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Glo Magazine May 2017: The Real Winner

When I was a little girl, my mother and I engaged in a bizarre ritual each evening that can only be described as a cross between a friendly competition and an all-out war.

It went something like this: Each night when my father pulled into the driveway, my mother would announce his arrival and declare that she would be the first to greet him when he walked through the door. Never one to back down from a challenge, I would race into the kitchen and wriggle my three-year-old self through the Julie-sized space between her legs in order to plant myself in front of her when my father appeared.

I got the first hug every time.

As proud I am of my undefeated record in this particular sport, you had to give credit to my mother for the way she handled every loss. While I gleefully recounted my victory to anyone who would listen, my poor mother had to contend herself with the consolation prize of putting my father’s Thermos in the sink and hanging up his coat. She didn’t seem to mind getting beat by a toddler and if I didn’t know any better, I would say she actually wanted me to win.

As if losing to me every night was not enough, mom also had a tendency of taking a backseat to my grandmother, especially after my grandfather died and grandma wasn’t as active as she used to be. Not long after I moved out, mom and dad got into the habit of taking my grandmother out to dinner with them every Friday night and every Friday night, my mother insisted on waiting in the car while Dad collected his mother at the door and saw her safely inside at the end of the evening. She sat across the table from the dynamic duo as the two of them chatted happily throughout the meal and more often than not, she was left to put on her own coat while my dad helped his mother with hers.

Yet, Mom harbored no resentment at her second place position in my father’s life. In fact, she told me many times she was proud that my dad and I had a close and loving relationship until the day he died. She delighted in the fact that although he was no longer a little boy, Dad was still the apple of his mother’s eye. By encouraging a strong bond between Dad and the “other women” in his life, mom believed it made her relationship with him even stronger and believe me, my father knew who the real winner was in his life and how without her, he would be nothing.

“I have always loved you…marrying you made my life complete. You are the best thing that ever happened to me and I have received everything from life than anyone should…because of you,” he wrote to her in 1987.

This month, as we honor the women who brought us into the world, let us not only recall the ways in which they “lost” so that we could win, but the selfless ways they put someone else’s needs ahead of their own and how so often they dimmed their own light in order to let someone else shine. Happy Mother’s Day!

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February 2017 column Glo Magazine: Here’s the Story…

florence-henderson-smileEvery once in a while, my writing career allows me to do something that I think is really cool. So cool in fact, that if I were to go back in time and tell my younger self it was going to happen…I probably wouldn’t believe me. Over the years, I have interviewed my musical idol (twice), called my childhood celebrity crush, met legendary journalists and best-selling authors, hung out with athletic icons and conversed with the man who, this month, will become the Vice-President of the United States. However, one of the stories I am proudest of is my interview with America’s Favorite TV Mom and Dale, Indiana native, Florence Henderson.

I cannot recall a time in my life when I was not crazy about The Brady Bunch. Although I cannot remember watching it when it originally aired, I rarely missed an episode in syndication. Coming from a small, nuclear household, I loved everything about the hustle and bustle of having a big, blended family like the Brady’s. I wanted problems that could be solved in 30 minutes or by building a house of cards. I wanted enough talented siblings to start a singing group. I wanted to square dance in the living room. And most of all, I wanted a mother who had nothing better to do with her day than to help me track down my lost diary, perform “Wherever We Go” at my high school talent show or help me stalk Davy Jones and convince him to take me to the spring prom.

Don’t misunderstand me, my real-life mother was a lovely lady, but she was no Florence Henderson. She couldn’t sing, didn’t needlepoint and (thankfully) did not wear her hair in a horrible mullet. In fact, the only things she had in common with Carol Brady was her Hoosier heritage and that she occasionally made pork cops and applesauce for supper.

Through my interview, I would learn that even though Florence Henderson was Carol Brady, she was more multifaceted than her television counterpart. Born on Valentine’s Day into a large, but poor Catholic family, Henderson grew up near the Ohio River, was taught by the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana and moved to New York at the age of 17 thanks to the financial support of some personal friends.

She was the “Today Girl” on NBC’s Today Show, was the first woman to sit behind Johnny Carson’s desk on The Tonight Show, appeared on Broadway in a number of productions, did a stint on Dancing With The Stars and was a spokesperson for everything from Wesson Oil to Polident and most recently, the LG ProBake Convection oven. She was a regular fixture at the Indianapolis 500, a benefactress to the nuns who educated her, and a consummate professional who was devoted to her family, her television children and fans.

“I have been very blessed in my career,” she said in the interview. “I love what I do and I am always thinking the best role is just around the corner. I’ve always said I’d think about retiring when I’m 95! I love the challenge of performing in front of a live audience.”

She was certainly blessed and for all of us “Brady kids” around the world, we were blessed to have been impacted by her through those 117 zany episodes. The loss of Henderson on Thanksgiving at the age of 82 is a difficult one to accept. She was our surrogate parent who was there to greet us after school. She kept us company until dinner time and showed us that even though life isn’t perfect, we can achieve a happy ending provided that we find out what we do best and then do our best with it and no matter what, “don’t play ball in the house.”

RIP Florence, we’ll miss you.

Follow Julie Young on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorJulie Young

On Twitter: @JulieYoung14

The Vincentisms: http://www.facebook.com/thevincentisms

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March Glo Column: Perusing the Protection

Protection    As a general rule, I am not one to lurk about the family planning section of my local drug store and certainly not with my 18-year-old son in tow. However, when the pharmacy’s printer suddenly went on strike during a routine pick-up, we were directed to a small enclave of standby customers clustered around a wall of products all promising Ft. Knox level protection with a cornucopia of kinky bonuses.

I’m telling you; it was an eye opener.

“What do you suppose they mean by ‘Fire and Ice’ sensations?” I muttered as Boy Wonder groaned quietly beside me. “I’m serious. Is that like putting Icy Hot down there? Lord, I don’t like that feeling on my shoulder, let alone a private part.”

“Hey, did you see that nice blood pressure machine over there,” the prude interjected, trying to divert my attention. “Why don’t you go get your blood pressure checked?”

I ignored him and continued to peruse the merchandise. Once upon a time, before intimacy was a matter of life and death and safety became the industry byword, product options were limited to a red box and a blue box. Now, thanks in part to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a handful of other conditions and the cleverness of the good people at the Church & Dwight Corporation, there was a wealth of choices complete with a wide range of special effects. I’m not kidding. No matter what your deficiency, there is a product to compensate for it. Quite frankly, I don’t think that George Lucas had this many bells and whistles when he filmed the original Star Wars movie.

I discovered that depending on my mood, I could be pulsed, twisted, tickled, ribbed or, so help me God, “charged.” Electro shock therapy aside, there were boxes that boasted “extended action” (though exactly what is being extended remains a mystery to me), a “triple threat,” an assortment of fruity flavors, fun colors, two different sizes, several quantities and an ominous line of goods designed “For Her Pleasure.” I’m not exactly sure what is going on there, but I would love to tell the bozo behind that misnomer that there is not a woman alive who places the success or failure of her entire experience in a sliver of latex and unless that box also contains a bottle of champagne, a dozen roses and a massage, you clearly aren’t thinking about her at all.

The more I contemplated this area of retail, the more I realized that the industry leader remains a brand of products synonymous with a group of legendary losers. I am not sure who came up with that namesake or why millions of people seem to trust it but wasn’t a failed defense system the plot line of that tale? If I remember my mythology correctly, a group of warriors feeling rather cocky about their prowess went to sleep safe in the notion that their fortress was guarded against all unwanted invaders. However, when the opposing army penetrated their city walls sheathed in disguise, those goobers couldn’t protect themselves, let alone anyone else!

I pointed all of this out to my son and said that despite the distinctive helmets and a profile that looked great on the logo, perhaps naming something after those connected to one of the biggest security breeches in history may not have been the smartest marketing move in the world.

“Maybe not, but it’s obviously working for them,” he said. “Still, I see your point. It sure does seem like they backed the wrong horse.”

 

 

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Ch-Ch-Changes

Hey Everyone!

julie 2       At long last, I have decided to revamp my blog and social media page in hopes of providing more diverse content to my readers, friends and followers. Here are some of the things you can expect:

Buy It, Borrow It or Bag It will still occur on Monday Mornings. I will continue to review whatever book I happen to be reading at the time and as you all know from following this blog…it can literally be anything and everything! LOL

My columns for Glo Magazine and Michiana House & Home will continue to appear at the beginning of the month.

ASMR Tuesday will talk about the subject of my next non-fiction project: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR. (Yes, for those of you who do not know what that is, I will explain it in the first post.)

Nostalgia Wednesday will look back on pop culture and local history

Author Spotlight will still occur on Thursday (when I have a new post) Hey authors out there?? Want to be featured? Send me a PM on Facebook and we will get you scheduled. I am particularly interested in YA authors!!!

Fabulous Fridays will continue as my “anything goes” day.

Catholicism Sunday will focus on The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Catholicism which is set to be published by Alpha Books in January 2015.

In addition….I will be streamlining my Facebook page (both my personal and professional sites) to offer predominately positive messages. I am very tired of reading a wall full of negativity and so I am going to start giving a Compliment of the Day to my friends. (You never know when you might be mentioned!), books I want to read, movies I want to see,  the occasional quiz (for those who said “please don’t stop posting your quizzes), a particularly funny “Vincentism” and of course…you can still count on me to commentate tennis matches. (Sorry folks, but I need a place to rage…I’m sure you can understand! LOL). You will still be able to read all of the FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME news on MonAmi’s page (Link is below)

I’m sure there will be times I will drop the ball, but I promise to try. Let’s get some positivity flowing in the world!!

Until next time, Keep rockin’,

Julie

Follow Julie on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/authorjulieyoung?ref_type=bookmark

On Twitter: @julieyoung14

Official FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME page:https://www.facebook.com/Fifteenminutesoffamebook?ref_type=bookmark

The Vincentisms:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vincentisms/175788015841765?ref_type=bookmark

On Twitter: @The-Vincentisms

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