Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Reply All" And Other Buttons I Should Never Be Allowed To Click

As a somewhat responsible parent who wants her daughter to have friends and be invited to birthday parties, I tend to rein it in a little bit around other parents I do not know that well. (For instance, only a few of them know I write a blog that discusses swinging with alarming regularity.)

Therefore, I habitually remove the Brutalism signature line from my Yahoo e-mails when I am writing to  parents of Avery's friends (or my boss...or my in-laws...or my parole officer...) I'm kidding, of course. My in-laws totally know about Brutalism.

Yesterday, during a RIDICULOUSLY-LIFE-SUCKING-E-MAIL-CHAIN-THAT-INVOLVED-47-E-MAILS-BACK-AND-FORTH-ABOUT-WHICH-TEACHING-ASSISTANTS-SHOULD-BE-INCLUDED-ON-THE-END-OF-YEAR-GIFT-LIST-AND-FOR-WHICH-I-HAD-ALREADY-CONTRIBUTED-AND-THEREFORE-ASSUMED-THIS-WAS-CHECKED-OFF-MY-TO-DO-LIST, I simply hit "reply all" in my haste to add my two cents. (Essentially: I am happy to pay whatever it takes to be removed from this e-mail chain.) So, the Brutalism signature line went out to a bunch of people I know in passing...and whose children go to school with my daughter.

After I realized what I had done, I figured it wasn't so bad...but went to check my most recent post just in case anyone clicked through. And, fortunately, it was only about MULTICULTURAL GAY FOURSOMES.

This is why I am never invited to join any Moms Groups,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mexican S'mores

This past weekend my friend, Amy, hosted a Dilettante dinner party at her house, and provided a delicious Mexican menu.

And as it often will with the Dilettantes and their spouses, dinner conversation turned to what the middle guy in a gay threesome is called. Friends Leon and Amanda claimed he is a "Quimby" which I deemed ridiculous, as everyone knows he is a "Lucky Pierre." In the midst of this heated discussion, someone asked our hostess what was being served for dessert and she said (during a brief lull in our debate), "Mexican S'mores." Which, obviously, made us continue our discourse about what the two guys in the middle of a multicultural gay foursome (a "Mexican S'more," if you will) are called.

P.S. Urban Dictionary confirmed that "Lucky Pierre" is indeed the preferred term. (So much for all your fancy private school education, Leon and Amanda...)

P.P.S. Urban Dictionary offers t-shirts, mugs and magnets with the Lucky Pierre definition on them. Perfect for when Grandma visits!

P.P.P.S. A dessert Mexican S'more is much like a regular one, but uses cinnamon graham crackers and good dark chocolate. It is quite delicious. I have no first-hand intel on the other type of Mexican S'more.

P.P.P.P.S. Nor do I want any.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gut Reaction

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I woke up feeling as though I had gone a few rounds in the ultimate fighting octagon. My body ached, my head throbbed, I was nauseated...kind of what I imagine being in a relationship with Chris Brown must feel like. (Still too soon?)

First, I thought this was caused by some yogurt sauce I had eaten after spending all morning at the zoo in the hot sun. Gak. Then, I found out a few others from a dinner party I attended on Friday night had the same symptoms, so we tried to trace it back to anything we could have eaten or drunk that night. We had no luck, though the hostess did promise to never again let her dog lick the cilantro clean. (Not a euphemism.)

We're pretty sure it was just a stomach bug that is going around. I do have to say, that when the mere thought of food was making me sick and I was feeling horrible, my friends were so supportive and caring. Like Lisa...who offered to make me a nice curry and yogurt sauce casserole, topped with warm mayonnaise and a slab of cod.

Still eating bland food because I am a terrible cook just to be safe,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking A Gift Horse In The Underpants

My only child is now 4 ½, and has therefore been sleeping through the night for some time. This does not, however, mean that I have forgotten the years of sleep deprivation. Looking back, it is both funny and terrifying how many things I did with no sleep. Like drive a motor vehicle. And perform brain surgery. And forget that I am not a brain surgeon.

I still remember trying my hardest to focus on something and being so tired that the synapses were just not firing correctly. For instance, once I was reading about developmental milestones in a baby book that noted a baby should be able to flip over “both ways” at a certain age. Rather than reading this in the rational way (stomach-to-back and back-to-stomach), the only scenario I could envision in my exhausted-beyond-comprehension head was stomach-to-back and then head-over-heels (like a somersault). I read that passage again and again trying to make sense of it and wondering why my baby was so developmentally stunted that she had not yet figured out how to do a somersault at two months of age.

Also in the sleep deprivation hall of fame were the incident where Tim told me that he wanted to take care of the business end of the nanny and the time we received a bunch of hand me down clothes and baby gear from some exceptionally generous friends. Among the things they gave us was a portable crib. One day, while our infant was napping, my husband and I set this thing up. As we opened it, a white piece of material with elastic on the sides flew out. Again, since we hadn't slept more than a couple of hours at a stretch, we were absolutely certain that these were some large granny panties. Please realize that NOT FOR ONE SECOND did we question what underpants would be doing in a pack ‘n play that our friends has given us.

But it gets better.

My husband actually went to the garage, got some grill tongs, and picked up the offending panties at arms length, which he promptly flung into the outside garbage can.

We never spoke of it again.

Until, of course, we went on vacation and had to buy a crib sheet for the pack ‘n play...a white crib sheet with elastic on the sides…

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Glamour Don't (Plus Infinity)

When I was a kid, my parents did not spend much money on my clothes. Granted, they did not have much money...but I'll gloss over that fact as it makes it harder to feel put-upon and somehow cheated.

On the rare occasions that I was allowed to buy clothes -- it  was always the cheaper, knockoff version of every popular style. (Go ahead and laugh...I bet you didn't go to school wearing "Ducksiders" at the height of the preppy era.)

For a couple of years, I owned only about five shirts and two pairs of "designer" jeans that I rotated through every week and then finished the outfit with my red, white and blue leather-like "Nykes." In Virginia Beach where I grew up, there was a store called Goofs that sold nothing but irregular Levi's, and that was the only place I was allowed to buy Levi's (the only acceptable pants at the time), as the price was right. Which is why all of my Levi's were rust-colored, lacked pocket stitching and were tremendous bell-bottoms in an era where straight-legged pants ruled. Also, when OP shorts became all the rage, I got two pair -- in the weird sale-rack colors of peach and mint green. And these were but a mere sampling of the fashion missteps I (involuntarily) made. Put another way: 

Young Brutalism :  fashion sense : :  Keith Richards : a glass of wine with dinner        

Because I had so few clothes, I can actually still picture key items from my wardrobe back in those days...items like a light blue Izod polo shirt and a light blue t-shirt with a glittery "Native New Yorker" iron-on decal on the front. I wore both of these until the armpits got discolored (adolescence was not good to me), and then continued to wear them, while making a mental note to keep my arms down at my sides all day long. (On the downside...this kept me from dating. On the also kept me out of the Hitler youth...)

As with anything I had to suffer through in my childhood, my mother insisted that it "built character."

A character in irregular pants,

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A League To Bemoan

There are many "not so proud' moments in my life.

There was the time when I went into a stall in my college dorm bathroom with an entire sheet cake (an action preceded by one or two thousand cocktails, if memory serves). My college roommate found me the next morning, on the floor half in and half out of the stall, surrounded by a dead-body-type-chalk-outline of chocolate cake crumbs.

I didn't date much.

Then there was the time that I took my Brownie uniform off for Timmy -- a boy who lived across the street from me in Syracuse, New York. I know, I know...a lot of people think this is perfectly normal and that sometimes little kids will do this when they learn that there are differences between boys and girls. I'm sure my parents would have handled it better if Timmy was not 37. Or my uncle.

But maybe my least proud moment of all was the few months I spent as part of the Junior League of Northern Virginia. (Tagline: We're like the Nazis. But less fun.)

As part of an effort to "get involved!" and "make a difference!" and "give back to the community!" a few years back, I signed on to become a member. (Which, not unlike a sorority, gave me a "pledge" status until I had been with the organization for six months and had accumulated a number of points. No...I'm not kidding.)

I joined this organization at the same time as my friend, Amy. Amy, who arrived late to a meeting one evening and was asked for the super-secret password at the secure door. She remembered that the password was the name of the cookbook that the Junior League published as an annual fundraiser, but could not remember the exact name. She said to the person on the other end of the intercom, "I know it is the name of the cookbook -- is it "What's for Dinner"? or "Can I Bring Something"? and guessed a few more titles that she thought might be correct. Instead of getting partial credit for knowing the origin of the password, she got denied entry. TO AN ORGANIZATION FOR WHICH SHE WAS VOLUNTEERING.

The cookbook title, incidentally?  "What Can I Bring?" (Though to be fair,  no members of the Taliban have thus far infiltrated any Junior League of Northern Virginia meetings -- so perhaps I should not poke fun at their security measures.)

The organization was structured in a way that the members were required to attend a large general monthly meeting and also monthly small group meetings. The small groups were configured based on geography, with the hope that you would meet other women who lived close to you. My small group leader suggested that we all meet for coffee to get to know each other. I guess she wanted to let us all know that her husband had just bought her some roses, because she opened the meeting by announcing that. And then by asking each of us what our husbands did for us that was romantic.

I learned that day that not everyone considers a "Tony Danza" a romantic gesture.

As you likely surmised, I never made it past my pledge period. Which is probably just as well. The rumors about showing up at initiation wearing just my underwear were freaking me out anyway.

What Can I Bring? It's Already Broughten,