Saturday, March 31, 2012

It turns out, the soundtracks to kids shows are created by Satan himself.

Seriously.


Maybe I should start a line of greeting cards for mothers as demented as myself.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

You're a woman. You're gonna get a black eye every once in a while. Get over it.


After the whole Chris Brown and Rhianna thing, it seemed there was something that people just couldn't get over-and it wasn't the actual beating.  He's not acting like he's really sorry.  Why is he acting like a total egomaniac?  Why isn't he being more apologetic?  He doesn't even seem to care.  Everyone would have forgiven him if he were a little more humble about the whole thing.  Apologize profusely.  Seek therapy.  Show us that you've changed.  We have a long history of forgiving men who beat the shit out of women.  You could have easily been redeemed, too.

Which is why I am so thrilled that he was too stupid to capitalize on manipulating the masses.  He could have done it- for sure.  He could have had an editor for his twitter feed.  He could have not thrown a chair through a window and ripped his shirt off like The Hulk, as he walked out the doors of Good Morning, America.  He just couldn't stop himself from being who he really is.  And for that, I say- thanks.

Thanks for being a total abusive dirt bag, and not changing for anyone.  Thanks for showing us how brutish, bane, vulgar and cocky abusers really are.

We all should have sent Chris Brown one of these.  Wish I would have thought of it.


Let me tell you something-  violent men do not have low self esteem.  They believe it is their empirical right to own another person, and beat them into submission if they don't obey.  That is not the mark of someone who doesn't like himself.

And guess what?  Abusive behavior is not an addiction.  It is not something that is passed down from generation to generation.  Studies show that 30% of children who witness abuse go on to become abusers themselves.  That means 70%, a whopping majority, do not.  We have to stop treating this as a disease, and treat it like what it really is- punishable, criminal, manipulative,  behavior.  People make decisions to be violent.  Yes, I said it.  People make decisions to be violent.  


Violent partners are incredibly coherent, and incredibly manipulative.  The whole reason we all believe that violence breeds violence is because when people get caught, they always blame their pasts;  their awful, controlling, unloving moms.  Their abusive dads.  It's never their fault.  Which makes sense if you really think about it.  If you were a better wife, this wouldn't be happening.  Why did you make me do it?  Why did you look at that guy, you know how jealous I get?  Unless you actually believe there is some kind of insanity defense here- there is absolutely no reason why you should legally care that an abusive person came from an abusive home.

The only way that we can begin to fix this huge bane on our society is to begin respecting women more.  Period.   We're actually okay with this stuff.  We are!  That's why you see a judge ordering a husband to take his wife bowling and to Red Lobster , as punishment for battery.  So, yeah, if you don't believe women are second class citizens, and tantamount to property in this country- you really haven't been paying attention.

No birth control.  No abortion!  She deserved it!  Too many kids.  No kids?  Whore!  Prude. Slut.  Domineering.  Pathetic!

 We can't do anything right.  Culturally, we're fucked.

That's why I truly believe that it's not their pasts that are making these men violent.  Our culture is- by proving to these manipulators that they can get away with it.  We don't value women.  Beat.  Apologize.  Be redeemed.  Period.  Case in point- Kevin Powell.

 Kevin Powell basically built his whole career on redeeming his violent past.  He was abusive.  He realized the error of his ways.  Now he mentors men to "learn to listen to the voices of women and girls." Gloria Steinem even endorsed him for Congress.  Gloria Steinem.

I'm not saying he hasn't done good things-  his choices are definitely better than the alternative.   What I'm saying is-  excuse me for not wanting to give this man a medal for building a whole career on deciding not to assault and intimidate women anymore.

I'm broke as hell, and would like to rob a bank.  Do I get landfalls of praise bestowed upon me because I don't?  No.  I'm generally just expected to be a decent human being.  In turn, I expect it from everyone else.  This is probably why, no matter how much work he does to redeem himself,  Kevin Powell will never be my personal hero.

And how about Charlie Sheen?  His long history of abuse never got him dropped from his cash cow of a sitcom.  How many times was he arrested for this?  It wasn't until he mouthed off to his producer that he finally got canned.  So let's recap.  Beat your wife repeatedly- we can get beyond that.  Insult your male boss- How dare you?  Fired!

I'm so sick of this shit.  I'm seriously beginning to lose faith in mankind.  The only way that I can rectify it- the only thing I can do- is continue to be so pro-woman that it hurts.  We've got a mountain to climb, ladies.  And I won't stop stirring the pot, until we get pissed enough to demand more.

Monday, March 26, 2012

More... at eleven.

     Our world is morphing into something entirely different than it was when I was growing up.  At a really fast pace.  Cell phones.  The Internet.  Hand-held, electronic access to all the media you can handle.  There is so much information- everywhere.  We are drowning in it.
      Remember when the news came from two sources, only?   Your local newspaper, and the local news station.  Did you ever, for the life of you, think there would be hundreds of news sources- competing for your attention?
     I guess there were clues that this would happen.  The birth of the news-teaser should have alerted us all that things were about to change- dramatically.  You know the news-teaser.  It's the little bit of information they give you- between shows- that makes you want to stay up and watch the news.  A preview, of sorts.
     They didn't used to use this, if you remember.  Yes, CNN existed, but we didn't turn to it for local news back then- too global.  Or MSNBC, or Huffpost,  or any of the other news sources that we now regularly visit for our daily news fix.  If you wanted news, you had to stay up until 11 to see it. Apparently, when all that started to change, the news teaser was born.  And I remember exactly when it happened.  May, 2001.
  
     It was May 2001.  My best friend and I were living in a really cute bungalow house in Downtown San Jose, California.  The weather was gorgeous.  The windows were open.  We were enjoying our usual weekly ritual of watching Temptation Island, drinking pina coladas, and getting really stoned.  Yes, I realize this is a Mommy blog and I'm talking about drug use, but lighten up.  It was over a decade ago, okay?  I'm pretty sure haven't been stoned since my twenties, so you don't have to call Child Protective Services.

This anti-drug campaign was all the rage when I was a kid.  I can't believe it didn't work.

     We're young.  We're carefree.  We're pretty sure that crazy bug-eyed lunatic, Toni, is about to cheat on her fiance with one of the island boys.  Life is good.
     Cut to commercial.
     Cheryl Jennings, news anchor, comes on- with her frosted hair in all of its glory- and says;
     Crazed killer on the loose in Downtown San Jose.  More at eleven.


     My heart starts pounding.  I look at my friend.
     What in the ever-loving shit did she just say?  And why is she looking at  me like that?  Why in the hell do we have to wait until eleven?  Don't you think they should tell us now?  And why in the hell is she looking at me like that?  It's almost like she's flirting.  THIS IS TOTALLY FREAKING ME OUT.


     My friend, always the voice of reason, takes a long,  calm sip of her pina colada and says;
     I'm sure it's fine.  It's fine.  Stop freaking out.


     Okay.  She's right.  Besides, Temptation Island is back on, and I really don't want to miss this part.  The night vision video is on.  Toni is totally getting busy with the Island boy.  Scandalous!  I forget all about crazed killer on the loose, until...

     Crash!


     What was that?  What in the hell was that?  Did you hear that?  He's in the basement!  He's in the basement.  HOLY SHIT, THE CRAZED KILLER IS IN OUR BASEMENT!  CALL THE POLICE!  This barrage of panicked orders is coming out of my friend's mouth.  My friend.  Professional, calm, great in a crisis, friend-  is ordering me to call the police.  Of course I do.

     911?  Yes, this is an emergency.  The crazed killer is at our house.
     Ma'am, what's your address?  Has someone broken into your house?  Do you know this person?  It it an acquaintance?
     No, I don't know him.  He's in our basement.  He's a crazed killer.  The crazed killer!  The one that Cheryl Jennings was just talking about on TV.  
     Ma'am, I'm sending a squad car, okay?  Try to calm down.  


     I hang up the phone.  That was weird.  She seemed unusually calm, considering that we've found the crazed killer on the loose- and he's in our basement.  Shouldn't she be talking us through this?  What if there is some kind of hostage situation about to take place?

     I glance around the room, then jump up to lock the windows.  I run into the coffee table, stub my toe, and knock the bong over onto the floor.  Then it hits me.  We are stoned out of our minds- and we've just called the cops to our house.


     Ow, mother-fuck, that hurt!  And what the hell have we done?  It reeks in here!  I just spilled bong water all over the floor!  And the cops are coming!  SHIT!  This is your fault!  Why did you tell me to do that?  Stupid!  Remember, the first time I got stoned I thought I was having a heart attack?  Well, I wasn't, was I?  And there is no goddamn killer in our basement right now!  Arghh!  Why?  Why did I listen to you?


     Friend, stares at me, and responds; Calm down, Maria.  Calm down right now.  You are going to have to answer the door.  There is no way I'm doing it.  I'm a professional journalist.  You're a waitress.  You have to do this.  I may have seen one of these cops on a story.  


     What?  Are you serious?  Blue and red lights start to come through the front window.  They're here.  Fantastic.  Moment of panic has rendered me stone cold sober, and I can't believe that we've done this.

     I see flashlights moving down the side of our house.  Talking.  Then there is a knock at the back door.  I open it.  Sort of.  Actually only about a half an inch.  In retrospect, probably not the best decision to only have my bloodshot eye showing, but- like they say-  hindsight is 20/20.

     Ma'am, there is no one in your basement.  You should really get a light bulb for this back porch, though. What did you hear?  Why did you think someone was down there? 


     What was I supposed to say here?  Because my stoned friend convinced me?  Because I've never experienced having to be courted by the news, and I was confused?

     Because Cheryl Jennings said so.  


     I haven't been duped by a news-teaser since.

Today.




Apparently, rocks are delicious.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Speaking of things we don't speak of...

     At 34, I got pregnant.  We weren't planning it.  We were a little freaked out.  But, what the heck.  Everyone always told me that you couldn't really plan for these things.  It will work out.  It always does.  So we went to the doctor, started wrapping our head around the idea, and began to get really excited.  Then had a miscarriage.
     It was really early on in the pregnancy.  I think I was only 6 weeks along.  That is the curse of being so in tune with your body, I guess.  My OB told me that a lot of women have early miscarriages, and never even detect them- they just think they are late.  Late followed by a heavy period.  Okay.  But we knew we were pregnant, and when that "heavy period" came, I knew I was miscarrying.

     Flash forward 3 months.  I'm pregnant again.  What?  Okay.  Back to the doctor.  Early blood tests seem normal.  Then I start having some really intense, weird pains and bleeding.  Trip to the ER confirms that it's ectopic, which means the embryo has implanted in my fallopian tube, and cannot go to term.  It also means that we have to get it out of the fallopian tube before it grows, ruptures the tube, and I bleed to death.  Great.
     It's early on and small enough that I have the option of not having my fallopian tube removed.  They administer a cancer drug called Methotrexate, which stops the growth of rapidly dividing cells- like cancer cells... and embryos.  They administer the shot.  It's intramuscular and hurts- a lot.  Then they send me off with a don't get pregnant again in the next couple months or your child could have birth defects warning. Great.

     About a year goes by.  I'm 35.  We start trying again.  Month after month of pregnancy tests.  No luck.  I'm beginning to think this Methotrexate thing has totally fucked my chances of conceiving.  Then it finally happens.  Positive pregnancy test.
     Getting pregnant again after you've had miscarriages is stressful.  It sucks.  You are always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  So I was apprehensive about my first few Dr.'s appointments.  We finally saw a heartbeat, and I started to relax- a little.  A milestone for women, and why they generally wait 3 months to tell people they are pregnant, is the 12 week ultrasound.  Once you get past that- you are pretty much considered home free.  So I hadn't told a lot of people I was pregnant- just my family and a few close friends.

     Exactly one day before my 12 week ultrasound, I started bleeding- heavily.  Another trip to the ER.  I'm miscarrying ...again.  This time it's not early, and it's nothing like a heavy period.  I am bleeding.  A lot.  We're in the ER waiting room, waiting to be checked into triage.  Something feels really weird.  We get into triage, I get a huge cramp and grab my abdomen.  It's winter.  I'm wearing sweats, a long sleeve shirt, and a really thick sweatshirt.  The cramp stops, I pull my hand away, and it's covered in blood.  I have bled completely through three thick layers of clothes, and am now sitting in a puddle of blood.
     They send us off to a private room with a bed.  We are alone, and my husband is trying to help me remove my clothes.  His arms are now covered in blood, as is the floor around me.  This can't be right.  The room is starting to look like a war zone.  Am I dying?  I actually, literally think I am dying.  We're still alone.  My husband runs for help.

Nurse returns with my husband.  He's clearly terrified.  She's clearly not.   Don't worry ma'am.  This is totally normal.  This is what happens.


What?  This is totally normal?  Are you fucking serious?


     It turns out she is fucking serious.  The statistics are crazy.  One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.  In the US that is roughly 500,000 miscarriages a year.  Now, I generally consider myself to be pretty in tune with women's health issues.  Why didn't I know that this is what a miscarriage was like?  I mean, one in four means that I definitely know women who have gone through it.  Why haven't I ever heard any stories?

     There are several reasons, I'm sure.  First of all, it's depressing.  It's clinical.  It's no fun.  I guess no one really likes to share these types of details about their lives.  Honestly, it was hard for me to even get these few paragraphs out, without deleting them- because, frankly, I like to be entertaining.  This definitely isn't.
     But I believe it is also more than that.  It is failure.
     I mean, I am a woman.  I was made to do this.
     But I can't.  It's really hard to describe how awful that feels.  Oh, and all the hormones crashing down around you, don't really help the situation either.  Then there is also the detail that you have just lost a child.  But don't expect anyone to really acknowledge that.  No one treats a woman that has miscarried as a mother who has lost a child.  But, you are.  You are.   Not because of any of that life begins at conception nonsense that the right wing media pushes, but because you decided to be a mother, and became that.
     Did I emphasize the pain, and the bleeding, and the loss?  And then, the return to your life- as if nothing has happened.  As if you didn't just spend the last 3 months talking to this little being you were creating, imagining what she will look like, and picturing your life as mom.  As if you didn't already love this being, and the new life that we be coming along because of it?
     If you are going through this, right now, and I know some of you must be- I just want to tell you one thing.  You will survive this.
      You will survive this because you are a woman.  And women are fucking amazing.  And clearly, as the statistics say, we endure this, and go on with our lives.  And a lot of us go on to conceive children, eventually.  I will tell you that after two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, I went on to give birth to the most beautiful baby ever, at age thirty-seven. 
     Try to talk to your friends about it.  We aren't doing each other any favors by keeping this stuff to ourselves.  These are our narratives, that should be shared.  They are distinctly female experiences- and very common ones at that.  If you are miscarrying at three months you will bleed alot.  You are not dying.  What a revelation.  We need to share these details- don't you think?

     Don't give up hope.  It will work out.  It always does.*


*Maybe not.  But I try to be a glass half full kind of girl.  If you are going through this now, and need a little community, Baby Center has a great miscarriage support message board.  You can find it here.





Thursday, March 22, 2012

You ruined my boobs.



There is something so therapeutic about creating guilt cards that you will never send to your child.  You should try it.  Yes, this is how I occupy my time while he naps.  So?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's not "Pro-Life." It's "Anti-Choice." Get it right, Assholes.

Am I conscious?

This is not a rhetorical question.

Really, am I conscious?  It would make more sense if I was stuck in some 1950's, backwoods, deliverance nightmare.  With toothless morons, speaking through a sprig of hay sticking out of their mouths, running Congress.  In jean overalls.

But these guys aren't in jean overalls.  They are in suits.  Ill-fitting ones, but suits nonetheless.  The stuff that is spewing forth from their lips is making me want to arm myself.

HB954.  It's a new bill being proposed in Georgia that would make it illegal to obtain an abortion after 20 weeks, even if the woman is known to be carrying a stillborn fetus, or one that is otherwise not expected to live to term.

Can you believe we have to do this all over again?


State Representative Terry England was speaking in favor of HB954.  Here is a transcript of the ridiculous nonsense that came out of this guy's mouth when he was pitching it.  This is real.  I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Life gives us many experiences... I've had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive.  Delivering pigs, dead and alive...  It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.  A few years ago I had a young man come to me in our store.  It was when we were debating, talking about dog and hog hunting, I believe.  And at that point there was some language inserted in there that dealt with chicken fighting.   The young man called me to the side and he said, 'I wanna tell you one thing' and ya'll this is salt to the earth people I am talking about.  Someone who I would never, in a hundred years expected to tell me what he told me that day.  He said 'Mr. Terry I want to tell you something.  You tell those folks down there, when they quit killing babies, they can have every chicken I've got.'

Excuse me Representative England, but, WHAT IN THE BLOODY FUCK, ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?  Seriously, are you stoned?  Or just really, really stupid?

First, don't compare women to cows and pigs- ever.  And do not compare a woman- who has to go through the heartbreak and horror of carrying and terminating the pregnancy of a stillborn fetus- to a pregnant barnyard animal.  Not the same thing.  Do you understand at all why it's not the same thing?  Let me try to break it down for you;  one is a hoofed animal that rolls around in shit all day.  The other one is your mother.  Are you understanding the difference, now?

Second, why in the hell is the opinion of a "salt to the earth" cockfighter showing up in one of your speeches to lawmakers?  Isn't cockfighting illegal?  This guy traffics in having barnyard animals- which you seem to have such a deep, heartfelt sympathy for- peck each other to death.  We care about his opinion, why?  At the risk of sounding redundant,  I must ask, are you stoned?


What in the hell is going on?  Why are we having these conversations?  Well, to be fair, we aren't having them- old, white, republican men like this guy are.  Didn't our mothers and aunts fight their asses off, burn their bras, and take to the streets so we wouldn't even have to hear this type of dialogue again?  Why are we regressing- so fast- back to a time when women didn't have a voice, or a say in what happened with their bodies?

Ladies, it's time to get angry.  Really, fucking angry.  States like Georgia, Virginia, Texas and Tennessee that are having small daily victories in the war against women, are chipping away at our collective strength.  Speak up, write letters, get mad.  Spread the word.  Stop the insanity.

One last point, and my rant is done.  We should all stop using their terminology.  It's not "Pro-Life."  It's "Anti-Choice."  Let's not do their PR for them.

Sign petition against HB954 here.
Sign petition against Virginia's "Personhood" bill here.
Sign the pledge to trust Texas Women here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not today.





These weren't taken today.  They are from about four months ago.  Looking at them, it is crazy to see how much he's grown up in FOUR months.

No one ever told me that motherhood is a succession of heartbreaks.  Your kid changes into something new- every day- right before your eyes.  I love the little person he is today, but I miss the little person that he was last year, last month, last week.

Soon he'll be talking.  Then off to school.  Then a teenager who is annoyed by everything I do... Ugh.  I'm gonna go watch him nap.

Friday, March 16, 2012

You have a dog. I have a child. It's not the same thing.

     I was enjoying a rare moment alone this morning at the coffee shop, while my laundry was drying. I was luxuriously sipping, staring into space, and accomplishing absolutely nothing - when my moment of bliss was interrupted by a loud slap.
     I had vaguely heard a little fussing behind me.  It went something like this;
     Muffin!
     No sweetie, you can't have a muffin.
     Muffin!
     No, honey.  We aren't getting muffins today.
     MUFFIN!
     Smack!

     Holy crap. Did mommy actually just hit her child - in the middle of Connecticut Muffin?
     Nope. I turned to see a smiling toddler, and a shocked mother with a rosy cheek.

The face of an angel?  Sometimes.

     Had this been a year and a half ago - before I had a child - I would have probably given mommy a look of judgement and disdain. Today - I just looked at her, shrugged my shoulders, and thought, Great.  Is this what I have to look forward to? I mean, this woman was clearly a good mom. She wasn't indulging her kid, she was attentive, she kept her head together, and she left immediately when he acted up.
     Poor, tired, embarrassed mom walks out of the shop. Immediately, the women behind me start talking. 
     Did you see that? God. You can't tell me you can't teach a child 'No.' I have a dog, and I can teach him that. A dog. Aren't children smarter than dogs? Yes, they are. Jeez.
     I have issues holding my tongue. It's been a problem for as long as I can remember. Maybe I was mute in a past life. I turn around to offer my two cents.
     Do you have kids? The dog you tied up outside before you came in here doesn't count.  
     She answers, clearly annoyed.  No.
     Well then, maybe you should shut the hell up.
     In solidarity with tired mom - and just in case these women are prone to violence - I pick up my stuff and leave. So much for my relaxing morning.


      
     Honestly, I don't know what it is about parenting that makes us all think it's so easy to do.  It's not easy.  At all.  And guess what, just because you have a puppy, or once spent the weekend watching your best friend's child, doesn't make you a pro on the subject. Try rearing something 24 hours a day - that you can't tie up outside a restaurant, or leave home all day, alone. I'm not saying owning a pet is easy. It is a total pain in the neck. It just doesn't really qualify you to give parenting advice or judgement. Let me rephrase; advice - fine. Judgement - no.
     My child is 16 months old. He doesn't listen to a damn thing I say. I don't indulge his every whim; he just happens to be a young, rough draft of a human being - with no on/off switch, no real social skills yet, and no volume control.
     He's a wild animal that I can't put on a leash, or muzzle. I'll repeat, that I can't put on a leash, or muzzle. That's the difference between him, and your dog.  And that's why - by default - my life is harder.

     So give myself and other parents a break, and stop thinking you know it all because you taught your dog how to fetch and stop chewing on your shoes. And I'll stop cursing you under my breath every time your dog's pee ruins a perfectly beautiful, fresh snowy street - or the next time I get a huge waft of dog shit when I'm on my morning walk.

Deal?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ha.



Last night I realized that one of the most popular search terms for my site was "failing miserably at parenting."  That inspired the above creation.  Ha.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The only thing I know for sure, is that I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

Yesterday, at the park, I witnessed a little boy barrel down the slide, slightly off-centered, and fall on his face.  His face actually scraped against the bottom edge of the slide- and instantaneously, a scratch and bruise started to form.

Dad walks over, picks him up and attempts to comfort his wailing child.  Out of nowhere comes another mom to the rescue.

Oh my goodness!  I saw that.  That looks bad.  Here- you can have our ice pack.  And here's some Neosporin, just in case the skin is scratched.

Naturally, my attention shifts from screaming child to Super Mom.

She sorta looked like this.


You carry around an ice pack and Neosporin?  Really?  Great.  Another parenting feat I'm failing at.  I never have an ice pack and Neosporin.  I don't even think I have those things at home.  I'm not even sure we own any Band Aids.
 
I begin to scan the park.  Off to the right is one mom, with a giant bag of toys.  Her kids are building sand castles in the corner, near the swings.  I swear there wasn't sand there yesterday.  Did they bring their own?

And there is a mom with the checkered picnic blanket and a basket full of snacks.  Seriously- it's a real picnic basket.  The kind Yogi Bear steals.  I want to send Lucien over to the cornucopia of goodness- but I'm not sure she would approve.  How did she carry that basket, push a stroller, and get not one but TWO kids to the park?

Oh, and those children are making a sidewalk chalk mural.  Seriously.  The thing is gorgeous.  How old are they?

The only thing I've brought to the park is my purse.  There isn't even a snack in it.  Or a diaper.  I look down at my empty-handed child.  I swear he's been scanning the park, too.  He looks up at me,  as if to say,  Really, mom?  Didn't you think, even for a second, that maybe I'd like an organic fruit snack, too?

I'm always amazed at the parents who are fully armed with an arsenal of goodies to keep their children entertained.  They are obviously equipped with some kind of organizational skills that I don't have.   It's sort of akin to my friend who keeps a go-bag ready, in case the zombie apocalypse happens.  He is definitely organized enough to effectively procreate and rear a child- but I'm pretty sure he's sworn not to.  I've always been comforted by the fact, that if indeed the zombie apocalypse does happen- I can be on his team.  Maybe I should approach parenting in the same way.  Success by association.

Wow.  That is an amazing picnic basket!   Hi.  I'm Maria... and this is my son Lucien.  

I may not know what the hell I'm doing- but I'm pretty sure I just saw Lucien wink at me.

Today.




Affinity for electronics, courtesy of... Daddy.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Cosmetic Counter Horror Show.

       Last week was my birthday.  You know what I got for it?  A day of solitude in the city.  It was awesome.  I actually dressed up, left Brooklyn, and spent the day shopping, eating and getting my makeup done.

     My stance on makeup has always been- well, I don't have one.  I put on makeup once, before I leave the house.  I don't bring it with me.  I don't touch it up.  The one application is the only love my face gets.  I always thought this was a fair approach.  I mean, I'd probably look better with more on, but this way at least everybody knows that I can't look much worse.

     My usual trip to the makeup counter involves me walking up to it, specifically asking for what I need, paying, and walking away.  On my birthday, I thought I would be a little daring, and actually see what the experts would recommend.  I walked up, told Miss Lancome that I needed some advice, and took a seat in her chair.
     Oh, wow!  You got a pretty one!  Says one of her cloaked Lancome sisters, as she walks by.
     That was weird.  Okay, moving on.

     First things first.
     Are you dehydrated?
     Well, let's see.  I had two glasses of wine for dinner last night, probably consumed one glass of water in the last twelve hours, and my apartment is as hot as the Sahara in June.  Also, I had four cups of coffee this morning.
     Maybe, a little.
     She puts some cream on my face.  Honestly, it's the most amazing thing I've ever felt.  I look in the mirror.  I'm glowing.  I need this.
     Wow, this stuff is amazing.  I definitely want it.  How much is it?


     One hundred and forty dollars.

     Blank stare.  Did you say one hundred and forty dollars?
     Yes, It's the best.  And it will last you four months.
     Four months, really? Great.  I'm pretty sure that all of the collective face lotion I have bought over the last five years wouldn't add up to one hundred and forty dollars.
     Oh, forget it.  I can't afford that.
     No!  You're worth it!  You should splurge!
     I'm not saying I'm not worth it.  I'm pretty sure I'm even worth that $300 serum that claims I'll look younger in seven days if I use it.  I actually believe I will look younger in seven days if I use that shit.  But that doesn't mean I can afford it.
     No thanks.  Maybe next time.

     Okay.  Lotion done.  Now onto foundation- which I have never used, ever.  I am pretty reluctant to slather this stuff all over my face.
     It feels unnatural because you've never worn makeup before!  You have to get used to it.  I felt the same way the first time I really applied my makeup.  It didn't feel right. 
     Well,  maybe you should have heeded some of that intuition.  It looks like Lucien applied your foundation with one of his gummy spoons.  But, to each her own.  On with the pitch.
     She begins to use a paintbrush to apply a layer of foundation over my face.  Not bad. My skin actually does look pretty great, and it doesn't feel too weird.


     Wow!  She's gorgeous!  Look at that skin!
    
     Okay.  I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable.  Another cloaked Lancome lady has stopped to examine my beautiful, flawless skin.  I wasn't born yesterday, ladies.  This barrage of compliments is not going to make me buy more shit.  Anyway, onto the eyes.

     I pull out the dress I just bought for my sister's upcoming wedding.   
     I want something for my eyes that will go well with this.
     Great.  She goes back to her utility belt and pulls out some brushes.  A flat of eyeshadow appears before us.
     Look down.
     Now to the side.
     Now up.
     Very good- to the side again.
     I can't see it yet, but I can tell I'm never going to be able to recreate this, just by manner of all of the work it's taking.  Here comes the hand mirror.  Holy crap.  What has this woman done to me?
     Oh, no.  Too much.
     No!  It looks sultry.  It's a smokey eye.  It's very this season.  It's subtle.
     It looks like someone subtly punched me in the face.  Sorry, no.  I hate it.
     Her face begins to sour.  It actually looks like it's beginning to hurt her to execute a smile.  Another cloaked commentator approaches.
     
     Look at those gorgeous eyes!

     Oh, sweet Jesus, enough already!  I get it.  I'm gorgeous.  I'm amazing.  No one has ever seen such a perfect specimen as myself.  How is my face not plastered all over one of these giant posters- strategically placed all over the cosmetics section- of the biggest Macy's in America?  I mean really ladies- no offense- but  now it's just getting ridiculous. 


     Two pairs of  slightly shocked, definitely disgusted, subtly smokey eyes just stood there- staring at me.  I believe I rendered them speechless.  The air was thick with perfume and discomfort.

     I'm ready to... pay.

     The barrage of compliments worked after all.  They pushed me over the edge, and I left with everything... except the cream.
     I wasn't born yesterday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

No soup for you!

     The food situation in our house is putting a real stress on our marriage.
     By the food situation, I mean of course, that Lucien is the only one that gets fed anymore.

     If being responsible for providing three square meals a day for a toddler has taught me anything, it's this;
adults don't require three square meals- ever.

     At least I don't.  I'm not sure I ever will.   Keeping a fridge stocked with enough booty for three  meals a day is almost impossible.  Especially in New York, where shopping involves also carrying all that crap home- and if you're me- up three flights of stairs.  

     Unfortunately, children can't sip coffee all day- and subsist on some pathetic meal, thrown together at 10 pm with whatever happens to be hanging around the fridge.  Also unfortunate, is the fact that my husband can't seem to do that either.  So I've been forced to change my habits.  I have to get to the grocery store at least once a week.

    Getting to the grocery store once a week means that Lucien eats great- but not really anyone else.  I don't have enough time or energy to shop, or carry anything for anyone else.   For breakfast,  he'll have  a whole wheat waffle with honey, or some Greek yogurt and fruit, or a cheese omelet.  His lunch consists of some manner of pasta with vegetables,  a ripe avocado and bananas.  And his dinner is usually a glorious mixture of fish, fresh veggies and potatoes.  He's quite the gourmand.

Mmm, delicious.


   You know what I had for lunch today?  A handful of elbow pasta that I picked off of the floor after Lucien deemed it unworthy, and a half of an organic yogurt rice crisp bar for toddlers.  And apparently toddler food is fattening as fuck, because I'm not even losing any weight on this rejected-kiddie-food-starvation-diet.

   My husband is getting pretty annoyed by this scenario.  He too, would like a home cooked meal every once in a while.  Pre-baby, we had this thing people refer to as "disposable income."  We would use it to have gourmet meals delivered to our house, several times a week.  It was awesome.  It is also a thing of the past, much like going to a movie, or going anywhere together at all-for that matter.

    These are the types of things that people refer to as "extra stresses on a relationship" that happen after you have a child.  In the past, if my husband mentioned that we were running low on groceries, I'd probably just put in on my to-do list for the following day.  Now, a similar exchange goes something like this:

Husband:  Wow.  We really need groceries.
Me:  I'm not sure if you know this- but you actually don't need to have boobs to get into Pathmark.  They let men in, too.

Or:

Husband:  Wow.  We really need groceries.
Me:  I just went shopping today.
Husband: You bought Yo-baby's, sweet peas, elbow pasta, bananas, canned pears and "little fishies" fish sticks.
Me:  You can't fashion a meal out of that?


Yes, the food situation is putting a stress on our marriage.  But that's all I can say about it- the fish sticks are ready, and I'm exhausted.









Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Today.



Note the ball in hand in every picture.  This thing is awesome.  Easy to grab, doesn't roll away- and he loves it.  And I love not having to chase a ball all over the playground.  Although since it's the only exercise I get these days- maybe I should reconsider my purchase.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Another birthday. F you Father Time, Mother Nature, and anyone else responsible.

     So, today is my birthday.  As evidenced by the title of this post- not super excited about it.  Also not super excited about not being super excited about it.  Being a woman who hates birthdays as she approaches 40 is so cliche.  But what can I say?  Being closer to 50 than I am to 20 pretty much sucks.

     Yes, in theory it does.  But then I think about my mom, who is amazing- and the sexiest, most amazing 70+ year old woman you will ever meet.  She said something to me a couple months ago, that I will never forget.  She said, God, I would love to be 50 again.  50 was great.

This is my mom in her 40's.  Thank Goddess for good genes.


     Really?  If you could travel back in time today, to any age- it would be 50?  Holy shit, that is incredible.  I'm only 39.  I still have 50 to look forward to.  And 49, 48, 47, 46, 45, 44, 43, 42, 41, and even 40.  Nothing like a little perspective, to brighten your day.

     Thanks, Mom.

     Happy Birthday to me.

     This year, I'm going to be sure to remember one thing- that I will be dead someday.  Could be tomorrow, could be next week, or it could be 40 years from now.  I've always had a habit- during times in my life that terrified me- to remember that, yes, I would be dead some day.  It may sound grim, but somehow- to me- it is strangely comforting.  What it makes me remember is this- be fearless.  Don't let the turkey's get you down.  Don't take anything too seriously or too personally.  This too, shall pass.  I guess I am becoming a Buddhist.

     Impermanence is awesome.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Urbanbaby.com exists- and it's terrifying.

     I'm thinking of making blogging my livelihood.  It seems possible.  I've made $42.00 so far, so with the right planning, I can probably quit my job by next spring.   
     Since I've started trying to build my Mommy empire, I have become aware of how important it is to check out the "Mommysphere."   You know, all the wonderful sites that we Mommies go to for advice, camaraderie, blah, blah, blah. 
    Some of them are really amazing.  No, really- they aren't.   Most of them are just one sponsored post after the next- an epic rainstorm of cash that I am praying will shower over me one day.  I mean, I'll plug anything, really, if it means that I don't have to open another bottle of wine and carefully determine how much you need in your glass- throughout your meal.  It is a complicated dance folks.  And it's wearing me down.
     Clearly, I'm about as far as you can be from the sponsored-posting avalanche of cash.  The most important thing for me, is getting the word out,  and writing things that people are entertained by.  So of course, I should do my homework, right?  I decided to get on the baby boards, and see what was on the minds of the Mommies of America. 
     I Googled some message boards for Moms, and a landslide of sites came up.  One stood out;   

Urbanbaby.com.    

    Urbanbaby.com.  What do you think of when you see these words?  I immediately pictured a woman, holding her baby, ascending four flights of stairs to her crappy apartment.  Basically- I saw myself.  To me,  these words said,  Come hither tired mother of the city.  We will show you the lightest strollers,  the most compact changing stations, and provide a never ending list of all of the free ways to entertain your baby in your urban oasis.   Basically, I imagined a site that would be a great resource for me- and my urban baby.

Boy, was I wrong.

Did Joan Crawford write this poll?
    Urbanbaby.com is filled with a bunch of rich, entitled, Mothers- who hate their kids.  It's incredible.
    Yes, that poll was actually on their homepage.  This site is powered by crazy.  The more I read it, the more incensed I got.  It took every shred of self control that I possess not to make a profile, just so I could respond to these women.  I mean, there should be a warning before you enter it, you know like they have on porn sites?  Except instead of saying,  Adult material, you must be 18 or over to enter.  Please verify that you are 18 here,  it should say, Everyone on this site is blissfully unaware of the recession and has no idea how it feels to every once and a while have to eat potatoes for dinner because you can't afford anything else.  Really, they have never, ever, had to do that.  And their dogs wear more expensive clothes than you.  Are you sure your head won't explode if you continue?


     But, there was no warning.  So, I continued.  I decided it would be counter productive to yell at these women, because they would probably just pay to have me killed.  So instead, I'm responding to  some of their forum posts, on the safety of my own site.  The following are actual posts pulled from that site- I promise, I could never make this stuff up.  


 Entitled, Delusional Mom   I cant stop crying.  I'm tired of NYC- grew up here as did my [husband]*. We had privileged lives.  However, the last 2 years he has only brought in $100,000 which is nothing here.  Our apartment is too small- 1000 sq ft.  We have one child.  I work part time.  Our lives are deceptive because my parents help us a lot- but even they don't know how little my [husband] makes.  No clue what to do.  I'm devastated that our daughter won't be going to private school.  I feel like we have failed her.  And I'm so angry at my [husband] for making so little- which I realize is not completely rational but I can't help it.  I feel like I have been denied the life I was supposed to have.
 *You'll notice I used the word husband in brackets.  That is because on most mommy boards, there is this crazy, involved acronym system.  DH stands for dear husband.  SO stands for significant other, DD stands for dear daughter- the list goes on and on.  Why in God's name anyone would bother memorizing all of this ridiculous shit instead of just typing out the word is a mystery to me.   So here I put [husband] where DH was- so that you all would know what the hell she was talking about.


Guerrilla Mom  Um, you still have a privileged life, clearly, because you are bitching about having to work part time, and riding your husband for only making $100,000 a year.  Get a grip. The one, bright, shining light- in your otherwise black existence- is that your daughter might be saved from turning out to be as big of an asshole as yourself, by being around some normal, public school kids.



EDM  Sorry to clog up Urban Baby, but I'm the one going to the Obama fundraiser.  How about these dresses?  Yes?  No?  Problem is, I don't know if I can run out and find these dresses on time, but I'll try!  [Insert list of dresses here, that each cost more than my rent].


GM  Fuck off.



EDM  My 2 year old is out of control!  I'm thinking of sending him to my husband's aunt for the summer so she can work with him.  He doesn't know her- would that be really traumatic?

GM  Sending your two year old to a total stranger for the summer?  No, that won't be traumatic at all.  Can anybody say lifetime of abandonment issues?  


Yes, Urbanbaby.com exists- and it's terrifying.  If you don't believe me, go check it out for yourself.








 


 

 

 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This is why we can't have nice things.

     For months, I have been waffling with the idea of joining the food co-op.  A food co-op is basically a grocery store that is run by its members.  Since they cut out the overhead of paying employees, they are able to offer all of their products to members at insanely low prices.  All you have to do to join is pay $175 and commit to working 2 hours every 4 weeks.

     Sounds pretty great, right?  It is.  And if you are not an asshole, like myself, and live in the Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed- Stuy, or Prospect Heights area, you should join here.

That is actually my baby's face- bottom, 3rd from left.  I totally suck.


      Groceries in Brooklyn are ridiculously expensive- and I have a baby.  These two points alone should make me beat the doors down to join.  Also, I know a lot of the people who worked hard to bring this about- and they are really lovely.  But I haven't joined yet.  Why?  Could it be that 2 measly hours of work every 4 weeks is enough to deter me?   Well, yes, sort of.  But it's more than that.

     I'm in the service industry.  It's an industry that I love, it really is.  And I am really good at it- making people feel welcome and taken care of.   But when you work with the public- day in and day out for 20 years, like I have-  inevitably something happens.  You begin to have a lower tolerance for chit-chat.  I mean, I basically get paid to be nice to people.  It's exhausting.  My days off are basically quiet zones, spent communicating only in baby talk with my child.  I like it that way.  The thought of committing those 2 extra hours a month to "building community" makes me want to stab myself in the face.

     It sounds terrible- and it is.  I may actually be a bad person.  But I'm just being honest.  I might have been able to work through all of these feelings, had I not witnessed the live-tweeting of a neighboring co-op's monthly meeting last night.  There is no way in hell- no way in hell- that I have the patience to sit through something like this.  I can't.  I just can't.

     Chadwick Matlin, a Reuters Opinion Editor and co-op member, live tweeted the meeting.  He also sealed my fate of eternally buying expensive groceries, in a non-community building environment.   Here are the tweets in all of their glory.  This guy is a genius.  I left some out because I got really sick of taking screen shots. You can see the full tweet-script here.