Archive for February, 2012

Two hearts are joined together. Two shall become one. The union of a man and woman means saying goodbye to ‘me’ and hello to ‘we.’  Let me just say that the word we is the most abused word in the English language. I say this because if you’re married long enough you’ll find that we means you.


In the early stage of marriage we does stand for both partners.

We bought a house.

We bought a car.


We comes with a question mark attached in the middle stage of marriage.

We had a baby. Really, we had a baby?

We are breastfeeding. Really, we are?

We love giving the kids a bath. Really, we do? Number 3 comes with a question as well as a lie. This lie is the foundation for the late stage of marriage. This is the stage when we becomes you.


We need to shop for my mother’s birthday gift. Translation – you need to shop for my mother’s birthday gift.

We should mow the lawn. Translation – you should mow the lawn.

We should write out the Christmas cards. Translation – you write out the cards.

We have to wash the car. Translation – you wash the car.


We’re getting a divorce. Translation – we’re no longer we and you will give me half your money.

So, now it’s goodbye to we and hello to me.


An article in USA Today reported since we experienced the warmest winter in years that bugs such as beetles, ants, termites and wasps could come out much earlier than usual. Also, it’ll likely be a banner year for mosquitoes.

I don’t mind ants so much as mosquitoes. People always coin the phrase, “An army of ants.” Granted when you see one ant, you can be sure there are more on the horizon. And sure you always see them marching in a line, but may be they went to catholic school for ants. (I went to catholic school and when we changed classes we had to walk in a single file, up against the walls.) Despite all this you never see ants with ammunition – no guns, no grenades and no combat boots or helmet. The next time ants crawl across your picnic table look closely and you’ll notice not a single one is wearing combat boots. Sure, ants may be annoying, but you don’t have to wage war on them.

What you have to wage war on are mosquitoes. I thought it funny that after a vacation from her home inPennsylvaniatoGeorgia, a friend told me she had been eaten alive by out-of-town mosquitoes. After I explained to her that since she was the one who vacationed in their hometown she was technically the out-of-towner I began to wonder if mosquitoes travel and if so – how far.

Do they travel enough to earn frequent flier miles? Do they travel to far away lands that they use TripAdvisor?

Do the travel solo or as a family? I can picture a family of mosquitoes flying to some exotic island (with the help of aGPS.) Once they land on the lily pad in the swamp they reserved they unpack. You must understand that out-of-town mosquitoes travel just like humans (only minus the airport security groping.) So, these little bugs carry tiny, tiny, little suitcases which are invisible to the naked eye.

After they unpack, they wash up (hey, they may carry disease, but they don’t want to catch any,) and then set out on the town to find some fresh blood. Only, since they’re from out-of-town they need help getting around town. So they look and look, until they find it. Ants! An army of them! The ants will lead the mosquitoes to a family picnic where there will be plenty of fresh meat, and I’m not just talking hamburger. Now I’m sure we’re all wondering the same thing – are the ants from out-of-town?


On talk shows the audience claps for the guest that walks out on stage. The guest has done nothing to earn such a welcome. Sometimes the biggest surprise is when a guest gets a standing ovation for saying they know how to do something so trivial such as tying their own shoes.

On game shows the audience claps when a contestant walks on stage. Should the contestant win a juicer as a parting gift, well, the audience goes wild.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were applause in real life? When I walk in the front door of my home nobody claps, nobody gives me a standing ovation. Nobody greets me. Nobody cares. The only time someone runs up to me is when they ask, “When’s dinner?” It would be nice when I walked thru my front door if I was greeted like a game show contestant.

The house lights would go dim and a spotlight would shine on me. Mysteriously, out of nowhere an announcer’s hushed voice, would introduce me. “Ladies and gentlemen please put your hands together and help me welcome, Cindy Argiento. She’s a writer and mother of three wonderful kids (they’re always wonderful on game shows.) She enjoys skydiving (hey, if I’m fantasizing it may as well be good,) swimming with sharks and taming mountain lions. She’s been married to the same man for 27 and isn’t upset she can’t remember her hairs natural color anymore. After this rousing introduction there will be Applause! Applause! Applause! Just think how much happier we’d be if we were all greeted in this way.

I did come pretty close the other day. I was walking past a house when a little girl who was standing in the front door, saw me, opened the door, waved and said, “Hi.” Sure, the girl didn’t applaud, but she did have a big smile. Sure, there was no confetti, but she had enthusiasm. And even though I didn’t win a juicer, I considered myself a winner as she didn’t ask, “When’s dinner?”

There’s a hush that blankets the land. The first snow fall of the year always brings with it its special magical silence. Living inNorth Carolinawe don’t get much snow, but when we do it is always a big event. People run to the store to stock up on the necessities (milk and bread.) Kids anticipate throwing snowballs and sleigh riding. Businesses are closed and schools are cancelled. People are warned to stay off the roads and not travel unless absolutely necessary. You’re advised to stay indoors and not venture out till the ‘Storm of the century’ passes. For all this commotion we only got a 1/8 of an inch.

I’ve been living inNorth Carolinafor fourteen years and it still amuses me that the way people prepare for snow is to panic and cancel everything before the first snowflake hits the ground. In spite of all the unnecessary, over hyped panic I love that when day turns into night a certain silence will descend upon us. I call it the snow covered silence.

With everybody indoors the streets are abandoned and silenced, lacking their usual symphony of car sounds. The grass and trees do not sway in the breeze making their usual music as they’re silenced by the snow. Barking does not fill the night air as dogs that are normally left outside are brought in. Even the moons glow which speaks loudly in the night sky is silenced by the snow clouds which block it. A snowfall brings with it certain stillness; a stillness that leads to a silence. A silence that is magical.

Don’t you just hate it when you’re sitting on a plane, in the theater or at the movies and some guy needs to get by? In this type of situation there are choices to be made by the person sitting and the passerby. The person sitting can let the person pass by either: 1) pulling in their legs and feet or 2) standing.

The passerby has two choices: 1) face the person he’s passing or 2) turn and face the other direction with his back toward you.

If the person sitting chooses to remain seated and the passerby chooses to pass while facing your direction then there’s the risk of face to crotch contact which makes you want to lose your cookies. However, if the passerby faces the opposite direction with his butt toward you then there’s always the risk of face to buttocks contact; not a good thing especially if the guy rips one in passing. You’ll toss your cookies as well as your popcorn.

But, if both are standing and facing each other there’s the risk of crotch to crotch contact. Your cookies melt instantly in your mouth as you realize that wasn’t the guys zipper sticking up.

However,  let me offer some advice – if you have crotch to buttocks contact and your popcorn happens to fall at that precise moment, do not, I repeat, do not dive for the popcorn!

I was waling thru a virtual minefield, only this minefield was covered in geese poop. Geese are abundant in my neighborhood which can make taking a walk much like a war maneuver. You have to be on the lookout and be ready to dodge and weave in a second. Today, on my walk I actually debated with myself whether to jump over the poop or skirt around it. If I’m walking for leisure activity and enjoying the fresh air I’ll skirt around it. If I’m walking for exercise then I’ll jump over it. Sometimes I do way more jumping than I do walking.

Come autumn with all the falling leaves walking can get even trickier.  On one particular walk I was going at a pace as brisk as the fall air when I saw what looked to be a crispy leaf on the ground. As I stepped on it I expected to hear crunching under my foot, what I got was a surprise. I stepped and slid. I slid because under the leaf was a pile of poop; fresh, moist poop which is far worse than dried-up, old poop. It clings, it smells, it causes people to cast a disapproving look at you as they hold their nose. It causes you to almost jump in a puddle to wash it off.  And when you’re about to jump in the puddle you see something floating in it, something that looks like what you just stepped in. As you back away you realize that even puddles can be minefields.

I had my first speaking engagement today. I was guest speaker at a senior center. My presentation centered on my book, Deal With Life’s Stress With ‘A Little Humor.’ I was to deliver my presentation behind the podium. Well, being a woman of short stature the podium was neck level and the microphone was even with my eyeglasses. Since I didn’t want my audience to think they were watching some bobble head talk I asked who could hear me without the microphone (keep in mind this was a senior center.) Not one person could hear me. So, I did my presentation and threw in vivid facial expressions to hold my audience’s interest.

I also remembered to ‘pause for the comma.’ My high school English teacher always told the class when you’re reading a sentence with a comma in it to pause for a second and then continue. It can be very confusing when the pause is not taken.

For example, I was talking to a friend who said quickly, “I’m going to Bed,Bathand Beyond and get groceries.” There was no comma in her sentence and from the way she said it gave the impression she was going to Bed andBathto buy groceries. She said it so quickly that she didn’t pause for the comma. If she had paused for the comma it would have made sense. A comma can make all the difference.

So, today as a guest speaker my audience got to see a bobble head that paused for the commas. My old English teacher would be proud.

Come Christmas time my daughter and son-in-law argue whether to leave the window (with the tree in front of it) blinds open or shut. My daughter wants them shut so no one could look in and my son-in-law wants them open, allowing the people who drive by to see the tree. Personally, I appreciate my son-in-laws reasoning as I love getting a glimpse into other peoples homes.

My neighbors, who live across the street offer a glimpse into their home and lives nightly as the blinds are open a light is always on. Looking into their kitchen is like having my own version of ‘Midnight Theater.’ Looking into their kitchen I’ve become familiar with their nighttime tea habits, as they fill the kettle with water and place it on the stove to brew. As to what kind of tea it is, I’d have to ask and hey, I’m not nosy.

In my free seat at ‘Midnight Theater’ I’ve been entertained watching them play games with others. As to who’s the winner, I couldn’t tell you. In order to know the winner I would have to ask and hey, I’m not nosy.

In my front row seat at ‘Midnight Theater’ I’ve been witness to marital fights. I know because the hand motions and body language speaks to me as though I’m watching a silent movie. As to what they fight about I’d have to ask and hey, I’m not nosy.

I have to go now. It’s getting dark and I need to close the window blinds so my neighbors can’t look in. You know how nosy some people can be.

On my walk the other day I saw a flyer for a ‘Doggie Butler,’ someone to walk your dog and take care of its needs while you’re gone. I guess it’s just like a nanny, only for dogs. I imagine there’s a need for this as not everyone who has a dog has the time to walk it.

I don’t care who’s walking it so long as they exhibit consideration. If you’re on a walking path with your dog and see someone coming in the opposite direction, the considerate thing to do would be to remove the dog from the path. What doesn’t make sense is for the dog to remain on the path while you step off. Don’t let the dog run up and sniff me and then tell me, “Oh, don’t worry, it won’t bite you.” Well, I don’t know that. How would you like if I drove my car to within an inch of you while you were walking on the street and I told you, “Oh, don’t worry, I wasn’t going to hit you?” I think the feeling would be the same.

Recently my neighbor got bite by a dog while he was walking. I call it a run-bye-biting as the person running with the dog just kept going. Unable to find out if the dog had its shots; my neighbor is now getting rabies shots.

But, I wonder in a case like this, if a ‘Doggie Butler’ was walking the dog who would be responsible? It’s like loaning someone your car and they get into an accident. Who’s responsible? Who will pay the bills? Whose insurance rates will go up? Will the relationship last? Who will friends side with on FB?

So, does a ‘Doggie Butler’ have a contract with a special clause that reads:

1: In case of run-bye-biting the owner must and will accept all responsibility.

2: In case of dog pooping in neighbor’s yard owner must and will accept all responsibility.

3: In case of dog chasing the mailman the owner must and will accept all responsibility.


To me it’s like the parent who doesn’t want to claim responsibility for the problem child. There will come a time when you must face reality and accept part of the blame.

There’s a growing trend for people to hold events such as weddings, graduation parties and birthdays in funeral homes. With the chapel being free of charge it’s understandable why people would be inclined to do so.

If you book a wedding which follows a funeral you may not have to order flowers if their flowers match your color scheme. This is why having a wedding at a funeral home makes perfect sense.

Some wakes are a celebration to honor the dearly departed.

A friend of mine wanted to honor her mother-in-law’s passing by throwing a celebration reflecting the person she was in life – a fun loving, fashionista. How did she do this? She took the dress the woman had picked to be laid out in and used it to pick out a coffin. She went to the funeral home with the dress and held it against the different colored lining of each coffin. She picked the one that was a dead-on (sorry) match for the dress. She knew her mother-in-law would be pleased going out in style at her last celebration.

Also, having a surprise party for Granny’s 100th birthday at a funeral home is not only a practical idea, but a smart idea. Think about it – when Granny walks in and drops dead when everyone yells, “Surprise,” she’ll be at the right place. I wonder, since her untimely death happened at the funeral home if they’d provide a package deal. You know – two events for one low price. Wouldn’t that be nice?  This is why having a birthday party at a funeral home makes perfect sense.