Saturday, May 30, 2009

Maybe I shouldn't be on TV

When I turned 30, I made a list of experiences I wanted to have. One item on the list was to appear on TV. That's probably obvious given my repeated references to being "The View" and my continuous gripes about a certain sub-par 30-something. Anyway, I think I may have strike that off my list. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I am very sad about Jon and Kate (Plus 8). I saw the episode that milked their marriage troubles to death last week and the children pointed out the tabloid photographers lurking as they shopped for party supplies. Days later, I saw those very pictures on the cover of a magazine as I moved through the checkout at the grocery store. I was horrified at the stark reality of this situation. I imagined my daughter or my son seeing themselves on a cover or, when they are older, having them read that their parents were fighting. I wanted to cry.

The fairness of this media attention isn't really important to me. But I liked this family. And I sort of liked to think of myself and my imaginary television persona in a class with them. They are an interesting family trying to enact the life they are building together--or some version of that life--in a conscious way. Clearly, they never expected this kind of attention or the changes it has created in them. I mean, if someone said, "Hey Steel Magnolia, your family's fascinating and your children are cute. Can we make a little cable show about how in the world you do it?" I would have agreed. In fact, hubby and I submitted ourselves for "A Wedding Story" when we got married. Who would imagine, even in the media-soaked world of today, that being on TV would possibly rip your family apart in one season? Well, maybe they should have paid more attention to Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, but still.

I don't know. I just thought that they were a happy family and they were trying to get it right, sometimes failing and sometimes hitting the mark. I'm sad that a family that was functional now may not be anymore. I'm sad because our best intentions sometimes don't compensate for the crap of life.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In the margins

Mostly, my mind won't go anywhere except the crisis confronting me and my family, but on the margins are these meaningless thoughts. Since I'm not ready to share (or speak even) that info, here are the meaningless thoughts:

*Tyra Banks should find another way to announce the people "still in the running to be America's Next Top Model." Saying, "The next name I'm going to call is __________ " seriously annoys me; Logically, she should follow that sentence by calling the actual name of the girl. Of course, that would sound weird: "The next name I'm going to call is Teyona. Teyona."

*I really wish someone would tell Sherri Shepard that the words "also" and "too" don't go together. Saying, "I think also too . . ." doesn't make sense.

* I keep trying to figure out what fruit the housewives oh New Jersey could hold. Aren't they the Garden State? It's driving me crazy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hot, Steaming Bowl of Crap

In the interest of not totally falling off the blogosphere, here's a quick post.

The last seven days have dropped an out-of-freaking-nowhere bomb in my life and I'm not sure how long it's going to interrupt what has been a pretty happy life. I'm struggling to "praise God anyhow" (as Baptists like to say), but I'm hopeful. Life has dealt us a big ole bowl of illogical, poopy, crap. But I'm grateful for so much happiness in the middle of a not great situation. And I know that I don't deserve the enormous good I've been given anymore than I deserve the bad. And I know that if God wasn't bigger than this, I wouldn't be a worshipper.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What I'm Watching

My new obsession: "The Millionaire Matchmaker." Oh my goodness! This is riveting! I keep wondering if I would submit myself for this club if I were in my 20s and not married. I don't know. I think that if I were unmarried and in my 30s, I probably would. There's a disturbing gender weirdness a la "The Bachelor," but I just think it's soooo interesting. I will certainly be passing along some of Patti's rules to my daughter--and my son, for that matter.
And I have to add my obligatory grrrrrhh because I'd love to have a cool, unexpected job like this.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Dream a World

Ever since I saw Jet Li's The One, I have enjoyed the idea that there are multiple dimensions out there and multiple versions of me. (How narcissistic is that?!?) When things don't happen the way I think they should, I imagine that they are happening that way for alternate me(s). Of course, if there are multiple versions of me, I suppose this version doesn't get to decide what happens to the others. (That would definitely be narcissistic and a little, ego maniacal.) But, today is my daughter's original due date, so indulge me a little.

I am glad that all is as well as it is with our little Popcorn. She's still on a nasal cannula (oxygen tube), but she's on all bottle feeds and she's gaining weight daily. Her personality comes out bit by bit. Even as young as one month, she was described as "feisty" on more than one occasion. At that time she was adamant about people not bothering her while she slept (really, that's true now; I wonder where she gets that from. . .hmmm) and she would flail her little arms to fight whoever--the nurses, her parents--away. Sometimes she would grab the nurse's hands to try to stop them from touching her. But she's a good baby. She rarely ever cries and she's always moving (hence the name Popcorn) and she's thriving. Like I said, I'm glad all is as well as it is.

But when I look at her little body with all the cords still attached to her and the prongs in her nose; when I hear another baby screaming for 10 or 15 minutes without attention because the nurses are with other babies and imagine that could be Popcorn when we're not there; when I am irritated by the cacophony of all the medical machines beeping at the same time and realize that she has to hear that all the time, in her sleep or her waking hours; when I have to ask the nurses for permission and/or assistance to hold my own child, I really, really, really wish that things could have been different. And I imagine that for Alternate Me, they are.

I imagine that today is a day of rejoicing because a 7 lb. 9 oz. baby girl is born. She's healthy and strong and she really has a good set of lungs on her! Wow, she can scream! I imagine that Alternate Me is tired, but not very because laboring with an epidural is something to thank the gods for repeatedly. I imagine a warm, loving moment in which the baby girl is placed in Alternate Me's arms right after delivery and she feels in that moment that all is right with the world.

Maybe somewhere in a galaxy far away, things are happening and I am happy for Alternate Me.

But you know, even though it didn't happen as a I would have wanted, every time I get to hold my little Popcorn, I am happy for me, too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Questions and Answers

A la Inktopia:

What’s your current obsession?
Reading blogs!

What’s you favorite color and why?
Blue. It can be so soft and comforting and pretty.

What are you wearing today?
Jeans. Unless I'm wearing pajamas, I'm pretty much wearing jeans.

Why is today special?
I finally got rid of this migraine.

What would you like to learn to do?
Knit. And quilt. And write songs.

What’s for dinner today?
Black beans and rice.

What’s the last thing you bought?
The latest Emily Giffin novel--yay! (Well, that was the last exciting purchase)

What are you listening to right now?
TV--27 Dresses gets me every single time!

What’s your most challenging goal right now?
Potty training my son. And getting prepared for my new gig.

What do you think about the person who tagged you?
She's funny and writes a cool blog!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
In the best school district around here.

What would you like to have in your hands right now?
My out-of-town hubby. (Keep it PG, people!)

What would you like to get rid of?
My post-baby tummy and student loans.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
The spa.

What are you doing this summer?
Going to the beach, reading a classic novel, crocheting for charity, eating ice cream.

What’s your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet?
Great Gap jeans I got on consignment.

What’s your dream job?
Co-host on The View

If you had an unexpected $1000, what would you spend it on?
Bills. Or furniture.

What do you find annoying?
Whining, by adults or children.

Describe your personal style.
I'd like to think it's tailored casual, but it's actually more like casual casual.

What fashion show would you want tickets to?
Ummm . . . TJ Maxx?

Whose closet would you want to raid?
Charlotte from Sex and the City

What are you most proud of?
The life I've made.

The beautiful bloggers I'd like to know about are:

→ Now the rules of this tag:
1. Respond and rework: answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

You ain't got to go home, but . . .

I believe in complaint letters. In fact, I just wrote one about the horrible service we just received at a restaurant. The first time I wrote one was to the local newspaper after a night of hanging out with friends and being harrassed by mall cops. I think I'm going to have to write another one soon--also about mall cops.

Hubby and I were shopping at the mall today with the children and noticed that there seemed to be mall cops everywhere. Initally, I thought that they were looking for a particular teenager because they seemed to be stopping the same type of people and directing them to leave the mall. Then I saw that they were also stopping girls. It was like watching hunters seeking out prey. They were relentless, like flies on poop.

Finally, we discovered that there is a new program in place that requires anyone under 18 to be accompanied by an adult after 4pm. My husband thinks this is a fabulous idea, but I uncomfortable with it. As I looked at the boys being escorted out of the mall or pulling out IDs, I imagined my son. It was hard, but I tried to see him even in the ones dressed inappropriately (by my standards) or who seemed less than cooperative. I thought of my daughter when I saw the obvious time put into outfits meant to impress some smooth talking boy. There were officers everywhere, at every entrance, talking on radios about how many kids were coming to the door now. There were making notes in little notebooks and almost chasing the teenagers out of the doors. They seemed to be treating them as if they had done something wrong just by being there. And it was 4 o'clock! Where are these children supposed to go? What else will they find to do and where will they do it?

Remember the "The Cosby Show" when Vanessa hears through the rumor mill that her boyfriend has broken up with her? She finally calls him and he tells her that what he actually said was that he hopes they never break up. "Let's meet at the mall!" She says. Now where would Vanessa go to meet her boyfriend without a safe, public space full of adults where they could walk around innocently holding hands?

Hubby attributes this decision to the recession and the need to fill the mall with shoppers who might appreciate being free of pesky teenagers. I guess it's supposed to make people spend more money. But if I were 16 or 17 years old and wanted to get a bite to eat with friends or buy a cute outfit at Forever 21, I'd be annoyed that I couldn't simply because it was 6 o'clock on a Saturday.