Archive for the ‘Entertainment & Media’ Category

April 15th, 2014

Let It Go

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My oldest daughter is in 1st grade. She gets tested weekly on “Dolch Words.” (I don’t know why they’re called “Dolch Words,” they don’t seem like anything more than “Spelling Words” to me.) We are supposed to work on the words every day. We do not. But, when we do…I have noticed that she does this when I give her a word to spell:

let it go

 

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April 15th, 2014

White People Problems (Part 1)

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I started a new blog but came back to this one after exactly 2 posts. This was one of the posts. If you’ve already seen it, sorry. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It did pretty well on the other site, you might like it!

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I must be out of my mind to start writing again. But, I have to. I threw that Introduction to The Family page out there so now there is pressure. Plus, time is passing and I curse myself every single day that I’m not documenting this time in our life. So, with good intentions, I was totally ready to come home, sit down and write for awhile—but I totally forgot all about the construction and demo work starting at my house the very same day.

It is loud. Loud, Loud, Loud. And there’s like men all the over the place. Actually, I think there are only three men, but I swear, no matter where I need to be, they are there. Of course most of the work is being done in the kitchen, where I pretty much spend 90% of my life, so now with three fairly large men and myself, there isn’t a ton of room to move because it’s not that big of a kitchen, but also– it’s not that small. So MOVE!!!

But I feel bad because they are all so nice.

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April 17th, 2013

Do The Right Thing

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The other day, one of my friends told me to listen to Dennis Prager on Talk Radio AM 1400.

Do you know who Dennis Prager is?

I didn’t. My friend mentioned him once and told me that he talks about relationships, and that he’s really smart, so OK, I gave it a shot.

I only had time to listen for about 10 minutes, but he was good. He gave positive, sound advice and he came off very “wise.“ He is the guy who basically tells you to do the right thing. Most of the time, you already know what that is, but he tells you anyway and for some reason, when he tells you, it makes you want to do it. When I was done listening, I asked my friend if Dennis Prager is Jewish. He “sounded” Jewish. (You probably won’t know what that means unless you’re Jewish). My friend told me that he used to be a Rabbi.

Uh huh.

I knew it.

I turned Dennis Prager on again today when I was on my way to pick little Lovey up from pre-school and though he wasn’t talking about relationship stuff, he brought something up that I found kind of interesting:

He brought up a hypothetical situation (at least I think it was hypothetical, I didn’t catch the beginning of the show) of two Republican Senators talking in private while, unbeknownst to them, they were being recorded–and then the recording was leaked to a Republican newspaper.

HOLY SHIZZLE.

How cool would it be to hear or read that conversation? It’s like a behind the scenes look at real politics before the polished version hits the public. It’s flat-out RAW. Oh, the drama!!!

Of course I would have wanted to hear it.

But then Dennis Prager (the wise one) brought up a valid point:

Do we really have the right to hear what happens behind the scenes? Do we really want to?

And that got me thinking…

Do we truly want to know everything that goes into a political decision or is it better to be on a need-to-know basis?

Think about it: We already have a lot going on in our lives. Should we be burdened with political scrambles when it’s not our job?

In addition, how would you feel if you were having what you THOUGHT was a private conversation only to find out that it wasn’t so private? How violating is that? Think about how you act in private. Take a minute and really think about it.

I’m sure you’re good most of the time, but sometimes, just sometimes, I bet you’re not.

And what if that got out?

OY.

But this is politics!

Maybe if our leaders were being watched, or at least knew they ran that risk, maybe they would think twice about some of the decisions that they make.

If you were being watched, wouldn’t you think twice about what you say and the decisions you make?

Take reality television shows. The people on those shows know they’re being watched. Even at their worst, I would think that they must have some semblance of cognizance.

But is that good for politics?

Politics is not a reality show. I’m not sure if we should be privy to all the steps involved before a decision is reached.

Isn’t knowing everything maybe just a little too much?

Or no?

When it comes to politics, the decisions being made do, after all, affect us. That’s something to think about.

This is all a lot to think about. I know. I have been thinking about it for days… My head hurts. And now, so does yours.

Sorry.

It’s interesting to me that this all came up on Dennis Prager’s show because I feel that if I brought this subject up to him, he would probably say that it doesn’t matter if we’re being watched.

As long we do the right thing.

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March 2nd, 2012

The Friend Philosophy

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Raise your hand if you remember that Chris Brown beat the CRAP out of Rihanna back in 2009.

Me too!

But I think the Grammys forgot.

I was kind of shocked to see Chris Brown on stage at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards singing and dancing like he wasn’t the guy who shoved Rihanna’s head into the passenger window of a car before using her face as a punching bag.

I’m familiar with the unwritten rule “Forgive and Forget,“ but there are exceptions. How about a little discretion, Grammy’s?  Next time why don’t you just book Michael Vick to be one of Brown’s back up dancers?

There’s a lot of hate and bitterness in this world so the concept of forgiveness is, in theory, a good one. But should every act of wrongdoing be forgiven? Are we to hide resentment each time someone betrays our confidence, pounds our self esteem or lets us down? There are circumstantial grey areas that surround each isolated incident so, as a parent, the subject of friendship and forgiveness can be a hard one to teach.

My 4-½ year old, Sweet Pea, recently told me that one of her friends is mean to her sometimes. What? What is THAT about? That girl is LUCKY to have you as a friend. You’re way cooler than THAT kid.

But I didn’t say that.

I told Sweet Pea that she didn’t “need that kind of friend” to which she responded: “Yeah, I don’t need that.” I told her what she does need is someone else to play with when that girl is being mean. I instructed her to temporarily move on to greener pastures until the girl is ready to be nice. And once she is ready to be nice, and she apologizes, it would be a good move to forgive her.

I thought my advice was stellar.  Sweet Pea’s friend, for all intents and purposes, is not really a bad kid and let’s face it–girls (of all ages) can be mean at times, Sweet Pea included. That’s why I was shocked when Sweet Pea looked at me and said “Mommy, I don’t want to be friends with her anymore.”

Jeez, Sweet Pea, take it easy. That’s so…final. OK, the kid was a little mean to you. I don’t know if that warrants ending a pretty solid friendship. That friend has some really good qualities. She is good about playing the dog when they play “Dog and Dog Walker.” (Dumbest game ever, by the way) and she always opts to be one of the ugly step-sisters when they play “Cinderella.” I honestly have no idea what they are playing half the time, I’m just happy they’re not including me, but I know that friend has some redeeming qualities because for the most part, my kid loves being with her.

With that in mind, I know I have to acknowledge Sweet Pea’s statement about ending the friendship. I’m sure she’s probably  bluffing, but it still seems like a good time to open a dialogue about mommy’s “Friend Philosophy.” (Much of this I learned from my own mom.) It’s probably a little early for Sweet Pea to get into something so deep, but the advice is both solid and reasonable–and beyond that, I think it will serve her well in the future with ALL of her friends.

Here it is:

Every friend wears a different hat. You might have a friend who is fun to shop and eat with. She gets the Shopping and Face Stuffing Hat. Maybe you have a friend who you can confide in but she’s no fun to shop with. That’s OK because she gets the I-Keep-My-Mouth-Shut hat and that is a good hat to have even if she’s no fun to shop with. Perhaps you have a friend who you like to go running with (or something horrible like that). She would get the Running Hat. And so on and so on…

So, Sweet Pea’s friend doesn’t always get to wear the I’m Nice hat. So what? She looks cute in the I’m Fun hat and when she is mean, her behavior is probably harmless and manageable. Plus, if she is a friend who selflessly steps up to be Ken every time they play Barbies, I’d say she’s worth keeping around.

It’s very rare to have one friend who can wear every hat, and it’s not fair to expect such a thing. We have to accept our friends for who they are and for what they are capable of giving. Some give a lot and some give enough, but few (if any) can give all. That’s why most of us have more than one friend. Variety is good, and everyone is comfy in their hats.

But what about the friend who is just a total anchor? The friend who you’re truly done with? What about the Chris Browns who used to be in a very Loved hat, but somehow lost their way–and their hat? What do you do with the toxic people who no longer have a positive place in your life because their redeemable qualities have been replaced by bad energy, drama and stress?

If you truly have a person in your life who is just completely and utterly draining and bringing absolutely nothing positive to bring to the table (and I’m so sorry if you do) well…that person, if at all possible, probably needs to be ejected. And that’s not an easy thing to do. Cutting someone out of your life is rough, but protecting yourself is necessary.

I know that Sweet Pea’s friend can be mean at times, but she is certainly not at toxic status. Some of us–many of us–have people in our lives that are poison. If you, sadly, know of what I speak–don’t despair! There is a hat for that person. It’s the YOU SUCK SO BAD THAT I JUST CAN’T HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE ANYMORE hat.

If I were Rihanna, that is the hat I would get for Chris Brown–and if there is a hat that says LOSER, I would grab that one too.

He will look great in it at the Grammys.

 

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January 24th, 2012

Give It Up, Sports Freak

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Dear Husband,

I had lunch with my mom today and I mentioned that you gave up part of a football game last night to watch a movie with me. The girls were asleep and we don’t get to hang out as much as we used to at night, but I was still kind of surprised because it was a big game.  (The winning team will be playing in the Super Bowl). Even I considered watching the game instead of watching George Clooney (but only for a few seconds because then I remembered that it’s George Clooney).

After I told my mom about how you selflessly forfeited the game to be with me, she mentioned that her husband “Jangles” (who was a total sports fanatic before we sadly lost him in 2009) used to do that too, but then he would just watch the games later. He would just Tivo or DVR them.

I now believe that you did the same thing.

You love sports. You’re way into sports. Your cell phone ring tone is the theme song for Monday Night Football, your wardrobe (with the exception of  items I have hidden or forbidden) is almost entirely made up of sports teams, and every time I turn on a TV in our house, it defaults to a sports station. (The last example, by the way, is very annoying to me).

You Tivo’d or DVR’d the game that was on last night, didn’t you, sly guy? I wouldn’t care if you owned up, but you tried to be all sly about it and put one over on me. Sly Stallone. Sly fox. Sly and the Family Stone. I came in to watch the movie and I was all FOR REAL super-great wife: “Are you sure you don’t want to finish the game?“ and you were all FOR FAKE: “No, no. Let’s hang out, I don’t mind at all.”

Of course you didn’t mind! You’re no dummy. I am usually drooling with exhaustion 15 minutes into any movie and you probably figured you’d be back to the game in no time, or, worst case scenario: I might have lasted 30 minutes and even then, with all the commercials and TV time-outs it wouldn’t take you very long to catch up.

But no…things didn’t work out that way, did they? No they did not…and why didn’t they?

Because I WATCHED THE WHOLE MOVIE.

Oh yeah, buddy. I stayed strong. I even threw in an inadvertent teaser at one point when I said: “This movie needs to end soon because I’m beat.” But I stayed strong. I didn’t even know your plan at the time. I bet you were not happy with George: “Damn you, George. Most every movie you are in pretty much blows, but now, all of the sudden you’re in a movie worth staying up for?”

I’m on to you, sports freak. I am ON to YOU. So know that.

KNOW IT.

Love,
Your wife (who is slyer than you)

sports freak

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October 23rd, 2011

Dissecting The Mean Girl

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It’s very rare for someone to tell you to your face how they truly feel about you. It’s rare because it’s not an easy thing to do. Somebody once told me to my face that I’m “mean.” I was rather stunned because usually those kinds of things are reserved for behind-the-back lashing and also, I didn’t agree with her.

Admittedly, some of my behavior towards this person could be considered somewhat questionable, but I’m not sure if it was what you’d call “mean.” I know what “mean” is. I have seen mean. We’ve all seen it. It’s everywhere. It’s in the shows we watch and the movies we see. It’s in the articles we read and the videos we view. The characteristics of a mean girl have been dutifully exposed.

But even when you know you’re being mean, it’s still hard to accept being called out on it. No one wants to be a “mean girl”—unless, of course, they truly are just that. And quite honestly, I don’t feel that I’m truly a mean girl.

So when I was told that I was, it broke me. It broke me for awhile.

But then I got to thinking…Am I a “mean girl,” or was I just being mean?

There’s a difference.

And that led me to conclude that there are two types of mean girls:

There is the Mean Girl on the Offense: This girl is like a lawnmower in that she’ll plow through anyone who gets in her way. She is the Mean Girl who makes herself feel better by tearing down others. She rules by fear and finds the less assured to be her disciples. She is mean; it’s a state of being.

And then there is the Mean Girl on the Defense. This girl is not mean coming out of the gate. She has to be provoked, like a sleeping bear. If you’re going to poke her, good luck to you because she might come out swinging. She’s either standing up for herself or she’s just totally and completely annoyed by someone else’s behavior. Her meanness is reactionary and, as far as she‘s concerned, it is justified. Unlike the Mean Girl on the Offense, this girl’s meanness is not a state of being, it‘s temporary. She’s not a Mean Girl, but she can be mean and if you question her about her conduct, her answer will more than likely be: “Well, she started it.”

Of course, not all girls fit nicely into either category. There are lots of other Mean Girl groups and subgroups, but I’m too lazy and too stupid to get into all of them.

I really just needed to hash out what I had so far because not only am I responsible for myself, but I have two little girls of my own and if they see me being mean, there is a good chance they could grow up to be the same way. And no one wants that.

Of course I don’t want my girls to be Mean Girls—but I also don’t want them to be doormats. I needed some help so I went to my friend “Remi.”  Remi helped me to see that it doesn’t have to be either/or. While there is no place for the Offensive Mean Girl (except in the movies) the Defensive Mean Girl is pretty much unavoidable. And not only that, she’s also human.

It’s human to be put off by other people once in a while. We can’t all like each other, but we don’t necessarly have to act on it.  It’s not nice to come out both guns blazing to every single person who rubs you the wrong way. Plus, there’s no percentage in it. Where’s it going to get you?  Nowhere good.

I wish I had the innate quality and maturity level to let things go and bite my tongue, but I’m not built like that—and that is something I need to work on. When the time comes, I’m really going to try and help my girls find a place in the middle. I want them to be more like Remi. I want them to know when they should stand up for themselves and when they should walk away. I want them to know when to put up and when to shut up. If I have to, I will attach a filter or a muzzle to their mouths.

And who knows? Maybe there’s even one big enough to fit me.

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September 29th, 2011

For My Girls

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When I was little, I used to love to go to my dad’s office. He would give me paper and put me in the conference room with a phone, some pens and a stapler so I could “work.” As I got older my trips became less frequent, but there is one visit that I will never forget.

I was in high school. I can’t remember my reason for stopping by, but as I entered my dad’s office I found him sitting behind his desk, larger than life, feet up, cowboy hat on, phone in hand. He was very busy going bad ass on some other attorney while he waved me in. Our dog was snoozing in the corner and everything appeared to be normal. Everything except for the giant bag of cocaine on his desk.

That’s not normal.

When my dad got off the phone, he greeted me warmly and told me about his case. We talked for awhile as if everyone is supposed to have  a large bag of ” The Devil’s Dandruff” on their desk and then finally, he got to it.

Dad: You know that’s cocaine, right?

Me: Uh… OK.

Dad: I had a client who couldn’t pay me. Come with me. I want to show you what you do with cocaine.

Me: Uh…OK.

He took me to his bathroom and he dumped the entire contents of the bag into the toilet. And then he flushed it. Bye Bye.

Dad: Do me a favor. Don’t ever try cocaine. You will like it. You won’t be able to afford it and I won’t be giving you any money for it. If you don’t try it, you won’t know what you’re missing. So, just don’t try it.

Me: Uh….OK.

It was sound advice—and to this day, I have never tried it.

My dad also used to say that we “live on a string.” Because I’m all too familiar with losing someone before their time, I understand those words more than I wish I did. I’m hoping to be around for a long time, but that’s not always how things work out. With that in mind, I started this blog some months ago. I did it for my girls. I did it so they will have a memory of what was going on during this time in our lives and I did it so they will know their mommy.

This particular post outlines a few key things that I want my girls to know, just in case my string breaks and I don’t get a chance to tell them. I learned a lot from both my dad and my mom, and I want to make sure my kids get some things from me as well.

Here are some of those things:

—Don’t listen to the rule about getting rid of things if you haven’t worn them in a year. If it’s cool, it will probably come back and the minute you get rid of it, you’ll be looking for it.

—Never get on a roller coaster right after eating a burrito.

—The guy who says he isn’t too drunk to drive probably is. Waking someone up to come get you is better than waking someone up to come identify you.

—Don’t forget about take-out food that you may have in your car. Especially tuna fish or Chinese food.

—If a guy is trying to have sex with you and you’re not sure if you’re ready, you’re not. He might resort to the go-to line of ”I have never felt this way about anyone else before”  but that usually means that he hasn’t felt that way TODAY. I don’t care how hot he is, if you’re not into it—leave. He probably would have sucked anyway.

—Don’t share mascara unless you want an eye infection.

—Let your friends make fun of you for using SPF-30 instead of getting a tan. You’ll be happy later in life and they’ll look like one of your purses.

—Don’t forget to put your car in park. Especially on a hill.

—It wouldn’t be right for me to tell you not to get a tattoo, but I can ask you to be smart about it. Pick a good location. Think big picture. The place that you think is so cool right now, might not be so cool when you’re trying to get a job.  Ask yourself if the tattoo you want  is still going to look cool when you’re in your 60′s. Better yet, go find an 80-year-old and ask to see her lower back. Are you sure you want to commit to that butterfly tramp stamp? Your body will change, but the tattoo won’t. It will just get faded and older, like you.

—Don’t pick your zits. It’s better to wait it out than pick it off. The scars take a long time to fade. And some never do.

—Keep a pair of scissors in your closet. That way you can cut the tags of a new item right after you try it on and before you wear it out. I have come home to find forgotten tags hanging out of shirts and jackets because I neglected to cut them before leaving the house. I thought people were staring because I looked cute but really I just looked like an idiot.

—If something seems to good to be true, have someone else do it first.

—My mom always used to say that the guy you decide to spend the rest of your life with should be a little smarter than you. That way you won’t get bored. My mom also says that you should be with someone who loves you just a little bit more than you love him. I’m not saying that is the case with my marriage, but it is.

—The loudest one isn’t always the one that is heard. Sometimes they are just the loudest.

—Don’t buy what you can’t afford. If you don’t have the money, let it go. If you put it on a credit card and you can’t pay the bill, you’re just going to end up paying more later for something that was probably overpriced to begin with.

—Never marry someone you wouldn’t want to be divorced from. If he’s even a little bit of a jerk, he’ll be way worse if things go south, and then you’ll need a lawyer to go bad ass on him. And that will cost a lot of money. And then you can’t buy shoes.

—When you are a mom, you think that you won’t say “Because I said so, that’s why” but you will. You’ll say it a lot.

–And lastly, please don’t post your boobs or drop the “F” bomb on the internet. Your friends may find it amusing, but the people that hire you won’t.

for my girls

 

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September 12th, 2011

Cell Phone Etiquette

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The other day I was walking out of a restaurant with my mom and two young daughters when we ran into a good friend and her little dog. The girls were all over the dog and my mom was all about my friend, so I figured it was OK to answer a text from my husband. Was that kind of rude? Yes. Was I cheetah-fast in my text response? Absolutely. Did it matter? No. I got busted. I heard my friend say something about how I was SO busy answering a text–but I was very fast and it wasn’t my fault! I can’t ignore my husband. He needs me! Plus, it was very important.

Or was it?

I could have waited to get back to him. I should have waited. We were visiting with a friend and I was being rude. My husband wasn’t drowning in quicksand or being chased by bad guys, but I know how I operate and once I open a text message if I don’t respond with immediacy, there is a good chance I will completely forget about it all together.

For this reason, my phone is usually with me. That way there is no incoming-build-up. Recently, my very sweet 2-year-old daughter (completely unprompted) brought me my phone. While I felt a flicker of sadness that my little girl must have thought it was weird to see mommy without her phone, I was also very thankful that she brought it to me. I heard some chirping  from the other room and I was curious to see if I got a text from someone good. I didn’t. But, when you hear the beep, the gong or whatever song you downloaded to let you know that a message has come in, you’re curious too.

I know my boundaries though. I no longer text or email while driving (now I just hope for a red light so I can fire something off). I don’t text or email during concerts (that‘s a lie). I never use my phone when I’m at the movies (only during the previews) and I certainly shut it down if I’m at a funeral (I’m not heartless). I also don’t text during face-to-face conversations with others unless it’s mutually agreed upon that we’re both going to do it—and even then I’ll say something apologetic before going all thumbs on my phone like “Ugh, hang on, I’m so sorry. It’s Eminem. Again. I have to respond. Seriously, he can’t do anything without me.”

Not everyone is as awesomely considerate as I am though. I was at a birthday party some months ago and I ran into someone I truly adore. We were having what I thought was a fairly engaging catch-up session, but then I saw him check his phone while talking to me. WHILE TALKING TO ME! Admittedly, he held up his side of the conversation, but I don’t care—he flat out scrolled through his messages, more than once, while he was talking to me. I’m sorry. Am I not entertaining enough for you? Well, just so you know—I was going to take my top off, but now I’m not.

Next up are the people who leave voice mail messages that are anywhere near the vicinity of this: “Hi! I have to tell you something. Call me back.” STOP IT. I can read. I saw that you called. I’ll call you back. My friend, “Nags” does this. He has been doing it since 1997 and everyone in our group has yelled at him about it ad nauseum, but he doesn’t care.

Me: Stop leaving stupid messages on my voice mail.

Nags:  They’re not stupid.

Me: Yes, they are. Telling me to call you back is not a good enough message. I talk to you 100 times a day. Of course I’m going to call you back. Either leave me a message with good info and juice, or know that I saw you called.  “Hi, call me back!” is  pointless and stupid.

Nags: Too bad.

Me: No. Calling my voice mail takes time and effort. I have to physically call my voice mail, enter my password, listen to the lady warn me about old messages that are going to be deleted if I don’t  do something about them, and then—when I finally get to yours, it’s not even good. Stop it!

Nags: I’ll never stop.

The flip side of the voice mail message is this: The message is too long and mostly filled with crap and filler. I have a tendency to leave those kinds of messages. I crack under the pressure of leaving a good message and instead I ramble on and on about nothing. But of course  it’s different when I do it. If you do it to me, I’m going to 3-3-7 you. [Side note: If you hit 3-3-7 during a painful voice mail message, it takes you to the end of the message allowing you to delete it and end your suffering].

I’m OK with long messages as long as they are entertaining and they don’t require a callback, but usually the caller wants a callback and then, inevitably, when I call the person back, she repeats the entire message I already listened to on my voice mail. If you’re just going to repeat the whole story, WHAT THE HELL DID YOU LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR?  Text me to call you back, or just know that I saw that you called. I’ll call you and you’ll tell me your story—trust me, I want to hear it, I love information—but if you’re the type who is going to repeat the whole story as soon as we talk, I’m going to 3-3-7 you. I’m going to 3-3-7 you all day long, sister.

We’re all busy. It’s hard to find time to talk on the phone, so it’s nice that we have several alternative ways to communicate. I love them all and I use them all.

Although, after my friends read this, I have a feeling I won’t be using many of them today.

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July 19th, 2011

The Thing About Playdates…

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The term “playdate” has always been of interest to me. There aren’t many like it in the English language. It is the only term I can think of that is filled with formality, necessity and stupidity all at the same time.

On the formal side, a playdate is like an arranged appointment for playtime. Actually, I’m sorry, it’s not like an arranged appointment for playtime, it is an arranged appointment for playtime. I can understand why playtimes need to be arranged: We are busy. A scheduled playdate helps to keep things organized.

It just seems so formal to me. Formal and forced. Like I’m going to receive a confirmation call the day before the event. Like the kids should be wearing little tuxedos, or at least one of those little t-shirts with the pre-printed tuxedos on them.

Of course, I know the actual playdate isn’t formal. It’s just the term that breathes formality to me. We didn’t have a term for playtime when I was a kid. We had this:

Kid: Mom, I’m going across the street to play with Caren and then we‘re going to meet up with everyone else and play baseball, and then some kid is going to try and make-out with me and I‘m going to let him, and then we’re all going to ride bikes to the corner drug store so we can steal some candy. I‘ll be home later, before it gets dark. OK? Bye!

Mom: Bye! Try not to get hit by a car!

Sadly, those days are over. At least for me they are. We’re fortunate during the summer months because we live at an overnight camp for kids where my husband is one of the directors. While we are at camp, my kids are in a very safe, self-contained, utopia-style environment where they can walk anywhere and we don’t have to concern ourselves for one minute about their wellbeing. I may have worried once, for a moment, about the possibility of my two-year-old walking into the water by herself, but I have come to realize that my girls don’t get more than 10 feet without being bombarded by no less than 15 campers yelling: “Hi! What’s my name? You’re so cute! What’s my name? Do you remember my name?”

But during the off-season, we live in a neighborhood where the houses are kind of far apart and the closest kid is a bit of a walk. When I was growing up, my mom would let me jump on my bike and ride to pretty much anyone’s house, but things are different now. I don’t know if the amount of questionable men lurking around neighborhoods in hoopty green station wagons has actually increased over the years, or if we are just more susceptible to media warnings and scary stories via the internet and the news. Either way, isolated playdates seem to have become the standard no matter where you live.

I consider my neighborhood to be exceptionally safe, but I don’t know if I’ll be so quick to let my kids run the hood, unattended, looking for people to play with. They’ll probably be restricted to the house across the street and the one next door.

Unfortunately, they will be screwed because the lady who lives next door will be none too thrilled if my kids show up looking to play with her kids since a) she doesn’t have any kids and b) it seems she is still not over the time when my stubby-tail Golden Retriever, Floyd Coden, once got into her yard and ate all of her cat‘s food—like it was some huge inconvenience or something. Trust me, Mrs. Roper, it turned out to be a much bigger inconvenience for me at 4:00 in the morning. And the house across the street probably isn’t the most ideal spot for my kids to play either since I’m fairly certain that the lady who currently inhabits that house is dead.

At this point, I’m lucky. My kids are happy to play with my friends’ kids because they have no say and they don‘t know any better, but one day that will change. One day they are going to request a playdate and I’m going to have to arrange it. That is not unreasonable. I had friends outside of my neighborhood when I was a kid. I wasn’t a total loser. Sometimes I wanted to play at their houses, so either my mom or I would make a plan, and then she’d drop me off and drive away.

We didn’t refer to those times as playdates. I don’t think we had a name for them. We just did them. My mom would drop and then she would go. The next time, my mom would do my friend’s mom a solid and that mom could have her chance at the Drop-N-Go.

It was a good system but someone, somewhere must have disagreed because that person decided that we, as busy parents, were no longer able to do the Drop-N-Go. That person (not me, definitely not me) decided that the parent who was dropping the kid off would not get to go, but instead, STAY.

And that is the part I think is stupid.

It’s a Playdate. Not a Staydate.

My kid is the one who wants a playdate, not me. I’m good. I’m all set. Don’t be hurt. It’s not you. I like you and you‘re really nice, but I don’t have time to see the friends I do have. I need to have you over? No. I don’t think so. Oh, your kid won’t stay if you’re not there? Well, I guess that means no playdate at the Coden house. It’s my house that you’re concerned about? So, come in! Take a look around, go through my stuff, count the smoke detectors, whatever you want—but the play date is for my kid, not me. Once-over my house and then beat it. I got it covered on my end. If  little Brooklyn is still wailing after 15 minutes, I’ll call you and you can come back and pick her ass up.

If she stays, I’ll feed her something decent for lunch. I promise not to let her go crazy on the Oreos and I’ll keep her fingers out of the outlets, but you gotta go. I have $hit to do. The reason I asked to have your kid over in the first place is because I need someone to play with my kid so I can actually get some stuff done. I promise my kid is much nicer than I am, and believe me, your kid will have such a blast at my house, you can skip your trip to Disney. Don’t you have an errand you need to run, a manicure you want to get, or a friend you want to spend some time with?

As you can see, I’m really not such great company anyway.

 

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July 10th, 2011

You’re Not Alone (VI)

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I’m not saying these are all about me. I’m just saying if you feel the same way, you’re not alone.

You’re not alone if…

…you love saying “Bless Your Heart” to people. Just make sure to say it when you are being really condescending to someone who isn’t as smart as you.

…you are convinced that Justin Bieber’s haircut is just a “bowl cut” with the bangs brushed to one side.

…you don’t wash your jeans every time you wear them, or even every other time.

…you never would have shaved today except that you have a gynecologist appt.

…you are totally excited about “Crackle” nail polish and you’re not 20 years old. If you don’t know what “Crackle” nail polish is, don’t worry, by the time you find out, it will probably be out of style anyway.

…you got bummed out that someone called you “Ma’am” because you still feel way too young be called “Ma’am”—or because you’re a guy.

…the calculator you bought at the Dollar Store doesn’t work and you’re kind of pissed about it because actually it wasn’t 1.00, it was 1.49 and you honestly contemplated spending that much at a Dollar Store  but you really needed a new calculator so you caved and bought it, but it doesn’t work and you didn’t keep the receipt because who keeps their Dollar Store receipts? Are you really going to get in your car and return something that was 1.00 or even 1.49? No, you‘re not. So, you’re stuck with a calculator that doesn’t work, well it works a little— it does everything but divide— but who the hell wants a crippled calculator that doesn’t divide? Now you’re starting to wonder if the Dollar Store people knew it didn’t work when they sold it, but sold it anyway knowing that there is no way that A) you’re going to keep your receipt and B) you’re going to make the trip back to return it. But no, no way, they are not like that. You know this because when you got to the store, you had to go to the bathroom really bad and although the bathroom in a Dollar Store isn’t high on your “Bathrooms I Am Dying To Use” list, you really had to go, and on your way to the bathroom you saw a bunch of hand-made artwork on the wall that was made by the Dollar Store owners’ kids. Well, if the owners do stuff like that, they  must be really nice people, right? Right. For sure there is no way that they knew the calculator was bad when they sold it, but at this point you are over the calculator and have moved on to thinking that you might need medication because if you weren’t sure before, you’re 100% sure now that you are completely and utterly out of your freakin’ mind.

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