Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No More Faux Ho Ho Ho

If there’s one thing you can say about America, it’s that we have a penchant for taking something nice and beating it to death until it annoys the hell out of everyone. A fine example of this is Christmas.

It’s tough to find one person in our bloated nation who is not aggravated by something about the holidays. Some hate the music, some hate getting together with their families, some hate shopping, some hate decorating, some hate cooking.

Me? I hate fake happiness shown in advertising. I hate seeing commercial after commercial showing fake families being fake happy. I hate seeing that girl open a gift from Sears and scream like she just got a new Lexus. I hate the commercial where the wife gives the husband a Lexus. Can you imagine a scenario where you could do that? I hate the family parties with the perfect people in the perfect house.

I hate the Christmas morning scenes of pretty people opening pretty presents – all of them perfect…and pretty. No morning breath. No bed hair. No gifts that completely missed the mark.

I hate that all of the wives are slim, trim and smiling and that all of the men seem truly interested in talking to everyone.

I hate the kids who seem comfortable in their too-cute clothes and their unbridled enthusiasm for every single gift.

I hate the commercials that preach to us about how we should feel about Christmas. I think Christmas is, at best, a mixed-bag filled with presumptions and imperfections and stress and people that are trying their hardest but often fall short.

Basically, I think we need to all lower our expectations and it should start with the commercials. Let’s put a moratorium on faux-everything. For just one year, could we show real people and if we don’t, then make them animated? I have no problem with Santa sledding on a Norelco shaver. I do have a problem with a guy handing his wife keys to a brand-new BMW.

Just for this Christmas, let’s be real.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For Good

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

"For Good" from the musical Wicked

Twenty-two years ago, we became parents. On that day, Andrew came into our life. At the time, it was certainly devastating – not at all what we were expecting. Things like that happen to other people, right. Nevertheless, it did happen to us.

But today, looking back, I feel at peace. Because I firmly believe that Andrew is at peace. I believe he came into our lives for a reason. Some of the reasons I know. Some, I will probably never know. What’s important is that Andrew touched all of us in some way and we are forever changed…for good.

Happy birthday, buddy. Watch over us. We love you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Love-Hate Cell

I have a love-hate relationship with cell phones. I love the fact that I no longer have to use germ-infested public phones. I hate the fact that my kids can reach me anywhere with annoying questions like: “Mom, did you wash that special sweater that I told you I needed to wear to the Pulitzer Prize ceremony tonight?”

I love texting, but I hate getting texted when I’m driving because then I’m tempted to text and drive which is about the same as downing a bottle of Scotch before driving. I have, very responsibly, pulled to the side of the road and texted. But I admit that I have texted while driving, but only while personally vowing never to do it again.

Anyway, what I hate about cell phones is people that talk on them…A LOT. I would almost guarantee that I have never had more than a 20 minute cell phone conversation. Part of this is because I hate talking on the phone and part of it is because I hate talking on the phone in public places. Apparently, most people don’t feel the same way that I do. Apparently, most people suck.

Today, I’m sitting in the waiting room of my friendly car dealer. I have about 90 minutes to kill. I managed to tune out the annoying morning show blasting on the television. (Am I the only person that has no interest in dressing my children like Madonna’s daughter Lourdes?) What I cannot tune out, however, is annoying cell phone bitch. We’ll call her ACPB.

So, ACPB dials up her friend and says she’s so excited to get the party invitation and she’s been such a bad friend not staying in touch and she will be able to attend the party. I’m thinking: “Good, RSVP done. Hang up now.” No, then we all have to hear about her friend’s dire kidney issues. “That kidney fought the good fight!” And, “So are you eligible for a transplant?” And, my favorite: “You should celebrate! You’re 40 and you’re still here!” Un-freaking-believable.

Then, we hear about ACPB’s daughter who is in and out of rehab. Honestly, is this information you want an entire waiting room to hear?! She wonders to her friend why the daughter has a crappy boyfriend and a crappy life. Could it be because the mother is a crappy example of having no boundaries or social etiquette?

This went on and on and on and on for at least 30 minutes. I finally turned on my iPod to try and drown her out. (I really wanted to just drown her.)

Seriously, WTF?! There was a giant showroom into which ACPB could have wandered to chat about kidneys and rehab. No, that would have been far too considerate. And here’s a nice wrinkle: She’s a nurse…apparently a neonatal nurse. Yes, this dope works with tiny, frail babies who need intensive care. That’s scary. She can barely raise her own daughter.

Anyway, here’s my word to the wise…and the unwise: DO NOT TALK LOUDLY ON YOUR CELL PHONE. I really shouldn’t have to tell anyone that, but I will. There…I feel better.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can You Feel A Brand New Blog?

Wow, it's kinda pink, isn't it?! Yeah, well I was bored. And, admit it, you were too. I haven't been here in like six weeks and this poor little old blog was getting more stale than the leftovers in my fridge.

You see, I've created this triumverate of blogs. I have a community blog and a blog on a local "mom" site and then I have this blog. This used to be my one and only outlet for writing. Then the others came along. Momhood is sort of like the oldest child. Once adored and now often ignored. Along the way, I started getting stumped on how to fill each blog. Most of the time, I did nothing. Lazy and pathetic, I know.

And I do understand that my "readership" has fallen off. There are so few of you - perhaps even fewer. I think I can count on Tom, Mary Ann, Dan and Judy. That's probably it. Thank you to all of you. I appreciate every nice thing you've ever said and every critical thing you've kept to yourself. You're all the best.

OK, now for the good news. I'm changing things up. Momhood will always be here and will always be called Momhood. But I'm changing the direction. There will be, hopefully, more posts. But they'll be short and maybe a little bit out there. This will be the depository for the endless stream of odd thoughts that pass through my head. Why? Because I'm about more than just children and motherhood. Although both have defined me, I'm still a babe with a brain, if you will, and if you visit here, you get to find out what's going on in mine. Are you ready? OK. Here goes:

Exactly how old do you have to be to die of natural causes? As I've mentioned before, I'm a little bit fascinated by obituaries lately. I read them daily. I love reading strange ones and, for some reason, I always want to know what happened. Often I run into the phrase: "He died of natural causes." When it's an older person, I completely understand. But when somebody is, say, 55, isn't that a little bit young to be dying of natural causes? Isn't every death natural unless machinery is involved?