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PMS: A Safety Guide for Men

To the males in my household and all the rest of you:

We have arrived, yet again, at that odious interlude of each lunar cycle when there is a small chance that I will throw something heavy at your head. There’s also a chance that during the next three days I will snatch something out of your hands because you are doing it wrong, shriek “WHO ATE THE LAST BROWNIE?” at a pterodactyl pitch, and begin weeping inconsolably because you set the table and gave me that fork I don’t like — that one freaking fork that is so easy to avoid in the utensils drawer and that you know very well I dislike, but you just had to put it at my place, didn’t you? You never have respected me, not for one minute of our lives, and this is how you choose to show me.

Welcome to hell, fellas.

Because I am kind and generous for 27 days of the month, I’m going to offer you advice for surviving this bumpy patch with me, and any woman who is riding the prickly premenstrual pony. It is dangerous to be you in this situation; I won’t lie. Your wife/mother/girlfriend/sister is a porcupine who has swallowed a hand grenade and doesn’t want to die alone. But with a steady supply of wine and simple carbohydrates, she might — might — be able to keep The Beast shackled in the basement of her soul.

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Go, Losers!

Men are supposed to be the logical ones. The more rational sex. And to the extent that they’ll fetch a tool or phone a repairman when something breaks — as opposed to weeping, repenting to the callous gods of karma, and then yelling at it, as I typically do — I concede that guys are largely governed by reason.

But when football season begins, their logic vanishes like a bowl of Hot Wings Doritos in front of a flat screen on a Sunday afternoon. (I know, I’m generalizing. Brace yourself because I’m going to do it some more.)

Football fans spend four months of every year hooting and rooting for teams that they’ve chosen to support for cockamamie reasons.

“Where I grew up, I was a Bears fan. It was expected of me. It was the right thing to do.” … “I bought my son a Broncos sweatshirt when he was 3. He’s still a fan.” … “I’ve liked the 49ers since I was young because games in Kezar Stadium looked so glorious when it was snowing in my native Ohio. And the red and gold looked much better than the hideous schemes offered by the Bengals and the Browns.”

Implicit obedience? Wardrobe attachment? Color schemes? These are dudes we’re talking about — right?

They pledge their undying, unsound fidelity to a team because it’s the one their dad rooted for. Or rooted against … whichever. My husband still flies the Raiders flag because, as a boy, he loved Ken Stabler’s nickname, “The Snake.” My sons chose their teams because “I wanted an underdog” and “my best friend hates them.”

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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