Month: April 2009 (page 2 of 5)

L’Food

Don’t you love food?

I’ve been thinking, that along with my Major Attitude Improvement yesterday, I have food issues. You may be surprised to discover that I tend to obsess.
You: (*Shocked*) really, Becca? You obsess? I’m shocked.
Me: I understand your surprise, after all, I come across as such an even kind of girl.
You: You certainly do. You don’t seem the least imbalanced.
Me: What can I say, we try to hide these things.
And what I’ve been struggling with is that part between “Don’t fill up your body with junk” and “Please feed your body good things.”
Do the good things (the kind that come out of the ground or off the tree just like you eat them) ever seem just a little prosaic?
Friend: I had Sushi for lunch and then went over to the Italian trattoria for some gelato.
Me: My life is so lame. I need a pizza. And a gallon of ice cream.
Sometimes the real food, the good things, the fruits and veg are the only things I want. But sometimes I crave something complicated (and made/cleaned up by someone else, preferably wearing a black uniform). I usually settle for something in between. And I think in between is where my troubles lie. In between, we find butter. In between we find great veg-filled sandwiches (um, but on white bread, and smothered with melted cheese). In between we dip things into mayonnaise-heavy Ranch dressing. In between, there is pie. Oh, pie.
But, I have to say, that in between is a step better than the over-processed, deep-fried, pre-made-and-frozen, or covered with chocolate frosting.
Right?
Let’s eat.

Body Image

Does every female have body issues?
Kid 3 (she’s 7) told me the other day that she “hates the blubber” on her thighs. She’s SEVEN. She asked me how to get rid of it. I told her that what she was feeling was her muscle at rest. She didn’t buy it. I told her to flex it. Hey, look! It went solid!
What do we think we should look like, anyway? Supermodels? Not likely, I’m afraid. Is there any way for the girls in our house to be satisfied that we have nice faces, straight teeth, and some of us, good hair? Do we have to be displeased with something all the time? (Apparently, yes.)
Nobody is perfectly happy with herself, I’m convinced. If she’s super smart, she thinks she’s not coordinated enough. If she’s super athletic, she’s afraid she hasn’t got any “real” talents. If she’s very kind, she’s worried that people are noticing her bad skin. If she’s skinny, she feels too skinny. If she’s strong, she feels too big. If her teeth are straight, she hates her big nose. If she’s tall, she wants to be petite. If she’s short, she hates being small. I her hair is straight, she wants curly. If it’s curly, only straight will do.
Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? We. As in me, too. And I’m old. I’ve been out of school for more of my life than I was in it. Nobody else is really looking and thinking and saying what I obsessively think they are. I need to be okay enough for me. And about two out of three days, I am. I am okay. I have hips, and strong legs that will never, ever wear certain things (like skinny jeans or shorts in general). I have no chest. Well, if I had one, I’d look bigger all over, right? I have good skin. I only have to shave my legs once a week, and that’s in the summer. Most of the things I dislike about my body are things I should be in control of (the tricep jiggle and the tummy bulge) if I choose to take the steps necessary (weight lifting and sugar abstinence).
So I’m going to find a thing to like in the mirror every day. (Did I mention that I like my eyelashes?) I’m going to accept compliments when they’re given, with a gracious “Thank you” and nothing else. No qualifying. No rejecting. I am going to practice sincere complimenting. And I will take responsibility for my food and exercise business.
I will never look like a model. I will never need to. Someone needs to be this shape, why not me?

Rant = no use

I have just deleted a long rant. Turns out that complaining about how craptastic the day has begun doesn’t actually repair it.

Who knew?
So things were a little rough this morning. But, as I told Kid 3 (repeatedly) this morning, you’ve got to choose how you’re going to feel, then own it. You decided. So the feeling is yours. So I choose to feel like things will be just fine. After all, the sun is shining, and the birdies are rowdy. I get to go talk to a bunch of old ladies about Heaven Touched Me today. I’m hitting Costco this morning, which means homemade ice cream tonight. My 500 words came pretty quickly. Out of the three dentist appointments yesterday, there are only two cavities (two more than we’ve ever had before, but.) and only one of those people need braces. See? It’s okay.
Kid 4 wants me to play Wii with him. I really should go shower. Also, he’s chosen Lego Star Wars, which makes me a little carsick. But I’m going to go down there and give him a little thrill. Then choose to feel pleased about it. And take a dramamine, if necessary.

Mondays

It’s violin lesson day. And piano lesson day times two. And there are three dentist appointments at ten. And a quick tutorial at the elementary school for the mom who missed Meet the Masters training last wek. And there’s sunshine, so the weeding should at least be started. And maybe the mowing. And it’s garbage day. And the kitchen floor needs to be mopped. Plus some laundry. And I’m in charge of Family Night (I’m thinking a couple rounds of Curses). Plus it’s short day at school, which means kids 1 and 2 will be home when I’m still doing lunch dishes.

But the shower is done. The prettifying is done. Three of the glasses of water have been consumed. The kids are dressed, practiced, and half gone to school (half the kids are gone, not the kids are half-gone. You know.). The words are written for the day (500 on a school day). Everyone had some protein for breakfast.
It’s looking like a pretty good day, of I do say so myself. And I do. Regularly.

The Sun Came Out

It really did. It’s sunny and warm and breezy and beautiful, and it looks like Spring around here.

‘Bout time, I’m thinking.

Blame my allergies – we have no pets

5 year old: Mom, I’d sure miss you if you died.

Me: Thanks, buddy. I’d miss you, too.
5: It would be really sad.
Me: Yeah.
5: I sure hope someone would get me a dog.

Trixie the Bimbo

When I was in Junior High, I had the same science teacher for two years. His name was Jack Smith (no names have been changed to protect the innocent – and come on, how many dozens of Jack Smiths teach 7th grade science?) and he had a baffling habit of jiggling the loose change in his pants pockets. Was he bragging that he had loose change and we didn’t? Was he making an obvious distinction between his pleated khakis from Sears and our too-tight eighties jeans?These many, many years later, I must say that the coin jingle is the single most memorable feature about Mr. Jack Smith. I vaguely recall that he was an average-looking, overweight dark haired white guy of lengthening forehead and slight sarcasm (not enough for me to really respect his skills) and that he had a tendency to laugh when he was upset (at the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, for example). He surely didn’t mean it.

But Jack Smith had a wife. For the sake of openness and honesty, I’ll admit I never met her – or at least I don’t think I did. Her name was Trixie the Bimbo. At least her name was Trixie, and we (the generous seventh graders of the day) finished what her mother started. Because if you have a Trixie, we reasoned, a Bimbo will follow.
This logic has suited me for decades. I rarely even feel a twinge of guilt that there was some thirty-something woman in my backwoods town who may or may not have known that she was famous (or at least notorious) in the halls of our school.
But then.
Then along comes Mo Willens and turns my happy, peaceful logic upside down. With a Trixie that in no way deserves a Bimbo label.
Knuffle Bunny. And cute little Trixie with her lost green rabbit which looks astoundingly like our family’s first really great stuffed animal. Clinique-green, sweater-ribbed, long eared Knuffle Bunny.
Shoot. Now I see Mrs. Jack Smith in a different light – as someone’s little kid once, as someone’s bride, as someone’s mom, for all I know.
So, Trixie Smith, if you’re out there, I never really thought you were a bimbo. In my seventh grade state of perpetual rightness, I may have questioned your choice of husband, but now I understand a thing or two about public appearance vs. private reality. I also now recognize the fact that you did not name yourself, and that you shouldn’t have been held responsible for your parents’ fancy. If our little pet name ever reached your ears, I hope it only made you laugh at what idiots seventh graders can be. As we surely were.
Sorry, Mrs. Smith.

The Historian

I stayed up two hours past the usual and finished “The Historian” last night. (Husband is out of town, nuff said.) It is an interesting book, written in a different style than I would have thought, considering the subject matter.

**SPOILERS APLENTY AHEAD**
it’s less scary than I’d expect. No gratuitous violence, gore, or jumping-out-from-dark-corners.
it’s totally nonsexual. Since it’s told from the viewpoint of a teenage girl, I feared the whole Dracula comes for the innocent maiden thing.
the voices are distinct. Everybody gets to tell their story, from a fifteenth-century monk to a half-infected vampire heiress, to a range of historians (any of whom could be the title character, but I think are not – it’s the girl).
it’s more academic than story-ish. The idea is that we are dissecting a myth and following it to its source to see if we can end it. But the idea of vampire hunting implies a different feeling. Altogether this was a story of pity and remorse, of growing into new roles (action from the researcher, strength from the protected one, honesty from the secretive).
I read it because it was recommended, and I finished it (which says something about what’s there as well as what isn’t). I didn’t love it, and I didn’t feel like it was compelling until the last hundred (of 775) pages – with one exception. Someone has to kill a friend who is infected by a vampire bite but is not yet fully undead. That scene is tender, heart-touching, and spare. Nothing gratuitous. And those last hundred pages were good – intense, a little scary, but not nightmare-inducing. I’m thinking 2.5 stars (out of five).
Anyone else?