Tattoo Who?

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One day, if all goes well, I WILL be on your butt.

“Hey mom, can I ask you a hypothetical question?”

This is Jack’s way of introducing a subject he thinks might provoke a strong response.

He’s also driving. I’m his passenger. The smart thing to do would be to say no. No questions.

But this isn’t the blog you come to for exceptional parenting advice from someone who thinks things through before speaking. If you’ve been here any length of time, you probably know where this is going.

“Hmmm?” I say.

“What would you say about my getting a tattoo?” (more…)

I sought the bra, and the bra won

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Dressing like a grown-ass woman starts with the fundamentals

We certainly have our issues, black bra. In fact, this morning was a complete disaster thanks to you.

See, I had it all planned. Today it was going to be the black dress. The wraparound one with the short sleeves. Sure it was a little chilly this morning, but with that dress and a light sweater, and my new boots, I would have killed it all damn day.

Everything else cooperated. The boots, check. The sweater, check. The grandma underpants that keep everything from jiggling in my killer black wraparound dress, check. Even the nude hose were ready.

Did you hear me? I was planning HOSE! Dressing like a grown-ass woman today. It was a power suit kind of day.

Only without the power suit, the only power suits I still own being the kind with shoulder pads. From the 90s. The ones that can say with a straight face: I got a head for business and a bod for sin, is there anything wrong with that?

Indeed there is. Not the look I was going for. (more…)

Let’s just talk about that eye roll

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Oh honey, do me the smallest favor and take a mental snapshot of this moment right now.

You can pull it out later, say, in thirty years or so, and remember when you first heard the words that I’m sure will one day be coming out of your mouth.

Only the tables will be turned, as they say. The shoes will be on the other feet. You’ll think “Hey, I know just who I sound like,” and you’ll realize that the person sitting across from you regards you as not just the dim-bulb-on-the-marquee kind of stupid, but dumber-than-a-sack-of-hammers stupid. (more…)

I should probably just skip career day

Typewriter KeysGood afternoon all you earnest, eager to learn young men and women. I’m so happy to have the opportunity to talk to you today, when you’re supposed to be focused on ME, rather than huddled in a corner with your friends, as far away from all the parents as you can possibly get (remember the school holiday party last year?).

Today, of course, we’re talking about careers.

Now, I know you’ve heard gobs about the benefits of the computer science, business, medical, finance and other industries from all the other parents and are pumped up about 401(k) plans and luxury cars.

Well, if you would do me the great big favor of setting all that aside, we’ve arrived at the time to talk about …. (drumroll please) working for nonprofits!

You know …. nonprofits? Well, maybe you’ve heard of charities or NGOs? Same thing. (more…)

Dinner with The Breakfast Club

BreakfastThis weekend was the 30th anniversary of John Hughes’ high school coming of age drama The Breakfast Club, and I wouldn’t be a self respecting Gen X-er if I hadn’t forced everyone in the house under the age of 20 to watch it with me.

And by “force” I mean “promised we could eat dinner in the living room if I got to pick the entertainment.”

Our audience included my teenage and pre teen sons, and two sixteen year-old exchange students: Hanna, my little kitchen organizer, whom you’ve met, and Julia from Russia.

This was going to be good. I’d get all kinds of material in our post movie discussion about which to write. I was mentally doing that little finger-twiddling thing, the universal hallmark of maniacal schemers and bloggers. (more…)

The End of Valen-Times

photo (65)The email request for Colin’s class Valentine’s Day party came early this week. It occurred to me this was the last time I’d ponder whether his classmates would prefer fruit juice or soda, or if I’d made enough portions of whatever for each kid plus the teacher, her aide and any other parents who might attend.

The specter of junior high school looms, and Colin’s our youngest, so after this there will be no more class parties. Next year, he’s as likely to get stuffed in a locker as come home with frosting on his shirt from someone’s birthday cupcake.

Just about the time I felt a twinge of nostalgia, a friend posted a Facebook photo of Valentine s’mores packets she’s preparing for her own son to share with classmates. He’s a fair amount younger than either of our kids, and her excitement for the holiday is bound to be higher. Still, even back in the day, I was never tempted to do anything more than help fold and sign and stick and stuff a couple of handfuls of bright colored cards into someone’s backpack just before school. (more…)

When Plan B is No Plan At All

sunlightOf all the things I think I do well, or even fair-to-middlin’, sitting still is not one.

I don’t know where this particular ability went. I used to be able to chill like a pro. But somewhere around the time the kids came along, and the amount of stuff I had to accomplish in one day skyrocketed in relation to the amount of a night’s sleep, I also realized I had lost the ability to retain consciousness if I sat in the same place for more than 30 seconds at a time.

Even now, when I can be relatively certain of the ability to string several hours of shut-eye together a night and am not in danger of becoming a vegetable if I sit still for any length of time, it feels almost criminal to just hang. (more…)

How to look like you don’t care, in almost no time at all

lipstickA makeup tutorial popped up in my Facebook feed the other day that I couldn’t help but watch. I was GUARANTEED to be BLOWN AWAY by what this woman did with red lipstick.

I had gobs of stuff to do that afternoon, which is why I was on Facebook in the first place.

You know. Multitasking.

The video by Deepica Mutyala showed me how to cover dark circles under my eyes with red lipstick. Assuming I have dark circles under my eyes. And that I actually wear makeup.

I had so much to do. I kept watching. Mesmerized. (more…)

More Gangsta, Less Jello: A Personal Reflection on Values

This wasn’t one of those lists.

It wasn’t one of those top-ten-annoying-things-you-do-at-work lists, or fashion-faux-pas-after-age-thirty lists. This wasn’t a list to confirm you’re a child of the 80s, or a Virgo, or a Stowaway Tribble on the USS Enterprise. It was from an article someone used at a workshop we attended this past weekend for soon-to-be foreign exchange students.photo (62)

In Values Americans Live By, Robert Kohls of the Washington International Center, spells out thirteen of the core values he says explain why many of us in this country behave the way we do.

Sure it does, I thought. Despite my proclivity for clicking on nonsensical social media quizes, I don’t especially like being told I fit any mold in particular. (more…)

Kitchen Kerfluffles and Muffin Mishaps

muffinsOnce, when Mike and I went on a trip to Mexico, his parents stayed with our kids for the week. That’s when my mother in-law rearranged my kitchen and destroyed my life.

I exaggerate, a smidge. What she actually did was organize a spice cupboard and matched all the Tupperware containers to their lids, which was really nice, but her actions caused a momentary inconvenience a kind of chaotic tension that has reverberated throughout our household ever since. Whenever I can’t find something, I blame her. Even now. I’m sure anyone who ever had a kitchen can sympathize – including my mother in-law, who still laughs at her own ballsy behavior six years post Operation: Kitchen Reshuffle.

I clearly have issues when it comes to the kitchen. (more…)