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Jill Pertler

Slices of Life

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication." More columns are available at the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

Backside bling
By Jill Pertler

I grew up in an era where cool jeans came outfitted with a tiny red rectangular tag and a number somewhere in the 500s. The choices were straightforward — boot-cut or straight leg, stonewashed or regular. Mom jeans hadn’t been invented, because those of us wearing them weren’t moms yet.

It was a simpler time, when jeans were jeans. They covered what they needed to cover and served as a practical staple in one’s wardrobe. Times have changed. Hip, fashion-forward folks make statements with their derrieres by way of fancy stitching, rhinestones and other gaudy adornments. Bling, baby — it’s hit our rear ends and it’s hit them hard.

I’m not merely talking about the attire of 20ish trendsetters,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:58 PM
Leaving for vacation
By Jill Pertler

The hardest part about going on vacation is getting going. The energy and effort required to plan and pack can leave you weary and in need of a vacation, especially if you fulfill the role of predominant packer for your pack. At my house, vacation preparation involves approximately 2,537 unique tasks. My husband is responsible for a number of them — filling the vehicle’s gas tank, mapping our course on the atlas, carrying the cooler up from the basement and bringing the luggage out to the car. For those who are counting, that makes four. Those good at math realize that leaves me with the other 2,533.

Ignore my bitterness. It’s unfounded. Most families divide duties

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 10:44 AM
Stepping away
By Jill Pertler

All right. Enough’s enough already. I give up. I’m throwing in the workout towel, hanging up my tennis shoes and reaching for a thick slice of pizza — with extra cheese, please. It’s become too much. Diet and exercise. Exercise and diet. I’ve been traveling the road to fitness for weeks now — my commitment is beyond monumental — and today I stepped on the scale and saw the same old familiar numbers staring back at me. Again.

My scale has become a permanent fixture fixated on my failure to lose, and even though they say numbers don’t lie, I’m crying foul. Something is amiss. I am doing all the right things for all the right reasons. My goal is health. I want to be strong, live long. Is it wrong to want to look good

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 9:38 AM
Rules of the road
By Jill Pertler

I do not consider myself an excellent driver. I am good, or maybe just OK — around a B-minus to a C-plus if I were giving out grades. I am not great at maneuvering into tight parking spaces or knowing when it is my turn at a four-way stop. I am unsure of the direction to rotate my steering wheel when parking on a hill. Despite my shortfalls, I do understand roadway etiquette, or the unwritten standards of protocol every license-wielding driver should abide by. Trouble is, lots of them don’t. And we all know who they are. (Certainly not us, not ever.)

Based on my near-death-due-to-frustration

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 11:35 AM
Words gone wrong
By Jill Pertler

I found myself humming a tune I’d heard on the radio, “I came in like a rainbow, La la la de da.” Like many songs, most of the words eluded me, but I sang the ones I knew for sure. Over and over — the rainbow. I came in like a rainbow. Yes I did.

And then there was all the hoopla about the Grammys and I got a visual snippit of the song’s video on the news and realized my rainbow was none other than everyone else’s wrecking ball. Just imagine. Let’s just say knowing the correct words to the pop tune gave it a whole new meaning.

Song lyrics buzz by the ears so quickly they’re

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:02 AM
Life as an apple
By Jill Pertler

There’s a buzz circulating in small-town USA — and I’m not talking about the anticipation of Justin Bieber’s upcoming birthday. I came across a new item at the grocery store. There, between the strawberries and pre-cut watermelon, sat an unassuming bag containing three fruits. At first glance, I thought they were apples because that’s what they looked like. Then I saw the label: “grapples.”


I read the word with a short “A” so it rhymed with, well, apples. The association seemed pretty obvious. Upon further inspection, I noted the label provided instructions to give the word a long “A” as in, well, grapes. You know you’ve invented a new vocabulary word when you’ve

Tuesday, March 04, 2014 11:27 AM
Tax time
By Jill Pertler

It’s been said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. From now until April 15, the majority of law-abiding citizens will be compelled to pay attention to the latter. I’m no exception. I pulled out my tax stuff last weekend and attempted to make sense of those pesky little things called numbers. I sat at the dining room table, accompanied by a heaping pile of receipts from 2013, and scanned each slip for business expenses and other tax-deductible items.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:20 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:21 PM )
A trip to the mall
By Jill Pertler

My husband is not a frequent shopper. He avoids the hobby. Abhor is a strong word, but I think it’s pretty close to how my husband regards the in-store experience. You can imagine my surprise when he initiated the task last Saturday. We were out of town, at a weekend sports tournament with one of our kids, hanging out in the hotel between games, when he stood up from his chair and uttered the five words I’ve never heard him say: “I’m going to the mall.”

I would have accompanied him, but someone had to supervise our kid. So I sent him — alone. Innocent and inexperienced. To the mall. Like a lamb to the slaughter.

I knew there was a reason for his trip. He needed leather gloves and we hadn’t been able to find a suitable pair thus far this year. I also knew when he returned there’d be a story. He didn’t disappoint.

The good news: He found his leather gloves. The bad news: In order to purchase them,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 1:52 PM
How low will we go?
By Jill Pertler

We’ve sunk to a new low. It’s a fashion faux pas of the dire, denim variety. I’m referring to jeans — waistbands in particular.
Remember when pants used to sit at your waist, not three inches below? Now, we wear low rise, which is designer secret code for ugly butt, muffin top. Low rise is nothing new. They’ve been around for years, and quite frankly the trend is making me cranky. Let the low-rise fad fade, please.
When wearing the mini-zippered denim devils, you definitely do not want to drop your muffin, because bending over in low risers is not for the faint of heart or ample of rear. It’s all about physics and gravity and other scientific concepts too complex to explore here, but I’ll try. When your waistband is already riding low,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:01 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:26 PM )
Smoothies and kayaks
By Jill Pertler

I wanted a kayak. It was a simple request I repeated repeatedly. I talked about how we would go kayaking this summer on the lake. We’d have a blast making family memories while building our triceps and getting a tan. I communicated as clearly as I could, in English, which is the language they speak.
I wanted a kayak. They got me a blender.
There was a reason for their actions. They like smoothies. And, despite the allure of a sleek kayak cutting through the cool, clear water, it was a distant vision. In my climate zone, you can’t kayak in the winter. You have to wait until summer. Smoothies are available all times of the year — for those with the machinery to

Tuesday, February 04, 2014 2:20 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 04, 2014 2:47 PM )

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