Dear Holly: Your Surprise Christmas Gift Arrived in the Mail!

1 year, 8 months.

Dear Holly,

The plan was for Uncle Joe, Aunt Rebecca, and your cousin Savannah to drive up from Pensacola to spend the Christmas holidays in Alabama with us at Nonna and Papa’s house. That was inspired by how well their Thanksgiving visit went just a month earlier.

However, the three of them got way too sick to ever leave Florida. So sadly, unfortunately, we didn’t get to see them as planned.

But even still, our family was pleasantly surprised this past week when an expected box arrived on our doorstep.

It turns out, Aunt Rebecca had our Christmas gifts shipped to us in the mail, so we could celebrate Christmas a little bit longer, into the new year.

I loved watching you open your gift. Your face lit up, “Baby!!!”

It was a Cabbage Patch Kids Cuties doll. And since that day you opened it, you’ve yet to spend a day without it.

You take the doll with you to bed, you push it in the stroller, and you attempt to even eat your meals with it.

As for your brother Jack, he was obviously pleased to receive a whoopee cushion, silly string, and slime. And Mommy loved her Mary Kay products.

Even I received something cool!

It’s a new mug with a big pickle for a handle. The next day at lunch, you sat next to me as I enjoyed my standard Ramen noodles it; while you munched on oatmeal.

There’s just nothing like getting a gift after you weren’t expecting to get anymore gifts. Typically, if there’s a mysterious box waiting for us on our doorstep, it’s because Mommy ordered something on Amazon, like a new water filter for our refrigerator.

But not this time.

This time, our whole family got a fun surprise!



Readers’ Expectations 4: False Witness Memories, Jon Lovitz in Drag, and That Urban Legend About Women on Adrenaline

It’s been over a month since the last time I took a few minutes to share the most absurd Google searches that people used to find my website (Readers’ Expectations 3 on May 7th).  Now that enough bizarre key words have washed up, it’s time to check them out.

“how to photograph the Hollywood sign”- Well, first you get a camera.  Then you go to Hollywood and stand in front of the sign.  Press the correct button on the camera.  Bam.  You’re done.

“false witness memories”- Is it easy or is it difficult to remember memories that don’t exist?

“Jon Lovitz in drag”- That’s the ticket!

“women defecating”- I don’t know which is worse: The fact that some sick guy out there wants to see a woman doing “#2” or that somehow what I’ve written about something that in some jumbled sense, comes out similar to what he was looking for.

“brian winkles fort payne”- Brian Winkles was one of my best friends growing up.  I’ve referenced him a few times in my writings.  Either he Googled his own name or… looks like somebody’s got a secret admirer… woo-ooo…

“nick shell sugar”- I feel proud of that fact my discovery that consuming one tablespoon of sugar is equal to smoking one cigarette is becoming a world renown, sought after article: healthnutshell: A Tablespoon of Sugar or a Cigarette?  Oh, and… That’s “Doctor” Nick Shell to you…

This is the best you're gonna find, Mister.

“a pickle driving car”- Yeah, that’s cool.  A lot of people out there are looking to learn about that these days.  Also popular, “a pickle directing traffic”.


“women on adrenaline urban legend”- Did you know that one time, there were these women, and they got all hyped on adrenaline, and oh boy,  you’ll never believe what happened…

“famous painting”- Oh… That famous painting…  Yeah! I love that famous painting!  It’s hanging up on my wall.  Interesting, sounds like we’ve got a lot in common- you and me.  And the famous painting.

Manspeak, Volume 8: Relaxation

One of the great things about this website is that readers can search keywords to find certain writings of mine, and even better, I can read what people type in that search box. Among my favorites: “sickle pickle”, “what does bromance mean to you?”, and “are men really attracted to women with big pupils and that smell like vanilla?”

While I’ve never written anything about men being attracted to women who smell like vanilla, I should. Because it’s true. Vanilla is often an ingredient for women’s perfume because men are indeed enticed by it. It has a relaxing effect. Subconsciously, many men find themselves quite attracted to a woman who can help him relax. There’s science behind it.

A woman’s mind is like a computer screen with 6 or 7 different programs all open and running at once, always active: women were designed to multitask. Even when a woman is taking it easy, appearing to be relaxed- she is still thinking about a few different things at once. It never really stops.

In contrast, a man’s mind is designed to focus on one task at a time, until that task is complete. Then he moves on to the next task, or he rests. Whereas a woman’s mind never really rests, a man’s actually does. It goes into Screensaver Mode. He is truly, literally thinking nothing.

In the way that kids are obsessed with getting candy, one of the things guys are always looking for is a way to rest. That is, unless they are already focused on a project, activity, etc. But rest can come in many different venues; it doesn’t simply men sitting on a recliner watching TV.

Being that it’s fresh on my mind since I went recently with my friend Tommy, canoeing is a good representation of this Restful Activity Franchise, as it represents the laid-back flow of a man’s Screensaver Mode. Others in the franchise include Corn Hole, fishing, and in an individual setting, even simply mowing the lawn.

Screensaver Mode. Restful Activity Franchise. Vanilla. There is definitely a connection.

So it makes sense that a man is going to be drawn to a woman who makes him feel like he can relax with her. Hence, the relaxing scent of vanilla in the woman’s perfume. Women look to men for action and strength, men look to women for nurture and rest. That is part of the groove design of the male/female relationship.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: