On the Okey Dokey Trail: A Smart-Aleck Perspective On the Give and Take of Life.
On the Okey Dokey Trail is a collection of humorous stories about relationships, work, parenthood, plastic surgery, bad car karma, photography, weed, golf lessons, serendipity, popular culture and its connection to tarot cards plus so much more.
This book WILL NOT help you find or keep a love relationship, grow the perfect rose or child, make dinner, surmount life’s inexplicable tragedies, fix a car or parking ticket, reinvent yourself, have a career in Hollywood or extract the cream filling from a cupcake without it crumbling.
This book WILL make you laugh and offer a perspective on all the above and whatever life serves up.
We are so sure of our ability to entertain you that in this one-time limited offer we will guarantee 1-3 LOL’s or your money back, no questions asked. Well, we may question if you have ever had a sense of humor, but it will be largely rhetorical. We would never post your name anywhere, pinky-swear.
I've worked with writers (TV) throughout my career. It looked like so much fun that I thought I'd give it a try.
So far all of my early reviews (Amazon) have been 5 star, and some are even from people I do not know.
On The Okey Dokey Trail: A Smart-Aleck Perspective on the Give and Take of Life
LOSING YOUR CURRENCY
To celebrate my fiftieth birthday, my fourteen-year-old daughter and I went on a hiking tour of Bhutan. I had always wanted to go there since having learned about this far away magical kingdom thirty years earlier while researching a documentary. We were now in a place where Gross National Happiness was the standard measure by which the country accessed its wealth. I was looking forward to emptying my mind in the land of blissful happiness while commemorating my half-century milestone.
It started out well. I had been telling everyone I came in contact with: the tour guides, the bus driver, shopkeepers, monks, and farmers, who spoke no English, that I was there celebrating my fiftieth year on the planet. I was met with smiles, knowing nods, and maybe a few eye rolls. I thought of my half-century mark as an auspicious accomplishment. It had not taken long before I began to go native; using the word auspicious was the first sign.
One of the women on our trip, probably having grown sick of hearing all this birthday chatter, stopped me on a hike one day and remarked, “If I were you, I’d shut up about being fifty, it’s around the age where women start to disappear and lose their currency. Huh? Women disappearing? This was not the kind of magic I expected to hear about in the land of the truly happy. Was this a Bhutan thing? Did she mean that I should stop talking about it while in the mountains? There was a lot of silence going on around there.
It occurred to me that the first three letters of the sacred mountain range we were in was HIM. Just a coincidence, I assumed, never mind that all of the houses there had phallic signs on them. Back to currency … what exactly did she mean? I thought about actual currency, as in money. I was pretty sure there were only men on all the bills I had ever seen. Come to think of it, paper money was given a man’s name: Bill. Maybe I was on to something. Wait, wasn’t The Queen of England on the pound? Of course, it would have to refer to weight, ugh. I started to think of all the women that should be on bills, currency, bank notes, whatever: Mother Theresa, Indira Gandhi, Ruth Gordon, Kristen, Tina, Amy, Ellen, Teri, Gilda, Bette, Lily, Lucy—the list would be long.
I ran back to the woman who had so confused me on our morning hike. “Um, excuse me, I’m missing something here, or maybe it’s the altitude, but I haven’t a clue about what you actually mean.”
“Fifty is around the time when women cease to be visible, valuable or attractive to the opposite sex, I thought you were smarter … this is the cliff,” she incredulously responded. Cliffs mattered here and we were warned to avoid them. She went on to tell me about the fateful moment when she herself made this discovery: she was at a dinner party seated next to a man whom she did not know. He was attractive and attentive; the banter between them, while not reaching the Nick and Nora level, was fun and amusing UNTIL … she happened to mention her recent celebration of her fiftieth birthday. He then turned away and all but ignored her for the rest of that evening. “Well, maybe he was just an asshole,” I was trying to make her, and myself, feel better. “Yes, but he was not the only one and this was not the only time.”
She continued to explain: “The girl voodoo, that je ne sais quoi effect, the power women possess as it relates to men, seriously degrades around that time of life.” Degrades? Wait, what was that symbol on the period chart? Was there really a half-life for women’s attractiveness to the opposite sex? I had not seriously considered any of this during my recent birthday celebration and announcement to well, everyone I had ever met.
But wait … hold the presses! My grandmother got married, for her third time, in her seventies. That flies in the face of all of this. My mind was spinning. I began to search through my cerebral file cabinet looking for anything that might help me make sense of all this. I was on high-skim searching the files of the great thinkers and truth tellers I had studied until I came upon the work of that wise sage, Samantha, from “Sex in the City.” In the episode where Samantha discovered a strand of gray in her pubic hair, she declared, “Nobody wants to fuck grandma’s pussy!” BUT WAIT, I have evidence to the contrary!
Leaving my fourteen-year-old daughter out of this debate, I went around to the other older women on the tour to discuss this topic and gain some additional insight. I seemed to be annoying to a few during their time and place of peaceful repose, but consensus did reluctantly emerge. This was, in fact, a truth; something one might be able to take to the bank. Not wanting to take anything at face value, and always up for an experiment, I was determined to test this thesis upon my return home. I was on it like red on rice.
Since I had just returned from a place that nobody had ever heard of, I thought I would be prime guest material to have at someone’s dinner party. This would be my very own little petri dish. I began to look through my email to connect with people who were likely to be having dinner parties with other guests who would not know me. I needed to be scientific about this. Within a few days I had insinuated myself into several upcoming events; the trials would begin. My husband was neither enthusiastic about attending any of these events, nor did he see the value of the mission. I think he was tiring of my stupid antics. Aha! And so it begins.
I approached my first party with breathless anticipation. Truly, I had never seen so many steps up to someone’s front door. I was a little nervous and sweating like a pig by the time I crossed the threshold. Mercifully, I was never without a fresh drink in my hand, which was provided by the cute young bartender. I started to relax. It was a fun crowd and there were a couple of very attractive men around my age in attendance. As luck would have it, I was seated next to the gentleman who most especially caught my eye.
It was time to ramp up the charm and pray that no salad got lodged in my teeth. It didn’t take long before we were completely engaged like a four-alarm fire. It was so much fun and quite reinforcing to my initial hypothesis. What was that woman talking about? I saw no real evidence of my currency being devalued. As I was feeling smug and a bit tipsy, my handsome lab rat began to talk about his partner who happened to be sitting down at the other end of the table. Partner? Did he say partner? They were a couple? My trial subject was gay. I am so dense. This experiment was a total disqualification and had to be thrown out. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful party. My man was totally charming and delightful … as was his partner.
After this first soiree, I began to rethink the dinner party strategy. Not only were there too many calories involved, but also the high heels were in serious conflict with my feet.
I would try and move this experiment into my exciting everyday life instead. Before setting out to the grocery store, which had many times been a source of positive reinforcement generating both good feelings and dinner, I dug out some pictures of myself to inspect from my twenties. I didn’t think of myself that differently from before; I was still the adventurous and carefree (stupid and immature) person I had always been, and I thought I looked about the same, especially if I squinted hard enough.
Off I went to Bob’s Market, one of the last independent grocers in LA. They have a great meat and poultry section. I stood on line and waited my turn. I started to recall some of my previous exchanges with the butcher. He was always cheerful and pleasant. “Would you like a rub?” I began to wonder … was he really just referring to the tri-tip? Ok, focus. I smiled and went into my very best girl-flirt mode when number was called. It was not my usual guy waiting on me. My new man was, however, friendly enough. Then, when I was finished ordering, he spun me around like a test tube in a centrifuge: “Would you like anything else, ma’am?” Ma’am! Just kill me now! Go ahead, take that fucking knife and just kill me now. Why couldn’t he have just said, “Miss, sweetie, honey,” something that earlier in life I would have found condescending or annoying? Tilt. Game over. There would be no more science experiments.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I had a nightmare where a giant syringe filled with fat cells removed from my ass was being pushed into my face to replace the collagen gone missin’ by a smirking doctor who looked a lot like the scary Jack Nicholson from The Shining, not the cute one from As Good As It Gets. I got up and splashed cold water on my face. I did not want to travel down that path. I needed to compose myself.
I closed my eyes and Google-earthed my mind back to Bhutan. I thought of our destination at the end of that infamous conversation. We had hiked to a beautiful and peaceful monastery, a Buddhist nunnery. I bet all of those women slept soundly even in the Himalayan Mountains and I’m sure none of them had any reservations over the number of candles placed in their birthday cake each year. I was then in a more mindful and serene place.
When it comes to the legal tender … in G-d We Trust.