How to avoid PTO meetings and other civic duties (with free pamphlet on Bitch Face)

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Hello, Kittens, and welcome back to the salon. I’m glad you made it, because we have serious matters to discuss. I’ll be as brief as I feel like.

It is an unfortunate fact of Western Civilization that small groups of people left to their own devices will tend to form committees. And when small-group intentions are good, the results are almost always bad.

(Yes, I know what Margaret Mead said. Please be quiet.)

Committees go to work on ideas like viruses in a Petri dish: they surround it, study it, then kill it, having appropriated just enough of its DNA to disarm the defense systems of the next good idea they meet. The idea’s entrails are then written up and published in a newsletter.

Why must this committee formation happen, when groups could just as readily form a religious cult, a chorus or a circus act? Alas: committees are formed, resolutions are taken up and pretty soon, just when you thought it might be safe to sit down amongst friends and have a cup of coffee—perhaps even a muffin—you are grabbed around the ankle by a Strategic Plan and dragged, screaming, into service.

And that’s why, when the monthly PTO meeting at Brioche’s school rolls around, Rhapsody is always indisposed. Under a mountain of work. Fighting off a highly contagious strain of strep throat. Down with the cramps.

It’s not that I, or other committee-phobes don’t see the value of civic projects, or even that we don’t want to help, but we’re shade plants of the social world, and all that cheer and industry from you non-morose types is like too much afternoon sun on our tender leaves.

Are you exasperated by my attitude? If you think I’m hard to take as a blogging actress, you’ve got it easy, my friend. I could be your wife. I could be your mother. You just think about that for a moment, while I pour you a whiskey sour in these special holiday tumblers I’ve dusted off for today’s gathering.

And before we go on, please initial that you have read this Vital Disclaimer: Although I am a rabid volunteer elsewhere, I have not yet actually attended a PTO meeting at Brioche’s school. This post (like most of my life) is based on supposition and hearsay. Also: I am a blogging celebrity—not a real person. So if this post hurts your feelings and you think Rhapsody is talking about you, please consider two things:

  1. Confronting me will require you to admit that you are being teased by an avatar—a gorgeous, chimerical demon made of pixels and stardust. How does that help your cause?
  2. Sarcastic. Bitter. Acid-tongued. You keep using these words but I do not think they mean what you think they mean. Instead of arguing with me, why not try sword fighting as a way to relax?

Now, then. Shall we do as they do at Town Meeting and get this bitch over with? Continue reading


The Title Nine Catalogue: a Rhapsody Book Club selection


It’s been more than a week since we gathered in the salon, kittens, and I am ready to collapse into this chair and have someone—you, if you’re not too busy—bring me a vodka tonic.

Between helping Brioche and Tannery hang their little stockings on the mantle, and so much time in the studio with Mariah recording our Christmas album, it’s been very hectic. I never got to the bookstore to pick our read for the Rhapsody Book Club. Luckily, I did make it to the mailbox and found the Title Nine winter catalogue. Or should I say, 91 pages of “warm, wicking, washable, intergalactic…WOOLLY AWESOMENESS”?

Because that is what we have here, readers. There’s a copy of for each of you on the chaise lounge, and a stack of wool sweaters I felted by hand. The fit will be snug but you can virtually dip yourselves in the Bering Sea and not catch cold. Merry Christmas!

To begin my research on the Title Nine company, I googled “title IX” and was overwhelmed by information about this historic piece of legislation, which made it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of gender—a costly matter, it appears, if you are a state college in Louisiana. Such stories of sacrifice, bravery and leadership!

Now just a moment, I thought. This is all very interesting but where are the $80 Space Mittens? It appears that in my naivety, I had stumbled onto the Wikipedia page about the Title IX law—not the brave game-changers at the Title Nine clothing company, who help us celebrate equality with colorful, moisture wicking panties. Continue reading

Rhapturous Holidays

Christmas Tree

Will you look at that! According to my advent calendar it’s already the Shitfire! Just 16 more shopping-days! of December.

I hope by now you’ve thrown out that frightening mess you made trying to extract soup stock from the Thanksgiving turkey carcass? You know what I always say: recipes that involve foam skimming are best left to the professionals.

I’m sure you didn’t come to Rhapsody expecting holiday craft ideas, like braiding wreaths of human hair or whatever nonsense is happening over at Etsy. And I refuse to look, but Gwyneth Paltrow is undoubtedly busy at Goop showing us how to trim a tree with garlands of popcorn and blood diamonds, or pressing us to try her Holiday Spice Blend—available in herbal tea, votive candle or suppository.

Why bother with all that when we can gather round the ‘letric yule log in our own cozy salon instead? I’ve made some deliciously spikey eggnog, and my good friend Martin Short is here to entertain the children with Seussy fun and keep them from bothering us.

Some of you replied “Maybe” on the Evite for today’s gathering, because this is your traditional day for addressing holiday cards.

Well, Good For Industrious You, I say!

If you finish them before you run out of holiday zest, you can address mine, as well—they’re right here on the credenza. (Handwritten please. Those Avery labels are so impersonal.) The old-fashioned holiday greeting is time consuming, but I’m wary of e-cards after that incident last year with the jpeg I thought was a cute garden gnome but was actually a nudie of me.

Look, it’s happened to all of us, so you can wipe that smirk off your face.

*   *   *

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

I’m not asking—I’m reading you the embroidered words on my new cocktail napkins.

Aren’t we all tired of the question, anyway? You know the answer: Christmas is a time to celebrate the small but important things we do for each other, like thoughtfully peeling the price tag off a bottle of wine before I bring it to your dinner party, or buying you a “Menurkey” for “Thanksgivukah,” as if I had any practical knowledge at all about your treasured and ancient traditions that my traditions sat on until they could barely breathe.

Continue reading