Create your balance. Design your life.

The “F” Word

No, not that one.  In our vernacular there are words that are deemed “bad”. We teach children not to say them although the children may hear us use these words ourselves. I am talking about profanity of course and kids know the worst one they could ever utter is the “F” word. I am here to share some other things I think should be considered  “F” words. This will be fun.




The definition of free as an adverb is: Without cost or payment. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? In your dictionary however it does not have an asterisk * beside it.  Asterisks (or other symbols) are commonly used in advertisements to refer readers to special terms/conditions for a certain statement, commonly placed below the statement in question. For example: an advertisement for a sale may have an asterisk after the word “free”. Buy one pair of shoes get one free* with the terms of how you get the free shoes at the bottom of the advertisement, similar to the way footnotes are used. Imagine the mother who is excited she can get her kids two pair of shoes for the price of one and she ends up arriving at the register only to discover that the terms at the bottom said with minimum purchase of 100 dollars. Sale items not included. Now this woman is standing there with two pair of shoes at sale price and may have to tell her child that they cannot buy shoes today. Some people cannot afford 100 dollars for shoes. I don’t spend that much on shoes. We cannot all be Carrie Bradshaw sporting the latest Jimmy Choo fashions. Want to see something terrifying? Copy and paste this into your navigation and check out the price tag.

Most of us cannot afford to be that extravagant with the fashions we purchase and most families live on incomes where they do have to watch what they spend. If you see that * or even if you don’t see it, please read the fine print before you go to collect your “free” item. When it comes to shopping there is rarely anything that is truly “free”. I will tell you this column is free* Terms and conditions apply.


I have nothing against “fun”, especially when I am doing something that “I” consider fun. This refers to those times where people you know want you to go somewhere with them for some activity that you don’t really care about or wish to explore. They always say “Awww, come on, it’ll be FUN!!! (cue the theme from “Psycho”) So many times we give in. On a rare occasion I do have fun. The operative word is rare. Let me tell you about a few times that “it’ll be fun” happened to me. I once ended up at square dancing lessons. Square dancing? Really? Me? Anyone who knows me should know that this is not an activity I will gather any enjoyment from. I desperately spent the evening thinking of a way to go AWOL while everyone else was lost in their word of  do-si-do and hope they forgot they brought me.  And the fashion (a cold shiver went through me) I apologize to anyone who enjoys this type of dancing. It is a wonderful thing if  you enjoy it. It is not for me. SQUARE-DANCERS

Another time I ended up in a cooking class. I love to cook. I actually jumped at this one. What I didn’t find out until we got there was it was a class on dishes you can make with (in an ominous voice) EGGPLANT. If there is one vegetable I dislike more than eggplant…actually it is my least favorite, followed by okra. I spent the afternoon cooking dishes I would not put in my mouth. Needless to say for me the afternoon was a bust. When going to do something you do enjoy it is best to get information from the people you are going with so you don’t get a nasty surprise.

I once got talked into doing a lingerie/burlesque show in a bar that I was not familiar with. I had seen the bar during the day when my friend was arranging it. I wished her luck with the show. The clientele was a bit rough for my tastes. She pleaded with me to take part. “Come on”, she said, “it’ll be fun like back in the day when we worked together.” She got me with guilt and I reluctantly agreed. The night of the show came and I peeked out of our dressing area and the crowd looked rougher than I remembered. What the hell did I get myself into? The show started and everything was going okay. Then to my horror as one of the girls was  on stage doing her performance, a woman came in with her baby and took a seat!  Now everything snowballed like the roller coaster ride from hell. There was one man that got very angry about a baby being there (DUH! What was this woman thinking?) and it turned into a huge fight. We locked ourselves in the dressing room. We heard the police arriving and could see the morning headlines “Performers Busted During Show With A Baby Present in the Bar. Violence Breaks Out” We broke the window of the back room we were dressing in and climbed through it. We left wearing the lingerie we had on and I had my purse. I left my clothes that I wore up to the bar (there was no time to grab them, Armageddon was occurring in the building) and have never seen that outfit again. The icing on the cake was I had to stop to get gas on the way home. I am so glad that the store was not busy and no police officer saw the 2 of us that had escaped in my car. Explaining our overly sexy wardrobes to an officer would have been so much “fun”.

Be aware that we do this to other people ourselves with the statement “Oh come on! It’ll be fun” For the person that you are asking to go, keep one thing in mind. For them it might not be fun and for yourself, if you have reservations about doing something you are probably right. If you want to share some “fun” stories with me please do.  I am collecting them for a future column.

Fair Food

Who doesn’t love going to the fair and eating their way through it? The “fair food” always tastes so good. You can get standard items like hot dogs and fish and chips or more exotic fare like a doughnut burger, deep fried butter or chocolate dipped bacon. If you are not sure what a doughnut burger is I will explain. It is a hamburger that is fried and topped with bacon and cheese and instead of a bun it is tucked into 2  Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts. I am not making this culinary delight up.

doughnut burger


The problem with “fair food” is most of it is terribly unhealthy for you. It has high calorie counts, most is fried, it can send your cholesterol sky-rocketing and you have to save money all year so you can afford to eat some of it. My husband and I attended the Florida State Fair in 2013 and ate one meal. It consisted of two slices of cheese pizza and two drinks. The bill ran us around 12 dollars. We bought a lemonade to share. 4.50 for a 12 ounce cup. The price of the chocolate dipped bacon was 12.00 for 4 pieces. You have to be kidding me on every level with that. “Fair food”, although incredibly delicious is really not good for you and the prices vs. portion can be horrific. I remember how much I could eat at the fair for around 20 dollars 15 years ago, but I had not prepared myself with the cash I took last year. I love to eat my way through the fair, although to eat the same amount I did back in the day would have cost in excess of 90 dollars. (I was pricing my favorite foods as we walked around). So, a lot of the food is not good for you (you can get just about anything deep fried) and it cost two weeks salary to feed a family of five (I am exaggerating) There is nothing “fair” about the prices at all. This year I will eat my way through the fair. I put 20 dollars aside every week for the last year so I can afford the things I want to eat. I’m kidding. About the money, not about eating my way through the fair. I know it is not good for me but I only get to eat that food once a year and it sends my taste-buds into nirvana.

There are some new “F” words for you. I am sure you can come up with a few of your own and I would love to hear what they are. In this day and age life is too short not to smile and laugh and I hope I made you at least smirk.

*To have this column free you must share it with people who will get a smile out of it. I told you that things are very rarely “free”. Have a great week and be safe!




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