Sep 012013
No more sensible old lady here!

No more sensible old lady here!

This morning, I was perusing an online Avon brochure when I came to the bras. The featured bra was described, in large letters, as “soft and sensible.”  There was this beautiful young girl wearing what was obviously an old lady Playtex bra. She was looking oh so happy. Obviously, she’s an actress.  My age starts with a six and I wouldn’t wear that thing!

It made me think.  I don’t want to be soft and sensible!  Okay, maybe soft, but I am so sick and tired of being sensible I could scream! I want to be wild. I want to be out there. I want to be anything BUT sensible. I want to see and do things I wasn’t allowed to do as a girl. I want to have adventures I would never have dreamed of as a young woman because somebody might notice me or, worse yet, make a comment!

At this point in my life, I’m like. . . bring it on, baby! I used to say, “When I’m older, I’ll do X, Y and Z.”  It was always “when I’m older.” Well, all it takes is one long, hard look in the mirror to know that I am older and it’s time to break out of that sensible mindset that’s held me prisoner for so long.

Now please don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not planning on running down the street naked and screaming obscenities or anything like that.  It’s just that I no longer care to buy the black dress; I want the purple one or the zebra print! I no longer want a black handbag and shoes.  I want prints and bright colors, things that sparkle, the wilder the better!

I want to go places reserved for younger folks, places where “they” think old folks shouldn’t go. I want to go to concerts and not the ones for old farts with groups who can barely make it on stage because they’re older than me. I want to go on the rides at the amusement piers. I want to do it ALL before I die.  Tempus is fugiting rather quickly at this stage of the game so I need to get busy.

The last thing I want to be is sensible, but my mind is fighting me. That sensible mind of mine guides my hand to the brown eye shadow instead of the purples and greens I love. It sends me to the “old lady” racks of clothes instead of the fresh, young kicky stuff I long to wear. It’s screaming at me as I stand in line to buy tickets to some band whose members are about the age of my grandkids.

I have to shut it up. No, I must shut it up! There are things I want to do yet, things I need to do. There are things I want to learn. I want to be the one who proves that you can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks.

The one thing I do NOT want to be is sensible. Strange, eccentric, a little daft, maybe, but not sensible.  Anything but that! No more sensible for this old lady. It’s been a long time coming, but sensible will now give way to all those adjectives in the beginning of this paragraph; in other words, the real me. It’s finally my time.

Apr 092013

Ladder of successLast week I wrote a post called “Ladder Up.” I use Facebook ladders to build one of my business pages. I gave a basic explanation of what and how.  Since that time, though, I’ve seen a lot of disgruntled folks on ladders and I think it comes down to two things: (1) Not using ladders properly and (2) Having unreal expectations about what you’re going to achieve with a promotional ladder. This may get a little long, but Old Busted Hotness is going to try to clear things up a bit. I am a supreme technoidjit, so if I can learn to use these things, you can, too. ;)

Continue reading »

Apr 072013

Bally's Beach 2 (800x600)Most of you who know me know I work quite a bit in Atlantic City, NJ these days. I was raised with my toes in the sand every single summer since I was six months old. As an adult, I lived in or near all of the best Jersey Shore areas. I love the beach. I have always loved the beach, but I no longer live by the beach. Sometimes life dictates things other than your ideal situation.

Well, yesterday, we were headed down to Atlantic City to see the Johnny Mathis show so I could write a review (coming soon to Ms. Atlantic City). When a hotel is packed out, oftentimes you don’t get your pick of rooms; you take what’s available. Well, when I opened the door to our room, I gasped. We’ve had ocean views before, but not quite like this. I could see from the door through a very clean window and it honestly took my breath away.

Since we were fairly early for what we had planned to do, we turned our chairs towards the window and sat and just looked out. It’s quite a difference from the woods I now live in. Peace like a river. . . it may be a cliche, but there it was. And I realized that the beach was indeed “my place.” We’ve been talking about moving back and that view cemented my resolution.

This morning, I woke up to a sunrise over the beach and the peace flowed once more. Double dose of cement to the resolution. It will take a bit of doing, but it’s definitely doable. I have to go back there to have peace. So I will. I keep mixing I and we, but hubby feels the same way I do.

The beach is “my place.” What’s yours? To some it’s a farm. To some it may be mountains. To others it may be a city sidewalk. I much prefer a place where things are happening to total peace and quiet. I live out in the woods now. That may be “your place,” but I’ve been here ten years never cared for it. Life’s little circumstances plopped us here and here we’ve stayed, but it’s not “my place” or even “our place.”

My hope for you is that you find “your place.”  It took me a long time to realize why I kept returning to the beach. I have lived in a lot of places and in different parts of the world, but I could never stay. The beach kept calling me back. Now I know why. Soon I will go to the beach and stay.

Apr 022013

Lady on LadderDo you know what a Facebook ladder is? No? Well, until about a month ago, I didn’t either. Basically, it’s a way to promote your fan or business page by liking others’ pages and having them return the favor, all in a somewhat organized chaos.  Here’s how they work.

There are Facebook pages specifically dedicated to hosting ladders. When a ladder is advertised, you like that page and then you like other pages as instructed. When you get to the bottom, you tag your page and hope for the best.

I’ve been doing these for about a month now in an attempt to build my Ms. Atlantic City page. I’m not selling anything, just building an audience for a proposal I want to make in the near future. Has it helped? Yes, it has. Is it a lot of work? Yes, it is.

Ladders DO work, so I’m going to give you some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the last month.

  1. Read the instructions carefully before clicking anything! They are basically the same, but there are subtle differences. For instance, some sites only want you to like a comment if you are a new fan, not if you are what they call an AAF or “already a fan.” Some want you to like all comments.
  2. Now that you’ve read the instructions, follow them! These ladders are watched pretty closely, from what I can see. If you drop your tag and run or simply don’t follow the instructions they’ve posted, you will be banned.
  3. Watch the timing!  Again, read the instructions. If you see a “15-minute ladder” posted 14 minutes ago, you won’t get much out of it if you’re at the bottom. Wait for the next ladder to post. It’s better being near the top.
  4. Watch for the closed sign.  At the end of a ladder, a host will usually put something like “Ladder now closed” with some graphics to catch your attention. If you keep going after that sign, the others don’t have to like you.
  5. Don’t do the ladders on holidays. People are home, but they’re not thinking ladder. . . they’re thinking family fun. Wait until the regular business week begins again and you’ll have much more success.
  6. If people come on the ladder after you, they may like your page and send you a message that they’ve done so and offer their page for return like love.  Make sure you do this and answer that message, every single time. You don’t want to get a reputation for not returning the love.

How do you find these ladders? There are hundreds of them, probably thousands. You can put “networking ladder” (no quotes) in the Facebook search window and you’ll get a bunch.  Here are a few of the more successful ones for me that you can try. How do I know? When folks leave me those messages, they usually tell me where they came from. ;)

You’ll find that as you hit like on the ladders, you’ll see more and more ladders so you will build your stock of ladders to try very quickly.

A lot of the larger ladder services also offer “paid likes,” meaning they’ll feature you on the links everyone must like OR you pay for so many guaranteed likes.  You’ll have to check the individual pages for what packages they’re offering.

Way back up top I said I was doing this to build an audience. But what if you sell things? Well, most people DO sell something on a biz page and there are tons of similar biz pages out there for the various direct sales plans. However, it’s a numbers game. The more folks like your page, the more orders you will get when they want to purchase.  I have a lot more “stuff” in my news feed now, but I’ve found several fascinating businesses and have made lots of new friends.

So. . . if you want to build your FB page, jump on that ladder and start climbing!

Mar 192013

DWTS DL Hughley screen captureI have a question for anyone out there who is a “Dancing With the Stars” fan.  What in the hell happened to the judges last night? They were almost in lock step with scores and comments and then they went on the attack, singling out one poor contestant who, I’m sure, gave his best.  This was a new cast with little to no experience, opening night jitters and, I’m sure, a firm resolve to give it their all.

First dance was great!  Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough kicked it into a high-gear cha-cha and the judges were very complimentary. They looked good out there.

Then it sorta kinda went downhill.  Most of the male contestants, to be honest, didn’t do too well.  Again, it was the first night, people were scared, the skills, if any, were new.

Boxer Victor Ortiz and his million megawatt smile couldn’t quite overcome a very stiff Foxtrot attempt. He gave it a helluva shot, though. The judges were like. . . “meh.” Bachelor Sean Lowe wasn’t the epitome of grace out there either, but again. . . he got lukewarm praise from the judges.  General Hospital’s Ingo Rademacher stomped around out there and missed a lot of steps but got the now familiar “meh” response.  Baltimore Ravens’ running back Jacoby Jones got a remark from Len that said he was “all icing, no cake.”

Recovering addict and comedian Andy Dick gave quite a charming performance with his new pro partner Sharna Burgess, probably the best male contestant’s performance of the night. Len told him he had all the “fluidity of RoboCop.”  The guys got different versions of “meh” one after the other, but it wasn’t until actor/comedian D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke took the floor for their Cha-Cha that the. . . errr. . . crap hit the fan.

The 50-year-old comedian was trashed, smashed and drug across that dance floor by three so-called “professional” judges. Okay. The dancing wasn’t very good. But first night, non-dancer, opening night nerves, etc.  Where was the, “Hey, good job, but do this better next time” stuff? He would have been better with the “meh” trio the other dancers were inspiring. But noooooooooo. . . here’s what this poor man got.

From Bruno, the diplomat, who usually gushes over everyone to help and encourage:  “OMG, D.L., you have terminated the cha-cha-cha.”

From Carrie Ann Inaba, known to be occasionally bitchy, but usually encouraging:  “I have some bad news for you: That was yi-yi-yikes!”

But neither of them could top Mr. Goodman when he attacked. Len put on one of his best mean faces and said, “Listen, if any dance is going to suit you, it’s got to be the cha-cha-cha.  This was no good.” D.L. Hughley did his best stoic face, but looked like he wanted to cry. Okay, so he wasn’t that good. A lot of them weren’t that good. Was that a reason to humiliate him on national television?

I have to give D.L. Hughley credit for holding it in and reacting with the grace he did. He made one slightly snarky statement and I think he was being too nice. Afterwards, he said, “I haven’t danced in 30 years, so that’s the equivalent of bullying a second-grader.”

Why D.L.? With few exceptions, there weren’t a lot of spectacular performances last night.  Leader board topper Zendaya was great.  She’s 16 and has some dance skills.  Aly Raisman is an Olympic gold medalist. She did pretty good, as did the aforementioned Kellie Pickler.  Elder stateswoman Dorothy Hamill held her own, too, in a beautiful contemporary dance. The rest of everybody else fell into the “meh” club and, for the most part were judged as such.

I’m sorry, but there was no reason to attack D.L. Hughley the way they did.  And why him? Others were just as stiff, just as clumsy, just as. . . well, bad. Was it deliberate? It sure looked that way. Or were our esteemed panel of judges just looking to pick a fight somewhere and maybe his red shirt was the signal? I honestly don’t know, but I’m beginning to think that “Dancing With the Stars,” which is always looking for new, fresh contestants, maybe ought to start looking for some new, fresh judges, too.

Mar 042013

Stressed womanGood Monday Morning! If you haven’t had your coffee yet, I’d advise getting some because Old Busted Hotness is in heavy rant mode. And, yeah, we’re gonna talk about respect, something sorely lacking in today’s society.

On Saturday night, I went to a concert to hear one of my very favorite singers of all time, Michael Bolton. He didn’t disappoint and it was wonderful, even after all these years. His voice is strong and the old fart is still easy on the eyes. LOL Why did I call him an old fart? Well, Michael Bolton turned 60 last week believe it or not. . . and therein lies this tale.

When you go to concerts in Atlantic City, the rules are posted all over the theater. And then they announce them, just in case you can’t read. Two of the biggest no-nos are (1) NO CELL PHONES and (2) NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY. Difficult to understand? I think not.

I know, I know. . . you’re gonna tell me that kids aren’t going to give up their cell phones no matter what and I shouldn’t expect them to listen, yada yada yada. Well, that’s fine. . . if it were kids.

That’s why I mentioned Michael Bolton’s age.  That audience was easily 90% over 50. There were very few “kids” there, if at all. I saw a few couples in their 20s, maybe 30s, but that’s it. Michael hit his stride in the late 80s and 90s. Only his die-hard fans have followed him through the years after that; hence, the “old fart” tag.

So the lights go down and Old Busted Hotness relaxes in her seat to enjoy every note, word and nuance.

Sadly, though, it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as it might have been because those 90% of 50+ folks were still using their cell phones and the flashes going off were enough to blind a third world country!  Yes, old farts text, too, and they text ALL the time. The darkness was broken by dozens upon dozens of cell phones; some even rang or buzzed loudly. And those camera flashes. . .

The ushers tried, but after about 15 minutes of trying to find the “flashers,” they simply gave up and let the show go on.

I expect this behavior from kids, although I do not like it. I’d even expect it from folks into their 30s, but would like it even less. BUT FROM OLD FARTS? Come on, people! I know you can read. We were taught to do that. And we were also taught respect for authority.

I have to say that my eyes were opened Saturday night. . . and not just by the friggin’ flashes going off all around me. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert, despite “seeing the light,” but I have to admit I had my socks knocked off, too, by the blatant disregard of the rules from a generation I thought knew better.

I guess it proves the old adage that you learn something new every day. . .and some of those things you’d be better off not knowing. arghhh

Feb 252013

Yarn mixedLast night I had another one of those life-changing moments. . . and this one was a doozy! I have been blessed with a long life full of adversity. That’s not always bad. It’s taught me a LOT and how to change up mid-stream. I’ve had to reinvent myself many times in these decades, but last night threw me for a real loop.

You need a little background here to explain. When I was young, my Grandpop used to babysit me while my mother worked. Grandpop was the most important man in my world. In some ways, he still is. . . and he’s been gone since 1979. He’s the one who taught me to roller skate, ride a bike, draw, make things and do everything that makes childhood wonderful. We used to go to the park every chance we got. I grew up in a city and the park was peaceful. We talked, we drew, we laughed, he taught me about the different birds and squirrels. Total bliss for a little kid.

One rainy day we couldn’t go to the park and there wasn’t really much to do at his house. I thought we’d just watch TV or color. He disappeared for a moment and then came back with some things in his hands. He said, “Come here. I want to show you something.” He handed me four pencils and a ball of string and then proceeded to teach me how to knit. He taught me to knit in a seamless circle because that’s all he knew.

Grandpop was from a huge family with lots of brothers and only one sister. His mother knit all their socks. She pressed the boys into service, even as older teens. They had to knit so many rounds on the socks before they could go out at night. Grandpop was always thought of as the “dumb” one in the family, but he was smart about this. He figured the better he learned it, the faster he could do it and the faster he could get out of the house!

So on that rainy afternoon long ago when I was five, he taught me a new skill and created a monster, all in the course of about an hour. From that point on, I knit everything there was to knit. If I couldn’t figure out how to do it, I went to the library and took out books. Two years later, I found a book at Hoy’s Five and Dime in Sea Isle City, NJ on something called crochet, bought the book and a hook and taught myself how to crochet. I never liked it as much as knitting, but I did it from time to time and when the situation called for it.

Fast forward to last night in another world where that little girl is now an old lady with lupus, fibro and arthritis, a lot of it settling in her hands.  About five years ago, a doctor told me to quit knitting due to hand strain. Yeah, right. After all those years of knitting English or right-hand throw, I taught myself how to knit Continental or left-hand throw (easier on your hands). Now I can knit seamlessly with either hand. Well, I could. . .  

I hadn’t knit in a while. My hands had been really painful, but it never dawned on me that it would affect my knitting. I picked up some needles and yarn and took off on a new pattern. I stopped after about two inches. I wanted to cut my hands off. The pain was incredible. I stared down at what I had done. It looked all right, but I couldn’t do one stitch more without screaming. I sat there and cried as I tore the project out.

I have changed things many times, as I said at the beginning. I have changed ways of doing many things, I have changed jobs, I have changed my core beliefs about things. But somehow, knitting never changed. It sustained me through a lot of hard times. It wasn’t something I did. It was who I was. Now that “me” was no longer.

I told myself it was temporary, that it would pass. I know better. The pain has been getting worse and worse over time. I simply refused to acknowledge it. Last night, that pain drew a line in the sand and said “NOTICE ME!” in letters too big for me to ignore.

Once I stopped crying and got my head on straight, I started to think. This was NOT going to get the best of me. . . but it was coming damn close. . . too damn close. What to do? I tried casting on again and noticed that the searing pain was in my left hand, not my right. That was good as I’m right-handed. The word “crochet” sailed across my mind. One hand. One hook. All that yarn could still be put to good use. “But I don’t like to crochet all that much,” said Old Busted Hotness’s brain. “Too damn bad,” answered Old Busted Hotness’s common sense.

So I located my hooks, got some yarn, found a pattern and tucked it all away in a bag for today. When I take a break, I’m going to crochet. As a kid, I taught myself to knit anything. Now as an old lady, I’ll teach myself how to crochet anything. I can do it. I’m just stubborn. But I’m not giving up fiber. I’m betting on the fact that it’s the fiber that’s who I am, not the motions of knitting. Making things. . . watching something come alive in my hands. That’s available in crochet, too.

So lookout below, folks! Old Busted Hotness is on to something new. It’s Changeup No. 3,457,895 or thereabouts. The number matters not. What matters is that I can still do it. Admittedly, this one’s gonna be harder. It will be worth it. My lips to God’s ears. :)

Feb 142013

Older hugI’ve seen a lot of professions of love, beautiful Valentine’s Day cards and many warm and loving sentiments floating across my Facebook newsfeed this morning. Then I saw an article by my friend Michele Gwynn about what folks really want for Valentine’s Day. You can read that HERE. And then it occurred to me that most of what I was looking at was for younguns. Some of us are no longer young. So that got me to thinking. . . what would older folks want for Valentine’s Day.

Well, if you’re married, I think you want to be remembered. Cards, flowers and candy sometimes get lost in the progression of years and it becomes just another day. Even a peck on the cheek with a heartfelt greeting of “Happy Valentine’s Day” can do it for you. If you get more than that. . . WOOT!

No card, peck on the cheek or otherwise? Make your love’s favorite dinner. You’ve been together a long time. You know what it is. If dinner can’t be changed, make cupcakes or some other quick and easy dessert that’s your love’s favorite. Even a drink can be special. Sprinkle some cinnamon in a cup of hot chocolate. It’s easy to say, “Hey, I appreciate you hangin’ around this long and I’m glad you’re still here.” Sounds like a lot less than a gushy, passionate “I LOVE YOU,” but after you’ve been together for a long, long time, you’ll see what I mean.

I think what I’m trying to say here is that instead of hearts and flowers and pronouncements of romantic love, what you’re trying to say is what an old song by the group Orleans says. . . You’re still the one! Remember that? Click here if you’d like to listen. :)   “You’re Still the One” by Orleans

If you’re alone, this may be one of the worst holidays for you. Everyone’s preaching love and togetherness. You probably feel like you just don’t belong. So love yourself. Buy yourself some flowers or candy or a little something you want. Reach out. You’re not the only lonely person out there. Go to a nursing home and visit. Don’t laugh. My grandmom used to volunteer in a nursing home when she was older than most of the residents! You will put smiles on people’s faces but the best part is you’ll put a warm glow in your own heart.

If you’re an older couple on a fixed or tight income, there are a lot of things you can do to show your love that you care without breaking that already meager bank.

Make a Valentine card. Go to the dollar store and get some construction paper. Surely you remember construction paper? Play like you’re a kid again and make a Valentine. It doesn’t have to be perfect or look like it came from Hallmark. That’s the beauty of it. Write your heart on that red paper. Cut up a paper lace doily (yes, they still make them) and trim. Voila! Instant love.

Dinner at a fancy restaurant is nice, but getting a coffee from Starbucks or other coffee shop is nice, too. A burger at McDonald’s will do the trick (if your heart can take it). The point is to eat the meal with the one you love. What you eat is really unimportant. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup at home will work just as well.

Need an inexpensive Valentine gift? Fancy chocolates are great, but you can just as easily go buy some candy hearts (that dollar store again!) and put them in a fancy Valentine box or tie them up in a square of red felt or even paper; adorn with a ribbon. If you know your person has a favorite candy bar, one of those will do just fine, too.  It’s the love that counts, not the price tag.

If you can afford a movie, that’s a nice night out. If not, rent one from one of the red or blue boxes. Our Redbox rents for $1.28. Get some hot chocolate or other beverage of choice and cuddle up on the sofa.

There are lots of things you can do, even if you are an old fart, and, yeah, it’s sill early on Valentine’s Day, so if you’re old and thinking this day is past you or you’re still young and in love but broke, there are many things you can do. Now go show someone you love them!

Feb 112013

Pope BenedictPope Benedict XVI shocked the world this morning with the announcement that he would resign the Papacy at the end of this month. He not only caught Catholics worldwide unaware, but even his close friends claim they didn’t know he was going to do it.

He’s old and he’s sick. He’s probably tired, too. And while 85 is not ancient, as Popes go, he’s still getting up there. He had a stroke in the early 1990s and I believe I read he has heart problems, too. They say he tried to resign before becoming Pope, but stayed on as a favor to his good friend Pope John Paul II.

You know what I think? I think he woke up this morning and had a moment of personal revelation. Revelation about what, you say? It’s waking up and realizing things have to change and change now. Right now. That you can’t go one minute longer with things the way they are. You can’t do what you did yesterday without dire consequences or even. . . death.

Those of us with chronic illnesses known these moments well. Some of us know only one. Some of us know many more.

It’s waking up in the morning and you can’t swing your legs out of bed. All those errands you have to do will have to be done by someone else.

It’s waking up and your hands don’t work anymore. All those articles you were going to write aren’t going to get written until your hands (hopefully) come back to life or you finally install that Dragon software that’s hiding on a top shelf.

It’s not being able to get through the day without intense pain unless you rest a few minutes an hour. You didn’t have to do that yesterday, but you do today.

Personal revelation. Not crying about it. No wringing of hands. Simply knowing your life has to change and it has to change now.

I think that’s why Pope Benedict did what he did. I think with all his ills and the fact that he’s getting on in years, all the hatred directed at him over his stances on modern issues, just. . . well, all of it. I think he woke up and said, “Lord, I simply can’t do this anymore. Forgive me.” And then he wrote his formal resignation and shocked the world.

If you haven’t had one of these moments yet, trust me when I say you will. It may come at 18. Like Pope Benedict, it may not come until you’re 85. But a personal revelation moment will come. What will you do? You’ll have to change.  You’ll have to change right now. My prayer is that you will be ready.

Feb 042013

Girl With hair dryerMy 16-year-old was in the bathroom the other day getting ready to go out. Nothing unusual. Her makeup was all over the bathroom counter and her straightening iron was getting good and hot to take the gorgeous waves out of her hair, the way she likes it. I happened to glance down at my watch and note the time. She wasn’t due where she was going for 2 – 3 hours yet. And then I looked at the shirt she was planning on wearing, casually tossed over the chair, NOT one of my favorites. My mouth was open with words on the tip of my tongue and.  .  . I bolted out of there like the hounds of hell were hot on my tail.

Why? Because the image that jumped into my mind was of a 16-year-old me, looking in a bathroom mirror, my makeup all over the bathroom counter, hair spray in hand, all decked out in my new tent dress that I made myself (and it looked store bought!) out of some great psychedelic material and. . . my mother walking in, looking at me, making that disdainful noise she always made when she looked at me and saying. . . “Are you honestly going out looking like THAT?”

My 16-year-old heart was crushed. I had just spent 2 – 3 hours trying to look good. I was never as pretty as that kid of mine is so I worked extra hard at it. And in eight words, the person who was supposed to love me no matter what shot me down and shot me down hard. She did it all the time. And I was just about to pass on the tradition.

My mother was about to come out of my mouth. Will this woman never leave me? She didn’t like me. I was and still am an embarrassment to her, the way she sees it. I will be working at getting her out of my head until the day they nail me into a box. But this is something that has to stop here and now. I have to be more aware. I have vowed not to repeat the pattern.

Admittedly, my kiddo is a bit stuck on herself. Why? Because in an effort to not do what was done to me, I have told her since Day 1 that she is beautiful, intelligent, hot, the best, that she can do whatever she sets out to do. Some have told me I created a monster. Maybe. She has problems that I didn’t create, but one thing she doesn’t have is a problem with her self-worth.

Apparently, though, I haven’t broken that chain entirely yet. I was about to say something derogatory to her about what she was going to wear. Did it matter? Probably not. The shirt she was wearing was not something I’d wear. Gee, I wonder why? She’s 16 and I’m 60. I thought it looked “trashy,” but it covered her. She’ll grow out of some of this. I didn’t wear the same stuff at 21 that I did at 16. I know this. But there I was, about to inflict the same kind of damage that I’ve been fighting against all my life.

The good news is that I stopped in time. This time. Will I stop in time next time? Oh, Lord, I hope so. No matter what problems the two of us have (and we have some whoppers), I never want her to look in the mirror and hate what she sees, to think she’s not pretty enough, not smart enough. . . simply not good enough. I know that feeling and wouldn’t inflict it on my worst enemy, let alone someone I love.

This is one of those experiences that has made me think. In itself, it’s not much of anything, really. But that “nothing” could have done some serious damage. She’s fragile. What almost 17-year-old girl isn’t?  So I will be on my guard for next time, because there will be a next time. That’s how serious this type of damage is. It’s like it never leaves you, but I am damned and determined not to pass it on.

Can Old Busted Hotness do it?  Film, as they say, at 11.