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Why is it when friends socialize, the subject of weight usually rolls around?   This is especially true after the holidays when major over-eating takes place.   The guys seem to brag while they pinch their round bellies but the girls suck in their stomachs and say they gained 5 pounds - when actually it is 10.  

Excuses come forth while the ladies turn down dessert and the men call for another beer.   The ladies suggest these reasons for their weight gain:

"I had so much company, I didn't take time to eat properly.  
 I was so tired I didn't get to the gym or take walks.
My family gains weight easily.
I didn't gain that much - I'll wear my 'big clothes' until I lose it.

I'm bloated - it will go away."

The mens' excuses are nil - instead they say:

"Hey, I'm more loveable - feel these love handles.
I'll take it off in a couple of days
I haven't weighed myself in months.
What's a few pounds - you put it on - you take it off.
Hey, pass me another beer - it's good for diets."


The group good-naturedly decides to see who can lose weight before the next month's meeting.

All agree - the ladies express their best and tried way to lose pounds for the rest of the evening.  The men drink more beer and share sports stories and joke around.


At next month's get-together, it is disclosed:

  • The guys all lost 10 pounds each, don't know how they did and high-five each other.
  • The silent ladies aren't talking but are all still sporting their 'big'clothes.'

It ain't fair Miz Scarlett, it just ain't fair.    

Marie Coppola (C) May 2015


An older but undeniably lovely Victorian-type old home brimming with charm. Three bedrooms - two the size of walk-in closets and a quaint 10' x 11' master bedroom - the only bedroom with a closet.  One of the smaller bedrooms opens up to full attic.  Attic frequently inhabited by one or two squirrels which if not attended to may find final resting places in the walls. Highly recommend flushing the gutters with water at least once a year. And make sure the poison is out of the reach of toddlers. Squirrel traps stay with home.

Recently renovated bath upstairs (8' x 5' - and only bathroom in house),  has one floor-to-ceiling window, which is conveniently flush-placed directly next to the toilet. It is recommended painting window black or glue-gun perpetual curtain covering. (However, convenient for air flow in times of duress).  For summer use when you open window, a full mask for private toilet use stays in bathroom. Tub wall completely renovated with new tiles where water was seeping through to the first floor and all floorboards have been replaced.  Bonus: heavy rope decor in shower in case floor buckles through while showering.

Beautiful parquet wood flooring on steps and downstairs including living room and dining areas. Flawless except for one spot permanently tattooed with deceased pet's urine spot. 10' x 5' rug will cover it. 10' x 5' rug stays with home.

Large eat-in kitchen complete with original cabinets repainted in new decor ~ French-deterioration & pickled look on top cabinets and bottoms. Antique early-depression eclectic stove with only front burners working. The back two are on unemployment. New dropped ceiling covers chipped antique ceiling tiles and cobwebs.

Extra cabinets were installed in the detached garage for extra storage. Folding garage doors work intermittently. There is a side entrance leading out from the kitchen but it is for decorative purposes only. We actually used this door once, and could not close/lock it for three days. It this happens, the police department is familiar with problem and will gallantly help you close it. Police number embedded in north wall stays with home.

Air tends to stagnate in winter - it is suggested that the 36 windows in the house are opened occasionally for air flow. Since the antique windows do not stay open by themselves due to extinct steel pulley hardware , you may have to prop them open with any item that is at least 26 inches long - ie, a walking cane or even a sleeping cat can nicely keep them from falling down. Pet insurance stays with the home.

A Plus Detail - Oldsville General Hospital is within walking distance just 3 blocks away. Should you have palpitations or anxiety attacks (their specialty) call the Emergency room (555-2555) and just tell them Marie sent you and they will take good care of you. We have a bonding relationship and this on-going relationship stays with the house.

Another Plus - Bats are plentiful in our area and should you air out the attic, some may radar through. This is convenient to kill the swarms of ladybugs that infest the ceilings in the spring and the cockroaches that snowbird in the winter. The bats do not need to be fed - they just fly in - and around - and out. Just be sure to keep the 36 windows open so they can depart. Bat droppings removal instructions stay with the house.

Don't worry about meeting people. In this ultra-friendly neighborhood, they will find you. Especially our cousin's son, Artie . He is a bachelor and might forget we moved. He may stop in from time to time especially on holidays and will insist we still live there. Just give him a beer or three (he likes Budweiser). If you know of any single ladies who may want to meet him, you can just give them his number (555-480-4080). We are offering a $500 reward if he marries one of them. Reward warranty good for 25 years.

Oh, and beware if a man named Hector calls and claims you are living in HIS house. Do not be alarmed. He is a past owner and also a patient at Greystone Institution and is delusional. He will calm down if you tell him that you are taking good care of it and that you always put his tools away. Don't mention that you are the new owner as that    might agitate him into a chain-saw reaction. Home insurance with liability and property damage coverage stay with house.

We know you will be ecstatically happy in this house and town. Our town is 2.3 miles square and has 21 bars. This is the absolute (no pun intended) truth. You don't have to walk far to have fellowship and companionship. Ask Artie.  He knows all of them. He spent so much time in them, that he forgot to get married.

We hope that you call soon for a walk-through which is only on Mondays and Fridays. You'll find out why if you purchase the house. Principals only - and we have just reduced this gem for $300,000. With all those extras! Woo Hoo!

Call for an appointment for any Monday and Friday. We know this is the house for you!!

Marie Coppola, revised February 2014, Copyrighted



We all want to walk into a party and have a good time. Some of us are extroverts and have no problem doing this. But, others, a little on the shy side, or introverts, may have a problem opening up to people. With holidays, informal and office party settings, it’s a good time to mix and mingle with co-workers, friends and people we’ve never met before or only briefly.

Looking your best and feeling confident, approach a group of people with a friendly hello, but it’s a good idea - if you want to be invited back -to never say things like this……………

1) Never ask someone in a group how old they are, especially a lady. Her bristling stance and lip pursing should warn you that you shouldn’t have gone there, so don’t make it worse by starting to guess how old she is. Back up and away from the group because you’ve probably caused some heartburn. Yes, you did.

2) Never assume somebody is pregnant because she is wearing a big overblouse and it looks like she is at least six months’ pregnant. Don’t ask when she is expecting and pat her stomach. She may not be. The look in her eyes should give you the hint that she is mortified, so smile nicely and quickly add what a pretty blouse she has on, even if you don’t think it is and it does look like a maternity top. Don’t say that it does look like a maternity top. You’ve said enough.

3) Don’t rub a balding man’s head and say, "Nice hair". That’s like him patting you on your behind and saying ‘Big rear’. These are not good communicating skills. Comment or compliment him on his suit or shoes and if you have to say something, but leave his hair or lack of it alone.

4) Stay away from political discussions even if it is hard for you to stifle yourself. Never ask someone why on earth he or she voted for that ‘dumb idiot.’ A party isn’t the place to show how politically savvy you are. No one wants to hear how you would handle the deficit or what you would offer for health care. Either the crowd will ‘gotta mingle’ and disperse or someone will want to duel you to a shouting match over what you said and the hostess will probably make a note never to invite you again.

5) Same with religion. Jim, who has had half a bottle of vodka most likely, is not in the mood to repent over the filthy joke he just told the hostess’ teenage daughter. It won’t do any good to remind him of the Ten Commandments while he’s adjusting the lampshade over his head. There’s a time and place for serious faith sharing and this isn’t the right time.

6) Don’t ask the hostess where she got her drapes and how much they cost. It’s tacky. Ask her over coffee at another time; not when she’s handing out canapés and doesn’t want to tell you in front of all her guests that she bought them in a thrift shop.

7) Never, never ask anyone how much they make or what their salary is. People would rather tell you all about their sex life instead of divulging their personal info like how much they make. This is taboo and even family members are sometimes reluctant about sharing this with each other. Then people will offer comments and butt in with their views on what things you’re spending too much or too little on. No, no. Don’t go there. It’s none of your business.

#8) Don’t ask a man or woman how much they weigh. Again, folks, especially women, would rather tell you all about their sex life instead of telling you how much they weigh. If they do tell you, notice the rapid eye blinking (sign of fibbing) and deduct 15 or 20 pounds from what they tell you.

9) Don’t bring your cell phone to the party and talk on it all night. You came to a party for Pete’s sake and no one wants to hear you converse with someone else while they’re standing there trying to be sociable. The same goes for texting. Don’t do it. And your blackberry. And iPod. Don’t bring them. Did we cover them all? Leave them home.

10) Don’t gossip at a party. The odds are that someone will know the person you are talking about and it will be twittered and tweeted to 12,539 people who will know a secret that you weren’t suppose to tell anybody. It makes you look like a blabbermouth and others will avoid talking to you about anything other than the weather and how nice the house is decorated.

11) Don’t make flirty eyes at anybody’s boyfriend or girlfriend, especially if you are married. It’s no excuse that you had a bottle and a half of wine and are feeling frisky. It makes people uncomfortable and you could be sporting a black eye or a frosty partner the next day.

12) Don’t announce that you hate cats or dogs if the host’s pet comes into the room. The pet is probably more cherished to them than you are. And never be unkind to the pet or make fun of it. You can bet the pet will be at the next get together and you won’t.

13) Never try to guess who’s older, if two women or two men approach you and ask, "Which one of us is older?" This is a time-bomb question. You can only lose on the answer, but people love to ask this.  Just say you’re really bad at guessing ages and if they persist, ask where the bathroom is and jiggle around like you really have to go bad. Same thing applies if two women who resemble each other approach you, never, never say "You're the mother and this is your daughter, right?  If they’re sisters, you’re black-balled for the rest of the night.

14) Don’t give a dissertation on your personal life, your woes and problems. Chances are, everyone knows all about them anyway.

15) Never talk about your sex life. It’s really tacky and they probably know about it anyway.

16) Say nothing; practice your listening skills and head-nodding exercises. Say ‘mmmm’; ‘wow’ and ‘awesome’ at intervals. People will love you and invite you back.


© Marie Coppola June 2013



How did April Fool's Day Get Started?   Why is April 1st - April Fool's Day?

Some people lie in wait to "trick" or 'surprise' their friends and family with some made-up tale or joke.  Some get away with it all day and others see it coming and know it's an April Fool's joke.  How did this all come about? There are many theories, but the majority of them center around the Calendar-Change Theory.

The most popular theory about the origin of April Fool's Day involves the French calendar reform of the sixteenth century. The theory goes like this: "In 1564 France reformed its calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. Those who failed to keep up with the change, who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st, had jokes played on them. Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs. The victims of this prank were thus called Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish—which, to this day, remains the French term for April Fools—and so the tradition was born." [Ref: Museum of Hoaxes]

Children and young adults have loved  to play these first day of April jokes on people - sometimes all through the day - so you never know what is a joke and what is true.

I thought April Fool's Day would be a good day to share with all of you some titles of articles that I am thinking of's up to you to decide if I'm telling the truth or giving the day its due and April fooling you.   Are  these  real Articles or April Fool's?

"How to Text a Message While Having Your Teeth Cleaned".

"How to Make Cell Phone Calls from Prison".

"Product Review of Foods that are Past their Expiration Dates".

"How to Secretly Give Your Depression Away to Someone Else".

"How to Make a Memorable Shopping Experience with a Very Small Child Who Didn't Have a Nap"."

"How to Fix Your Hair After Accidentally Spray-Starching It.".

"How to Get your Pet Skunk to Make Breakfast for you in the Morning".

"Assembling a Space Shuttle in your Backyard Shed".

"Places to Travel on Vacation From Where You May Never Return".

"Why Our Marriage Works Even Though we Live on Different Continents"

"How to Make a Nuclear Bomb From Things Around the House".

"How to Cheat at Bingo".

"DIY Medical/Surgical Procedures To Practice at Home".

"Sure-Fire Ways to Annoy or Aggravate your HOA"

"Book Review: "Plastic Surgery for Dummies"

"How to Invite  Liberals & Conservatives to a 'Share Feelings Quietly' meeting."

Marie Coppola Revised March 2018


When you update your TV cable programs - a few words of warning.  If it sounds like you are getting the grand-daddy package of them all - 150 channels of top television viewing - be cautious.

All those movie channels - yes!   All the sports programs - yes!      Round the clock viewing for your viewing enjoyment - yes!    High Definition - yes!    Bring it on!

Better check it out before you tell all your friends and family what a great deal you got for only $29.95. You figure that's better than going to the movies a couple of times and spending all that money.

Let's check it out - oh, look -- there's nothing free in HD. Our new TV is HD - oh, it's extra? -- we have to pay $15.00 more for that ~ well, maybe we won't need it.   Well, ok,  $15.00 isn't so bad.   Oh, you have to purchase another box for it? For $98? And it's more for 'special' sports? They're ALL special? - wow, it's $59.95 for special boxing and football games?

This is like the old joke - "the car costs only $100 bucks -- oh, you wanted a transmission in it? - that's $2,000 more - oh, and you may want tires - they're $75 each - need four?  "I bet you want a steering wheel, too."

Let's check out all the channels we'll get (*rubbing hands together with anticipation*) - and soon to be disappointed).

Menu Button - Actual menu listings of your bundled 'programs:

Channel 2000 -How to have the sexiest hair ever for $19.99

Channel 3000 - Most awesome workout ever without leaving your chair for only $19.99

Channel 4000 - Relieve annoying hammertoe pain with this secret tool for only $19.99

Channel 5000 - Look 18 forever for $19.99

Channel 6000 - Open Grilling Today in the Rain - Grilling alligators in pesto sauce

Channel 7000 - 16 channels -- To be announced

Channel 9001 Family Feud [from the 1970s]

Channel 9002 - Top 100 Tunes of Scream Songs

Movie Channel - Movies from the 1920s and 30s (actually they're better than the new ones).

Channel 9004 - Loser Videos of World's Funniest Videos

Local Channels - Blank screen with message. "Need upgrade for that."

20 channels - Inactive

15 channels - Off the Air

There are more infomercials than there are real programs. Everything they sell on these info channels are $19.99 plus shipping & handling (they don't tell you how much shipping & handling will be) AND - if you order within 5 seconds, you get 2 of everything including free shipping & handling.   The line is always busy.

The movies are reruns of reruns of reruns of movies with ratings not more than 1 and a half stars out of 4 highest stars. AND, if you do watch a movie - it lasts 4 hours - 1 hour of movie interspersed with 3 hours of commercials. All movies begin with 1 or 2 commercial breaks but when you get down to the ending - the most important part of the movie --you get -- count 'em -- 9 commercials.

Be aware if the wind blows enough to swirl your flag outside, you may lose "the signal" and all 150 channels. Or if it rains longer than 5 minutes or the cable even hears your water sprinklers go on, the cable may go down for awhile due to inclement weather. But don't lose heart; once during a Hurricane 3 level - we never lost 'the signal' -- go figure.

I don't watch much TV anymore - my husband only watches soccer, Westerns and the news --- and we pay $120.23 a month. BUT, we have 150 channels. Woo Hoo!

© Marie Coppola Revised February 2019


Seniors love social gatherings – it gives them a chance to talk about their grandkids’ latest superior achievements or their latest ailment or ‘procedure’. The hardest part is what to wear to parties and weddings. And yes, even funerals. They, too, have a social aspect. But you still have to have something presentable to wear.

It dawns on women somewhere in their 5th or 6th or 7th decade that they truly have no clue what other people have worn to prior ‘dress-up’ occasions; they have enough trouble remembering what THEY wore. Why get all worked up on what they will wear? So here is what I do.

I always look first in the closet and there’s that great little black dress that somehow has grown to a size 12 ~ it used to be a size 8. ~ I love stretchy fabrics. This little dress is appropriate for all occasions from funerals to weddings. Maybe....perhaps...a trip to the store will spiff up it’s appearance if I find some new accessories, and maybe, just maybe, even come across a brand new dressy, more youthful outfit. We have a family wedding next weekend.

Shopping for a spiffy new dress can be tedious and stressful. Most cocktail dresses are of the cling-y, nylon-y stretch-y material that suck up to your body, cling and bind, and show off all your curves, bulges and second stomachs. Even cellulite wants to be seen.

Is that my belly button indention? Oh, that’s not attractive. Why is it shorter in the front than in the back? Oh, yes, my two stomachs. But, you say, it looks smashing. Thank you, saleslady, but maybe a nice two-piece outfit would look better. Oh, they’re over there? Do they have elastic waistbands?

Uh, Oh. Don’t they make two-piece outfits where the top part covers your torso? Is there something wrong with all these mirrors? Are those my boobs plunging out of the top? Miss, do you have any outfits that go up to the neck? No, not in this department? Try Super Misses X sizes? OK. Where is it? Upstairs? Behind the elevator and next to the tent department? I’ll find it.

You can tell the Misses X department by the wide arrangement of wide clothes. But, she lied. They all have plunging necklines (what is this obsession to hang out your boobs?) and the clothes still cling to your body but more so in folds — who needs more folds? Miss, are you sure this isn’t the maternity department? No, of course I’m not pregnant. But thanks for the compliment; it implies I am young enough to get pregnant.   No, I’m not interested in the maternity department. No, thank you,  No, I don’t care where it is.

Maybe Lane Bryant has something – well – more mature and in style.

Hi, yes, I’m looking for a dressy cocktail dress that is not plunging, not clinging, below my knee-caps, and not made in Thailand, China or Malaysia. I’d like it to flatter my two stomachs and my behind and hide my imperfections and cellulite and have a built-in tummy reducer and bra reducer. Also, the top has to be smaller than the bottom and above my nipple line. Oh, and I prefer an elastic waist.

You have nothing like that? Well, thank you, anyway.

We had a great time at the wedding. My 10-year old little black dress that has somehow expanded to fit my body through all these years looked great. Everyone commented on my “new” dress, but I think they really meant my old body that somehow could adapt to an ‘old dress’ to make it look presentable. I love this dress – so much so that I think I will wear it to the funeral on Wednesday.

They don’t make dresses like this anymore. When it falls apart, I guess my social life will, too.

© Marie Coppola Revised October 4, 2015

If you are observant and even if you are not, you have to notice that men and women hear differently ~ which probably accounts for communication problems some of the time ~ well, much of the time ~ OK ~ most of the time.

This auditory malfunction may be triggered in childhood when little boys make all those whhrrrrrr and brrrrrrmmm truck noises when they are involved in the concentrated effort of maneuvering steel trucks bigger than they are. They are totally 'engaged' trance-like in what they are doing. They hear nothing but their own noises. It's a male thing.

Little boys take longer to come when they are called. This happens when calling them from their rooms, the bathroom, playing outside, watching TV or playing video games or anything that is compartmentalized. They simply are working at 'compartmentalizing - a trait that was handed drown from another male influence and is designed to drive their female companions crazy.  Males are direct in what they are discussing and when a subject has been talked about for 5 minutes, they are done. When they don't want to 'go there' at all - they simply don't ~ and the auditory malfunction occurs - they simply didn't hear it. They nod a lot and say hmm, hmm, but the words never made it through the ear canal.

Females rarely compartmentize but are very good at dramatization,   compounding discussions and conversations leaping from one subject to another which can last hours, overnight or even a talking-marathon weekend. On some occasions, it can last months.

It is a fact that little girls, hear everything. They can hear their mother applying nail polish in the next room and join in pronto with out-stretched fingers. They listen to every word spoken in the house and love to repeat it verbatim to anyone who happens in their path or they will go out and find one. Little girls are why neighbors know everything that goes on in your home. They are communicators and can hear the lowest whispering, decipher voice tones and even interpret spelling intended for them not to understand.   No matter how young they are - they get it. They understand. And they like to talk about what they understand. Or analyze what they quite didn't understand. It's a pre-cursor to becoming a mother which is the peak of their best auditory performances. This magnified hearing lasts their whole life. Some hear things BEFORE someone actually says it.

Auditory malfunctions morph and become increasingly dysfunctional and create havoc in marriages. The longer the marriage, the more hearing loss impairment ~ I mean selection.

Here is a typical communication between husband and wife waking up on a weekend.

She: "Good morning honey, What a gorgeous day! Look the sun is shining ~ wonder what the temp is -- check, can you? -- and we have great weather to go over Pam & Joe's to pick up the desk she is giving us."    She gives a detailed description of the desk, its measurements, how each drawer will be used and in which room they could put it and adds what times would be best to pick it up.  She continues to list all the things they had to do that day - AND methods of how to bring the desk home unscathed.

He: "Yuh". (Silence for 3 seconds)......then....

She: "I had the best dream last night" (goes into descriptive, expressive, and demonstrative description of dream with exclamations and laughter).

He: "Burp".

She: "Are you hungry? I can make some eggs and bacon (lists 5 or 7 different options) - or wait, we could go out to breakfast with Pam & Joe - should I call them?"

He: (Is in the shower already). No answer.   She:  Opens the door and repeats what she said.   He: "I can't hear you".

She goes downstairs to make breakfast. As he comes down the stairs. she starts hearing him approach as he dries himself with the towel and hears him cleaning his ears with Q-tips.  All from downstairs.

She: "Shall we take the dog for a run in the park this morning?".

He: (Sitting down looking over the paper) "I parked the car in the driveway".      She: "I wasn't talking about the car".

He (not looking up) "I can take it to the car wash . No problem."   She: "What about Pam and Joe?"    He: "What happened to them?"

She: "I think you need a hearing aid".

Of course, he doesn't need a hearing aid.   When he is in the car with Joe and Steve driving to a baseball game, he has heard everything that Joe and Steve said, even if both of them are in the back seat, and it is hailing, raining and thundering outside from a sudden thunderstorm, and country music is blaring on the radio and a tractor-trailer is traveling alongside them. Every word is traveling smoothly through his ear canal.

It's called "Selective Hearing" and there is no hearing aid that can fix it.

Marie Coppola  ©  November 2012



I did the most stupid thing exactly one week ago. I forgot to lift with my legs and lifted instead with no brains. The minute I picked up the 500 pounds (well it felt like it was that heavy) basin of a soaking blanket, my brain engaged and warned me that I made a terrible mistake.


Nothing left to do but drop the basin all over the floor and lament that my back was probably broken.

It's not broken, and it still hurts after one week although not as bad, but I'm still lamenting.

I totally empathize with all of you who have back pain - it's really a pain in the butt, too, because it radiates ~ not in the nice way a bride looks ~ but spreads like poison ivy that affects other parts of your body. Why do the butt, legs and sides hurt, too?

The only thing that has kept me from grouching 24/7 - it's down now to about 6/3 - all because of my BFF -- my Metal Reacher.





We have two in storage because a family member had hip surgery and it was supplied to him at the hospital. This is the best gadget I have ever used. I walk around with it constantly  like I'm Edward Scissorshand's sister.

In fact, even more so since I haven't kept up with my grooming either.




But, the important thing is that these things WORK. You don't have to bend down to pick up all the things you drop when you're not walking right. And complaining. And dropping every single thing you touch.

Without straining yourself, they reach things, like cookies on the top shelf to comfort you, or the remote that keeps slipping off the couch while you are resting.

They are also known as 'Reachers and Grabbers' And they are NOT expensive.

More things my BFF reachers and grabbers can do:

  • Put down a toilet seat if you live with a male(s)
  • Pick up strings and fuzz on the carpet
  • Pet your cat (they get used to it)
  • Reach items on the table without asking someone to pass it for you
  • Take things out of a top loading dryer
  • Take things out of the hamper
  • Get your husband's attention by clamping onto his shirt
  • Could be used as a weapon if self-defense is needed
  • Great to put socks on and off

I LOVE these things. So much so that I plan to wear them to church this Sunday.


Marie Coppola © Revised January 2017

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You  by Fran Signorino

The only reason I would take up jogging is so I could hear heavy breathing again.  ~  Erma Bombeck

When I tell people that I've been "doing Richard" for more than 10 years, they look at me funny. My affair with Richard started the way many relationships begin — I was troubled and depressed. My parents had passed away within six months of each other. After that most stressful time, my blood pressure rose from normal to high. My doctor, believing that the condition was temporary, did not feel that I was a candidate for medication. He suggested instead that I exercise — preferably an aerobic exercise — of the low impact variety.

At that time, the last thing I felt like doing was jumping around. But because I am a lover of dance, I purchased a "swing along" with Richard Simmons tape and so began my daily encounters with him.

Richard's screaming and carrying-on irritated me somewhat on bad days, but his movements and "c'mon, get up — you can do it — I know you can" soon had me infatuated. Hey, you can't have everything in a relationship. On the plus side, I didn't have to travel back and forth to a gym; I didn't have to force myself to get up early to walk. I could meet him on both our terms. And in my own home. I quickly learned his routines as if I were appearing in a Broadway show. He was a steady and driving teacher.

I even got a perm during this period to save me time not fussing with my hair. Alas, it came out a little too curly, and lo and behold, now we looked alike. I had Richard Simmons' hair. Not by choice, but there he was looking back at me in the mirror.

The exercise outfits I bought brought me closer to his "look." My kids started calling me "Richard."

Within a month, my blood pressure stabilized, although my life did not. My daily workout with Richard helped me vent the stresses piling up each day. It was during one of these "workout" hours, intense on my part, that someone called me on the phone. I answered it, breathing heavily. "I can't talk now, I'm doing Richard."

"Scandalous," the caller replied.

Whenever I answered the phone totally out of breath, my callers would say, "I'll call you back — you're doing Richard." My son gave me a new workout tape for my birthday. He said, "New positions for you and Richard."

So now Richard and I could move while Sweatin' to the Oldies, and Dance Your Pants Off! while we were Groovin' in the House.  And we got down with Tonin' Downtown.  Richard and I went on company trips and vacations together.  I brought Richard to the shore.  He always wore the same clothes.  We still had matching hairdos.  Richard and I have been together longer than some of my past relationships.

I anticipate his every move and we mutually experience heavy breathing and sweating.  This also beats some of my former relationships. Yes, I admit after all these years, I still "do Richard" and I'm now a grandmother.  He's always there for me, he's always in a great mood, he always smiles and boy can he make the moves.

And judging from the assortment of tapes in the stores, it's been as good for him as it's been for me.

© Marie Coppola May 28, 2012