27 December 2008

I Dismember Mommy

They appear as regularly as report cards. About every three months or so, some newspaper columnist pulls their head out of whatever dark crevice they have been dwelling in, takes a look at Teh Intarwebz and observes the Brand! New! Phenomenon! of MommyBlogging.

They read a diaper-heavy post or two and, before you can say "Stuff on Chuck's Nose," they have come to the same inevitable conclusion: These wimmins must be stopped! Because they can't say that stuff! Some of them aren't even really great writers! And holy cats - they are telling the truth about motherhood! Quick, someone call the Pixel Police!

Everyone who reads this blog knows that I have trashed mommybloggers time and time again. But not because of their subject matter or writing skills (or lack thereof) - but because of their ad revenue. I am jealous, plain and simple. I want my slice of that sweet, sweet mommyblogging pie, despite my childf*ee status (sorry, I can't type the real word lest the childfr*e loons invade my comments section).

I find these regular denouncements of mommyblogging rather tedious for several reasons. First, their unoriginality. You might think that someone writing a column for a major daily might take a look around and see if this subject has been beaten to death like a rabid raccoon, but no.

Second, I wonder why the target is always the same. There are crap political bloggers, crap religion bloggers, crap weight loss bloggers - the internet is a big place that is armpit-deep in bad blogs. So why always pick on mommybloggers?

Is it because mothers are just silly, trite creatures, writing about foolish topics like raising the next generation of humans to be decent, caring people (and cleaning up poop)? Hm?

Here's a suggestion: next time you feel like putting mommyblogging down, take a quick read over at Her Bad Mother and then sit down and drink your STFU juice. Because some of these mommybloggers can out-think you, out-write you, outsmart you and make you pretty well irrelevant.

What if everyone quit reading newspapers and started reading these terrible blogs? Oops, too late, my bad! That has already happened! Will you lock up if you're the last one leaving the building? Thanks.

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas from the darkside

I have been sitting down to write this post and then standing right back up again. If, by "standing right back up again" I mean sitting here shoving some Christmas cookies in my mouth.

Stress = food in Suebobland. Or, more closely stress = carbs, because, really, only carbs will do.

I don't have a reason for real stress. All is well here. I just have the stress of disappointing myself so severely that I am all spun out and discombobulated.

Confused yet? Let me 'splain.

Last night we had our Christmas eve service at church. I wasn't in the mood to start with. It was cold and the wind was blowing hard and I wanted to do nothing more than to stay home with the dog and be warm and cozy. But my folks had asked me to pick up some steak dinners for them for their Christmas eve meal, so I had to go out anyway, and decided to go do the church thing while I was out of my PJs.

The place looked gorgeous and everyone was dressed in festive colors and the string quartet was beautiful.

Then I heard a snorfling noise behind me. I looked back and someone whom I like was sitting right back in the next row, wiping her nose. I took one look at her and realized she had a bad cold.

I am not really germ phobic. I never use antibacterial soap and I grab washroom door handles without a paper towel and generally don't worry much about the filth of the world.

But this thing - this going out in public with a cold when it is absolutely unnecessary and especially when people are confined together in an enclosed place - it has become a huge source of anger for me.

I sat there just feeling this woman - who is, again, someone I really like - breathing her cold germs over all of us. I was trapped with her for an hour, stuck and miserable, absolutely unaffected by the baby Jesus story or the beautiful carols because all I could think about was HOW DARE SHE!

I wanted to leave but I couldn't bring myself to stand up in front of the whole congregation at Christmas eve and march out. I remained, boiling and squirming.

After the service, she hugged my friends and said "Merry Christmas." She leaned toward me and I hissed "Do you have a cold?" I didn't even hide my contempt.

"Yes," she admitted, kind of sheepishly. "Can I just shake your hand?"

"No!" I said, in the tone of a 13-year-old when asked if he wants to hang around with his parents at the mall.

I backed up and left the hall as quickly as possible.

That's right. Less than 15 minutes after hearing the story of Jesus and the manger and the Light of the World, I was snarling at a fellow church member and was in a towering rage.

I couldn't shake it. I wanted to punch something. I was not just a little angry. I was very, very mad at this person for ruining my Christmas eve and for trying to infect me with her germs.

Let me be clear: I know it was me that ruined my Christmas eve. And I know she was not trying to infect me purposely. I am taking this issue way too personally. I am feeling like people who go out in public when they are sick are saying "I don't care about you. I really don't give a thought to anyone but myself."

I am trying to get my brain into a better place, because I am spending too much time being angry and resentful about this. I don't want to have this stupid thing in my heart and in my mind.

But I still want to yell at sick people who do stupid stuff like going to church or museums or amusement parks. Because? GAH.

21 December 2008

Dear Family,

One year I worked at a print and copy shop at Christmas. That was back before home printers (and before home computers!) so everyone brought their Christmas letters in to be copied.

As I stood at the cranky old copier, trying to feed holly-bordered paper so that the print was centered properly, I started to notice something about the letters.

Most of them didn't focus on the Bright Side of Life. They were so uniformly depressing that they started to be kind of funny in their commitment to the grim and terrible.

I began saving them until I had a whole tray full of awful, horrifying family news that was long on post-surgical infections and short on holiday cheer.

20-something years later, I can only remember the one that began:
Dear Friends,
Mother is still with us, though quite frail.
Can you IMAGINE? That was the FIRST line. Believe me, it did not get much better after that cheery start. They made it seem like they were a little disappointed by Mother's refusal to get on with dying in a timely manner.

At this late in the game, December 21, I have realized that I am unlikely to actually address and mail a holiday letter, much less the cute polar bear cards I bought off of the 50% discount table at Barnes & Noble the other day, so I will post my letter about all the wonderful things I did that should make you terribly, terribly jealous because of my fabulosity here for all to see.

Dear family and friends,

Todd, the children and I have had a marvelous year. You didn't know about Todd and the kids?

Oh, right, it's kind of a blog thing. You didn't know I had a blog? Uhmmmm er, well forget I mentioned it. Really. It's better for everyone that way.

The year started off with about 5 pounds of cheese and almost as much chocolate consumed in a little over 5 hours at the Fancy Food Show in San Diego. THAT is my idea of a good time. Please do not tell my dietitian.

While I was down south, I also had a spiritual experience with a statue at the San Diego Museum of Art.

I'm sure that happens to you all the time, right? No? Ok, let's move along, then.

In a much more normal vein, I joined the rest of the world and got a Blackberry, from which I call my friend Steve about once a week without meaning to. For some reason, my phone calls Steve and only Steve when it is in the bottom of my purse or Farmer's Market bag. Or maybe I call everyone else too, but they are so busy laughing at me that they just don't tell me about it.

Let's face it, I should not be allowed to own anything more technologically advanced than a toaster oven.

I am pretty good at keeping friends, but this year I lost one when I called him on his constant sales pitches. This time, he was trying to sell me a water purification system by claiming it was helping his breast cancer survivor wife stay cancer-free. Suzanne called him "Cunty McCunterson" and I can't find a reason to argue with that assessment. Feh on him. That is something up with which I shall not put.

In April, not much happened, except, oh, hai, the freaking president-elect-to-be answered a question I asked him. No big. SQUEEEEE! I kind of wish I was going to have grandkids so I could tell them about my brush with history.

May was fun because I got to travel for the first time to Washington DC and THE WEATHER WAS ACTUALLY NICE. I hear this is a rare occurrence in that fine city. While I was there, I sobbed my eyes out at the Bill of Rights and...the moon rock. Never let it be said that I am mentally stable.
People touching the moon rock.

In June, my friends and I spent a couple weekends driving around and learning about labyrinths. My friends? Are as normal as I am.

You can find a labyrinth near you with the Labyrinth Locator. I am not making this up.

July? I went to this little thing called BlogHer. Have you ever heard of it? It was okay, I guess, if you like that sort of thing.

Nothing happened in August. Does it ever?

In September, my dad got an eye infection that had us going to the doctor every single day for hours. It's not true that I am a good daughter. I just wanted to watch that video about lazy eye that shows in the waiting room over and over and over.
His eye still looks like the "before" picture. Ew.

In October, I took to the streets for gay rights. This was actually one of the things I did this year that I can say I am utterly, completely proud of.

Yay, me. And yay for the hundreds of other sign-waving lunatics out there. We did not prevail yet, but we will. Oh, yes, we will.

What happened in November...hm, I seem to remember something. Oh, yeah, BARACK HUSSEIN O-FREAKING-BAMA WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT, THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! Not that I was excited or anything. (Lying. I still get chills every time I hear "President Elect Obama." I am just so thrilled to have a president who can put a whole sentence together and who knows what the three branches of government do.)

In December, I suddenly found myself with a husband and kids. How weird is that? The weirdest part is that even I don't know how many kids I have or what their names are (I am thinking Pandora, Xochitl and Ron). All I know is that THEY ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY and the only thing that may help is a free trip to DisneyWorld. Maybe sometime in the new year?

Which brings us to now, Yule, the end of the year. I wish you all holidays that are happy, healthy and bright and a new year that is largely free of mythical hobbits and such.

Yours with love and laughter,

Holly graphic courtesy of Graphics by Lisa
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