It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times

(Oprah and Dr. Oz holding overeater’s omentums!)

Let’s start with the BEST OF TIMES regarding my bad habits.

Sneaky Gossiping:

This week I had a breakthrough. I was bitching and complaining to Henry about a family member. Then I remembered that I had to report it to my readers (bloggers keep no secrets). Then I had this little conversation with myself about why I didn’t have to tell you.

1. You’d never know.

2. You’d never know.

3. Know you never would (Yoda-speak).

Then I worried you might find out. That Henry can’t keep his mouth shut. And I remembered my friend Jo, who’s a life coach, always saying, “When you’re angry with someone you have to make sure you have all the information. There’s always two sides to every story.”

That’s right. Me and mine!

Still, I decided to call the family member whose name I was besmirching and get to the bottom of things, but not that night, because I’d had two glasses of wine and was a bit full of myself and perhaps drunk. So I went to bed hoping I’d forget I was giving up gossiping.

In the morning I remembered, obviously having not imbibed quite enough the night before.

I also remembered something else I wished I’d forgot. Something Gretchen Rubin wrote in the her best-seller (jealousy) The Happiness Project. “Do the hardest thing on your To Do list first thing in the morning.”

Damn you, woman! I’d rather be unhappy!

So I dropped the kids at school, sat at the curb in my mini-van and called the object of my derision AKA the Gossipee. I held my breath as the phone rang.

Yes!  An answering machine!

I left an ominous message. One that indicated I might have a problem with him, but which could also be interpreted as simply the onset of peri-menopause.

Either way I was hoping the Gossipee would decide life was stressful enough and not call me back. Which would be a relief and also a further indictment against his character so I’d be vindicated in not bothering to have a relationship with him based in any kind of honest communication whatsoever. (I’m wordy this morning).

Just when I thought I was off the hook, my phone rang.

it was the Gossipee. My hands began to sweat, my brow furrowed (which it can still do after the brow lift), my heart palpitated, I had to slip a nitro-glycerin ampule under my tongue. Why did I gossip? Whyyyyyy?

Me: “Hello?”  

Gossipee: “Hi, Shannon. What’s up?”

Something strange came out of my mouth:

“I called because I’ve been bitching to Henry about you behind your back and then I thought, ‘Hey, I love Gossipee, I should just call him and see if I have my information straight. Listen to his side of the story.'”

Then what happened was I told the Gossipee my side of the story and what I thought he was guilty of and then I asked him if I got the story straight.

He said I did have the story straight, but it was in the wrong order and context and maybe if I heard it the right way I might feel differently.

Use of phrases like “the wrong order and context” are one of the many reasons I adore The Gossipee. So I sat in the child booster in the back of my mini-van and listened.

LISTENING? Who knew?

We talked for half an hour at the end of which I thanked him for explaining and told him I loved him. I did. And I do.

Going straight to the source and telling the truth made him real, not an obstacle to overcome or object to manipulate, but a real live person.

It humbled me. Briefly.

Of course, then one of my bad habits kicked in. Hubris. Oh, yes, excessive pride in this breakthrough. But the truth is, I wouldn’t and couldn’t have done it without you.

Now for the not so good news:

Frivolous Spending:

I managed to embed “The Charlotte Dress” from Boden — for me — into a Christmas order for Bridget.

My lower self kept explaining to my higher self that it had been eyeing that Charlotte dress for three months, but had refrained from purchasing it because it was just too expensive.

But now it was 40% off with free shipping and how long would I be able to wear dresses? 20, maybe 30 years before I had to start wearing polyester slacks with elastic waistbands?

I don’t need any more clothes.

I’m looking for a healthy replacement for the SPEND CASH high. That hit of power I get when I punch in a number that will bring a UPS man to my door with a brown-wrapped parcel.

Because as soon as the parcel is opened and the item is tucked away in my closet, I feel like I’m taking the Morning Walk Of Shame with my panties in my purse (not that I ever did that, but I’ve heard about it. From a friend of a friend).

Goal for next week. No spending on me.

If I don’t need it, I don’t buy it. Figure out what the healthy alternative is. I will report my findings. And would love any Reformed Shopper advice.


I came off Thanksgiving on fire. It was healthy yogurt and homemade granola for breakfast. It was a banana with peanut butter. It was poached eggs and basil from my freakin’ garden.

I almost couldn’t stand myself I was so perfect. I was tracking points on my little used Weight Watchers app. I was staying the course. Then I got a cold.

This is what it says on my Weight Watchers Points Tracker for Thursday:

  • “Klondike 100 calorie bar.” 
  • “Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich.”
  • “Jelly beans.”
  • “Chocolate-covered raisins.”

Crap. There were various green things and proteins interspersed, but when I did the math it all added up to one thing … sugar. My Achilles’ Heel.

Sugar is a big trigger for me.

So right here, right now I am pledging to not eat sugar until next Monday. Not in my coffee, my tea, my freakin’ toothpaste. No sugar this week. What will satisfy me instead (that won’t end my marriage?). I will report back on Monday.

16 thoughts on “It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times”

  1. God. Why?

    That sneaky gossip crap will be the death of me. Not that I do it a lot…but when I do, I always preface it with, “I shouldn’t be saying this shit, but…”

    Like THAT makes it not sneaky gossiping.


    Most of yours is probably most of mine, too. That jealousy crap I’m getting better at.

    Or at least getting better at putting off having to have what ‘everyone else’ has until I just can’t stand it anymore.

    1. Shannon Colleary

      Ahh, yes, the “I shouldn’t be saying this s#@t!” The old, I feel bad about saying it so it makes it okay to say it, because I’m conflicted about it. I have that one down cold.

  2. The least you could do in your un-gossiping is name names so I could enjoy the not-gossiping better. Not that I would know him but it makes not-gossiping so much more fun. Again, not that I like to gossip or anything because like you said, perfect with perky breasts

    1. Shannon Colleary

      Okay his name is Cossimo. He’s my sixth cousin once removed. He’s also a ventriloquist, which I think is fairly obvious given his name.

  3. So proud of you, dah-link! I mean, really, to actually confront someone with what you had heard/mis-heard? VERY BRAVE and extra super-duper smart to do so without being liquored up.

    As for food, I have promised myself to stop going into the high-end grocery stores that have all the extra 10,000 things to choose from cause I am like a junkie finding a coke connection when it comes to glamorous gourmet stuff that the Food Network bitches tease me with cause you usually can’t find that crap in Podunk, Florida. I would take food out of my kids’ mouths for that.

    Have been really busy super-sleuthing the douchebags in my life and have missed you terribly!!!


    1. Shannon Colleary

      Super-sleuthing the douchebags? I need to get over to your site stat. Have to see what’s up with that. And I hear you on the fancy food. If I go into Whole Foods I may as well just get my own ass stuffed with huckleberry tapenade and goosefeahter lingonberry toadstools.

      1. “huckleberry tapenade and goosefeahter lingonberry toadstools”….?! Holy Mary Mother of God. Florida sux. I’m on the next flight to L.A. xo

  4. I’m celebrating your success. Congrats on a nice convo with Cossimo!

    I’ll try the no-sugar thing with you this week. Its been 10 minutes, so far so good.

    1. Shannon Colleary

      Elizabeth I’m laughing. I’m so glad I won’t be off of sugar alone. I was very bitchy last night bc am having major sugar withdrawals. My husband says I’m going to binge on Monday and that Draconian measures never work. I’ll prove him wrooooong (as I love to do)

  5. ok girlfriend, I’m in!!!!! You have no one to blame but yourself for my victories and failures now. 🙂

    Good for you, what a great way to get all of us to be BETTER human beings. Let’s hope some of us actually DO become better Human beings. 😉

    1. Shannon Colleary

      Oh I’m so glad I’m not journeying alone! No sugar since…well, yesterday. Seems like last spring. xo

  6. Shannon Colleary

    Hmm, not sure what to say here. But will just pause and see what develops. Hopefully not herpes. But perhaps something promising?

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