Calendar Boys

Calendar Boysby Margo Hollinger

One of the best things about starting a new year, in my opinion at any rate, is getting to buy a new calendar. As anticipated, this year is shaping up quite well thanks to the Mustang calendar I purchased at the end of last December. Twelve months of different Mustangs—there is no way this is going to be a loser year.

Until a few years ago, I took the cheapskate route when it came to calendars. Freebies from our insurance agent, local pharmacy or City Council were good enough to scribble notes about then monthly trips to the orthodontist for our sons, reminders to give the dog his heart worm pill and the other obligations of our small family.

But the men in my life decided I deserved something a little better on which to coordinate the ebb and flow of our social life. So, one Christmas morning they presented me with a Beatles calendar. I have to admit it was a nice change to mash potatoes under Paul McCartney’s soulful gaze as opposed to reading Safe Driving Tips (from the insurance agency calendar), Lowering Your Cholesterol Painlessly (pharmacy) or Compost and You! (City Council).

Like all good things, that year ended and I put the Fab Four in the recycling bin. That was when my youngest son generously offered to share his new wrestling calendar with the entire family. Not wanting to hurt his feelings (and yielding to my always frugal nature), I accepted. So on January 1 our life with the WWE stars began, kicking off 12 uncomfortable months of sharing my kitchen with heavily tattooed, overly muscled men wearing sneers, and incredibly tiny shorts.

I quickly discovered that there is something decidedly unnerving about tossing a salad or frosting cupcakes with a man who goes by the name The Undertaker glaring over my shoulder. And reminders such as “make appointment for annual mammogram” seemed far too personal to write under a picture of a man with a waxed chest and a name like Scotty 2 Hotty. By July, even my husband, who normally doesn’t notice anything that is happening beyond the five foot radius surrounding his recliner, began making remarks about the appetite-suppressing qualities of diningin the shadow of scantily clad professional wrestlers.

“I’ll be glad when this year is over,” he said as he eyed Mr. Magnificient—or perhaps it was Mr. Amazing. “Can’t we get a decent kitchen calendar? Maybe something with flowers or kittens?”

“Just a few more months,” I told him because even though I too cringed around the wrestlers, trying to find a current calendar in the middle of summer was like trying to find a snowball in August.

The year finally came to an end with me a far wiser woman. I went shopping for our next kitchen calendar by myself and on the next New year’s Day I put it up: a wholesome Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang calendar with nary a tattoo or a sneer in sight.

To Linus, happiness is a warm puppy. To me, it’s a calendar where everyone keeps their clothes on and drives a Mustang.
Marlo is the author of Midlife Crisis Mystery, Catered To Death. 

Steve and Dee Dee Pearson enjoy that rare thing–a happy marriage. The only fly in their marital bliss is the fact that they are approaching retirement with only one pension (Steve’s). Dee Dee hopes to remedy their financial situation by starting a catering business. Her first job is at Eden Academy, a private school staffed by teachers who loathe one another and a principal who is strongly lacking in principles, especially when it comes to his female employees. When the principal winds up dead after Dee Dee’s luncheon, Dee Dee’s paycheck is put on what looks like permanent hold. Dee Dee decides to help find out who murdered the principal so that she can be assured that her very first catering job will be paid in full. Dee Dee investigates all of the teachers at Eden Academy and discovers that any one of them could have finished off their boss.

About Marlo: Marlo Hollinger grew up in the Midwest where she enjoyed reading, watching too many made-for-t.v. movies and imagining dark secrets and ulterior motives in just about everyone she met. Her first Midlife Crisis mystery, CATERED TO DEATH, centers around Steve and DeeDee Pearson, a happily married couple who stumble upon a murder and take it upon themselves to solve it. Marlo continues to live in the Midwest with her husband, two sons and four cats where she still imagines dark secrets and ulterior motives in just about everyone she meets.

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