Maripat Robison

Maripat Robison

Mar 22, 2018

It's Not Me, It's You

I’ve been considering this break-up for some time. Surely you noticed I’ve been pulling away?

It started so well. You showed me everything I wanted to see, with no surprises. I felt heard, and if not loved, at least I was liked, a LOT. And the connection kept growing, beyond what I ever believed possible.

Then you changed. Remember? You started withholding things you gave me in the start. You stopped showing me what I wanted, and forced me to do everything YOUR way. You said it was what you thought I wanted, but you never asked, not once.

Do I have a part? Who cares? You cheated on me, and 50 million others. Now that you’re caught, you say you have a responsibility, and if you can’t live up to your end of the bargain, you don’t deserve me. At least you’re right about that.

I’m taking myself out, and I won’t be back. I just wanted you to know that it’s not me... it’s you.

Apr 15, 2016

Why Women Hate Viagra**

The Top Ten Reasons Women Hate Viagra

10. Can’t count on aging to get a good night's sleep

9. As if doctors didn't have god complexes already

8. Plausible alibis for dirty old men

7. Makes a penis look super angry

6. There goes your free time

5.  Pants tents everywhere in the nursing home 

4. Doesn't prevent guys buying embarrassing muscle cars

3. Humiliating ER visits where staff asks: "But did you try a blow job?"

2. Those simpering, chiffon-clad fake nymphos in the commercials

1. Now any the right time??

**This is not about my husband

Mar 28, 2016

Special Force: Toilet Seat Down

"John! You left the seat up again!"
"Of course I did."
“I don’t want to touch that germy toilet.”
"Wait. Didn't you make contact putting it up?"
"That's different. I washed my hands after."
"Can’t you wash them after you put it back down?"

I’m pretty sure that the guys who leave toilet seats up don’t appreciate the fact that we have to regularly scrub away all traces of their using them. Even with industrial strength gloves and a two-foot-handled brush, it’s a disgusting task.

Once, a boyfriend asked me: “Why do I have to put it down? Equality means women should have to put it up.”
“Here’s your equality, ” I answered, handing him the cleaner and a brush. He refused, and continued to leave the seat up, while I fantasized about killing him for money.

Some people have a calling to volunteer at soup kitchens or help the elderly cross the street.  I learned that my calling was to be the special force that evens the score on toilet seat position. Special Force: Toilet Seat Down. And I do this for all women, not just myself.

Like many such awakenings, I realized my new spiritual mission while on the golf course. And, it was the same course where Trump did his first comb over, after he looked in the men’s room mirror and saw:

A. A tiny row of really smart women growing on his head.

B.  Mini illegal immigrants jumping over a fence on his part.

C.  Teensy hair-pulling terrorists being tortured insufficiently.

The day of my avocation, my sister and I had been golfing for hours and regularly quaffing water, so we wouldn’t get dehydrated*. Finally, a bathroom appeared, but it was occupied, and there were three other women waiting in line, all tapping their toes and counting pine needles to divert them from having an accident. I looked over at the men’s room. The symbol on the door wasn’t wearing a triangle and neither was I, so I went in. That’s fair.

Well, it didn't smell good in there, as you might imagine. There was a urinal, with a strange round disc in it. I understand these are called urinal cakes. I think they smell like mothballs so drunk guys using the bathroom literally don’t eat them. There was a toilet too, reasonably clean, with the seat up.

 Grabbing a paper towel, I lowered the seat and attempted to go without actually sitting on it, because I was raised to pee only if it was absolutely necessary, and I was never to really touch the seat. After, I momentarily struggled with the feeling that I should put the seat back up, to be considerate of the next user.

That’s when the room went dark. Suddenly, a faint light appeared, accompanied by a rush of fresh air. As the light got brighter, there appeared a fairly hairy and hefty woman (with wings!) pushing open the window.

“God, it stinks in here!” she said.
“Who are you?” I said.
“Uh, the wings?”
 “Angels aren't supposed to be fat and have chin hairs,” I told her.
“It’s my job to make you feel better about yourself,” she answered.

The angel told me that I had been selected to rebalance the toilet seat universe. From now on, she told me, I was to enter men’s rooms everywhere and put the seats DOWN.
“What?” I was almost speechless with disappointment. This was my special purpose?
“Every day, millions of women are praying they don’t kill some guy who left the seat up, so it’s an important job,” she explained.
“More important than being rich and famous?”
“You’re not thin enough for that.”
She faded away, winking, and stroking a line of wiry hair on her jaw, which made me reach up and do the same, but only after I washed my hands.

Known the world over as restroom deserts, golf courses became my specialty. Soon, I was sneaking into men's rooms all over the state, gleefully dropping the seats down, one by one.
The first time I got caught, I walked out, and almost collided with a beefy, red-faced guy wearing ridiculous plaid pants, with a spreading dark spot along the leg.
“You made me spill my beer!” he yelled.
“Sorry," I mumbled, laughing inwardly at his euphemism.

A few holes later, the golf course ranger pulled us over on the cart path, and said, "I'm sorry, but I have to ask you ladies to stop using the men's room. We're getting complaints.”
"I’m the one that did it,” I said. “I’ve been getting a little confused lately."
"She has early onset dementia,” my sister whispered, “sometimes it's hard to keep an eye on her."
"ANOTHER HOLE-IN-ONE!" I shouted, for believability, while he sped off looking scared.

I may have started with free standing bathrooms on golf courses, but by the end, I was slamming down seats in men's rooms everywhere. I used to be happy with just one stall, but then I started craving the two and three stall models you find in hospitals and restaurants.

Never able to replicate the first high I got with my seat flipping, I had to think bigger, so I picked up rubber gloves, a bucket, a ‘closed for cleaning’ sign, and headed to the airport.
"All clean!" I’d chirp at the men waiting in line innocently for their now toilet-seat-down thrones.

Not only have I saved countless lives, but also as a toilet seat mastermind, I have the foolproof method for never getting caught. After all, I'm pretending to clean guy's toilets. They never think they're dirty.  

*On the other hand, I weigh less when dehydrated.

Oct 23, 2015

Male Grocery disease - A Public Health Statement

If you're confused because your guy came home from the grocery store with everything but what you had on the list, you are not alone. A new study shows an epidemic of Male Grocery disease, and in response, the NIH has published this statement: 

Since its first description, Male Grocery disease has gone from a rarely reported disorder to one of the most common causes of marital discord. It was first termed in the early 1970s when women, questioning gender roles, began rejecting elements of the domestic servitude standards of marriage and insisted their husbands were capable of buying groceries (later studies disproved toxic fumes from burning bras as a root cause).

The increasing proportion of women seeking treatment in the U.S. population from the trauma of Male Grocery disease reinforces the urgent need for prevention and treatment of this chronic illness.

To date, numerous studies have attempted to describe the causes and factors associated with Male Grocery disease, generating an abundance of theories on potential risk factors and therapies. An elevated Testosterone level is the strongest known risk factor to date.

In the absence of a cure, it is strongly suggested that women refer to the Braxton-Beergoggle Key for a better understanding of the disease, and as a protective measure for their mental health. 

Eggs=Nacho Cheese Dip
Butter=Ice Cream
Fruit=Pop Tarts
Diet Coke=Regular Coke
Chicken=Frozen Hot Wings
Pasta= Chef Boyardee Ravioli
Laundry Detergent=Bleach

The only 100% effective treatment is abstinence, so plan accordingly.

Aug 18, 2015

Margaret Robison, Unfiltered

Of course I was supposed to despise my mother-in-law. Everyone expects that. MIL hatred is mostly society-sanctioned, and MILs rank high on the scale of those we love to hate. Cosby high.

I was barely six years old when I met my first MIL on The Flintstones
“I like my mother-in-law, I like my mother-in-law,” Fred chanted while psyching himself up for her visit. She isn’t likeable at all, I thought with my kindergarten brain. 

Later, I squirted milk from my nose laughing at MIL jokes:
Q:  What do you have when your MIL is covered in concrete up to her shoulders?
A:  Not enough concrete!

Then too, I had Running With Scissors and Look Me In The Eye to consider – bestselling memoirs written by both my brother-in-law and my husband. One was sensationalist and one was just blunt, but both are indelibly imprinted on society’s perception of Margaret Robison, perhaps unfairly, depending on your perspective.

Appreciating Margaret was simpler for me.  Without childhood hurts coloring my view, I didn’t have to climb the hill of forgiveness first, like I did with my own mother (and she with me).  Margaret was a seriously talented artist and poet, parented by a generation that valued those skills in only the tightest of contexts; parameters she would not be able to meet.

Margaret was raised in Georgia, a kind of pseudo southern belle (which she abhorred - except for genteel manners and the drawl, which she adored). Like the rest of her peers, she was expected to find a husband in college and defer to him. It was a tall order, even before she knew she was gay.

 Wives in the 60s forsook other dreams to become domestic servants and mothers, whether they were suited to it or not. Plainly, servitude was not Margaret’s forte. Was she a good mother? Who gets to judge that? I wouldn't have wanted to walk in her shoes. Back then manic depression was not a celebrity-endorsed mental illness. It was shameful, and you got locked up.  And despite her bipolar disorder, Margaret had plenty of parental regrets, like the rest of us who’ve raised kids. 

Saint? Hardly. Like others of Margaret’s generation, when the floodgates of personal freedom opened in the 70s all of the ‘don’t do’s’ became possible.  Now, you could get divorced. You could be an artist, a poet, a lesbian. Now, you didn’t have to defer, you could create your own context, and be true to yourself. Selfishness was a common overcorrection, paving the way for the Me Generation to come. 

What I admired about Margaret was her talent and her sheer determination to overcome: the death of two siblings;  marriage to an abusive alcoholic (he sobered up and successfully remarried ); her mental illness, hospitalizations, and misplaced trust in a crazy therapist (who later lost his license); having a stroke and being wheelchair bound for decades; public humiliation over not one, but two famous books by her children; a sad estrangement from her younger son.

Margaret contributed her own pain demonstrating forgiveness. She did forgive, completely, and she did it without redemption or by being forgiven herself. That's more than a hill to climb. 

It might be hard to reconcile the woman I’ve described with the dramatic portrayal of mother as monster in print. But at the end, with nothing to gain she told me: “I'm so grateful for you,” running the back of her fingers along my cheek and looking deeply into my eyes. 

Margaret taught me that being with someone who’s dying is the most important job I might ever do; that sitting quietly, or whispering: “Everything will be all right,” is a feat to be cherished, to be proud of, to be grateful for.

Leaving this world is harder than coming in. Helping someone go is a lifetime of compassion learned.

Thank you Margaret. I loved you.  

Feb 2, 2015

I Want to Kill Siri

Ask, But She Won't Tell 

It started innocently enough. One day, my son Julian sneakily told Siri to start calling me "King Hippo."  I use Siri when I'm driving (hands free) to send text messages, read my email, and some of the other things promised above. So when Siri started calling me King Hippo,  I overlooked the insult. But one day, I just couldn't take it any more.

Me:  Send a text to John, Siri
Siri:  I'd be happy to do that, King Hippo
Me:  Don't call me King Hippo!
Siri:  I don't understand, Don't call me King Hippo
Me:   From now on call me Maripat, Siri
Siri:  I can't make changes to your contacts, you can do that in the contacts app
Me:  But my name is not King Hippo!
Siri:  I don't understand, But my name is not King Hippo
Me:  You don't understand much then, do you Siri?
Siri:  That's your opinion, King Hippo.

Naturally, I was incensed after this conversation, so I had a bag of Doritos. Our next run-in was bad:

Me:  I need the address for the Post Office in Amherst Massachusetts, Siri
Siri: I found two addresses, tap the one you are looking for
Me:  I can't,  I'm driving
Siri: I don't understand,  I can't, I'm driving
Me:  I'm driving the car!
Siri: I don't understand, I'm driving the car
Me: That's because you're stupid and can't drive!
Siri: That's your opinion, King Hippo.

Things went from bad to worse. It started to seem like Siri was purposely not answering my questions, causing me to stop at the Glazed Donut Shop during the week .

Me:  Tell me about Alamogordo, New Mexico, Siri
Siri:  Here's the map.
Me:  Can you look up the Wikipedia Page?
Siri: Here's what I found on 'Wikipedia Page'
Me:  No, look up the Wikipedia page for Alamogordo, New Mexico, Siri
Siri: Here's the Wikipedia page on 'Alamogordo, New Mexico'
Me:  Can you read it to me?
Siri: Here's what I found on 'Can you read it to me,' King Hippo
Me:  I hate you Siri
Siri:  I'm really sorry, but I can't take any more requests right now. Please try again later.
Me:  I've had it! I'm turning you off!

I spent a few weeks including Siri in my lovingkindness meditation, and finally felt I was ready to try again. Call me paranoid, but here's what happened:

Me: I need the address for The Salvation Army in Hadley Massachusetts, Siri
Siri: I'd prefer not to say
Me: I don't care, I want the address
Siri: Did I say you did?
Me: I know you are, but what am I?
Siri: You're King Hippo
Me: Says you
Siri: Here's the address for The Glazed Donut shop, King Hippo

I'm afraid my relationship with Siri is totally ruined now. Julian stopped her from calling me  King Hippo, but it's too late. Last night I even had a nightmare about her.

Me: I need you to call 911, Siri
Siri: I found 26 locations that match 911... should I read them to you?
Me: Aarrgh!
Siri: Are you choking on a donut...King Hippo?

Oct 31, 2014



AFTER (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

Admit it, wouldn't you just love to be in the spa right now having the calluses nibbled off your feet by epidermis-eating fishes?

Some people think that's narcissistic, but I say: get back to your tree hugging. Isn't it every one's right to spend copious amounts of money on ridiculous self-indulgence? Why give it away feeding hungry children? Fish need to eat too, and you can get smooth heels in the process.

Using my new brain, Google, I found these real spa treatments that any self-absorbed, fully fed citizen can have.

Japanese Body Ritual  - Your body is polished with bamboo and ginger, rinsed with yuzu, sea algae, and then scented with rice bran and wild cherry blossoms. A massage with wild-lime oil and plum blossom body butter completes the experience.
This just makes me hungry.

Naga - Using strands of colored silk, the therapist hangs from the ceiling while wrapping and supporting your body, taking you into deep stretches. Shifting weight and pressure, her feet are used to conduct deep muscle massage.
I'm worried the therapist will hang herself when she sees me naked. 

Tok Sen - a Thai massage, stretching combined with rhythmic tapping on the energy lines of your body with a special wooden hammer.  Deep vibrations work to release energy blockages, stimulate circulation, promoting relaxation and re-balance.
OK, as long as it was a special wooden hammer. I wouldn't be able to relax if it was just a regular hammer. 

Vinotherapy - Using red wine grapes, your body is infused with antioxidants and anti-aging polyphenols. A red wine greeting, grape seed oil massage, Shiraz body scrub, red wine body mask, Pinot Noir facial and a Shiraz face and body smoother will leave you feeling luxuriously renewed.
...And probably drunk.

Hakali - A warm mixture of prickly pear cactus and Mexican liquor are applied to your body using spine-free paddles from the cactus plant. The use of cactus can help remove toxins and quench dehydrated skin to leave you feeling rejuvenated.
I think it would be better for my cellulite if they didn't use the spine-free paddles.

If you want the spa treatment, but feel guilty about the starving kids, there's a solution. Global Finance lists Kinshasa as the poorest country in the world, so let's do it there.

Kinshasa - Yes it's the Congo, but don't worry, they speak French. Your body is wrapped in aluminum foil and dunked in the Congo River, attracting carnivorous giant tiger fish that will rid you of any unsightly body parts you've come to despise. The fish (and any vestige of visible body hair) will be swept away in the Inga Falls, landing you on an ancient rubber plantation, where you'll be covered in latex, peeled, and finally bathed in palm oil, single-handedly reviving the obligatory planting policies of the late 1920s and saving the local economy. 

With this new treatment, everyone will be fed, fishes AND children. And we can all feel good about ourselves. It'll be Spa-tastic.

Jul 8, 2014

Burka Beach Party


Does this burka make my butt look big? My sister said it doesn't, but we're pretty competitive. Believe me, it took a long time to pick it out. I had help from the media though, like the advice on the magazine covers I read while I was waiting to pay for some cupcakes at the grocery store. Sometimes these headlines are comforting to me. For instance, it made me feel better to know there was an "All Play Way to Torch Calories!" I almost bought that issue, but didn't think watching Jeopardy was going to be considered as an All Play category, so I passed.

BATHING SUIT.  They have to be in that order, but when they are, those two words have tortured me, TORTURED ME, to infinity and beyond. The prospect of buying something with Lycra to wear on the beach is like getting wrapped in a thermal blanket on the way to hell, and then eternally toasting marshmallows only others' can eat. (Although, who cares if there aren't chocolate bars and graham crackers to sandwich them in between?)

Yes, I know my body type. She's got such a pretty face; She's big-boned like my aunt; although I don't think I ever attained, She's big.  I was a pear until I got boobs, and then I became an ice cream cone — 38D on top and size 6 on the bottom. OK, the size 6 is shoes. But I think the fruit lobby paid off the medical industry with that apple and pear business anyway.  How fair is it that clothes are only advertised on people shaped like bananas? It's not even a category!

For years, I unsuccessfully followed a three-step program for try-on days:
1. Wear control top panty hose and high heels
2. Hit the tanning bed and worry about cancer, not fat
3. Watch the weather - power outages provide dimmer lighting

Celebrity swimsuit designer Liz Hurley says that great cover-ups are every woman's 'secret weapon.' Another top tip from Liz is that most women feel okay in a bathing suit when they are lying flat. The night before Liz goes to the beach she has a snack at 6 p.m. and skips dinner.  What's more, she avoids salty foods and carbonated drinks. Maybe then she doesn't have to go to the bathroom and can keep lying flat on the beach and looking thin. That's never worked for me. I always end up having to go, and it's hard to suck in my stomach with a full bladder. Liz says she eats very little during the day except "... boring snacks like a banana or six raisins." She admits, "The only meal I have, is dinner."  So even with the starvation, Liz wears a white shirt over her bikini. I'll bet that's to cover up some jiggly arm fat she got from eating the banana. Or the six raisins. She does look smart with the book, though.

But I digress. I took every woman's secret weapon to my bathing suit tryout this year and ended up with this burka. It looks better when I'm lying down.

Apr 25, 2014

Social Media Ate My Homework

12:00A  Gave up scrolling fruitlessly through titles on Netflix, went to bed

12:05A  Considered not washing face; dammimascara, washed face

2:00A Woke up from dream about eating eclair; ate eclair

7:00A  Standard wake up: John saying, "Feed me?"

8:00A  Compose stellar 'To Do' list, best ever

8:15A  Admire list

8:30A  Basic grooming; yoga pants; walk dogs

9:15A  Miss yoga class, cross off list

9:30A  Check email, new followers on Twitter,  I should thank them...


12:30P  What? 12:30?? Who peed on the floor?!

1:00P  Cross off walk dogs from list 

1:08P  Eat lunch, erase a few items on list

1:12P  Watched 'picking paint' on YouTube, cross off paint hallway

1:14P  This week's New Yorker digital available - Kinsley article great, should share this...


4:30P What?? Dammit! Walk dogs, start laundry

5:15P  Edit list - erase pay bills, write in buy shed, cross off buy shed

5:20P Vacuum potato chip crumbs from couch, cross off vacuum house

5:30P  Get out box of macaroni & cheese for dinner, cross off cook dinner

5:50P  Almost forgot! Cross off laundry

6:00P  Tell everyone I worked on blog, sneak upstairs to shred list

Apr 1, 2014

Remembering Mary


The day that Mary died, I ate a cheese Danish, a square of pecan pie, an entire bag of Lays and two vanilla cokes. Real cokes, not diet ones. She would understand this. If that horrifies you, read no further.

In her honor, I also watched 3 episodes of the first season of Star Trek that were made when she and I were just nine years old, and lived almost a thousand miles apart.

Even with that distance, our lives were so similar that we could have been two facing sides in a Rorschach inkblot. We were both smart, and we loved to read more than anything else on the planet. (Except maybe to eat while we were reading, especially if the character was chewing on something delicious we could replicate.)

Mary and I were both the babies of our families, and our older sibs thought we were pretty spoiled. But we talked about that and agreed they didn’t know what they were talking about. We were just really wonderful as kids.

Were we ‘pugnacious,’ as John has stated? We didn’t think so, because that was just one facet of our personalities.  It helped us to defend ourselves from brothers locking us in closets and later came in handy fighting for our kids and helping the underdogs we liked to represent.

We were also about the same age when our parents divorced; something that was really, really hard for us. There was stigma back then when you had a broken family, and we both felt as if we needed to defend their actions to others by denying our own broken hearts.

Mary was my husband John's first wife, and we met in December of 2010, when she and my stepson Jack came to my house for Christmas Eve. John and I had just started dating. I always have an open house on Christmas Eve, and wanted to invite Jack, but not make him choose which parent he'd spend the holiday with. That meant inviting Mary too, so I did.

Mary and I ended up spending the entire night in my kitchen, laughing hysterically. We shared the same sense of humor (typically the things teenage boys find funny) and had so much in common it was almost shocking.

I guess it’s no wonder we ended up with the same husband (thankfully not at the same time). We did have fun with that though. When I was Mary’s guest at the shooting range, I filled out the relationship line with “Sister Wife.” We hooted over that, and used that phrase a lot down the road, taking great pleasure in our nontraditional relationship.

So Mary and I developed our own sisterhood – one independent of John, independent of family dinners and kids. We became the closest of friends, sharing confidences, hopes and fears. We ate cream puffs at the Big E, went on a road trip to Pensacola (fighting only a little) and looked out for each other. It extended our families in the most beautiful way.

We celebrated all holidays, birthdays, and special occasions together, succeeding in putting our own broken families together again. We folded each other’s laundry, cooked, helped the kids and sometimes snapped at each other – just like anyone else in a family.

We lent each other a sympathetic ear, sometimes about her former and my present husband. She’d say “Oh, that’s just John being John,” punctuated with an evil grin, adding, “And I don’t have to be married to him, because you are, ha, ha!” Can you imagine what a gift it was when I got to see them profess real love for each other at the end?

I was by Mary’s side at two of the most painful moments of her life – when the Dr. told her she had leukemia, and just weeks later when she told her son that she couldn’t go on fighting, and he’d have to let her go. My heart breaks at those memories, yet I am so grateful that she loved and trusted me enough to have me there at those unbelievably vulnerable times.

But back to Star Trek, 48 years after it began, and the bag of Lays washed down with a way-too-sweet drink. In episode 5, under the influence of a virus that simulated drunkenness, Mr. Spock cries, and later tells Captain Kirk, “My mother… I could never tell her I loved her. An earth woman… living on a planet where love, emotion… was bad taste.”

During Mary’s hospital stay, I had the honor of seeing Jack tell his mom he loved her, too many times to count. They were beyond close. She put every single drop of love she could into bringing him up. Not perfectly, because there is no such thing as a perfect parent, only people without kids giving advice they themselves couldn’t follow. Once, when someone online intimated that Mary was a bad mother, I had to be physically restrained. They were very, very wrong.

Being with Mary over the last seven weeks was so painful, yet not without its gifts. I got to see that there were hundreds of people who loved her. I got to meet and bond with her sister Karen, who I now love as my own. I watched as women who have known and loved her for years tenderly looked out for her, and united, we all held hands and supported her to the end. They are now my friends as well.

Mary was the most authentic woman I have ever known, and I loved her and all that she stood for. She was brilliant, kind, adventurous, irreverent and intellectual. She was also a woman who laughed at fart jokes. At the end, everything but the love just falls away.