50 And My Nest Is Empty

mom waving goodbyeA long, long time ago I envisioned what my life would be like when I got really old. You know, like 50.  I could see myself sitting on the porch, sipping iced tea and clutching my pearls while my children gathered around to hang on to every syllable of wisdom I imparted on them.

I would be a sassy old woman dressed impeccable in Alfred Dunner’s latest collection with my hair freshly coiffed from the beauty shop.  The wisdom I would dispense would be cherished and passed on for generations, just like the good silver.

Well, I’m 50 and my nest is empty, I don’t have a porch or pearls and my hair is a hot mess. Not one person I gave birth to is hanging around waiting for me to speak.

Those of you with young children please take note. When your kids are young adults the only time they seem to remember you are alive is when their car breaks down, their rent is due or their checking account is overdrawn. Otherwise, you could be missing for weeks and they wouldn’t notice. You could be living in the same house and unless a foul order that can’t be covered up by a candle scent is coming from your bedroom they could care less.

Let that debit card get declined and they are looking for you like you are buried with Jimmy Hoffa.

Suddenly your whereabouts will be of the utmost importance to them.  They will call in the police and the National Guard if Siri can find their number.

They will provide valuable information when the officers ask, “When was the last time you spoke with your mother?”

“I talked to her three weeks ago when my car broke down. Then today when I text to tell her I was overdrawn she didn’t answer my text”

The unanswered text will be of major concern to your child because normally you are at their beck and call. They envision you sitting home, hands perched and ready to respond as soon as their text comes in.

“It’s not like her to like go anywhere. She’s, like, usually just hanging around the house.”

Suddenly you will find yourself standing in your robe at the front door greeting a nice officer that has come to do a well check on an old lady. You won’t even have on your pearls.

Total time missing was 15 minutes while you were in the shower. Instead of being angry you will smile as you close the door. Somehow your twisted empty nester mind will see this as a sign. They care. They really do care.

A.D.H.D Attention Deficit Housecleaning Disorder



ADHD blog picture

I have diagnosed myself with ADHD:  Attention Deficit Housecleaning Disorder.  I have suffered from this affliction for years and it is beginning to take its toll.

Symptoms of this disease include but are not limited to cleaning the junk drawer when you have no clean underwear, organizing your jewelry when you should really be changing your sheets and leaving clothes wrinkling in the dryer while you organize your spices.

This disease is debilitating.  It causes feelings of worthlessness and despair. You begin shunning your friends because you realize that the Christmas decorations are still piled on your dining room table but your magazines are alphabetized.

The ADHD episodes go something like this.  You walk into your kitchen to a sink full of dirty dishes and cluttered counters.  Before you can empty the sink you must unload the dishwasher.  As you are unloading the dishwasher you notice that the big and the little spoons are mixed together.  You can’t ignore that right?  So you decide just to separate the spoons.  As you are separating the spoons you notice that the bottom of the cutlery organizer is dirty.  How this happens I don’t know since you only put clean cutlery in it but nonetheless you begin to take out all the silverware and wipe out the organizer.  [Continue Reading]

Groaning At The Grocery

I am ashamed to admit it but when I grocery shop now I make my selections based on their weight and bulkiness.

In the good ole days I could take a toddler, a large purse, a baby in a carrier and spend no less than 200.oo on groceries. With the strength of a young woman I would load it all in my van and unload and put it away when I returned home.  Looking back I can’t believe I did all that and only drank wine on occasion in the evening. I should have been a day drinker!

These days I trudge down the aisles and seriously consider joining Meals-On-Wheels.

Everything that’s good for me requires cooking and everything that is heavy doesn’t seem worth the effort.

I’m so tired of grocery shopping. I have been grocery shopping for the past 30 years and the only feedback I have gotten is that we don’t have anything to eat in our house. (For the record grocery shopping is the only shopping that fatigues me.  Somehow those Macy’s bags don’t seem so heavy.)

Gone are the days of buying beverages by the case to save money. I can only commit to a 12 pack of diet coke and that is if I am having a really good day and I am not having a hot flash. If I’m having a hot flash I am pulling through the drive thru for my diet coke and everyone is on their own for dinner. [Continue Reading]

Turning 50 -Half Way To 100


I’m how old?

Let the countdown begin! In 23 days I will turn 50! I am facing it with the same attitude I had when I thought there was a squirrel in the attic. I am going to turn on some music and pretend it isn’t happening.

Just kidding! I’m going to celebrate my birthday every day until March 25th and party like it’s 1999. I’m partying now like it’s 1999 because when it actually was 1999 I was young and skinny and didn’t know how good I had it so I wasted that year.

In honor of my impending membership into AARP thought I would offer up some advice for those of you that are still frolicking in your forties.

  1. Put a pair of tweezers in your car. Chin and lip hair love to shine in the bright light of day. You can spend 20 minutes looking in the bathroom mirror only to have a three-inch long hair appear the moment you pull out of the driveway. They are very tricky like that. It is a terrible thing to be getting a mustache at the same time as your teenage son. He will be much more excited about his than you are about yours.
  2. Forget tanning. You are in crisis mode where skin care is concerned. Welcome to big hats, cover-ups and sunscreen. Prepare to be seduced by celebrities over 40 that have a skin care line. All your extra money will go toward finding the perfect combination of products that will turn back the hands of time. The infomercials will convince you that a youthful glow is priceless. Turns out a youthful glow will cost you about $300.00 a month. Your eyelids will start moving with the eye shadow brush and tiny little brown “age” spots will appear out of nowhere. Your only hope is one day they all join together and you will finally have a tan.
  3. The reason that you will have knowledge of all the skin care lines is that you will begin to suffer from insomnia. Infomercials love to target us late at night when we are exhausted and without make-up. Just as your kids start to sleep in you will be unable to sleep at all. It is one of nature’s cruelest tricks. You will lie awake all night thinking about your chin hair and wrinkles, whether or not your kids will get into college, if global warming is real and if you will ever find the perfect purse.
  4. You will need to become very aware of where you are in a store and how far it is to the nearest restroom. Forget the fire exit. The bathroom knowledge will become much more important.
  5. Belly fat will increase every time you look at food. You are just one glance at a cupcake away from bariatric surgery. The Liz Lange maternity wear at Target will start to look appealing because of the wonderful waistbands.
  6. In an attempt to join your bulging stomach so it won’t be lonely, your breasts will begin to sag south. You can attempt to separate them with a belt but the belt won’t get much exposure.
  7. Reading glasses. You will need them. You will need to buy several pair of them. They will NEVER be where you are. They are like terrorists. They are always moving and difficult to capture. It is best to buy in bulk at the Dollar Store. I believe eyesight is the real reason you shouldn’t give birth after 40. If I had to read a infant Tylenol bottle in the middle of the night my baby would be in big trouble and most likely over medicated.
  8. Forget about it. That is exactly what you will do. You will forget everything from the names of your children at any given moment to the identity of people that are contacts in your cellphone. I have no idea who several of people listed in my contacts are or why I saved their number. I am too embarrassed to call them and say, “Excuse my peri- menopausal memory loss but who the heck are you?” Now when I put someone in my contacts I have to put a description like “ugly lady on the committee” or “he’s your doctor you idiot”. This memory loss is one of the main reasons you can’t find your reading glasses.

[Continue Reading]

Muffin Top: A Love Story Red Carpet Premiere


muffin topIf you have ever dreamed of posing on the red carpet while the cameras flashed ,your dream is about to come true!

On December 4 United Artists Theater of Commerce will be hosting the only Detroit premiere of Muffin Top: A Love Story and you can be there for the red carpet posing and prizes!


In this hilarious romantic comedy Women’s Studies professor Suzanne Nicholson lives in LA, photoshop capital of the world, where she inspires her students to reject the media images of beauty that tell us no woman is ever good enough. She’s been trying to get pregnant via IVF but when she discovers that her husband wants a divorce because he’s knocked up his younger, thinner co-worker, her life crashes around her. Suddenly single, the hormones she’s been taking (along with perfectly justifiable medicinal cake and wine) have caused Suzanne to grow a muffin top she honestly feels is a force of pure evil, and so she turns to increasingly desperate and hilarious measures to both lose weight, and get a life.

This movie has a million laughs but one powerful message. You should love yourself now, not five pounds from now.

Bring your friends, your daughter and your mother to this wonderful movie experience.

Practice your red carpet pose and check your teeth for lipstick because it’s going to be a night you will never forget!

Click here for tickets! They are only available on line until November 26 so hurry!

90 Days To Matrimony

The Underestimaters

The Underestimaters


Romance and red wine can get you in big trouble.

On a recent weekend away my fiancée Brad and I were overcome with undying love and Sweet Bliss wine and the best idea we could come up with was to set a wedding date that was only 90 days away. It sounded so wonderful and easy as we snuggled on the couch and gazed into each other’s eyes. All our friends gathered together as we vowed to love each other for all time.

Crystal glasses clinking and sweet buttercream frosting covering a big chocolate cake swirled around in my head. How much fun would cake tasting be? I was almost giddy!

There would be a lavish dinner, dancing and all the best of everything for 200 of our closest friends. I could almost taste the champagne as I drifted off to sleep in the arms of my true love. [Continue Reading]

Are You Kidding Me? Is A Best Friend That Fits In Your Bag

Gustafson_Cover_FRONT_reduced (2)When you are in the trenches of motherhood surrounded by kids, chaos and fluctuating hormones the most important thing to know is you aren’t the only one suffering. Misery loves company like a woman love shoes.

Do you ever lie awake at night thinking, “Surely these crazy things don’t just happen to me? Are there others that dread parent teacher conferences, unintentionally turn Spanx into thigh tourniquets and get shunned by their first born on college move in day?”

Stacey Gustafson’s book Are You Kidding Me? My Life With An Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities and Crazy Relatives is just the handbook you need to validate you are not alone.

It’s like reading your best friend’s diary. You will tear up when her daughter rushes her off during move in day and then you will almost pee your pants when she gets stuck trying to get into her first pair of Spanx and makes the tough decision in a bathroom stall to go commando and stuff them in her purse. I ask who amongst us has not at one time or another had panties in our purse?

Stacey’s stories are the trifecta of talent: funny, heart warming and sarcastic. She’s the best friend and therapist that you carry in your bag or on your Kindle and pull her out when you need her.

The very funny Stacey Gustafson is an author, humor columnist, and blogger. Her book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life With An Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is available on Amazon and Kindle. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

High School Dances-Ten Things You Must Know

After eight years of chaperoning high school dances here are a few tidbits of knowledge I feel inclined to pass on. These observations are based on my personal experiences while manning the chaperone station. No names have been used in order to protect the innocent, the stinky and the skanky.

  1. Gyrating + strapless dresses = trouble. If your breasts need their own zip code the strapless style is not your friend. Think of your breasts as deadbeat relatives. They need a lot of support and no body wants to see them coming.
  2. Deodorant is your friend. It should be used daily. Your charms WILL NOT outweigh your stench.
  3. Girls, you should never spend more than $20 on her shoes because every girl ends up barefoot ten minutes into the dance.
  4.  A necktie wrapped around your head does not make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Also, if you borrowed that necktie from your dad you should really let him know you used it as a sweatband so he can have it dry cleaned.  No man wants to be known as the man that smelled funky in the board meeting.
  5. A baseball cap is NEVER considered a part of semi-formal attire.
  6. When choosing a dress keep in mind that you should be able to sit in the dress. As entertaining as it is to watch you try to sit on a bleacher in a skintight dress at some point it just becomes pitiful.
  7. Practice bending at the knee to reach for something on the floor.  Legs spread and waist bend moves are for later when you have dropped out and need to earn some extra cash. But for right now let’s assume that not everyone at the dance needs to see your thong or lack of one.
  8. Put your phone down and dance. That’s why they call it a dance and not a stand around with 200 of your closest friends and text party.
  9. If you drink and throw up at the dance it that really the good time you were looking for? I think not. I can tell you that your mother is not going to be happy if the dry cleaner can’t get the puke out of your only suit. If you hide it in your closet and try to wear it to your Aunt Lucille’s funeral she will most likely murder you and you will have to be buried in that suit.
  10. There always seems to be that one girl at the dance that ends up crying in a corner surrounded by a big group of girlfriends.  If you are that girl, suck it up or go home. If you are one of the huddlers, stop giving this drama queen attention.  Go have fun, trust me she will still be doing this act at your 30th birthday party so you will have plenty of time to console her. Once a drama queen always a drama queen.


Don’t Run Away It Gets Better—I Promise

Do you feel the child you are raising is never going to “grow up”? Do you fear they will be wondering around as a adult trying to get to work on time but unable to find their jacket?

Do you envision a 30-year-old man sitting across from you at Thanksgiving with no teeth because he never brushed?

Are you concerned that you will have to still pay your child allowance to go to the mailbox to retrieve your social security check?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then I am here to give you hope of a better tomorrow!!

My son Michael is a senior in high school and has grown up and become a responsible young man. He gets himself up for school and completes assignments on time. Michael participates in leadership activities and plays three varsity sports. He has white sparkly teeth and a dazzling smile.

When I wrote the blog below back in 2009 I would have bet my last dollar that I would still be trying to get him out the door on time when he was 20. I was certain by 25 he would be toothless.

So go forth and be inspired! Your hard work will pay off one day; the trick is to stay sane until then.

MICHAEL – 2009

I looked up hurry in the dictionary today just to make sure I had the correct definition.

I was a little concerned because I explain it to my son Michael every morning and he doesn’t seem to get it. He’s a pretty smart kid so I thought the problem must surely be my inability to explain it correctly. Perhaps I needed clarification.

Here is the definition according to Webster:

HURRY: verb (used without object),

1. To move, proceed, or act with haste.

HURRY ACCORDING TO ME: Get your butt in gear or you are going to miss the bus, which means I will have to drive you to school in my pajamas with a clip holding my bangs out of my eyes and no makeup.

It’s guaranteed that I will run into one of those moms that showers and gets dressed before her kids get out of bed so she is fresh and ready to start her extremely productive day! I hate those moms! They judge me! They point and gawk as if they have never seen anyone in pajamas operating a motor vehicle.

HURRY ACCORDING TO MICHAEL: Michael’s definition of hurry is to move at the exact same pace whether gets up at 7:00 a.m. or 7:20 a.m.

His routine involves showering and doing his hair, reading the sports page, loading his backpack, eating breakfast, finding his jacket, blaming me because he can’t find his jacket, putting on his shoes and spraying AXE body spray over his ENTIRE body.

His teeth will only be brushed if he accidently gets ready too quickly and has two minutes to spare. If he starts a Family Guy story before you get the toothbrush in his mouth it’s all over.

My telling him that if he can chew a steak when he’s 30 it will be a miracle or that teenage girls don’t kiss boys with no teeth is the only part of the routine that varies.

If we are lucky we finish our morning with him spitting a huge blob of toothpaste in the sink and announcing he is ready to go just as they bus pulls up.

By this time my blood pressure is at stroke level and I sitting on the couch swaying back and forth and mumbling to myself.

It’s not pretty and I’m sure it’s the reason I am graying prematurely. My only hope is that he keeps his teeth long enough to find a wife and have a child just like him!




Things Every Freshman Parent Needs To Know

highschool1Having your first-born become a high school freshman is a lot like giving birth.  It’s painful, messy and not at all like you expected. Worst of all there are no drugs this time around to take away the pain.

Be ready to be shocked when your child comes home after one day in high school and has suddenly become smarter than you. It’s nothing short of a miracle that so much knowledge can be attained in one six period day. Someone should really call the Pope! [Continue Reading]