Monthly Archives: February 2016

8 Things You Never Want to Hear…Behind You

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - SEP 9: people demonstrate against encrease of GEMA fees on SEP 9, 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany. New GEMA regulations for music increase at max 1000 percent.

1. I can’t remember when they said I was past the contagious stage.

2. That is not a flashlight.

3. You found it. You hold it.

4. It’s only toxic if it’s exposed to oxyge…who opened this?

5. Don’t worry. They don’t have a clear shot from there.

6. My bed is crawling with them.

7. As long as you keep the pin in, we’re good.

8. (Wait for it…)

Many years ago, when I was in Atlanta working on a TV commercial, my crew and the people from the advertising agency were staying at a hotel with the biggest elevator I had ever seen. It easily held 100 people.

One day I was crammed in the elevator with 99 other people, including a British advertising executive. Standing in the middle, smooshed between passengers, you could hear a pin drop. Apparently there is some sort of ‘giant elevator decorum’ wherein people basically hold their collective breath and remain mute when packed into a colossal box hurtling toward the ground, hundreds of feet per second.

The ad exec, whom we shall call John Constable, and who spoke with a crisp upper crust English accent, stood behind me. He cleared his throat, and said quite distinctly, “Pamela, dear.”

98 people craned around to look at me, suddenly aware that I was Pamela, dear, and whatever the proper Englishman had to say must be very important, because that sort of accent just oozes credibility, like Helen Mirren, or the BBC.

“Yes?” I replied, slightly concerned. (What on earth couldn’t wait another 20 floors until we were at the fifth floor, where we were to disembark and meet the rest of our team, and could have a conversation like normal people rather than articulate sardines?)

Mr. Constable had a keen sense of timing. “How’d that abortion work out?” he asked.

The elevator seemed to decelerate at that point, doing less hurtling and more standing still. About half the people had turned to look at me, waiting for some sort of reply. My armpits were burning up, and the blood had drained from my extremities and  internal organs, gushing to my face, which bore an expression that said, “I got nothin’.” I couldn’t breathe.

Ding. The doors opened on the fifth floor. Grinning, John slipped through the crowd like an eel, stepped out of the elevator, and walked away.

I croaked out something that was meant to resemble “excuse me, pardon me,” but it came out, “eheheh, pppppuh,” as I maneuvered like a sloth in Velveeta to the front of the car.

Some folks looked at me with pity, others glared, as though I were Kanye, and they, Taylor Swift. My eyes were cast downward. It was all I could do to get off the elevator without spontaneously combusting.

20+ years later, I still don’t have a good retort, but I lie in wait for John Constable to cross my path again. Disguised as a potted plant, or perhaps a nun (Oh, how the English love a good nun costume!), I shall wait until we are in a packed elevator, quiet and solemn as a church, and from the back, when he least expects it, I shall ask Mr. Constable whether he has stopped beating his wife.


Check out Pam’s podcast on Authors Talk About It. (It’s one of her finest!)


Click here to listen to Pam’s hilarious new essay in her Public Radio series “Wisconsin Tough.”

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Authors Talk About It Podcast featuring Pam Ferderbar


Listen to Pam’s interview with Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D. , Sexual Energy Experts & Author Mentors/Coaches

Janelle and Rob were lovely – super high energy (must be all the sex!) and so easy to talk with – they made me feel very comfortable. I was at the top of my game for this one! It’s a fun podcast, so enjoy!


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5 Things in My Book of Things Too Good to Be True

Book of things too good

1. Having a Macy’s coupon applicable to something you actually want to buy.

Perfume? Only an idiot would think you could use a coupon for that. Joe’s jeans? Idiot 2.0. Make-up, Michael Kors anything, the one bra that fits perfectly, or the gloves your mom wants for her birthday? No, nada, nyet and nein.

Macy’s will take the coupon in the swimsuit department. In January. (Wisconsin stores only.)


2. Having your hair look crappy before going to the salon, so that you feel good about getting it cut.

The exact opposite of this is The Law of Inverse Coiffure (also known as a Charlotte Moment), and is explained in greater detail, thusly:

“The attractiveness of a coif in the moments immediately leading up to a styling appointment is inversely proportional to the hideousness of one’s hair the day following the appointment, and which lasts until the moments immediately preceding the next styling appointment, when the hair exhibits coiffure excellency for a period of time not to exceed two hours.”

This is based on the same principal as “Toast must fall peanut butter side down on a filthy floor.” Note: butter, Nutella or any thick sticky substance may be substituted for peanut butter, but the floor will be filthy no matter what.


3. That your boyfriend will give you a second chance.

You will be in a restaurant in New York City, and you will tell your bf, “Hey, look. Yoko Ono is at the next table,” only to have the bf suggest that you put on your glasses. The woman at the next table is in fact Asian, but is not in fact, Yoko Ono.

When 10 seconds later, Yoko Ono actually appears outside the window, right behind your boyfriend’s head, the bf flat out refuses to look, vowing, “I’m not falling for that again.” While the bf sits steadfastly facing forward, just 2’ away, Yoko laughs with her friends, swings a little kid by the arms, and eventually notices you staring at her with your mouth open. She smiles and blows you a kiss.

At the exact moment as you return the kiss, your bf finally turns around, but Mrs. Lennon has walked away. This is the Law of Inverse Ono.


4. That on the very day you are late for every single appointment, harried and frantic, someone at the grocery store, anyone, will recognize that you only have two items, and they will let you go to the front of a check-out line.

One evening in Los Angeles, I was late for a dinner party after an entire day of disasters, unforeseen traumas, an LAPD SWAT team in my driveway, and, as it was the day after a salon appointment, my hair looked like crap.

I grabbed two bottles of wine at Whole Foods, only to find long lines at every single checkout, with the exception of one counter where a lady had just pulled up with two overflowing carts, and three children in tow. Perfect.

I asked if I might, since I was dreadfully late to an event, just squeak past her with my two little bottles of wine. Cash transaction. Quick quick quick like bunny. What could go wrong? Sweet mother of Zeus, she went berserk.

“Who do you think you are, some childless princess, and the world owes you everything just because you wear high heels and drink wine?! Do you not see that I have screaming children (FYI they weren’t screaming until she unleashed her anti-princess-in-high-heels tirade) and a shit ton of perishables? How selfish are you people?!” Then she flapped her arms.

I don’t remember what happened next, except that I know molten lava formed in my inner ears and flowed down into my armpits.

(Now, when I am at the market and have a lot of groceries to check out, I scan the area to see if there is anyone with a couple of items, looking anxious and sheepish, and I insist that they go ahead of me. I believe that some day, in some city, in some grocery store, someone will return the favor.)


5. Having visited the gym, shower and salon on the same day as you run into your ex.

Even if you are the one who ended it, and you did it as humanely as humanly possible, who doesn’t want to look like a million bucks when you bump into an ex? That is truly in my book of things to good to be true, because what is more likely to happen is an event filed under “The Immutable Law of Catastrophe.”

This is the scenario in which you hadn’t been to the gym that day, or in the entire month leading up to it, your last hair appointment was the day before (crap hair), and two home invasion suspects had hopped your fence, tossed a firearm into your pool, and were refusing to “come out with your hands up” when the police surrounded your Sherman Oaks home.

In this situation, you are denied access to your abode for a duration of 4.25 hours, during which time you might have showered, put on clean clothes, make-up and possibly even done something with your hair. Instead, in The Law of Immutable Catastrophe, you will be allowed into your house with only enough time to let the dogs out, exchange smelly sneakers for high heels, then turn around and head to a dinner party for which you are already late.

You will pass a Whole Foods, and think, “I should bring something to the dinner.” You’ll swing into the parking lot, dodge the people trying to get you to sign a “Rename Uranus Now” petition, race into the store, grab two bottles of cabernet, and freak out when you see each checkout line is at least 20 minutes long.

Then, under a pot light in the ceiling that has created a halo over the head of a female figure with two heaping carts of groceries, and three little cherubs in tow, you see that perhaps the first and only good thing to happen all day…is about to happen.

Not only does the good thing not happen, but your armpits go on fire when the crazy lady starts screaming at you, causing you to sweat through a T-shirt you suddenly realize you slept in the night before.

You don’t know how you got there, but you find yourself in the parking lot with a security guard chasing you down because you ran out without paying for the wine. The Rename Uranus people look away, you are so disgusting.

You’re sweaty and stained, with bad hair, a red face and possibly wearing handcuffs when your ex rolls up and parks right beside you.

If I were he, this would be filed under, “Bwaaaaaaahahahaha.”


Click here to listen to Pam’s hilarious new essay in her Public Radio series “Wisconsin Tough.”

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Valentine’s Day. Perception v reality.

A guest blog.

VDAY Meh blog pic

There are two holidays I used to have a love/hate relationship with: New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. This was when I was younger, and there was an expectation that the events of both nights would go down in history, respectively, as THE MOST FUN EVER and THE MOST ROMANTIC EVER.

Now I’m pretty meh toward both. This is a function of having lived through years of disappointment every December 31st and February 14th since the time I was twelve, and did not get a “Be My Valentine” card from Jeff Sordman—the only boy in school I liked. He gave a Valentine to Suzie Schnitzer instead. I sensed he was barking up the wrong tree with her, which I came to understand a few years later, when in college, Schnitzer came out. (How’d that work out for you, Jeffie?)

I can’t even count the New Year’s Eves that went down in flames, and not in a good way. After about five or six years of disastrous New Year’s Eves, I started to notice a pattern. In the days leading up to the “big night,” the guy’s ardor would begin to cool. 10x a day phone calls dwindled to one or two texts that mainly consisted of “TTYL.”

If I am honest, I knew even then my new dress, shoes and perfume would not find me at midnight on December 31st, dancing in the moonlight with my love, exchanging bodily fluids by 12:15A. I felt it in my gut, but told myself the clothes and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely spritzed liberally on my neck were irresistible, and who on earth would break up with a person the day of New Year’s Eve? I don’t want to sound too pathetic, so let’s just say their numbers are in double digits.

People have suggested that guys do this as a slick way of being cheap, but I don’t think that’s it. Why would anyone throw out a perfectly good girlfriend just to save a couple hundred bucks? Which brings us to Valentine’s Day. Take the exact same scenario as New Year’s Eve, add lingerie, and boom.

“I think we both know this isn’t going anywhere,” he would begin, and I would think, Oh hell, yes it is. It is going to dinner and then…

And again, people tell me that getting broken up with on February 13th is a maneuver devised to save the cost of flowers, chocolate and dinner. Never mind we’ve spent twice that on Victoria’s Secret and bikini wax.

The reason guys choke, I believe, is that there is too much pressure to be “in love” on these holidays. And I don’t mean in love, like with Manolo Blahnik or Scarlett Johansson. I mean in love with…gulp…each other. Seriously, there is only one conclusion a person can draw from a heart-filled, Cupidly jubilee that encourages people to wear insufficient undergarments and skyscraper high heels. It is that big pizza pie called amore.

Guys are scared to even say the words I love you, yet on this particular day they’re supposed to express it with chocolate, flowers and Cruel Intentions by Kilian. (I’m just sayin’, you know, in case someone did want to say the “L” word with fragrance.)

This Valentine’s Day I have outsmarted the goddesses of doom, as I have three guys that I am dating, one of whom is sure to step up and make this a nice, no pressure, chill V-day.

There’s my go-to weasel (did I say that out loud?) Joey—he’s broke, slightly dim and always on the make, but sexy as hell. I recently met a nice plastic surgeon, Dr. Dirk Belmont, and he has taken a shining to me. As he is a physician, I am fairly certain he knows his way around a girl’s heart.

And lastly, Kwan. This guy. (Cue eye roll.) He shows up with Chinese food I didn’t even order, then he babbles about good luck and bad luck and mandarin ducks that are supposed to represent boom-shaka-laka. I don’t know what to make of him, but eggrolls are an excellent choice for any special occasion.

Anyway, I think we should all just relax on Valentine’s Day. Don’t expect proclamations of love or bejeweled underpants and we are good to go. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day!

Charlotte sign AM

Click here to listen to Pam’s hilarious new essay in her Public Radio series “Wisconsin Tough.”

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Winter preparedness goes awry


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Winter Preparedness Goes Awry for Girl Learning to Ski

by Pam Ferderbar

From the essay series Wisconsin Tough for Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television

Winter Preparedness

One chubby kid, a roll of duct tape and a blind school. What could go wrong? CLICK HERE

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How the Rich Are Different from Other People


Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of articles on this subject, and I am amazed that anyone at all feels the need to itemize, explain, elucidate and otherwise point out how rich people are different from people who are not rich. For one thing, and it seems rather obvious, rich people have more money. This is usually evident in the following ways:



Space tourism

I couldn’t help but notice there is a dearth of reading material entitled, “How the Poor Are Different from Other People.” I think that is because far more people associate themselves with being poor than consider themselves rich, and if you’re looking at the other side of the tracks you want to at least see a Maybach parked in the driveway, or the Christian Louboutin deliveryman offloading boxes of red-soled stilettoes at the back door.

No one is clamoring to hear how difficult it is to make ends meet—pay the rent or mortgage, finance the kid’s braces, or set money aside for college, weddings or the family vacay to Wally World. And to be honest, these are not really the concerns of “the poor.”

The poor have much smaller fish to fry, if they have anything to eat at all. When you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, whether you will have a roof over your head next month, or you rely on charity for winter shoes without holes in the soles, then the idea that the rich live differently from “the rest of us” takes on less significance than the possibility of life on Mars. It’s the here and now – right here, right now—that commands your full attention just so you might survive another day.

I’ll admit there’s a certain appeal to comparing myself—my “poor” self, to someone who is rich—rich by popular culture/reality TV standards. But when I feel a twinge of longing for a stadium-sized closet filled with designer clothes and accessories, a seat on a Gulfstream G650, or to own a private island, I experience a slightly stronger pang of guilt over the fact that I must force myself to feel hungry on occasion in an effort to lose belly fat, and even then I usually give up and tuck into a fully stocked pantry for some abundantly satisfying snack, such as Popchips sea salt potato chips or Trader Joe’s organic popcorn with olive oil. I’m fairly certain actual poor people do not have pantries.

We’ve all heard about trophy wife bonuses, safe rooms, mega super yachts and the hunting of endangered animals, but to a lot of people, buying a Starbucks latte might as well be a $180,000,000 Picasso. Perspective is everything. A person needs a glass before they can answer whether theirs is half empty or half full.

US Weekly has a section devoted to the similarities between the rich and famous, and you and me; Stars! They’re Just Like Us! 


“They Share Gum! Courtside!!!”

Perhaps Channing Tatum and his wifey can afford $2500-$7000 each for courtside Lakers tickets, or maybe they were a gift. Either way, most people can’t spend in excess of $5,000 on date night ($6,000 if you count nachos and beer at the Staples Center).

Just like us? Not. So. Much.

As one would expect, I have a theory about our cultural desire to compare the way we fare to how “the other half” lives, which everyone knows is actually 49% less than an actual half. We can’t bear the thought of so many people having less than what they need to survive that we numb ourselves to the inequities by pretending we are hard-done-by ourselves. If having a $35,000 Birkin bag means a person is rich, than by comparison I am poor, and if I am poor, with my pantry and warm bed and winter boots, then poor people are doing just fine. But in our heart of hearts, no amount of Botox, Birkin or Beverly Hills is going to convince us that’s true.

Maybe once a month, instead of buying a $5 magazine that tells us how similar we are to the rich and famous, we could drop a few bucks into the poor box at church, or at Goodwill, Purple Heart or the local food pantry, and try to soften the line between us, and the truly less fortunate. CharityWatch.Org


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