Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Mother - Skinny Fashionista


So, in the same way I am compelled to call out my dad, I must also call out my mom.

Reason 1) Yesterday was my mama's 55th birthday. Does this lady look like she is 55 years old? No. She has never looked her age a day in her life. With her recent drop of a couple pounds and her keen decision to grow out her bangs she is looking as fresh and lovely as ever. Great. People have always thought that she was my sister. It looks like before long people will be assuming that I am the mother and she is my daughter. I have to ditch these sweatpants on the double.

Reason 2) It seems from this picture that my mom has finally embraced my long held love for scarves and wraps. I say this not just because this is my favorite outfit in the whole wide world but because it comes from the depths of honesty - You look absolutely beautiful. Timeless. Tasteful. And your drink isn't pink. Hmmmmmmm.
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My Father - EcoActivist??!

If I am going to continue to write on this blog (and lookey here - I am not making any promises!) you will probably run into the occasional reference to my parents. I could write endless volumes about our laughs, loves, animals, adventures. About the endlessly effective yet often less-than-mainstream ways that they taught us the ways of the world. But this is not the day that I will do that. My mom sent me the following picture which I am obliged to post here. These are the reasons why:

1) My dad is one handsome guy. My girlfriend (some twenty-five years younger than him) swoons over a picture I have of him hanging in my bathroom. (Yes, I do have a picture of my father in my bathroom. I didn't realize how weird that was until I just put it down in writing.) But sometimes his personal style leaves a bit to be desired. While I have always admired his unrepentant commitment to individuality his famous "cutoffs" have always made me a bit edgy. And then there was the time he wore his EOMB tee shirt to a black-tie gala just because everybody else was "black tie." If you don't know what the EOMB is... well, I'll say it. It is a motorcycle gang. My 54 year old father is in a motorcycle gang and he has been for about 35 years. So, I couldn't help but take notice when my mom sent me this picture of my dad at a party looking smooth! Nice Coat! Nice Hair! Is that drink in your hand PINK??? Dear me. Guys in motorcycle gangs apparently drink pink cocktails. What is the world coming to?

2) The party where this now infamous picture was taken was a who's-who of the San Francisco Green Scene. Rumor has it that Al Gore was on the invite list. Swanky. All I want to know is, during all the chit-chat and small talk, did my dad tell anyone the story about the time that he threw the enormous McDonalds bag FILLED with trash out of the window of his truck on Northbound 99 in Stockton??

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Friday, December 19, 2008

The Last will be First... And the First will be mopping up Vomit!

After all of that vanity, all of that ridiculous self-analysis - I am not at a swanky party tonight in downtown DC. I have spent my day and night taking care of my two sick kids. We cancelled our long held plans and surrendered to parenthood. My day consisted of scrubbing toilets, wiping noses, washing sheets, applying eyedrops.... holding my children, stroking their hair, reassuring them, preparing their favorite treats, watching movies. I have not looked in the mirror once today - nor have I brushed my teeth, taken a shower, brushed my hair or put on shoes. Let me assure you, however: this is real beauty. These are the tenderest and most lovely moments of life. Today is a day that I feel beautiful - no primping required.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Can I get anything else for ya?"..."Sure, how 'bout a hug?"

Am I the only person who hates Wegmans? Ok, I don't haaaate Wegmans necessarily but I have a hefty dose of disdain for the ultra-luxe, super-fancy, grocery mega-store. It all started a couple of months ago when I decided that I was going to shop almost exclusively at the Wegmans. That was going to become my new store.

I got up like I normally do. Shuffled the kiddos off to school. Took a shower and put on my fanciest mom-jeans. Instead of piling my hair into a makeshift bun on the top of my head, I blowdried my hair and ran my flatiron over it. Look, I was a Wegman's shopper now. I had to dress the part. I didn't want to look like I was just running into the Bloom!

The Bloom has been a staple of our family life since moving to our pretty little house in the 'burbs. It used to be called the Food Lion and have one of those ceilings where those foam-core board tiles can be removed for easy access to the electrical and duct system. We were elated when it got a facelift and a new name. The drop ceiling was removed exposing all the cool-looking pipes up there and now the produce aisle has wood-looking floors and the fruit is in baskets. Same stuff, better marketing. We have spent a lot of time in this establishment, from late-night runs for baby tylenol (or perhaps a maternity-induced craving for chocolate eclairs) to the mundane weekly grocery shopping. We have spent a hefty portion of our paycheck and time in the Bloom. It is always the same old people doing the same old jobs - sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a grimace. We talk about the same old things: kids, weather, vacations, new hair styles.

So it all sounded very glamorous when the rumblings of newness began. "Wegmans is woooonderful," they'd say. "You can get anything there... anything!" All of this spoke right to a very prominent portion of my personality that has an penchant for all things new, pretty, exotic. I made a secret promise to myself that I would become a Wegmans Girl.

So, I got all gussied up and I went grocery shopping. We ambled around the store for hours drinking in all of the newness. There was a fish-monger filleting an entire swordfish in the fish department. I checked to make sure my lipgloss wasn't on my teeth in my reflection off of the polished apples in the produce department. At every turn there was a handsome, helpful employee asking me if he could help me find something. I would decline, and he would look past me to the next customer and ask, "Can I help you find something?" "No?" "Ok, let me know if I can assist you." "Ma'am, Can I help you find something?"

I got home with my grab and I went to put it all away. I put the bright yellow Cheerios box right next to the one in the pantry that was almost finished. I nearly threw out my back when I loaded the economy box of Tide onto the ledge where we keep the detergent, and I took the old, empty box and I threw it in recycling. But, I didn't realize what had happened until I was repackaging the chicken to put in the freezer. I opened up the big-pack of chicken and the smell almost knocked me out. Rotten chicken? Rotten chicken from the Wegmans?! I can get rotten chicken at the Bloom!

And something changed in me at that moment. I had a fifteen-dollar package of rotten chicken thighs and I missed my semi-weekly conversation with Juan, the bagger from Peru, who tells me every time I see him that he is never in a bad mood. I had everything I normally would've purchased and none of the relationships that I have so come to cherish. I made a secret promise to myself that I would abandon my pretense and go home. Scraggly bun, hideous sweatpants, screaming kids and a whole lot of love. I hate Wegmans - or maybe I just hate the fact that I ever thought I could leave.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I take compliments where I can get them!

One thing I can say for myself is that I am indeed fickle. Anyone who has seen our annual family photo from year to year can attest to this just by watching my hair change. Sometimes I am a fun-loving blonde, sometimes I am a mysterious brunette. There are times I have bangs and there are times that I don't. Well, this principle can be ported over into just about every other facet of my life: I crave change.

So, today, a funny thing happened. I was doing my daily brain-drain of lurking on several blogs that I like and I noticed something curious. A blogger that I adore listed ME, yes you read right, ME! as one of her "Interesting Friends." Now, I realize that that is just a blanket title for where she lists fellow bloggers that she knows - but friends and family, for the first time in a long time, I was called interesting. And by a writer who I greatly admire, no less.

You know, at one time in my life I thought I would be a writer. Seems funny to imagine that one who has not read a single book in some 5 or 6 years thought that she could compete in the world of writing, but yes, I was that delusional. But today, something changed. Today, I am "Interesting." And I think with my newfound title, I will endeavor to contribute the written word to this humble blog. Because, as reflected in my hair, I love change.

Stay tuned in right here for the occasional musing. But while you're at it go check out http://bettyduffy.blogspot.com/ You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll keep a-coming back for more. And she called me interesting..... sheesh!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nothing to see here, folks.

If you can read this message you are too late. Sorry. It was one of the best jokes on the internet. Ever.
On to more smily, happy babies and one camera-happy mama. Go check out http://stothek.blogspot.com/ though. He's got the humor - I am just the one who laughs!
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