Thursday, December 31, 2009

I love/hate Santa

Today's flavor: Fruitcake. It's pretty, often nutty and seems like a good idea...but can anyone really swallow this stuff?

I confess. I hate Santa Claus. At 10, 7 and 4, my kids still believe, and I'm sick of it. It is now a few days after Christmas, and I'm still bitter. I shopped until my credit cards bled, wore out my Uggs, fought crowds and browsed online until I was seeing double. I wrapped 109 presents; sent out 223 cards; went to the post office 17 times; doled out 14 cash "bonuses" to various service providers; Lord save me, I even baked! And I saw nary a single partridge in a pear tree. I was stressed out, worn out and buried under a to do list that couldn't be accomplished by an army of elves. And who gets all the credit, gratitude and adoration for everything I did to make the season brighter? You guessed it. Old fatty himself - Santa. The worst thing is that I've told my kids approximately 257 lies to keep the "magic" alive.
So was it worth it? There must be something I'm enjoying about perpetuating this somewhat disturbing idea of an old fat guy that stalks us (you know, he sees you when you're sleeping, etc.) decides who's deserving of goodies, and then mysteriously gets into our homes late at night demanding snacks. I don't know, but aside from the fact that I don't want to incur the wrath of the uber-moms, I just can't help enjoying that twinkling in the eyes when the little ones talk about Santa. Maybe it's because there are so few things that make my evil little monsters act like angels, and maybe it's because I like to dangle the threat of narcing them out to Santa when they misbehave. It could be that it's nice to have someone to blame when they don't get all 422 items on their list. And it could be the very thought of the end of believing signaling the end of childhood. But, when the mood is just right, and I'm sitting by the fire in a rum-laced-egg-nog induced haze, I just love Santa.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bad Mommy

Today's flavor - apple pie - completely from scratch, made by a really good mom.

I am a great mom. Yup. I said it...Well, maybe not great in the traditional sense. Actually, in the traditional sense I'm probably what many might call a bad mommy. My kids are not familiar with anything that qualifies as a vegetable. I have been known to serve Cheerios for dinner (those are nutritious, right?) and Nillas for breakfast.
My 2 older kids are already highly skilled at shopping for clothes that never need to be ironed. I let them watch TV any time I want to keep them out of my hair. I get a babysitter while I'm home and hide in my studio - where I sometimes just sit quietly. Breathing. I buy peppermint patties and peanut butter cups for them...but I hold on to them for safe-keeping and bribery. I offer them cash to let me sleep 10 extra minutes. I feel guilty about not cooking so I have created special dinner nights - Mac n cheese Monday; Tuna fish Tuesday; Whatever Wednesday; Take-out Thursday; Fast Food Friday; Spaghetti Saturday; Soup Sunday (yeah, it's out of a can, but they can choose double noodle or
chicken and stars!). When I get upset I drop all the naughty word bombs and then I yell "that's a grown-up word - don't repeat it." I do the laundry, but don't put it away for several days because every time I'm about to start folding, something more important - like the arrival of my Entertainment Weekly - takes priority.
This is not at all how I imagined my residence in the motherhood. Here's what I envisioned: I'd love things like mommy-and-me classes; I'd limit TV to 1 hour of PBS per day; I'd teach them to love organic foods and crave veggies; I would have a gorgeous scrapbook for each year of each kid's blissful life; I'd increase my workouts to take off the baby weight and keep it off (if my youngest is 4, can I still call the extra 40 lbs "baby weight"?); I'd bake from scratch and have 3 balanced meals on the table every day.
Cut to 10 years and 3 kids later, and all of this reality is making me wonder what constitutes good mothering. I adore my kids. But they exhaust me and make me act like a crazy person. I want to spend every waking minute with them. But they exhaust me and make me act like a crazy person. I want to cook healthy meals and do loads of educational activities - feed their bodies and their minds. But they exhaust me and make me act like a crazy person.
Turns out I'm not living the motherhood dream. Or, as I now see it, "the motherhood delusion." But my kids are terrible, spoiled little monsters, who laugh all the time, get straight A's and are rarely sick...So, if they are the result of bad mothering, color me bad, baby.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Today's flavor: bitter orange - seems like it will be worth the trouble, and will be for your own good, but really it's just bitter. Well, at least it's honest.

I hate to be criticized. I know nobody does, but really - I cannot
deal with even the slightest whiff of a negative comment anywhere near my neighborhood. I just get defensive. There's this hideous tightening in my chest and I get mad as a wet cat. I used to think it was because I'm such a sensitive, emotional and delicate flower. But as I age and can't help but arrive at certain realizations about myself, and I admit that it's not a product of my "sensitive artist" qualifications. It's actually more that I just want to be liked and, more importantly, admired. I want anyone who comes in contact with me to be awed by my, ummm, awesomeness, and say as much while I demurely cast my eyes down and insist that I'm no better than anyone else - just a better way. Ok, I exaggerate, I don't need or even want open adoration from the world at large. Just general approval and respect are plenty. But that's not quite enough to account for the way my hackles rise (and I've just discovered that I may actually have hackles) when any derision is directed at me.Perhaps the problem is that if I listen to criticism - especially that insult-in-disguise variety that comes
dressed up as "constructive criticism" - I might actually agree with it. And if I agree, it follows that I need to fix or change whatever aspect of my heretofore unblemished existence has been identified as lacking. To sum up, there are 2 main categories of criticism. The first is criticsim I concede to be valid and sigh with the realization that I need to get to work on repairs immediately - and no matter how beneficial the resulting improvement may be, I will still seethe with disproportionate acrimony at the assignment of yet another project in my project-filled life. Then there's the criticism that I understand and may validate, but making the necessary change is just beyond me, due to either exhaustion or lack of skill. So while it may be true that I need to lose 40 pounds, or that I've failed to get my kids to ever touch a vegetable, I just don't see that I'll be making the changes necessary to desconstruct those particular criticisms. And whether I take on the project or reject it outright, I'm going to take a little bit of time to soak in the angry waters of resentment at whoever opened my eyes to the offending flaw. Bitter and immature as that may be, it's no worse than being grateful for the critical revelation and immediately getting to the neurotic work of trying to be perfect.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've Got It All (...but I'm too tired to use it)

Today's flavor: Ben & Jerry's peanut butter cup ice cream - delicious, indulgent, enjoyable until it's gone and you can actually see the bottom of the container and the button popping on your jeans.

Ah, self-pity... indulgent and pointless... down-right luxurious. But more to the point - I can't possibly go off and enjoy something as completely selfish as a little pity-party. Years of marriage and children have completely worn down my resistance and I surrender to truth that I should not actually expect to have anything but scraps. I tick down the laundry list of what I've given up over the past decade: My body - in so many ways that it now has its own list. Privacy. Clean clothing. Expensive clothing. Travel. Alcohol - the kind you drink. The gym - well, the really cool one in the city. The desire to go to the gym. Bars. Clubs - the type where you dance with random guys into the wee hours, not the kind that offer a newsletter with the latest mommy-and-me schedule. Restaurants that don't have a children's menu. Stilettos. Sleeping in. The post-mortem call to a best girlfriend that begins with one of us saying "I got so wasted last night..." Cars that seat fewer than 5 people. Clean floors. Sitting down and finishing a meal without getting up between bites. The remote control. The phrase "I have nothing to do today." The approving scrutiny of any man (please, of course my husband doesn't count). Small handbags. A bare midriff. A presentable midriff. Ignorance of all things Disney (post 1980). A clean car.

Oh, sweetie - you are so chic! What a sad,
sad irony that now that I can finally
afford you, I have nowhere to go in you
and my stiletto walk is long retired.

All these things I mourn and miss while knowing that I made my choices and do appreciate the beautiful life with an amazing man and three perfect, and perfectly horrible children. I like to think there's an alternate universe where that other me - let's call her Otherme - is getting ready to go out just as this Me is getting ready for bed. Oh, I love Otherme! She has worked so hard for that that size 4 body with the booty sitting so high up on those lean legs. Look at her go - getting a cab with a single raise of her arm, wearing that fab shade of MAC red lips, and working those Louboutins. You know she won't be too tired and the dirtiest thing she'll handle is a dirty martini before she sits down to dinner at the civilized hour of 8:30 PM. Is it possible that the morning after her typical night out, she is staring longingly at the couple with the stroller, the mom with a perfectly round bump and the glazed look exhaustion? Is that a hint of envy in Otherme's eyes? Or is she just thinking that maternity clothes don't work on anybody, and "there, but for the grace of..." Oh, please Lord, let it be envy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Travel Amnesia

Today's flavor: chocolate peanut butter pie - oooh, it looks so good and tastes yummy, but not worth the upset stomach or the extra pounds.

Every year Husband and I are afflicted with Travel Amnesia. In our desparation for R&R, and need to go somewhere far from home, we decide to venture a flight - with absolutely no recollection of the last trip and our declarations of "never again." It's not until the morning of travel that it all starts coming back. The kids deciding this is the morning they will demand a large, balanced hot breakfast. Their inability to find the most essential gear, such as DS games and the T-Rex with the red stripe; their claim that the shoes/headphones/pjs/swimsuits/ books/toothbrush/flip-flops /underwear, etc. I've packed for them is unsuitable for travel and "Can we please buy a new one when we get there, please Mommy, please?" And I irrationally agree, as I'm singularly focused on the goal of getting all 3 kids and the luggage into the car in under 4 hours - ambitious, but I think I can do it. When we're nearly at the airport, there's the distressed cry of "My belly hurts," - the 3 y.o.; "I forgot my goggles!"- the 7 y.o.; "Can I call Danielle?" - the 10 y.o. Me: "Try to make a toot. I packed them for you. It's too early to call anyone." I'm absolutely giddy that the ride has been uneventful, with only one accusation of "She called me a turd!" and only one demand of "How long 'til we get there?" At the airport we prepare our boarding passes, drivers' licenses, notorized affidavits that we are wearing clean underwear, blood and urine samples, proofs of purchase, proof of life, declarations of sanity, and flags for pledging allegiance. We're ready. But naturally, we draw the surliest of TSA agents who eyes us all with unveiled suspicion and instructs us to begin stripping. Off come the shoes, sunglasses, belts, hats, bracelets and tongue studs. My 10 y.o. hesitates before stepping through the magic metal blessing portal. "What about my retainer?" she whispers to me anxiously. I can't help myself - I whisper back to her and she steps up to the surly agent and offers her spit-laden oral appliance. The agent is satisfyingly mortified and suddenly we are rushed through. Hoooray! We're in - we haven't been arrested for breathing too heavily or having too many vowels in our names. They've confiscated my daughter's bubble gum toothpaste (it was 4.2 ounces, instead of 3) and I can't possibly give my son his juice after they dip-tested it "for explosives" (seriously - that's what they said), but for only $1200 worth of tickets and a bit of humiliation, we get to fly!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Everything Must Go (Part 2 in the "Junk" series)

Today's flavor: rice pudding - safe and conventional, it seemed like a good idea at the time...

My sofa and loveseat. At a glance they look great - nice lines and a really appealing caramel color. But sit on one, and you'll see how many dirty little feet, sticky little fingers and years of hastily cleaned-up spills have made a life of their own within the fibers. When I decided to make people and let them live with me, I had no idea they would be so disgusting. I take pictures, deciding a visit to Craigslist will be better than a deep clean and new throw pillows. While I'm at it...I decide the guest bed needs to go. We rarely use it - the current catch-all and toy repository is not the use I had in mind. I'm on a roll now, so I move on to the armoire in my bedroom. It mocks me - "you thought you would be happy with me forever," it taunts. Lord, did I make a full-time job of shopping for the perfect piece for my master bedroom - resulting in physical and mental blisters. It's a testatment to my ability to settle and rationalize. The monstrosity was unfinished - couldn't find the shade of rich, but not too dark maple I wanted, so I would finish it myself. This was the sort of project I was willing to take on because I only had one kid at the time. Finished it I did, and managed to convince myself that it was just great. A couple of years later I admitted it wasn't great, but nice enough. More recently - though it showed no signs of wear - it was obviously only ok-looking, but very useful. Today, though it looks just the same as always, I find it to be intolerably ugly. I browse wistfully online at the many superior pieces that could be had with just a few clicks. To be fair, online shopping was practically unheard of when I got the finish-it-yourself beast. It has to go.
I always wanted a comfortable inviting home done in rich, warm colors, but now I fantasize about empty spaces, free of kid-debris and furniture that fearlessly goes about the business of being white.

Next, I head for the dining room. Why do we even have a formal dining room? We've lived in this house 6 years and have used it a couple of dozen times. My dining room is just off the kitchen. I harbor a secret fantasy to turn it into a huge pantry. I mean you can never have enough pantry space, and when you spend your whole day thinking about food, a second fridge shouldn't be banished to the garage. Alas, I know we won't live in this house forever. Some day we may want to sell it, and this type of radical departure would be irreconcilable with the rules of suburban home ownership: you own a center hall colonial = you must have a proper dining room. When was I the woman that got excited about the elegant Tiffany peacock chandelier? Is it a good thing or a bad thing that today I look at it and say, "eh,"? Maybe I just woke up and realized that I don't want my identity tethered to all this stuff. But it's too late, isn't it? I am tethered. And it's not a bad thing, really. I mean, it's not just a house with soiled furniture and completely pointless rooms with silly names (parlor??). It's not just the place where I run around like an idiot picking up crap off the floor, capping pots of cold cream and throwing out expired yogurt just before the cleaning lady arrives. It's where my husband, the three little pigs and I are creating our history. Sure, it's a history littered with lots of material junk, but as I give a shove to my I-need-to-be-more-zen alter ego, I remember this is an easy, easy life and there will be no more bitching (...for today).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stop Liking Crap

Today's flavor - moon pie - you loved them as a kid because you had an indiscriminate palette for sweets. Now it sounds good in theory, but when you take a bite of this artificial, over-the-top, cheap junk confection, you just want to spit it out.

I am addicted to audiobooks. I have to have 3 or 4 handy at a time because I might be listening to one on my iphone, another in my car and another in my studio. I can finish one in under a day and if I'm all out of book, I start going through withdrawl and - like any addict - I desparately need a fix. So, recently it was slim pickings at the bookmobile and I decided to try a book by a popular author that I never read because I thought she wouldn't be my style. Holy mother of all things crappy. This is a best-seller. I mean, dozens of published titles = multi-million sales = millions of dollars. (I won't name names, but rhymes with fanet yuckanovich) And yet, as I listen to this drek I start to worry that my earphones are going to start spewing out puss. I tear them away, hoping to stave off infection. The writing is putrid. I mean so bad, that I expect the narrator to take a vomit break. So I don't get past the first CD. But I can't stop thinking about this. I mean, everyone knows how hard it is to get an agent and get published, especially for pop-fiction. Many of us have abandoned all dreams of having much than 148 loyal readers. So this, ahem, writer, who seems to sit with a thesaurous, a book of cliches and a map to predictability on her desktop, has struck gold with a publisher that promoted the heck out of her titles and a public with impossibly low standards. Kudos to her. Truly. I do not begrudge her the success - no matter how ironic it is that really, really bad writing got someone to best status. I don't believe that success is available in limited quantities. And I'm not mad at those agents and publishers who provide the resources to make it possible for us to take endless dips in the pool of literary crap - they are in business to make money. As an American, and a capitalist, I don't mind seeing them compromise what surely started out as a love for literature, in the shameless pursuit of dollars.
my grapes are not sour
But I am mad at you. Well, maybe not you personally, because you read my stuff, so clearly you're discerning and extremely cool. I mean the collective "you" - the general public (yeah, yeah, I guess I'm probably in there too). Stop buying the crap that bought the author (and I apply that term in the same way I refer to my 9 year old as mature) the penthouse and the botox. So if you're wishing you could have my clever, laugh-out-loud, relatably flavored novel for your summer reading pleasure, let me break the sad news that it will never happen. I can't possibly compete with the story about the brilliant attorney who looks like a supermodel and has been unlucky in love until she meets the unbelievably hunky, funny and sensitive cop/FBI guy/doctor, and they share the traumatic experience that ends in the most perfect sex ever, followed by a marriage proposal. Ick. Ick. Ick. I feel dirty just describing it. This doesn't even qualify as a guilty pleasure because it's actually painful.

Dear Publisher,
May I suggest a new medium for crappy titles?

Look, people, I'm not expecting everyone to create a Jane Austen book club and reject anything other than high-brow literature. I just want to point out that there is a whole lot of writing talent in this big world, and you have the right to good story-telling. So, please, stop liking crap because you might not be able to escape the stink.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Got MIL?

Today's flavor: vinegar chips
It's finally happened, my Flavorites - one of your lot gave me a topic to flavor: IN-LAWS!! Well...problem is that I can't write a post about my in-law situation because what I have to say about that would technically be called a book. So, instead, I will write about my very special friend, who I'll call Notme. As it happens, Notme and I have a lot in common: college educated, married in the 10-year range, 3 kids, slathering on wrinkle cream like it might create a force-field against the dreaded 4-0. We are also both afflicted with BFHMILS. What? You haven't heard of Bitch-From-Hell-Mother-In-Law Syndrome? I do count myself quite fortunate that my MIL lives in a land far, far away (and also in her own wanna-be hippie head), while poor Notme lives snooping distance from her MIL. For some, proximity to the in-laws actually works out quite nicely, what with the default baby-sitting, plant watering and emergency grocery borrowing. But for Notme, it's a constant source of teeth-grinding angst. There's her MIL, dropping in unannounced to offer such sweet complements as "Oh, look you chose that tan grout - that's good, now you can barely see the dirt at all." She likes to help out by bringing in the mail - especially on those summer days when the humidity might

You can dream, but a tornado is not
going to solve your in-law issues.

unseal a bank statement. And, the good intentions run rampant with such helpful tidbits as: "If you let that boy play with the barbies he's going to turn into one of those gays - not that some of them aren't perfectly nice, but you don't want your child to be handicapped if you can help it." And there's Notme holding tension like an over-stretched bungee and sputtering out such brilliant retorts as "Oh, well, I guess'll grow out of it." Of course, she calls me later and says "I should have said, if I let you play with books will it turn you into one of those smart people? Why can't I give her a good comeback that will shut her up!" What can I do, but assure Notme that we all come up with the perfect line when the moment's passed.
What role does Notme's husband play in this serial annoyance and frequent interloping? Mostly he's deaf and dumb. But I'm not mad at him. After all, when things get really ugly he does manage to be the peacemaker while in the unfortunate position of being the fluttering flag in their mental tug of war. Thankfully, he has the sense to be the defender of his wife's many virtues and, thereby, protector of his marriage.
Most unusually, I realize I can't tell Notme what to do as I don't live in her head or in her house. But, you know how I do: take a nasty situation and make it fun. I told Notme to turn her MIL's next visit into a drinking game. Take a drink every time she insults your housekeeping; drink every time she insults your parenting skills; drink every time she picks on your appearance; drink when she says something racist; take 2 drinks if she mentions your drinking. You can really enjoy your position by working with the criticism - ask her to demonstrate the right way to clean the bathroom. Again. And again.
If you can't make it fun, you can always make fun of it. No one can get the better of you when you use my favorite weapons: humor and sarcasm.(Bonus points for treating yourself to something cute.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Junk - Part 1 in a Series (possibly)

Today's flavor: Scrapple - a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, not used or sold elsewhere, made into "scrapple" to avoid waste. Scrapple is best known as a regional American food of the Mid-Atlantic states.

I've decided that I want to become a minimalist. No wait - don't dismiss this idea straight off. You see, my mind is so cluttered that I have no attention span. For a while, I self-diagnosed ADD - we can do that in the 21st century because having a disorder is a very acceptable answer for any question of imperfection in our lives. But then I realized that actually, as a grown-up, I do have a choice about being focused. On anything. For more than a minute. Where was I? Right. My mind is cluttered and all the junk my family has accumulated over the past decade is not helping. It's time to purge. Not in the bulimia way, but in the get rid of all this useless crap way. The husband suggests that we participate in the town-wide yard sale. Hmmm....I admit that I sometimes enjoy browsing through people's discards and have even been known to pick up a few odd bits from the neighbor's lawn. But as I haul a box full of tattered Barbies, outgrown skates, old curtain rods, and still-perfectly-functional VHS tapes, I wonder. Why the heck do I have all of this, and why do I think anybody else would want it? And what about the exercise of selling that formerly "must-have" $200 bread-maker set for $2.00? I mean what's the point? Imagine my husband standing out there for half a day engaging in such negotiations as the sale of a 10 year old cozycoupe for 5 bucks. On a weekday, he'll charge his clients an hourly rate that could keep me in Prada* but on this particular Saturday, for some reason, he'll high-five me about taking in $50 by lunch time. Can't we just dump it all somewhere? Oh, I know that's so un-green. But I reason it's balanced out by my choice of reusable shopping totes instead of paper or plastic. The point is, I used to have wild fantasies of sitting in the front row at Fashion Week, wearing Versace and waiting for my boyfriend, Tyson Beckford to walk. Now my wild fantasies look more like this:
So, I lay out the cabbage patch dolls, mismatched Duplo sets, threadbard area rugs, what-was-I-thinking pieces of wicker, and Tickle-Me Elmo's. As my basement floor becomes visible, I begin settling into that zen-feeling of letting go. It's so freeing to stop hanging on to stuff. It's so clean, so spacious, so open - so perfect for a home gym...and the kids would love an airhockey table, oooh, and if we got one of those projectors, that wall would be perfect for a home theater. My husband's right, getting rid of stuff is exactly what we need to do. First, I have to schedule a haircut - so that I don't have to worry about my getting my hair out of my face while I shop for the new stuff. You know how it's just impossible to concentrate when you don't feel good about how you look. Oh, that reminds me, I want to get this new flat iron...I better make a list - my head is just buzzing with ideas - or is that clutter?

*Hey, don't hate on that Prada comment. Ironically, now that we can actually afford it, I just can't get myself to buy an $800 skirt to wear to ShopRite.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Social Graceless

Today's flavor: cucumber sandwich - the preferred tasteless social food of the prim and proper.

So, the other day, I pick up my kids at school, and when I run into another mom with whom I'm barely acquainted, and I'm greeted with "Hi! How are you?" I say "I'm hungry and I wish I was sitting on my couch with the TV, a cozy blanket and a pint of Haagen Daz, but I'm here because I have to be responsible. But you don't actually care, so why are you asking? And I'm not going to ask how you are because I don't care and I really just want to get my kids and get out of here." It was so great...Well, in my mind, it was great, because my actual response came out more like: "Great, great. How are you?"
Crap. I have impeccable manners. Truly. I say please, thank you, excuse me, in all the right places. I don't liter, I hold doors open for who ever is behind me. I greet store clerks cordially and I don't snap at wait-staff, even when they suck. I even, heaven help me, say "have a nice day" on a regular basis. That's all good, right? Sometimes, I cringe at my own finely tuned social graces and tidy manners. Whenever I find myself engaging in small talk - or worse, when I initiate small talk - there's a part of me that's screaming or gagging. But on the outside all you see is a perfunctory smile nailed to my face, and possibly my head bobbing stupidly up and down.
It's not that I want to be mean or unfriendly - I just hate small talk and the banality inherent to presenting a civilized demeanor. As Elaine said on Seinfeld, "Why does everything have to have a social component?" then she pretended to be deaf in order to not have to make small talk with a car service driver. I totally get that. I'm sure I'd go to hell for pretending to be deaf - not that I would do such a thing (ummm, I probably wouldn't do it), but I get it.
Sadly, for aesthetic reasons, I can only wear my flair online.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Naked Cheer

Today's flavor: blackberry crepes - looks really rich, substantial, but be careful because if they are rolled too tightly, a hot nasty mess could splatter all over your face.

Oooooh controversy. I caught this story about a cheer coach who got fired because she posed for Playboy, and I thought, this will be popcorn-worthy. (Here's the Today Show story Some of the parents and students support the firing, some want her to get the job back, some want her branded with the a big "S" on her forehead (what "S" is for, you can decide). Ok, that's mostly expected. But the thing that's really going to get the fur flying is that the family that exposed her (get it, "exposed"?) only did so after their daughter was disqualified from joining the cheerleading team due to unexcused absences. My gut reaction is to roll my eyes at puritanical attitudes and people who are always ready to break out the torches and pitch forks. But when the morally superior family denies the notion that they might have been looking for a little payback, I move from the eye-roll to a rant of: "Oh, you nasty, petty, phony, sanctimonious, tiny, tiny people. Who do you think you're kidding?" You could almost feel them clenching when Matt Lauer suggested that they might have been motivated by their own agenda rather than their claim of the greater good. Come on people, if you're going to try to ruin somebody, and you were propelled on to your high horse by spite, well go on with your bad self, but own it. Don't sit there and talk about setting examples and respect while mentally taping your fingers together and saying 'eeeex-cel-lent" in that Mr. Burns (The Simpsons) way. The two wrongs don't make a right concept be damned - I find these parents' behavior much worse than the coach's transgression. And let's not forget all the other outraged families who absolutely had to run to their computers and burn their poor, suffering eyes with the offending images - but only to inform their objections, of course. I totally get why parents react strongly to learning that someone with (at best) questionable judgment and, ahem, loose morals, is in charge of impressionable young minds. I get it, I'm just not going to fly into a fit of righteous indignation about it.
Carlie Beck, accused of being a
very, very bad role model

I know what you're thinking, but my opinion here has nothing to do with the idea that if I looked like that chick, I'd be walking around naked as much as possible. I'm not completely without parental instincts - I don't want my kids by influenced by a depraved element any more than any other mom. But in this case: 1)nudity doesn't bother me and neither does sexuality; 2)so long as she's not recruiting fellow models; 4) she is well-qualified and effective in the job; and 4) I trust my ability to raise my kids with the moral priorities observed by my family. More over, it's a great opportunity to have a hideously uncomfortable conversation with teenagers about all that stuff so many parents are quite sure their little angels know nothing about.

But by supporting this coach aren't you sending the message that you condone her choice to pose nude? Aren't you concerned kids might find this acceptable and even pursue this course as well? Um, no. I am so confident in my parenting skills, that I'm sure my awesomeness will prevail above all other influences. Also, there's the fact that my privileged kids will damn well behave to my satisfaction if they are to be properly equipped with technology and credit cards. I don't expect that a coach who poses naked would deteriorate my child's character any more than one who smokes, or is divorced, or loves the NRA, or spends weekends in full Trekkie regalia. She is there to help girls learn how to successfully bounce around and shake their booties in tiny skirts in order to praise and encourage their male counterparts - not to teach high-minded self-actualization. (No, I don't actually know what that last bit means, but it sounds about right.)
The image of cheerleading must
be preserved for the sake of all of
our daughters who have dreams
of going pro, like this wholesome
NFL cheerleader.

Alright, you former cheerleaders and cheer moms, keep your panties on (I don't usually go for puns, but I just can't resist in this post) - I know it's athletic and teaches stuff like teamwork, sportsmanship and the importance of always nailing a big, bright smile to your face. Oh, crap. I went and flavored it with irreverence again, didn't I?

*Sigh* As much as I adore each and every one of you readers, it's just impossible (for me) to write on this topic and not offend/disgust/piss-off some of you. Well, go yell at me in the comment section, I'll respect your point of view won't delete it (unless I feel like it).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wedding Profits

Today's flavor - butter creme frosting: an overly sweetened confection and short-lived pleasure

I'm helping a friend with her wedding plans, and this served as a convenient reason to spend hours browsing all the yummy wedding/bridal sites and brilliant ideas to be found online. *Sigh* I've been married 11 years, and my wedding happened before you could do more than send a few dial-up emails on that interweb thingy. Well, it's a different world, but one thing has not changed: weddings and all wedding-related paraphernalia are ex-pen-$ive. (If you really want to class the thing up, anyway.) Hey, put your hand down -I know there are plenty of inexpensive, really lovely options if you're just creative enough. Still, even if our friends are not quite American Express Black posh - plastic cutlery, mid-shelf booze, a home-made cake, and your neighbor's teenage son serving as DJ is not going to work. Flowers, decent food, non-crap favors, and wedding-worthy photography should not be done on the cheap. My big gripe - and don't I always have many? - is that providers of wedding products and services are so willing to take advantage of the fact that this is the dream day and has to be "perfect" - and perfect is gonna cost you.

Of course, all the money in the world won't buy you class. Such a proud day for Mariah's mom.

Well, it turns out, you can comfortably go into temporary (hopefully temporary) debt to pay for your wedding and come out ahead. Pray tell, how? you ask. The key is matching your budget to your guest list. Let's face it, you're doing this anyway - you know you want the childhood friends and not-so-beloved relatives to be properly impressed and without any fodder for derision.

[This post is being interrupted to roll my eyes at readers who swear they are so "down-to-earth" they would have paper plates and canned beer at their own weddings; and of course, when they attend a wedding, they are strictly there to share in a special day. Well, go buckle up your Birkenstocks and braid your armpit hair, while the rest of us enjoy a yummy cup of real life.]

Expensive and tasteful don't always go hand-in-hand.

Where was I? Right. Brides and mothers-of-brides, take a good, hard look at your guest list. Do you have enough "A" list guests? These are not necessarily the people that you most adore. These are the people that write big checks either out of obligation, guilt, pity, pride, ostentatiousness or even generosity. Also, create a second guest list. This one is of acquaintances, people who probably don't like you, business associates that run in much wealthier social circles than you, and people who live much too far away to travel to your wedding. And ladies, don't forget your exes - nothing says "I'm over you, see how well I'm doing" like a check dripping with zeroes. Odds are, most of these people will send their regrets with a $weet gift.

For my friends' wedding, we have a challenging dynamic: this couple is getting married well into their thirties - not old, or "late" as far as I'm concerned, but at the age where they are both in a better financial position than their parents. So, while potential invitees would expect such a well-heeled couple to have an elegant affair, the bride and groom, are in fact, the "can't we just have a picnic?" types. Although they can certainly afford posh, they are sadly, quite practical. They insist that the nice chunk of change required for even an average wedding celebration would be put to better use as the 10% down for their new home. Oh, well, if you're going to talk sense, you're really limiting your options, aren't you? So, in addition to helping to design center pieces and talking the bride out of wearing a sun dress, I'm tasked with extolling the, ahem, virtues of the Wedding for Profit concept.

While I'm writing this it occurs to me that I'm going to have start programming my husband (and start a wedding fund) today, as my oldest is 10 and plans to get married in 17 years. I mean what if she wants a designer frock, like this Reem Acra couture, for her big day? Hmmmm, maybe a sun dress is not such a bad idea.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Honestly, you need professional help...

Today's flavor: chocolate souffle - so yummy, but even if you don't mess up the ingredients, you really have to know what you're doing to get it right.

"Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor..." Carrie Fisher as Marie in - well, if you don't know, look it up. Of course if you look it up and you haven't seen it, you'll need to see it straight away, or I can't have you here, I just can't. Right. Well, I digress. The point is, why don't people know when they need professional help? I'm not talking about screwed up childhood type of help - that's too depressing and this is far more important. I'm talking about people who: choose pastel formica countertops for their kitchens; feel their toilet seat back needs to be dressed up with something fuzzy; truly believe Crocs are cute and trendy; don't see that their short on the sides, long in back hairstyle is, infact, a mullet; don't understand that blushing the apple of the cheek does not mean make your cheek look like an apple; don't understand that the short sleeve shirt with a tie look only works on Sipowicz*; believe that having English as their first language means they can write; truly believe that watching enough HGTV qualifies them to make perfect wedding favors and centerpieces; think that mastering PowerPoint makes them a fab logo designer; are confident that knowing how to flip the circuit breakers equals a vast knowledge of wiring; are sure that lifting 3lb weights will make them "too muscular" so they'll keep their flab, thank you...oh, I could go on and on.
Someone saved a pretty penny by doing her own mural and getting these, umm, interesting accessories at BigLots!Ain't it classy?

So, build your own deck if you must, go ahead and give your kids a haircut at home, make your own wedding cake...But please ask yourself this first: "If I do this myself will it cause anyone bodily harm? Be a crime of fashion and/or good taste? Be so poorly executed, it will cause other people's computers to crash from disgust?" If the answer is "NO," you should be ok. If your answer is "YES," please - for the love of all things that don't make eyes bleed - get some professional help.

The truly unfortunate thing is that this woman probably has people who call themselves her friends, and yet they let this happen.

Disclaimer: Writing this post does not mean I'm not guilty of any of the above-noted infractions, but at least I'm always aware of my amature status.

*Aw, come on! You remember Sipowicz, don't you?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's a Cryin' Shame!

Today's flavor - tequila - reminds you of bad choices and worse consequences.

There's something about people declaring: "Shame on you!" or "You should be ashamed of yourself!" that really makes me want to start throwing tomatoes (or something else that will get messy - I really like tomatoes, so I wouldn't want to waste them). In the space of the nano-second following the remark's utterance, I always find myself having several of those JD-on-Scrubs types of imaginary scenarios. (If you don't watch Scrubs, I'm sorry, but see how I've conveniently provided a link because I'm awesome like that.)

Scenario 1: "Shame on you!" I respond by mooning the admonisher (entirely possible if I actually lose these last 35 pounds and am feeling really confident about my butt). 2: "You should be ashamed of yourself!" I retort "And you should be ashamed for wearing that outfit - it's making my eyes hurt." 3: "Shame on you!" I vomit on their shoes. 4. "You should be ashamed of yourself!" I sigh, "Well, you would know - with all that goes on in your house, you could give lessons on being ashamed." And here's my favorite: "Shame on you!" - I burst into tears and grab the person's hand, and holding it to my cheek, I sob, "I know. I know. I'm so ashamed! Don't look at me! I'm terrible, I'm worthless. I wish I were dead. I deserve no mercy. Punish me! You're so much better than me. Teach me. Please teach me, oh, superior one!" And then I laugh my ass off as I walk away.

Now, please don't think I'm having these phrases hurled at me very frequently. I'm not exactly Ruth Madoff , but I have heard it twice in the past 3 or 4 months, which is twice more than I can ever remember. The first was during the "Attack of the Game Moms" incident, and the second was when I posted a snarky response to a post on a Twittermoms group. The details aren't that important - the point is that the sheer bald-faced superiority and condemnation delivered with these phrases really makes the admonishment itself lose all meaning. Maybe I have an over-developed sense of irony. I actually got to thinking about this because it almost seems like the whole "shame" thing is down-right trendy lately. Between the AIG people, the Madoffs, octomom, and the rantings of Anne Coulter, there's enough shame going around to allow us all a few minutes of indignant superiority. But it fades so quickly, because then we're on the flip side for basking in our own faultless glory. Round and round it goes. Shameful.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Perpetual Tight Asses

- Minding your P's & Q's in the PTA

Today's flavor: burnt toast - starts out as something you wanted, maybe with a little butter or jam, but you didn't check the setting and now it's a hard, crusty mess.

WARNING: If you love your PTA, this might not be an enjoyable post for you. (Of course, this is only my opinion/experience - I'm sure your PTA is just faaaab.)

Five years ago, when my oldest started kindergarten, I was the epitome of enthusiastic, stars-in-the-eyes, get-involved moms. I didn't have that growing up, and envied the kids who did (my mom worked full time and overtime, and didn't speak much English, and I had no dad). My kids were going to see me as a regular presence at school, active where they were active, recognized by students, faculty and administration alike, hovering on the brink of being annoying. Fuzzy memories of Harper Valley and Carol Brady intact, naturally, I would join the PTA and jump right in! Slow your roll there, jumpy, you darn-near skipped the initiation. Ok, I guess all organizations (clubs, sororities, cliques, elitist networks of exclusionary bitches) have rules and protocol to observe. I just didn't realize that at this, um, mature stage in my life, I'd have to play these games.

Rule #1 - Know your place. PTA meetings are open to all, providing a forum for questions, new ideas and participation. Well, unless you're a newbie - then you're to just sit there quietly and don't be a bother until you've been granted speaking privileges.
Rule #2 - Just because a committee needs a chair, don't think you can volunteer for that position unless you've gone through the required rites of bunco games, home sales parties and cookie exchanges.
Rule #3 - If you have new ideas to present, be sure you've complied with rules 1 & 2 and then submit them in writing so that they may be formally rejected.
Rule #4 - Learn the language. If you hear them say "your enthusiasm is great!" it means, "shut the hell up"; they say, "congrats on the terrific work," they mean "enough already"; they say, "your feedback is so important to us," they mean ,"our way, or the highway"; they say, "you'll be most effective behind the scenes," they mean, "we're going to give the credit to the PTA leadership"; they say "your fundraising ideas are great, but it's not a good time..." they mean, "we will pressure parents into ponying up the amounts we've deemed appropriate for the programs we like"; they say "please keep us informed of your committee's progress" they mean, "don't even breathe without getting our permission." There's more, but this is the current best key to understanding the terminology.
Rule #5 -Be aware of who is in the "inner circle" of the PTA, seek their approval and don't question the obstacles put in your way.

Who are these women, and why don't they figure out a more constructive way to control their little worlds? They're like mall cops - wearing crappy JC Penney twin-sets, instead of ugly uniforms. They've got this teeny, tiny amount of power and it's convinced them they're on par with Supreme Court Justices.

[Alison Janey in Hairspray, very accurate representation of my school's PTA mom]

This year I stepped up to chair an event that my daughter felt was so important, that I had to do it so that it wouldn't be (her word) lame. My co-chair and I were blessedly like-minded in our goals - it was her first time too. We got all excited and sent a note to the committee members outlining some fundraiser ideas (ones where the kids didn't have to sell anything, the parents didn't get ripped off, and we would keep 100% of the profits) and venue suggestions. Bad move. The inner circle had a rep in our ranks, and when they caught wind of us sending out emails willy-nilly without their blessing, all hell broke loose. We got the language treatment: "your enthusiasm is great...!" etc. Ok. So, we'd check with them before presuming to share our ideas with our committee. Next we got the "you can't do fundraisers - the pittance we've given you will suffice. Oh, and those lofty ideas for a new and exciting venue should be stuffed in the nearest sack so as not to make the other classes feel out-done. Mmm'kay?"Right. Turns out they needed 2 chairs to check off little boxes on pre-approved lists of tasks - a job my 6 year old is over-qualified to do. Although to be fair, my 6 year old is probably more efficient than most of these people - she is certainly more imaginative.

So which piece of flair should I wear to the next meeting?

Would both be too much?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hello, Muffin

Today's flavor: dried cranberry - not exactly pretty, but still quite colorful and full of good stuff like vitamin C and antioxidants.

[no, that's not me, but is strikingly similar]

So I'm looking at my muffin top this morning -not the kind you eat, but the one on my body(you know, used to be called a spare tire) - and I wonder if I can turn this into a positive. Probably not. I mean, no matter how much my kids tell me they like me because I'm "comfy" - like a big, stuffed pillow - I just don't love this post-baby, can-see-40-around-the-corner, keep-walking-because-victoria-doesn't-want-your-secrets-body. Even more offensive than how it looks, and the fact that I have to choose between low-rise or mom jeans, I'm horrified to find I've become a cliche. Crap. Crap. Crap. How did that happen?

[I have never committed this sin.]

I had a plan, dammit! I was going to have my 3 perfect little angels, spaced 2.5 to 3 years apart - enough time to recover my hottie figure between each. And be a total MILF. (Yeah, I said it.) My results so far: the 3 little somethings - "angels" not being the most honest description now that they are here - check; time between preggers; check; enough time to recover the hottie body? Apparently not. MILF? Not even close. No check. My youngest is on the verge of his 1/2 birthday, so if he's 3.5, can I still claim baby weight? And let's be real here, most of this is not from baby #3. My oldest is nearly 10, so I'm pretty sure I can't claim that as "baby weight." Can I?

no, that's not me, but is strikingly similar

I'm not the nostalgic type so I don't often look back wistfully. But when I see pictures of my once size 4 body, I do wonder...Was I better then? So fit, so cute, so free to spend hours daily at the gym, full of promise and potential. On the other hand: quick to judge, melodramatic, impatient, intimidated, so generally clueless. Today's me: overweight, tired, distracted, easily annoyed, still judgmental, and often bitchy. On the other hand: confident, perceptive, self-aware, bold, logical, a word, experienced.

Now that I've put it into words (only slightly to my surprise), I find that I'd choose the muffin top of wisdom over the bikini body of insecurity any day. Go figure.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Serves You Right

Today's flavor: fruitcake - an odd confection we've tried before and vowed to never touch again, only to be tempted by a different variety with nasty results; looks lovely, never tastes as promised; starts out sweet, ends up a sticky mess with a hideous aftertaste.

"I stick my neck out for no one." Rick Blaine, Casablanca

Rick understood that every time you hold out a helping hand, you risk having it cut off. How cynical is that? I know, I know - your immediate reaction (especially you moms) is going to be that we have to take that risk, what good are we without helping others. And, yeah, I agree with theory. It's in practice that things get tricky. [Exception -for my husband, my kids, my sister (and her husband and kids), and my mother, I would hold out a helping hand, every other appendage, and my neck without hesitation.] But the stars are long gone from my eyes. Sadly, it seems that if you are feeling magnanimous and generously offer your time/money/space/ expertise/connections/creativity/labor/or a stick of gum, the recipient is quite likely to follow up with a request for a repeat, or ask if you might have a kidney to spare. Well, at the very least, you'll experience a pronounced lack of appreciation, but more likely you will have your altruism smack you in the face. What's the old adage? No good deed comes without a bitch-slap...? So be prepared, next time you offer to drive a friend, you might become an unpaid taxi service; next time you grab the check, you'll become the wallet; if you agree to let someone stay for a few days, your home might get a new permanent resident; your great enthusiasm for that school committee will be rewarded with a full-time work load and a lot of criticism of your performance; before you lend a friend a dress/dvd/cd/prom date, take a picture because that may be the only way you'll see it again; and a little cash between friends will cost you more than any dollar value. Serves you right - you good-karma generating, relentlessly good, do-gooder. You never learn - you want to have faith, so when the occasion presents itself you think, "I'll go for it, this can't go wrong." That's good. You're good. You're a nice person. Truly. And you should keep trying to do unselfish good in the world. That's what I tell myself too. What? Don't look so surprised - I can be nice too. Only, I'm thinking my next random act of kindness will be performed anonymously, because I don't need the credit - and I'll gladly fore go the credit to avoid any fruitcakey thanks being hurled in my direction.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Get things done!

Today's flavor: peppermint - crisp; energizing; sweet but with zing; full of exclamation points!!

According to Martha, I can start growing my own vegetables at home, indoors today! That is sooo going on the "to do" list today. Or possibly tomorrow. Or I might have to wait until Friday to get to the nursery for starter pots, soil, wire...Well, the point is I've put in on the list! And that's what matters, isn't it? Also, today I am definitely going to start running - there's a 5K in June and if I start now I can be ready for it. Well, my knees and ankles might not do well with that, but I'll walk, which is just as beneficial. Yes, perfect. It's a gorgeously sunny day with an inspiring blue sky. I'll start by stepping out and taking a deep, invigorating breath. It's so bright out there! Of course, most of that brightness is because the sun is reflecting the snow. And ice. Even though it's only 16 degrees outside right now, it's sure to get above 32 today - and that's all I need, just above freezing is fine. If the temp doesn't cooperate that's ok - it's a sign, actually, because I really do need to do something about the mountain of toys that is about to avalanche the family room. I remember when we moved into this house, the family room looked so grand and spacious, with its lovely fireplace and open, two-story design - come to think of it, I believe we (or the realtor) called it "the great room." Is it possible that the room shrank? No, that's ridiculous. I just have to organize a few things and maybe get one of those storage ottoman thingies that look so smart and hide the clutter. Well, I should take care of that today. That would totally inspire me to do so many other things. And I'm sure to get rid of a bunch of junkie toys and I'll have a big enough pile so that I'll need to go to the donation center to get it all out of the garage (which could really do with a clean-up, but tomorrow is better for that), and I might as well grab all of the kids' out-grown clothes. It's just a shame that they have some outfits and shoes that were worn only once or twice, but hopefully they can go to someone who really needs them. That'll be good, I'll go to the center today. Anyway, I've been meaning to sign up as a volunteer there. I mean, I'm busy and all, but I have look after my karma and show my kids how important it is to give. I wonder if I should bring the girls with me...Maybe I should wait until they come home from school. Yes, I should. They have been acting so entitled lately - would do them good to see how many desperately poor people there are right here in our community. Or near our community, anyway. Although...this has to be the last snow fall of the season, and they shouldn't miss this last chance to go sledding. Did I mention, it's so bright and beautiful out there today! Cold, but just inspiring - really makes me just want to get away from my computer and do things! So, I'm going to get started. Right after lunch. Definitely. Well, probably.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Better Than You

Today's flavor: sumatra - strong, complex, layered

Secretly, we all like to feel a bit superior - don't we? Admit it. You've been known to enjoy the occasional ego-boost at someone else's expense.

Of course, there are different degrees of this.

Some people criticize everyone they see...
  • "Holy crap, look at that hair."
  • "She should not be wearing those pants."
  • "The 80's called, they want their furniture back."
  • "Look at how this idiot is driving."
  • "Their kids are so spoiled."
Others reserve their condemnations for those who have actually done them wrong...
  • "That cow stole my parking spot!"
  • "If she thinks her flirting is working on my man, she's just as stupid as she is trashy."
  • "Well, of course, she doesn't like me - her face looks like a saddle - I'm practically Angelina next to her. "
  • "I'm thrilled not to be invited - spare me a night of discussing American Idol while being treated to a bowl of chex party mix."

Then there are those who see the best in everyone, are generous as elastic-waist pants, and possessed of unflinching empathy. You'll never catch these highly evolved models of integrity engaging in petty gossip, throwing around insults, or casting stones. As much as I enjoy my own snarky disposition, witty observations and long-cultivated point of view, I am in awe of these people. They really are just so, well, superior. They are better than me. They are better than you. Do you think they know? Uh, yeah, they know...and secretly, they are enjoying a little ego-boost at your expense.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Attack of the Game Moms

Today's flavor -
Cayenne: heated; only bearable in small doses; many redeeming qualities, including passion.

[Here in my very first post, I am confirming publicly that I am, in fact, a crappy mom. Following is my account of an ugly incident at a 3rd & 4th Grade Girls Basketball Game.]

During the third quarter of our game this past Saturday, Veronica was hurt by an opposing player. She got up from a fall - unbelievably no one seemed to notice that she was hurt and crying, and the game just went on. I reflexively ran to see about my daughter and get her off the court. There was no whistle until I had removed her. She was crying so hard, I could barely understand her, when she said, "She kicked me. She kicked me on purpose!" Veronica has taken some hits on the court and even if she was physically hurt, it was the "on purpose" part that was making her cry. There was no call, there was no acknowledgement, and I admit, I was seeing red. My child was attacked and it seemed that no one cared. I signaled to the ref and said "She got kicked! Deliberately!" He sincerely and diplomatically said, "I'm sorry, I can't say, I didn't see it." Immediately the mothers from the other team were yelling "No she didn't! Nobody saw anything, she didn't get kicked!" Of course I was upset and and yelled, "She is not lying! She got kicked!" And when I saw the girl who was on the other end of the situation, I did say (yelled? most likely, considering all the yelling going on all around me) "Did you kick her?! Did you kick her on purpose?!" The other little girl started to cry and her father told me there was nothing deliberate and took her back to their bench. Veronica went back to her bench and both girls sat out briefly.

As soon as the game resumed, several mothers from the opposing side came at me telling me what a monster I was for yelling at an 8 year old when "nothing actually happened," they came en mass to say that Veronica was "the most aggressive one out there," (so she deserved a good kick?) and at least one of them said, "and your daughter isn't even hurt!" I actually wanted to try to talk to the girl's mother, who was the only one actually acting reasonably, but the other women just swarmed. So many of them were talking, my 6 year old said, "Mommy that lady said Veronica's lying!"

How wrong was I for yelling at the child? Inexcusably, painfully, regretfully, unequivocally, completely wrong. I was immediately sorry about my reaction. I do understand that the other moms decided I needed a good telling off. Absolutely, I get that. Calling Veronica a liar - and yes, she heard them say that there was no kick - was not exactly a decent response either. A couple of these women walked all the way from the other end of the spectator's seats to berate me and add fuel to the fire, yet somehow, I'm the only one who did anything wrong. After the game, I went to my daughter's side and the first thing she said was "I wasn't lying!" I told her, "I know. I believe you. But I want to apologize to that girl for yelling at her and maybe you can believe her too if she says it wasn't on purpose. Do you want to come with me?" She said Ok. We approached the girl (I thought her name was Tracy, but now I'm not sure) and I said "Tracy, I want to apologize for yelling at you," she started crying again and she said "It's OK." I said, "No, it wasn't ok. I shouldn't have done that, but I couldn't call my daughter a liar" Then the other girls' father who is also the coach, interrupted, "That's not an apology!" I was shocked. Ridiculously, I kept trying to explain. I said, "Look, I had to believe her - we do teach our kids not to hit -" But I couldn't finish. The other dad said, "That's your apology? Fine. It's not a real apology, but you think it is, so we're done." He ushered his family away. And the other mothers were on me again. "That wasn't an apology! You're still saying your daughter was kicked and she wasn't."
I know what I did was wrong. I recognize it. I tried and would have taken an opportunity to apologize properly and soothe the girl's feelings. I do want to apologize to everyone who felt offended by my fierce and inappropriate defensive reaction. That said, I can't ever imagine a situation where I wouldn't step in like a tigress to protect my child if I thought she was being attacked. As other parents sit in the comfortable shadows of their unbruised children, it's very easy for them to judge me and feel completely righteous in the certainty of how well they would have handled being in my situation. If everyone is in agreement that I'm so awful that I shouldn't be allowed to attend the next game(s), I accept that. I hope they also understand that they are also punishing Veronica - who did not a single thing wrong, and has a pretty nasty bruise from the kick that supposedly never happened - and confirming what she still fears: that she was not believed.

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