been) was a state of mind.  It wasn’t quite as powerful as the BBQ chicken memory that booted me back to my childhood in NY.  It was, however, to a place of complete and utter peace.  A place where nothing existed for me but the moment:  the wind in my ears, overridden only slightly by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the radio, and a desire to be no other place…ever.  In my ignorance of Eastern religion, I referred to it as “Zen.”

Given that I have no interest in pursuing Eastern philosophy beyond mild curiosity and a politely cocked ear at a cocktail party, I can only speak for what I experienced.  Tonight, it was the magic that occurred with the top down on the convertible, riding through a perfect summer evening after a delightful meal with someone I really, really like.

The last time I was in that place, I was about 17 years old and on a date with the absolutely wrong guy.  Dull as the evening was, I still liked the fellow, but I really loved his MGB convertible.  Riding through the country with him, looking up at the stars that evening, was my first ever ride in a convertible and I absolutely adored it.  Even though it took me about half an hour to get a brush through my long red hair, it was worth it.  Such a feeling of freedom and abandon — such a sense of well being!

Life should ALWAYS be that good!  And so it was when I took another ride in that lovely little car of ours.  Although it was so low to the ground it seemed akin to riding in a motorized skate, I adjusted quickly.  I can’t wait for another tip in “The Zen Machine” to get back to Bliss.  Back to  the wisdom of realizing that stress is not worth hanging onto and it is easily blown away by a warm summer wind on an enchanting ride into town.

Random Acts of Honesty

I heard an alarming statistic on the radio the other day; I cannot even be sure if I remember it correctly, but it really made me sad. According to survey results on “Wikianswers” (which we can all rely upon to be completely accurate) “12% of adults admit to telling lies “sometimes” or “often”. The profession with the highest number of liars is teaching, with 65% admitting to telling lies, and a surprising 18% telling surveyors that they tell lies “routinely”. The most dishonest time of day is between 9 and 9:30 in the evening, with the early hours of the morning most likely to reveal the truth.”

Whether these statistics are correct or skewed, it is still an alarming fact of life. When I was a young person trying to keep my father from knowing anything I was up to , I must admit, I got to be a practiced liar. When I got married, my beloved turned out to be a rigidly honest human being. It was dreadful! He actually called me on my bad behavior one time and said, “You’re a grown, married woman — why on earth did you tell your father that lie just now?” The truth was, I had just gotten used to lying to him. The blessing was that my father was not actually in the room when my spouse called me on the carpet. Not only would he have blurted this out in front of Dad, he would also not cover for me when I chose to lie.  I hated it…at first.

It was a very difficult adjustment, but once I started acting like a grown up, I didn’t figure I had anything to hide. Now, this does not mean that I tell my friends when a certain skirt makes their butt look big and I don’t tell my boss he is acting like a moron. Honesty does not mean you need to use hurtful words or blurt out whatever comes to your mind. It just means respecting others enough to give them your sincerity. So, if a friend asks me if the skirt makes their behind look large, instead I might say, “I don’t think it flatters you.” As for your boss acting like a moron?  I got nuthin’ on that!

So, as I have been challenged, I will challenge you too. When you feel so inclined this week to cover up something you don’t want to talk about or gloss over a difficult question, take a minute to stop and think of how you would want to be treated. Consider the extra hurt feelings or anger if your lie is uncovered — it’s always 10 times worse when you betray the trust of a loved one or colleague. Try to commit random acts of honesty this week. “Grow a Set,” as it were, and don’t be afraid to be honest. It gets much easier over time to tell the truth and your friends and family will come to appreciate the fact that you won’t let them go out looking like they’ve been packaged in sausage casings.

Your boss, however, may have to remain a moron.