Monday, September 1, 2014

Acts of Random Sonnet Susan Reinhard (c) 2014

Acts of Random Sonnet Susan Reinhard (c) 2014

Mourning my great age and bedimmed beauty
Is a silly waste of rare precious time
I’ll ne’er again get the call of booty
And nothing works as it did in my prime
All I have left are these typing fingers
A three year old Macbook on internet
I lack the wit to fling great zingers
And no more plays do tickle yon ink jet
Still, I have relative health and SS
All that I need to survive day to day
A twenty five year old car who’s the best
Still walking even if there is no sway
I guess I’ll continue to bother you
Until I take leave of this Earthly zoo

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mommas, don’t let your daughters grow up to be playwrights Part Two…Normal Life in the flood zone

Mommas, don’t let your daughters grow up to be playwrights
Part Two…Normal Life in the flood zone
– Susan Reinhard 8/30/14

By 1957, my father’s job at Bethlehem Steel was starting to have layoffs and closedowns. He had already been injured twice: a hernia and a huge burn down his arm from hot steel racing down a chute. I was never sure what he did there but Mom was relatively happy staying home as a housewife. She had her backyard friends to talk to over the fence and her constant stream of cigarettes which were considered normal and healthy back then. We did notice her sitting on the couch for hours, playing with the filter of the cigarette while she thought of things. (I didn’t realize where I got the daydreaming from until years later.)

Underemployed, Dad started a correspondence course for being a draftsman, copying building plans in the days before computers and copiers.  The shut downs at the Bethlehem were getting longer and longer. My Uncle Rich, the third child of the family (Dad was first, causing the shotgun disaster of my grandparents’ marriage) and lived outside of Cleveland, Ohio working for Ford Motors. Rich had found a lengendary soft job. He was a tinker, a metal worker, and Ford paid him not to do any actual work, just not to work for anyone else. Uncle Rich earned a good salary for staying home. Cleveland seemed like Nirvana, so my Dad packed up our 1940 Plymouth that looked like a huge olive on wheels and for which he had paid $90 in 1954, and went to Cleveland to look for work, leaving us behind to wait.

Most of my life in Johnstown before the age of 7 had been fairly normal, with healthy home cooked food and baking only done on a Saturday night. I had a magic ability to make fudge turn out perfectly and my sister and I played in the back yard and went to dangerous places alone, like the River’s edge (the same river from The Johnstown Floods) and a half built stone garage with teetering rocks. Mom wanted us out of the house and her hair from morning till dinner and we obliged. School was sufficient to keep us away during most of the year but summer vacation was the challenge. I remember we went up on a mountain and while dangling from the edge of a waterfall, lost my shoes. No reprimand for the daredevil events, just the missing shoes. Television really wasn’t a big part of our lives because that was for Mom to watch while we stayed out of her hair, but I remember good Christmases and fun Saturday night dinners.  My mother had been raised by her great grandmother, having been abandoned by both her parents, and despite her house being  full of old newspapers and snarling dogs, we loved Grandma Berner as every visit, she always had a warm Pepsi and a silver dollar for us.

But suddenly, one day, the house had been sold and we were packing getting ready to move the 200 and some miles West and North to Cleveland, Ohio. Dad had found a job as a draftsman and an apartment on The West Side of the city. I don’t remember any arguments at that time, just controlled and efficient work. You’d think that would have had a bigger impact but it was fine and the daydreams  had not yet became an addiction and actually disappeared for a while. They would soon return when the most terrible thing imaginable happened to my mother upon arrival in Cleveland. The thing no woman could contemplate, the thing that ruined her marriage and her life…she had to get…A JOB!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mommas, don’t let your daughters grow up to be playwrights Part One…blame it on the Son of A Pioneer

Mommas, don’t let your daughters grow up to be playwrights
Part One…blame it on the Son of A Pioneer
– Susan Reinhard 8/18/14

In 1954, we were the first people on our block of Johnstown, Pennsylvania to get a television set. I was 5 years old.  It was black and white of course, but all of the neighbors would crowd in the living room every night the first week to see the magical box with its one channel that used shows from all 3 national networks: Channel 6, Altoona “From High Atop the Alleghenies.”

Like most American families, we were already unhappy, but, in 1954, we did not have all the communications we have in 2014. My parents, Betty and Carl had no idea what to do about it or how they got into the mess of marriage. Mom and Dad had NO idea how babies were made and married, determined to not have children.  However, the only advice about Birth Control Mom could find was from Dad’s slightly brain damaged mother. Grandma had gotten pregnant 12 times with 6 surviving; and my 17 year-old-mother didn’t know that Grandma had the 2 safe weeks wrong and took her advice. Mom then churned out two kids within 18 months of marriage and was not happy about it. With the third one, a miscarriage, she finally figured it out.

Mom had enough love and attention for one child, but not for two, and I was number two in birth order and value.  Kathy and I have very different memories of our childhoods. I sensed I was a mistake and was in danger. That my mother would call the Orphanage (or pretend to) when we were ‘bad’ had the desired effect on me. Being redhaired, I was told I was going to end up like my Aunt Betty Lou, (whom I later discovered had to be told that taking money from boys for sex was NOT a good thing ) who was never quite accepted in the family.

In 1954, spankings were acceptable and encouraged, so I learned to stay very still…preferably in my bedroom with the lights out while Mom patrolled the halls puffing on a Kent Cigarette and angry at the world.

And so, when the television set arrived, I tiptoed downstairs and saw the young and handsome Roy Rogers riding the beautiful Palamino Trigger to the rescue of…whoever that week…and  my fantasy life began. And I was the one being rescued.  It was then that I started to write little stories and draw little cartoon strips (yes, my cartoonists, from an early age I was drawing them). Roy was my first ‘boyfriend’ and the start of the years of fantasizing, a habit with which I still wrestle at the age of 64.

To be continued….

Monday, July 7, 2014

FINALLY! After more than 3 years starting working on a script!

My first marriage only happened because I wasn’t a virgin. It was thirty years before I realized that I had been raped.  In 1969, I had just arrived at Ohio University, 200 miles from my home and my crazy mother. My first….what to call him? Not lover…because there was no love…my gynecological surgical tool…was a cute Sophomore who played guitar in a tacky local band, and the first of many tall, skinny ‘artists’ I was a sucker for. Bob invited me to his dorm room. I’d like to give you more details, but as I walked in, he closed the door, threw me down on the bed, pulled my clothes off…and raped me. About as seductive as a truck wandering onto a railroad crossing and being hit by the locomotive.

And ever the good host, Bob stood up angry and threw me out of his room shrieking.  “You didn’t enjoy it!” Bear in mind, he felt that he had no hand, as it were, in my pleasure. He had not inquired as to whether or not it was my first time. He felt that the very presence of his male member should be all a woman needed for enjoyment. I had no idea what was going on and it was a bit too painful to be “enjoyed”.

Granted, it was 1969, and although the sexual revolution had begun on the East Coast, it was still 1927 in Ohio’s mind. So, being that I did not yet know what Feminism was. I simply left his room, as he demanded, and went back to my dorm and never heard from him again. And if you want to know why I do not mention blood…he left the condom in and I didn’t know it was there till it fell out two weeks later. (Thankfully, after I had returned to campus from Spring break. Try explaining THAT to your Mother.)

So ergo, Eddie, my first husband was the virgin when I went to Atlantic City for a summer job and met him. Eddie was dating a female virgin at the time. (Of course, I didn’t find that out till later) She was a nice Jewish girl who would have been perfect for him, except he was more of a gentleman than my first…experience…and whenever they tried to have sex, she stopped it at the first sign of pain. (Oh, Sweetie…if only you had just gritted your teeth and let it happen, how different all three of our lives would have been.) This had gone on for quite some time by the time he met me and of course, I didn’t know about her when we started dating. I was far from perfect for him but it was possible to have sex with me because there was no barrier to the act. And being an idiot who knew nothing about such things, there was also no pleasure in our sex, but at least he didn’t get angry at me. Like I said, it was before Feminism.

However, I had to return to Ohio from the summer job and Eddie and I parted ways, hopefully to never to see him again. Well, he showed at Ohio University two months later. I thought it meant love but I later found out, it was just about having sex. Not great sex, but at least I didn’t stop him every time as she had continued to do.

So why did I marry him? I was shy and weak and anxious for what seemed to be love. After that marriage ended, all of my romances, and my second marriage were also about sex. After I divorced Eddie, I learned more about sex and had much fun with it, but never met a man who didn’t think he could do better than me. Still, there is a happy ending to this tale. I read an Ohio newspaper and there was the joyous news that Bob had died of a heroin overdose.  Karma. It’s a bitch. And now, so am I.


You like to think that you are good with words
That you’ll find the ones that will solve it all
But emotions make them scatter like birds
Leaving you silent as a broken doll
Right now I can’t even find a good rhyme
To make the poems that fulfill my dreams
I’m so old that I’m running out of time
And this sonnet sounds like belches and screams
At least boredom has motivated me
To try and strangle my dusty daydreams
I am not the she nor are you the he
So no more romance, I will write elsewise
And leave younger broads to praise the cute guys
SBR 7.7.14

Friday, May 30, 2014


Before I was liberated by menopause, I estimate that I had sex approximately 1,500 times. I was fortunate to come of age in the midst of the sexual revolution. I am retired, but I do have some advice for men.

1.            Yes, you should love your penis, but your love life will be less rocky if you don’t act like it’s the only one available on Earth. Chances are it is NOT going to be the only one ever offered to your woman, so don’t act like it is. And if you think it is the largest one available, you never met my second husband.
2.            That said, remember no truer words were ever spoke than: “It’s not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean.” (I am reminded of the Jeff Foxworthy joke: “But it takes a dinghy a whole lot longer to get to England than a steamship.”) HOWEVER, Love also helps the result.
3.            Porn movies mostly teach men to beg their girlfriends to try new things with disastrous results.
4.            Believe it or not, you did not invent oral sex and there will be other men who know how it works. And for the love of GOD, don’t talk about it…just do it!
5.            Women have more intense orgasms than men because our time is limited. After menopause, we are freed of needing them constantly and can concentrate on our gardening and grandchildren. However, remember that we still enjoy sex. It will be more fun with the woman next to you in bed than it will be trying to earn the money a younger wife will cost. .
6.            A man who doesn’t learn to control the constant craving is not going to give the attention to the career he will need to get rich in to afford the young women he craves. Catch 22 can be so amusing.
7.            You can be the most skillful lover on Earth and give the greatest orgasms but we will STILL dump you if you are mean or act like an idiot. This is why God made vibrators.
8.            There are 6,000,000 more women than men in America. Chances are we are going to end up alone and we must be financially and emotionally prepared for it. Statistics prove that women need a TON more money than men to buy a man, so chances are it won’t help us. This is why God made chocolate.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sonnet on Spending too Much Time on Facebook

Sonnet on Spending too Much Time on Facebook

I want to meet living breathing people
Not just upon the Facebook’s icy page
Talk occurs beneath my church’s steeple
But the rest of Earth leaves me in a rage
Thine headphones seal off earholes in the gym
Or upon thine cell phone thou dost natter
Walking or seated with a visage grim
Sternly bearing your teenager’s chatter
Neighbors stand behind closed doors as you pass
Trying to avoid the hallway face to face
You’re home all day as they laid off your ass
And the hot men no longer give you chase
With a sigh, back you log on to FB
Hoping that your life will be less MT