Quid Pro Quo

Men who know nothing of menopause, do NOT touch the thermostat. ┬áThe season outside is of no concern to me when I am indoors. If I am hot. I want cold air conditioning. If am cold I want the heat and quite possibly a fire. If I finish eating chips and then look at you with my maniacal eyes lusting for something sweet. Don’t question me. Just accept that you are in Hormonehell and it is best to make me as comfortable as possible. I will not discuss vaginal dryness with you so do not discuss your swollen prostate with me. When we met you did not have a prostate. Only old men have them. I, on the other hand, have always had hormones. They were wonderful raging hormones which fueled your fantasies. Now, they have turned on you. So, know your place. When I’m hot you get your long johns ready. When I am cold you can sit around in your swimsuit. Please at least wear something. Remember the heat is from the thermostat because I am cold and not from a wild chemical reaction. So don’t make me have to pretend. We both know I want to be left to my Lifetime Movie & you to your ESPN.

The trade off is I will walk close to you and help you hide the dribble on your khakis after your leave the public restroom. And, I will continue to be your spotter to make sure you don’t have any nose hairs protruding which could distract from your clean cut looks.

You see in Hormonehell we both get something. You get to be more than a man; you get to part of my menopause. I get to laugh, cry, scream & control the thermostat. You let me do it. If you know what’s good for you.

 

“What Happens in Carrabelle Stays In Carrabelle”

When our daughter was four my husband and I decided we would like to explore a different part of the Florida coast and find a “mom and pop” motel like we visited when we were children in the 60’s. I did my research and found the perfect motel in Carrabelle, Florida called the Beachside Motel. This is about 70 miles east of Panama City, Florida. There is a reason it is called the “Forgotten Coast.” At one time the town was known in the Guiness Book of World Records as having the smallest police station in the world – a single pay phone booth.

When I called the owner, Linda, she told me Max, the motel handyman, would be there to check us in when we arrived in the evening. Linda was from up north and she had owned the motel for several years and had some of the same families return each year to spend their vacation at the Beachside Motel. We were so excited about our “Old Florida” adventure. When we arrived Max had left the key on the counter in the unlocked motel office with a note that we could just “settle up” the next morning. The motel was an L shaped-one story building with parking directly outside of our door with a chair or two on which to sit in the cooler hours of the day before the “bite’en flies” came out. The floor was terrazzo tile and the shower barely trickled with water that smelled of sulfer. The television was an old color set with only three stations. Who needs TV when you are about to live your own version of the movie “Deliverance?”

The next morning we got ready to go down to the beach- Allen in his Polo swimsuit, me in my cute designer suit that amply covered my body, and our daughter in her Kelly Kids or Fast Friends label swimsuit. The first people we met that day were from a small town outside of Tallahassee. The wife, a fleshy and well-endowed woman, had on a swim suit 3 sizes to small. She and her husband were there with their three children-one of whom was a baby that ran around in a diaper the entire time we were there. They were from the pork rinds and Pabst beer set. They invited us to their room for drinks later that evening.

Allen, our daughter and I went down to the beach and soon our little one announced she had to potty. I did tell her she could go tee tee in the water if she really had to go. We had been to the beach many times before, but I guess this had never come up. She looked at me like I was crazy and we trekked up to our room. I suppose thinking back-as long as it took to potty train her- she was not about to undo everything she had learned. When I took her up to the room, our new friend was sitting on a chair outside of their room with her legs wide apart chewing on boiled peanuts-her boobs flopping around while she watched her diaper-clad child roam the gravel parking lot. I smiled and told her we had to come up for a potty break. She then asked, “What-she gotta go poo?” I just stopped and casually said, “No, she just has to tee tee and she doesn’t like to go in the water-but thanks for wanting to be specific.” She then cackled and said, “Well ya’ll are just too high-class to go piss in the ocean.” I realized at that moment I was out of my league. There was nothing in my experience that could have prepared me for that response.

We had a nice, but benign evening with this couple and then we went back to our room. The next day we were invited to a motel bonfire for all of the guests. Most of these people knew each other; they were nice ,but seemed to be somewhat suspicious of us. Allen did not wear cut-offs or drink Milwaulkee’s Best, our daughter didn’t tinkle in the water and I was helping plan the bonfire that evening like a Cocktail Party. I was trying to get a list together of our cookout needs when one of the women told me just to bring some “Marshmallers, the big kind.” O.K. -when in Rome. So marshmallows we brought.

When we all gathered for the cookout there was a little boy of six from Hosford with his grandmother and his very young father. One must pause first to consider this part of Florida – it is south of I-10, north of the beach, west of Tallahassee and the Appalachicola River- on the edge of a national forest primarily composed of swamp, palmetto plants, cypress trees and wild boars. The little boy ate a few of the marshmallows and I heard him get a little irritable and cry. I told them in my most pleasant hostess voice,”Oh, let him have another marshmallow-we’ve got plenty.” She let me know quickly, “He don’t want no marshmaller-he wants a dip.” Not getting it -I asked, “A dip of what?” Only to be informed that their little one wanted some more snuff. They only let him do it on the weekends. I’m thinking- “Oh, but of course, it makes perfect since to me-everyone I know dips and all of the children in our daughter’s preschool do it. I should have been more sensitive and understanding of his needs. Who needs another marshmallow when you can have a dip.”

I decided on that note it was time to mingle with some of the other motel guests. I met an older man who had surely had a few drug induced trips in his day. He had wild eyes and he smoked rolled cigarettes. He asked me if we smoked and naively I said, “Oh, only once in a while when we drink.” -No- he wanted to know if we-“You know smoke?” ” Oh My Stars-I’m thinking-Of course we don’t. That would be against the law. Are you nuts? Married people with children don’t really do that do they? And, certainly old men like you don’t do that?” I then tried to exchange pleasantries through his smoke-filled haze. I asked him how old their son was. He stopped and thought a moment and looked at his young wife and he looked at me and announced, “Now let me think back-he was conceived in Panama City in September of ’92-Uh, let’s see-Yea, he’s two. They looked at each other apparently remembering their fun in Panama City and agreed their child must be two. I could picture them having a big party for their baby on the anniversary of the day he was conceived and them giving everyone marijuana cigarettes as party favors.

We had to leave the next day, and we actually exchanged numbers with the people who were not too high class to potty in the ocean. We’ve never called each other. And, even though we did not really have anything in common with most of these people-the common bond was an Old-Florida Bonfire on a beautiful summer evening with people who looked past all their differences.

Branded

The evolution of furniture in a marriage must signify status. Like most young married couples, my husband and I combined “attic furniture” (collected from the attic’s of our parents) with furniture from our single days. Which probably was brought out of the attic after we each left college and set out on our own.

During the first few years of our marriage we liked to go “antiquing, ” so we collected a few antiques here and there. After five years of marriage we decided we wanted to buy a new sofa to replace the one that had graced our living room since the beginning of our marriage. It had begun furniture life as a bachelor brown sofa my husband got from someone in college. I, not really wanting to think about what had taken place on the sofa, had it recovered to a beautiful pink and white with a touch of seafoam green fabric. This was during my victorian phase when everything in my home was pink, white wicker and lace. My mother-in-law said I would out-grow that phase. I couldn’t understand. I do now.

When we set out to buy this sofa, Allen looked at things like sturdy frames; we also learned it was important to have eight-way tied construction in the sofa. I just wanted pretty fabric, though I did look at durable fabric that would hide stains. We did have a 2 1/2 year old.

We found the perfect sofa at a relatively nice furniture store. It was not a discount store, but I suppose now thinking back it was not upscale either. At the time I really didn’t know the difference. I just wanted grown up furniture.

A few years later when we were doing more “grown up” decorating -My decorator (I had a decorator now-I was really grown up ) and I were looking for another new sofa-this time for our living room. She told me to go into one of the more “upscale” furniture stores to see if they had anything I liked and if so, we would go back in there to see if it worked in our home and if not we could order something.

As I walked into this store I was met with the stern hello-mixed with sweet smile of someone who wants to pounce you to make you buy and at the same time wondering if you are worth the time to close the deal. When I told them about my quest they referred me to the back room with another decorator who could help me. A decorator to help my decorator!

She was older than I was and looked all “put together.” I, on the other hand, was in my maternity uniform -six months pregnant with little time to spare. My daughter was in Mother’s Morning Out and I needed to make some choices. The furniture store decorator was sort of intimidating and told me to look at some fabrics and sofa types. I used to look at types- like tall dark and handsome and now I was looking at sofa types-chippendale or queen anne. The room was quiet and cramped with fabrics all hung on hangers that I was supposed to look at and determine if any one of them caught my eye. It was like a padded room full of fabric swatches. I really did think I was going crazy.

One particular fabric did catch my eye. I was so excited they had the same fabric as our family room sofa-the one we had bought a couple of years before. The decorator was sure to be impressed. I carefully took it off the rack and held it up and exclaimed to the decorator -who had gone back to her important work at her desk-“I have this fabric on the Broyhill sofa in my den.” Not knowing that many different furniture companies used the same fabrics I just assumed they would have my sofa and fabric at her store. The decorator slowly sneered at me and said-through clenched teeth-“We don’t do Broyhill.” If there was a place in that room marked “Cookie’s Place” she definitely put me in it. I was stunned and speechless. I was thinking to myself-“You don’t do Broyhill-How could you not do Broyhill? All of the gameshows I watched growing up like Let’s Make a Deal and The Newlywed Game always did Broyhill. What was wrong with her and this store?” I looked at a few more swatches and thanked her and left.

My decorator and I ordered a beautiful sofa from North Carolina; it is still in my living room. The Broyhill sofa is still in my den; I have had it recovered three times so the Broyhill label is no longer visible. To my knowlege- my status did not suffer from the Broyhill debacle. I did not lose any friends. I still got into The Junior League, my husband still made partner in his firm before going solo and I learned a valuable lesson-never be impressed by the furniture prizes on game shows.

Hello Cookie Logic Friends!!

Hello Cookie Logic Friends!

2010 is coming to an end, but the Cookie Logic Crew is working hard to make our show even better! So many people are involved with the show and we can’t produce this fun and campy show which promotes north Alabama without our crew and our sponsors! Actually, as we continue promoting the Tennessee Valley we also have interest from viewers and sponsors in other areas due to our presence on many social media outlets, our website http://www.cookielogic.com & our livestream at www.jamiecooper.com. We are thrilled with the response and appreciate all of your support! We are taping over the holidays and our last two shows of 2010 will be at our new sponsor ……drumroll please…..Chenault Photography! Ellis Chenault is a delightful cherub of a man (did I just call him that…why yes, I do believe I did)! Ellis is also a well-known photographer who understands the power of being a professional and having fun at the same time. This is why he chose to be a sponsor of The Cookie Logic TV Show. (I hope it didn’t have anything to do with any promises I could have made to him about standing in for Norman on our Cookie Logic panel.) We will be taping 2 shows on Wednesday, December 15th from 3:30 p.m. til 5:30 p.m. at Chenault Studios on Bank Street. So, come and see what trouble we will all get in to! These two shows will air on Wednesday, December 22nd and Wednesday, December 29th at our regular time 7:30 p.m. on ZTV-11 (Charter 6, Mediacom 7, Knology 99 and Livestream at http://www.jamiecooper.com).

Also, our show on December 8th and the show which airs on Wednesday, December 15th was taped at Bank Street Antiques. Gloria Arthur at Bank Street Antiques is one of our original sponsors who has supported us from the beginning (February 2010). We also have several other original sponsors (Kim Hallmark-REMAX/Platinum who was the 1st sponsor to say, YES, to me about this concept of a campy show, Bank Street Antiques, Allen R. Stoner, Attorney at Law (yeah, I know, but nepotism works!) and, our good friends at the Daily Brew! We have also added sponsors along the way so please check them out here on our website and SUPPORT THEM!

Remember there may not be any logic in Cookie Logic, but there is always fun!

Love,
Cookie

Who is that Girl?

Even in this era of “political correctness” it is hard not to label people. I find that I do this as a way to describe people-not to label-but to describe. I might say-“Oh, you know my friend, Fred, you know-my gay friend.” I don’t do this to be disrespectful to him, but this will paint a picture for you that the friend to whom I am referring is my well-dressed, fun to gossip with friend who is one hell of a decorator. Then, you’ll know-oh yes, “that” Fred. Women, especially Southern ones, wear their gay-man friendships like a charm. We all have one. And, every Southern woman thinks the gay man is HER best friend. But, the gay man knows he has so many socialite women friends, because there are only so many gay men friends to go around.

Then, we talk about our friends of color-you know-my African-American friend. Because of this friendship we have great insight into and first-hand knowledge, or so we think, of the Civil Rights Movement. We think we know how it feels to be a single person of color in a sea of homogenous
faces. We tell her-“you go girl!” and we go on and on about how Oprah is our hero! To prove what great friends we are we will invite her to go to a fund-raiser for Barack Obama.

As the holidays approach we pause to remember Hanukkah and the Festival of Lights and sometimes we even send cards with Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends. We make sure we tell them Happy Holidays and that we don’t send them a card with best holiday wishes and reminding them “the reason for the season.” Then, we acknowledge that Hanukkah really isn’t their Christmas and that Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are both more important holidays on the Jewish calendar. We bid them Mazal Tov and Shalom.

In politics everyone wears a label. Hillary is a woman, Mitt is a Morman, Barack is African-American, McCain is a former prisoner of war, Rudy is divorced, Fred Thompson is an actor, Ron Paul is a doctor, Richardson is Hispanic and the list goes on.

My life is enriched because of these labels. It means that I share the world with many different types of people. Labels are just describing words. Labels tell our story. We use them to describe people-not because we are trying to stereotype them because we are just trying to paint a picture. If you need to describe me-you know who I am-the chatty, white, attorney’s wife, mother, junior league volunteer who is a member of a 12-step program. Get the picture?

Thanks for reading,

Cookie

A Trite Little Tale

I couldn’t write for a few days. I was sad. Wednesday was full of emotions. My life was fine-great. I had so many things for which to be thankful. I hear people say that. I have said it. But, do we really-do I really mean it. What does it take for us to be thankful for what we have- right now- at this very moment. Sometimes other people’s pain or our own pain is what it takes.

Wednesday was a normal day. Our alarm went off at 5 a.m. just like it does every weekday-and of course we hit snooze until 5:10, until 5:15 and in 5 minute increments until we hopped up at 5:30 ready for our hot tea and to get on with the business of being The Stoners.

I executed my routine with perfection. I got out of my warm and cozy bed. I walked downstairs and to the Persian rug in front of the fireplace and I got on my knees to pray and meditate. I got up and sat in my chair where my hot tea was presented to me by my husband of almost twenty years. We chatted for about 20 minutes like we do each day. We talked about what was going on with us, our children and the office. We made sure we were on the same page as to what needed to be done that particular day. I got up and made hot tea for the children. Camille usually likes a good stout tea and Ben is partial to “Tazo Calm” tea-thank God. I made their breakfast which consisted of microwaving a biscuit or pouring cereal. I made my husband his next cup of tea. I then made lunch for each of my children. Some days I put silly notes in there just so they can remember how much I love them. Some days we are yelling and screaming to get ready and that we are running late. On these days I am pissed off so I figure they are lucky that I am even making their lunch. Some days I see this as a chore. Some days I stop and thank God that they are still young enough that I am making school lunches.

On Wednesday I did something as mundane as run an office errand for Allen. I went to the printer. A lady I have known for several years who works there told me that Sunday had been the 3 year anniversary of her twenty something year-old daughter and her 5 year old granddaughter’s death in an automobile accident. I stood there and listened to her recount the last time she talked to her daughter-how her daughter had begged her mom to be careful on that horrible rainy day. I listened as she told me how her granddaughter called her Gan-ma and how they had taken a walk the day before. She told me how it used to drive her crazy when her daughter would throw her head back and sling her long blond hair around while she was standing in the kitchen. She told me how her granddaughter was a handful and was always a bundle of energy.

She told me that she wished her daughter could be in her kitchen today slinging her hair around. She told me that she wished her granddaughter could run through the house with a roar.

She told me to go home and hug my children and be thankful for all of the mundane tasks, all of the arguments, and all of the noise. She said, “Be tough-teach them right and wrong, but really stop and be thankful.”

I stood there and cried. I cried for her pain, but I also cried for me. I cried that I am never really satisfied and that I always want more. I cried that I had sent my children off in frustration that day.

I cried that I have been married to someone I love and LIKE for almost twenty years who will still bring me tea. I cried that my son procrastinates when it is time to get ready-but so does his daddy and if he is anything like him and- I think he is-he will grow into a fine man. I cried that my daughter talks back and tells me exactly what she thinks, but I realize she is just like me and I always know where I stand with her and that she has a heart and a conscience. I cried that I can’t have a glass of wine or spiked eggnog for the holidays, but that I’ve found a group of people who have helped me accept that. I cried that we have had a tough year financially, but that we haven’t missed a meal, we have two cars in our driveway and we have continued to wake up in our warm comfortable home. I cried that my mother is not here, but that I do have great memories. I cried that I can’t lose that last 10 pounds, but that I have at least lost the first 10. I cried that I need to drive to Hunstville to buy my favorite Laura Mercier lip-gloss, but that I have just enough at the bottom of the tube that I can scrape out.

I cried because sometimes I don’t stop to be thankful. I cried for the lady teaching me this lesson. I cried because I needed to be thankful that someone else shared her pain with me-that it wasn’t my pain. Even though I was sorry for her-it was her pain that could teach me.

I was in a hurry on Wednesday; I had so many things to do. But, I am so thankful I stopped long enough to learn a lesson. Of course, this is not the first time I have heard this lesson and I am pretty sure I will need to hear it again. But, I suppose one of the things for which I am most thankful is-that as a student of life I get the chance to start over each day and if I do it right and carry over my lessons-they may just stick.