Friday, March 20, 2009

Boys and Girls

Mina had finished cleaning the kitchen, dusting, and vacuuming with about 10 minutes to spare.  She headed upstairs to put on a bra and deodorant and brush her teeth.  Larry was in the shower.

"Hey, come on in, the water's fine," he tempted.

"Sorry.  My visiting teachers will be here at 10," was the matter-of-fact reply.

"And we'll never know if we're in the shower."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Owa Tagoo Siam

Have you ever done this singing exercise?  It's really a joke, demonstrating proper diction.  Sing it long and stretched out, all on the same note, connecting the syllables.  That will give you the punch-line.  And the proper title of this post.

#1 is preparing for high school next year.  This is not necessarily the straight-forward process that it is for most kids.  (Read why here.)  So we got an email last week stating that the transition meeting would be held at the high school on the 16th and 17th from 8am to 3pm.  The two-day time frame of the meeting led me to believe that this was open-registration style.  Which made some sense, because that's pretty much what we're doing.

So first thing this morning, with a sick #2 at home with dad, who was now also responsible for making sure the little kids exited the house in time for their bus, #1 and I headed over to the middle school to check out and then to the high school.

Reaching the HS office, the secretary greeted us in a slightly confused fashion.  She's usually notified about the transition appointments.  Uh-oh.  Appointments.  I didn't actually have an appointment--just this meeting time.  But I was positive it was today--the 16th and 17th.  I was trying to imagine what dates I could have confused them with, but we are on spring break the 26th and 27th and I only received the notification on the 10th.  She called the HS resource person.  No answer.  The vice-principal answered, but had no good information.  She tried to call the middle school resource person.  No answer.  So she very kindly said, "Wait here.  I'm going on a walk."  

I decided to call Larry to have him check my email.  Machine.  But he called me back quickly at which point I was glared at, likely because of the sign on the office door that reads: No Cell Phones.  I answered anyway, and Larry began to read over the email, "blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah, April 16th and 17th."  What?  April?  Really?  Oh my goodness.  I am SUCH a dork.

So now, I had to explain to the student office assistant the situation, sending my apologies to the secretary through her.  I had to take #1 back to the middle school to check her in and explain there how I got the wrong month.  Talk about embarrassing.  It was in fact, a runner-up for a most embarrassing moment, except that everyone involved was so darned nice about it.  I'd made a comment to #1 in the car about what an idiot I am, and she even replied, "Mom, you're not an idiot!"  I appreciated the vote of confidence, but I must admit that in my head I vehemently disagreed.

At least I mistook the month for one earlier, rather than one later.  I'd rather look like an air-head than an uninvolved, unconcerned parent.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Even New Music Makes Me Feel Old

So I have a little bit of a thing for John Mayer.  It's mostly the guitar playin' and the sexy voice and all.  What can I say, I have a history of falling for guitarists with sexy voices.  Ask Larry.

Many mornings as the kids are eating breakfast and I am making lunches, Room for Squares is playing over our marvelous sound system.  (Yes, it is the first album, but it is still my favorite.)  He's also frequently on throughout the day right now in a little of a rotation with Ray LaMontagne, Paul McCartney's Flaming Pie album, and the occasional Carly Simon.  I'm in a mellow music mood at the moment.

I also have this slight internet compulsion.  Maybe you've noticed.  When I read on Erin's blog about John Mayer's Twitter page, I enthusiastically signed right up.  I don't check it out often.  But it's a little interesting.  I sometimes wonder if he's trying to sound more deep than he is, in a random sort of fashion.  (Randomness is difficult, by definition, to create.  A lot of bloggers try.  For most, it's not a great idea.)   That's probably just me being skeptical.  Well, tonight I read this twittered gem:

Since when did news headlines come with question marks? "Is Talking To The Taliban The Right Approach?" I don't know! You tell me, THE NEWS.
 Wow. I'd hardly call myself wise, or very politically savvy, but it occurs to me that the answer to that questioning headline would be what's called editorializing.  In other words, not fact.  Opinion.  Political commentary.  Spin, perhaps.  Sunday morning panel fodder.  Not the job of THE NEWS.

Is THE NEWS supposed to tell us what to think now?  Plenty of them do, but we take that with a grain of salt, right?  And we're a little put off.  Am I a fuddy duddy?  I'm only 4 years older than this guy, but I suddenly feel like his mother's bridge partner.  Maybe that's not a bad thing. 

Especially considering the fact that I can't figure out why this composing formatting has a tendency to go all funky on me when I copy and paste.  Like huge letters, and the wrong color font.  Trying to fix it makes it worse.  It usually publishes correctly.  It's a gamble.  See.  I fit right in with that canasta and pinochle set.  Rambling on about crazy kids today, muddling my way around these complicated machines ...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Flashback: "The Good Wife"

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I received an email from a good friend. It was supposedly an article from Good Housekeeping Magazine from 1955 entitled "The Good Wife's Guide." While of questionable origin, it is interesting to reflect on. It was comprised of 18 bullet points, the main gist of each one being how to treat your man to keep him happy. We've come a long way since 1955. Some of those changes have been good, but in my opinion, not all.

GOOD CHANGES I almost have to laugh reading bullet #18, "A good wife always knows her place." Are we pack animals? I come in right after Larry? I could make some semi-nasty comments on "position," but I'll refrain here. My grandma used to say that the man is the head of the household, but his wife is the neck, and the neck turns the head. It's by no means an original, but leads me to believe that even in 1955, women had different ideas about their place.

Bullet #17: "Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him." Hello? I guess I'd be raving mad at this one also were I not busting a seam from laughter. When Larry was going back and forth with the grad school question, he always wanted my opinion. I never felt it was my place to give one because I was not the one having to attend school and do the work, and it was determining his profession, not mine. From Larry's point of view, although he is the one working, he's doing it on behalf of us as a couple and a family, and therefore didn't feel right about making that major a decision with out my input and mutual agreement. We have indeed come a long way.

UNFORTUNATE CHANGES If this were slightly altered, the same article could be called "The Good Spouse," and the information would be invaluable. I suppose it could be argued that it is precisely because if the one-sidedness of the suggestions that the article is shameful. I could see that point. I think as a society however, many of us try to drop the expectation on wives rather than extend it to husbands. 

The end of bullet #6 reads, "After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction." Someone (not, I believe, my friend) had incredulously underlined this statement. But it is true. And unless you have married a total jerk, catering to his needs with be rewarded by his catering to yours. That, my friends, is the basis of a good marriage. If I do all I can to take good care of Larry and he does all he can to take good care of me, both of our needs are then met in a very unselfish, giving way.

Bullet #3 reads, "Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him, His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it." Guess what, my day needs a lift, too. If I am fun and interesting, Larry will be, too. I've heard it said that people who are bored are people who are boring. There is a lot of truth to that. I married my best friend for, among other reasons, companionship. If I am a lousy companion, what was the point?

Bullet #12: "Your goal: try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit." Wow. That should be the goal for the benefit of us all! Easy to manage? Uh--no. But a good goal none the less. 

Bullet #8: "Be happy to see him." Do I even need to say "duh?" 

I am sad that our world becomes increasingly unconcerned with manners and respect, with kindness and selflessness. I think of an extreme case of a miserable person I know who feels that he is never shown enough love. But it's because he doesn't know how to show love himself. He only looks at what he thinks he's not getting, never at what he's not giving. It's a pitiful situation. Many of us, I'm sure all of us at times, could do wonders to increase our happiness by looking outside of ourselves and giving more. The Savior said that those who lose themselves for his sake would find themselves. I think that general sentiment applies to Christians and non-Christians alike. There is great satisfaction to be had in being a good wife, husband, mother, father, friend, child, citizen of the world.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Fish's First Video Post Ever

I had this emailed to me last night, and I actually forwarded it to a few of you, but this morning I cannot resist sharing it with you all.  I keep watching it over and over with an enormous grin across my face.  It is actually pretty amazing.  But more than that it's as adorable as all get out.  (Is that the phrase, Annette?  Or am I going to be featured on a WNW post soon?)  

Please enjoy the Smartie Pants Dance ...

**Added note:  I was watching this again, and was suddenly reminded of #2 at about 3 years old.  She'd rattled off something precocious, and Larry told her she was too smart for her shorts.  She replied, "But I'm not wearing shorts, I have a dress."

Monday, March 02, 2009

Scented Senses: Memories of my Grandma

**Please visit my friend Octamom's post:  Morning Musings ... Aroma Memory**

My maternal grandmother visited us back east nearly every year once my parents were divorced.  It was generally a three week trip, as airfares in the early 80s went down after extended stays.  She'd sleep on a cot in my room, and I loved having that temporary roommate.

Grandma had a square yellow make-up case, resembling a small hard-case suit case which would now be a nightmare with the FAA.  With her purse, it comprised her carry-on luggage, and I am positive she would have been quite reluctant to check it.  Inside the case, a tray on top removed to reveal larger items stored beneath.  The case contained make-up, creams, lotions, powders, toothbrush and paste, a shower cap, hair-rollers, pins, and aerosol spray, all neatly and precisely organized.  This box encapsulated the scent of Grandma.  It magnified it, even.  And every morning and evening I would sit in the bathroom and watch Grandma make her toilette, methodically using every item in that case, often do-do-doing (Grandma's answer to humming) to her reflection in the medicine cabinet door.

I can't conjure that scent out of nothing, but I'd always been quite certain that I'd recognize it the moment I smelled it.  But I'd never run across it.  Even other elderly ladies of my acquaintance never quite smell like my Grandma.  

I have a hard time with blushes.  I prefer light-colored shades, but those rarely match my skin-tone very well.  There was a Mary Kay color that I loved, but it was, of course, discontinued.  I have yet to find a good replacement.  Then this past fall, I found a color that looked like it would be a match.  It was a Cover Girl Cheekers in Natural Shimmer.  I was disappointed.  In the color, that is.  I have kept it, however, because it smells like my Grandma's make-up.  I think that if I bought a can of AquaNet that I could fairly reproduce the scent of the entire case.  As it is some mornings I open the little grey container, inhale, and transport myself to her arms, my small nose and lips against her soft, powdery cheek.

Grandma will have been gone for 8 years next month, and she'd been taken from us in some ways years before that.  In reality I spent a fair amount of time with a Grandma who lived 3,000 miles away, and the time was generally fun and comforting.  She was a blessing.  And until the day that I can once again throw my arms about her, I may have to be content to remember that smell, and remember her love.