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Life is Not a Burger

burgerI’m definitely awhat you see is what you get” kind of girl. Pretense is exhausting. I don’t appreciate it in advertising and I sure as hell don’t appreciate it in people.

A few months ago, I finished reading an awesome book by Steven King entitled Under the Dome. It was a big read, well over a thousand pages and worth every minute I spent with it. So when I heard that a mini-series was coming our way with the telling of this epic story, I was excited. Until I watched the first two episodes. That was all it took to realize that the plot, characters and story board were a far cry from what was represented in the book. Bah! Curse you Steven King for selling out and bastardizing your book (said with fist waving in the air).

I’ve come to realize that bastardization isn’t just for the movies. A lot of the same happens with the people we meet, do business, and enter into relationships with. Often times what we see is the product presentation of what they want you to buy.

My ex-husband was big on presentation. Real big. His motto was “it’s better to look good than feel good”. He was “that guy” who would have a chance meeting in an elevator with a celebrity, shoot a picture of them together, and have it framed and placed in his living room, displaying his new best friend. It was important what other people thought about him. I wish he had cared more about what I had thought about him.

Reason #932 why I love the man I’m blessed to be with is that he is what he presents himself to be. He does what he says he’s going to do and if he says he cares, you can bet your bottom dollar that the sincerity is real. Honesty and integrity in people is less common than it should be.

I’ve had my fill of false advertising, phonies, and liars. Truth is always better, even if it’s ugly. I’m tired of being sold wrinkle cream by 26 year olds, mascara by women wearing false eyelashes, diet products by people who have private gyms, personal chefs and trainers. I’m equally sick of the print media, who clearly lost its conscience decades ago, having no problem photo shopping every woman on their pages.

Altered beauty

When did reality become so unacceptable that we have to be protected from it? When will advertisers come to realize that the public is neither blind nor stupid?

Anyone who has tried online dating knows how easily the truth can be distorted. Pictures that are posted, noted ages, liked hobbies and reported income are often hugely embellished (AKA, downright lies).

One of my favorite product companies is Dove. They actually go out of their way to be real, and I love them for it. Instead of showing boney emaciated looking women in underwear, they go for the real deal. Makes me want to go out and buy me some soap!

love my body campaign dove

Fast food chains are the worst. What you get is never what you’ve been promised. Which is why you will always find me at In-N-Out instead of McDonalds or Burger King should I be in the mood for a good burger.

Being self-employed necessitates a lot of networking. You learn very quickly how to size up “real” versus “phony”. A lot of time and money can be wasted if you align yourself with people who are less than genuine. They should teach that in schools!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about denial in some areas of my life. I tell myself that if a cookie is broken, it’s less calories, that I don’t look a day over 50, chocolate is good for my heart, and that there is no age discrimination. These truths help to make life a bit more bearable.

But when it comes to real life, real business and real relationships, I’d appreciate it if you’d cut to the chase and let me know the real deal. Because life isn’t a burger or a photo shop op.

By the way, you won’t find any celebrity pictures in my home, although I’ve done business with quite a few. What you will find are lots of pics of our travels and friends. Real memories. Real stuff.

You’ll also find two cats and a sassy dog who help us keep it real every day by reminding us what honesty is all about.

If people could be more like animals, I’d probably like them a lot more.


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Sandy - I don’t read many blogs. Most bore the heck outta me. Yours, however, is something I’ve come to look forward to because you are funny, observant, honest and likable. I share them. I comment. I enjoy! Thanks. That’s all. Just thanks. (P.S., I think we are in the same age group, because I too am not a day over 50 — or so I appear!!)

Joan Cooper - We are kindred spirits – I have always prefered animals over people – they are more honest. We are taugtht that we never know what an animal will do – well – we never never know what a human may do.

Speaking of products, I have been trying an inexpensive face cream with stem cells in it. It is working and very inexpensive. The rest is just hype. Our whole country is just hype – that is why I love Telemondo Novellas. My how they understand human nature and present it so interestingly. Our TV is so so boring – so predictable.


Kitt Crescendo - Sadly, I learned with Gone With The Wind not to expect books and movies/tv shows to have much in common.

And you’re right…lots of people and things play well with smoke and mirrors to the detriment of themselves and those around them. Sadly, sometimes the people they fool most are themselves.

I don’t have time for fakes in my life…(authors writing under pen names don’t count as fake to me…much like the half broken cookies and calories).

If they teach a class on how to spot those in school, can we also teach people how to develop common sense? 😉

Tammy - Hi Sandy, those are some of the nicest words anyone has ever spoken about my blog. Thank you for that. So very happy you are enjoying the reads. Its kinda wonderful for me to know that you are on the other side of my weekly rants. I don’t know how you found me…but color me grateful to have you here!

Tammy - Kit, oh my, what a world it would be if we could teach common sense!? THAT would be awesome. I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, I suffer idiots with less grace. I look upon it as a blessing…to both me and the idiot. I agree with you, television and cinema are not a books friend. The last time I was happy with a series on a book was waaaay back in the day when Roots came out as a mini-series. Since then, it’s been downhill all the way. So happy to have you here, Kit. Thanks for that!

Tammy - Hi Joan, kindred spirits indeed! Lots of animals are predictable. Alligators bite and devour, cats and dogs oblige and keep company, birds sing, lions hunt. But you are SO right, we can never predict what humans can or will do. Predictability translates to dependability for me. Sadly, there have been pity few people in my life whom I have been able to depend upon. I’m grateful for the few. I enjoy many of our programs here in the states. But many would disagree with my choices, as I do love fantasy and competition. You MUST share the name of your face cream. Us girls have no secrets! Thanks, Joan, for popping by for the read. Love that you are here.

Tana Bevan - In short, substance vs. facade. Sadly, many prefer the latter. IMHO they’re missing out since it’s the former which gives life it’s depth.

eileen - I am a fan, of course, but this post really struck a chord with me. It voices my thoughts on the subjects of honesty and being real. I think truth no matter how difficult is always the best answer, although I think it’s OK to add kindness to some truths when telling them, “real” could never wrong, and I couldn’t agree more that we can learn many of these values and more from our four-legged friends.
Some of the most important things I’ve learned about how I want to live in this life were taught to me by a black dog named Gypsy.

Mel Glenn - You are a seeker of truth and honesty in this world, but sadly, you’re going to be disappointed.
You continue to fight the good fight, but you are up against the arsenal of dreams and profits. Truth in advertising? Come on. You might as well buy snake oil. I love the way you tilt at windmills; continue to do so.

Maryjo Faith Morgan - I’d tell you to get off your soapbox … but when it comes to all this … and especially DOVE soap, I have to agree 100% with you!

There is no substitute for the truth. Period.

Keep observing, commentating and writing! Ranting is OK, too.

PS: About book to movie … 120 pages of script can never do a book justice. However, it can tell an excellent albeit different version of the story. Said by someone glad to see writers writing books interesting enough to be made into movies.

Tammy - Hi Eileen, we share common ground, you and I. I’ve learned much of what I want to be when I grow up from my furry family members. To go through life with grace, give unconditional love, and be accepting of those things we can’t control, not being the least of it all. I fear we are in the minority when it comes to respecting and honoring truth. Apparently it’s so much easier to misrepresent your way through life. I never thought the complications were worth the trouble. I still lie, on occasion. When I do, I feel certain that it’s the right thing to do at the time. Hurting someone’s feelings is something I try to avoid even if a “white” lie is needed to do it. Ironically, telling that kind of lie seems noble in a way. Guess there is no pleasing me. Thank you for the read AND the comment. Blessing to your Gypsy. Clearly a wise old girl indeed!

Tammy - Mel, you are so poetic. Yup, I’m still fighting the good fight and still spending a good deal of time being disappointed. Guess it goes with the territory. I love dreams AND profits. I just don’t know why we can’t go about getting both of them without such vile deceptions. I will continue tilting, Mel, as long as you continue reading. Thanks for that!

Cindy Keller - Oh my gosh, I was just saying (yes, out loud) to the TV, “Why do you use 20-year-olds to sell anti-aging products? Give me someone my age and then I’ll believe it.” You speak for the trees, Tammy Bleck. I’m so glad I found your blog.

Tammy - Cindy, brilliant minds think alike. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. I LOVE speaking for the trees! Watching a 20 something year old sell us anti aging cream is like watching a teenager hawk Depends. Insulting. You don’t need to speak loudly to your TV anymore. I’m just a holler away. And for the record … I’m super glad you found my blog too!

Tammy - Maryjo, I’ll share my soapbox with you any day of the week! I so agree with you that scripts can give a wonderfully different version of a good book read. But tell us that (for the love of Pete!). Don’t push it on us with the notion that it’s the “book come to life”. It’s a rotten way to treat a loyal reading audience. All right … stepping down from my soap box (for now). I’m thrilled to know that you are still out there, Maryjo. Thrilled! Thanks for that.

Tammy - Tana, I’m afraid your observation is correct … substance vs façade doesn’t generally stand a chance. Unless you are in my world, then it means everything. Happy to report that there is little shortage of interesting, loving, supporting depth in the world occupied by yours truly. I am a lucky girl. A truthful lucky girl. Happy to have you in it.

Tana Bevan - Make for an interesting conversation don’t’cha think?

“What do you collect?”

“I collect substance.”

The answer says it all.

Answer one: “Huh?”

Answer two: “Coolio!”

Glad our paths crossed.

Ande Lyons - Tammy!

I LOVE how you are keeping it real this week – thank you!

We lived in LA (Pacific Palisades!) for two years and experienced first hand your ex-husband’s modus operandi. It was all about who you know… and yes – any contact with a celeb was turned into a BFF moment. WTH?

The attention to one’s car status in LA also amazed me. After 3 months I put a huge amount of duct tape on our car – just to make a statement! I’d also go WEEKS without washing it – GASP!

I hear you re: the Importance of Being Choosy when it comes to the folks (and pets!) you hang out with… in real life and online. The barometer check for me is someone who says they’re going to do something, then they go and do it. That’s one of the things I love BEST about YOU! 😀

Wishing you a day filled with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!



Tammy - Ande, Pacific Palisades is beautiful. But the snob factor is tough to take. Just saying. When my ex inherited the money he had been waiting for all his life, he didn’t hesitate to go out and buy himself an Aston Martin and a Mercedes. This was in addition to his 2 other cars. Yup, car envy is huge in L.A. It’s all so ridiculous and I’m thrilled to not have to deal with “that” anymore. Thanks for the kind words, Ande, I feel the very same about you. Doing what you say you’re going to do is evidently as rare as truth in advertising. Pity. That is why it’s wonderful when you find yourself aligned with the real deal. Which is why YOU have a fan in me! That’s the truth…so help me God!

Tammy - Tana, that’s awesome. I don’t collect substance … I AM substance (she says with her head held high). A blessing and a curse.

Jim Lunsford - Tammy, I’m not sure if the following link will show up in the comment box, or if it will still be linked. It is a video you may have already seen, “God Made a Dog.” In many ways it reflects your thoughts about the value of truth and your mention of how it seems to so naturally manifest in our beloved pets. If my dog were an advertising executive, the commercials would be more entertaining AND more honest than most of the shows on television.

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