Sunday, November 23, 2008
Not this time. When I left the last fellow I was a schmuck. Without explanation, no warning whatsoever, I just never went back. For months he called and sent me cards as I sat by mutely. To this day my cowardice still haunts me.
This time I'm leaving in style, with integrity intact and my head held high. Goodbye to my scissorhands of the last three years:
When we first got together the air crackled with excitement. My every hair follicle stood on end. I tingled with delicious anticipation, full of hope for our partnership. My old cut was "horrific," my color was "clownish." You said you would do me up so much better. And I was dazzled and awed by the photographs on your wall, the framed magazines quoting your wisdoms.
True, you were outrageously, jaw-droppingly expensive. But you had all the right moves and knew just what to say. Wearing sweatpants I slunk in to see you one day, puffy-eyed and nose dripping, Lanz nightgown tucked in the waist. "You look fabulous!" you said. "You've lost some weight!" With you, I was sexy in the throes of the flu.
Yes I revelled in your lavish praise, lapped up every word. It made it easier when I had to break into my 401k to maintain my pricey habit. And frankly, I liked your cut. It was the best I'd ever had.
Last week you wandered in late, after your colorist applied my base. I was swimming in a dowdy smock, brown gunk smeared on my face. When you clutched your fist to your chest in a histrionic fit and said, "My God. You look great!" all doubts about our parting were instantly erased. This pseudo-relationship was truly over. There'd be no more chemistry, no more stirrings of formula.
My decision is not a rash one. For months I've mulled it over. How did we go wrong? I'd told you all my secrets, I'd thought our bond was strong. I suppose it was this summer when I broke my wrist. With casted hand and helpless I had no where else to turn. I needed a weekly wash and dry so I could keep on looking human. But we saw too much of each other, you and I, and familiarity breeds contempt.
Financial extortion breeds it, too. Every week you charged $65.00 (plus tip) for a shampoo and blow-dry, insisting you were giving a discount. Your hairwashing lady once put a conditioner on my hair and I thought, how very nice. Until it appeared on your mammoth bill: $12.00 unauthorized.
But it wasn't just that you took advantage in my handicapped hour of need. The constant name-dropping didn't help. No matter the topic -- say, a movement to save groundhogs' teeth -- the conversation invariably returned to all the people you knew. "Well now my dentist, Dr. Muckety Buck? She's got some beautiful teeth. In fact when she and I went to London together . . ."
So the time has come for me to go and find another guy. Though it is not without trepidation that I call us quits. In quiet moments of introspection the future gives me fits. What if I should never find a better match than you? If the next hairdresser ruins me, then what shall I do? And if I should return to you, not proud with hat in hand, can I be sure you'll take me back, and be a stand-up man?
Sunday, November 16, 2008
With a few plugs for his books sprinkled liberally into the mix, his message was basically this: wives, put out, and put out now. At first, I thought the preacher's promotional slogan "Leaving Lust Vegas" had to be a misnomer. He wants every married person to have sex, after all, so why leave lust out of the equation when embarking on this marathon sex tour? It didn't make any sense. But after watching his sermon today, I've connected the dots.
His premise is simple, really. If wives would just have sex with their husbands more often -- whenever the husbands want it, actually -- men would be spared the lust that consumes them and their resultant sin. Put another way, if a man sins by having lust in his heart, the wife is, in large part, the responsible party. Gee. I wonder how Rosalyn Carter would feel about this indictment.
Not only is a man's sinful lust the fault of his wife, Preacher Ed suggested, he said also that "when you fulfill your spouse's desire, it's a part of your discipleship." And "your body is your spouse's body" and "every time you have sex you are fulfilling God's purpose." Moreover, when you turn your husband down for sex, you are "rejecting the totality of who he is, his mind, his body . . . "
Lord have mercy! Holy shittola. Sexual rejection is now nearly akin to husbandicide? If you say no to sex, you are thwarting God's purpose and depriving your husband of his own rightful "body." So strap on your seatbelt and prepare for a bumpy ride, as you accompany your sinning husband straight to hell. Because you, dear girl, are the cause of his tribulations. You are responsible for his lust-generated sins.
Mrs. Carter, could we have a comment please? And Hillary, what say ye? Tea Leoni, we heart you. We're sorry about David's repeated philanderings. But Tea, really it's your own fault. David must not have been getting what he needed at home.
Preacher Ed also touched on what to do when the husband and wife are out of synch, when they're not simultaneously "in the mood." Too damn bad, was essentially Preacher Ed's retort. "Just do it. Just do it. Just do it," he cried, fists clenched. Wives, be unselfish, he passionately implored. To support his marathon sexcapade, he ticked off a few statistics: in one survey of married fathers, Preacher Ed reported that 70% want more sex. 60% admitted they regularly view pornography. And 50% said their wives rejected their sexual advances at least once a week. Well . . . knock me over with a feather.
Why, pray tell, are all these withholding wives forsaking God? Hell's bells!
Aw, shucks. Let's be honest. We all know why. It's not because these wives are bad Christians or bad "disciples" seeking to thwart "God's purpose." No, for many, it might be sheer physical exhaustion, a special needs kid, a lump in the breast, or a looming bankruptcy. But for others? Could it be . . . just maybe, possibly, even just a tiny bit . . . this? I'm just sayin' . . .
(Happy Hour Sue posted this video Friday on her excellent blog: http://happymealsandhappyhour.blogspot.com)
Friday, November 14, 2008
And already, numerous bloggers are lamenting their Nablo "failures" feeling guilty and remorseful that they just weren't up to the daily task. This blogger says, relax. Posting every day is too much to ask. What's the point, anyway? For most of us, it just leads to mediocrity.
But what about a challenge to have sex for seven days? Couldn't this lead to mediocrity, too? Surely such copious copulation would at least lead to a precipitous drop-off in performance. How could it not? Wouldn't it turn sex into . . . well, you know, just everyday sex?
Let me say at the outset that this week-long sex concept is not my idea. Not a chance. While looking up the Nablo challenge, I came across another one, bearing the moniker "Leaving Lust Vegas." A clever play on words, I was left intrigued. So I investigated and found this church video, just when I thought I'd seen everything when it came to the commercial promotion of evangelism. Go on, watch it, if you're sitting down.
Lust Vegas Week 2 Promo.
Talk about shrewd and clever marketing. This video is no joke, folks, no parody from YouTube. The preacher of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, is challenging his married members to have intercourse for seven days, commencing this Sunday. (Click the title to my post if you don't believe me)
Preacher Ed Young, made this headline-grabbing announcement last Sunday, and will formally issue his challenge this Sunday, perched atop a king-size bed displayed upon his king-sized stage. The positioning of preacher Young and his hands (purposeful?) on this particular corner of the bed is curious. That's all I'm going to say.
I am also curious whether the preacher is exhorting his flock to engage in a seven-day sex marathon or, instead, have sex a mere once daily for seven days. This remains unclear. Perhaps the married congregants will require a seven-day sex sabbatical from their employer. Singles, though, are left out of the fold. The preacher made clear that unmarrieds are not invited to join in the frivolities (though he does want them in the benches this Sunday).
Preacher Young's wife Lisa is psyched, too. Here's what she had to say in her "pre-challenge" blog post:
I'm so excited about this challenge! (And yes, ladies, I'm the one who brought the idea to Ed through a magazine article I'd found.) Why am I so excited? That's simple. Becaues [sic] God has revolutionized my view of sex and removed a lot of preconceived notions I had. And I can truly value intimacy done God's way.
* * *
So here's my prayer for this next week. First, to the ladies. I'm praying that God expands your view of the importance of sex in marriage and that He gives you the diligence in prioritizing this aspect of your marriage. And for the men, my prayer is that you will lead out spiritually for your wife so that the oneness God has in mind will supernaturally flow through every aspect of your marriage. (And yes, that includes sex.)Supernatural flow. Wow. And it was the wife's idea. Once again, there are no words, except that Preacher Young must be feeling pretty damn studly right now.
A seven-day sex challenge, coupled with a commitment to blog daily, overwhelms this mom's circuit board. I'm feeling feeble and out of sorts, different from everyone else, out of the loop.
My daily challenges make Nablo and Lust Vegas look like a picnic in the park. After cooking and cleaning and candle-stick making, I'm lucky to squeeze in a hot bath or a good read.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
2. Malaprops: Sarah Palin, speaking this morning said the Republican Governors' Association was eager to "bring back the change" this country needs. Bring back the change?
3. Non-words: As in, "Irregardless of what you say, rod iron staircases are beautiful. Once I get orientated I will further commentate."
4. Medical people who speak to you in a loud sing-song voice, as though you were a child (because all of us become deaf and drop 20 IQ points when we walk into a doctor's office, right?). See also, medical people who pretend they are giving you a choice instead of a command and use excessive med-speak.
Example #1: yesterday I got an eye exam. The medical technician said, "You can take your contact lenses out now, if you'd like." Me: "I wouldn't like." Her: "Well, you have to take them out so we can dilate your eyes." Me: "Oh, I see. It's not an option. Next time just tell me what you want me to do with a nice 'please.'"
Example #2: the doctor while examining my eye, dictated to the nurse, "ABP in OS." Me (alarmed): "ABP! What is that? All Points Bulletin? Is that code for 'I'm going blind?'" Doctor: "It just means ______. When I am all finished I will explain everything. It will be easier than stopping the exam each time I dictate something to the nurse." Me: "In other words, I shouldn't ask any more questions." Doctor: "Oh no. I love questions. It's just . . . " Me: "Look. If it were your eyes and a doctor looking at them called out some mysterious, fatal-sounding acronym, you'd be curious too."
5. Unamusing signs in bureaucratic settings: like, "What part of NO don't you understand?" The eye-doctor check-out woman had a big one, tacked over her computer for all to see, that said, "If Satan reminds you of your past, you remind him of the future." WTF?
6. Tasteless taglines on clothes: sayings like "Mommy's Little Mistake" embroidered on a newborn's jumpsuit, or "I'd rather be waterboarding" emblazoned across a t-shirt.
7. People who wait to fill out their deposit slip until they are first in line in the bank drive-through lane. The other day a woman pulled this deposit-slip stunt in the ATM lane, completely blocking it while the rest of us were trapped behind her idling. If I'd been in a Hummer I'd have driven right over her.
8. Mean drivers. They seem to be multiplying these days. Last night I was at a four-way stop and thought it was my turn. The other guy clearly disagreed and decided he'd sure show me. After I was already in the intersection, he turned left into my lane of traffic, almost t-boning me, and then tailgated me with his brights on. WTF?
9. Obsolete commercials, like those Ditech ads to refinance, or the annoying Capital One "What's in your wallet" ads. Those guys aren't writing low-interest mortgages or issuing credit cards any more. Give me a break.
10. Automated robot-voice phone systems, like the one used by American Airlines. The robot woman is always saying to me, "I'm sorry. I couldn't understand you. Let's try again. Are you wanting information on departures or arrivals?" When I see people stomping around the airport pulling their hair out, screaming "AGENT . . . AGENT . . . AGENT damn it!" into their cell phones, I know exactly how they feel.
pronunciations: nuclear as new-cue-larr, irrevocable pronounced eery-vocable (there's never been a long E in irrevocable; people don't say irrEEverent, for heaven's sake, so where do they get irrEEvocable?), saying for-mid'-able when it should be for'-mid-able (news people are constantly getting it wrong, emphasizing the "mid" instead of the "for"). Finally the ubiquitous real-a-tore when it is actually "rill-tore" (how does real-a-tore even get said, when realtor is clearly a two-syllable word?).
12. Hand massages at nail places. Just after they've filed your nails, trimmed your cuticles and covered your hands and arms with all of your dead skin cells, they whip out the massage lotion so they can rub all of that sh-t into your skin. It defies logic.
The last two on my list are self-explanatory.
13. Public genital adjustment.
14. Trying on bathing suits. I'd happily opt for a root canal over this tourniquet trauma any day. And no, this is not me; if it were, trying on bathing suits would be a joyous occasion, never to make this list.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Retailers are finally beginning to figure out that most all of us, whether rich, middle or poor, are throttling back in a big way. The New York Times reports new advertising campaigns are underway which recognize this new consumer psychosis. (Click on title to this post to read, "Goodbye Seduction, Hello Coupons."). Kia, for example, is marketing its new SUV as a "new kind of luxury" with the tag line: "Since when is overpaying a status symbol?"
Conspicuous consumption is out once again. As Thurston Howell would say, "Lovey. It's just not done."
Even my kid's school says it is "going green" which, given its mafia-like fundraising prowess, is probably just a more palatable way of saying "going cheap." The Friday Folders are no longer stuffed with anything but conduct cards. Countless volunteer moms have been been laid off in the ensuing carnage. The weekly school bulletin, that posts every activity, school holiday and important deadline known to man, is now virtual, putting me at a terrible disadvantage. Last week I forgot all about the field trip to the Arboretum because I didn't see it in writing. I've since written the date for Mr. M's Thanksgiving play in lipstick on the fridge because God forbid I forget to make his fly wings (though how I'll figure that one out is another story altogether; my childcraft skills do not extend beyond pipe cleaners).
The NYT article was particularly timely. The retail side of our economic free-fall came sailing through my mail slot this afternoon in the form of a tasteful, yet not too gold-gilded envelope from Talbot's. Enclosed were discount cards. Talbot's is offering me 30% off of every single purchase I make between now and November 30th. Not 30% off of one purchase. No, 30% off of all purchases. They were even thoughtful enough to include a second 30% off card for me to give a friend. Wow. Nice. Shrewd. Never have I seen anything like this before from the heretofore too-too Talbots.
My surprise when I visited the kid's consignment store in our neighborhood I've already posted about. But last week I was totally unprepared for what I witnessed at the neighborhood women's consignment store. The parking lot was jam-packed with luxury cars; I could hardly find a parking space for my heap. Scores of well-dressed women were shamelessly crawling all over the store. The inventory was staggering. The dressing rooms and staff were stretched beyond capacity and to get either, there was a wait. The whole experience was almost spiritual and, how to put it? Communal. Total strangers to each other we were all, yet unabashedly asking each other, "Does this make me look fat? Come now. Be honest." "Are you familiar with this brand?"
I picked up a pair of Halogen jeans for $14.50 + tax. My very hip sister who is very much "in-the-know" advised this is a "cool" brand and that I got a steal of a deal. Dahling. I'd never heard of the brand before and was just glad to find a pair of jeans that fit. But daahhling. Would that this picture of hip skinny momma in her Halogen jeans were me. Lara Logan, you haunt me.
What other ways have I found to be frugal (besides keeping the lights off so I can't see my roots while I grow out the Beatrice Arthur "Maude" skunk look)? Let's see. I've nixed some of the cable premium channels I never watch. Cut back visits from the yard man, the pool man. Plan trips around town instead of absent-mindedly circling back, as if gas were water. Am brewing my own iced tea, which is tastier anyway (try Celestial Seasonings Cold Brew). I buy my wine by the case now (nothing makes recession fears recede faster than a nice cold glass of Chardonnay).
I'm letting Mr. M's hair grow a bit longer than usual (some frugal-nugal bloggers have suggested that we forego the barber's fee and cut our children's hair ourselves; but I'm just not that brave). Instead of buying a new computer, I'm putting my dinosaur Dell on ice when it gets overheated and temperamental.
Probably the biggest impact on my budget has been from cooking more at home instead of eating out. And my culinary frugal forays are not only cost-effective, they come with a built-in collateral benefit: we are all now on a de facto diet. I won't lie. It has been difficult for everyone concerned, as cooking is antithetical to my being. I suck at cooking. I know it and they know it.
Consequently I become tense, anxious, and extremely high strung while I'm cooking, consulting my recipe as if it contained the nuclear launch codes. It's like I'm conducting open-heart surgery on my own mother and I'm about to botch it. "Get out of here! Get out of my kitchen now, damn it! Can't you see I'm cooking?!" Though I am working on this behavioral issue. Our budget depends on it.
Yesterday I even baked a pie from scratch. It was an out-of-body experience. My family members didn't recognize me. And the pie crust was unrecognizable, too. Before baking it, I forgot to prick the frozen crust with a fork, causing it to slide half-way down into the foil pan and come out misshapen, bloated with ungainly puff-ups. But at least the pie experiment yielded something . . . umm, edible -- or so says Mr. M.
But I have an oft-tested, never-failed-me-yet, fool-proof, frugal delicious soup for you. Trust me here. This soup is all that.
Collard Green (or Turnip Green, suit yourself) Soup
2 cans Campbell's Bean and Bacon Soup
2 medium (or one very large) potatoes
1 chorizo sausage (you can get it uncured w/no nitrates at Whole Foods; it should resemble a hard salami. Do not get the "raw" uncooked-sausage kind)
1 can of turnip or collard greens (do NOT buy the kind with those little white squares in there; I don't know what they are and they taste weird)
Dice the potatoes and cook in four cups of water. When potatoes are tender, add in everything else. And whatever you do, do NOT drain the greens. The chorizo should be cut into bite-sized pieces, which is fairly intuitive. Heat all over the stove until you feel like eating it; season to taste w/salt and pepper and/or a little hot sauce. That's it.
I double the recipe and freeze half of it. It is fabulous and you will fool many folks into believing you are a nurturing Betty-Crocker soup-making kind of mom, and a half-decent cook.
Mr. M takes it to school with him for lunch, hot in his stainless (no BPA) thermos. When the kids say, "Oooh. Gross. That looks totally disgusting," he just smiles and says, "Yep. But it's really, really good." Can there be any better endorsement?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
A few pauses later he said, "Oh. But I guess that's sort of bad for you because you'll have to pay more taxes." Yes, I agreed, probably so. And then Mr. M asked, "Mom, do homeless people have to pay taxes?" No, I assured him. They certainly do not. "Cool!" he again exclaimed. "Mom, you know we can always go homeless." Ah, the comforts of childhood.
This election has consumed me. Now that it's over, I've got nothing to dwell on, nothing to get me so riled up I make extreme political statements on my blog and drive away my growing mass (ha!) of blog readers. The NYT called me today and said they're pulling their ads. Said they saw it coming. It's true. I'm at a loss for emotions, a loss for words. When Chris Matthews calls Howard Dean a modern-day John-the-Baptist, how can you even begin to compete?
You'll get no argument from me, NYT. Yes, indeed I showed a complete lack of restraint when I put up "political" posts. But I just can't help myself. I've never been a "don't talk, don't tell" person when it comes to sex, religion or politics, and I never will be. Otherwise I'd be left with only weather and Butterick patterns to talk about; should that ever happen, God take me now.
But who could not be transfixed by the epic struggle of David and Goliath, in a modern political pageant played out by Obama and Hillary? Who was not captivated, did not wake up transfixed, in a morbid hypnotic trance while McCain's plane tanked in tandem with the economy? Yes, it was shameless political rubber-necking by all of us, to be sure. But I have no shame in admitting this.
Today I thought there might be some interesting post-mortems on the McCain campaign and the Palin who undoubtedly (certainly many of McCain's staff agree) impaled him. Or a prominent article or two about something other than this election which is, after all, over. Perhaps an article about the abominable Proposition 8 that passed in California, for instance. There were a few articles, yes, if you went hunting. But they were awfully hard to find.
Every day I try to scan the 20 most emailed articles from the New York Times and the Washington Post because the articles are usually excellent and varied. When I went to the WP list today, though, here's what I got:
* New Era for America
* Around the World, Praise for Obama
* President Obama
* Senator Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech
* Copies of Washington Post Sell Swiftly After Obama Win
* Full Speech: Obama Wins Presidency
* U Street Jubilation
* Hail to the Chief
* America's History Gives Way to Its Future
* Measured Response to Financial Crisis Sealed the Election
* Emotional Day Ends in Jubilation for Some, Stoicism for Others
* Early Transition Decisions to Shape Presidency
* Highlights: Obama Victory Speech
* Obama Makes History
* Up in the Air [Re the coming commercial real estate crisis]
* Today We Can Boast
* A New Kind of Pride
* The Election that LBJ Won
* A Way Out of the Wilderness [for Republicans]
* The Decency of George Bush [Re George Bush]
Egads! Something new? Perish the thought. With few exceptions (the three articles with a bracketed synopsis), it was all Barry, all the time. It's NPR KBAM on my FM dial.
Normally I'd feel sorry for, even worried about, such a guy -- who has nowhere to go but down, he is perched so high. But in Obama's case? Naaah. The media is so propelled by a desire to legitimize its premature anointing of Obama (and its merciless bloodletting of Hillary) that it is willing to forego its usual fuel: elevating someone to an Empire State pedestal before taking a few swipes and toppling them, gloating while the victim crashes to the ground in a million little pieces, pulverized by the force of the fall.
We've seen it countless times. Perhaps this once, and only this once, the media will leave Obama alone. But it will not be out of any sense of decency.
And I am bored already. After an electric Iowa, followed by a knock-down-drag-drag-drag-out with Hillary, Obama's victory against McCain was anticlimactic. In saying this, I mean not to take anything away from Obama. His win is truly historic. My goosebumps are genuine. I do not genuflect. But it was just too foreseeable to leave me weeping and hysterical.
At this point even a sequel of "Heat" -- with Pacino and DeNiro and a shirtless Val Kilmer commandeering a Federal Reserve besieged by Al Queda -- would leave me yawning. An admitted adrenaline junkie, I'll need much stronger stuff after this cinematographic (word?) election.
The end-of-election doldrums have hit me hard, leaving me desolate and despondent. David Axelrod has vanished from view, just when I was getting over a HUGE crush on the guy. He is so damn smart, so damn smart -- that he is hot, hot, hot. And now he's gone. Gone gone gone. In a winter bleak, a mom-blogger's fancy must lightly turn to thoughts of fashion.
And so all night I psychoanalyzed the Obama family's decision to wear red and black. Was it meant to symbolize the red states Obama took from the GOP? Or instead a subconscious signal that Obama takes the blue states for granted (surely not)? Maybe there's no mystery at all, and red and black just happen to be their favorite colors (but that would be so boring)? Perhaps the red and black color choice was actually a foreign policy show of fashion-force, meant to put Russia's Medvedev on notice of something, in a sort of secret presidential communique'.
Will Michelle wear Rodriguez again or be a designer-hopper? Will the new puppy Obama promised his girls adjust to the White House? Or might the puppy bring on the first and only Obama loss-of-cool the world will ever witness? On pins and needles I wonder whether Palin's costly campaign threads can ever be recouped on Ebay, given there are only four other women in the world who wear her size and bear her height? Will she even hand over the duds?
Told ya' I was bored.