I set some not quite resolutions for 2016. The New Year is finally here, which is a good thing, because taken as a whole, 2015 wasn’t particularly great. Okay, I did get married to my dream guy and no one suffered any major health crises, all of which I’m thankful for. Without making a giant list of my grievances against 2015, let’s just say I’m ready to move on from the stress and anxiety it brought. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, old year!
Dear Maxipad Companies,
We need to talk. We need to have a little conversation.
You decorated my maxipads. And my tampons. Why’d you go do that?
Why are you going to so much trouble to disguise my feminine hygiene apparatus?
Who are you trying to fool? Women? Men?
Because, women, we KNOW we all get periods. We get it. My daughters – they’re young and their friends get all embarrassed and giggly about it. When you decorate a tampon to make it look like a party favor, you’re basically telling them they should be all embarrassed, and you’re going to help them out by making it look like something else.
Nearly every morning, I take a shower. When I step out of the shower, I wrap a towel around my horde of curls and stand naked in front of the huge mirror over our vanity. I assess my belly, once smooth and firm, now scarred and soft from the hard work of pregnancy and three c-sections. I grimace with a something akin to irritation at my thighs – no matter how many miles they’ve run, or how many squats they’ve done – they can never quite escape the dimples of cellulite, now exacerbated by time and gravity. I save my harshest criticism for my ass. No longer the petite derriere of a twenty-something, age and heredity (and more than a few french fries) have contributed to its metamorphosis. It’s somehow larger, but smaller – wider and flatter, criss-crossed with stretch marks. Firm? Only when I’m clenching those babies tight enough to crush a soda can. It occurs to me that I’ve conducted this same ritual for decades – in different bathrooms in different homes in different mirrors – and I’ve never been satisfied with what I’ve been looking at. Today, I would give anything to have those 24-year-old thighs or stomach or ass but, when I was 24, it wasn’t good enough. Surely, there’s a lesson in that alone that should go something like “be happy with what you’ve got, because someday you’ll be wishing you had just that.” Let’s be honest, aging works in mysterious ways. Stray hairs are akin to the rings of trees – the number is a sure indicator of age. The random strands are like phantoms – I can feel them there, but my eyesight has declined to the point where I can’t actually see them. The same goes for some of the finer wrinkles on my face. Nearsightedness is God’s Photoshop. The further I stand from the mirror, the better I look – a self-inflicted blur filter.
A few weeks ago, my middle daughter absolutely needed to have a puppy. In spite of the fact that she’s 14, she was standing in my bedroom, tears rolling down her face, showing me pictures of adorable puppies available for adoption that she had to have. It must have slipped her mind that we already have two dogs. I would think she’d remember them since she’s constantly yelling for them to “Get Out!” of her room. No, guess not. Jillian has a history of passionately wanting something for about 24 – 28.5 hours. In fact, I have 4 cactii downstairs as proof. Excuse me, 1 very phallic cactus and 3 succulents. Why a teenager who keeps her room as dark as Dracula’s tomb would want 4 sun-loving plants is beyond me, but I indulged her.
If you’re here looking for a post that explains how I installed our bamboo floors or how we replaced a toilet bowl in our house, you’re going to be disappointed. Maybe some other time. What I’m about to tell you will save you years of time – I’m sure of it. These words of maternal wisdom are the result of years of careful research and experimentation. I can tell you with nearly absolute scientific certainty (margin of error +/- 68%) that, instead of delegating tasks, you should do it yourself, Mom.
(Note: After this post was completed, my husband felt compelled to defend his position. You’ll see his comments after mine. Welcome to our first “He Said, She Said”, I guess!)
There are parts on men that are (I think we can all agree) not attractive. Entertaining? Yes. Nice to look at? Maybe. Does that extend to feet? Furthermore, does ‘unattractive’ trump ‘comfort’? I don’t mean pajamas at Wal-Mart, I mean flip flops.
Last winter, we all went on a cruise that included stops at some gorgeous Caribbean beaches. My husband, Dave, wore sneakers. On the beach. In the ocean! Pretty much everywhere. He is a conscientious objector to flip flops. In his words, “men should not wear flip flops.” For me, the day the weather finally becomes warm enough to wear flip flops, I get a pedicure, do a happy dance, and pop those babies right on my feet. What other item of footwear can be gotten for $1? The bargain price is obviously a sign that we are all meant to wear flip flops when summer rolls around.
When you’re the parent of teenaged girls, they ask you all sorts of questions. These questions seem straightforward enough, but like a desert in a war zone, they’re really booby trapped. Let’s face it, the reality is that we didn’t actually DO (or NOT do) many of the things we advise our own kids to do (or not do.) That’s how I found myself talking to kids about drinking the other night.
Let me set the scene: we were enjoying a sushi dinner the other night, with all three children, along with our “fourth child” – a friend of the girls’, who spends so much time with us that she might as well move in. Which, by the way, would be fine, because she’s definitely the most responsible of our kids. Considering our recent track record for peaceful meals out, we were having a surprisingly pleasant time. And then…
A bunch of my friends are celebrating big anniversaries this week…15 years, 20 years, one couple is even celebrating 25 years. I feel a twinge of jealousy, since I’m back at square one on the anniversary clock. Divorce is the final “Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200” card in the marriage deck. Do over.
While I’m much happier now than I was in my previous marriage, I’m not a proponent of divorce if it can be avoided. By “avoided” I mean that both people can find happiness and satisfaction in the partnership, not that one partner agrees to be miserable in order to stay married. I can say without equivocation that I put more effort into trying to avoid divorce than nearly anything else in my life…but in the end, our marriage couldn’t be saved.
I have a deep and abiding love for my car. In addition to being able to fit just about anything from IKEA in the back, and having the driver’s seat perfectly molded to the shape of my ass, it’s my home away from home. More accurately, it’s my home in the driveway of my actual home before I get home.
As a mom, we spend hours logging miles behind the wheel of our cars bringing our children to and fro. Driving to and from school, various sports activities, and evening events – our fingers spend more time clasped around that steering wheel than our spouse’s hand. It’s not an exaggeration to say that my Toyota and I are in a committed relationship. I look out for her, and she looks out for me. (Yes, she’s a she. The Supreme Court said we can make it official, so don’t judge me.)
My oldest daughter has had her learner’s permit for about a month now, and she’s already sent one unfortunate chipmunk to the Great Nutty Beyond. She may send me to the same place, although instead of the nuts, I’d prefer chocolate ice cream and Diet Coke.
I am the mother of a teen driver.
Many of you have already been through the harrowing experience of getting into the passenger seat of your own vehicle with your child behind the wheel. Something about it feels inherently wrong, like that friend’s husband who always kisses you hello on the lips. As a mother, (and is it the same for fathers?), images of both your lives flash before your eyes. You remember the time she accidentally steered the pink motorized Barbie car into the house, and you just know it’s a sign of what’s to come.