Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Several years back a fellow blogger threw out a term in private correspondence with me: a man chair/a man bench. This is where he said he could be found when he'd go shopping with his wife...and I don't mean grocery shopping.

When said blogger took a trip down South and his wife decided to hit the shopping malls and discount stores when they reached their destination, he grew tired...and kept a look-out for the familiar "man chair/man bench".

Go to the mall and look around; you see sitting areas? Who is sitting in those areas often? Yup, uh-huh, you got that right! Go into a large department store, specifically to the shoe department. You see that middle-aged man sitting on the chair, holding shopping bags? No, he's not trying on shoes today. He's waiting for his wife and is sitting in a "man chair."

The "man chair/man bench" is not wholly designed for seniors, as one might think. It is an official rest stop for the male persuasion of every shape, color, size or age. I believe many shopping mall designers are men, and when they work out layouts of stores and the mall hallways, they actually should add to their layout map legends little stars that direct you to "man chairs" in the mall. In a store, you're left to fend for yourself, though!

Why do I bring this up now? Well, for the past couple of weeks, I've been frequenting home improvement stores -- Rona, Canadian Tire, Home Depot and Lowe's. (you Americans are probably only famliar with Lowe's, if that) When I have gone on my own in the daytime, I've had a mission. But when I've gone in the evening or on the weekend with my husband, I'm the sidecar passenger, and he's the navigator, knowing what he wants to look at, where it can be found...and usually it's more technical than pretty.

Last weekend we went together to one of these stores; there was an advertised display of bar-b-ques. Ron said to me, "Take a look at who is looking at the doubt it's all men." And it was! No doubt these men were visualizing a cold beer in their hand, a couple of steaks on the grill and some loud get-togethers with buddies. Okay, where were their women during this creative visualization session? Inside the store? Where inside the store? The bathroom...or at the cash register paying for their man's whims?

Well, here's my deMANd! If men are entitled to a "man chair/man bench" in female-frequented places, I think that women are entitled to...a lot more! male-frequented places. We don't need a simple chair, we need a kaffee klatch/spa area. C'mon, especially in these home improvement centers! If they can sell indoor Jacuzzis and fancy tubs, let them set up a user-friendly one in a far corner of the store; if they can sell housewares and have kitchen layout designs to look at in the store, let them set up some chairs at a kitchen counter with a coffee machine, and juice maker, and have a male wait on us, bringing us refreshments. A spa service with pedicure/manicure/mini massages (mini, depending on how long your male partner is hanging around the store!) would be ideal too.

I looked around the stores I was in: these "little" items are lacking...and as a result, the female population in these stores is lacking. I believe that if my deMANds would be met, women would be happier, and if the women are happier, the men would be happier too!

Oh, and one more demand: maybe one of those men who was visualizing while standing in front of the bar-b-ques, can actually prepare a steak for me. But hold back on the beer, and make mine a white wine spritzer!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers...A Memoir

What a catchy title, huh?

In spite of the fact that my parents used to imply I do the same thing -- and not broadcast everything going on in the Adler home -- this memoir is not about me or written by me, but rather, by Jennifer Mascia, a writer for the New York Times.  Jennifer seeks out and shares the story of her life with her parents: a life based on secrets, lies, and even forgiveness. The writing is raw and honest, the feelings depicted seem immediate and within reach.

California, New York, Miami, New York were all "home" to Jennifer...for brief periods of time. She was on the move, because her parents were on the move. Money was abundant, then money was scarce. Jobs were abundant, then jobs were scarce.

When Jennifer was a little girl, the FBI came for her father; he was away from her for quite some time, and then the questions began for her: Where was he? Why was he away from her? And as she grew up, the question became Who is he? And ultimately was followed by a question about her mother: Who is she?

Slowly the truth about her parents trickles out, and Jennifer must confront her family's dark secrets...

Back in 2007, Jennifer wrote a wonderful essay for the New York Times about her past; this past evolved into the book.

Watch this interview on YouTube, as well...

I'm not exactly holding a gun to your head, but I strongly advise you to pick up this memoir; it is published by Villard Books, a division of Random House.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Blog Post Revisited... honor of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day.

My life has always been entangled with the Holocaust, and as a result, so has much of my poetry.

I just recalled a poem I wrote a few years back. It is a poem in progress, and although it's never been completed, it is time to bring it back up for air today --

--the official Holocaust Memorial Day.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Last week I updated my status comment on Facebook. It was about smart vs. clever.

The status read: It's nice to be called "smart" but for some reason I really like it when I'm called "clever."

Some people may not see a difference between the two adjectives, but there least for me.

Smart is intelligence, IQ matter. Seemingly black and white.

Clever goes a lot further, I believe. It adapts itself to creativity, problem solving, finding solutions. It deals more with gray matter, reading between the lines, sudden spurts of brilliance that are emitted.

One of my friends commented about my Facebook status. He said, "How 'bout beautiful and sexy?"

Believe it or not, I still think that "clever" can go a lot further than "beautiful and sexy."

But if you wish, you can call me, "beautiful, sexy, AND clever"!