Sunday, August 30, 2009

Just Another Middle Age Woman Complaining About Double Standards

A few weeks ago on Sunday Morning, Nancy Giles gave commentary on the state of courgarism. I sat in rapt attention and shouted a few amens as she pointed out the terrible connotations associated with the term cougar. According to Ms. Giles, the term makes the older woman seem desperate due to the nature of the animal's hunting ability. Also, it is the only large cat that doesn't roar. Ms. Giles said it best with her comment, "I am woman, hear me purr?"

No, honey, we cannot roar if we are looking for companionship because that may scare the prey away.

Frankly, the media genius who came up with the term "cougar" should be placed in a jungle full of cougars with meat strapped around his neck. I agree with Ms. Giles, the term is a slap in the face for every single, independent woman over the age of 35. Instead of being admired for the lives being led, they are deemed desperate, needy, and less than worthy. The comparison is nothing new, and I am not the first nor the last to say this, but how dare women be portrayed as predators while men are celebrated for their ability to be fruitful and multiply. Hello, Michael Douglass.

I just read the New York Times wedding announcements, and several couples have a 7 to 25 year age difference with the man being the elder partner. There are no magazines analyzing these pairings and there are no gasps over coffee. It is considered the norm. If the woman was older, it would have been the lead story with her talking about finding love with a younger man.

Men age gracefully; women just age. We all have heard that. The woman's worth decreases with menopause, but the man can procreate until death. Hello, Tony Randall. In this age of enlightenment, does this mean we are so stilted in our own personal evolution, we still manage to cling to the caveman psychology that our only purpose on this earth is to procreate? An older man is still respected because he is not tied to a biological clock? I believe we are trapped by the Victorian notions even after the so called sexual revolution. The revolution may have led to promiscuity in college, but I believe it failed the collective body of womanhood, especially since the term "cougar" has been coined. It has turned the notion of mature women being valued into a joke.

Well, let's go with that joke for the moment:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A New Six Word Saturday

Find your way to Cate:

I am becoming a good cook?

Okay, my gran's health isn't the best, so I am sending food to her so she doesn't have to cook as often. She told me my stew was cookbook worthy, and I am "becoming" a good cook. Mmmm, I have been on my own for thirteen years.

Friday, August 28, 2009


During May, I was convinced each day of summer was going to be spectacular. We were going to have a pool. I was going to nonstop barbecue. I would keep each warm day sacred and holy. Didn't really happen that way, not at all. The beach was wonderful, and my sun and sand candles inspired many a daydream, but it wasn't like I imagined. Summer, even as sweet as it was, was centered around my mother's recovery from knee replacement surgery, flood clean-up, and rain. I know we don't live in Forks, WA, but you would have thought it with all of our dreary, rainy summer days. Even though a little summer is better than no summer, nothing lived up to the magazine covers. Due to this endless spring, I wasn't really looking forward to autumn.

Well, my last statement was a tad misleading because I am always looking forward to autumn. It is my favorite season, and I am crazy about every corny fall tradition. This year I have tried to cling to my summer dream, but then I went into my Big Lots tonight, and lo and behold, there was aisle after aisle of fun Halloween and autumn decorations. We played with every single thing that made noise. We played in costumes. We played in the Christmas, yes, Christmas decorations and made the farting Santa sing and dance. Quickly the Friday weariness faded, and the kids and I just gave in to the goofiness. We had a blast, but it also allowed me to look and window shop for new autumn decor. I am now looking forward to crisp nights and candy apples. Bring on the cozy.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Thing One is doing so much better this evening. Her fever is gone, mood is better, and the smile is back on her face. Thing Two is back to 100% of his wonderful self, and I am on the couch counting the moments to bed. Must mean I am almost back to normal.

Oh, and you have to see my new favorite television show:

He makes me want to move to California, make hip friends, and cook wonderful food. He is smart, witty, and just a fun time. Brian Boitano is DVR worthy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Please, Please Tell Me Now

Sometimes, like everybody else in this universe, I can be needy. Yes, we all can be needy now and then. Humans crave positive reinforcements. We want love and to feel needed. That is totally normal, and as I watch my grandmother ask how her meal tastes, I understand. Little affirmations can get us through the day, especially bad days. I know I needed all the get well wishes from yesterday, and they really did make me feel a bit better. The positive vibes gave me the ability to focus on the blessings of the day and not the fact I have the headache from Hades; yet, when can we take it too far and actually ostracize those who we need?

This topic came up in a conversation I had with a friend yesterday. She was a bit put out by a recent friend's behavior on Facebook. The friend, who IRL has always been looking for these affirmations, has taken it a step higher on the social network. Her self-depricating nature is now daily found on quizes and status updates. If it comes up that she is channeling Marilyn, then she says, "Of course, I can never be that sexy." No, you cannot. I cannot. Normal people cannot, but there are instantly comments assuring her that yes, she is every bit as sexy as Marilyn. So, now instead of just fishing for attention from her circle of friends, she is throwing her line longer and deeper. She is angling for that friend who hasn't seen her since 8th grade. She is baiting the co-worker who is really just being polite.

Am I judging? Actually, no. I understand. I have been there. I have felt unloved and discarded, and I looked for my missing self-esteem where I knew I could find it: my friends, family, and other self-loathing people who wanted me to know that they had it worse than me. I hate spider veins, I hate my body is battle scared, and I want to feel pretty now and then...okay, every single day of my life. Sometimes, occassionally, I just have to cast the line myself. Like Pavlov's dog, we hear the bell and we salivate, wanting more. I did it recently when I posted last month I was unsure about my new red hair. I didn't mean to cast my insecurities out there, but I did. Of course, I was just being honest, but I did it in a way that gave me the love I was needing that day. It was not a conscious effort, but I would be lying if I said I didn't like the attention.

Where do we draw the line then? When we cannot get through the day without a pat on our backs. When we no longer find love and satisfaction within ourselves. Forgive me for sounding like a self-help book and a cliche, but as women, we need to realize that perfection is an air brushed dream, and we can be perfect for ourselvs even with spider veins and battle scared bodies. We shouldn't have to look to others to find fullfilment because it isn't going to happen. We need to stand up and scream, "Hell, ya, I know I can rock it like Marilyn or Betty Paige or Audrey Hepburn or anybody else Facebook throws at me!" Then dare anybody to comment differently.

Oh, and please feel free to comment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just a Friday Night Observation

I am sick, my daughter is sick, my son is sick, and countless others around us are coughing and hacking and snotting around my universe. I am just thankful it isn't worse. Two friends in other states have children who have been diagnosed with N1H1, and it makes me realize this cold is just an inconvenience. Well, it is still a coughing, hacking, snotty inconvenience.

I did make it to the grocery store, but only because Thing One wanted ice cream and needed meds. I know that a little bit of mommy love and Ben and Jerry's can make it all better. Well, at least we can fake it better with Ben and Jerry in the house.

Oh, and here is my big observation: I love Ghost Hunters. Jason and Grant rock, and I plan my Wednesdays around them. I enjoy Ghost Adventures on The Travel Channel. This show is what happens when you give impressionable frat boys cameras and a few beers. Yes, they take it more seriously than that, but it has a frat boy with camera and beer feel. That isn't a bad thing actually, and the camera man, Aaron, is a hoot. Now, what is up with that British Show Most Haunted? Every place is haunted, and they run around screaming and crying the entire time. If you have been hired to investigate ghosts, why be that cowardly? I am not a ghost hunter so I have permission to scream and cry; however, they lose every single bit of their street cred with they fall apart. If you go looking for ghosts, you will most likely one day find a ghost.

Okay, enough rambling for this night. Sleep tight and don't go looking for ghosts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Just Don't Know What to Think

As an educator, I doubt this show is going to be truthful and honest. Come on, it is a "reality" show which means it will be staged and over the top. They say that it was filmed after hours and with hand picked students. Wow, wouldn't that be nice!

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Now For Something Completley Different

When I was fourteen, I had the biggest crush on J. He was not that handsome, but there was something in his bad boy ways and crooked smile that completely captured me, and I was not the only one. Half our school had a crush on him in some form or fashion. He had the coolest clothes, coolest attitude, and the coolest car. One thing that really stands out to me about J. was the fact he always treated me like a lady. Even though some of the crush was reciprocated, he was never lewd. He knew I was a little girl, and I was too nice of a girl to use. He and I became friends, and often on Friday nights, he would pull into my driveway and take me out for pizza.

Now span twenty--cough--cough--years, and he is back in town. Now, before you go and start thinking of something romantic, you must know a horrible fact, something that makes me shake my head in fear and wonder: J. still thinks he is seventeen. Oh, yes, he is has fallen victim to "I can still be cool" syndrome. In fact, he has it so bad, he is only one step away from regrowing the mullet.

I began to notice the symptoms when my phone began to ring late at night a few years ago. Yep, he was drunk dialing, and the only thing he could mumble about was our glory days. He is also very full of himself and speaks as if he is officially the only man on earth that can merit female attention. Mmmm, I wonder if George Clooney knows about this? Then he went on a website and complained that nobody went out on the weekends anymore. Nobody was cruising the once upon the time hot spots. He basically called us all out, but I had an excuse. I grew up. I no longer feel the perpetual need to drive in circle and use the word torque in sentences. I gave up the big hair, blue jean miniskirts, and bangle bracelets some time ago. I miss my younger, cuter self, but she is like a visiting relative, nice to see every now and then, but real life is so much more comfortable. I have a career that I love, my family who I love even more, and friends who know there is more to life than the next big score. I would much rather live in the here and now instead of a past that I am sure wasn't that glorious in the first place.

I woke up this morning to my phone turning on and my voicemail beeping. Yep, it was J. at 1 AM in the morning. Sometimes it is time to just turn off the phone.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Past Needs to Stay Where It Belongs

I am sorry, dear past betrayals, but you need to go and leave me now in the present. Stop coming in the middle of the night, reminding me of past failures and grievances. Stop reminding me of sleepless nights and countless tears. Stop laughing at the wasted time I have spent blaming myself for the transgressions of others. I accept my part, but I refuse to accept any more than that. My life is what it is due to your sorrow, and for that I am thankful. I never thought I would ever be thankful for self-doubt and fear, but I overcame it and discovered the strength I had buried inside. I, for one moment in my life, needed to be validated by you, but that came to an end a long time ago. I am comfortable in my own self of flaws, and I am comfortable in my silent moments of truth. So, please understand, you were never wanted, and you are trying to overstay your welcome. Memories may sometimes swirl again in the middle of the night, but I have ceased to believe in your power.

Goodbye to you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ah, Amore

So, we have survived the first week of school, and everything has went very well for all. I love my classes, and for the most part, the students are great. I have several fun and challenging personalities that will make this an interesting year. I am wondering if the Antichrist is in one class, but that is a blog for another time. Thing Two is embracing third grade with a contagious excitement that is rarely seen outside of reality television. He loves his teacher. He loves his new best friend. He loves it all. Every morning he bounced out of bed looking for a new adventure. Thing One is still wondering what the fuss is about middle school. She is so my child on many aspects. She has very little tolerance for the laid back teacher. She sees through the jokes and wonders if he is just lazy. Hopefully, he is just funny and not the other. She loves the teachers who are difficult because she knows they will challenge her. She told me her English teacher told it like it was, and she wasn't going to put up with nonsense, and Thing One loves her.

That isn't the only thing that has Thing One's attention. It seems in trying to find classes and figure out the new locker, she has also noticed C., and C. is so pretty. She blushes as she describes him, and giggles when she revels he is sitting next to her in 6th period. Boys have noticed her since preschool. Her preschool teacher told me she has the magic ability to make boys stupid, and she does even though she has no clue. Every Christmas and Valentine's Day a new teddy bear or heart shaped necklace will come in possession, and she just thinks that they are such good friends. She never thought they more than that. They were sometimes just gum on her shoes, annoying in their attempts. She never understood their attention. She was too young. C. is just different. He called her "pretty lady" and she giggled for two hours. She knows every step, every look, and every conversation.

And so it begins...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We Made It!

Thing One had an amazing first day of school and loved every minute of her first day as a big kid, but she has no desire to repeat. She thinks one day of hilarity and learning is enough. It was like attending one big family reunion. She was glad to be there but she would rather stay home. Last night she sat in my lap for hours just going over every worse case scenario in her head. I told her that she had every right to be nervous, and change was hard, but by Monday, she will love it. She looked at me like I was naive, but today she is more in agreement with my line of thinking. She is going to be fine, and I think that her ability to be a leader, not a follower, will help. She doesn't allow other people to dictate her thoughts and accomplishments, and I remember being the same way. My mother said I wasn't marching to my own beat, I was leading the band. I think this fierce streak of independence will serve her well. She even showed it proud and strong today. It isn't cool for them to pack their lunch, but she brought hers proudly. As she put it, she doesn't need to starve to be cool. She would rather be uncool then eat cafeteria food. High five that one!

My day began with adventure. It stormed nonstop from 1:30 to about 5 AM, and I was awake for most of it. I never sleep well before the first day of school, and if you add constant storms, and the potential of flooding to the mix...well, it isn't good. Then, when I opened my cabinet to get out my baking sheet for my first day of school cinnamon buns, there sat a small mouse. I almost died of fright, but I yelled at it like it was human for bothering my first day of school routine. Thing One ran out of her bathroom, grabbed a broom and went all ninja on me. While I stood there laughing, the mouse got away. I hope he enjoyed his day because he will be mine, oh yes, he will be mine. We haven't had any true summer weather, and it has been an eternal spring. I think the constant wet and coolness has brought more of God's creatures to seek shelter in my house. Considering I will rather face a room of 40 teens than one field mouse, this isn't fun, but I am actually proud that this single woman can handle it without having a nervous breakdown. Well, so far anyway.

Here is an observation from my work week:

Can you be a victim when you enable the negative behaviour? If you are aware of the circumstances and consequences then are you a victim of them? No serious crimes or hateful incidents committed, but it seems some people want to be the victim in order to avoid guilt over their actions enabling the problem. They want to place blame instead of reflecting on their own behavior. Honestly, I know from my own past actions, it is sometimes easier to place blame instead of looking inward, and I think this is human nature. Self analysis is a mature act and one difficult to accomplish, but it can be done especially if you know the difference between right and wrong. I am not talking Biblical but basic social cues. I find the true victim is one that cannot avoid the circumstances, nor do they have awareness of the truth behind it. They cannot make rational choices due to life circumstances, or they fall prey due to the choices of others. Mmmm, maybe I am wrong, but this has really playing around my head for the past two days.

Oh, well. I wonder if Thing One will pose with her ninja broom for my scrapbook?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Think of us Wednesday

That is the day Thing One begins middle school, and she and I both are dreading it 110%. She is nervous because she doesn't know what to expect, and I am nervous because I do. I just want to pick her up and hold her close. I want to protect her from mean girls, 8th grade boys, and every insecurity a girl can experience. Yeah, I know that isn't possible, but a mother can hope and pray.

I am also frightened by the future. She and I are close and joined at the hip, and for the moment, she thinks I am cool. She loves me and wants to be with me. She is my baby, and I am selfish. I want to keep things as they are. I know pulling away is emotionally healthy and prepares her for the real world, but that doesn't make it easier. I can accept it and go with it, but I don't have to do cartwheels over it.

My mom understands, pats my hand and reminds me to just wait. One day my baby will be staring at 40.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Eight years ago today...

My beautiful baby boy was born. Such a bittersweet day. I love the fun of the day that will have cupcakes and a family pizza party, but I miss my baby. He is my youngest and sometimes it is difficult to let go, but I am so blessed. He is funny, smart, and just a good kid. No, he is a great kid, and today will be his day. He wants the traditional gifts and birthday surprises, but he also wants one thing that is a bit different, breakfast in bed. So, I am off in a few moments to make a waffle and serve it to him in bed. I think I may join him.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crazy Week

Tomorrow will be my last day of summer vacation, and so many see it as the end of summer, my kids included. Nope, summer is still here, but our vacation is coming to an end. This summer has been rather bittersweet. We have some beautiful memories of the beach and other family times, but we also worked as a family to deal with the remains of the flooding and my mother's recovery from surgery. It has also been a summer of blessings as I was once again reminded about silver liners and sometimes they aren't a cliche.

This last week of summer vacation has been a roller coaster. My mother had a set back with her knee and we spent one night in the ER and one day at her doctor's office. Hopefully, she will now be back on the road to recovery. I also attempted to have a yard sale to raise last minute back to school money, but wow, hard to do when the storm of the century was coming. No, biggie. I still made a few dollars and had a good time with my friends. Nothing better than women sitting under a tent with my BFF's special hot wings and our special sno cones.

I had a discussion this week about what could be my favorite song of all time and this is it:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Six Word Saturday

Really wish Clean House was here.

I am trying to get ready for my yard sale, and I think I need more hands to make it successful. Also, Mrs. Nash would kick my butt is I waffled on anything. I love that show.

Perfect Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

Today was a very busy but lovely beginning to our Halloween Festivities.  My husband and I went to a Farmers' Market that was featuring ...