Monday, July 20, 2009

Fear of Dying

We were in North Carolina this weekend, visiting my in-laws. My mother-in-law recently had surgery and she's recovering, but she's one of those stoics who refuses to complain and just forges on ahead. We are a lot alike like that.

We took an early morning flight there on Friday, and had to leave the house by 6 am to get to the airport. Because Husbandrinka said that early morning flights are cheaper. I asked what about the emotional costs of my having to wake so early and he said "whatever" which is so totally hostile. My son suggested that since we had to leave so early in the morning, perhaps it would make more sense to just stay up all night and then sleep on the way to the airport. He's available to assist you with your daily planning and ideas to make things in your life go smoothly. Really reasonable rates. Really.

So, we are at the airport and we are about to go through security and suddenly I realize that I am magazine-free and I never like to board the plane in that condition. I mean, what am I, an animal? If you don't have a magazine for the flight, you may as well go into the cargo compartment. So, I go and get my favorite magazines for flying--Oprah and Real Simple. Sometimes I like US, too, but I'm still trying to regrow braincells from looking through last week's issue at the pedicure place. And by "looking through", I mean "reading so avidly from cover to cover that my lips may have actually been moving."

Anyway. Real Simple may be the world's best magazine if you're feeling snarky . I've loved them ever since they had this chart a few years ago about common fears and what to do about them.
Seriously, this is what it looked like:

Fear of flying.
What you are afraid of: Plane crashing, fire breaking out, dying.
Coping device: Distract yourself with a challenging Soduku.

Yes. I can see how when you're facing imminent death, Soduku seems like a good choice. (By the way, my spell check is saying that I'm spelling "Soduku" incorrectly, and is suggesting "sodomy" in its stead. Excuse me, is there a way that I can get a Judeo-Christian spell check that doesn't rape my morals?)

Oh, and I know that this is a bigger topic for perhaps a multi-series blog post, but what the fuck is it with computer Solitaire? Like, why do people play it? We know there's no skill, right? We know it's mindless, right? (And please don't tell me that people like it because it IS mindless, because unless I've been living in a parallel universe, mental overexertion isn't the biggest problem facing our generation. Exhibit A: Real Housewives, pick your county.) But I was wondering, do you think that there are people on their death bed, surrounded by their liked ones, and as they draw their last breath, they mutter, "Solitaire. I will miss...Solitaire.")

Anyway, back to Real Simple. The August issue is all Recession is Fun, with an article on How to Save on Entertaining (apparently my idea of "get other people to invite you over to their house" was rejected). So, under "decor", they have "Use seashells from your beach vacation as place settings. 'Martha, you've got the conch. Tim, sit at the starfish.' " I swear that's a literal quote. Page 119.


First of all, now I have to go on a beach vacation to get shells for these assholes? Why can't I just say, "Martha, sit next to Husbandrinka" or even better, "sit wherever the fuck you want". Second of all, do people really spend a lot of money on place settings? Because I'm thinking that my sympathy for their recession woes is kind of low. Although, third of all "Martha, you've got the conch"? Sort of makes everything totally worth.


Blogger Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm thinking the recession may have put a crimp in many people's beach vacation plans--rendering the seashell hunt difficult at best.

July 20, 2009 at 12:54 AM  
Blogger Immoral Matriarch said...

I don't have a fear of flying or dying, but I have a fear of leaving my daughters motherless. So that makes me afraid that the plane will crash and I will die.

Is that the same thing? I sound stupid.

July 20, 2009 at 1:23 AM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

This was the raddest post I've read in a long time. I laughed. The magazine chart is priceless as is your comment about your morals being raped. The fucked up thing is sometimes all you can do- is play Suduku.Thank you, please fly again.

July 20, 2009 at 2:15 AM  
Blogger VaBookworm said...

I have a ridiculous fear of spiders... I was on crutches last week and opened the garage door to let the cat out and a gigantic wolf spider ran in. I panicked, but managed to stay level headed enough to pin the sucked with my crutch. The problem? I was too scared to lift the crutch to check and see if it was dead (I would have died if it ran out when I lifted it).

So instead I stood there... for an hour and a half. Yeah... on a freshly post-op knee, I stood in my kitchen crying and pinning a spider for over an hour! Until my parents got home and dad took care of it. lol I'm pathetic.

July 20, 2009 at 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Coco said...

Maybe their recession ideas are those who are having to live on a few million instead of many. Pulleassseeee. I like your idea. A LOT. Get invited over. Makes much more sense.

July 20, 2009 at 6:39 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Grown ups can be such babies. If you tell Martha to sit at the conch she is really going to want to be sitting at the scallop and Tim really wants to sit at the clam. Who wants to look at a bunch of sulking faces all night? I agree, this is not a fun dinner party idea. Real Simple should know better.

July 20, 2009 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Molly C said...

Why have I not been reading Real Simple all my life? I feel so much time has been wasted! I must go gather conchs.

Also, fear of flying? The appropriate response is "take ativan until you are too sleepy to indulge the panic attack that is telling you to try and bolt off the plane"

or at least, that's what I did!

July 20, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Halala Mama said...

If I could afford a trip to the beach, I wouldn't collect shells. I'd take fab pictures of my family doing fun things and/or scary incidents and then use those as place settings. George sit at the three of us deep sea fishing. Fred sit at the shark.

July 20, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Marinka-

I have a suggestion for you to get through the turbulent financial times and still proceed with your themed seashell dinner party.

I know for a fact that your work-gay John owns a grass skirt. i use the term skirt loosely as it reminds me more of a hut- but that is besides the point.

John would be more than happy to help entertain and serve your guests in the skirt,(this would add to the festive theme i think). And for an extra treat, if you stimulate his anal/clitoral glans, you might get him to perform his signature "Saraghina" dance. He does this very well as they are his people.

Of coarse payment would be required in fresh sardines, tinned will just not do.

I wish you all the best with your Summer entertaining-

the Lady Ashfield

July 20, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"of course"- bad me

signed -
the Lady Ashfield

July 20, 2009 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

I've actually played Spider Solitaire (which has a skill component, I don't care what anyone says) so much I got tennis elbow.

But at least it keeps me from working on my novel....

July 20, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Ronda's Rants said...

You are so funny...
I suggested to my adult daughter that she and I would make a great team for the amazing race and she pointed out meanly that I am afraid of everything!
"They would film us as you cried trying to get on an elevator, Mom" she said.
I think it would be must see TV!

July 20, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger IB said...

"Soduku" sucks. I don't know about sodomy.

And, after years of research, I can tell you that the only way to beat the fear of flying is with Valium washed down by 3 bloody-marys at the airport bar before boarding.

July 20, 2009 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the's spelled Sudoku.

July 20, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

No inflight TV? Forced to read magazines? And to play Sudoku?

What were you guys flying, U-Haul Airlines?

July 20, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

My mother will miss computer Solitaire when she dies. She might even mention it on her deathbed.

July 20, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous C @ Kid Things said...

Real Simple is not as amusing as Martha Stewart Living. That lady cracks me up. She is just oblivious to how the real world works and her "affordables" usually cost at least $200.

July 20, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Pop and Ice said...

Klonopin is waaaay better than Soduku. Xanax, too. A friend of mine took Xanax at the airport solely because our flight was delayed. She was zonked and I had to corral three kids in the Orlando airport for an hour while she was unconscious.

July 20, 2009 at 10:29 AM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

i have to agree with your spellcheck - thinking of sodomy always puts me in a happier place.

July 20, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

Do what I do, don't invite anyone over. I'm done.

July 20, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Elenka said...

I know this one woman that wants everything perfect and will do everything Martha Stewart. It's really quite annoying. I don't think of what she does as being perfect, and I suspect she wants us to think so. I like your style better.

July 20, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

a Judeo-Christian spell check that doesn't rape my morals - made me LOL.

I actually used our seashells to make centerpieces for the dining room table, so I guess I'm in no position to be snorting with laughter over the Real Simple stuff. Good that I'm alone right now.

Mr. Siberia was over for dinner last night. Apparently he and his grandfather killed a bear when he was 4. They hunted their food. There was a little store, but all you were buying was meat someone else shot so WTH right? Of course they shot their own food. (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph she and Mr. Siberia move this coming Saturday.)

July 20, 2009 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

That is the stupidest magazine ever. And I'm dumb as hell, so I should know.

July 20, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger kristine said...

"Martha, you've got the conch"....HAHAHA. I do think it is TOTALLY worth a try.

Also, maybe sodomy would be a more effective distraction than soduku if one were facing imminent death on a plane. Even if the soduku was "challenging". Your spell-check may be onto something.

July 20, 2009 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Keyona said...

I DO believe the "conch" made my fucking day.

July 20, 2009 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger kristine said...

sudoku. i stand corrected.

July 20, 2009 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Kabbalah Rookie said...

"Martha, you've got the conch".... Before I die I really need to a) obtain a conch by whatever means and b) find a friend called Martha.

July 20, 2009 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Anna See said...

Real simple drives me nuts. I don't WANT other uses for Qtips. The original use is fine by me.

Glad you survived your trip. I was looking at US in line at the store today, then I got lots of ?'s from my daughter and had to explain that yes, Jon and Kate broke up. Should have stuck w/ the House Magazines.

July 20, 2009 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger lizspin said...

I subscribe to the having others invite you over theory. . . then I can bring them the shells from MY beach vacation.

July 20, 2009 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Julie B. said...

I feel your pain. I have a 7am flight coming up in a few weeks to Vegas (the travesty right?) AND my aunt recently called to make sure I knew she was deathly afraid of flying. Now she had mentioned she might take a Vicoden and I told her oh, want a Percocet, but damn - I guess all she needs is some Sodomy (oh sorry, I think it self corrected).

July 20, 2009 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Janie at Sounding Forth said...

I've never though of "Real Simple" as snarky, but you're right!

July 20, 2009 at 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be even better if you used good old Martha's nickname, which I hear is Muffy. Yup, Muffy, you've got the conch. Now, that is what my dinner parties have been missing.

July 20, 2009 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger skiplovey said...

Oh I love the "emotional costs" of booking flights! I totally just factored that in last week when I booked our upcoming flights. i don't care that it costs more, having to be at the airport at 6am hurts me in a way that money can't help, except to not ever book another flight like that again.

July 21, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

I agree. Anyone worried about place settings is not feeling the recession. This post was funny girl!

July 21, 2009 at 11:20 PM  

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