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February 2010

Dear Madrone,

Help me, I am going crazy. For the life of me, I cannot remember  names. Well, I can remember the name all right, I just never can attach it to the right face.  Seriously.  And people remember mine, no problem, maybe because I always wear a necklace that says who I am.  I got it from my mother, may she rest. Why donít all people do this? But they donít. So what am I supposed to do when someone comes up to me and talks like they know me from way back, and is delighted to remember all the good times we shared, and how much we owe each other, and I donít know them from Adam and they DONíT TELL ME WHO THEY ARE!   I made the mistake, the other day, of saying, excuse me, but where do I know you from? to someone who ran up to me by the Vidalia onions at the CostCo (the price was unbelievable) and threw their arms around me, and hugged me like I was their long lost sister.  Turns out, I was.  This was not good.  And then there was the gentleman and his two little boys who saw me waiting for a bus and pulled up and said, let me give you a ride, itís the least I can do, and I pulled out the pepper spray, told him to back off before I called for help.  He was understandably miffed, as last summer, I had saved the younger of the two boys from drowning at the community pool.  How can I handle these awkward moments?


Logan City

Dear Amnesiac,

There is a name for what you have, but I forget it. Shame on you, you didnít do something like associate the name Mary with Hairy (like if a person named Mary forgot to use the depilatory on her mustache) or Ned with Head(Ned looks like a big cabbage patch doll, all bald and puffy-  head of cabbage)   

So youíre left with no good options.  A person remembers you, you donít remember them. Itís insulting to the person, no matter how you slice it.  So the question is really, how hard do you want to slap them in the face?  Youíve got two choices,  neither of them particularly good. Fake it or admit it. Faking it is the best choice, as long as you donít get caught.  Admitting it is admirable, but there is no way to do it without sounding like you have a stake up your whatsis.  Honesty has its limitations.    

There is one other way, but you really need a pair to make this work. When the person comes up to you, all friendly and familiar and you have no clue, and faking it is out of the question, knock them over, and grab their wallet and look at the ID. When they get all in your face about it, you can say, Listen, __________________(here is the important part, call them by their name, the name you just found out.) Iím so sorry, I thought you remembered that Iíve been in the hospital with  Sydenham's chorea, (Memorize this!! ) I told everyone.

This is guaranteed to work. No party concerned will ever forget the other again.

God bless, Donna

Dear Readers  

          January is over- So I figure you've already messed up your resolutions.  They're a waste of time, if you ask me, which you should. Hereís my advice.

1.     Take stock of who has what you want, and how badly you want it. Kiss up accordingly.

2.     Figure out who wants what you have.   Decide whether or not you want to give it to them and what they have to do to get it.


Thatís about all you need to know.  God bless!




Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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