USA Today reported how hotels are working to help guests fall asleep. The Westin Hotel, New York offers sleep masks, aromatherapy oils and a mattress that adjust to different body zones. The Hard Rock Hotel, Chicago has a Sandman Sleep Menu with amenities such as a sound machine, ear plugs and eye mask. The Westin, New York at Times Square offers “Rest Well Calls.” Guest get a call at night advising them to go to sleep and another one seven to eight hours later.

I think signing up for “Rest Well Calls” is like traveling with your mother. On vacation our mother told us when to go to bed. In the morning she woke us by drawing back the shades to let the sunlight in. She had us up and running bright and early because in her words, “We didn’t want to waste time on vacation sleeping.” This was shocking news to us because we most certainly did want to sleep.

I’ve stayed at hotels where the hotel itself is the reason I can’t sleep. I’ve stayed in hotel rooms too close to the elevator and utility closet that the noise interrupted my sleep. I’ve learned when checking into a hotel to request a room as far away as possible from both. I stayed at a hotel filled with college kids on spring break. Their nighttime entertainment kept me up all night. They were kids on vacation without a bedtime or a mother.

As a kid you always want to stay up past your bedtime. On the nights my mother worked late I would stay up watching Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. When I heard her car pull up in the driveway I would shut the television, run into my room and jump into bed. Lucky for me she never felt the television; if she did she never let on.

I no longer have my mother to enforce bedtime and wake me up in the morning, but I’ve got a replacement – my neighbor’s dog. Every single morning, bright and early, rain or shine this dog greets the day by waking up the neighbors. I don’t need an alarm clock. This dog and my mother would get along beautifully.

 

The topless tour started two years ago by two girls after they took an impromptu topless dip in a cold lake in Norway. Since then they’ve been traveling all over and posting topless photos against dramatic backgrounds. When they invited others to join in, the photos poured in. Topless photos – taken from the back – are featured on the social media channels of the Topless Tour.

The tour currently has 20,000 followers on Instagram. Photos are submitted from both men and women. Some describe it as “Liberating and proud of who they are and their bodies.”

Not to take anything away from the men, but isn’t a topless photo of one man on the beach, really every man on the beach? I don’t think a topless photo taken from the back means the same thing to a man as it does a woman. Men have been allowed the pleasure and freedom of going topless since time began. I see topless men all the time mowing the grass, poolside, at the beach and just walking around. It makes sense for an even tan. Men don’t have to worry about bikini lines. Why, even men who shouldn’t parade around shirtless do. I’ve told my husband it’s not fair that men are allowed to walk around topless and women are not allowed. He agrees. He thinks all women should go topless – anywhere, anytime. He’s even thinking of starting a petition.

The thing that concerns me is not everyone’s back is photo worthy. You know what I’m talking about. Some backs are hairy. Some backs have moles requiring the attention of a dermatologist. Some backs have skin tags the size of mini water balloons. Some backs have skin tags that were frozen and have crusted up, waiting to drop. Some backs have scratch marks from … well… anyway.

For certain women a topless photo can be embarrassing when someone looks at your photo and asks, “Hey, why do you have 4 legs?” It’s time to put your blouse back on and cover up your embarrassment.

Bikini season is fast approaching ladies and you know what that means. Time to shave those hairy legs! It also means time to shop for a bathing suit. First, a full assessment of your body should be done. It should be done naked, in front of a full length mirror. This way you can pinpoint your problem areas to work on. I know there are people who would have no problem with this as they like their bodies. I don’t personally know these two people, but I do know I don’t like them. While taking a good look at yourself, you realize things have changed with age. You suddenly come face to face with certain facts. Fact #1- double chins on a newborn baby are cute, on a middle-aged person, not so cute. Fact #2- rolls on the thighs of a baby girl as a result of wearing a diaper are acceptable. Rolls on the thighs of an older woman as a result of wearing a thong, are not acceptable. Fact #3- dimples on a baby’s skin, such as arms and legs are adorable and kissable. Dimples on an older persons skin, especially in places not meant to be see, not adorable or kissable.

Some of us choose to get in shape for bathing suit season early, like January. Every year many people make a New Years resolution to lose weight and exercise. I am not one of these people. I learned not to make promises I can’t keep. However, adding exercise and sports to your everyday life can be a plus in losing weight and getting fit. Only, I would not choose bowling, a sport where you play and eat at the same time. You’ll be dropping the ball, but you won’t be dropping the pounds.   

Luckily, today, suits are made to fit women of all proportions. In theory there  is a perfect suit for every woman, whether she is pear-shape, curvy, has a tummy bulge or no waist at all. Today, different suites are designed for different occasions, be it relaxing by the pool, working out in the pool, or looking for sea shells while strolling on the beach. All I know is that no matter what suit I pick out, somehow it will look different on me than it did on the super model who wore it while parading up and down the fashion runway. She, by the way, is # 1 of the two people I mentioned earlier.

After all is said and done, bathing suits will be bought. They will be bought by men and women, the young and the old, the fat and the skinny. Some will be a perfect fit and some will not. Some people will reap the rewards for all their hard work of dieting and exercise. However, I think credit should be given to the guy who you will see strutting around in a speedo, with his stomach hanging way, way, down over it. This guy has guts and is obviously under the wrong assumption that he looks good in his suit. Oh, and need I say it, he is without a doubt, the # 2 person I mentioned earlier.

My husband watches the sports show PTI (Pardon the Interruption) on ESPN with Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon. The two hosts faceoff about a variety of topics. Each topic has a timer and when it goes off the men are supposed to stop talking and move on to the next topic: only they usually disregard the timer and keep talking. When I asked my husband what he thought of the timer, he replied without hesitation, “I wish I had a timer for you.” During my angry, untimed rebuttal he kept pointing the TV remote at me and jabbing a button. When he threw it down and said with frustration, “It doesn’t work,” I took the bait and asked, “What doesn’t work?” “The mute button, I kept pressing it, but you keep talking.”  There are a lot of husbands who would love for their wives to be programmed with a timer or a mute button. Is it any wonder why we talk to ourselves?  timer

Talking to yourself doesn’t mean you’re crazy. When you talk to yourself you don’t have to fear criticism or judgment. Conversation with yourself can be short and sweet, unless you’re a schizophrenic. If that’s the case talking to yourself with at least 4 or 5 other people involved can make for a lengthy conversation. It’s only when you talk to yourself, interrupt yourself and then argue with yourself you need to worry.

Time was if you saw a person walking down the street talking to them self you’d think them crazy, but today you don’t know. Last night while walking I saw a man I thought was talking to himself. As I got closer I saw the Bluetooth under his hair. He was not crazy. What would have been crazy is if the Bluetooth was used as a mere decoy for others to think he was talking to someone when in reality he was talking to himself. This guy’s constant jabber interrupted my peaceful walk I wished he was programmed with a timer or mute button.

I know if I were to wear a Bluetooth and walked around talking to myself, my husband would follow me with the remote hitting the ‘mute’ button. Now that would be crazy.

Summertime – long, hot days, barbecues, the beach and feet. The other day while stopped at a traffic light I looked over to the car next to me and saw the passenger with their feet out the window. Over the past few years I’ve come to associate bare feet hanging out a car window symbolic of summer. It seems more and more people are doing it. Why exactly, I don’t know. It baffles me and I question why someone would wave their feet in the breeze from a car going 70mph. Personally, I don’t think I can get my feet that high anymore, but that’s another story.

The only reasonable explanation I can think of is – they wanted to air out their feet, took off their shoes in the car, and when the driver started gagging demanded they put their feet outside. And, have you noticed it’s never the pretty, well-groomed feet on display for all to see? It’s always the ugly, dirty, in need of TLC feet waving at you; it’s the feet that should be kept covered.

It’s like the delusional lady in a thong on the beach. It’s like the delusional man in a speedo on the beach. These people know they shouldn’t, but they do. Why? Maybe they don’t care or maybe they don’t have a mirror. Summertime comes and people lose their inhibitions… people who shouldn’t. Just because it’s summer and you lose the winter coat does not mean you should lose your mind. Get a hold of yourself! Just because you can walk around half- naked doesn’t mean you should. Stop scaring old ladies and small children. When a small child is playing in his sand castle and sees a full moon, darkening his sky and coming at him, it will scar him for life. It shouldn’t be done.

And hanging dirty feet from a car window shouldn’t be done. If you do it, please put on some socks; do us all a favor. I realize when you get out of the car you’ll then have to put your sandals on over your socks. Why, I can’t believe it… but I’ve just answered the age old question I’ve written about before – why do men wear sandals with socks? It makes sense.

 

Lawmakers in Spain have advanced a new draft Child Protection Bill, which stipulates that kids (18 and under) must help out with housework and be polite to their parents and teachers. Children will be legally obliged to perform chores in accordance with their age. However, the legislation doesn’t mention how the law will be enforced if children fail to comply.

In theory this law sounds good, but as a parent of a 5 year old who doesn’t make their bed you’re faced with a question – do you punish them by banning TV for a week or do you take them to court. The expression on judge (Get me out of here) is solemn as he questions why he didn’t pursue the stress-free job of sanitation man. He also questions the fair punishment for hardened criminals who stand before him – a 5 year old who didn’t make her bed and a 6 year old who didn’t take out the trash. Who should get a harsher sentence? If he gives the girl a harsher sentence will he be labeled a sexist? Will it ruin his future plans to run for Supreme Court? What is the appropriate punishment? If he sends the kids to prison sure enough their parents won’t get Mother’s Day or Father’s Day cards. He didn’t study this in law school. But, he didn’t need law school to know that the toe-tapping parents, clutching their suitcases, airline tickets and yelling, Put em in the slammer,” don’t want justice, they want a childfree vacation.

Rather than taking your kid to court when they disobey or don’t do their chores just bribe them the way self-respecting parents do. $5 dollars to have your kid do their chores is better than $500 dollars in court costs. Or, use the old but stable threat – “If you don’t clean your room, Santa Claus won’t come.” It guarantees results. I wonder if Santa’s ever had discipline issues with his elves. What does Santa say to a rebellious elf, “Hey, stop doing that to Rudolph or I won’t give you the toy you want for Christmas.” It must be hard for Santa to threaten the elves; they know better. What if Santa could take his elves to court? What a sad Christmas it would be with all the rebellious elves and the little girls and boys who didn’t do their chores in jail; the hardened criminals.

Spring is here and For Sale signs are dotting the landscape. But seller beware when selling your home.The show 20/20 aired a piece titled ‘Worst Realtors’ Bad Behavior,’ that showed realtors rummaging through drawers and taking prescribed medication. Some realtors were caught stealing jewelry. Two realtors were caught in romantic encounters in the homeowners’ bed. When they were done they remade the bed so no one could tell anything was amiss. Good thing the female realtor didn’t lose an earring in the bed for the lady of the house to find and suspect her husband of having an affair. Things could have turned horribly wrong.

When you go on vacation and give your neighbor the house key so they can take in the mail and water the plants, you can count on a little snooping. When you have first time dinner guests who use the powder room, you can count on a little snooping.

When you give the key to your fancy, expensive sports car to a valet you can count on a little snooping. 20/20 also featured unethical valets who snooped through your stuff and pocketed your money. It featured valets that took cars for a joy ride before they parked it. If they happened to ding it while parking it, so be it. You wouldn’t notice till you got home and by then it would be too late. You’d have no proof and it would be a case of ‘he said – she said.’

Even though the realtors violated your bed the way the valet violated your car, they were able to physically cover the evidence by straightening the bed sheets and covers. It would be perfect karma if the bed your realtor used as their playground had bedbugs. Why, then you could definitely count your blessings there won’t be a repeat performance.

Early one Sunday morning I called my girlfriend. She didn’t answer the phone because she was eating cereal and didn’t want it to get soggy. We talked after she ate. When you’re a kid you don’t care so much if your cereal’s stale or soggy so long as it comes with a prize. As a kid I didn’t care if the cereal was good for me so long as it had Tony the Tiger on the cereal box. Tony was great and if he told me Frosted Flakes was great, I believed him. I ate Life cereal because, Mikey (the kid, who didn’t like anything, ate it) and I believed in Mikey.

No matter what type of cereal I eat, there has to be cold milk to go with it. There are two types of people when it comes to pouring milk into cereal. Type one: the all-at-once pourer, which describes me. I pour milk into my cereal and return the milk to the fridge. I stir my cereal so it’s dampened with milk. Eating cereal like this leaves no time for idle chit-chat because if you engage in conversation cereal will become soggy.

Type two: the little-bit-at-a-time pourer, which is my husband. This method suits him since he spends an hour at the breakfast table. He pours a little bit of milk and eats a little bit of cereal as he reads the paper. When the milk supply is depleted he adds a little bit more milk and eats a little bit more cereal. For a man who attacks lunch and dinner meals like pit stops for fuel only and not enjoyment, I find it amazing he’ll spend an hour with a bowl of cereal. Since he eats slowly and is a little-bit-at-a-time milk pourer, the milk is always warm by the time he’s done.

The only thing worse than warm milk is curdled milk, which you find out is bad only after you’ve poured it into your bowl of cereal. Looking at chunks of milk floating on the top of your cereal is not a good start to the day. If that was the last of the milk then you have a decision to make – eat dry cereal or pancakes with syrup.

When it comes to eating pancakes with syrup there are two types of people: the one who pours the syrup all over their pancakes and the one who likes the syrup on the side for dipping their pancakes. In case you’re wondering, my husband and I eat our pancakes much the same way we eat our cereal.

The city council of Greensboro is considering an ordinance that would prevent bus riders from wearing pants that hang too low. The ordinance would require waistbands no lower than three inches below the hip bones so this way skin or underwear won’t show. If you violate the ordinance you could be banned from riding public transportation for up to thirty days.

Cities such as Fort Worth, Texas and Springfield, Ill., have already adopted such a policy.

It’s believed sagging pants originated in prison – prisoners aren’t given belts because they can be used as a suicide tool, so their pants sag. I can understand the reasoning, but what I don’t understand is the person who wants to emulate prison attire. Why emulate a bad role model? Was it someone’s way of paying homage to a friend or relative in jail? Are we fresh out of good role models to emulate? Is there any logical reason why?

I think I speak for all of us tired of this tasteless and disrespectful fashion when I say, “It’s about time.” There was a time when people cared enough to get embarrassed if their underwear showed; before low-rise jeans made the thong a necessity rather than an uncomfortable accessory.

What type of underwear a person wore was a mystery, you had to look at a man and guess – boxers or briefs. Did he wear the heart covered briefs his wife gave him… just on Valentine’s Day or year round? How often did he change his underwear? Did he leave it on the floor or place it in the hamper? Did he wear underwear to bed or go commando? It was an unsolvable mystery.

You had to look at a women and guess – 100% cotton or satin thong. Was she practical with buying the Hanes value pack or playful with buying the Victoria Secret lace thong? Did she suffer wedgie’s from her practical underwear like she did from her frilly thong? Did she ever mistake her thong for dental floss? It was an unsolvable mystery.

One time at work, my husband’s pants split. He was embarrassed and when people stared, laughed, pointed and snickered – mortified. He came home to change pants and seek solace from me. Unfortunately, for him I was on the floor, doubled over in laughter, gasping for air that I couldn’t offer him comfort. He changed his pants and returned to work. I had a good laugh and that day his coworkers solved the mystery.

My husband and I saw a play that was so bad we left during intermission. We would have left earlier but didn’t want to draw attention to ourselves and disrupt the play. I always feel funny being the first to leave any event so at a party I permit myself to leave only after someone else leaves first. Seeing the first person leave is like a signal for others to leave and then there’s a stampede toward the door. All at once fifty people are grabbing their coats, gloves, hats and bags and elbowing their way out the door.

As a host you never mind the person who leaves first; however, you do mind the person who leaves last. When you have a guest who won’t leave you’re faced with the question – how do I get rid of them? Do you give hints such as yawning or changing into pajamas? Do you give verbal hints proclaiming you’re tired and have to rise early in the morning for work? Do you make promises you don’t intend to keep such as, “I promise to call tomorrow, Mother, if you go home, now.”

As a host, should you feel obligated to watch television with them? Should you feel obligated to feed them the turkey sandwich they request, after the kitchen has been closed for the night? Do you rub their feet as requested or do you request they lift their feet so you can run the vacuum under the couch?

When it comes to unwanted guests I’m reminded of a line Tony Randall said in one of my all-time favorite shows The Odd Couple, “Never overstay your welcome or you’ll never be welcomed to stay over.” No truer words have ever been said.