Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Long And Lean

I had some free time today so I “fell in to the GAP” to check out some new Spring fashions. I was having a particularly good hair day so I was feeling groovy…

Until I noticed a whole section of the store marked, “Long and Lean.”

This designation made me feel crummy because I am neither. I am “short and meaty” and I am tired of being discriminated against.

“Ankle” length for me means less shortening of the hemline required. “Long” means I could make leg warmers (a “look” from the past that should never return) with the extra fabric that needs to be cut off from the legs.

I asked the 14 year old manager where “my section” was and she squirmed from discomfort.

And what the hell is with the “skinny jean?" This is a look, that like the leg warmers mentioned above and let me add, “Capezios,” should have died a pernmanent death either after The Dick Van Dyke Show was cancelled or Saturday Night Fever left the theatres. Further, these are fashion trends that make most of the population feel like poop.

May I add that the only article a woman should use on/in her body marked “slender” is a tampon.

It’s a conspiracy against women isn’t it? ‘Cause men don’t have the same problem. The “skinny tie” never offended anybody……except for people with fashion sense and that doesn’t count.

“Long and lean”…what were they thinking? This should be used to describe corned beef…not clothing. And by the way, I think a better corned beef sandwich has a little fat on it.

“I’m just sayin”……I didn’t realize “The Gap” was a place between “Long and Lean” and “Plus Size.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tiger Mother

I admit it…I am completely intrigued by “Chinese Tiger Mother.”

For those of you who don’t know to whom I am referring…this is the nickname for Amy Chua, a Yale law professor and the woman who wrote the “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” a book about parenting the “Chinese Way.” Chua has been all over the airwaves defending her position on “terrorist parenting.” She proudly defends her accounts of telling her children they are “garbage” when they don’t perform to her standards, that their toys will be donated to the Salvation Army if they don’t master a piano concerto by the next day and throwing hand made birthday cards made by her children in their faces and proclaiming they did not show enough effort. She defends these behaviors by explaining that the “Chinese Way,” where hard work, enforced by parents by punishing means, results in excellence, which excellence ultimately makes the children feel good about themselves. Parenting blogs are abuzz…

Yet I, for one, don’t care about her parenting theories. So her daughter played Carnegie Hall at 12…what self respecting Jewish mother isn’t asking, “But is she happy?”

Speaking of Jewish mothers.....in-law....

Ms. Chua, declaring herself an expert on growing up seeking excellence in all things…presumably including selecting a suitable man with whom to procreate…did not marry a Chinese man…she did not marry a man raised as she by “immigrant” parents who scoff at Western ways. She married an American Jew raised by a Yiddisha mama who likely told him he was God’s gift to mankind even when he got a B on a test and quit guitar lessons. Does anyone else find that interesting?

Perhaps hubby Jed Rubenfeld is the ying to her yang? Does he just stand by like a "shtummy" while his beloved bride berates his daughter over an A-? The unimaginable guilt that man must suffer. And whether Grandma Rubenfeld is alive or dead how does he explain the way her granddaughters are being “reared” either to her face or in his head?

Maybe he tells her not to worry…that Amy’s girls will follow in mother’s footsteps and one day one of them will write an acclaimed best seller, “The Lullaby of My Pussycat Daddy.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

16 Candles

A birthday message to my son...

16 years ago today, at about this time of day, I recall screaming as loud as I possibly could... "GET IT OUT!!” to my obstetrician/gynecologist.

It was a warm and tender moment.

Hours later, I felt the release of what seemed like all my internal organs and heard your magical cry. Then, finally, you were placed swaddled in a warm blanket into my arms.

“My son,” I remember thinking. “This little bald pointy headed red-faced guy is my son.” (What a proud time).

I sure had some profound thoughts in the days thereafter. One was, “Wow, now I understand the hype about hemorrhoids” and another was, “Can I keep this funny looking kid healthy, happy and help him to lead a productive life?”

That was a scary question Max. I was 29 and at the time and I was looking in the mirror wondering whether my mother had done those things for me. I recall saying to my reflection, “Well, two out of three aint bad.” (Just kidding Marge)

And the simple, less profound thoughts about what to do next were even more frightening.

Now you are 16!!! My fears are no longer about meeting your basic needs (I finally got those down....chicken wings, pretzel rods, white grape juice, expensive sneakers, etc)...but when I think about the central theme of my current worries, they are still about "healthy, happy and leading a productive life."

These are moving targets my love....ones we keeep chasing as we grow.

16 years of growth is alot ya know...you are now this smart, funny, independent-thinking, continually-evolving young man.

I want you to know that I am trying to "keep up." I have learned so many things trying to be the mother I want to be for you, the mother I think you need and a woman you will still want to be around even when you no longer need your mother.

Don't worry, I’m still working on it.

And on your birthday I want to tell you how much I love growing up with you.

Also, I need to say that as for those moving targets....I am always and forever going to be there for you as you try to hit those and others and to follow whatever dreams you may dream.

That's non-negotiable....
It's payback for the hemorrhoids.

Happy Birthday!!

I love you more than words can ever say.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Winning Season

It’s Thanksgiving time! It’s my favorite holiday and a time of the year when I consistently ask myself...

How am I possibly going to get all my food shopping done? (Twenty Two for dinner)

And then...

I ask myself, “What am I thankful for?”

Pondering this question is an excellent and important exercise and I recommend you all engage. In fact, I will admit, I don’t wait till Thanksgiving to perform the ritual of giving thanks...I consider it a part of my mental health regimen.

As a competitive type, I tend to keep “scorecards”...

My “scorecard of thanks” allows me always to balance “losses,” negative occurrences in my life, with my list of “wins” or those things I am grateful for.

Like when Marge had two surgeries last month (the loss column)...and I was a wreck. I placed the fact that she woke up (with a good prognosis) in the win column.

When I turned 45 a few weeks ago and realized I officially cannot read a menu without glasses and a physician used the “peri-menopause” word in my presence (losses) I acknowledged that the alternative to aging sucks and decided hitting 45 without “dry” body parts was a victory.

My competitor’s view of life also has me pit my blessings against my “troubles.” I visualize them in a boxing ring and if my blessings can kick the ass of my troubles then the “round” goes to blessings.

Since I believe you can create good in your life easier than you can control bad things that happen to even really good people...it seems to me this is a good method for managing the "scorecard" and maintaining a “glass half full" perspective on life.

So this Thanksgiving...when things I am thankful for include my loving family, my cherished friends, the generally good health of both family and friends……I consider myself to be having a winning season.

May this holiday season be a winning season for you as well.
Xoxo

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Night Befores

I hate the “Night Befores…”

It is bad enough surviving weekends with teenagers.

But this week, after breathing a sigh of relief and making it through the prior Friday and Saturday night late evening activities, carpools and teenage behavior, Monday night was a “Night Before.”

“Where ya’ going?” I asked.
Child 1: “To a Sweet 16, remember?”
Child 2: “To a Halloween Party?”
“What about school tomorrow?” I said, with lip trembling.
Children in unison: “It’s the NIGHT BEFORE Election Day (no school)!!”

Ugh!

The dreaded "Night Before."

The Night Befores suck! Because the hubby and I do not have Election Day, for example, “off from work.” We still require the full night’s sleep that makes us capable of performing our job duties…and this does not jive with my worrying schedule or the texting and bbm’ing that goes on after my bedtime to confirm their well-being, safety, consciousness, and need for rides from wherever they are.

So this morning, when I am at my desk working (and sneak-writing this) in a zombie state and my beautiful teens are at home in the fetal position under their covers snoring away enjoying the “morning after,” I am reminding myself of the joys of motherhood and the blessing of having children with fulfilling social lives....

I’m also putting in for Veterans Day as a day off.

'Cause you know what they say...."If you can’t beat ‘em, join em."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

News Rage

I have news rage.

It’s a condition brought on by the atrociousness of the stories most talked about in the media. It can be caused by the nature of the event or the nature of the reporting. Either way, the result is pure, unadulterated RAGE!!!

These events and people are everywhere....and I am mad as hell and can't take it anymore.

Like the Connecticut Dr. whose family was robbed, tortured, raped and burned. It was bad enough when it happened. Now, we have to watch the accounts of the poor man having to sit through a trial where the savage beast who committed these acts confessed but blamed his aggression on his “partner in crime.” This story makes me want to become a vigilante...like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry...“Go ahead....make my day.” Worse, this story causes rage fantasies in which the convicted is brought to a public square and people are allowed to stand on line to do whatever cruel and unusual things they can think of doing to him. I know...my rage is astounding.

Tyler Clemente…this story makes me want to place the roommate, Dharum Ravi, and his friend in the same public square. This story makes me wonder how the lines between human decency and behavior which lacks human decency get crossed with such disregard? Was it a "bias crime?" I don't know but clearly hate, ignorance and Meanness (with a capital "M") were at play here....and Tyler's senseless death makes me angry.

Lindsay Lohan pisses me off too. Stories about Lindsay make me want to stand up and scream, “Who gives a rat’s ass?” Lindsay, Dina and her father should be locked in a holding cell together, for a year or so, with Coach Sue from Glee. I just want her to go away. I liked the remake of the Parent Trap…I really did, but I can't watch it anyway anymore…since Natasha died…so I really have no place in my life for spoiled Lindsay anymore.

Finally, Oksana Grigoriera....and Mel Gibson. Well Oksana...in the words of Gomer Pyle..."Surprise, Surprise!" The anti-semitic adulterer isn't the sweetest man around. You just noticed the guy has a mean streak? Seriously, does anyone care about this?

I could go on and on...but I am pissimg myself off writing this.
I will say, though, that there is a therapeutic side to getting your thoughts on paper.

You all should try it some time.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Off Kilter

Certain things in life throw us “off kilter”…ruin our sense of “balance”…

Like loss, illness or other types of adversities...

And it’s not a good feeling. Worse, it’s a difficult one to articulate…

But articulate I will!

'Cause I have lost my equilibrium a few times in my life, I have a few friends going through some “stuff” as we speak and the tool I am about to provide may come in handy for all.

The “Tool:”

Remember “Welcome Back Kotter?” The Sweathogs? Remember the excuse notes from Epstein’s mother? The ones that said stuff like “Dear Mr. Kotter. Please excuse Juan’s abs. Signed Epstein’s Mother.” Well, when I am off kilter, I imagine what I would like an “excuse” note from Epstein’s mother to say:

Dear Mr. Kotter or anyone who expects anything from [the “Excused Party”] in life:

Please excuse the “Excused Party” from all activities and responsibilities because [this is where you fill in the blank with the concerns that are eating up your focus”].

Though the Excused Party is still “technically” required to wake up in the morning and do what she is supposed to do…”show up” for motherhood, “show up” for work...show up" to play all the roles she normally plays in life…she can’t ‘cause it doesn’t “feel right.”

Please give the Excused Party a “pass” if she forgets a birthday, answers a question wrong at work, complains about body aches she never had before or, instead of giving you sympathy, looks at you with a blank stare when you complain about being stuck at
home waiting for a furniture delivery. The Excused Party really still loves you and hopes you will continue to be her friend, child, sister, boss [whatever] despite her inability to be there for you at that moment. Signed Epstein’s Mother.

P.S. One never knows how long this loss of “equilibrium” will last, so please keep this note on file until somehow, the Excused Party, whomever they may be, can take a deep breath and feel like herself again.

P.S.S. Please note, the Excused Party doesn’t like the feeling of being “off kilter” and she, despite what it looks like, is trying her best to ‘fix this condition” as quickly as possible. [End Note]

Might this come in handy for you? Feel free to "cut and paste" and personalize and retain for future use,

OR....

Think about this: the people in your life who matter to you most, don’t usually need the note. They don’t need to give you one or get one from you…and the rest of the people…well, they are just “who and what they are” and you have to decide how to manage your feelings about whether you care if they “get you” or not. Right?

To my peeps: Marge is doing well.

And to my pals who may use the Note:
May you get your balance back quickly and with little pain.