December 31, 2006


Dear YLJF,

I think I need a new swimsuit. Any advice on selecting one?

___________________________________ Mermaid

Dear Mer,

Do you really need a new one? Only if a) the fabric of yours is so thin as to reveal what's underneath, b) there is no elastic in the leg openings anymore or c) the seat is fuzzy enough to give you the appearance of a Playboy Bunny tail.

If your current suit qualifies for replacement, here is a simple formula for choosing a bathing suit: the older you are the more skin you must cover. For example, a 25-year-old can wear a bikini, a 35-year-old a two-piece with a sliver of midriff showing, a 45-year-old requires a one-piece. Once you are a dues-paying member of AARP, keep the oversized t-shirt on when not underwater.


My brother thinks I have finally seen the light: I cannot visit my mother and stay at her house. He is right. I regret that I did not figure this out before voices were raised and unkind words exchanged. My mother is charmingly eccentric, and “frugal“ doesn't even begin to describe her. We love her, but as my brother says, it is unwise and unhealthy to be exposed to her unusual habits for a 24-hour stretch or more.

When we arrived at her house, she had a disposable cup designated for Hart's use during our stay. Strange, but par for the course. There is a logic to this, I suppose, though known only to her. However, the trouble started when we returned from a two-day pilgrimage to LEGOLAND. After three hours in harrowing California traffic, we sat down to dinner.

"Which is your cup?"

"What do you mean "my cup"? I haven't been here for two days."

"Well, which is the cup you used last?"

"I have no idea. Here's a dishwasher full of stuff. Is this clean?"

"Uhm, yes."

"What I mean is, has the dishwasher been run since we left?"

"No, of course not." (Of course not. What was I thinking?)

"I don't remember which cup I used. May I have a clean one from the cupboard?"



"No. There are only three and they are all in the dishwasher."

By now my voice was getting increasingly shrill. "It's your house and your prerogative. But if the household rule is that I am only allowed one cup during my stay here, you must tell me right away. I can't possibly figure out such a bizarre system."

"I don't like your system."

More high-pitched screeching. "My system, my system! The system used by the entire dishwasher-owning world? The system whereby you load dirty dishes into the dishwasher until it is full, run it, then replace the items in the cabinets and drawers for future use. That system?"

I had a sudden flashback to a visit several years ago when we had had a similar discussion. I had asked for a bath towel for the shower and she had given me what in my household is called an oversized handkerchief. I complained that it was too small, to which my mother had exclaimed, "But it's square." There is no argument with logic like that.

Motel 6 with its plethora of sanitized and wrapped glasses looks really appealing. I understand they also have regulation-sized towels there.

December 30, 2006

Julian and Chloe (photos)


Dear YLJF,

I am 5'2" and weigh 105 lbs. Last year my husband received a large windbreaker. He does not like it because it has the name of a local hardware store across the back. May I wear it?

___________________________________ Big Jacket, Little Person

Dear BJLP,

Certainly. How resourceful of you. YLJF generally does not advise adults purchasing items that are several sizes too big, but since it's a freebie, it's fine. You do have to roll up the sleeves so that they don't drag on the sidewalk. Rubber bands are useful for that.

December 23, 2006

Cowboy Jeff (photo)

Arizona, November 2003
Check out the boots!

December 18, 2006

More according to Jeff . . .

L: Do you want to see the fish, while the chef makes the sushi?
J: No, fish make me silly.

He was expecting live clownfish?

December 9, 2006

Yes, Virginia

H: Who is Santa Claus?
L: At Daddy's party? I think it's one of the attorneys wearing a Santa costume.
H: No. . . . there are elves and a sleigh, too.

December 7, 2006


Dear YLJF,

I love the holiday season. I shop and cook and decorate my house. I have ten different Christmas sweaters that I wear daily throughout the month. My granddaughter announced that she hates them! What do you say?

___________________________________ Christmas Spirit

Dear Spirit,

Part of the charm of the season is diverse expression of holiday merriment, which includes the "Christmas Sweater." Also, it takes a bit of "je ne sais quoi" to pull it off, so if you've got it, flaunt it! However, you may not force, coerce or manipulate unwilling co-workers, family members or pets into themed sweaters, Santa hats, reindeer antlers or candy cane-themed jewelry. AND, on December 26, put it all away for another year.

December 2, 2006

Would you like a fossil with that burger?

Jeff is describing an imaginary restaurant/car dealership that he owns.
J: Look out back. Something skeletonish.
L: What is it?
J: A triceratops! And a nest of eggs.