Who’s The Crazy One: Marianne Or Me?

I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room Wednesday when it happened.

The Marianne Incident.

I was there for my yearly physical. I was feeling friendly and chipper despite being denied my morning coffee (stupid fasting cholesterol test!).

After I checked in at the front desk, I scanned the waiting room to decide where I would spend the next 5 to 45 minutes waiting to be called.

As with any waiting room or public sitting situation of any kind, it’s nice to always keep at least a one chair distance between you and the next person. More room is obviously great, but you’d like at least one empty chair as a buffer if at all possible. Who wants to skim arms with a total stranger if you don’t have to, amiright?

As I surveyed the situation, I saw two possible seating situations. There was a seat with TWO chairs between the next closest person. (YAY!) This looked good except that the next closest person was coughing vigorously. I just knew he was totally capable of hacking a pathogen straight into my lungs. Not optimal.

Thus, I chose the only other obvious seat…a chair on the end of a row separated from a normal looking lady by one chair. I plopped down.

To review the seating chart it was….ME….EMPTY CHAIR…MARIANNE. (I know her name was Marianne because later she went back to the catacombs of the examination area after the name “Marianne” was called)

The Seating Chart

Oh, except for one thing…the empty chair actually wasn’t totally empty. Marianne had her purse sitting in it right next to her.

After I took my Kindle out of my purse to settle in for a nice bit of reading, I zipped up my purse and also set in the empty chair right next to me.

The chair was wide enough so that our purses were not touching at all. In fact, there was a sizable gap between them. I wasn’t rummaging through my purse or touching it. I just sat it there next to Marianne’s purse in the empty chair and turned my attention to my Kindle.

Or at least that’s what I did until I had the feeling that someone was watching me. It turned out to be a disgruntled Marianne looking something like this…

angry-stare (1)


Me: Me?


Me: Oh…I just thought we’d share the purse chair.

I mean, isn’t that the purpose of a purse chair? It forms a comfortable distance between you and a stranger, and nobody has to balance her purse in her lap or put it on the floor. Everybody wins!

This was not Marianne’s philosophy. I know this because after she finished yelling, she dramatically snatched her purse out of the chair, shot straight out of her seat, and moved all the way across the waiting room to get as far away from me as possible.

All remaining eyes were on me. Without trying, I had repelled a grown woman across the room. She’d rather sit next to a guy would would almost certainly give her TB than spend one more minute next to me. Awkward.

I immediately did what any normal person would do. I whipped out my cell phone and began excitedly texting the entire story to Ashley!  Ashley’s verdict: Marianne was a nut.

But now I want your opinion. Who was the crazy one here, me or Marianne? Did I brazenly step over the line of normal societal behavior by putting my purse next to hers…or…was Marianne obviously overreacting in a way that suggests stability isn’t her strong suit?



Top 10 Funniest Ways People Have Found Our Blog

For those of you who are unfamiliar with blogging, you may not know that we get a great many readers from Google search terms. Every time someone types something into Google, they have a shot at finding us.

Sometimes these terms are obvious and don’t surprise us when we see them…for instance, when we see “The Dose of Reality blog” we figure they were looking for us. Others, though, can leave us scratching our heads and wondering just how that combination of words sent them here. And of course, many of them leave us laughing.

So, check out the top 10 funniest ways people have found our blog:

Woman Running In Pajamas: You know, we are women. And we love pajamas. Running, not so much. Although, if we are being completely honest here, we would be most likely to even consider running if we could do it in our pajamas, so maybe this search term will prove to be inspiring. Or make us millionaires when we invent the first line of pajama athletic wear.

Say Yes To Neil Diamond and No To Barry Manilow: The joy this search term brought us can be perfectly summed up with this Facebook status from Lisa.


Is Anyone Else Tired Of Hearing Stay At Home Moms Complain:  We feel like this might have been a disappointing search result. Chances are that reader probably didn’t permanently bookmark our site, right?

Hoarding Coffee Creamer:  Oh, the happiness seeing this search term gave us! Because, you know what, everyone needs to hoard something, so why not coffee creamer? If loving coffee cream is wrong, Ashley doesn’t want to be right.Coffee Cream PinFunniest Things Ever Said: No pressure, though, right? I mean our hats are off to Google for even suggesting us for such a topic, except it kind of leaves us feeling a lot of pressure. Hope that reader didn’t come here on an off day!

Moron Mom Cindy:  This one left us feeling a little bitter and hostile, actually. I mean, hello, neither one of us are named Cindy.

Never Let Anyone Steal My Sparkle: Oh Tierra from The Bachelor, thank you for the gift that just keeps on giving. Without your life lessons, how would any of us have learned the value of waterproof mascara?

Inside A Messy Car: Clearly, this person did not leave disappointed. Chances are good, they actually left feeling a lot better about the state of their own vehicle. MessyCarWhen Is Dose Of Reality Going To Be In Theaters: A question we obviously ask ourselves daily, as well. The invitations to the Oscars don’t send themselves, you know. And thanks for the vote of confidence Google…we would be happy just to chat it up with Oprah, but an actual movie about us…WOW!

What’s The Name Of Those Parachute Looking 1980s Shirts With Shoulder Pads:  Actually, we would like to know, too. Truly, though, if there is any better way to lead a reader here than our love of 80′s fads and our inability to dress ourselves in fashion less than two decades in the past, we don’t know what it is. Google, you rock.


So, tell us in the comments which search term is your favorite. Or if you really want to be bold on this Wednesday, share the craziest thing you have ever Googled!



Operation Christmas Child

As mothers, we feel especially called to teaching our children about philanthropy and giving back. We consider our children very fortunate to have more than they need and certainly plenty of what they want.

When we were presented with the opportunity to participate in a campaign to raise awareness for Operation Christmas Child, there was no question we were saying yes. Since 1993 over 100 million children worldwide have received boxes thanks to this amazing organization. We have actually packed boxes in both of our families for many years, so our kids were ready to dive right in and help to do their part!

OCCBlog2We decided to use shoebox sized plastic bins instead of actual shoeboxes for the gifts, because they last longer. Once we’d found the perfect size, we got to work filling them up. Each of our children painstakingly picked the items for the child in their age group. (Painstaking is the perfect word here. What we thought would be a 30 minute shopping trip because we already had an extensive list of items ready, turned into a 1 ½ hour shopping extravaganza. Never have you seen children debate the merits of different toothpastes or pencils like our crew. They were intense! You could see their pride as they found the perfect toothbrush or the coziest pair of socks.)

Once we finished shopping and felt certain that nothing good had been left out we let the kids pack their own bins. They were so excited and really had fun admiring their choices!

We talked a lot while we were watching them prepare their boxes about what we were doing and why we were doing it. We talked a lot about the children who would be receiving their gifts and how they might feel when they opened them. It seemed important to really point out the appreciation a child might have for owning a flashlight or wearing a shiny new watch. We decided which small toys might be their favorite and the many uses of a brand new tennis ball. All the kids really seemed to “get” the fact that what they were doing was truly going to make a difference in the life of a child. A child who is just like them.

From our youngest to our oldest, we saw the joy that giving can bring. We saw the pride they felt when there bin was full to the brim. We saw that they truly understand the mission of Operation Christmas Child and why they were lucky to be involved. As mothers, we felt grateful to have been able to share this moment with our children.

This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.

This is a sponsored conversation written by The Dose of Reality on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all ours.

Pinterest Nightmare #755: Sign Me Up!

As we were thinking about what we might put on the blog for today it dawned on us: We haven’t featured a Pinterest Nightmare in a long time.

As I thought about Pinterest, I realized I have been pinning a lot of great and useful things recently. There have been delicious recipes using less than 5 ingredients (only two of which must be special ordered!), essential articles on 52 ways to tie a scarf, and timely info on the use of gourds in my fall tablescapes.

OH, NO!!! Are there no longer beauties like the Uroclub to be found or even Meggings to keep us tossing and turning in our sleep? Is there not one questionable tattoo left to be photographed?

I was a little bit nervous heading over to my computer to check it out. What if Pinterest has gone totally legit? *sob*

As I typed my favorite search terms into the box at the top (“weird”, “crazy”, “horrible”, “stupid”), I held my breath a little bit and pressed the enter key.

Before my eyes was a deluge of hideous products and ridiculous photos. It felt like Christmas morning! (or maybe like I accidentally took a Percocet left over from my surgery instead of Allegra this morning.) It was an embarrassment of riches!

Oh, Pinterest! I should have known you’d never let me down!

Because it was hard to pick just *one* nightmare this week, we’ve decided to bring you some of the best signs (of the apocalypse) found on Pinterest!


Pinterest Nightmare #755a: Signs That We Might Be Too Distracted

As pinned from collegehumor.com

You might think the presence of the pole itself would be enough warning that a pole was there. You might even think it’s obvious you do not want to hit the pole. Amateurs! WRONG! Distracted drivers desperately trying to find the latest Taylor Swift single on Spotify make this sign a total necessity!


As pinned from collegehumor.com

The doorway, knob, and hinges are really not enough clues that this door might open at some point, especially if you are walking around with your head hunched over a smart phone checking Instagram. Thanks for the heads-up, bro!


As pinned from collegehumor.com

I can’t decide.  Is this more for distracted walkers who don’t realize that hitting grass and barreling into shrubbery signifies the end of the sidewalk, or is someone at City Hall just a huge Shel Silverstein fan?

But not all signs are for the unobservant. Some signs lead me to believe someone, somewhere just got hit with a lawsuit…

Pinterest Nightmare #755b: Signs That Someone Recently Retained Legal Counsel

There’s no denying it. Modern society is litigious. Sometimes it’s best to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

As pinned from collegehumor.com

I concede that most people instinctively open the box *before* eating their pizza (unless they are really lacking fiber in their diet). But until you’ve seen a scrum of hungry frat boys attack a stack of deep dish pies after finals, don’t discount the necessity of this warning.


As pinned from collegehumor.com

How many times do you think this happened before someone broke down, located a Sharpie and electrical tape, and hung this sign? This happened enough times to warrant a sign, people. Let’s all sit and think about that…actually…let’s not.



As pinned from collegehumor.com

I know we have to be careful so we don’t expose ourselves to legal liability, but it’s signs like this that prove lawyers take the fun out of everything! They want to take a simple stroll down a lovely pier and turn it into an activity to be feared! It’s like we’re taking our lives into our own hands if we want to enjoy a walk out over the water. Drama queens!

Sometimes a sign is helpful and informative, it just could have used a little more thought (or proofreading) before actually going to print…

Pinterest Nighmare #755c: Signs That Should Have Been Run By Management 

As pinned from teamjimmyjoe.com

While I appreciate their attempt to give me plenty of time to shop, I hope the extra two days they are giving me are a Saturday and Sunday. I’m going to balk at doubling up on Mondays, and don’t even try to slip an extra Thursday in there. (Who wants to bet that they also have a sign that says “Open 26 Hours A Day”?)


As pinned from teamjimmyjoe.com

Oh, they were *this* close to giving us the perfect public safety campaign!


Everybody is not always welcome at every location. Sometimes you’ve got to put up a sign to make sure the wrong type doesn’t sneak in.

Pinterest Nightmare #755d: Signs To keep The Riff-Raff Out

As pinned from rainbeforerainbows.com

Someone really, REALLY hates Vespas, don’t they?


As pinned from uncoached.com

This door is for members and non members only! Don’t even think about trying to get in if you are not a member or a non member. We hate to be so exclusionary, but we have to keep our standards up.


As pinned from Huffingtonpost.com

This is why the seagull is known as the Clint Eastwood of birds. “Yeah, I’m on the sign. What are you going to do about it? Go ahead, punk, make my day.”

Oh, Pinterest. No…just no.  (Except for you, Mr. Seagull. Rock on with your bad self.)