Category Archives: Victoria’s Secret

“Saint” Karen


My friend, Karen P., was a one-to-one aide at my special needs school, long before I

‘nabbed’ her to become my teaching assistant. She had what I call ”the patience of Job,”

with a little child (age 3) with autism. With this child she worked by using both sign

language and verbal cueing. She learned also, through workshops and the therapists, to

use positive reinforcers. His special pleasure was playing with tractors. Casually, you may

have heard the word, ‘fixation,’ when his parents talked about his tractors. He was quite

an independent child, which was hard to explain to his parents that his ‘shrieking’ was

not because of his being ‘rebellious.’ I would consider Justin’s intelligence level to be

found somewhere on the Asperger’s Spectrum; as ‘higher functioning.’


When I think of friends, I remember that old Girl Scout song, which was a ’round’ which

repeated itself. It goes like this:

“Make new friends, but keep the old,

One is silver and the other is gold.”


The nine years I had dear “Saint” Karen by my side, in the ‘trenches, and sometimes

taking all the dirty work, quite literally, make her my Gold Standard of Friend. You will

think we are quite ‘sick in the head’ when I tell you that we still roar with laughter about

one Christopher who threw chairs across the room, we felt he was ‘possessed!’ We were,

in our private moments , just barely able to contain ourselves. Our favorite way to make

light of Christopher, was to say to one another,

“We know that face will be on the “Wanted” posters in the Post Office one day, we just

know it!”

Also, the dirty work, was meant (by me, I reassured her when she came to be my assistant)

to be split fairly. When there were diapers which needed to be changed, we took turns.

But another ‘sick’ sense of humor moment was when “Miss Karen” was stuck with ‘her turn’


But apparently Jonathan did not just do it in his pants. It went down his leg and into his

cowboy boots! When the expression is “Up to your neck in ‘shit,'” for Karen it had been,

“Up to her armpits!” Poor Karen did not feel well the rest of the day, like she could not

seem to get the odor off her hands. She was incessantly washing until she took the vanilla

air freshener spray and soaked her clothes and hands with it.


I would like to tell you a short history of Karen’s life, since she overcame a lot of tragedies

to come out wonderfully.  She taught me many things more than I was able to teach her.

At age 8, Karen lost her mother to an accident. Three of her grandparents were deceased,

the one who was left, did not want her. She was raise by her two elderly aunts. When her

Dad came back and forth into her life, she had to adjust to a wide variety of women, his

alcoholism,  and some verbal abuse. She always ended up calling her aunts, begging them

to come and save her.

She got good grades, wore clean but plain clothes. She met her husband, her only “love

of her life,” while going to community college to be a nursing assistant (STNA). He was

at a bar, he was ogling her, sometimes making loud comments and trying to get her

attention. She was 19 years old, she certainly wasn’t attracted to this wild motorcycle

man,  who appeared much older than she, at the time. The summer she met him, he

pursued her, found her almost each time she and her friends were out in Marion, Ohio.

Karen used a dramatic way to describe Dan: “He was relentless!”

Karen is strong willed, she claims to have broke him of his ‘pool gambling habit’ and

his drinking. Dan, on the other hand, gives her credit, saying that a ‘good woman like

Karen’ can cure anything. They have been married for forty years, raised three kids

and three grandkids.  A fourth grandchild, from their son and his wife, was born this

year. So, this was a new beginning for their adventures, continuing the family saga.


On Friday, October 24, 2014, we got together and laughed until we cried. We ate

at the local restaurant, Old Bag O’ Nails. We had numerous refills on our beverages

and ate our ‘fish and chips’ slowly.  We had been apart for 2 years, trying to adjust

our busy lives and schedules to fit our friendship in.


Here are some of the subjects covered while we were there for almost four hours:


1. Grandchildren, of course.


2. “CSI” and cast changes over the years.


3. Hilarious episode of “According to Jim,” when both men’s clothes were blown off

when the water pipes in basement explode.


4. My divorced husband, what he was ‘up to.’ (She had been with me through 9 years,

through thick and thin,  and only one year, while I was single.) Still no car, working

close to his apartment. Got online PhD in Religion.


5. “Camel toes,” when the younger teachers taught us what this expression meant.


6. Condoms. My first “Secret Santa” gift as a single woman, in multiple hues and sizes.


7. Changing over from my old way of wearing “granny panties,” and our trip to Victoria

Secret. (We had multiple shopping trips for supplies, but our trip to Tuttle Mall was

our favorite.)


8. Barney, my famous bachelor gym teacher, who showed up my first Single Spring

Break, in a bathing suit, with a towel and a bottle of baby oil, in hand. We ‘cracked up

all over again when we remembered his announcing, “I’m your cabana boy, Robin.”

I had insisted all the female teachers,  some who were in their twenties,  go out

with me dancing once a month. Somehow, when we ran into Barney, they fell in

love with him. (He looks a lot like Tony Danza, seriously.) Karen was sorely

disappointed in the fact we are not still in ‘touch.’


9. The ‘girls’ insisted we attend the football game when Barney coached the

opposition; our main rival. He was on the sidelines when his team played

“our school’s” team.

The Speech Language Pathologist and Trina, who talked me into drinking before

the game. We ran into the Superintendent and hugged him. We ran into 2 parents

and also, a school board member. We found the other girls in the bleachers,

climbing over people to get to them.


10. Which of the ‘girls’ have gotten married, which have babies and who is still

single, besides me.


Karen will always be my “Hero.”


Fred Rogers, Presbyterian minister and the nice man wearing the sweater on,

“Mister Roger’s Neighborhood:”

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.

It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’

Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people, my heroes.”



Sudden Preoccupation with Sex


You think about romance, you think about sex, quite often in your daily lives.

Sometimes it is just a photo, a commercial on television, a comment by a

fellow sojourner on this planet and Boom! Bang! Explosions of little excited

endorphins rush around and your mind is on a whole different subject than

work or even your family around you.

I am not an sex “expert” like Dr. Ruth Westheimer, nor could I qualify for

even an honorary degree on such matters (Dr. Robin does sound quite nice,

though!) I am writing from the category of numerous people out there who

“Have been there, done that!” Oh, by the way, Dr. Ruth is a licensed and

professional sex therapist (for those who may not be old enough to have

seen her on the talk show circuit.) She is still alive and kicking at age 85!

I am going to say the dating scene starting up again, seven months into the

year, not just the casual going out with friends and looking nor the little

“chasing Steve” period, is very overwhelming. Lots of questions! When do

you have your first kiss? When do you have the hugs and more than kissing

that go beyond that small first step? Oh, how being a little bit more ragged

around the edges makes it all kind of scary!

Why start this thought process? Well, first date of walking and talking at

a park, we did run into someone I knew. Someone who knew that someone

asked, “Who was that very tall man you were with at Delaware Dam?”

This person is my daughter in law’s grandmother, so daughter in law is

already wondering and so, is son. I pass on the word that my oldest daughter

(their sister/sister in law) set me up with a man named Len.

Then, we have now made it past that first initiation where he is interested

enough to text and ask me to go to the movies. Last night. So, we have been

to see “The Lone Ranger.” I will quickly tell you that it is an amazing movie,

due to the structure and serious elements brought forth into the story line.

Yes, Columbus Dispatch ‘panned it,’ but Cleveland Plain Dealer gave it

“3 stars.”

On to the date. I dressed up to make it special and it makes me feel so much

better when the first words out of said date’s mouth are,

“You look really pretty in that dress!” followed by, “I like your hose and high


Immediately, less nervous and more at ease. I talk too much if not relaxed!

Information has flowed between here and a town about 20 minutes away for

the past three days, (Mon. through Wed.) It all began the week of July 4th,

while at my Mom’s house. We have filled each other in on a skeleton outline

of our lives. It is skimpy at best!

My very good male friend, Bill, always says I am his “rock” and that I have

“good instincts.” Trusting my instincts and my gut reaction: I like this new man!

I have to loosely quote my fellow blogger and friend through our contacts and

comments. Andra’s lively blog is called “The Accidental Cootchie Mama” and

her address is:

To paraphrase one of Andra’s comments, on a post, that she had to “slog through

a lot of muck to find her man.” She found a treasure in her lovely husband but

she was encouraging me to be brave, to keep looking and I will never know what

will happen!

I have a new male friend who makes me smile and want to get dressed up after a

long, hot day at the Advance Auto Distribution Center where there is NO AIR


Back to the original thoughts, there is always an element of suspense in

getting to know someone. It is exciting to have a new and different person

paying attention to you. But, this is important! You need to keep your wits

about you! Especially me, who trusts and likes everyone!

I was out to dinner later on Sunday, with a group of outgoing, sometimes

bawdy women. Just lucked out they called to ask me to join them. They

were telling one joke after another filled with double entendres and sexual

innuendos. Their intentions were trying to keep our guest of honor, a recent

breast cancer survivor, laughing.

Sue was spitting food at one point when one wacky woman decided to grab

both her breasts and with her low cut blouse squeezed them together to create

cleavage. (Hers were a lot bigger than mine!) We had been asking, “How big

will your boobs be once you go through your plastic surgery?”

At that point, here is again the original reference, I am thinking of the man

at the dam. I worry in my head, “If we ever get to the making out stage, will

he mind small breasts?”

And then, my brain starts wandering farther, “We will need to have the lights

out, candles lit, and some alcohol when and if, this happens months from now!”

And “Pow!” my brain waves gave this other single woman a nudge and she

asked me if I had thought of the “new man in my life” as a possible man to

have sex with? I look all innocent and say, “Not yet! For Pete’s sake, we just

met today!”

This woman tells an atrocious (okay put your PG-13 ears or eyes on while

reading this!) story about how she has waited almost six months and was very

sure that the man she had been dating was “The One!” She regales us with her

purchases, Victoria’s Secret and candles from Bath and Body Works. Then she

boasts to us she even bought condoms. (Good thinking!)

Then, when the night she expects this to happen, she shaves and is all ready for


They go out to dinner, she says, “I ate lightly and chose carefully! I did not want

to look bloated nor fart inappropriately!”

We all nodded and prodded her for more details. She gives us the next one, and

it hits us out of left field… When they get in the bedroom and she starts to light

candles, he blows them out! What! Then he turns on all the lights! Oh NO!

And we are listening in rapt attention she adds,

“You know I am not comfortable in my own skin! I have old, wrinkly skin! And I

don’t even fill out the skin! I don’t want to go any farther!”

We then ask, “Do you?”

She finished with a whopper (“doozy?”) of a sexual approach, a position that I had

never tried or imagined anyway!. While on the bed, he got up on his knees and

threw her ankles up onto his shoulders. We all say, in unison,

“Wait? What?”

She closes with this line, “The man I thought I really knew well enough to be

intimate with, got all romantic thinking about for six long months proceeded to

use me like a wheelbarrow!”

In our shocked silence, she added quietly, “And I woke up with a crick in my neck!”

This shut us all up for several moments.

I quickly edited my thoughts of someday having a physical relationship with someone.

I may have to go to therapy!

Calling Dr. Ruth!