As an adult, whenever Mother’s Day rolled around, there I’d be: wandering up and down the greeting card aisles. Just another shopper. Me, who once wrote greeting card verse for a living!
Well, it wasn’t much of a living. Initially I got paid by the line so I’d write really long, schmaltzy poems. But I did love that job — especially writing condolence cards. Turns out I’m at my best when someone’s deceased. I can come up with scads of sympathetic things to say.
Birthday greetings are more challenging. Since most people have many decades of birthdays, writers must supply…
“If Millar LITE doesn’t serve beer, why should I stick around?”
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,” I sang along with my 95-year-old aunt a month before she passed away. That she recalled the words to the song amazed me. She was mostly mute by then, living with dementia. Somehow, musical memories linger.
It wasn’t the only surprise my aunt Marion had for me that day. Her daughter later shared with me a letter Marion had written some twenty years earlier, when her mind was still sharp. My aunt had been a homemaker, a pie-baker and an eternally cheerful soul — but a writer? Not to my knowledge. I was…
When in doubt, they say: Ask Siri. So I did.
Me: Siri, what is the meaning of life?
Siri: To think about questions like this.
Me: Uhh, yeah. So what DO you think?
Siri: Be nice to people and avoid eating fat.
Me: Err, what about the healthy fats? You know, Omega-3s?
She shoots me a photo of a “Mega Tree” — a monster 23-foot-tall LED tree some poor bastard was forced to erect by his Christmas-crazed wife.
I try enunciating more clearly.
Me: What. Is. The. Meaning. Of. Life?
Siri: I KANT answer that. Ha ha!
Me: Skip the…
Once, after an evening of humorous storytelling, an audience member asked me: “Judy, were you born funny?”
I could have given a straight answer (uhh …. nope). But as a lifelong klutz, it was more fun to pretend to misunderstand the question:
. . . Was I born funny?? Uhh …well, when my mother told me I was a breech birth, it came as no surprise. I vaguely recall tumbling around in utero, trying to get my head part aimed down. My left knee had gotten hooked over my right elbow. …
I was pumped when I learned this video performance (below) won first prize in the Charleston International 2020 Talent show. I deflated a bit when saw I was the ONLY ENTRY in my “Humorous Storytelling” category. Ha ha. Way to go, Judy!
But hey, a win is a win. I’ll take it. And so should you, if you can turn the lemons life hands you into storytelling lemonade. In this case, my “lemon” was my L-1 vertebra. It fractured and then further collapsed, making for months of misery. Then came back surgery and, eventually, physiotherapy. What to make of all…