Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So begins another year!

Today marked two more in a long line of firsts. Logan's first day of Kindergarten, Ethan's first day of 1st Grade. I want to remember this day.
Ryan and I woke up at 6am, groaning, but I made us "hop" out of bed because that was the only way we weren't going to trudge through the morning like zombies. I went to wake up the boys. Logan was first, and he sleepily sat up, crawled into my lap, and snuggled me for a minute before I ushered him downstairs for breakfast. Ethan jumped up as soon as I touched his back, asked, "Is it morning?" and promptly hopped about chanting, "First day of school! First day of school!" before insisting he set his clothes out for the day and then running downstairs.

Logan chose his usual breakfast, cereal - today it was Cookie Crisp. Ethan turned to me and said, "Mommy, you pick out my breakfast this morning, I want to make sure it's a good breakfast for my first day of school!" We settled on oatmeal - Peaches & Cream. Ethan wolfed his down and bounded upstairs to put on his new clothes, Logan leisurely finished his cereal and then ran upstairs to join his brother.

They were both excited to don their new backpacks for pictures on the front step, grabbed their new lunch bags and hopped into the car, ready for anything today would bring.
Today was a special day, so Ryan and I both took the boys to school and walked them inside. Ethan's dropoff at Mrs. Spann's classroom was fairly uneventful, a hug and kiss from me (because he still lets me) with a promise to do his best, and a hug from Ryan, then he was off. Ready to conquer 1st grade.

Logan's dropoff was nothing particularly special, except for the extra effort the PTO had gone to, providing a "BooHoo, WooHoo" breakfast (which, personally, I feel made the transition a bit harder for some first time parents - get in, get out, that's the key....lingering makes things hard for you and your kiddo, but the thought is what counts and it was a nice gesture). Logan walked in with confidence, a gleam of subdued excitement in his eye, and I helped him remember where his seat was. He began to march over to put his backpack in his cubby - he knew what he needed to do, after all, he had prepared for this moment - only to be told they were all going to do that later. A minor setback in his plan, but no matter, he'd be ready tomorrow. Back at his seat, he allowed me a brief hug and kiss, promised to do his best, hugged Ryan, and sat down - looking around us at the board, because the morning news was starting and he wasn't going to miss a second of Kindergarten.

And off we went. No tears (though, admittedly, I felt them prickling at the corners of my eyes, and held them back). Other first-time Moms were handed packages of Kleenex by the thoughtful PTO as they left, weeping. I smiled at them, knowing how hard it is to watch your babies grow up. You're so proud of how far they've come, but you wish you'd had just a little more time to cherish those early years. Now they're at school, and their teachers are the ones who will see them through the majority of their days for the next nine months - shape their minds, comfort their woes, make them laugh, and then send them home to us to eat dinner, wrap up the day, and put them to bed so they're ready to do it all again tomorrow.

But the excitement on the boys' faces when I pick them up later, the squeal of their voices as they tell me all the wonderful things they did today, all the things they learned....that makes it all worth it.

It's going to be a great year.

Friday, August 1, 2014

These are the things that keep me up at night...

An overwhelming majority of Christmas movies are based on the premise that Santa exists, that kids may or may not believe, and something magnificent has to happen to restore their faith in him.

Which means the overwhelming majority of Christmas movies simply should not exist.

There is a very basic flaw in the logic here. The kids' parents are usually trying to get the kids to accept reality - that Santa doesn't exist. Except he CLEARLY DOES (in these movies) because SOMEONE has been leaving presents from Santa for your kids and it WASN'T YOU. Either that, or there's a worldwide organization dedicated to creepily breaking into every single house in the world every year to leave gifts. So you know, movie parents. You KNOW he exists. Therefore, there should be no reason for your children to doubt, and his existence-based-on-how-many-people-believe-in-him should never be in danger.

(But there's also this...stupid notion that Santa should be secretive about his job. Why? Do you want kids to believe in you? Is that how you are able to exist? Surefire way to make that happen is to let them see you! The end!)

Rise of the Guardians is probably the most blatantly annoying one of these. I mean, you have every mythical childhood holiday hero here. Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa - sorry Sandman, Pitch, and Jack Frost...you're irrelevant here. So, now we have the triple in-your-face realization that parents are jerks who allow their kids to believe that these magical things don't exist when they CLEARLY DO. I mean, the Easter egg hunt....ok parents, if YOU don't believe in the Easter Bunny, why didn't you hide a crap-ton of eggs for the kids to find? You organize this annual Easter egg hunt without planning to hide eggs because someone has done it for you every year so far...and you never wonder who?! Who the hell is planning these things? Way to let all the kids down LAZY GROWNUPS. Move on to the Tooth Fairy - if YOU aren't stealing your children's teeth and replacing them with quarters, WHO IS?! THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS. You have an organization of creepy pedophiles (we can assume) sneaking into kids' rooms and stealing their teeth, to replace them with money. WHY ARE WE DOING NOTHING TO STOP THIS?!

We already covered Santa.

So, you know they exist, and you allow your kids to stop believing in true things. Why?

Conclusion: Christmas Movie Parents are assholes.

The end.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bullying

Children are not born bullies. I believe this with all of my heart. Bullying is taught, or at the very least allowed through indifference - and it's not up to teachers or administrators to fix the problem. Because the problem starts at home, with parents.

Ethan is bullied. I get daily reports from him about kids at school or day care who pick on him, call him names, push, hit, or slap him. These are not actions of "kids at play," or "boys being boys." Ethan is kind of a nerd and socially awkward (how could he not be with Ryan and I as parents?), and so he is bullied.

And, to be clear, I LOVE Ethan and Logan's personalities. I LOVE that they are a little weird and nerdy, because they are so creative and smart and funny, and it's BECAUSE they're weird and nerdy. But I recognize that those things I love about them make them prime targets for bullying, and I will not encourage them to change who they are to avoid it.

I can talk to teachers and caregivers, I can talk to the parents of the bullies...I can even talk to the kids who are bullying him (but that's something you have to be very, very careful about doing) - but, especially in today's society, my abilities to fix this problem are limited.

To fix bullying, you have to fix the bully - and that requires parenting. Parenting and all that entails, which may mean getting your child some form of anger management, or counseling, or simply spending more time with them so they aren't seeking attention, or TALKING TO THEM and figuring out WHY they feel the need to bully.

Ryan and I do our best to remind, convince, and prove to Ethan and Logan that they are loved, they are special, and that none of the mean things that happen to them on a daily basis mean that there is anything wrong with them. We encourage them to be who they are, no matter how weird that may seem, because the people they really want in their lives will love them for who they are.

But bullying gets to you, it plants seeds of doubt and self-hatred in your brain that love, support and acceptance from your family cannot fully overcome.

And so the solutions starts at home. If you are the parent of a bully - and you know if you are, don't pretend that you don't - FIX it.

I'm also well aware that Ethan has his share of behavioral problems - largely due to boredom. But, rest assured, when we learn that he has done something he shouldn't have, we go to work correcting it.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Misogyny and "Humor" - A Response

Hey! It's been a while. After I got done deleting all my depression posts, because...well...no one wants to read that and it was bleeding into my professional life in a very unwelcome way, I took a break from blogging.

However, as is usually the case, I found something to get all fired up about and here I am.

So I was unaware of the details of the USCB sorority shooting until, well, yesterday. Mostly because it was, in my mind, just another example of some very serious problems we keep failing to address as a society and the details of it weren't as important as the overall issues. But I educated myself on the details yesterday when I watched this video.

It became apparent to me that the details of this particular shooting were an example of many MANY bigger issues in our society, a few of which I list 
in no particular order:
*The availability (or lack thereof) of adequate mental health care resources, and our tendency to push mental health issues under the rug rather than address them as real, serious problems that need addressing.
*Gun policy. This is a-whole-nother rant, but basically there has got to be a way to STOP mass shootings, and I think looking at the policies of countries who do not have these incidents would be an excellent first step.
*The predator/prey relationship dynamic that is far too prevalent...like, everywhere...and the fact that the object of one's affection is all-too-often viewed as something to win or earn, rather than as a person.

So, to boil down Elliot Rodger's motives for destroying the lives of as many families as he could (including his own), before selfishly taking his own life:

*He was mad that he couldn't get laid.
*He felt entitled to sex, pleasure, and love as though those things are somehow guaranteed to everyone simply for existing.
*He had serious mental health issues.

This on the heels of a good friend telling me about an article they'd read saying that women feel more comfortable telling men that they have a boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife than they do simply saying "I'm not interested." And that's ABSOLUTELY TRUE. I, admittedly, don't get hit on a lot (which is perfectly fine with me), but when I do, I feel very intimidated by the prospect of simply saying those three words. So instead, I hold up my left hand and say, "Sorry, I'm married." As if the ring on my finger is what's keeping me from engaging in flirting with them, rather than my extreme lack of interest.

Then I read this article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

And...I mean...it's so right. Steve Urkel's character annoyed the crap out of me because he would not just LEAVE LAURA ALONE. How many &%$#ing times does she have to say she's not interested before you get the freaking hint?! What's even more annoying is that eventually - through magic disguised as science - he does wear her down, well, the hot version "Stephan Urkell" manages to make her realize that she does love Steve Urkel for who he is...even though it takes him looking like a model to "open her eyes." Poor, naive Laura. If only you were self-aware enough to realize that you loved him all along, and the revulsion and annoyance you felt was your own insecurity tricking you into thinking you didn't! Silly girl!
Ugh.

So, on top of all this bombarding me at once - which felt like a sign that I needed to get up on my soapbox, but I resisted - I come across this "gem" of "humor": http://wallstreetinsanity.com/50-things-every-woman-should-realize-about-men/

This is a "real man's" life view, thinly disguised as humor. I've been told - mostly by men, I might add - that it's supposed to be funny, that I'm taking it too seriously...but I'd like to point out that the men who've told me this also admit that (in a small way because we have to cover our asses HAHAHA) it's true.

I had already decided to blog when I saw the "article" in my newsfeed - not because of its content, but because of who shared it, and who liked it. And, in particular, the comment...which almost made me throw up a little in my mouth. See for yourself.


I just...I mean...just...WHAT?! How in the world are we ever supposed to fix some of these problems if women are supporting this unbelievably misogynistic mindset?!

So I'm going to respond to the 50 Things. In my own snarky way. Also, in blue, so you can tell where I've responded.

First the intro:


This one’s for the ladies. Fellas, you can hang around if you want to, but you gotta stand over there in the corner and be real quiet. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna hit on your girlfriends and wives, but I got a few things to tell them. Trust me, this is for your own good.
Okay girls, now it’s just you and me. You’re all looking very pretty today, maybe we can go grab a drink sometime—no, shit. I promised I wouldn’t do that. Sorry. Habit.
Anyway, the reason I pulled you all aside…is to show you my penis. Wait! Don’t leave, I was just kidding. Okay, I think I got it all out of my system now.
HAHAHA SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS FUNNY HAHAHA!!!

1. You Gotta Stay Away From His Internet Search History

You can’t handle it. It’s more or less the same for every guy, so don’t think he’s a perv or anything. But if you go browsing where he’s been, you’ll regret it. There are some things you can’t unsee.

This makes the assumption that:
1.) Women are not sexual creatures in their own right who look at porn. Please.
2.) All women are snoopy, distrustful creatures who would invade a man's privacy.
I would like to make the comment here that if you are looking at something online that you would be embarrassed about your significant other finding out about, you need to look inward at the real problem...because if you're afraid they'll think you're a pervert, you either aren't open and honest with them, or you're actually a pervert. Or both.

2. You Can’t Change Him

I know that you know this intellectually, but on some level, you may still think you can pull it off. You can’t. And if you do manage to get it done, he’ll figure it out and resent you for it. Love him the way he is or not at all.
Actually, people do change. Not at their core, not who they are as a person...because nature and nurture have worked long and hard to create that person before you get into a relationship with them. But if a person is committed to making a relationship work - and both parties should be, or it's not going to work - they will change the way they need to (whether that is reevaluating how they think and feel about things, or simply putting their socks in the hamper instead of the floor because OMG IT'S TWO INCHES FARTHER JUST PUT THEM IN THE DAMNED HAMPER.)
However, before you commit to the long-haul with a person, you do have to love them for who they are. And that works both ways. Women don't just have to accept men for who they are, men have to return the favor.

3. You Shouldn’t Take It Personally When He Checks Out Other Women

Unless he’s leering and drooling, just let it slide. It’s a reflex and he can’t help it. Just let it slide.
Unless, you know, you feel like he should respect you and your relationship enough not to do that. Glancing at another woman is one thing, full-on checking her out is not a reflex, it's a choice. He's a grown up, he can choose not to look.

4. He Will Choose His Friends Over You

They’ve been with him for way longer than you have, and no matter how much he loves the regular sex, he’ll sacrifice it if you’re trying to 86 his buddies from his life.
There comes a point in every relationship when, I'm sorry, but your commitment to your life-mate becomes more important than your commitment to your friends. If you're still choosing your friends over your wife (husband), you were not ready to get married.

5. Never Criticize His Mother

If he wants to do it, and you commiserate with him, that’s fine. But if you’re the one who brings it up, watch the fuck out. Odds are, there are qualities she has that he sees in you, so try to figure out what those are and relate to her on that level.
You are a thinking, feeling human being, and if his mother does something to piss you off - especially if you're married - you have every right to tell him that. Odds are, if she's the kind of mother-in-law who pisses you off (and thank God mine isn't), she's probably telling him how you piss her off as well, and at some point he's going to have to decide whose side he's on. As a mother, I appreciate that there will be a point when my sons' allegiance shifts to their new families, and that's something I will have to understand - because it's right.

6. You Have To Let Shit Go

You’ll have a lot of fights over the course of the relationship, but when they’re over, they really need to be over. Throwing old arguments back in his face will lead to loss of trust and ultimately change how he feels about you.
Again, it needs to be understood that this goes both ways. If the fight was truly over and dealt with - and one of you didn't just storm off and leave it unresolved - then you both need to drop it.

7. Don’t Ask Questions You Don’t Want To Know The Answers To

Hey, he’s got a history and so do you. If you love him for who he is now, don’t worry so much about the steps he took to get there.
Both ways. We've all got baggage, and if you're holding it against each other, it's not a healthy relationship.

8. You Can’t Bombard Him The Second He Walks In The Door

He knows you want to talk about what that bitch said to you at work today or your plans to redecorate the bedroom, but for god’s sake, let him have a beer and stare at the TV for at least half an hour first.
YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ARE NOT IMPORTANT UNTIL HE SAYS THEY ARE. What a bunch of bullshit. 

9. Withholding Sex Is A Dangerous Game

I don’t care how mad you are at him, if you cut him off for an extended period of time, what happens next is on you.
If a woman doesn't want to have sex with you for any reason, claiming she's "withholding sex" goes right back to you seeming to think you're entitled to it. You're not. She's not. Sex happens when both parties want to have sex. End of discussion. If you haven't had sex for a while, TALK TO HER. What happens next is not on her, it's on you. Grow the fuck up and take responsibility for cheating.

10. He’s Jealous Of All Your Straight Guy Friends

Bitch about him to the girls all you want, but if you’re confiding things to other men and he finds out about it, he’s going to get jealous. Sorry to break it to you, but he wants to be the only man in your life.
There are not levels of trust in a relationship. Either you trust each other or you don't. If the gender of the friend being confided in makes your significant other jealous, they don't trust you. End of story. And that's a problem that cannot be addressed in a blog.

11. He Wants To Try Anal

He might never ask for it, but he wants it. And odds are, most, if not all of his former girlfriends wouldn’t let him. Let him have it at least once, maybe on his birthday. It’ll be a bonding experience.
YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SEX. ANY KIND OF SEX. I DON'T GIVE A SINGLE DAMN WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO TRY ANAL, BONDAGE, A THREESOME, OR FURRY SEX. IF BOTH PARTIES DON'T WANT TO DO IT, NOBODY SHOULD FEEL PRESSURED INTO DOING IT. EVER.

12. He Wants To Bang Your Friends

I’m not saying he’ll do it, but he wants to. Don’t take it personally—he’s wanted to bang 90% of all the women he’s ever met. It’s really not that big a deal. Let him know you know and watch how red he gets.
If he's committed to you, he doesn't want to bang your friends. If he does want to bang your friends, he's not 100% committed to your relationship, and you have bigger problems to work out. There's a difference between finding someone attractive and wanting to have sex with them. Whether or not you're truly committed to your significant other is that difference.

13. You Should Learn To Play Pool

There’s nothing hotter than a chick who can beat you in pool.
Is he going to learn to do something you like? Or is this just another way to "keep your man interested?"

14. He Wants You To Seduce Him

Yes, he probably likes sex more than you do, but you want him to be happy, right? Don’t wait for him to instigate every time. Surprise him every once in a while.
Goes both ways.

15. He Notices When You Don’t Wear The Jewelry He Bought You

If you don’t like it, for Christ’s sake, say so and let him try again. It seems ungrateful when you wear it once and then he never sees it again.
There's no way to win here. You are 100% damned if you do, damned if you don't. Good freaking luck.

16. He Wants You To Need Him

Sure, you’re an independent lady and he likes that. But he also wants to feel useful. So let him change a light bulb and open pickle jars for you. It boosts his self-esteem.
In my personal experience, asking for someone to do something takes longer than doing it yourself. And chances are, he knew the lightbulb needed changing...so why do you need to ask him to do it? Is he incapable of changing it without being asked? If your significant other needs you to remind him you need him, he's got some insecurity issues that are not going to be solved by opening a goddamned pickle jar.

17. You’ve Got To Watch Your Weight

Oh shit, did I really say that? Well, it’s true. Just because you landed him doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and stop going to the gym (and to be fair, neither can he).
Ok. Seriously. Just fuck you at this point. I'm not even halfway done with this list and I want to punch a wall. That's an ultimatum right there - stay looking hot, or he's gonna look elsewhere. See above, re: choices.

18. If You’ve Been Living Together For Longer Than Three Years, He’s Not Going To Marry You

At that point, he already considers himself married, and the idea of a wedding is more of a hassle than the special day it is to you. You can try to force him into it if you want, but…
I have many examples in my own network of friends where this is not the case. If you want to get married, and he doesn't, it doesn't matter how long you've been living together...you either don't understand one another at a fundamental level and your relationship isn't going to work, or he's not committed to you. If he doesn't believe in marriage, that's something you should have figured out a LONG time ago, and it should come as no surprise. And if that's a dealbreaker, you shouldn't have stuck around for 3 years.

19. Ultimatums Do NOT Work

Any time you try to force a guy to do anything, he WILL resent you for it. Try an honest talk about how you feel and what you want out of the relationship before you give him an “either/or.”
I....I actually agree with this one. But again...goes both ways.

20. He Wants Kids

It’s hardwired into his DNA. No matter what he says when he’s in his twenties, when he gets a little older, he’s going to want a legacy to leave behind. But please make sure he’s ready before you stop taking your birth control.
I mean, you know, unless he doesn't. So...communicate. Novel concept. And do it before you get married, because kids/no kids are a dealbreaker for most people and you don't want to find that out too late.

21. He Knows When You’re Lying To Him

He might not even be sure what you’re lying about, but he knows when you’re not being honest. Better come clean, or his head will fill up with worst-case scenarios.
WHY ARE SO MANY OF THESE ABOUT BASIC COMMUNICATION THAT SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE IN RELATIONSHIPS?! Also, it goes both ways.

22. He Wants You To Like What He Likes

Whether it’s movies, sports or hobbies, he wants you to enjoy those things with him. Even if it’s not your thing, try to have fun with the fact that it makes him happy.
Or, as a thought, you could both appreciate the fact that you have your own interests, that sometimes they overlap and sometimes they don't, and it's totally ok that you're individuals who may or may not enjoy all of the same things.

23. He Thought You Looked Good In That First Outfit

The more you change clothes before you go out, the more impatient he gets. After the second one, he doesn’t care anymore. Just pick one and let’s go!
If she's asking your opinion of her outfit, she's probably nervous about the event itself and the two of you need to communicate about that. Instead of being a "man" and getting frustrated, try talking to/understanding the person you're in a relationship with. Funny concept.

24. He Has No Interest In Shoes

What is it with women and shoes? You may think that new pair is the cutest thing in the world, but it just mystifies him.
I...I can't respond to this one because I honestly don't care about shoes and I don't know why anyone talks about them. Ever. But again....maybe telling her you don't care about shoes is a good conversation starter!

25. You Should Always Take His Side

Within reason. But if he’s involved in some kind of debate and you take sides against him in public, he will never forgive you.
DO NOT HAVE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS IN PUBLIC. Also, don't expect him to return the favor because HE IS MAN and his thoughts and opinions trump yours, every time!
Jesus H. Christ.

26. He Wants You To Expose Him To New Things

He wants to feel like you’re bringing something extra into his life, so tell him about your favorite authors, philosophers, whatever. If you help him grow as a person, he’ll always be grateful to you for it.
Just, you know, not in public because he might not agree with you.

27. You Need To Tell Him Exactly What You Want

Don’t make him guess, because he’ll pick wrong. And don’t be vague about it either. If you want something, just say it straight out. Odds are, he’ll give it to you.
COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE!!! Can we stop saying obvious things about needing to communicate? Because I'm really tired of saying "IT GOES BOTH WAYS."

28. He Hates That Short Haircut

Very few women can pull off that pixie hairdo (although the ones that can do it beautifully). He likes your hair long, so don’t go chopping it all off without running it by him first. How would you feel if he got a Mohawk or grew a rattail?
This is 1950 and you must run your fashion decisions by the dominant male in your life before making them. OR, as a thought, you could make decisions based on how you want to look. Since he doesn't care about your fashion choices anyway - see 23 and 24. It's hair, it will grow back if you don't like it. If he doesn't like it, that's something you can TALK ABOUT!!!!!

29. He Wants You By His Side

If you abandon him at parties and go talk to your friends while he talks to his, you’re not giving him that level of completion he wants in a partner. Sure, you can branch out now and then, but he wants you to work as a duo.
When you are with him, never attempt to be an individual. Ever. Because he's unbelievably insecure and can't socialize without you.
Did I get that right?

30. You Should Never Flirt With His Friend

I know I said earlier that he wants to bang your friends, so this might seem like a double standard, but it’s true. He’ll think you’re fucking with him—or worse, that you’re actually attracted to one of his buddies. Don’t risk ruining his friendships or there will be bad times ahead.
Unfortunately, there's a good chance that if you're dating the guy that wrote this, any communication with a male will look like flirting, and you're basically screwed.
SEE ABOVE, RE: TRUST

31. He Wants You To Be His Muse

Behind every great man is a great woman. And of course you can have your own hopes and dreams, but he needs you help and inspire him to achieve his.
So if you want to be a successful lawyer, that's cool and all, so long as you encourage him to play professional paintball because THAT'S HIS DREAM.
I'm sorry, but so many many many of these come down to communication it's just annoying. If you're in a committed relationship, BOTH of your dreams are going to be important because you LOVE EACH OTHER, so this is not something that even needs to be said. And it's important to be realistic with one another, because if your dream is unrealistic, unachievable, or going to be a financial burden on your relationship, no amount of clapping from the sidelines is going to make it happen.

32. Whatever It Is  You Want In Bed, He WILL Do It

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for it. Whatever you sickest, most twisted sexual fantasy, it’s PG-13 material compared to the shit that goes on in his head.
Something about communication, women as sexual creatures, not making assumptions...

33. He Needs To Lean On You Sometimes

Most of us are pretty good at shouldering our burdens, but every so often, they get too heavy. But don’t sit him down and make him talk about his feelings—that’s YOUR thing. Just do some little things for him to pick up his slack when he’s overwhelmed.
Don't expect him to communicate, because HE IS MAN. 

34. Save The Big Piece Of Chicken For Him

He works hard, he doesn’t complain much. He deserves it (thanks to Chris Rock for that one).
To be clear, you don't work hard, you complain too much, and therefore you don't deserve to eat more when you're hungry? Chris Rock is an actual comedian, this man is not. 

35. Don’t EVER Emasculate Him

Even if you’re just joking. I promise you, he won’t think it’s funny. And if you do it during a fight, your relationship might never recover.
Uh oh, getting into the big capital letters here. HE IS MAN, NEVER LET HIM FEEL LIKE LESS THAN A MAN. Assuming that "man" has some kind of concrete definition. But, I'm going to assume that if you're too independent and free-thinking, you're not acting like a "woman" enough and that's going to be a problem as well.

36. He Doesn’t Want To Hear About Your Sexual Past

If you feel the need to give him a number, fine, but don’t get into what you did with whom, no matter how much he asks. I promise you, he doesn’t want to know.
See above, re: baggage. Get over it. We all have a history, and if you ask, expect an honest answer. In fact, I'm pretty sure we covered this with #7.

37. He Wants To Be The Best Lover You’ve Ever Had

And if he’s the love of your life, he probably is. But if he’s not, just lie to him.
OR, AS A THOUGHT, YOU COULD COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER AND MAYBE LEARN HOW TO PLEASE ONE ANOTHER SO YOU'LL BECOME THE BEST LOVERS EACH OTHER HAS HAD?!

38. If He Cheats On You Once, He’ll Do It Again

Even if he apologizes and honestly regrets it, if you let him get away with it, it WILL happen again.
See above, re: choices, trust. If you forgive someone, if they're truly sorry, IF THEY'RE COMMITTED TO YOU, they won't cheat. 

39. You Should Let Him Open Doors For You

It’s great that you’re all liberated and shit, but being a gentleman never goes out of style. Let him do those little things and it will make him love you more.
Implying that he will love you less if you don't. I'm all about being a gentleman, but if you this goes back to needing to be needed, and insecurity won't be fixed by waiting for him to open a door.

40. You Need To Be His Moral Compass

He looks to his woman to keep him in check. Make sure he always does the right thing.
Unless it might emasculate him or involve disagreeing with him in public. 

41. You Should Let Him Win Sometimes

Men hate it when you’re better at them at what they love. He has a fragile ego, and sorry, but you need you to cater to it sometimes. If you throw a game and he gloats, though, all bets are off.
Actually, apparently, you should let him win all the time. Your thoughts and opinions mean nothing, and he is a MAN who is also a precious snowflake and his insecurity issues trump everything else.
I mean, who IS this guy?!

42. If You Make Him Watch A Chick Flick, At Least Give Him A Blowjob Afterwards

Seriously, those things are painful. You have no idea how much we hate them. If he made it through the whole thing without complaining, reward him. And if it was one of the SEX & THE CITY movies, you owe him either anal or a threesome. Your choice.
YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SEX. ANY KIND OF SEX. I DON'T GIVE A SINGLE DAMN WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO TRY ANAL, BONDAGE, A THREESOME, OR FURRY SEX. IF BOTH PARTIES DON'T WANT TO DO IT, NOBODY SHOULD FEEL PRESSURED INTO DOING IT. EVER.
And you never, EVER, owe anyone sex. For any reason. At any time. Ever.

43. Speaking Of Threesomes… He Will NEVER Stop Trying

It doesn’t mean you’re not enough for him, it’s just that it’s the ultimate male fantasy. I’m not saying you ever have to cave in (it’s probably best if you don’t). But just tolerate his attempts to make it happen. He can’t help himself.
YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SEX. ANY KIND OF SEX. I DON'T GIVE A SINGLE DAMN WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO TRY ANAL, BONDAGE, A THREESOME, OR FURRY SEX. IF BOTH PARTIES DON'T WANT TO DO IT, NOBODY SHOULD FEEL PRESSURED INTO DOING IT. EVER.
If you've said no, and he doesn't respect it, he doesn't respect you. Get out of the relationship.

44. He Needs Quiet Sometimes

You don’t have to fill the silence with pointless chatter and small talk. If you’re comfortable together, you should be able to just shut the fuck up every once in a while.
Which is something he could communicate to you when he needs some quiet time. But this goes along with your thoughts and opinions being invalid because he's a precious snowflake...so think on that.

45. You Should Compliment Him More

Hey, women aren’t the only ones who like compliments. Tell him he looks good, tell him he’s smart, whatever. He needs to hear that shit every once in a while.
See above, re: precious snowflake. Seriously this guy has got to be the most insecure toddler of a man in the history of ever. Also, don't tell him when he needs quiet time, or might disagree with you.

46. You Don’t Always Have To Be Right

Hey, if it’s worth it, then just dig your heels in and fight to your dying breath. But sometimes, he just wants his opinion validated and you don’t have to contradict him just because you see things differently.
What? Just...what?! I mean we've hinted at this a few times, but there's nothing quite like coming out and saying SHUT UP YOUR OPINION DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE I AM MAN.
Get over yourself, OH MY GOD.

47. Make Sure You Look Just As Good When You Go Out With Him As When You Go Out With The Girls

We all get lazy after a while when we don’t have to impress anyone anymore. But if you’re all sweats and T-shirts when it’s just the two of you and you’re smoking hot when you’re going out without him, he’s going to wonder who you’re doing that for.
Trust. You either have it or you don't. How you dress for any given occasion is not going to change that.

48. He’s Not Your Dad

For all you princesses out there. Yes, he’s supposed to take care of you, but it’s not in the same way. You’re a grown woman, for Christ’s sake. Learn the difference between a father and a partner.
But...but you want us to need you, right? So...need you, but not too much? There's just no way to win with this moron.

49. You’re Not His Mother

If you’re always picking up after him and washing his dishes, he’s got some growing up to do. Don’t play into his Freudian fantasy.
I'm thinking he definitely has some growing up to do. This guy in particular.

50. He’s Not As Complicated As You Are

Don’t go thinking that means you’re deeper than he is, though. Or smarter. He just likes to keep it simple. If you can understand and appreciate that, you might end up complimenting each other very well.
I think this list proves that 1.) He is incredibly complicated; 2.) He is unbelievably insecure; 3.) He needs to grow up; and 4.) He is absolutely not ready for an adult relationship.

So ladies, basically, don't get into a relationship with this guy. He is a hot mess, and nothing you do, wear, say, think, feel, or shut up about is going to fix that.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Letter to My Sons

There are so many of these floating around out there, most of them are aimed at daughters for some reason. I feel like sons get left out of these...possibly because we don't feel they're vulnerable or at risk of being objectified or devalued by their significant others. But, that's just not true. Girls (and boys) are just as capable, and guilty, of making their boyfriends feel like they aren't good enough, like there's something wrong with them. So, while I don't want to minimize the need for little girls to understand that they are worthy of everyone's attention, I do want to say something to my boys.



Dear Monkeys -

You may think you've got it easy. You clearly inherited your Daddy's genes, so you'll probably never struggle with your weight. You both know how damn cute you are (even if you know it isn't going to keep you from getting in trouble...most of the time). You're smart, you're kind, you're funny (I like to think that was my offering from the gene pool). Honestly, you've got a lot going for you.

But the fact of the matter is, there will come a point in your life when you start to like girls (or boys...either is fine, and normal - but for the sake of simplicity in writing this letter, I'm going to stick to "girls") in a different way...a way that makes you want to be more than just friends. A way that makes you want to kiss them, like you've seen Daddy and Mommy kissing. Unfortunately, the girls you like may not always like you the same way - or at all.

That's ok. There's nothing wrong with that, sometimes people just don't feel the same way you do.

Unfortunately, when you like someone and they don't like you back, sometimes they're not very nice about it. I'll be honest, you're both kind of weird (which is AWESOME), so there's a good chance your unique personality may come up when the girl you like tells you she doesn't like you back. She might call you names, she might tell her friends that she thinks you're ugly...there are a lot of ways she might make you feel like you're not good enough for her.

There will come a time when you're dating a girl who did like you back at some point, but now she just doesn't. When she breaks your heart, it's going to feel like you weren't good enough for her.

This is where I want you to stop. Stop right there. Right now. Do not pass "Go," do not collect $200.

Don't you ever dare let yourself feel like you aren't good enough for another person to love. And don't you ever dare let someone get away with telling you you aren't good enough for them.

I'm not always going to be around to give these girls the karate-kicks to the face they deserve when they hurt my boys. And I'm not always going to be around to tell you, in no uncertain terms, what amazing boys you are.

The plain truth of it is this: You are good enough. You are perfect. You are worthy of everyone's love and attention.

You may just not be the right person for that girl to spend her life with. And that's ok. There is someone out there for you, and it's just not her. It may take some time to find her, and you're going to get hurt - a lot - along the way, but you will. While you're on that journey, the most important thing for you to remember is that just because you aren't the right person for that girl doesn't mean you aren't good enough for her.

So don't ever let her tell you that.

Now the flip-side of the equation. You are damned cute, you're funny, you're smart - you two are really the whole package. I know that during your teenage years, I will probably meet more girls than I'd like to...and I will have to deal with the fact that you're doing things I don't want to think about with those girls. I also know that you are going to break a lot of hearts yourselves, and those girls are going to feel like they weren't good enough for you.

Don't you ever dare make them feel like they weren't good enough for you. Everyone is good enough, and perfect, and worthy of your love and attention.

They just may not be the right girl for you to spend the rest of your life with. And that's ok.

While we're on this side of the coin, I want to make something very clear - relationships are a two-way street. There is give and take from both sides. And neither side should ever feel the need to "keep" their partner interested. You are worthy of your partner's interest just by being you. End of story. And they are worthy of your interest just by being them. Done. Never convince yourself that you need to change, or get fit, or quit a hobby, or act a different way to "keep her interested." On the flip side, don't you ever let your girlfriend feel like they need to "keep you interested." If there's something about that girl that you feel like she needs to change, then she's not the right girl for you to spend your life with. No one should feel like they need to change for you. When you fall in love with someone, you fall in love with everything about them - their quirks, their weird habits, their body, their mind, their soul - all of it.

This is going to get ramble-y here, so I'll wrap it up.

I love you both more than words will ever be able to express. You're my babies and you always will be, even when you grow up. There will come a time when I'm no longer the most important woman in your lives, and that's ok. But when another woman takes that place, I expect you to treat her like the most important woman in your life. Conversely, when you take the place of her father as the most important man in her life, she better treat you like you are.

You are perfect. You are amazing. You are good enough. You are worthy of everyone's love and attention.
And so is she.


Oh and one last thing: I love you. Even though you're weird.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

6 Things You Should Stop Posting on Facebook. Like, Right Now.



I read a post with a very similar title to this on The Stir yesterday, and to be honest, it was really negative. The author is clearly bitter about having to read all the happy things going on in her "friends'" lives. Honestly, the only self-censoring I do when it comes to posting on Facebook is making sure that whatever I post isn't going to get me in trouble at work. Otherwise, if I'm thinking it, it's going on Facebook.

I tend to get annoyed with people who complain about what others post - on their PERSONAL Facebook pages - because, frankly, get over yourself. If you don't like what I'm posting, hide me. I won't be offended. If my amazing children, wonderful husband, epic weight loss (30 lbs in 2013, baby!) or opinions (I have many) offend you for some reason, there's this cute little box you can click that makes it so my happiness (or snarkiness) don't show up in your feed. Done. So simple.


However, in light of her post, and to be as hypocritical as possible - obviously - I think it fitting that I identify a few things that I feel we all can agree have no place on anyone's social media page.

THINGS THAT SHOULD NEVER EVER GO ON YOUR FACEBOOK OR TWITTER - EVER.

1.) Description of your bowel movements.

Let's face it, there's a reason we don't discuss these things in civilized conversation, and that reason is that no one wants to know what's coming out of you. Seriously. We don't. Life is not "How I Met Your Mother," and no one outside of Marshall, Lily, Ted, Robin and Barney really want to know if your excrement represents an ampersand.
"To Know or Not to Know" - the episode in question, albeit a different moment.
2.) Passive-aggressive comments about some way you were wronged by a "nameless" person (but they know who they are...oh yes, they do).
The Oatmeal is a wonderful, wonderful site.
My passive-aggressive response to these passive-aggressive posts:

Truth.
3.) Talking about how high/drunk you are at that moment...or were last night...or last weekend. Or ever.

HAHAHA OMG I'M SO CRUNK RGIHT NOW I CAn BrAeLY TPYE TIHS OUT! HAHAHA!

Yep. That needed saying. We're all better for knowing that you were wasted. Also, what the hell does "crunk" even mean? I feel old.

Margaritas Make Spelling Awesome
Something tells me the spelling problems weren't the result of the margaritas.
Look, we all like to kick back and relax, wind down after a long week. Sure. I'll admit to drinking...more than I should...on more than one occasion. But, because we're all judgmental assholes, when we see you posting about it, the first thought that comes to our minds is not "Man, I wanna go party with that person!" It's "Well, they're making responsible adult decisions, aren't they?" Because, while we all do it, many of us also know that everything you post on the internet stays there for eternity - and getting wasted is one of those things you should keep between you and your cohorts.

Wise words.
4.) Analysis of the previous evening's sexual exploits.

Things you never wanted to know about people you barely know, #546.
This is really along the same lines of reasoning as the drunk/high posts. Honestly, it's all about adulthood at this point, and do you REALLY want your boss saying "Good weekend?" while half-smiling at you and possibly winking when you walk in on Monday morning? Because I sure the hell don't.

5.) Duckface selfies.

I don't care who you are, they all look like this. Just stop. Try smiling instead.
Because no. Just no. Seriously, no. I said no. NO MEANS NO. No.

6.) Posts that are clearly fishing for compliments you don't need because you're a size 2 and OMG YOU ARE NOT FAT WILL YOU SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY?!?!?!?!

Bust Out the Rod and Tackle Box!
I always read these posts in a Valley Girl voice. It makes it easier to move past them without rolling my eyes so hard they get stuck.

You know who you are.

That was slightly passive-aggressive. Oh well, nobody's perfect.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Self-Image

Ok, before I get started, this is not a "oh, boo hoo, pity me and make me feel better" post. Honestly.

I just...I don't know. I feel like I need to "say" this "out loud."

I'm not pretty. Not "conventionally" pretty, whatever the hell that means. I have days when I look in the mirror and think, "Hey, not so bad!" And then I look at a picture of myself and I'm like "Jesus, what the hell?"

I mean, I went to go update my profile picture for Twitter, and, well...look at it! This was after about 20 attempts of trying not to look like a complete spaz, and then I gave up and said "The hell with it. It's not getting any better than this." 

I'll never be a model. It's highly unlikely that I'll ever be a movie or TV star. There is a worldview of what is "pretty" and I'm not it. I've got a big nose and a weird chin, my bottom row of teeth are crooked (thank you, failed orthodontics). I'm overweight, and my body accurately reflects the two children I've had (not that I'm blaming them).

Now, obviously some of this can be changed. I can lose weight (God help me, I'm working on it, OK?) and I could get my teeth straightened and my nose reduced and somethingorother done to my chin to fix it....but those things cost money and then I wouldn't look like me. Except the teeth thing - that's mostly just a money issue.

Why am I saying all this? I don't know, maybe I just needed to say it so I could feel like I was being completely honest about who I am. Maybe I am feeling a little sorry for myself. Maybe I was just bored and this was what was in my head.


I'm seriously contemplating getting some audition tapes together for various TV opportunities...mostly because what will it hurt? But deep down, I feel like no  matter how good they are, I'll be looked over because I'm not pretty. And I have "Climbing Uphill" from The Last 5 Years echoing in my head.

"I am a good person. I'm an attractive person. I am a TALENTED person. Grant me grace..."

Rant over.