Friday, May 21, 2010

Small town life

Sometimes I wish I lived in a city. I like small towns, and have never in my life lived more than 15 miles from my hometown, but sometimes I wish I lived in a city.

I read about a thing in Seattle where people go and pay maybe $10 and bring books they've read and no longer need, and get to mingle, make friends, drink 2 glasses of "free" wine, and everyone goes home with someone else's old book instead of their own. Imagine such a thing! Meeting people who like to read, drinking wine, and the absolute worst that can happen is that you walk out with no new friends and only a new book to read.

There are places out there with museums, and art galleries, and coffee shops that don't play all Christian music all the time. Places with cooking classes and pottery studios and independent subculture newspapers. Places where adults ride bicycles without DUIs.

I like small town life. I like that my kid can ride her bike to the park and I don't have to worry, that I can send her to the store with my bank card and they know it's okay because they remember that I told them it was. But sometimes I wish she were going to attend a high school with more elective class choices than Spanish and home ec. Sometimes I wish that her probable English teacher next year didn't remember her mom as the one who crushed on the pizza boy in high school. Sometimes I wish she were growing up in a town with museums and art galleries and independent subculture newspapers.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Confessions of a hormonal bitch

  1. When I read freecycle, I immediately dismiss out of hand posts written without punctuation, with horrible spelling, or with some trashy sob story. "In need of anythin u mite have for a house. I have 4 dotters and one has a babby boy so we need firniter and kitchin things. Nun of us drive so needs to be dilivired. Also, I have lots of babby rats to give away if enyone needs snake food or pets."
  2. I respond to stupidity in the comments sections of online articles. It seems like every Jon or Kate Gosselin article has about 3 dozen "Who even cares about these guys?" or "Why are these people still news? When will they go away?" comments. I don't respond to all of them (I'm only one person) but I do sometimes feel compelled to answer "Some of us do care, including you, who took the time to click on the headline, read the article, and then type out a comment here. People who really don't care don't even click on the article in the first place. You're not fooling anyone; you want to feel superior but nobody's buying it."
  3. I have no patience for drama, and it bothers me to no end when my facebook page is full of it. Want your ex to stop calling you? Threaten to call the cops if he keeps it up, and then call them! Wish you could tell your friend what you really think of her new man? Tell her! If you won't tell her, then you obviously don't really want to, so in that case stop filling my facebook page with it.
  4. I normally really like reading Dan Savage's advice column but lately it just seems like he's over-the-top in favor of just about every kink or fetish on the planet except heterosexual monogamy. Wanna have a threesome? Do it, and if your partner has a problem with it they're holding you back and being selfish. Want an open marriage? Do it, and if your partner has a problem with it they're holding you back and being selfish. What about the person who wants a normal old-fashioned marriage with ups and downs, but without a constant search for immature instant-gratification from outside sources? Oh yeah, DTMFA.
  5. I absolutely hate Nazi comparisons. I detest when Glenn Beck makes everything out to be the work of nazis, or the same as nazis, or equal to nazis. But I can't help but think that after WWI Germany was in such a terrible economic mess that it was fairly easy for someone to show up and say all they needed to do was go back to their roots, to what Germany used to be like, with real Germans and not all these Jewish immigrants. And now that we're in a terrible recession with banks failing and unemployment soaring we have tea-baggers to say that we need to get back to our roots, to what the founding fathers wanted, which was (apparently?) Christianity and a lack of Mexicans.
  6. I don't want a baby shower this time, since I already have most of the stuff I'll need and would just end up inviting the same people over for basically the same party anyway, but I do get all misty when I see baby shower decorations.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm old

A friend asked the other day, via facebook status, "If you didn't know how old you were, how old would you be?" It was obviously intended to remind us all that as long as we stay young at heart we never have to feel old, and to get us thinking about how short life really is and how much of the daily bullshit could be brushed aside if only we'd make the choice to be Toys R Us kids forever. Without hesitation, I answered, "53". In reality, I turn 34 in 2 months.

I don't feel 21, and considering what an immature ass I was at 21 I'm kind of glad for that. But I don't feel young at heart and I resent the implication that I should. The idea of a gray-haired old grandmother out rollerblading through the park because she's young at heart (and most likely being filmed for a Depends commercial) is endearing, but the reality is that the people who think they can stay 21 forever don't become gray-haired old grannies rollerblading int he park. They become Botoxed denial queens who hang out in the bars wearing too much make up and too few clothes, smoking Menthol cigarettes and trying to pick up young guys, all while wearing a cropped off tee shirt with the words "Young at heart" printed on it.

I make a conscious effort not to dress too young. I don't want to be one of those moms who shows up to the parent teacher conference braless in short shorts. When I get chilly, I put on a sweater rather than walk around looking like 2 tanks are preparing to fire through my blouse. I don't giggle if someone asks me if I'm my daughter's sister; I roll my eyes and wonder just who they think they're kidding. I don't wear bikinis or low-rise jeans and I get excited about new flavors of oatmeal (they make a latte one now, can you believe it!). My hobbies, rather than roller blading or jogging, include crocheting and gardening and sewing.

Now that I think of it, maybe I underestimated when I said 53. Maybe 72 is more like it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No Child Allowed Behind

I try to teach my kid that not doing things has consequences and that you don't always get a second chance. In a nation of no-fault divorces and abortions and probation and expunged records, it's hard to teach that. But if I give her until bedtime to get something done or else, then or else kicks in at bedtime, not the next day.

Ryan didn't do an English assignment. The teacher wants to giver her a detention every day until she turns it in. Now, the thing was supposed to be done today and to my mind, one due date means one detention. But the school says "You WANT your kid to get a zero?!" and says she can turn it in any time before the end of the term. It's not that I want my kid to get a zero,but I want her to get what she earned. In this case, she earned a zero and I think it's counter-productive to keep giving second and third chances just so she doesn't have to actually accept the consequence of not getting the work done on time, all while continuously punishing her with detention every night for 3 weeks.

How many kids go off to college to learn that they can't hack it because "mean" teachers won't grant them extensions on papers or let them take make-up tests? Kids who got good grades in high school because instead of a safety net their parents and teachers provided them with safety harnesses. And what happens when people who have never known any rigidity in rules miss deadlines at work?

Look, I accept that my kid screwed up. I left her to do her homework on her own, sink or swim, and she sunk. Give her a detention for not doing it if you must, and reflect it in her grade as a zero. But don't simultaneously coddle her with endless chances and punish her with endless detentions. And when I explained to the principal that I considered work ethic and responsibility to fall under character development, which is my jurisdiction rather than the school's, he told me that my chance was back when the assignment was handed out and now it was their turn.

Any tutors out there want to homeschool my kid?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Nature? What nature?

If you're going to know the weight, length, sex, birthday, and name of the baby before ever giving birth, what do you have to look forward to except pierced eardrums, sore nipples, and the smell of dirty diapers? How about forgoing the ultrasounds and elective inductions and just wait to have the babies when they're ready to show up?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Ranting & Venting

Pregnancy makes a temper worse; it shortens your fuse. And I have a short enough fuse anyway, so I spend a lot of my time either biting my tongue or apologizing lately. So I think this may be the post where I vent about stupid little things I'm bright enough to leave alone in real life. So here goes:
  1. Don't look at my transluscent, glowing legs and shake your head, or tell me I "need" to get some sun. Don't say, imply, or suggest that the color of my skin is inferior or undesirable. I refuse to dye my skin brown or submit myself to cancer-causing tanning beds, or even just waste time lying around in the cancer-causing sun, because people think I was born the wrong color. I am not pasty, or deathly pale, or corpse-like. If I were a paint color, I would be Northern European White, and I think that's just fine.
  2. Don't tell me that my 2 previous healthy pregnancies, one with gestational diabetes, are irrelevant to this one because "every pregnancy is different" and then tell me every woman needs a third trimester ultrasound. If every pregnancy is different then tests should be administered based on a particular pregnancy, not as a blanket policy.
  3. If you have diabetes, and it is not gestational diabetes and didn't start out as gestational diabetes, don't pretend you know anything about gestational diabetes. A diabetic woman who becomes pregnant is at MUCH higher risk than a pregnant woman who develops diabetes. Quite simply, having high blood sugar while a baby is forming can cause horrible birth defects that developing gestational diabetes after the baby is (for the most part) formed does not cause. Running around telling women with GD that the sky will fall and their babies may die if they accidentally mis-measure one meal helps NO ONE.
  4. If you bitch about getting dirty looks because you smoke while pregnant, you forfeit the right to blab on about the dangers of vaccinations. You just do. You can't bring back polio because you're such a health freak if you're sucking down Marlboros with your Prenate vitamins. And don't even start about the organic food. Yes, my children eat brussels sprouts that might have been touched by chemical fertilizer, but they eat them in a smoke-free home.
  5. Don't tell me how horrible epidurals are. I have had 2 and they are fine. There is a relatively low risk with them, but everything has a risk to it (including birthing children in the first place), and no one I have ever met has had any problems with an epidural. They have never slowed my labor down; on the contrary they have sped it up both times. I like a bit of relief with my pain and who are you to judge me for it?
  6. Don't judge me for what my ancestors did. I have one adopted parent and one descended from Amish stock. Now until my mother dies and I (maybe) find out who birthed her, I have no hope on that side, so I would like to be able to go back more than 3 generations on my dad's side. But since someone left the faith a hundred years ago, we're all shunned and no one will tell us anything! I love when people tell me to just go to Like the Amish upload stuff!