Mrs. Garrett was probably younger than me

On the first day of 2011, Ned got out of bed, walked into a wall and broke his toe.

And hey, June, this bodes well. A mention of Ned in the first sentence of your first post of the new year. Yeah, good moving on.

Anyway, he did, and he told himself, “Well, that’s a sign you aren’t going to have a good year. You’d better just keep your head down and muddle through 2011.” And he was right.

He was newly back in his hometown of Greensboro, having spent his adult life in Raleigh (inside guff for outsiders: Raleigh is way cooler to live in than Greensboro), he was working for the family business after a decade of doing something he truly loved

(he’d been a professional beer taster)

(he was hired full time to ogle women)

(they needed an expert salad-eater, and he took on the job)

(he wrote a weekly column titled, “You Know What I’D Do…”)

(okay, I’ll stop),

and he had zero girlfriend.

So he got through 2011, and on the fifth day of 2012, he met me. WHAT. LUCK. REWARD! SILVER LINING!

The point of me telling you this is the very first thing to happen to me today was that my clothes pole…thing in the walk-in closet of my bedroom? Crashed ONTO MY FINGER today. Then after that, all the clothes that had been residing on said pole similarly fell onto my finger.

Inside guff for outsiders: It hurt.

“Oh my god,” I told myself. “I’m Ned in 2011.”

I’d had such high hopes for 2018, too. As you may know, as I very subtly alluded to it earlier this week, I’ve had something of a cold. No big deal, really. I hate to cause a fuss. Anyway, yesterday I ended up being asked to a little celebration, a little reason for the season, and that reason is Prosecco.

But given the precarious nature of my health, I thought I’d better test my reserves, so I took myself to see The Shape of Water first, at the movie theater near my house. I figured if I could sit up and take nourishment (popcorn and a Dr Pepper) for two hours, maybe I was ready for the big leagues, aka a middle-aged mild New Year’s celebration.

First of all, The Shape of Water. Highly recommend. And not just cause everything’s midcentury and you know how I get about that.

So I slapped on the makeup and headed into the middle-aged night and rang in the new year and was in REM by about 12:01. Still. I got out. I didn’t even take 47 Kleenex.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 9.14.16 PM.png

Me and m’New Year’s makeup and several heavy Instagram filters. You, too can feign rosy health!

So that all seemed to go so well and then boom. Pole on m’finger.

I did not go to my annual ironically named kindness meditation downtown, as it was 870 below zero today, and the only kindness I could meditate on was not doing that to myself given that I just got out of my iron lung with this cold. Instead I paid my bills, wrote in my new journal I got for Xmas (thanks, mom), checked my finger to see if it was turning black, and talked on the phone to my old LA neighbor Alicia for about 700 hours.

This time I wrote down some of the funny English-but-not-quite-English things she said during our 11-hour conversation. I have always loved the way she uses language. She’s like a little angry Spanish poem. Attached below, for your edification, are some of the things she said that I adored so much I wrote them down…

“She had to come up and tell me what she thought. She had to put her five cents on me.”


“I have bumped heads with that bitch for years.” This, by the way, was about someone famous, but I cannot, really cannot tell you who. BUT YOU WOULD DIE.

“Finally, we said okay. We bury the hatchets.”

plus also

“She was mad. She did not like that I was in her ass.”

And the grand finale:

“I tell her, ‘Stick it in your ass and shove it.'”

I’m just telling you now. “Stick it in your ass and shove it” is the new “Very nice, Coot.” Although I have to say I grow fonder by the minute of “bury the hatchets.”

I’d been guarding my pole finger jealously all day, assuming the nail was going to turn dramatically black, because I see my finger and I want it painted black. Nevertheless, my finger persisted, and while it’s SORE, it appears I may have exaggerated what I thought would be the effect of that ENTIRE POLE OF CLOTHES crashing down on it.

I took my black finger of death and all the rest of my digits to the grocer’s, and I like how all of a sudden it’s 1950 up in here, with my grocer. Mr. Hooper was waiting for me in his white apron.


I got my usual Sad Single Girl items, such as Lean Cusine and cat litter.

(I have forever wanted to find this one Nick at Night promo ad they used to have with Sally from the Dick Van Dyke show. I know it went: “Sally is single. Single, single, single.” I can never find it. I always identified with Sally, the wisecracking writer, and now she’s dead and I can’t find that promo and my finger is gangrenous.)


The point is, I bought my week’s groceries and got this urge to buy an instant lottery ticket. I almost never do this, because (a) I never have cash and (4) I just never remember we have machines at the store. But the universe colluded or whatever, or the Ghost of Sally came over me, because we all know how famous her character was for buying lottery tickets.

Anyway, I won $100. I bought one ticket for one dollar, and I won $100. Can you believe it?! I’m RICH.

I scratched off my ticket in the cold parking lot of the store, of the grocer, and ran back in to tell Mr. Hooper, who has apparently turned into a 20-year-old black kid. When young Mr. Hooper ran the scanner thing over my card, it played a little song and everything. It was so exciting.

“2018 is gonna be my year!” I announced to Mr. Hooper, and stampeded back to my car, where I excitedly plunked back down in the driver’s seat,

on right onto my glasses. Which broke into 90 pieces.

So, you take the good, you take the bad, you take ’em both and there you have 2018 so far.

Happy new year. I hope you will not feel the need to stick this year up your ass and shove it.

P.S. I imagine “promo ad” is redundant, is it not? Son of a bitch. Thank god I have all this money.

P.P.S. Super Strawberry. Dammit. I keep forgetting.

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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

86 thoughts on “Mrs. Garrett was probably younger than me”

  1. My son has one of those black, gangrenous nails. I have forgotten how he smashed it though. Because I am such a loving, caring mother.


  2. Happy New Year! This holiday season has been objectively awful around here. We went out of town to visit my seriously ill and wonderful mother-in-law, got the flu and had to leave early. $$$ to change the plane tickets for six people. And then I got fly with the flu, wearing a face mask and longing for death. New Year’s Eve my ridiculous pup had to go to the Animal Hospital because she had a sudden and awful anal gland abscess. That was similarly cheap, plus my sweet and sassy girl is still not herself. Next day our microwave just stopped microwaving things.
    Despite all of this I cannot help feeling hopeful about 2018. I know it’s going to bring hard stuff, but the last few years have shown me I can survive hard stuff. I just feel it that there will be good stuff in there too. Every little thing’s gonna…well, let’s not go too far. Good and bad, pain and joy. On the whole, it’s gonna be alright.
    I apologize if you’ve already seen this, June, but this made me think of you.

    Happy New Year, everybody.


  3. I’m glad they were just reading glasses because now I don’t feel bad about saying that was one of your best posts EVER! What a great read.


  4. One of my favorite posts was FOREVER ago when Tallulah got loose. It was my introduction to you and I LOL’d.


      1. For me, there’s nothing better than the bird in the kitchen with the big animal control guy. It’s the only post I’ve ever made everyone I know either read or listen to.


  5. Ok I finally got that password! I have had good comments the last couple of days and it has killed me not to post. Now of course i can’t remember anything. I do say the broken glasses are just a sign to buy new really cool glasses. Diamondy ones.


  6. Congratulations on your unexpected lottery winnings and for sitting on readers instead of your new more expensive glasses. I ended the old year by locking my keys in the car. Glad I didn’t start the new year that way. I’m sure the fact that I stayed home all day on the 1st had something to do with it.

    Thanks for the smokey-eye tutorial. That was so interesting. And also too, the super strawberry looks pretty on you. I wasn’t wild about the brighter one the other day as it seemed to clamor for all the attention. That’s just my five cents on you.


  7. Ok, I love this post so much but WHO WHO WHO is the bitch celebrity??? I’m not even a big movie or TV person so why do I care, hoo knows? Oh, please don’t keep me in suspense. And I love the pic on the new blog header. LOVE.
    I hope this year brings more health, to all of us. I had a pretty big scare that I am still dealing with and it’s really hard to focus and just go to work. I have another dr. appt. this Thursday and I pray they don’t put me in the hospital.
    Thanks for making me laugh Coot!


    1. Oh, Sandra, I hope your doctor’s appointment goes well. Sending healing thoughts and wishes for good health.


  8. It’s not the middle finger is it? If so, you’ve a great excuse to bandage it and use it to your advantage.

    The new header pic is great. I’m thinking the younger of the two is the daughter in law. She’s tired of hearing her mother in law prattle on about her famous meatloaf recipe…

    Congrats on the windfall! It could be the start of a prosperous 2018.

    Now, back to thawing water pipes…


  9. That could be one of your blog headers: June, putting her five cents on your since …”

    Your photo is lovely!

    I have such horrible luck at lottery tickets I’m afraid the next dollar ticket I buy will say “go back in and pay the cashier $3 just because.” I’d be dancing in the store if I won that much!


    1. It was such a good idea to make that your blog header you already did it!

      I just “Oh honey” ‘d myself.


  10. My niece is a firefighter and was working at midnight. At exactly midnight she got violently ill and threw up off and on for two hours. Then she slept. She woke up and knocked over a co-worker’s coffee. She then got home and discovered the heat wasn’t working at her house and it was in the teens here. And then her dishwasher fell out of the hole/space in the counter. She has decided 2018 is not going to go well for her. Maybe I should tell her to try buying a lottery ticket to turn things around. I was feeling bad about being home alone and depressed until I heard about how her year started off.


    1. My Uncle Leo similarly threw up five times at Walmart this week. I mean, he didn’t throw up, leave, return and do it again. He did it five times in one sitting.

      He feels better now.


  11. I know we’ve all discussed this 100,000 times, but which of my posts do you all like? For example, if you ever said, “One for the book, June.” Which one? Because I have more than 3,000 posts, and talk about overwhelming.


  12. I started 2018 with a toothache. A goddamned toothache. I have an appointment to see the dentist tomorrow afternoon, by which time I’ll have tied up half of my head in a big white rag with the knot on top, as required. Maybe I can get little lightning bolts to follow me around signifying pain.


    1. If only everything in our lives could look exactly like they look in cartoons. Our eyes bugging out when we see a hot person, with aaa-OOOO-ga steam coming out our ears.

      Our feet literally getting huge and small with red lines coming out of them when they hurt.

      Big streaks behind us when we run out of a room.

      Birds flying around our heads when we get knocked out.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My husband just made a phone call and when the party answered the phone he said, “Un, yes”. I cracked up and immediately thought of you. Only this group would appreciate what just happened. Now he wants to go walking in 20 degree weather! I know new year, new commitment.


      1. We have a client who says the exact same thing, exact same tone, every time she calls. I recognize her phone number on the caller ID so when I answer it, I wait the exact amount of time and then I mouth exactly what she says: “Oh. (Giggle.) Hi. This is Martha Truman.” It amuses me because she is a pain in the ass, desperate to get her hands on her husband’s IRA. “Oh. (Giggle.) Hi. This is Martha Truman. I have a $13,000 tax bill to pay. Can I use Joe’s IRA for that?” NO. Two days later: “Oh. (Giggle.) Hi. This is Martha Truman. I have to put a deposit on a new apartment. Can I use Joe’s IRA for that?” NO. Later that week: “Oh. (Giggle.) Hi. This is Martha Truman.” NO. NO. NO.


          1. Martha Truman just called. “Oh. (Giggle.) Hi. This is Martha Truman……” Still trying to get her mitts on poor Joe’s money. NO.


  14. I woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat and immediately thought it was a bad omen for the new year. I was about to tell 2018 to stick it up its ass and shove it, but then I took two Emergen-Cs and a crap load of Zicam, and I felt better after a few hours.

    Happy New Year, Coot- you look extra pretty in that black and white photo.


  15. Did you document that injury ala Rainman in your new journal? Serious injury number one of 2018? I hope it feels better soon. We had a closet pole come down several years ago. It is still not fixed. It’s in a spare room but still.
    Congrats on the win. I never win at things like that. You are lucky like my sister, who wins at all gambling most of the time. She is not the casino type, just lottery tickets, Chinese Auctions (or whatever PC thing they are called now) and wheels on the boardwalk. She has never won big enough to be rich but I hope both of your days are coming.
    You look gorgeous in your picture as usual. Filters are my friends.
    Alicia is a true pleasure of life!


  16. You, June, are priceless. Congratulations on winning $100! Hope your finger of death feels better soon.


  17. Happy New Year’s Day + one! I did read the post late last night, and about half the comments before I had to close my computer and crash.

    I love Alicia!

    I won about $100 on NYE playing Left, Right, Center!

    I conclude that now we will both be rich in the New Year.

    I am ignoring your finger. (Hope it feels better, and your cold too!)

    Beautiful picture.

    Lovely post, June.


    1. We lost a good friend couple over that game. We used to get together with two other couple so to play cards – dealer’s choice. The wife picked LRC. She kept losing and losing and yet kept betting and finally found herself down about $230. We were all laughing it off, like no way would we take her money, but her husband got his checkbook, wrote a check, slapped it on the table and they walked out. The rest of us sat there stunned. Never saw or heard from them again. People are weird!


      1. Oh, my gosh! I put $30 in for my husband and I (three dollars each per game)…we were on our last game because we were out of money, and I won! So we could play again! I guess it helps if you play with actual dollars, then you know when to say when…when you run out of money!

        How ridiculous of those people to act that way. People are weird.


        1. We never cashed the check! We always played for dimes and quarters – on a bad night you’d lose 10 bucks! We all felt terrible that they were upset – we were all laughing and enjoying it as a goofy moment among a group of friends – and it seemed they were laughing along. Up until the end. But the husband did have this weird sense of pride I guess you’d call it and something about the whole episode was just insurmountable to him. We never did figure out if he was mad at her, or mad at us, or both. It was like a silent signal passed between them and they both knew it was time to go.

          We had to find a new third couple, which is NOT EASY! And we NEVER played LRC again! Although every once in awhile one of us will suggest it and we all laugh uneasily. haha!


  18. The day after Christmas I was at a cocktail party at which I admitted that after graduating from journalism school, the only jobs in media that I would want were doing the Nick at Nite advertisements from the 90s and currently the Wendy’s and MoonPie Twitter accounts. The Nick at Nite stuff was a lot of fun.


  19. “She had to put her five cents on me.” That is going to make an excellent segue. “I have to put my five cents on you.”

    Sick looks good on you. I didn’t know you were ill. Here’s to a speedy recovery. Congrats on the lottery.

    2018. Seriously can’t believe. Anyone remember Y2K?


  20. Happy Happy New Year, June!
    I hope the cold is over soon and your finger doesn’t fall off.
    I’m trying to catch up on the not blog whilst travelling in Britain over the holidays.
    Shove it up your ass/arse is a common saying in Canada. Happily I don’t have to use it too often.
    My closet pole also fell down. Due to the mad rush of preparing for my trip it’s still down, so I have that repair to look forward to on my return.
    I’d like it shove it up the asshat’s ass who installed it and the shelf using 1/2” screws, without anchor plugs, into drywall.
    Congratulations on your lottery win. May it be the start of a lucky streak throughout 2018!


  21. Well my 2018 is off to a bang in relation to your blog – laughed heartily and out loud as I read it. Fingers crossed that in 2018 you have more $100 lottery winning type of experiences than pole falling/ glasses sitting experiences!


  22. Just running in to say Happy New Year’s everybody! (The apostrophe is for irony. You’re welcome.) I forgot who threatened death for that, but please don’t kill me this early in the year. I’m pretty sure 2018 will not go well, if I’m dead.

    Also, stick it in your ass and shove it everybody! I say that with love. I hope the new year brings only good things for everyone in this group.


    1. That was me. I’ll give you a pass since you clearly know it’s wrong. Now put that up your ass and shove it. ❤️


  23. And, yes, I am older than you. The first day of your new year had the good and the bad. But definitely not the ugly. (You are decidedly attractive in that photo.) Anyhoo, I choose to believe this means your year will have good and bad but the good will outweigh the bad.


  24. Taco Bell. Mmmmm.

    You don’t know how badly I wanted to message you and beg to know which famous person Alicia had been bumping heads with and why. But I slowed my roll and didn’t even email you. But maybe just one little hint? Or maybe we could name people and you can blink if we get it???


            1. What makes you think Paula was my favorite? Am I that obvious? YOU’RE ALL MY FAVORITE.

              Okay, that’s not remotely true. My grandmother could never pull that off, and neither can I.


  25. Stick it in your ass and shove it! Am I really the first person to say it? Rockin’ NYE picture June!


  26. Oh, the $100 TOTALLY beats a slightly hurt finger! You are going to have a GREAT year!!
    I fixed good luck foods today just to cover all the bases – black eyed peas and collard greens. YUM, plus I got to sing “Mama’s cookin’ chickin’ and collaaaard greens”, the funniest line Run DMC ever sang.
    Still feeling good about 2018…


      1. I’m so glad!
        When I saw it, I immediately thought of you. And I mean that in the best way possible! Heee!


  27. The clothes pole falling might have been SD’s fault and not an indication of how the year is going in the future. Buying lottery tickets could be a new job for you, not bad money for a $1 investment and a couple of minutes of time. Don’t sweat the glasses, weren’t you just shopping for new glasses? This is going to be a good year.


  28. Because I’ve tried all the filters, I know there isn’t one that makes your eyes look that good. Your eyeliner looks glamorous.


  29. I have been pretty down this holiday season and dreading the new year because my divorce will be final this Friday. I was near tears in the Taco Bell drive through and thought about you saying that you do something nice for someone else when you’re down so I tipped the drive through lady $20. She was so excited and I did feel better. I thought you might like to know that your not blog had a positive impact today!


  30. I was so impressed that you made 28% more money last year. I know you worked long hours to do so. You make more cultural references than the Gilmore Girls, and I am happy to say I get most of them. I would also like to say that I usually don’t notice these things, but I think your hair has been excellent since you saw your new hair person.


  31. $100.00 is really awesome in my book. Let’s just ignore the whole clothes pole deal. Today my clothes dryer started to make a horrible screeching noise. Who knows where that will lead. At first I started to think to myself this does not bode well for the new year. Then I told myself, forget about it, shit happens, this has nothing to do with the new year. Good thing I only dry underwear and towels. Just about everything else I hang dry.
    Happy New Year!


  32. Will the $100 cover the new glasses?
    I said “Happy New Year” to Siri today. She replied, “Happy happy new new!” She has the enthusiasm down, if not the syntax.


  33. What a late night treat! That’s how old I am – 9pm is late night.

    So sorry about your finger. Did The Shape of Water have anything to do with your fear of the black gangrenous fingers? I also saw the merman movie but my review would be decidedly different than yours. I think I am too practical. I’ve read a billion reviews and boy are they mixed. I stopped when I got to the one that claimed the whole thing was about the virtue of veganism. Say what now?

    Happy 2018 June! I do believe this is going to be a good year!


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