Archive for the ‘Style’ Category

March 20th, 2012



One night, many years ago, the mom of an old boyfriend told me that she hated the off-white pants her husband was wearing. To me, they were just pleated pants, but to her they were the enemy. It wasn’t uncommon that I looked to this woman for advice, so I figured I‘d seize the opportunity. One day I might need to know: What do you do if your husband wears something that you REALLY don’t like? I mean, I know we’re supposed to love and accept them for who they are, but come on…we have to BE with them.

So, what do you do?

She took me aside and quietly revealed that whenever her husband wears an item that she deems hideous, she saves herself a potentially hurtful and argumentative conversation by secretly taking the garment and doing a “a little something” to blemish it. Nothing big or obvious, just a little something.

For instance, with regard to the off-white offenders, she waited until her husband was out of the pants (and out of the room) and she laid them on the bed. Then, armed with a wand of mascara, she took a deep breath and very carefully placed a teeny weeny black dot right next to the crotch area. It was a small dot, but on off-white, it stuck out like a Jewish girl in a Lily Pulitzer store.

To me, she was brilliant. The tiny black dot was just obvious enough to ruin the look of the pants, but in no way did it incrimate her as the desecrator. It was brilliant and I have never forgotten it.

And I would use it on my own husband—if I thought it would work.

My problem is this: In a million years my husband “Cody”  wouldn’t A) notice or B) care.

Once, before we were married, I went to visit Cody at Camp (he owns an overnight camp for kids in Northern Michigan) and because he was still “woo’ing” me, he would actually leave Camp without me begging, pleading or threatening him—and we would go out for a nice dinner somewhere other than the mess hall.

One night, when I emerged from the bathroom, ready to go, I saw Cody waiting all dressed and proud of himself. He was wearing jeans and a jean jacket. (You can re-read that sentence a million times but it’s never going to change. You read it right the first time). My husband, who I love very much, thought it would be OK to wear jeans and a jean jacket together, in public, even though it wasn’t 1985.

Well, he was wrong.

I tried to think of a tactful way to tell him that there was no way that he was wearing that ensemble out of the cabin, but I had to come up with a way of saying it that wouldn’t hurt his feelings—and I think I did a good job. I said: Cody, there is no way you are wearing that out of the cabin.

He looked at me incredulously and said: What’s wrong with it?

And because he was serious, I knew there was no explanation that would make any sense to him so I simply said: NO.

He grumbled a bit about how I was “crazy” and then he said something about how the jean jacket was “so awesome.” Eventually, though, it came off.

But it wasn’t forgotten. I knew he’d try to sell me on The Jacket again and I didn’t want it to become a point of dissent in our relationship. I just wanted Jon Bon Jovi to come back and get it.

My mind went back to the “Little Black Dot” story of so many years ago, but I needed something stronger, something bolder. Cody is not like the husband of my old boyfriend’s mom. Not only would he not notice a black dot on his jacket, but even if he did, it would only make the jacket cooler to him. I needed to do something more drastic.

So I hid it.

My friend, “Nags” was up at Camp with me that particular weekend and since, upon seeing The Jacket, Nags promptly threw up most of his lunch, I knew he’d help me plot its inevitable and necessary demise.  Together we found the perfect place to hide it and to this day, we have never revealed its location.

There have been a few more items of clothing over the years that I don’t love, but for the most part I keep my mouth shut. Cody either wears those pieces when I’m not around, or I let them go because even I know there are some battles that aren’t worth fighting. Besides, over the last ten years, nothing has offended me in quite the same way as The Jacket.

Until now.

Enter: The Shirt.

I can’t explain exactly what it is that I vehemently dislike about The Shirt, but there is something. He has worn it three times and I loathe it so much that sometimes I flip it off (with both hands) when he’s not looking.

The Shirt physically repulses me and what’s more—The Shirt knows it, and The Shirt doesn’t care. It mocks me. He wore The Shirt to bed the other night, and The Shirt was all “Take that, wifey, I’m in your bed now,” and that was it for me.

You’re going down, Shirt. You don’t know who you’re dealing with. I have a rap sheet. Perhaps you’d like to hear a little story about a missing Jean Jacket?

And then, of course, I did what I had to do. I hid it, just like The Jacket.

What choice did I have?

It’s in a very good place and like The Jacket, I will keep the location to myself. Plus, I have no guilt because it’s not like I threw it out, it’s just…missing.

But out of respect, I’d like to say a few words in honor of The Shirt:

I never liked you, Shirt
You made me want to barf.
I would have strangled you
But I’d feel bad for the scarf.

Cody might miss you at first
But it’s better than dealing.
I didn’t want to discuss you
And risk hurting his feelings.

You thought you were staying
And I’d have to let you be.
But you got yours, didn’t you?
Don’t mess with me.

He’ll never find you
And I’d just like to say:
May you forever remain

March 12th, 2012

Choose Wisely


My dad used to be a divorce lawyer and this was his motto:

“Love is grand, divorce is one hundred grand. Choose wisely.”

Choosing a mate is not the same as choosing a friend. You’re allowed to have more than one friend and if you read my last entry “The Friend Philosophy,” you know I don’t believe in expecting one friend to fulfull all needs. A spouse or partner shouldn’t be responsible for fulfilling all needs either, but they need to fill a crap-load of them because last time I checked, we’re only allowed to have one.

I figure, if your partner is supposed to be your best, best, best friend…the bar should be really high. And, I also figure, if the bar is high and you don’t settle, your chances of landing the “right” person are good, so your chances of staying together are too.

But how do we know who that “right” person is?

We know by dating a whole bunch of the wrong ones.

Dating different people is like eating from a buffet. Grab one plate for each hand and try everything. If you’re not into something, move on. At least you gave it a shot and now you know a little more about what you like and what you don’t like.

Plus, dating different people helps us learn what our deal breakers are. And we ALL have deal breakers. Deal breakers pop up in almost every relationship, but if we stay strong and stand up for our convictions, they are very helpful in weeding out the wrong people.

Some deal breakers are big: “I need to break up with you because it has come to my attention that you’re sleeping with a whole bunch of other girls. I would probably be OK with that if I didn’t have a brain, but I do, so I’m not. By the way, I threw out all of your crap except for the things I’m going to keep—and also, I hope your pee pee falls off.”

And some deal breakers are even BIGGER: “I’m sorry. I thought this had a chance of working out but it’s kind of bugging me that you wear your jeans really high. No, I DON’T think that’s a stupid reason to break up and what? I’m not “all that.” Well, that may be, but AT LEAST MY JEANS AREN’T UP TO MY ARMPITS. Later, Erkel.”

I believe it’s a good idea to date a lot of people because in the end, when we meet the right person, we’re ready. We know what we want and, more importantly, we know what we don’t want.

You may think that I’m painting with a broad brush (probably because I am) but please know I’m not saying that those who got married without dating a lot, or those who got married real young, did the wrong thing. I’m not saying that at all. I won’t be recommending it to my kids, but obviously there are some people who got really lucky and found their soul mate early on. I have some friends who got married to high school or college sweethearts and they are totally solid.

It happens.

But look around. More often than not, it doesn’t.

It seems that most of the time those who pull the trigger too soon or for the wrong reasons end up divorced or married-but-miserable. Sure, it was great in the beginning. Everyone loved the little hot dog appetizers that Bride and Groom served at the wedding, and Bride was elated when she got the KitchenAid Tilt Head Classic Mixer she registered for (I got one too and if you want it, it’s in the closet of my laundry room) but one day Bride woke up and realized that she and Groom had grown apart.

How did that happen? Were they not paying attention, or were they always quite different?

No, they weren’t different. They were perfect. At least on paper.

When they got married everything matched up perfectly: Same religion? Check. Stable jobs? Check. So cute that they both love strawberry ice cream? Check. But now Bride is no longer the same person she was when she got married. Bride is not so into strawberry ice cream anymore.  (WHAT? OH NO SHE DI’INT!) Oh yes, she’s likes butter pecan now. But Groom…Groom still likes strawberry ice cream and not only does he not understand why Bride no longer likes it, he resents her for it—but guess what? Bride resents him too. She used to think it was so cute that he loved strawberry ice cream but now it’s annoying to her and what’s more, she resents that in 10 years he hasn’t changed one bit except for the fact that he is now older with a slower metabolism so the strawberry ice cream has manifested itself as a spare tire around his waist that could double as a flotation device.

That kind of scenario sometimes (many times) happens when we marry too young, too soon or for the wrong reasons. (Again, if you married young and it’s working, that’s awesome). But that kind of thing does happen, a lot.

So, how can we keep that from happening? What can we do to prevent ourselves from becoming disenchanted with our spouse? Marriage is hard. It’s not so easy to keep the sparks flying.

I don’t know a lot, but I do know one thing: It’s a lot harder to be happy in a marriage when the person you’re married to is no longer the “right” person, and not only that—it’s possible that he never was.

Why rush it? What’s the hurry?

You’re getting too old? Please. Marry the wrong person and you’ll be even older when you have to start over. (Plus, if you wait until you’re older to get married, you have a better chance of staying together because you won’t have as many years to get sick of him.)

All of your friends are married? Keep those friends and find some new ones who aren’t. They’re out there (probably divorced because they married the wrong person).

You want a baby? Great. No one’s stopping you, mama. Adopt a baby. You don’t need a man for that. But adoption is expensive. Ain’t that the truth, but so are weddings, especially when they end in divorce.

There are no guarantees when we say “I do.” I know that. Most people don’t go into a marriage saying “Til death or divorce do us part,” but things happen over time, people change, and although most of us give it our best shot, sometimes a marriage just can’t be saved.

With friends, we have the luxury of calling on the ones we need depending on the circumstances. With a spouse, we have one only one, and I think (and this is just me) but I think it helps to sample as much as possible from the “dating buffet” before ultimately choosing the “one,” because otherwise, the one you take that ring from—the one you choose to lean on and grow old with—the one you think is Mr. Right…well, he might really be Mr. Right Now.

And Mr. Right Now is great. But only for now.


October 23rd, 2011

Dissecting The Mean Girl


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.

July 7th, 2011

Lady Gaga: The Camper


I have heard people say that Lady Gaga is this generation’s Madonna.

Is she?

Regarding the music, Lady Gaga seems to shine when she’s singing and also when she’s sitting at the piano. Madonna’s vocal range is fairly limited and I don’t think she can play an instrument.

But where fashion is concerned—take a seat, Gaga. Madonna got you beat.

Madonna has always been an icon of style. When she first burst onto the scene in the early 80‘s, her timing was perfect. We were ripe. Madonna brought with her an unfamiliar sound and an effortless look that mixed just the right amount of edge and femininity.

Madge helped shape an entire generation of girls, myself included. I spent many mornings searching for my black pencil skirt so I could throw it on over a pair of  lace leggings. From there I would carefully layer a mesh top over one or two tanks and then I’d accessorize with pearl and beaded necklaces until the back of my neck itched. Of course, I added one of my many Borderline video hair bows and although I skipped the black bra (because really, who was I kidding) I rarely left my room without lining my arms with approximately one zillion black rubber bracelets— and if I felt that I didn’t have enough on, I used the black rubber bands from our vacuum cleaner. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t rock the Cross earrings, but the whole “being Jewish” thing kind of got in the way.

Lady Gaga also came on the scene at a time when music needed an adrenaline shot. Her raw talent and vocals were a welcome alternative to the tired, predictable beats that seem to penetrate almost every song currently getting air play.

Her look, however, has me a little confused. It seems that almost every time I see her, I find myself asking the same question:


What is that about?

True, Madonna has had moments of controversial fashion choices, but for the most part her style has always remained admirable and accessible. Of course, it is not Lady Gaga’s job, anymore than it was Madonna’s job, to dress in a way that influences her fans and followers. We don’t even know for sure if Lady Gaga  wants to be compared to Madonna—though I have to imagine early on in her career it didn’t hurt, and it maybe even helped.

The thing is, Lady Gaga is now an established artist with her feet planted firmly in the Billboard charts and her music downloaded into IPODS everywhere, which leads me to my next question:

Why is she still trying so hard? …or is she for real?
While the trendsetting Madonna was “Desperately Seeking Susan,“ Lady Gaga just seems desperate.

I read somewhere that Gaga claims she was considered a “freak” in high school. That had to hurt. In my experience, I have found that people who aren’t comfortable with who they are generally don’t embrace it with uniqueness, but instead they hide it with some sort of outrageousness—and that is what I think she is doing. (That’s what I did.) I think she is hiding behind her various looks and playing it off as “avant garde.” I think she is intentionally pointing to her ensembles so we don’t see her.

You know what else I think? I think camp would have been a good place for Lady Gaga. If Gaga had gone to overnight camp (probably any camp, but preferably ours) she would have risen to exactly where she is with self awareness outlining her persona instead of ridiculousness.

We have all kinds at Camp: Freaks, geeks, clowners, downers, talkers, gawkers, hotties and notties—and many of the kids are at a stage where they aren’t exactly comfortable with who they are. One of the truly special things about Camp (and there are many) is that it helps kids find comfort in their own skin.  They find that comfort because the people that surround them make them feel comfortable. Their respective personalities are not only accepted, but in many cases, celebrated. They’re all loved and they all have a place here.

Campers live in close quarters and though some of their cabin mates may not be people they would have chosen to be friends with, let alone share space with—TOO BAD—they  learn to live with them and appreciate them for all they have to offer. In turn, kids are accepted without prejudice and most every one of them leave here a little more confident and a little more self assured than they were when they first got off the bus.

Assuming that I’m right about Lady Gaga being uncomfortable in her own skin (and I might not be—but for the sake of this piece, let’s assume that I’m right), I honestly believe if she had gone to overnight camp, she would have grown up to love herself for exactly who she is instead of continually shifting our focus to her facade. She would just BE. She would just be herself.

Whoever that is.

June 29th, 2011

Don’t Be A Tease

I feel like everyone is teasing me lately. And I don’t like it one bit.
I was out for dinner recently and when the server went over the specials, I picked one that sounded dee-lish. I was very excited for my dinner because I am kind of a loser in that way and I look forward to my feeding time much in the same way a hippo does. When the server came back to my table, she told me that she was very sorry but they were out of what I wanted. What? Wait. What? You’re out of what I wanted? Um, how about, I don’t know, how about maybe taking it OFF YOUR LIST OF SPECIALS?
When I told the youngest Front Boys’ cabin (B-2) that I would come by during Rest Hour to play some cards and partake in a little candy eating, they told me that they didn‘t know too many games besides “War.” War? Really? I don‘t think so. That game sucks. I told them that I’d bring four of the older boys from the Back Boys’ cabins to teach them a really fun, legendary Camp game called Squares. I found four very cool older boys at dinner that night and they were totally into it. (Damn right they were into it, I did it for them when they were little and it’s time to pay the piper). The older boys got the “OK” from one of their counselors and then asked me if I was going to pick them up. I laughed so hard, I busted through all the botox in my forehead.
Are you joking? Pick you up? Hell to the NO. I’m not going into Back Boys.

Meet me at the B-2 cabin. Rest Hour. Tomorrow. Be there.
They were pumped, but did they meet me? No, they did not. TEASE.

I ran into six campers that I adore in our Camp Store earlier today. They used to be in Front Boys and now they are in Back Boys. Knowing how I feel about going to Back Boys, do you think I will be spending much quality time with them? They were sad too. All of the sudden it was like I stepped into an 80’s movie montage of memories: Euchre, tootsie pops, me telling them that their cabin is stinky and yelling at them about how wearing the same shirt over and over is not cool, but rather quite disgusting…that kind of stuff. We shared a laugh and a hug and we all swore that we’d still hang, but the moment I turned around I knew it would never be the same. Then, as I started walking away, one of the campers called out:

Don’t worry, Robyn, we’re just in Back Boys for first session. We’ll be back in Front Boys for second session and then we can all hang out again!

Could it be? Would they be back up in Front Boys for second session? I was very excited about the prospect of getting some of my boys back, but when I asked Cody about it that night he just looked at me like What are you talking about? Why are you listening to the campers?

So, I guess that is a “No.”

But the straw, the straw was this: I was looking through People, Style Watch magazine and I saw a dress that I had to have. I was very excited about how cute I planned on looking in my new dress so I Flo Jo’d it to my computer and went to the website listed under the dress in the magazine. Would you believe that the site is  just a showcase for the store items? You have to physically go to the actual store to buy the dress which is exactly what I would do IF THERE WAS A STORE SOMEWHERE AROUND HERE!

I mean, Come ON.

June 21st, 2011

On Turning 40


I turned forty last week. That used to seem so old to me. Forty. I don’t feel old though. At least not in the head I don’t. It’s not like I woke up on my fortieth birthday and instantly started referring to The Salon as The Beauty Shop; I didn’t grab a Redbook, throw on a housecoat and cover my couch with protective plastic. It wasn’t like that at all. I, in fact, haven’t changed much from when I was in my thirties, or even my twenties. Each one of my toes boasts a different color of nail polish and if you say the word “trim” I will start cracking up because I think it is the funniest thing ever.

My body feels kind of old though. Maybe that is what forty is all about. Body/old. Head/young. But as soon as I mention anything like that in front of a legitimately old person I get this: “What do you know from aches and pains?  You think you know from aches and pains? What do you know? You’re young.” Oh yeah, old person? Tell that to my 4 year old daughter. She informed me earlier today that she can jump out of bed in the morning because she is young and I can not because I am old.

So, what’s the real deal? Is forty old or is it young? It can get pretty confusing and the following three sayings are supposed to lend comfort to those of us making the jump, but I have found the opposite to be true.

Life begins at Forty. I hate to be the one to tell you this but if your life is beginning at forty, you missed out on A LOT of really good years. I can’t imagine discounting all the years before I turned forty. I loved them all. Those were the years when I could eat cake without a second thought while now I might as well bypass eating it and just tape it to my ass since that’s where it’s going anyway. The years before forty were the years when I woke up with a hangover because I actually HAD A HANGOVER. Now, if ‘m up past midnight I wake up with that same horrible, lingering hangover—and that’s without drinking.

Forty is the new Thirty. No it’s not. Thirty is Thirty. I don’t care how sweet your body is, there is nothing worse than checking out someone who looks great from behind, but when they turn around you’re like “Holy Moly, what the hell is that all about? Is that Judi Dench?” It’s probably time to ditch some of the items inhabiting your closet. I know it hurts, especially if they still fit, but just because you can wear something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Bazaar magazine separates what they feel is appropriate by decade each month in case we need guidance. I think that is a little severe, but it might be a good time to reassess the closet and perhaps bid a fond farewell to the leopard print super-tight mini dress.

Forty and Fabulous. Fabulous? Come on. I can name several things I find to be NOT so fabulous:

-While assessing my closet (as instructed above), I tried on several pairs of pants and many of them were short. How in the hell did that happen? I haven’t gotten any taller.

-The gyno doesn’t only go in through the Front, he hits the Back as well. (Some sort of prostate check). That was an unexpected violation I wasn’t quite prepared for.

-When someone says “You look good,” it really means “You look good, for forty.”

-Young people who say that 80’s music is old and it sucks. You know what? YOU SUCK.

-Grey hairs, forehead lines and spider veins. Oh yeah, there’s a whole lot of “fabulous” in that trio of terror.

-Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I need an iron to get the pillow lines out of my face.

-I can’t do much anymore without stretching and steroid injections. I’m thinking about mugging the Tin Man for his can of oil.

-I actually have to put some thought into the location of any new tattoos because I don’t want it in an area that will be all nasty and wrinkly when I’m older than I already am.

Of course, there are some great things about being forty. Lots of great things, but you’ll have to find that list on someone else’s blog. It’s past my bedtime and I can’t remember where I put my bite guard.

May 13th, 2011



Yesterday when I was doing the morning drive drop-off, I got to hear a little Drew and Mike in the Morning in between snippets of a song coming from Sweet Pea, my 4 year old, in the back seat. Sweet Pea was singing something about how her daddy likes to eat bagels in the bathroom (he doesn’t) and Drew and Mike were reviewing audio of a kid from a Milford, MI high school. The kid was talking about how his days are filled with relentless bullying. (The Justin Bieber t-shirt he insists on wearing probably isn’t doing him any favors.)

When I got home, I grabbed the mail from day before and although I was short on time, I somehow found myself flipping through the latest issue of People, Style Watch magazine. I landed on Tim Gunn’s Who Got It Right? segment. It was then that I realized that bullying doesn’t necessarily only happen face to face and it doesn’t necessarily end when we become adults. It seems to me that there is a “Bully Spectrum” and it ranges from “Horrible” to “Acceptable.”

In the magazine, Tim Gunn complimented Keri Hilson’s outfit (whoever the hell she is) while shredding Vanessa Hudgens’s. He said that Hudgens’s printed dress and jacket were “fighting with each other.” Admittedly, he was right–and even I sighed while looking at Hudgens’s outfit— but I’m not putting it in print for thousands of people to see. I was thinking it to myself and then yes, I may have mentioned something to my younger daughter, Lovey, about how Hudgens might want to invest in a full length mirror, but that doesn’t really count because Lovey is 23 months old and she doesn’t even know what freakin’ day it is.

I felt bad for Hudgens. I’m sure she thought she looked really cute before Tim Gunn gunned her down. I imagine her feelings were hurt when she opened the magazine to see herself next to Hilson with a comment about how Hilson’s outfit worked and hers didn’t.

Just because Gunn’s hurtful (albeit truthful) comments are placed within the pages of a magazine, does that mean that it‘s not actually bullying? Or is it a form of bullying, just a more “acceptable“ form?

What if he had done it like this instead? What if he had put up a picture of two people wearing tiaras and let the reader decide who got it right while leaving his own comments out?


Is that a better idea? I truly don’t know. I just know that bullying is everywhere and if we can’t figure out where it starts, I don’t know how we’re going to make it stop.

May 5th, 2011

You’re Not Alone (V)


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 don’t belong to a country club. Just make sure you have a friend who does. That way you get to have all the fancy fun with none of the demanding dues.

…you can’t fold a fitted sheet.

…you accidentally stepped on a toy and broke it, and then you acted all sorry even though you really weren’t because secretly you hated that toy.

… your reason for not driving a Minivan is because you know random guys probably won’t check you out any more.

…you use the 3 second rule for more than just food–like that car in front of you that hasn’t moved even though the light is green. Tap that horn and give that car a little reminder. “Let’s get it on, pal. That light ain’t gonna get any greener.”

…you are steadfast about your bra and undies matching everyday. You could get into an accident and you don’t want to be remembered by the fireman and police officers as the lady whose bra and undies didn’t match. That is just no way to be remembered.

April 7th, 2011

Gavel Grabbers


The other day I was pulling out of my daughter’s pre-school when I noticed a car pulling in. Pick up is at 2:00. That driver was late. I couldn’t tell if she was stressed and anxious or if she was calm and apathetic. I just knew that she was late. I shook my head slowly, sighed softly and proceeded with the judging process. I’d like to know what she was doing that made her so late to pick up her kid? What is she so busy with that she can’t be there at 2:00?

I drove away doing the hair flip of self righteous complacency since I was, of course, on time. The fact that I was late the day before has no relevance here. I’m sure some of the moms judged me that day, but whatever. I had a good reason for being a little late and also, it was me.

Before I became a mother, one of my friends let me in on something very interesting. She said: You will never feel more judged than you will as a mother.

Now that I am, indeed, a mother, I feel I am in a good position to report the following:
1. I agree.
2. I don’t care.

I believe we are all guilty of grabbing the gavel every once in awhile. It’s human nature to judge. And if, in fact, we all do it– it stands to reason that it’s going to come back our way at one point or another.

Who among us doesn’t judge, and who among us is free from judgment?

Who hasn’t lifted their eyebrows at the grocery store, questioning parenting techniques while some kid is having a total freak-out in the candy aisle? Who hasn’t been at a school play thinking that lady over there should have given that gingham midriff top a little more consideration before leaving the house?

We all do it. And we’re all susceptible to it.

Some people care that they are being judged and some people do not. For those who don’t care, as long as you’re not stepping on others to get what you want or ignoring the basic standards of common decency, good for you. High five. In my opinion, not caring is a much easier way to live.

For those of you who do care, be nice. I have found that if you’re a nice person, people are less likely to judge you. Being nice is judgment kryptonite. It’s harder for judgers to judge nice people because if the one judging has even the slightest conscious, they will feel bad ripping on a nice person. Wear those white patent leather boots to a PTA meeting, show off that tramp stamp during parent/teacher conferences, it doesn’t matter—you’re safe behind your shield of niceness—and if someone dares to judge someone as nice as you, that person is a B. And trust me, everyone knows it, including, but not limited to, the B herself.

B’s use judging as a pastime. I know people like this; people with really bad energy. They’re out there. Judging is one of their basic traits. Smugness shows on their faces, criticism permeates their social interactions, and for the most part, what they have to say (about pretty much everything) is negative. But know this, B’s—you’re also getting shredded right and left. You’re getting it because there are so many who feel you deserve it and let’s face it, you probably do. You started it. B’s!

I don’t know why some of us care about what others think and why some of us don’t. Not caring may come with age and exhaustion, or it could be that it’s just an innate part of certain personalities. For many (myself included) as our families grew bigger, our social circles grew smaller so now the only people we truly care about are those coveted few in our inner circle. And those are the ones who love us for all that we are, and all that we come with, without passing judgment.

But some people just can’t help but care what the peripherals think. It does seem that caring what others think would be a very natural response, but speaking from a purely cognitive and logical place, I have to ask: Why?

Besides wasting your time and energy, what’s it doing for you? If you’re a good person, who cares what anything else thinks? Chances are, the person judging you doesn’t know you and you’re just the unsuspecting victim of a drive-by judging—or maybe the judger is a miserable bitter sister who is trying to make herself feel better about her own life. Who knows? Who cares?

Bottom Line: If you feel the need to judge someone, I‘m not going to tell you not to do it, it’s human nature, we all do it a times (me too)—but also know that you are vulnerable to the same thing. You’re going to be judged whether you ask for it or not. If you’re a B, you’re asking for it. If you’re not, you’re a bit safer, but still, not totally safe.

We will never change the fact that people judge, but we can control how much or how little we actually care.


March 14th, 2011

You’re Not Alone (IV)


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 didn’t like the book The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. You’re also not alone if you didn’t read it,  if you tried to read it and didn’t like it or if you can’t figure out why everyone said it was so great. You’re not alone if you read some of it, thought to yourself that there are just too many people–people with crazy ass names– and saw the movie instead. You’re not alone if you have never even heard of these books (but it might be a good idea to go out a little bit).

…you don’t feel sexy after a day of work and/or carpools and cleaning up after your kids. Just give your spouse the heads up that you are exhausted so he’s not disappointed when he gets to bed and you’re drooling, but not over him.

…you have an excuse all ready for the cop as you run that yellow (borderline red) light. You might not get pulled over, but it never hurts to be prepared.

…you buy a bag of  jellybeans and pull out the red, purple and pink ones for yourself. Everyone knows that the other colors suck, so no one will suspect you.

…your purse and shoes don’t match. That’s a dated fashion rule and it’s stupid.

…you can’t afford to buy all (or any) organic food. It’s expensive, I know. If you want to do something, pick a few things that you really believe in. I like to buy organic milk and chicken. I think my girls won’t have Double D boobs when they’re 8 years old if I only give them organic milk and chicken. Do what you can do, but don’t beat yourself up. Especially over the bananas. Everyone knows those are a scam.

…you go to get a pedicure and you forgot and/or didn’t have time to shave your legs. Just tell them that you have an upcoming leg wax appointment and you need to grow it out for that.

…you hit your horn when some idiot pulls out in front of you and then proceeds to go 15 mph under the speed limit. That is BOGUE and it’s OK to convey that message through your horn. If you are able, you should try and see what the other driver looks like. It’s good to know if you can take them or not, just in case they get mad.

…you are a day or so late on changing your kids’ sheets or giving them a bath. Nothing bad will happen.

…you have no interest in meeting your favorite celebrity. Chances are good the reality won’t the same as your reality, and then you’re not only crushed for life–but you’re also stuck with a ton of memorabilia from someone who was an ass to you. Live the dream. It’s bound to be better.

…sometimes you don’t shower after working out. You still have to throw on something on though: body spray, lip gloss, deo… I mean, come on–we’re not total neanderthals.

…once in a while you find yourself out of poop bags when your dog poops on someone’s lawn. Just promise yourself that when you get home, you’ll get a bag and come back to clean it up. If the neighbor comes outside and busts you, tell him that you had every intention of coming back to get the poop. If, however, that’s not enough for him and he starts yelling and going nuts, threatening to call the police and asking if you and your dog “do this all the time?”–it’s OK for you to tell him to up his medication before you turn and walk away waving  “Bye, Jack!” and when he (within 3 seconds) yells to you that his name’s not Jack, tell him it is WHEN IT’S SHORT FOR JACK ASS.