Posts Tagged ‘life

01
Oct
08

Careful what you say …

When my Girl from the West was a babe in arms, I cooed a promise into one of her little pink ears:
“Mommy wants you to grow up to be whoever you want to be. I won’t be one of those mean mommies who forces her daughter to vote Republican or chastises her for not choosing the convent as a career choice.”

If my baby grew up to be a bald, lesbian shot putter, that would be OK. If she aspired to be a minimalist performance artist who wore nothing but sticks and grass and chose to live in a refrigerator box in the town square, great.
It’s not that I want her to grow into someone whose lifestyle puts her at risk for ridicule and persecution. But I told myself I’d let the blossom unfold as nature intended. No making a righty out of a lefty or anything.

However, life doesn’t always play out that way, does it?

Say your babe in arms edges closer to adulthood and suddenly begins taking on all of the characteristics you abhor? Say you are an atheist and she decides to become a Born-Again Christian. Say you are vegetarian and she decides to take up bow hunting? Say you are artsy and edgy and she prefers to try out for the cheer squad?

Get the drift here?

I see my baby spinning out of my orbit so fast I’m not sure I got the flight plan before she launched.

I can’t help but recall my teen years. What hopes did my parents have for me? What was the sound of those dreams as they collided with the reality of who I was becoming? I know one of the biggest collisions had to do with my continued failure to subscribe to their religion. To this day, almost 30 years after leaving their church, I still get subliminal messages that they are not pleased, thank you very much.

Thankfully I have a number of friends who’ve traveled this bumpy road of parenthood. Their advice to me is to stop asking so many questions already! I’ll get more answers if I listen.

So this is my challenge of late: I must cross the razor’s edge. I must keep some distance, lead by example, have eyes in the back of my head and keep my flippin’ mouth shut — most of the time.

25
Sep
08

Break-up story

National Geographic Society

 

The signs of trouble are always right in front of me. Do I see them? Or do I choose ignorance?

In this relationship, our time together grows shorter with the passing of each hour. Sometimes my love slips out the door shortly after dinner. The bloom of our love fades by the day, from the vibrant green of infatuation to the faded gold, red and brown of neglect. Our once-solid foundation hangs on a frayed thread.

Each year Summer and I break up as intensely as  a first love. Yet each year I find a rebound guy pretty fast.

Autumn is cool. He’s colorful and fun. But Autumn is more of a whirlwind romance. He blows into town on a tropical depression, sucker-punching Summer to the sidelines. Autumn takes over fairly fast, rearranging the landscape and lighting to his tastes. And just as we’re getting comfortable with each other, drunk on cider and doughnuts, playing dress-up and overindulging in sweets, he slips away in the dead of night, leaving behind a note scribbled in frost:

“Watch out for Winter; she can be a bitch.”

23
Sep
08

Glam Top 10

Welcome to another installment of Glamorous in Real Life, the brainchild of Marcy.

In this episode we examine how one woman’s biggest daily challenge has shifted from: “Should I have Greek, Thai, Mexican or Middle-Eastern food for lunch?” to “What ingredient can I add to this box of mac and cheese to make it stretch?”
Welcome to SAHM life. In a crapola economy. Where the husband is doing quite well but must travel out-of-state to achieve this. Where the toddler and teenage daughters continue to demand excessive amounts of stuff while their MomZombie is ready to employ Scarlett O’Hara’s methods of style and beauty. (Think curtain rods and cheek pinching.)
Consider these recent glamorous observations that make me feel oh-so pretty, happy and grrrr……

1. I spend too much time in my kitchen and not enough time in my bedroom.

2. I get up first, go to bed last, yet everyone else in my house “needs a nap.”

3. I have one child who clings to me like a spider monkey and another who flees the room like a cockroach when the light goes on.

4. I have had one-too-many shower-optional days lately.

5. The longer I stay out of the workplace, the more daunting it seems to go back.

6. The longer I go without a paycheck in my name, the more outdated my wardrobe becomes. (Clinton and Stacey, do you hear me?)

7. And it follows that the less money I have to work with, the more pretty shiny things I want.

8. The more obsessive about cleanliness I get, the more trashed my house becomes.

9. And it follows that when my house is at its very nadir of filth, including cat vomit in the entrance hall, the doorbell rings.

10. And it follows that it will be a hot guy conducting a poll.  I will not have showered. Something most likely will have just been scorched on the stove. I’ll just be happy I have on my “dress” flip flops. 

Be sure to check back with Marcy for more G.I.R.L. stories.

16
Sep
08

The scent of a stay-at-home woman

EXHIBIT A:

THE BACKSTORY:
A woman fancies an afternoon out with her toddler girl. Rather than weigh herself down with the shabby diaper bag and bulky stroller, she opts for a stylish shoulder bag big enough for her things and a few toddler essentials. She imagines a stroll in the park, a visit to the library, a quick swing through the nearby shopping district before picking up a bottle of wine on the way home.

THE INCIDENT:
 “Mommy, loook!” cries a pigtailed 5-year-old tugging her mother’s shirt and pointing at us. “She’s not wearing pants!”

I force a closed-lip smile at pigtail’s mother, whose gaze follows her daughter’s extended finger directly down to my baby girl’s bare legs, and then slowly shifts up to me. We are waiting for the elevator by the children’s section of the neighborhood library. It can’t come fast enough. Behind us, the wheels of a custodian’s cart screech the arrival of the clean-up crew at the women’s bathroom.

I hoist a clear plastic bag in my right hand up to the mother’s eye level, revealing the missing pants and underwear, both splattered with fresh diarrhea. I hope she got a good whiff. I hope it answers her unasked question about why my child is at the public library in a shirt, pull-up and shoes. Because, you know, I’m not trying to start a new fashion trend.

After a silent elevator ride up to the main floor, pigtails and mother cut a hasty retreat lest any germs latch onto them. I grab Girl from the East’s hand, shift the pile of picture books, above-mentioned bag of defiled clothing and my purse and head for the door.
We both move quickly on our walk of shame down a brick-paved path past gardens and park benches populated with lunchtimers, readers and gawkers.
In the punishing light of high noon all I can think is: I hope I don’t have crap on my clothes.

THE FINDINGS:
There is nothing “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” about realizing that you have only two tissues in your stylish shoulder bag, not nearly enough to combat the very unstylish diarrhea running down your toddler’s leg.
There is nothing glamorous about an unexpected, explosive illness in a bathroom that is a paper-free operation (hand-dryers only).
There is a high level of “Desperate Housewives” in realizing you sacrificed practicality for style by leaving the diaper bag at home, which contained wet wipes, spare clothes, diapers, hand sanitizer and plastic bags. Even more desperate, having to ‘fess up to the library staff and beg for paper towels and a plastic bag.
In the end, you realize there is no sexy way to walk out of a building with a half-naked child and a see-through bag of poopy clothes, both leaving a scent in their wake …
… the scent of a stay-at-home woman.

CONCLUDING REMARKS: Thanks for visiting and reading my 100th post. This has been part of a larger celebration, Girls In Real Life, or G.I.R.L., put together by Marcy at The Glamorous Life. Join the party.

12
Sep
08

Are you a G.I.R.L.?

Are you Glamorous in Real Life?
Forget the Real Housewives of Orange County, ditch the Desperate Housewives, if you want the real scoop on what goes on behind closed doors while the rest of the world is away at work, check back here on Tuesday, Sept. 16, for the first-ever G.I.R.L. Party hosted by Marcy at The Glamorous Life.

Grab a seat, pour a drink, and prepare to weep uncontrollably. See you Tuesday.

11
Sep
08

Finally, an election I can digest

This election year has my knickers in a twist (phrase stolen from pal with a British husband), my stomach churning, and my head in a vice. The issues are vast and complicated, the nominees are of historic significance; so much is at stake.

And then there’s all the muck: lipstick on a bulldog, lipstick on a pig, bridges to nowhere. It’s starting to sound like like a cartoon. I’m waiting for the Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner debates before I make a final decision.

It turns out, I won’t have to wait until November for relief. This morning, I opened the refrigerator, and found the election has taken a new turn, one that should be more *ahem* digestible for all of us. Of course, there’s still the issue of lipstick …

Image from Unilever

Image from Unilever

Apparently, the race is between “Progress is Possible” Spraychel and her greasy opponent, Maxwell Butterman, who promises to maintain the status quo.

Image from Unilever

Image from Unilever

Now, rather than figuring out who will be best to solve our economic woes, figure out what to do in Iraq, how to end foreign oil dependence, and if we should be allowed to read “Harry Potter” books, we can delve into such pressing issues as:

Reducing our saturated fat dependence, solving the “it doesn’t taste like real butter” woes, and what to do with all that dry, crumbly whole-grain toast.

** My pal Alias Liz Jones has her own take on the election. Pat her on the back if you visit, she didn’t resort to shameless product endorsement without compensation. See what this election is doing to my mind?

06
Sep
08

Restraining order needed here

Every year beginning in August, one of these sets up shop between our front porch post and a hanging potted plant. Every year.

 


 

It’s not the same spider because I generally squish the August visitor sometime around mid-September when I cannot stand it any longer. When I get entangled in its ever-expanding web. When I humiliate myself one too many times in front of the neighbors by performing the “spider dance” on the front porch in my sleepwear.
Picture this: arms flailing and slapping my head and arms while my legs do the Michael Flatley “Lord of the Dance” number and I’m uttering Tourettes Syndrome like barks and profanities.

 
I spray. I sweep. I perform daily recon on the area. Yet each morning, a newer, bigger web with an even-fatter spider balanced at its center. Is it a clone? A ghost? Perhaps it is a residual haunting.

I’m an arachnophobe, I admit it. But I’ve come a long way. This house helped cure me of a phobia that was once debilitating.
Within the first few months of living in our new home, we realized the toll of the previous owner’s neglect. Since he didn’t clean, there were many bugs in the house. And bugs mean spiders. There were egg sacs everywhere. I recall seeing a few spiders on the living room ceiling on one of our walk-throughs, but didn’t think much of it at the time. Even our inspector commented on the number of webs in the basement.
I’ve suffered every possible indignity with spiders.
I found one perched on my toothbrush.
I’ve had them in my bed. In my clothes, in my shoes.
We eventually hired an exterminator. Since then I’ve learned to harness my fear and rationalize it this way: Any spider that is employed, in other words, in a web or actively hunting, is left alone. Except when one’s place of employment is in conflict with my daily living space or dangling over my baby girl’s bed. One that is found to be in conflict or wandering the walls or floorboards seeking handouts is hastily evicted.
The other morning, as I opened my front door and began reaching down to grab the newspaper, I felt the telltale snare of a sticky web grab my face and neck. I jumped back in time to avoid a quarter-sized arachnid.
Now I’m thinking maybe I need to take advantage of some legal avenues here, such as the restraining order.