Sunday, April 13, 2008
You think your life is tough? Ha. MY life is tough. So tough that a lily-livered sissy like you wouldn't last a minute in my world. Here are some examples of the kind of soul-crushing hardship I go through every day:
1.) I have recently gotten hooked on some excellent lipstick. This stuff is awesome--it wears really well, it comes in a whole host of beautiful colors, and there's a pretty shine to the finish. That's the good news. The bad news? It's from Avon. Now, normally I keep a respectable distance away from Avon products, but I take my makeup recommendations from Paula Begoun, who does nothing but try on makeup for a living and report whether it's good or not. Before I discovered Paula, I used to spend 3/4 of my annual income trying out beauty products that I ultimately discovered to be mediocre or crappy. Now I skip all the random speculation and just buy what she gives high ratings to. I was baffled when she said Avon Glazewear Lipstick was fabulous, but I'd trust this woman with my life, my life savings, and the secret of who my childrens' real fathers are. So I bought some from an Avon rep who happened to wander into my workplace...and now I've got a monkey on my back. I need more of this stuff--lots more--but the chick who sold it to me initially no longer sells Avon, and every single other person I've ever know to sell Avon looks like something that just shuffled off the set of a zombie movie. They frighten me. Often, they drive 30-year-old cars covered in bumper stickers, and wear the same shirt all week long. And yet, now I must find a way to stifle my fear and strike up a relationship with one of these people. This must be what it's like when a cheerleader gets hooked on crack and finds herself going to the worst part of town to score, willing to risk life and dignity to get her fix.
2.) I need a new workout bra, and all the workout bras I find in the stores seem to suck. They either provide no support whatsoever, or they're thickly padded for some weird reason. If you're a 34C and have any good workout bras, do me a favor and just send me yours.
3.) Common Wombat was schedule to make a trip here this month and stay at my house, but he cancelled it. That's not the bad news--that's excellent news. The bad part is that, in panicked preparation for his visit, I ripped up all the carpet in my home so that after he left it would be easier to clean up the urine. Now I'm staring at bare concrete, and all for no good reason. It's hard to know how to feel about this cancelled visit, since, on the one hand, my kids are definitely safer this way. But on the other hand, it just seems like I went to a lot of trouble for nothing. I was even planning on using the ripped-out carpet to roll his dead body up into for a hasty disposal at the local landfill at the end of his stay, but now I'll have to find another use for it.
Yes, my life is full of challenges these days, but never fear, I'll get through them. With your support, and convenience of the liquor store near my house, I will manage somehow, some way. If you see me out there one of the days, wandering the streets bra-less and sporting some very nice lipstick, struggling to drag a huge roll of carpet along behind me, please stop and offer me a ride.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I was the last of four kids, which means there exist about 4 photos of me as a child. And not even good ones, and certainly not studio pictures. That happens a lot to "last" kids. There are often about a billion photos of Kid #1, a few hundred photos of Kid #2, maybe 15 or 16 photos of Kid #3, and perhaps 3 photos of Kid #4. If you're further down the line, say, Kid #6 or #9, you're lucky if your parents have a copy of your birth certificate, much less a photo.
I was always kind of bummed out about the absence of photos of me, though. It would have been fun to look back and see what I looked like at different ages, and even more fun to see personality traits emerging in certain photos--like, if I was hamming it up for the camera, or acting shy, or wearing mom's high heels and pearls as if I were ready to be all grown up. But mostly, I felt slighted that no one had apparently been interested enough in me to take pictures. As Jodi Piccoult said in her book My Sister's Keeper, "A photo says, 'You were so important to me that I stopped everything else to come watch'."
So. I have two kids, and I am diligent about taking photos of them. Ridiculously diligent. Our Flickr.com photo tally shows that we have close to 10,000 photos uploaded, although, to be fair, a few hundred of them are of my high school friends passed out next to a pile of puke--and a few thousand of them are of me making faces into the camera as I snap my own picture. Still, though, there are also a lot of photos of my kids. I want them to be able look back someday and know that they were so important to me that I stopped everything to come watch. Case in point:
Just yesterday I was sitting at the computer in the breakfast room while both kids were napping. Or so I thought, til I heard 3-year-old Jake muttering contemplatively to himself in the kitchen. His usual routine when awakening from a nap is to come find me, so I kept on reading my emails, knowing that eventually he'd make his way into to greet me. But when I could still hear him muttering to himself a few minutes later, I got curious, and went in to check on him. As I got up, I heard the click of his little potty chair lid closing, so I got immediately hopeful that he had been responsible enough to get out of bed and head straight for the potty instead of wandering around in his Pull-Ups (which he wears for naps) until I asked him to go use the potty. We keep a little potty on the tile in the area between kitchen and living room so that if he needs to get to it in a hurry, it's close by. As I rounded the corner, I found him naked from the waist down, a good sign. He had taken off his pants and Pull-Ups by himself! Then I looked closer, and was--well, a little dismayed to see what he was clutching in his little hands. I immediately I thought, "This kid is important to me, so it is my motherly duty to take his picture." The camera was right there on the kitchen counter, so I quickly snapped this photo and then thought, "This kid is really, really important to me, so I must post that picture on my blog."
So go ahead: Shower me in praise liberally sprinkled with such words as "mother of the year," "loving," "doting," and "selfless." These are the kind of things I expect to hear from Jake when he looks back at this photo as adult, so I might as well get used to hearing them now. Go ahead, I'm ready.