Antidote For Holiday Stress

Dec 17

What follows is music to every writer’s ears: a great review. 

It’s for my book, I Can’t Believe I’m Not Bitter (what else?) and it’s from Woman Around Town, a popular online publication inNew York City and Washington, DC.

“An Antidote for Holiday Stress”

at Fortunato once lost her underwear in Rome. She agreed to meet a date at a club, finding out when she arrived it was the Pussy Cat Lounge, a strip joint. She recorded important appointments on Post It notes then couldn’t decipher her scribbles. (And missed the opportunity to meet two hot Hollywood stars.) Intent on having a front row seat for the annual Macy’s Fireworks display, she booked a table at Brooklyn’s River Cafe, only to discover she should have been at the Water Club. And her many shopping excursions—for a bathing suit, a vibrator, and a wedding dress, among other things—often end in anxiety attacks.

Is she bitter? No! Is she funny? Absolutely!

Pat Fortunato has been writing about her life for four years on her popular blog, I Can’t Believe I’m Not Bitter. Now her columns (some have appeared on this site, too) have been pulled together in a book available on Amazon. (See the link at the bottom of the story to buy.)

As always, Pat’s timing couldn’t be better. Stressed out with holiday shopping? Traumatized after another office party gone awry? Worried about spending Christmas with your in-laws? Tired of your kids nagging you for “I wants”—iPads, iPods, iPhones, etc.? Know someone who could use a few laughs? Pat’s book is the perfect antidote. If laughter truly is the best medicine, Pat’s book should be flying out of drug stores.

Pat manages to find the humor in common everyday situations that most of us will identify with.
Take those free beauty gifts from cosmetics companies, certainly ubiquitous this time of year. . .

Pat’s efforts to claim her “free” gift from Estee Lauder at Macy’s found her stuck with the bill and no eye shadow, or any other item in the offer. After working her way up the department store’s food chain (she actually spoke with Macy’s COO), her package arrived—the wrong one. “Trying to do something nice for yourself isn’t as easy as it sounds,” she concludes. Yet she remains upbeat. There’s always the next free gift (a redundant phrase if ever there was one, she observes).

For those traveling this season, Pat deals with the admonition to travel light. “How many times, struggling madly to get on a crowded train, plane, or in a (midget-sized) automobile with two gigantic suitcases and The Purse That Ate Cleveland have you wished you had followed this perfectly reasonable advice?” She offers “The Eleven Stages of Packing,” adding: “Yes, I know, Grief has only seven stages, but this is more complicated.” So true. Follow her steps (or not) before you pack.

Pat is not above challenging conventional thinking or even being politically incorrect. Tired of making up those “To-Do” lists that never get done? Try the “Not To Do” list, a guarantee you will be able to cross off everything you jot down. (She has suggestions.) Worried about being seen as “too nice”? She mentions that most serial killers and murderers are often described as people who “never got angry” and were “always so helpful.” So why hold it all in until you explode? “The trick is that the nastiness has to be minor, yet satisfying.” That annoying woman on the bus who talked loudly on her cellphone, took up two seats with her packages (even though people were standing), and insisted on exiting by the front door (even though she was in the back and had to push her way past the elderly and small children)? Yes, she left one of her packages behind. “Mind your own business. It’s not your job. Sure, it’s nasty, but isn’t that the point?” It’s hard to argue with Pat’s logic.

Humor books are rarely page turners unless you are talking about I’m Not Bitter. One funny story is never enough. Fortunately, Pat supplies us with enough laughs to get us through the holiday season. After that, you’re on your own.


Read enough? Click here to get the book on Amazon






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