The other day I got to thinking (dangerous).

I had just returned from a function where I was introduced to many new people.

The standard rules of etiquette applied: Smile, Shake hands, inquire as to…

“What do you do?”

As much as I accept the reality that this is a way to get to know someone, it’s mostly a way to size someone up.

What if I had said, “Garbage collection”?

Or, “Pole Dancer”?

Maybe, “Nothing. I don’t have a job.”

What then?

What about women who are home raising their children? Should they say “Nothing” or should they say “I’m a stay-at-home Mom.” (Like that’s the only kind?).

What if you are a Mom but you exit the house to go to a place of employment? Should you answer that question by stating where you receive a pay check? Or should you say that you work all over the God damn place? (Because you do).

What if you’re a woman in MidLife that’s no longer ‘employed’? What if you’re retired?

Do you answer, “I’m a retired blahblahblah…”?

What if you do whatever the hell you want to do?

And as long as we’re on the subject, here is a list of other ‘questions’ and ‘responses’ we need to change-up:

  • “How long have you been married?” Answer: “What’s the number you would be most impressed with?”

  • “Do you have children?” Answer:”Yes. And they’re all monsters.

  • “What’s it like living in New Orleans?” Answer: “Great. We’re drunk all the time.”

  • “Where are you from?” Answer: “I’m not sure.”

  • “Where did you go to school?” Answer: “What grade?”

  • “How did you and your husband meet?” Answer: “He picked me up in a bar. I don’t remember much past that.”

  • “Are your children still at home?” Answer: “Hell no. We kicked the little bastards out long ago.”

  • “Are your parents still alive?” Answer: “Were they ever?”

  • “Do you have any hobbies?” Answer: “Not a one.”


So maybe the next time I’m asked, “What do you do?” I’ll just answer…

“Whatever the hell I want to do.”

Yes- I think that’s it.


Thanks for asking.



  • Quirky Chrissy - OMG. YES.

    I hate it when people ask me that. The other day I was in the grocery store and ran into one of my parents’ friends. “So what are you doing now?” Well, I do yoga. I eat food. I drink beer. I go to work at a job I hate where I’m a corporate monkey and losing a little bit of my soul each day. I have no kids, pets or husband, but I watch a lot of TV with my boyfriend. I’m trying to get my writing published somewhere other than my personal blog (which does make me some money, but definitely not enough to pay my salary). I play board games…

    “Do you still live in this town?” No. That was two residences ago. I just bought a house with the boyfriend that I watch a lot of TV with. It’s messy, but it’s ours.

    But they didn’t care about any of that. So I just said, “I work for X company downtown. And we live in X town now.”


    • Cheryl - Right? Right! For the love of God don’t ask such broad (or narrow) questions. How about “Nice to see you. How are your parents?” Simple. Direct. Relevant.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Which job would you like to hear about? The one where I run a household of mass confusion and constant chaos, or the one where I scratch out a living talking to people and telling them how to run their lives amidst mass confusion and constant chaos? Conversation over. Always fun, Cheryl!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - What is someone like me, who doesn’t make a ‘living’ anymore because I already made a boatload, say? I’ll tell you what- I do whatever the hell I want because I’m already rich and famous (well, maybe not famous). Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Dee - I like to ask “what does someone pay you to do?” followed up with “what would you rather be doing?” It usually catches folks by surprise but clearly illustrates my opinion that what you are paid to do is usually not what you’d prefer to do. Which leads me to this question “What makes it a job? The work or the pay?” That one always trips people up….I still haven’t gotten a clear cut response.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - That’s B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that? I’m going to use it my friend. Like always, you clarify ‘things’ for me. XXXOOOReplyCancel

  • Jackie - OMG, I HATE, HATE, HATE THIS QUESTION. Because my answer always has to be, “I’m a bartender/waitress/indentured servant…” LOL! It’s annoying. I also find myself qualifying it with “and I do some writing on the side”, which is ridiculous and makes me feel ten times worse. As difficult as this question is to field from strangers — especially the ones who, upon hearing it, get that “look”, the one that says, ‘Okay, then, you’re not worth my time unless you have a drink in your hand or a tray of pass arounds’ — it is horrible when friends and/or family respond with, “Oh, you’re still doing THAT?” Yes. I am. Because we’ve grown fond of shelter and food. Ugh!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - People are assholes (YOU and I excluded, of course). What ever you ‘do’ I’m SURE you;re fabulous at it. Carry On.ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen O'Donnell - Hilarious! I’ve always hated those questions…yet I’m sure I’ve asked them myself. My other fave is “Where did you go to college?” I didn’t, I got knocked up instead is my fave answer. My second was…because my two kids are complete opposites look wise I used to get asked “Do they have the same father?” Well…I met them in the same bar, does that count?

    People can be so fucking clueless. Yet, they give us plenty to write about!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes. God love the Idiots. Hugs and kisses my friend. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Sue - Nice to see so many others hate to answer these questions too. Currently I am the CEO of shoveling snow and protecting little dog from starving predators.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Which is a WORLD CLASS responsibility, of which, I am SURE you are a Master- like all things Housekaboodle. XXXOOOReplyCancel

  • Cary Vaughn - And I would love to be there when you respond to those questions.
    I agree with all this so hard.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Cary, I think you would find me entertaining under almost all social circumstances. I suffer no fools. Love ya my friend. So happy to see you here. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Doreen McGettigan - Que card questions are the worst. I do have several elevator speach type responses just in case I get asked these ridiculous questions.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Pray tell…….Inquiring minds want to know Doreen. I’m sure you’ve got a few zingers up your sleeve. HA!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Curran - Oh, you gave me the most wonderful idea! I am, from now on, when asked what I do going to say pole dancer! How funny will that be??? I love that you want to change the question — so absolutely perfect!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Pole dancers are very important. Without them there would be no poles. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Here’s a better question: “So, tell me about yourself.”ReplyCancel

  • William Martin - My personal favorite: “So, are you from around here?” No, but the mother-ship left without me. But make sure you can snort-laugh right after saying it.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I, actually, hesitate a few seconds, to let it ‘sink-in’, then a wink. HA!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy Gottberg - Yes…isn’t that the craziest question? I’ve heard that other people in other countries think it is crazy that we in the U.S. boil everything down to what is your productivity level and basically, how much do you make? Better questions are: what are you passionate about? What are you “nexting”? What have you done for other lately?ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Hammond - I like your ‘Whatever the hell I want to do’ response. I can use that now. ;)

  • Roshni AaMom - Best answer possible!!! Seriously, some of the questions people ask are just inane and awkward!! You hit the nail on the head again, Cheryl! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - I agree with you, Cheryl.
    Such questions are so lame, and honestly I have also asked them to people since can’t think of any questions to initiate a topic of

    Lately, I blame the environment by saying, “Phew! what a weather change. No rain”
    Then that starts the conversation going successfully. Phew! thanks to the mother nature…ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - The questions are inane so I’m glad you wrote a post about it. Leave it to you, my dear, to write a wonderful one. Funny and smart as ever! xoReplyCancel

  • Tam Warner Minton - Funny…whatever the hell I want to do! Basically, that is the truth…but not all of it. I wish I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to.ReplyCancel

  • Carolann - I literally cracked up reading this lol. You are sooooo right on about the entire thing! I can’t tell you how much I adored those questions – priceless LOLReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I picked-up a phone call the other day, and answered “This is Cheryl.” The person on the other end asked, “Is this Cheryl?”, which makes me think I need to take this whole topic to another level.ReplyCancel

  • Darcy Perdu (So Then Stories) - HA! Love this! My favorite is: “How did you and your husband meet?” Answer: “He picked me up in a bar. I don’t remember much past that.”

    The other day, I met someone and instead of asking “What do you do?” – they asked me, “What are you passionate about?”

    I thought that was awesome! It actually made me think!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Darcy. High praise indeed! Ya know, I think that’s just a bit too personal. The ‘passionate’ question. It’s like asking someone ‘Are you regular?’ or ‘How long does it take you to reach orgasm?’ or ‘Do you floss?’- which is the most personal of all. HA!ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - That’s the perfect answer! My husband recently retired and has no idea what to answer when people ask him that, even though he’s busier than ever!ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Why can’t I think of things like this? Especially in the moment?! Oh, I have to make a copy of this! So I’m . . . ummm . . . prepared . . .ReplyCancel

  • Risa Nye - Try this answer: about what?ReplyCancel


As some of you may have realized, I’ve been absent from the blog for the past few months. My mother had a major stroke and the SHIT hit the fan-pronto, as SHIT is apt to do, because if you’re not getting enough fiber (or your scared SHITless and receiving poor council) your SHIT is likely to be unarguably runny or dense as bricks.


SHIT is an interesting ‘thing'; always a byproduct. Sometimes it’s expected and other times it just creeps up on you and you have to let ‘er blow.

Is there a plumber for that?

When babies come into the world they do three things: eat, cry and SHIT. We happily attend to their needs. But what do you do if your baby gets all grown-up and still SHITs their pants? (Because, it turns out, SHIT is also the foundation for more SHIT. I know people who live in SHIT houses with SHIT for brains. Some of them aren’t even in diapers).

Of course, there are a few places one should SHIT in if one is to consider themselves part of polite society: toilets (alone) or maybe maybe a hole in the ground if your camping and have wondered off the beaten path. There’s a lot of SHIT in holes. Holes, like SHIT, sneak up on you. Holes are often masked by pretty leaves in the most beautiful of our Parks. Keep your sniffer in good order. Breath deeply. Observe other animals. If your dog starts digging- or is frothing at the mouth- walk the other way.

SHIT is not democratic. No one gets to vote on wether to SHIT or not, or how many times a day to SHIT, or even if they can pay higher taxes to have someone else SHIT for them. Sometimes you’re just stuck with the SHIT you eat earned.

I know people who love their SHIT. If it hasn’t been a SHITty day they don’t know what to do with themselves. They bathe in it. They court it. They make love to it. They even use it as an excuse to SHIT on everyone else. SHIT loves company. SHIT will love you if you let it.


SHIT can be well-formed (even familiar) and make no sound and tell you everything you want to hear as it plugs your plumbing, but your plumbing will be plugged no less.

SHIT can be difficult to evacuate and need a push and make you wish you had pushed harder, sooner.

SHIT can misinform your wellbeing. People who SHIT explosively often find a certain sense of power from filling the crapper because they haven’t filled anything else nearly as expertly.

There are even SHIT artists– you know, the kind that travel the classic ‘three miles of bad road’ because they only know one way from Point A to Point B, and that stretch of asphalt is off the counties list of ‘Roads Worth Repairing’ but they didn’t get the memo? They paint with their SHIT and then try to convince you it’s revolutionary and you should appreciate it. They put a very high price on their SHIT, but it is, in fact, their only resource, and will be lucky to sell even one.

SHIT happens, it just a matter of degree- it’s just a matter of fluid intake and reason and fiber and steadfastness.

We’ve all heard the diddy, “Don’t SHIT where you eat’.

Sadly, sometimes, people go crazbo in the kitch cookin’ up’ SHIT pancakes serving them with sweet sauce to mask the flavor.

But it’s still SHIT and they still have to lay in it.

I’ll order out.


Be careful where you SHIT.PINIMAGE

Be careful where you SHIT.








  • Sue - I most liked the lines about how people love to court their shit. Sorry to hear about your lovely Mom Cheryl.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh yes they do! They dream about having mad sex with their SHIT. SHIT is the only thing that likes them. Oh boy.ReplyCancel

  • Doreen McGettigan - So sorry to hear about your Mom’s stroke. I’m glad you are back and sorry about all the shit but it does happen. Keep moving forward.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - The trick is to not have to double flush. Life’s too short for double flushing Doreen. Thanks for stopping by my friend.ReplyCancel

  • Tam Warner Minton - I am very sorry about your mom. You know how some people say life is a bowl of cherries? My dad used to say life is a bowl of $h!t!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - For some reason, I totally get this. Sorry to hear. Inevitable, though.ReplyCancel

  • Tracy@CrazyAsNormal - Well shit Cheryl. And hugs, lots and lots of hugs.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Tracy. I’ll take your lots and lots of hugs. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Carolann - Sorry to hear about your mom. I was searching for some clever shitty thing to say but I can totally relate to your plight and oh ok I got one…shit doesn’t run upstream! I like that one :ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh yes- I like that one too! So clever Carolann! How could it not?! It’s heavy and sluggish like some people that have shit for brains. Not you. Not me. Others…ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen O'Donnell - Life is shitty sometimes my friend Cheryl Nicholl.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - I’m sorry you’re going through this shit, my friend. But you’re the shit, and I know you’ll get through it. All the same, sending you hugs. xxxReplyCancel

  • Andi Fisher - My hubby is French and they have an expression when making from of the stereotypical French person – they say the French are the only ones that will stand in their own shit and act like they are perfectly clean!ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - I’m so sorry you’re going through all this, Cheryl, and hope you can flush it away soon.ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Bennett - Sorry to hear you’re dealing with all this shit. My favorite shit quote. “The grass is greener on the other side because it’s covered in shit”.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I love it! Yes- sterilized SHIT is a good fertilizer. I use Black Kow in the garden- not human Kow. Though I know someone who keeps trying to SHIT in my garden,ReplyCancel

  • Brenna Fae - Sorry to hear about your mom and I hope she recovers well!

    That being said, you are the only person I know of who can take an embarrassing topic and make me laugh so hard that I want to share it on facebook and even send it to someone who is an expert on IBS and sells healthy products to help others with that problem…myself included.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Really? Truly? Aren’t you a sweetheart and my new best friend. What does IBS stand for: Idiot Bull Shitter? I know one of those. *wink* Thanks for stopping by. Much appreciated.ReplyCancel

  • David Butler - Sorry to hear about all the shit you are going through.In the past few years of my life I have had put up with a lot of shit,shit from family,companies and even friends.I have had to go thought shit,hear shit,see shit ,eat shit and be shit on.I finally had enough shit so I pack some shit and came to Brazil to get away from the shit .Now I will have to leave soon as, my visa only has 90 days and if I don’t leave I will be in deep shit.So i will be going back to the US,were I’m sure there is shit waiting for me.Cheryl, you are one of the only people I know who has never given me any shit, thank youReplyCancel

  • Burns the Fire - We can learn from babies. They are comfortable with their shit, as evidenced by how they play with and eat it. So sorry to hear about your Mom!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie Claunch - Here’s one for you- “well shit fire and save the matches!
    Sorry about your momReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I hadn’t heard that one before! I love it!! I’m compiling a SHIT dictionary. Keep ‘em comin’!ReplyCancel






Recently I was asked to participate in an initiative to spread Compassion, which is roundly defined as: A sympathetic response to the concerns of others that motivates a desire to help.



I can think of a hell of a lot of other things that get spread around on a daily basis that have the opposite effect, so I agreed.


#1000speak of bloggers, from around the world are participating on February 20.



I am honored to be among them…



Compassion would seem, on the surface, to be an easily enough emotion to conjure.

A child sees a wounded bird and wants to fix it’s wing.


A teenager consoles a friend who’s parents are divorcing.


A young adult provides a quiet ear for the broken heart of a peer.


A mother and father provide a safe place for their children to mend against the bruises of life.


The adult child of an aging parent must authorize Do Not Resuscitate medical orders.

Ummmmm. Not so much.

Not so Natural.

A situation that requires on odd response to Compassion, to committing to doing exactly what seems the opposite of ‘help’- Giving permission, orders even, to not go to extraordinary measures to save a loved ones life if the resulting ‘quality’ of life will be massively diminished.

And yet, there it is- the discussion between parent and child, the agreement, the commitment to signing directives that will allow your parent to die, when siblings are less sure, and grandchildren, with space ahead of them, don’t understand the finality of anything, when it is entirely possible that their life could be saved, but at what cost? What quality?

This is a kind of Compassion too.


  • Kathleen O'Donnell - Yes, it does. Been there with both of my parents. It’s a terrible necessity. One must summon all reserves of compassion to carry out an DNR. Bless your heart.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Life is a bumpy road that’s for sure. Thanks for stopping by Kathleen. I appreciate it.ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - The ability to allow the other to choose what’s best for them and to support them is definitely compassionate!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s what’s on my mind recently. It’s what’s in my life recently. Oh boy.ReplyCancel

  • barb barton dlugosz - Hi Cher,
    I know how hard it is,but to respect one’s wishes is showing the compassion that they need and count on, so they don’t have to worry. I understand completely.
    xo barbyReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - We need to talk.ReplyCancel

      • Barb dlugosz - You know I am here for you, Liss and your mom ANYTIME! Just call! Love yaReplyCancel

  • Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife - As I get older, I have less and less compassion, and more and more cynicism. There are those who truly deserve our compassion and action to right the wrong, and that’s where I’m at. I don’t tolerate anymore those who merely talk the talk, we need to walk it, live it, change it.
    On another note, hope you’re doing great, I’m kind of lost without my old FB page, don’t know what’s going on!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - What a sweet friend you are. I miss you tooo but I’m back. Stop back here on Monday. Then we’ll PM. Love you gal!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - I do think it’s a form of compassion, absolutely. Helping that person go with dignity without prolonging their suffering. Not at all easy. But then, sometimes showing compassion doesn’t always come easy.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - You said a mouthful sista! But then again- you always do. XXOOOReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - So glad to see you back. I’ve already had that last one with mine. They know what a horrible patient I am.ReplyCancel

  • Piper George - It’s a very difficult decision. I don’t even know if we have DNR in the UK. I focused on a similar theme – the ability to choose for yourself though, rather than having to make family choose for you. It’s a tough place to be. Great post – very thoughtful.ReplyCancel

  • Charlie - You must answer the question, “If this were you, and you wouldn’t get better, would you want to go through death just once, or many times?”

    We can bring people “back” repeatedly, almost indefinitely. The question is, bring them back to what? You cannot, you cannot change the final result. In the end, it is not what you want, but what must be. Don’t make it worse than it already is. It is very difficult to be a human being. You can not decide what happens, but you can help to decide how it happens. The amount of control you can exert is limited. I know, you and your mom are both control freaks, but this is bigger than both of you. I am crying while I write this, but you will both be ok. It is ok to die. We all do.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Just about the best response I can imagine Charles. Thank you. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - Those are the conversations you need to have well before you need to know… #1000SpeakReplyCancel


Dear Readers,

Least you think I do not possess an opinion, I give you…


Some of my pet peeves:


  • Being ‘late’. I have a girlfriend who couldn’t be on time if her tits were on fire.

  • Coming up with an idea in a ‘volunteer’ situation and then pawning it’s execution off on others. Maybe that works at church but we are a long way from martyrdom in my Kingdom.

  • Showing-up at the last minute and making changes to the game plan. Ben used to come home from a week out of town and tell me how he wanted the kids disciplined. What a comedian.

  • Asking for assistance and not being prepared. Tyler recently asked me for a lift to his abandoned car, and forgot the keys. Yesterday, he asked me for a lift to go see another car he was thinking of purchasing, and forgot the plates off of the car that he had forgotten the keys to. Do you see where I’m going with this?

  • Making everything about ‘you’. Like the people at a flight gate that berate the airline associate at the counter for a plane delay because it affords them the opportunity to affirm their belief that the world revolves around them, and only them. Bathing in the ‘oneness’ of personal persecution can be so affirming. I agree. You are an ass.

  • Small-minded neighbors. Last year I  wanted to construct a glass greenhouse on our property. Our neighbors said ‘no’. They thought it would interfere with their view (Of the side of another neighbor’s house?). Recently they asked for my permission to enlarge their second floor deck. Pay backs are a bitch. My bitch wants a greenhouse.

  • Being schooled in the error of my ways- period, but especially from strangers because I didn’t know that cigarettes are bad for you. I need to be reminded, so that’s why I’m lighting up another okay?


And in closing…



  • Using the word ‘Correct’ after being asked for an opinion. Really?



Like I need your affirmation.



Maybe thatPINIMAGE

  • Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry - Cheryl, laughing as I read this. Pet peeve…on time! Yes,and yes. Lateness drives me nuts. I agree with your list and am adding small things like when I let a car pull out of a driveway or shopping area or parking spot…a wave of “thank you” would be much appreciated. :) Love the postReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Ohh yessssss. I forgot all the transportation peeves. How about when your waiting for a spot with your blinker on and some ass rolls up and swoops in? I get our of the car for that one.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - YES! Except, cigarette smoke is one of mine. But I only really mind when I can’t open my windows on a gorgeous day, for fear of an asthma attack (my neighbors have to smoke right outside my window). All about me, baby! ;)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I would never smoke outside your window- in the bathroom with the vent on, maybe. HAHAHAAReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Such a short list. I could (and have) go on and on. Being late is a huge one for me. Why don’t they just come out and tell me that I’m not important enough for them to be on time?! Not okay! Am SO jumping on your bandwagon with all of these. Laughing all the way to the common sense aisle of life!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - My great Aunt Jenny used to say, ‘I don’t know why they call it Common Sense? Not many people have it.” I love that!ReplyCancel

  • Doreen McGettigan - I agree with all of your pet peeves, absolutely! I especially hated when anyone would tell me how bad smoking was for me. I did finally quit, on my own terms when I wanted to but I will never be ‘that’ non-smoker. I love when my friends smoke in my car:)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Really? I’ll be right over. Hahahaaaa. Thanks for showing up her today Doreen. I appreciate it!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Wow, you smoke? (laughing) Oh, this has to be my favorite post of the morning. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Anne Louise Bannon - I can’t stand narrow-mindedness of any kind. Someone was trying to tell me I needed to focus more – kind of like telling you not to smoke. Yeah, I would focus if I could. It’s so frustrating when folks try to remake you in their image.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes- that’s what it is! Trying to mold someone in your likeness! To accommodate their sensibilities. Who exactly do they think they are? Jesus?ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - Oh yes, I share those pet peeves and I could double your list with some choice ones of mine.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - My list could have been longer but I had to answer the door bell- for Jehovah Witnesses. Do you see where I’m going with this?ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - At least two of them I could go on and on about. I hate being late and people being late. At my age, I can no longer eat a two pound steak ( a one pounder might take three), I can’t drink three cocktails and have wine with a meal when dining out anymore,. All I can handle is three or four ounces of wine. My husband has passed away which means no hugs and no sex, and you want me to quit smoking too? Hah! Feel better already. Thanks, Cheryl.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Hill - I’m glad I couldn’t have been the one to tick you off! Creative paybacks are the worst. Loved your griping by the way!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - Lateness is my #1. And most of the other follow in roughly the same order. I don’t smoke, but you can often find steam coming from my ears . . .ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’ll take it Diane. PS: Always wonderful to see you here.ReplyCancel

  • Stop Giving It Away - I love your title, “Elegant Decay In Midlife”. I admire your irreverence. Did you really tell your neighbor “no” to the deck?ReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy (elleroy was here) - BINGO! on all counts. #1 – LMAOReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Hey there Lady!! I’m sure the two of us could think-up a few more!ReplyCancel

  • Vashti Quiroz-Vega - Hi Cheryl! You are hysterical. I agree and share all those pet peeves. I’m rooting for that greenhouse. ;)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Rooting for the Greenhouse! YES!!!! Just ‘rooting’ period!!! Thanks Vashti. Great seeing you!! XXXOOOReplyCancel

  • Kristi Bennett - Hi Cheryl, Just found your blog and this post. In the words of Arnold Shwartzahoweveryouspellit, “I’ll be back”. Love it. I have a friend that likes to tell me how bad diet coke is, so I make a point to drink a 6 pack while at lunch. I like to shock her system.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh yes. That’s great!!! There is a wife of a corporate ‘guest’ that we host who is always espousing the evils of sugar. I make it a point to have lots of sweets and ONLY sugar in the house when they visit. She makes it sooooo easy. Ha!ReplyCancel

  • April - The neighbor one. Sigh. I have a story about a yellow door and a boring neighbor.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh yes. I have those too. And fences, and music, and holiday lites, and too many cars in the driveway…. the list goes on and on and…. the world is full of them- small asshats that is.ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - All those points indicate an ‘I, me, and myself’ syndrome! I guess that’s how humans are…unfortunately!
    I hope you got your neighbor to sign on the dotted line for your greenhouse now!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - you are sooo right Roshni! Re humans incapable of anything that’s not self-serving?ReplyCancel





 Once upon a time (1978) in a sleepy little fiefdom (Kent) in the land of Ohio, lived a  fair maiden (me) who toiled at mastering her craft (Graphic Design) amongst the jolly boys (gays) and evil sheriffs (nasty gay professors) who attempted to thwart her every contribution (portfolio reviews) and banish her from their castle (department).


They (two professors in particular) felt their domain was not a place for a GIRL. I kid you not.


The maiden, however, felt differently, and went and won a national art contest in spite of them.


‘So THERE, ya big assholes’, could be heard around the world.


Mademoiselle Magazine

is looking for


in it’s annual competition for

Guest Editorships in NYC.




Yes, she was chosen as one of 14 (out of thousands) to come hither out of the bailiwick of mediocrity and receive senior year credit as a contributor to the (then) modern-day bible of fashion, not as a copy editor, not as the fiction & poetry editor, not as the career editor, no no nooooooo…but as the associate FASHION editor- in a FASHION magazine.


Score one for the girls.


When the evil sheriffs received the news they were s-t-u-n-n-e-d.


‘What have you done? And how could you do this without our help?’, they spit through thousands of dollars of orthodontic intervention and faces that reddened under a tub of bronzer.


‘Help? What help? Ever?’, was her reply, as she ran a perfectly manicured red lacquered fingernail over the certified Congratulations letter.


‘This can’t be possible’.


‘Oh, it’s w-a-y past possible. It’s done. And the University President is just thrilled, though a bit confused as to why your department hasn’t signed-off on my portfolio yet when Conde Naste Publishing has such confidence in my work. ‘Ya may have to do that soon’.


So off she went in her carriage (airplane) to live in a castle (apartment in the Barbizon Hotel), eat Big Apples (Le Cirque), scale the towers of Gotham (Madison Ave.), dance the night away (Studio 54), make a few new friends (Perry Ellis), and even do a little work, all with her magic bag (black velvet) under her wing (vintage Chanel coat) and the wind at her back- for exactly two months- before the fairy dust cleared and she realized that all of the things she had been reading, and believing in, and charting her course by between the pages of a ‘glossy’ were just made-up, willy-nilly, around a big table by a slew of unhappy poorly paid people that had access to really good tickets but couldn’t pay the rent.


It was time to go home.



Sometimes you just have to write your own ending.



Modeling in the September 1979 issue of Mademoiselle Magazine. PINIMAGE

Modeling in the September 1979 issue of Mademoiselle Magazine.



My Before & After published in August 1979 Mademoiselle Magazine.PINIMAGE

My Before & After published in August 1979 Mademoiselle Magazine.

  • Cary Vaughn - This was fantastic!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Why were those gay men so mean to me, I want to know??? Insights?ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - I want more! Tell us more about what it was really like, and how you came to your disappointment–inquiring minds really want to know!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - So your saying you want ‘details’?ReplyCancel

  • Mary - Loved this! Congratulations on such an accomplishment. I want more, I want every detail.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Details might get me sued. *wink*ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Wow, loved it from start to finish. Definitely want more too.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - EeeGads… okay. But only because YOU asked Sue.ReplyCancel

  • Princess Rosebud - Need any Devil Wears Prada stories!ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - Fantastic makeover. Love how you did that. Oh, I once was a receptionist at John Robert Powers (when it was still a powerhouse) in Phoenix. I was allergic to their makeup, but I did learn how to put it on if I ever want to look really good for a few hours before the rash takes over. Sorry you had your dreams dashed. How many young people hung on is what I wonder. Your experiences are fascinating.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Curran - I love your stories so Cheryl! Next installment in the life and times of the Fair Maiden coming soon?ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Hill - I’m chiming in on the wanting more from you per your stories from inside a fashion magazine and the fashion industry!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Tackett - 1979 I was working in the advertising department for an alternative newspaper in Chico, CA. I was the only one who shaved my legs. Kind of different, but the same. Love your story!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - So interesting!
    And ditto to the ‘I want more’!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’ll have to change the names of the living so I don’t get death threats+ a law suit.ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - I guess it’s all part of life experience that has moulded you into the person you are today – I’ll let you provide the descriptors!.
    Around the same time (1978) my dreams of becoming a professional footballer (soccer player) were being dashed. Life can be such a bitch.ReplyCancel

  • Pia Savage - That must have been amazing. I think NY in the 1970’s–mid 80s was the greatest place on earth but I’m prejudiced as
    I lived on East 63rd off Fifth then. When The Barbizon became coed it had a great bar for awhileReplyCancel

  • Kathleen O'Donnell - How fun and awesome is that? Hope you rode your white steed (hot man) into your castle (Studio 54) and were worshiped by the serfs (drag queens).ReplyCancel

  • Linda - What Carol said. More! Dish it, lady. ;)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - DISH DISH DISH that’s all I’m hearing! Okay. If I protect the names of the living maybe I could pull something off…ReplyCancel

  • julie - I read this on Mamapedia. The thought occurred to me, is it fun to piss off the stupid people? I think it might be. I can’t believe how rude people can be, and I felt bad for the mean things that were said, which is why I thought about poking the hornets nest. Just cause I can. I resisted. How grown up of me!

    I applaud your article and I am happy to see that you did it despite your lack of guidance from the people you employed to help educate you.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Well, thank you! It’s funny you should say ‘you employed to help educate you’ because, really, thats’ what is is isn’t it? Some people and professions aren’t on the up-n-up about what their agenda is. And money (tuition) and time are a finite commodity. ps: I love poking the hornets nest. *wink* Stop by anytime!ReplyCancel

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