My running buddies need thick skin

dog_runI learned two things this weekend. Number one: my dog is a traitor.

A couple weeks ago I had drinks with a good friend and a couple of her friends I’ve been getting to know. When we were done talking about anything and everything remotely related to our kids, we talked about running. This is a group that runs together.

“You run?” One woman asked me. “Why didn’t we know that?”

Probably because I run mostly solo, and really, really slowly. Joining any running group might require I step up my game a little bit, or risk holding a whole bunch of moderately capable runners back.

“Oh,” she said. “I thought you were going to say it was because you run really fast.”

That’s funny. No. I’m so slow, I make pretty much anyone putting one foot in front of the other for any length of time look good. Your average, garden-variety slug on Quaaludes looks fast next to me.

Persistent, yes. Fast? No. (more…)

Sometimes a pineapple is just a pineapple

Abacaxi, piña, pineappleThe new neighbors may be swingers.

Or not. I should just shut up. It’s not that I’ve noticed any weird goings on at their house since they moved in. They look nice enough, and I’ve been meaning to go over with a pan of brownies. But it’s too cold to walk across the street. And I don’t bake brownies. Or pretty much anything.

Still, I’ve been thinking I should be neighborly. I thought the opportunity might present itself sometime when they were getting into their car at the same time I was getting into mine, or something. I could yell “hey there!”

Really put myself out there. (more…)

An Unexpected Shout Out for MLK

20140217_120113Any parent or teacher can tell you that most public buildings have fabulous acoustics.

In fact, the more important the work you’re supposed to accomplish in a professional building, the better you’ll probably be able to hear that busload of third graders trying to outshout each other in the hallways while their hapless instructors endeavor to impart a civics lesson.

This was not something I always knew. Back in the day, I was one of those parents who was mortified when my little people would exclaim, in their best outdoor voices, about the anatomical details of buxom, braless statues captured, seemingly, in mid flight from their marble pedestals. (more…)

Cookie Ghosts and Other Reasons You Probably Don’t Want a Dinner Invitation

NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I came home the other morning, my cookie was gone.

I’m still in a place where that sort of thing shocks me.

I crave sweets only occasionally, and then I just want a little taste. The other morning after a run, I thought I heard something calling me from the cupboard: the very last cookie from the batch of Tollhouse dough Jack talked me into at the store the other day.

The very last cookie and I have always had a special thing.

By the time Mike and I were married, he had learned to save the last cookie for me. Always. It may be a while before I want it. Doesn’t matter. Until that thing grows legs and walks away, the very last cookie is spoken for. By me. It’s only fair. I probably haven’t had any of the other cookies it came in with, I’m a one cookie woman.

The foundation of our marriage rests on the last cookie in the box. (more…)

Coping When My Kid’s at the Wheel

FucaI was commiserating with a group of moms recently whose kids are all beginning drivers. It’s a new thing for all of us, but the sensation is familiar. We’re happy to see the end of the mommy chauffer days, sure, but that happy comes with a healthy helping of dread.

It’s taken a while, but I’m learning to cope with the mixture of exultation and anxiety that’s an ongoing theme of parenting. That Oh hooray, he’s starting to crawl sensationtempered by the oh crap, we’re going to have to babyproof the whole house feeling.

Of course, each new driver has his or her own thing. One woman despaired of her daughter ever agreeing to drive on the freeway, or to push the car above 30 mph.

My son needs to come to grips with the fact that a learner’s permit does not a Dale Earnhardt Jr. make. (more…)

What the Righteously Indignant are Wearing this Season

78/365, flyI did it. I made it a teensy fraction of the way through January before breaking one of my resolutions.

This one had to do with reading stupid stuff on the internet, so I was doomed anyway.

This particular absurd artifact was a list of What Women Shouldn’t Wear After 30. Just the title took me from zero to full-on righteous indignation in seconds – which I suppose is how internet tripe should be approached for maximum gratification. I tried to find the article again just now, so we could all mock the author together, but there’s a ridiculous amount of advice on what women should or shouldn’t do after age 30, which got my blood boiling all over again. (more…)

Parenting procrastinators for those who’d rather put it off

motivation, time managementToday is one of those days where kids everywhere drag their sad, mopey selves back to school, and parents everywhere rejoice in the knowledge that a gallon of milk has a snowball’s chance of lasting a whole day.

This means yesterday was one of those days kids everywhere were madly scrambling to get homework done that they could have finished at any time over the previous two weeks, but did not.

Or maybe that was just here.

(more…)

How we’ll survive the winter

cabinIf I ever completely lose my mind, it will be ten minutes before dinner.

My losing my mind is not what this blog was going to be about. It was going to be about my daydream of being on reality television.

My favorite reality show was Frontier House on PBS. Its producers plopped modern families in the Montana outback to live as pioneers. The winner was supposed to be the family that not only survived a summer, but also had adequately prepared for winter by the end of the series.

I think they all failed, not just the family from California with the mom who bawled at the outset when she couldn’t bring her make up kit.

Not enough room in the wagon for mama’s face, apparently. (more…)

You cannot have my flan and other 2015 resolutions

Don't even ask

Don’t even ask

I will rejoice in the fact that the gym is crowded this time of year, and not use my elbows to clear a path to class. I will be happy everyone has resolved to get/stay in shape and support that commitment. Even if it only lasts until February. Even if they door ding my car in the parking lot.

I will not fall for click bait. If I have to click more than once to read the whole story, or see a picture, or discover what the child star looks like now, I’m closing the window. Basta baby. I have more productive things to do with my time.

Like make lists of resolutions. (more…)

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Mom’s a yeller, and other stuff you should know upon moving in

jenny_thomaI’ve been surprised at the number of searches for “foreign exchange student horror stories” that have brought people to this blog. What are you people looking for?

While some of you might be exchange students, or parents preparing to foist your kid off on another country, I’m going to guess most are impending host parents faced with the reality they’ve committed to taking in someone else’s teenager for an extended stay. Nobody else is prepping for such worst-case scenarios.

You people have to be asking yourselves what kind of crazy person does that? And then you’re probably calming yourself down by saying and what’s the worst that could happen if we do? (more…)