My Erma Bombeck Essay

17 Mar

erma_hdrlogoI entered this essay into the 2014 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition and alas, I did not win :-( . I enjoyed writing it and hope you enjoy reading it!

The Uninvited Guest

Thanksgiving is four days away and I’m hosting 12 for dinner. I never planned for 13.

The menu had been prepared and the shopping was done. I even found a caramel apple cake recipe I couldn’t wait to bake. Then, the oven stopped working.

“Did you know you have a rat?” the repairman asked me, pointing to evidence behind the oven.

Whaat? I can barely buy dog food at Petco just knowing they have rats for sale. They scared me to death. I was looking forward to creating a memorable Thanksgiving for my family. This rat was not my family!

After examining the inner workings of my oven, he informed me it couldn’t be fixed. The rat ate through the insulation and wiring, and took up residence in the back.

Clenching my credit card, I jetted to the mall and charged $1,000 on a shiny new Kenmore. Damn rat. At least it was gone and Mamah could still have her rutabaga.

The next day, my dishwasher stopped working. As I crouched down to check it out, I saw a tail whip underneath. I screamed so loudly that both my kids flew to my rescue with super hero masks and light sabers ready for war.

This was getting personal. The oven was one thing, but no way was I letting this rat take out my dishwasher, or even worse, make me hand wash table settings for 12!  

My husband thought we needed Orkin, but I begged to differ as revenge blinded my rationale. After $2,000 (really?) and two separate “four-hour delivery windows,” I transformed from Martha Stewart to Willie from Duck Dynasty. “What we need are some good ol’ snap traps and glue boards,” I declared, heading out for ammo. That bastard was mine.

It’s the morning before Thanksgiving and still no sign of “the uninvited guest.” Should I call Orkin? What if the rat comes out of my mom’s stuffing? The horror…that’s when I heard the squeal. I entered the bathroom and there it was stuck to a glue board. I almost felt bad for the thing, but then I thought about my new credit card bill and I went Goodfellas. With the whack of a bat, I conquered my biggest fear. It’s funny what potential family shame can do to a person’s worst phobias. I wonder what else I’m capable of…

After disinfecting the crime scene, I went off to tend to my other prey, the turkey. Dinner was delicious.

Finally, it was time for the piece de resistance; my caramel apple cake. I tried heating up the caramel sauce in the microwave…but it had stopped working.

Apparently, the rat had a family, too.

Spelling Error

17 Mar



Since turning 40, I’ve noticed that I’ve become more inclined to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself with a variety of activities I might not have done 10 years ago, let alone one year ago. One of these recent “activities” was an adult spelling bee. No, I wasn’t inspired by Jason Batman’s latest film Bad Words (I didn’t even know what the movie was about until my best friend made a FB comment on my wall about trying to one up Bateman’s performance). I actually got bit by the bee bug after hearing about it from my friend who’s super brilliant son has been attending the kid’s portion for the past six years: “You should go, it’ll be great fun!” she said. “It’ll  be you, me, and a handful of octogenarians and retired school teachers.” That’s all it took. I was sold.

Now, I don’t really flaunt this fact about myself, but I am a excellent speller. It’s true. I was always the one to earn perfect scores on all my spelling tests in school and even to this day, I feel like I found the answer to world peace whenever I find a spelling error in a magazine or newspaper.

What makes me even prouder is that both of my kids are pretty amazing spellers, too. Spelling “antidisestablishmentarianism” is actually one of my daughter’s favorite party tricks.

I’m being completely honest when I say that this bee sounded super dorky, but secretly like an opportunity I’ve been waiting for my entire life. I wasn’t entirely confident about getting on stage in front of a room full of strangers and being asked to spell super hard words into a microphone. But I thought it would (hopefully) be inspiring for my kids to see, which is what pushed me over the edge to sign up.

When we first walked into the location where the bee was being held, I noticed a group of adults literally “studying” spelling bee word books and pacing around like they were waiting on a jury verdict. All this anticipation suddenly made me a bit jittery, too, and when the lady at registration asked me to spell my last name, I couldn’t remember it. Was it D-O-Y-L-E or W-H-A-T-T-H-E-F-U-C-K-A-M-I-D-O-I-N-G?

I’m proud to say that I not only made it to the stage, but I got to the seventh round! My demise was met with the word “hematocrit.” I never heard that one in my life. I repeated it literally 10 times on stage before spelling it H-E-M-A-T-A-C-R-I-T-E.


My kids were proud of me (and happy when I finally got out so we could eat dinner). The fact that I didn’t fly across the country like one of the contestants who got out in the second round was my biggest victory, though. Poor guy.

Beautyologie’s Second Annual Fashion Week-minster Mashup

14 Feb

It’s that time of year again…when New York City provides a snow-covered backdrop to the fashion industry’s elite for New York Fashion Week, and to the best in show for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show…at the same time.  Between all the glitz, glamour and hairspray (and let’s not forget the pom-poms and mohawks), it’s hard to differentiate between the two. Can you?







Dog Show: Masters Agility Championship at Westminster



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NYFW FW14 Street Style