Oh no. Gabby has discovered astrology.

Of course she wants to be a Leo. Check out her sign.

So yesterday, Gabby spent a large portion of her day checking out astrological charts and reporting when they made sense and when they did not. Gabby is a Leo, so this was immensely fun for her. Basically, all of the information out there about Leos is highly flattering: Leos are strong, Leos go for what they want, Leos are highly successful blah blah blah. All day I heard about this. Then she said, “Mom, what are you?” “Pisces,” I replied.

See what I’m saying?

Long silence, while she read up on Pisces. Then:

“Wow, Mom. Bad luck for you,” she said.

And back to Fun Facts About Leos.

 


    A couple of stories.

    You already know, I think, that I have a chronic case of Resting Bitch Face (or as I like to call this apparently totally offensive phenomenon, “my face”). I am therefore especially susceptible to that comment that some men make to women: “Smile! It’s not that bad!” The takeaway here is, what? That because I am female I must always look happy? Do these gentlemen, so busily exhorting me to put on a more pleasant expression, ever tell that to their male colleagues? –Because no they don’t. This habit is not harmless. It is patronizing, it is belittling, it sends the message that a woman is not acceptable in public unless she is putting on her prettiest face. But not all men do this, and I have two stories to illustrate it:

    There is some street art downtown that says, simply, “Stop Telling Women to Smile.” About a month ago I was waiting to cross the street near this sign,  a gentleman of maybe 55 or 60 waiting as well. The light changed, and as we started across, the man suddenly said, “What do you think of that?” -indicating the street art. I was taken aback for a second, then I was unsure where he was headed with this question. Then I finally just replied, “I like it,” and inwardly braced myself for a series of tone-deaf objections. Instead, he just nodded. No other questions, no arguments; he just completely accepted my answer. We were approaching the sidewalk now and clearly headed in opposite directions. “Thanks,” he said. “I figure, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know, right?”

    My second story is from a few years ago. I was attending an event for my alma mater. Sitting in a room full of people and waiting for the guest of honor, who had just been announced, I was chatting quietly with my friend Ann’s husband. The huge room was filled with people chatting and waiting. Then, a man leaned toward me and shushed me, his eyebrows drawn together angrily. “SHHHH!!!!!!!!” he hissed, as though he was scolding a toddler. I looked around in disbelief, and in particular at the loud group of gentlemen, laughing and talking boisterously right next to this man: clearly, he didn’t feel like he could tell these men– the actual source of his issue– to be quiet, but he certainly felt well within his rights to shush a woman. I was irritated…… but honestly, only for a moment. Because Ann’s husband was incensed. John is a gentle giant, very quiet, calm and polite by nature; when I was singled out by this guy, though, John stood up and silently faced down the man, the “gentle” gone, all giant. He talked about it for the rest of the night, too: John could not believe the sexist nature of the interaction, could not believe that these things actually happen in the real world, was infuriated on my behalf. (Also, happy birthday, John!!!)

    So today, on a day when I was instructed to smile for the pleasure of the guy at the coffee shop, I remind myself that not every man behaves this way. I am married to one of the good ones– and thinking about my friends’ husbands, I can’t imagine a single one of them ever uttering the words, “Smile! It can’t be that bad!” to me or any other woman. Hopefully this antiquated and inappropriate habit is going away. Maybe, if we’re lucky, my daughters will never have any man objectifying them because of their gender.


      What does a migraine feel like?

      I still remember my first migraine. I was in sixth grade, and it started after colliding with another girl on the playground in the morning. My head was still ringing and my vision was still blurred about an hour later at lunch. Later that afternoon, I threw up and fell asleep, and woke up feeling much better.

      But the experience of that headache has returned hundreds of times. In my early twenties, before I discovered that hormonal birth control was exacerbating my migraines, I was getting 3-4 each month. Figuring that out and getting off hormonal birth control was a life changer. These days, my migraines are mainly tied to rapidly changing weather or accidentally ingesting MSG; I’d estimate I get less than 10 in a typical year. Last year I think I might have only had 3 or 4, total, and the severity has lessened considerably: if I take medication as soon as I see an aura, I can avoid the major pain cycle (although nothing affects the aura, the light sensitivity, and the sense of disorientation and fogginess afterwards. I call that the migraine hangover). So I am by no means complaining; my migraines are totally manageable and do not affect my daily life.

      And also check this out: a fellow migraine sufferer shared with me this video, which gives non-migraine sufferers an idea of what it’s like. I’m sharing here because I found it fascinating that they are able to so closely replicate the visual experience of a migraine. Check it out, if you want to feel a little dizzy and nauseated for the rest of the day. (Or just take my word for it. And then be nice to anyone you know who suffers from migraines. Most of them have it way worse than I do.)

       


        Things a parent has to say, Part A Million…

        “Addie, that is a word that means ‘rooster.’ And please stop saying it. Say rooster.”


          This is my brain on text.

          I currently have possession of the phone of one of my children. Texts continue to roll in- the child in question must have told their peeps that I have the phone, but I guess they’re thinking optimistically- and I must have turned into a crabby old man overnight. Because I cannot take these constant texts. They’re about nothing. NOTHING. It’s nothing but a desire to remain constantly connected, a concept which did not exist when I was that age. I mean, we were aware we could not remain on the phone forever. So I don’t identify with it, and I cannot stand it, and I am losing brain cells every time this phone buzzes with a, “Yo,” or a, “What’s up.”

          I might give the phone back just to get myself out of this misery.

           


            Stupidity Level: Max.

            Remember the Egyptian plane hijacking of yesterday? ….Well, did you know that the absolute most self-involved, least self-aware man in the world was on that flight? (Not even talking about the hijacker. For real.) Turns out that a British gentleman named Ben Innes, whose Instagram probably contains a photo of every meal he has ever eaten, was on that flight. And, in order to document the occasion, Mr. Innes decided to ask the hijacker for a selfie.

            Let me repeat that: he took a selfie with the man he thought was going to kill him. In order to document the occasion.

            This dumbass thought he was facing death. He was one of the last hostages on the plane. And, as he explains it, he got bored (it’s BORING when you’re being hijacked, you guys!!) and thought it would be a great selfie to have, especially in case he was getting blown up. In what he thought might be the last few moments of his life, he wasn’t thinking of his loved ones or praying or looking for a way to help the situation. Oh no: this fine young Millennial’s first priority was to display his stunningly subpar critical thinking survival skills on Instagram.

            After that, he reports, he went back to his seat and started texting his mom.


              Easter Malaise….

              I feel your pain, kid.

              Typical of my usual, “Oh yeah- better do something about that” last-minute approach to Easter– my absolute least favorite of holidays– I realized last night that I would need the following:

              • Easter egg dye and eggs
              • Plastic eggs (note to self: check the basement)
              • Candy to fill the eggs
              • The kids’ baskets (again: check basement)
              • Candy and Easter grass to fill the baskets
              • some kind of Easter gift for each kid (too bad I can’t get these from the basement)

              So, you know: I am really just giving this whole list a big “whatever, man.” It makes me feel a little guilty because I really do want the kids to have special holidays– there is just something about Easter that makes me such a curmudgeon, I cannot explain it and I cannot change it. (Maybe it’s the inherently crafty quality of Easter that makes me so cranky? I am not a crafter. At ALL.) Basically, I just forge ahead and hope the kids don’t notice my lack of enthusiasm every year. I am working today, so I was thinking that maybe tomorrow I would go out and find all this junk. But someone really has to stay on me about it: if not, then I’ll probably forget and then Dave will go out and madly overcompensate for my failure to plan ahead. This is our pattern.


                Jilly is here!!!!!

                Jill and her family arrived in town last night. Everything this week has now turned up to an eleven.

                Jill and her family arrived in town last night. Everything this week has now turned up to an eleven.


                  Guess what?

                  …..Turns out, when the test is instrumental in Cam’s procuring his driver’s permit*, he turns into a studying machine.

                  Huh.

                  *Also a side note that Dave always, always says “driver’s per-MIT” instead of “driver’s PER-mit.”And then I tease him about it, and then he rolls his eyes but he can’t fix it: he will still say per-MIT the next time. Long live Davey and his quirky regional pronunciations.


                    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

                    Right? All of my extensive training in watching CSI and reading the Scarpetta books led me to this shining success moment.

                    It’s gonna be a long and fun day today, my friends. I’m typing this while sitting at a kitchen table which has leprechaun footprints all over and around a sprung leprechaun trap. The leprechaun left a note, plus Dave went out and bought candy to leave in place of the doubloons the girls had in the trap. This will thrill the J to no end and I can’t wait to wake her up.

                    I am giving a midterm today, so I’ll be missing Gabby’s St. Paddy’s Day Irish dancing- Dance Mom Dave has that covered as long as I braid her hair before school. (Side note: I wonder if Dave can French braid? It’s possible. He can do pretty much anything.) But in better news: I do get to see Cammy’s first game, in which he is playing JV. I’m so happy and excited for him that I don’t even mind losing my chance to go out and celebrate the day myself.

                    However: the main reason for this post– as I also explained on my Facebook page– is to brag about those teeny tiny footprints all over and around the leprechaun trap. I used a grape as a stamp and I’m really proud of myself. I’d Pinterest my craft skillz, but they’re trade secrets (also I have no craft skillz. This is just me, at 10:30 last night, wandering around the house in my bathrobe and trying to half-ass a couple of footprints before I went to bed. The odds this time were in my favor, apparently).

                     


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