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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.



Car talk
By Jill Pertler

As drivers, we all possess certain pieces of equipment related to the operation of our vehicles. A license is a good start. Keys are a necessary second. GPS comes in handy for new and distant destinations. We all understand the importance of plenty of window washer fluid and regular oil changes. Car air fresheners work as fragrant reminders of a tropical island while on the Interstate. All these items help make life on the road safer and easier. But something’s missing. It’s a tool that we don’t have — yet — but I wish we did. It involves communication. Not with your passengers. Not with your spouse via cellphone, but with those who share the road with you. Drivers have a need to communicate

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 9:46 AM
 
An ode to true love
By Jill Pertler

My husband and I have been married for 20-something years. I thought I knew the exact number by heart, however, during a recent conversation, he corrected my math. I’d been adding an extra 365 days to the duration of our wedded bliss. That’s a whole year. This made me feel a little guilty. Like I take our time together for granted. Which I try not to. But I do, I guess, on occasion.

Twenty-something is a long time, by anyone’s standards. Together we’ve weathered one baby’s colic and three teens’ behind-the-wheel instructions. We’ve made car and mortgage payments (on time, mostly), installed kitchen sinks and bathroom fixtures while attempting

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:02 AM
 
Living room hockey
By Jill Pertler

For more years than I’d like to admit, there have been two mainstays inhabiting my living room floor: mini-hockey sticks and nets. (Dust bunnies are a third, but they don’t go with my theme.)

Bright orange floor hockey nets serve as near-permanent fixtures, flanking either side of the room. I step over them to readjust the coffee table, which was displaced to make space for the boys’ game. Returning the furniture to its rightful spot is often a twice-daily ritual, completed in the morning and then again before dinner. It’s a real biceps builder, but I don’t like to brag.

I contend with floor hockey equipment.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:30 AM
 
Pet talk
By Jill Pertler

Yesterday, I accidentally stepped on the cat’s tail, and she let me know I’d committed an error of a horrendous nature. I apologized profusely, of course, but she wasn’t in the mood to forgive. She doesn’t take kindly to tail endangerment.

This isn’t the first time I’ve apologized to my pets — or conversed with them. Far from it. When my dog is lying on the stairway landing and I have to step over her, I say, “Excuse me,” like I owe her that. I also speak platitudes to my animals. They are so pretty. So darling. The nicest kitty — or puppy — ever.

I don’t know if they understand a

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:23 AM
 
The biggest losers
By Jill Pertler

I live in a family of losers, and admit somewhat reluctantly that I am one of the chief contributors to our misplacements. I am responsible for some sort of loss nearly every day; and it’s not in any way related to weight, unfortunately. My purse, sunglasses and car keys are all fair game. I am not alone. My oldest son occasionally loses money at the casino. My husband also loses cash but in a different way; it jumps from his wallet to the kids’ pockets. We lose hockey games and the TV remote. Our batteries lose their charge. We lose socks in the dryer all the time.

Our home is like a black hole for any number of losable

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:29 AM
 
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
 
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