Prisoner of Love

“My Men in Stripes” Revisited

When I first started blogging, my audience consisted of three friends, two relatives, my dog, Henry, and the lady who delivers my mail (on account that I would print my posts and discreetly leave them inside my mailbox, anonymously addressed to the Postmaster General). Of course, after a few weeks, I managed to alienate them all.

Yet somehow, despite myself, my readership grew over time. Which just goes to show you: Blackmailing people to get them to read your blog really works!

And, now that I have a couple dozen readers, I figure, it’s as good a time as any, to revisit some of my early posts, the ones I suspect many of you have yet to read, no matter how many arms I’ve twisted. Besides, with my daughter home for Spring Break, I’ve been crazy busy, with little time for blogging. So, I hope you enjoy reading my new and improved post on my Men in Stripes:

My friend, Sherri thinks I need to expand my options.  Which is why she says I should consider dating men who’ve made a killing—though not necessarily in the stock market. She’s talking men in stripes. Convicts. Felons. Jailbirds.

Or, as I prefer to call them, Prisoners of Love. Think Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock. According to Sherri, the possibilities are endless.

Lawbreakers, like Scott Petersen. Remember him? The guy with the bad hair dye and goatee, headed for the border when the police found him, and who was found guilty of killing his wife and unborn child? He’s now on death row. Then there’s Drew Peterson, whose fourth wife went missing back in 2007 and is in prison awaiting trial for allegedly killing his third wife.

Or actor, Robert Blake. Handsome once, but who now has a grim-reaper sort of look about him and shaved-off eyebrows. What a hunk! Ironically, he portrayed a murderer in the film, In Cold Blood. As it turns out, Blake was acquitted of murdering his second wife, though later found liable in a civil trial for her wrongful death.

Then there’s Grammy Award-winning producer, Phil Spector, serving 19 years in prison for second-degree murder of an actress in his home.  Apparently he’ll be eligible for parole when he’s 88.

And, of course, there’s the granddaddy of them all, O.J. Simpson. The man who started the trend of charmers who think they’re so cool they can’t be tethered down to a wife or girlfriend. Furthermore, these men–and their egos–think that breaking up with a woman will hurt her feelings, so better to snuff them out once and for all. Besides, divorce can take six months or more, and they can’t take the time to wait it out like normal people do.

So, I have to agree with Sherri. They’re worth considering.  Which is why I’ve decided, before I settle on just one of these rebels without a cause, I’m going to invite them all over for Sunday dinner.

I’ll prepare a fabulous meal, so they see how well I know my way around a kitchen. Maybe a pot roast will help me worm my way into their bleeding hearts, assuming none are vegans, that is. I’ll prepare the entire meal myself, which means this is not going to be a potluck. For, after seeing Shawshank Redemption and other prison flicks, I know what they serve in jail, and I prefer not having that sop at my table.

I’ll have to put away all the items around the house that can be used as weapons.  Phil may insist on wearing one of his striking wigs, which is okay with me as long as it isn’t that porcupine wig he wore during the trial and as long as he’s not hiding a knife or tweezers beneath it.  I’ll ask Robert to regale us with tales of his film and TV days and find out if he has any kiss-and-tell stories about Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds or Truman Capote.

Since I don’t think Drew has had his trial yet, I’ll ask the other fellas to help brainstorm arguments for his defense.  I’m sure Scott will have a few tricks up his sleeve.  I’ll ask him, too, how his appeals are going, because I know that when you get the death penalty, there’s always a gazillion appeals. After all, I’ve seen Dead Man Walking.  Phil Spector will no doubt want to dance so I’ll put on some records and play songs produced by the man himself.

After dinner, Drew will help me with the dishes, while the other boys watch a prison movie, like White Heat and we’ll all yell “Top of the world, Ma!” when James Cagney is shot and goes up in flames.  I’ll then bring out a board game, like Clue, and, because of his temper, I’ll let O.J. win, when he deduces that Colonel Mustard killed Mr. Boddy with a gun in the conservatory. We’ll all have a good laugh over that one.

Finally, after we’ve had dessert (I’m thinking chocolate cake with toy guns and knives buried inside, for more laughs), we’ll play a round of spin the bottle.  And, as I look into the eyes of each of these hapless scoundrels, I’ll know which one is guilty. Guilty of stealing my heart, that is.  With any luck, I’ll be waiting a life sentence for a second date.

Class Action Gal

I may be able to retire soon! And it’s all thanks to the following:

Crate and Barrel

A computer I once had

My bank

My neighborhood grocery store

But most of all, it’s thanks to being at the WRONG place at the RIGHT time—or is it the right place at the wrong time? Either way, I’ve hit gold, and the reason can be summed up in one word:

Class Action Suit

Ok, that’s three words. Well, apparently, while I’ve been sleeping and doing about a gazillion other things, my name has been bandied about and added to many a class action suit list.  You know what I’m talking about, right?

A class action suit is when a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court in order to sue an entity for damages or irreparable harm or something like that. Though, if you ask me, I don’t think I suffered much trauma the day I shopped at Crate and Barrel. Yet, somehow I got tangled in the lawsuit’s web.

Apparently, when these collective groups decide to sue, they don’t necessarily ask me if I want in, nor do they tell me what the fracas was about. I didn’t know bubkis until I got a letter in the mail informing me about the suit and of my rights as a citizen of the free world.

Of course, my first reaction is always, “Huh? What do I have to do with this class action suit?”

But, once I figure it out (actually, I never do), then I jump on board the bandwagon—hitching my wagon to the class action star!

By the time the letter arrives, the suit is well underway, and, if you ask me, reading the letter is like reading gobbledygook. I know this because I’m a pro at recognizing gobbledygook when I see it and I see it all the time. Usually on IRS 1040 forms, credit card notices, divorce papers, and so on.

Somewhere in the class action letter it tells me what to if I don’t want to be included in the suit, but I never get that far. I usually pass out halfway down the first page. I figure it’s too much trouble to exclude myself, anyway. Besides, you never know what you’re going to get by staying the course.

As I see it, class action suits are a great way to meet friends with common interests or a common cause. I always assume that when the case is finally settled, we’ll all go out for a drink, or maybe one of us will host a party so we can collectively celebrate and count our winnings. Of course, so far this hasn’t happened, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

I must look like I have what it takes to be a member of these prestigious groups of litigants, as I’ve been part of at least a dozen this past year alone:

I received a $15 gift card to Crate and Barrel because of some dispute involving a mistake in their cash register system and, apparently, only those who shopped in any of their stores over a three-day period were eligible. Bingo! I happened to go in on one of those days!

A suit was brought against my local supermarket and the upshot, as part of the settlement, I received a year’s worth of $9 coupons to be used once a month on groceries.

Last month, I received a check for $8 from Dell computers because five years ago, I owned one and yada yada, yada, we won! They must have heard that my Dell crashed and I lost all my files, so I assume the $8 was compensation for that loss.

A few days later, I received $35 from a dispute involving Bank of America. I don’t know why, but thank you, BofA! (Sidebar: By the way, BofA, I find it ironic that the check I received was issued by another bank. Does that mean you don’t bank at your own bank?  I wonder…)

These class action suits seem to be growing on trees and I’m definitely in the thick of them.  Today, I received two more notifications of suits that are pending. One is from Walmart, and it involves Netflix. And, like the other suits, all I have to do is:


And I’ll be eligible to receive whatever settlement comes out of it. I can’t wait to find out!

So, how about you? Have you initiated a class action suit or been involved in one lately? Do tell!