Thursday, October 30, 2014

More Gems from the Insult Ninja

Watch out for the Insult Ninja. She lurks behind swingsets and sits watching 'Glee' on Netflix, biding her time, just waiting for that perfect moment when you are feeling your most old or fat or disorganized, and then she pounces. BAM!

It can come at any time. On the car ride to school. Mid-flip on the trampoline. While walking the dog. Doesn't matter. She is as unpredictable and arbitrary as a funnel cloud during a Louisiana thunderstorm.

I've just had my hair highlighted. My stylist went a little lighter than usual.
"It looks like you have more gray hairs than you normally do."

I'm having a bad reaction to something I ate.
"Wow. I heard you pooping, like, through the wall."

Getting out of the shower (a most favorable time to strike)
"God, Mom! I really hope my down-there hair doesn't end up like yours!"

And, this one is interactive!

"When I have a baby, will my stomach look like that?"
(Poke, poke)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mrs. Redpants

I lived in NYC for a decade, but I didn't really find my 'tribe' until I had a baby.

This is not meant to be a declaration that, ‘YOU’RE NOBODY TIL YOU’RE A MOMMY!!!’ or anything; it just turned out that I didn’t form any real lasting friendships in the city until I had had my kid. New moms are like frenzied hound dogs, always sniffing around for fresh blood: “Oh! You’re exhausted and wearing a newborn in a sling? OMG, me too! Let’s go to Starbucks!”

I found most of my friends that way.

I’m discovering though, as I get older, that I will probably never be as open-hearted, unguarded, and willing to let people in as I was at that time. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m too busy now. Or too damn tired. Or I’ve just lost faith in humanity in general. Hopefully not though.

I met Kara when we were chasing our toddlers around the local playground. She wore Chuck Taylors, a delightfully wild mop of ‘I’m a mom, fuck it’ curly hair, and a beautiful tattoo that spanned the top part of her shoulder.

Immediately I was all, GOOBLE GOBBLE ONE OF US, ONE OF US. I decided she had to be my friend. We connected instantly, over so many things. The fact that our husbands were both artists who made very little money. That we were on the crunchy side, but were not above feeding our kids mac and cheese when we were too tired to cook. That we adored our children but also liked a good glass of wine with grownups sometimes.

When my marriage imploded several years later, Kara was one of the first people I called. There was no judgement, no begging for juicy details. There was, simply, “Just tell me what I can do.”

It was she who lovingly looked after my daughter so I could go back to work. And she who made dinner for us many Sunday nights (a ritual that became known as ‘Dinner and a Bath’, as we’d pop the kids in the tub after eating and let them pass out while we hung out). She also saw me cry on a park bench more times than I can count. She, along with a small handful of other wonderful people, pulled me through the mire that my life had become.

Now, years later, my quietly beautiful friend is going through some shit of her own. Since we left the city for greener pastures years ago — both of us moving to different corners of the US — I’m not sure I can be there for her in the capacity that she was for me back then. I’m not sure she’d even need me to be, since she’s about three thousand times tougher than most women I know.

Still. I'll be here to help her sail through the mire. And I know, without a doubt, that there will be so much sunshine for her on the other side.

Here's something I wrote a LONG time ago. Maybe you remember this. Oldie but goodie.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Suck My Fat One, Apple.

Hey. Shout out to the makers of all i-products for simultaneously improving and taking a gigantic dump on my day-to-day life.

I’ve been what has been called a ‘Power User’ of Apple products for some time. I LOVE my iphone. I can pay bills, watch shows, even order cat food and sex toys, all while waiting in the carpool line at school or crouching on the toilet (sorry guys, but a great many of your photos and status updates have been ‘liked’ by while peeing, and if you say you've never done this you're lying through your teeth). The abilities of this miraculous little handheld device continue to amaze and confound me.

My ex husband was, until recently, one of those ‘Not gonna drink the Kool Aid, Samsung All The Way’ kind of anit-iphoners. Yeah, I just switched gears here to talk about my ex. But I'll come back to the point. The man, when I knew him, liked to think of himself as an against-the-grain kinda guy.

Then he switched cell plans and all that changed.

I didn’t realize until recently how a very small percentage of companies in this world are keeping us uncomfortably close in our connections to one another, pretty much every second of every day. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Apple in particular have enabled us to basically live our lives in plain sight of the entire world; we can be as transparent and public as we choose in everything that we do. This is what my mother would call a 'velvet trap'.

Facetime is one of those apps that I'm just not sure about. When it first came out, I, like everyone else, marveled at the way we could effortlessly have 'OMG It's just like the Jetsons!' video chats with any other iphone user in America, at any time, all from the palms of our hands. I could sit out in my yard and chat with the tops of my parents’ heads while we all drank wine on separate sides of the country (for people in their 70s, my mom and dad have embraced the handheld revolution in a most kickass way, although they are still working out the kinks. Still, kudos). I have to be honest though; the sheen has kinda worn off this brand new penny for me. Facetime is not really my thing. I have never been much of a phone person, so throw in having to brush my hair or obsess over seeing my batwing upper arms in the little mini-screen of myself while I chat with someone, and it's a no-thank-you for me.

Lily's Dad LOVES it, though. Oh my god. And this is the conundrum.

I moved thousands of miles away from my ex husband years ago, and pleasant side effect of the physical distance has been my lack of involvement in the variety of antics he gets up to. We aren’t connected on any kind of social media, and we communicate sporadically and businesslike, via text messages and emails mostly, to transact any comings and goings involving our daughter. I like it that way. I imagine he does as well.

Then the guy got a goddamned iPhone and discovered FaceTime. And I was fucked like a homeless cat in a dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant.

After moving into the home of a nice divorced woman with an adorable toddler, and finally securing a full-time job, my ex husband has apparently 'gotten his shit together'. Bravo. However, now that he has discovered Facetime, it's like he and his new family are in my fucking living room EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
I did not sign off on this.

Somehow, Facetiming is different than Skyping once a week from the home computer, because you don't need an appointment to do it. And Lily, who can't sit still, carries the iphone from room to room to room, chatting and laughing with her father's giant face and louder-than-necessary voice, and there is no escape for me unless I hide in the bathroom and pretend to be having a stomach attack (which I did last night). They all cook dinner and sit down to eat, and we are witness to it. They do dishes. They put the toddler to bed with stories. They watch their favorite TV shows. Constantly. It's exhausting.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. I think any attempt on my part to limit the amount of Facetiming would probably make me seem like a bitter old harpie exwife beyotch who just wants to drive a wedge between my ex and his child, and that is truly not the case. I just don't really need it in my peripheral vision every freaking second, ya know? Not exactly sure what the prudent move would be here, y'all. Advice?