I have been blind.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Friday, October 21, 2016
I wrote this before the November 2016 election. But the time, the election, the subject matter, was so fraught, I didn't publish it. Now, nine months-ish later, I think I can handle putting it out there. Cheers! -- The Working Mom
Thursday, September 15, 2016
I would silently, secretly feel confused and a little judgy . . . For the clothes at Talbots were "old lady" clothes. Those clothes were not for me.
I was young! Thirty-six! No, I shopped at Ann Taylor! I shopped at Banana Republic!
Fashion, like our bodies, evolves.
Anyway, I think the youngsters shop at places like Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale. But what do I know about these kids? I'm 46: more than half-90, four years short of my AARP card.
That's why Units were so popular back in the day: "Hey, girl! Here's a sack and a belt. Ta-daaaaa! You look fab. Now, put on some Keds and go get a spiral perm."
As we age and we gain and lose and shift weight around, what worked at one age, just doesn't anymore.
So I love Talbots . . . for their slightly higher waistlines, their slightly more generous cut through the hip and thigh, their whimsical sweaters with birds an monkeys and hedgehogs on them, their A-Line skirts. Sure, maybe the vanity sizing there is a little out of control (Only in the Talbots universe would I be a size 6 in jeans...even curvy cut jeans.), but the clothes fit me and they look good. That's the most important thing.
Although, of course, now I know that these are not old lady clothes.
These are middle aged lady clothes . . . until my AARP card arrives
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Here are five of those things:
I'm sure the solution that this particular imperfectly perfect parent would suggest would be to just keep those kids at home so they can't spread their psychological or psychiatric disorders all over the rest of the normal folks in society.
But that's neither practical nor appropriate. Just like typical kids, these kids are part of society, and being part of society means learning to function in it. Who teaches that? Parents. And parents cannot teach these kids how to handle themselves in public from the privacy of their living rooms. These kids and their parents are allowed to go out in public. And in doing so, these kids and their parents, might have some difficulties. It's how a free and open society works. We don't actually hide these kids in asylums anymore, funnily enough, but allow them to be the part of us that they truly are. And if we are kind and decent humans, we are sympathetic to these parents and, maybe, we offer help. Which brings me to . . . .
Drop the pretense of imperfect perfection and actually stand in those people's shoes:
- Could the parents need a hand?
- Can you sense a subtext to the child's behavior?
- Do the parents look harried?
- What could you do to lighten their load?
There's no need for sympathy. No need to offer help. No need to lend a hand or give a sympathetic smile.
I mean, after all, if you offered your sympathy, you might understand what these people are all about. You might see that they are doing their best. Maybe, just maybe, you might learn something about other humans. You might even learn to understand yourself better. And you'd probably show your child how to be a decent human . . . instead of, you know, an asshole.
They attack and exploit the vulnerable in an effort to raise themselves up. What a great lesson to teach your kids: why give someone a hand up when you can shove them lower. "Hey, kids, watch Mommy shame and deride these parents and their kid for having the temerity to got out for Sunday brunch!"
Might there be a better way, though, to get attention for your view that the world is going to hell in a hand basket because some parents (for reasons unknown to you) chose not to eat at a particular restaurant because the restaurant didn't serve food that they knew their child would eat?
I think, maybe, there might be. In short, even if you're not an asshole, stop acting like one.
A few days later, however, she called and left me a voice message to call her back. So I did: my internist had read the X-Ray and saw a tiny hairline fracture in the second phalange in my pinkie toe. The tiny break would take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. And meanwhile, I should treat it with care -- tape it to the next toe, if I wanted -- and take Advil for the pain, or they could prescribe something stronger.
So here I am three weeks from the minuscule break and, still, the only shoes I can really tolerate are the Oxfords, a pair of Keen hiking shoes, and a pair of running shoes. For someone who likes crazy (if sensible) shoes, this is not an ideal set of circumstances. You can imagine, then, how I have tired of working variations on the theme of this look . . . .
It was great to be back. I felt refreshed. I could painlessly do almost every pose and move I was asked to do, except I couldn't balance on my right side. The first time I tried to balance on the right, pain shot up the right side of my leg from my pinkie toe to my knee.
See? You use your pinkie toe to balance. Even in your shoes, you grip down with that toe (and the other toes too) to give you a more secure balancing surface. This is why in yoga you sometimes hear the instructor tell you to lift your toes up and spread them back down before you attempt a balancing pose. It's meant to really activate those toes to help you balance. And when I did that very thing this past Saturday, I learned that I could not grip the floor with my broken toe. So, without the participation of that one small part of my body, I could not keep the rest of my body from tipping to one side or the other. Balancing on the left, I was all grace and zen. Balancing on the right, I was a little like Jerry Lewis doing a pratfall.
The tiniest things matter. Tiny mistakes, tiny decisions, tiny moments, tiny bones. It's hard to remember sometimes that, as the trite old saying goes, "The little things mean a lot." But they do. Sometimes the littlest things mean the difference between standing tall and gracefully, or falling flat on your face.
I'll be glad when I can balance on the right side again.
But, for now, as my toe continues to heal, I will appreciate the small consolation that I can at least balance on the left. And I will draw what good I can from a painful and annoying bone break that has limited my sartorial choices: This broken toe has taught me to be a little more mindful of all of the small things in my world and, I hope, made me a better person by hobbling me first.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Holy crap, people, will you calm down about the bathroom?
Transwomen -- that is, people with Y chromosomes who identify as women -- are not dressing as women and going into ladies' rooms in order to molest grown women or little girls. They are going in there to pee. They want out of there as quickly as you and I do.
Oh, sure, some perverts/aggressive men may dress in women's weeds and pretend to be trans in order to molest women, but my gut tells me that the percentage of rapist who do this is a small one. My sense is that a true predictor on the prowl and looking for a lone and vulnerable victim is going to enter a ladies room to nab their prey with or without a dress on.
Nevertheless, there's been a disturbing trend based upon this bathroom transphobia: Y chromosome persons identifying as men, real He-Men men, have been entering ladies rooms to stop actual women from going to the ladies room because these women didn't look feminine enough for these protectors of the social order, these bathroom gender conformity vigilantes.
So ladies who do not look lady enough in the estimation of random strangers have to prove that they are in-fact lady enough to use the ladies room?
How does that work?
Do they drop trou?
Do they flash a boob?
Do they carry around a copy of their birth certificate?
What about this guy?
It's okay for him to use the ladies room, right? I mean, it's mandatory, right?, because two X chromosomes, and all.
You see the problem here?
Well, maybe you see the obvious problem, but what about the feminist angle?
The feminist angle, Working Mom? What do you mean? This is a trans/transphobic issue, not a feminist issue.
No, there's where you are wrong: Because implicit in all of this is an argument about what it means to be a woman and what a REAL woman looks like.
If you're kind of a butch chick, or a little bit of an old fashion 1970s tomboy, you are, apparently, de facto suspect.
No. Guys like the ding-dongs who try to eject not-feminine-enough-by-their-subjective-standards women from the ladies room want women to look a certain way. They want us to be properly and traditionally feminine. And if we aren't, well, we should expect to be followed into the ladies room by (irony abounds) some man wanting you to prove your right to be in there.
Meanwhile, certain states want to pass laws (and have in some instances) to bar this person from the WC with the stick figure in a skirt:
(That's Laverne Cox, transwoman and star of Orange is the New Black, a television show of some sort that I am barely aware of.)
Look, I am traditionally feminine-looking most of the time (but, hey, weekends: baggy jeans, ball cap, baggy sweatshirt and I may become gender-not-so-clear), but I have friends who are not feminine looking ladies. And they deserve to use the potty in peace same as anyone, without having to prove their bona fides as an actual owner of Two Xs in order earn the right to pee in the room with a stick figure in a skirt on the door.
In short: People need to CFTD about bathrooms. Go to the bathroom. Do your business. And keep your nose out of the business of anyone else who may have entered that bathroom in proximate time with you to do their business. Chances are things will be just fine. Because, chances are, they're not interested in your shit either.