Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

22 Nov

Take a look at this…

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http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/24/what-disney-princess.html

Being the Facebook junky I am, when a friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day, I saw it right away and had to take a look. I felt it was very important to blog about this, but I have to admit I am torn about these statements and how these beloved Disney Princess’s are being portrayed.

I consider myself a pretty fair person. I like to play devil’s advocate, acknowledge that there are always two sides to every story, take the time to listen to someone’s opinion, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it, and try to see the best in every person and situation. A bit Pollyanna’ish? Yes, but I have lived the negative life before and I can tell you, this is a MUCH better attitude to have.

I think this cartoon characterization is AWFUL!!!! What kind of ultra-modern feminist wrote this? What kind of person really sees these fairy tales in this extremely negative way? I was stunned! They are FAIRY TALES! Stories! Let’s go through each one, shall we?

Cinderella –If you are beautiful enough, you may be able to escape your terrible living conditions by getting a wealthy man to fall for you.”

Seriously? Now, what I have taken from Cinderella growing up is if you have a good heart, are kind to those in your life and try to live a good life, good things will happen to you.

Belle – “Appearances don’t matter; what counts is what’s in your heart. Unless you’re the girl.”

Because she was pretty, she is penalized? That seems a bit double standard, doesn’t it? For ugly people appearances don’t matter but for pretty people, they will be punished? On top of that, Belle was portrayed as a caring woman, and most importantly, a VERY SMART WOMAN, who read anything she could get her hands on!

Jasmine – “As a woman, your political worth is reduced to your marriageabitlity.”

Number one, this story was based in a different land, somewhere in the Middle East. However, what I saw from this was a very strong woman who stood up to her traditions and said “NO! I want to be free and make my own decisions, including who I will marry!”.

Aurora – “Pretty girls don’t even need to be alive to get some hot princely action.”

OK, I have to admit, this is the story I know least about, except that she pricks her finger on a spindle and sleeps until a prince wakes her up with a kiss. Yeah, pretty corny. But does anybody really think that is what a 3 yr old girl is thinking?

Snow White – “At first it may seem terrible, being so beautiful that other women get jealous enough to try and kill you. But don’t worry, once your beauty attracts a man, he’ll protect you.”

OK, never mind the fact that again, she has a good, warm heart and helps take care of seven little guys (of course the story does go into the dwarfs work and she stays at home to cook and clean. but then again, she is staying with them for free!), is kind to creatures in the forest and never begrudged her stepmother for being such a jealous bitch who needs to grow up (although in the first edition, the Queen was her mother, not her step mother like in the newer versions).

Ariel – “It’s okay to abandon your family, drastically change your body, and give up your strongest talent in order to get your man. Once he sees your pretty face, only a witch’s spell could draw his eyes away from you.”

Now this one REALLY made my blood boil! It just so happens that The Little Mermaid is my all time favorite movie (yes, I am 34 and admitting this). I even have Ariel’s best friend, Flounder, tattooed on my hip (yes, I am serious, got it when I was 23). Let me explain why this is my favorite movie. When The Little Mermaid came out in the early 90′s, I was 14. I was in awe over this film. To me, it spoke volumes of where I wanted my life to go. To me, this movie was clearly sending the message of “GO FOR YOUR DREAMS! You are a modern woman and will not conform! Stop at nothing to achieve your dreams and goals in life!” Even if in this example, it was landing a hot prince. I firmly believe that is what Ariel was doing. Yes, she was going against her father, but she was following her dream, her heart. And THAT, I believe, is the best advice anyone could ever give a child.

Now, I also get the drama of it all. Disney has made an ENORMOUS fortune playing up the damsel in distress scenario. These princess’s are all beautiful, have the most unrealistic figures and each of these movies ends with the girl being happy once she has her prince. I get that this may not be the most educational way to show young girls life. But here’s the thing…IT’S NOT LIFE! It’s a fairy tale! And can I add that I love how this author excluded Mulan, who dressed as a man to fight in a war and showed enormous courage. I believe that all these princess’s showed unfathomable amounts of courage to the lives they were living.

The negativity that is seeping through this author’s word’s and vision is more damaging that the stories themselves! I have a daughter. She LOVED these stories. Now, if a parent is putting their young daughter in front of these movies and reading these stories and explaining to said child that her life will be happy and complete only when she finds her prince, then it’s not the story’s fault, it’s the parent. If we, as a society, continue to build up our daughter’s self esteem’s and continually show them that they can achieve and do anything, than fairy tales won’t be a stereotype, but just wonderful stories that our daughter’s can fondly think of back to their childhood.

Again, Pollyanna’ish, I know.

Oh yeah…I AM MomSexy

9 Nov

 

 

Better late than never, right? To help celebrate The Mommyologist‘s blogoversary, I give you…GEN X MAMA’S MOM SEXY!

Spring in Central New York is a wonderful time of year. After MONTHS of being cooped up in freezing cold weather with snow covering the land, mother nature rewards us with mild temperatures and sunny skies. You can feel the excitement in the air. Everyone has an extra spring in their step.

So, picture this: It’s a sunny, warm spring day. Temps are in the low 60’s. There is a slight breeze that blows the light, fresh scent of blooming flowers everywhere you go. I have just gotten my hair done (BTW, see Amy at Encore in North Syracuse, she is fabulous!), which always makes me feel amazing. I’ve got my nice ass jeans on, classy top and accessories and am fully makeup’d. Yeah, I am feeling Mom Sexy and fabulous! Grab my shades, roll down the windows and off I go. It’s just me in the car. This is rare! And as I am cruising down the road, with my windows open, my XM 80’s station starts playing one of my FAVORITE songs, Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield. OH. MY. G-D. I LOVE THIS SONG! I crank it way, way, all the way up. I am bouncing around in my seat, singing the lyrics at the top of my lungs, loving life! Then I stop at a light, still beboping along, feeling fine, when all of a sudden, I hear laughing and jeering to my left. YUP! Two teenagers are in the next lane, laughing their asses off at me. I smile, but before I can say anything to rebuff their snickering, the light turns green and the teenage boy in the passenger seat yells out “Bye MOM!” and peels out. How did they guess my mom status? Because I was gettin down to Ricki in my mom mobile. Yup, my minivan. But hey, it’s all good! I love being a minivan mama! I personally think they were just jealous of my spacious interior and the fact that I can easily drive around the high school’s varsity football team. Did I feel foolish? Hell no! That’s because I am Mom Sexy. I rock in my mom mobile. I can cart kids, groceries, hell, even sheetrock, in this bad girl. Oh yeah, she is my baby. Those of us Mom’s that drive Mom Mobile’s know how much we rock. Toyota even made a video to document how awesome I am:

So, as you can see, I am totally Mom Sexy in my minivan. Even when I am cruising down the road with a 2 yr old screaming “GET OUT! GET ME OUT!”, a 10 year old yelling “SHUT UP! YOU ARE SUCH A DORK!”  and a 7 year old yelling back “I know you are, but what am I?” CONSTANTLY…ALL SCREAMING…NOT. F*%&ING. STOPPING. FOR. ONE. BLESSED. MINUTE…yeah, I am still Mom Sexy.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to be conceded or anything, but yeah…I’m a big deal. I get this reaction often:

Ahhh, so many men, so little time. Oh wait, I’m married. Never mind.

I rock it though. Driving to class, the grocery store, the kid’s school, anywhere. My Mom Sexy is all around town.

So, as you can see, just because I cruise around in a minivan, I am still TOTALLY MOM SEXY!



Dear Me…Can We Talk?

8 Nov

Dear Me,

It has come to my attention that we need to do some readjusting on how you perceive yourself. Yesterday, you were informed that how you see yourself is not necessarily how others see you. You had quite the shock in this statement. Especially because the statement was from someone who is quite intelligent and you admire. We need to look into this more and do a bit of group therapy between me, myself, & I. Let’s look at how this came about and try to change it, shall we?

OK, first of all, you need to stop feeling like a loser because you are 34 and still working on your undergrad. So what? As MANY people have pointed out, at least you are doing it! And, if you think about it, they say that 30 is the new 20, so you really aren’t THAT far behind. Yes, yes I know, by the time you finish with your graduate work, you will be close to 40. But hey! 40 is also the new 30…see where I am getting at? You rock! You know you do…hmmm, ok, you don’t, but we are working on that.

Also, you need to stop comparing your high school career back then to your college career now. Yes, it is true, you did really shitty in high school. But, ummm, do you remember why? Yes, that’s right, YOU WERE NEVER FUCKING THERE! Remember that time when someone asked you what you had studied in high school? Remember your response? “Hmmm, studying…yeah, I should have done that.”

Ya know how you are always amazed at the people with all the self-confidence? The one’s that love their careers and are good at them? Ya know how you feel small around them? WELL STOP IT! I bet over half of them are alluding to that. Wait, we will get back to that one in a bit…

Now, back to the origin of this letter. You were in a meeting with your advisor and had just found out that you got an A in the class you took over the summer. You screamed, you cried, you were shocked! Now yes, in college you have been a fairly solid B student with just a couple of C’s and you are quite proud of this. But this…THIS…this is your first A. Sure you had gotten a few A’s on papers, but never in an entire class!  When you explained to your advisor your reaction, it was her turn to be surprised. She assumed that you had received many A’s in the past. It was then that she told you that how YOU see yourself is not how your professors saw you (and hey! they have Ph.D’s!) This truly was an accomplishment you can be proud of.  But you don’t feel quite right about it? Hmmm, why not? Is that because you are dealing with…dun dun dun…IMPOSTER SYNDROME???

Yes, yes, that’s right…Imposter Syndrome is quite a dangerous syndrome…of the syndromes. It can be characterized as basically faking everything and feeling that you are just skidding by in EVERYTHING with a nod and a smile. You feel that you are on the outside looking in, really having no CLUE what you are doing, just sort of floating around, hoping no one notices that you are skimming the edges, hoping to get it right. But dear sweet Gen, here is the kicker…you are not the only one to feel like this! We read quite the interesting post yesterday from Lydia on http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2010/11/imposter-syndrome.html and you were quite intrigued. You thought you were the only one to feel this way. But Lydia totally changed that, huh? Lydia showed you that pretty much everyone feels that way at one time or another or always.

So, GenX, please, for the sake of our sanity, let’s work on this, ok? You may feel like you are faking it…but your not! You may feel like you are treading water, but that’s ok! You have a great support system in the GenX family to pull you out of the water! You are not a loser. You are not a fake. You are doing exactly what we were meant to do. YOU. ARE. VERY. SMART. Stop belittling us. Frankly speaking, it’s getting quite annoying and all these other voices in our head is giving us a headache!

Get that confidence up! And yes, on the inside you may feel like you are faking it, on the outside you are shining!

XOXO

Gen X Mama

Addendum: This is so me. SO. TYPICAL. ME. I am taking a class called Women’s Music Across Cultures. I have a paper due tomorrow that is about a female musician in South America. I wanted to do the paper on Selena Quintanilla and the impact she had on female performers in the Tejano music scene. She was from Texas though. Not Mexico. Called my professor to see if I can still write the paper on her. Yeah…Mexico is part of NORTH America, NOT SOUTH America. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME. How on Earth can I gain that self confidence I need when I make such a stupid, simple geographical mistake like that? Seriously? I mean…SERIOUSLY??? Obviously, I need to sign up for a flippin geography class next semester! AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHHH

PUT THE JOINT DOWN AND GO TO CLASS!

7 Nov

If you are not on Twitter, you missed some hilariousness the other day. I love how things get started on there. Yesterday, someone decided to start a thread called “tweet your 16 year old self”. It was so awesome on many levels. First of all, just to read what random people are recalling from high school is hilarious. Here are a sampling of some of my favorites:

~In 9 years you start losing your hair, stop running your fingers through it in french class

~Lord_Voldemort7 Lord Voldemort
Choose Neville Longbottom! Choose Neville Longbottom!

~#tweetyour16yearoldself You know that voice in your head that says “maybe I shouldn’t do/say this to this person”? Well that’s the voice you listen to. You dumb ass!

~Everyone knows you smoke, there’s really no point pretending you don’t.

~#tweetyour16yearoldself You are such an idiot. Get over her, stop moping around and don’t be a totally immature asshole. 🙂

~#tweetyour16yearoldself NOOO! Save it! its gonna be horrible!!

~#tweetyour16yearoldself do better in school. none of the shit you worry about will matter later and you’ll be screwed. GET NEW FRIENDS.

~#tweetyour16yearoldself that haircut is just as bad an idea as it seems. avoid at all costs

~#tweetyour16yearoldself Don’t let people get you down because one day you’ll have more self confidence and enjoy life

~#tweetyour16yearoldself stop smoking weed, you jackass

~Don’t ever pull the staying the night at your friends house when she tells her mom she is staying with you. BUSTED!

They all had the same underlying theme. Stop pulling stupid shit, go to class, you will get caught and your life will get better. It got me thinking…what would I say to my 16 year old self? So, here is the list I have compiled, in no particular order.

1. OK, don’t freak out…Milli Vanilli are lipsync’ing

2. You DON’T look cool with that cigarette in your hand. STOP SMOKING NOW!

3. For Christ’s sake! Stop crying over him! You will run into him 20 years later and say to yourself “What the hell was I thinking?”

4. Vanilla Ice is NOT cool.

5. Also, that guy at the skating rink in Florida who does his hair like Vanilla Ice? Yeah, he is not cool either.

6. You will get caught sneaking out of the house…everytime.

7. Put down the joint! You are losing brain cells with every hit!

8. While your at it, GO TO CLASS! With all those brain cells you are saving, you can learn something!

9. Most of your “friends” aren’t really your friends. There are only a select few that have lasted through the years.

And the final advice I would give my 16 year old self…

10. PUT DOWN THE FUCKING HAIR GEL! HAVING YOUR BANGS STYLED 10FT OVER YOUR HEAD AND STIFF AS A BOARD MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT!

So, what would YOU tell your 16 year old self?



The Dreaded “L” Word

4 Nov

What is the bain of my existence?  LAUNDRY. I HATE LAUNDRY. Here, let me say that again…

I HATE LAUNDRY!

I HATE LAUNDRY!

I HATE LAUNDRY!

You got that? Are you understanding my issue here? I WOULD RATHER BE POKED IN THE EYE WITH AN INFECTED NEEDLE THAN DO LAUNDRY! OK, maybe I am being a bit dramatic…I’m just sayin…

And I can always give you any excuse. Anything at all. In fact, The Dude is sitting next to me now, most likely wondering why the f*#k I am blogging about laundry instead of just doing it. Here is the situation. I have one basket of clean clothes sitting in the living room that need to be folded. I have one basket of clean laundry in the laundry room that needs to be folded. Another basket of clean clothes in my bathroom, again that needs to be folded. And then there is dirty clothing everywhere. IT IS SO FRUSTRATING TO GET SO FAR BEHIND!

And here’s the kicker. I have a fabulous laundry room! It’s on the first floor, off the kitchen. When The Dude and I built this house 3 years ago, I made sure the laundry was extended, so that there was enough room for cabinets and a folding counter. It’s beautiful! I even just spruced it up with some cool stenciling.  I have an iPod holder thingy in there to listen to music while I am doing the laundry. I am the first to admit, it’s a Gddamn, f*%king palace! There is just something in my mental process that turns me off from laundry. I can think of anything, find anything I would rather do.

I feel so satisfied when I actually do get everything  done. Like I said before, my mojo just fizzles out and I want nothing to do with it. I get overwhelmed, frustrated and feel impotent.

OK, I am about to post some pictures of what we are dealing with. WARNING! THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!

the laundry room

bedroom

Everybody doing alright? Ok, let’s continue then. I am curious. What are YOUR laundry habits? How do you keep up? What are your secrets? Any advice on how not to fall behind? Any useful tools and tricks? Or am I just plain lazy?

What should I do? What’s that? Just go to Ann Taylor every time I run out of clothes you say? SURE! Oh wait…no. You just laughed at me. OK, c’mon! time to get my laundry room and ass in gear!

Give it to me straight everyone!

Wordless Wednesday

3 Nov

BIG BOY BED FUN

GET OUT AND VOTE TODAY!!!

2 Nov

PS This idea and picture was totally stolen from my fellow blogger Mom in a Million. Thanks MIAM!

Time to come clean…literally

1 Nov

On the outside, I look like your average suburban woman. I have a loving husband, three amazing children & live in the “right” kind of neighborhood. Take the kids to activities. Field hockey, karate, story time, Girl Scouts, etc. I stay at home with my children. On the outside, it seems to the average person that I have the perfect life. And I pretty much do. Except for my secret. Yes, I have a secret. One that not many are privy to. Ready?

I am a…SLOB!!!!!!

Yup, I am a totally disgusting, unorganized, dirty, completely out of control slob. I hate cleaning, therefore, I simply don’t do it. I can’t stand dishes, loathe laundry, turn my nose up at dusting & detest cleaning toilets. Oh, also, floors annoy me, so I don’t bother with those. I never throw anything away, so the clutter is everywhere. Stuff gets put down somewhere & stays there for days.

Now, I will be the first to admit, I have always been like this. Learned it from my mama. She was a slob when I was a kid. Never cleaned anything up. Grew up with crap all over the place. When my room would get to the point where you could not see the floor anymore (which was often), I was not allowed out of it until it was clean. I could never understand why I had to clean, but my mother never did. Very unfair in my young mind.

I don’t enjoy being this way. I envy those that not only keep their homes clean, but enjoy cleaning them. Think they are a bit demented, but hey, whatever. I have a good friend who would take a day off of work to clean her house. Not because it was a disaster, but because she wanted to! She enjoyed it! She actually would get excited for it for goodness sakes! And then she would call me that night, when she was all done, basking in cleanliness glory. Never understood it.

I get into moods like that every once in a while. Go nuts for a couple of weeks, clean everything, get all caught up on laundry, make a “cleaning schedule” for myself that I would strictly follow for a little while. I was always in such a better mood when everything was clean! My husband was in such a good mood when he came home, knowing that he was coming home to a clean house. I knew where everything was. It was great! Then, my mojo would fizzle out, clutter would come, laundry would pile up & it was over. I was done!

Sometimes, I aimlessly walk around my house, looking at the mess in every room. The dust bunnies in pretty much every corner, papers & crap piled up, the crumbs on the floors, the dust everywhere. LAUNDRY, LAUNDRY, LAUNDRY! As I walk around, the overwhelming feeling of “where do I even start” takes over. I get so frustrated with everything, I say forget it! Nevermind, not gonna deal with it at all. I will then proceed to close my eyes to the mess, just accept it as who I am and do something else. Play with the kids, go online or even plop my butt on the couch & watch something off the DVR. I am the BEST at procrastinating when it comes to cleaning. I can find something, ANYTHING else to do. Even right now, instead of resolving the situation, I am blogging about it! I mean HELLO! WTF?????

But, I am noticing something. My children are getting to be slobs too. They don’t bother to pick up their stuff. I used to make my daughter keep her room clean & make her bed every morning. She got mad one day when I yelled at her for forgetting to make her bed & yelled to me “how come I have to but you never do!”. while of course it can be said that a child must do as they are told, she did bring up a good point. If I am supposed to be setting the example, but I am not, how can I expect her to do something that I NEVER do. I guess it has come full circle.

So, to all my faithful readers (all 3 of you), I am giving myself a challenge this great month of November. A cleaning challenge. But I need your help! I will be needing some strategies. Each blog will have a theme. And I will be looking for your advice. Give it to me straight!

Something to think about tonight…LAUNDRY!

A Not-So Worldless Wednesday…Thank You Nursery

27 Oct

You might find this a bit silly, corny, or schmoltzie. However, I cannot end this part of my life without a few words. Today is the last official day that I will have a nursery in my home. My sweet Little E is moving on to a big boy room as of Thursday. The furniture is being delivered on Friday, however, The Dude & I will be taking everything apart, moving the furniture out of there and turning baby into big boyness.

A chapter, one of the most significant chapters in my life, will be coming to an end. There will be no more babies in the Gen X family(no, no, trust me, NO MORE BABIES), there will never be another nursery in my home. And while I embrace the excitement of a new, non-baby chapter in my life, I can’t help but pause, as I think of the memories that each piece of furniture has held for me. This nursery set is now 10 years old and has been a part of all 3 of our babies lives. We are not keeping the furniture. It is moving on. I have owned 3 homes and all three have contained a nursery for a new little person to enter our lives in each of those houses. Our current house is the last home I will ever own that we decorate a nursery for.

The rocking chair was very important. I did not want one of those glider thingys. I wanted an actual rocking chair. One that would stay with our family long after there were no more babies to rock to sleep. One that would become an heirloom in our little family. Over the 10 years, this rocking chair has helped me nurse my babies, rock them to sleep, and has heard great stories being told at any given time, day or night. The rocking chair I am happy to say, is one thing I will not part with and will now become a part of another area in the house. BTW the changing table… I picked that up at a garage sale last minute b/c I did not think there would be enough room on the dresser/changing table combo. 10 years later, it is still the best $10 bucks I ever spent!

Thank you crib. Your shaker style was just what I was looking for in a crib. One that was timeless and classic. Thank you for keeping my babies safe and secure as they spent nights sleeping and dreaming of innocence and happiness and love.

Thank you dresser. You held little possessions, tiny pieces of clothing, burp clothes, baby towels and little shoes. You withstood many years of drawer slamming and baby banging.

So, as I say goodbye and let go of the pieces of my history, I will always hold a spot close to my heart for these simple pieces of wood that helped us so long ago, when The Dude and I were getting ready to start our then new chapter in our lives. Thank you for my memories.

Evil Mommy rears her ugly head…again.

26 Oct

Monkee’s theme song> Here she comes…walkin’ down the street…she get’s the funniest looks from…everyone she meets…hey! hey! She’s Evil Mommy! Her kids say she yells too loud! But she’s too busy screaming (at them) to care what they are saying…

Yeah, you get the picture. Another crazy morning of running around, trying to get everyone ready and out the door on time. But, what do you do when it’s not the Donna Reed morning?  Why, you hysterically scream and yell and make sure to scare the crap out of your children as they are walking out the door. Wouldn’t mornings be easier if they were like this…

I don’t get it. I don’t understand. The morning was so promising. Everyone was up on time and then all hell seemed to break loose! X Girl takes forever to get dressed, X Boy takes forever to eat, Lil’ E is yelling from his crib “MA! I UP! I AWAKE! GET. ME. OUT!” Teeth need to be brushed, beds made, X Girl and Boy need to stop fighting. “I SAID STOP FIGHTING! JUST STOP TALKING TO EACH OTHER! DON’T EVEN LOOK AT EACH OTHER! YOU, get in the bathroom & brush your teeth! YOU get in your room and make your bed! YOU! Oh, sorry Lil’ E, let me pat your head as you are walking around the chaos that is your home.”

Donna made it look so easy! I remember watching this show on Nick at Nite when I was a kid, dreaming of the Reed family and about the happiness that I would bring to my own family one day…fast forward 25 years and it’s “IF YOU TWO DON’T GET YOUR BUTTS DOWNSTAIRS RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE GOING TO MISS THE BUS AND THEN YOU ARE WALKING TO SCHOOL!” Yeah, I am that evil. Like I said, Evil Mommy rears her ugly head!

The bus comes.  It starts to leave. My neighbor stops it as my children are running out the door. X Girl is walking down the driveway at a leisurely pace when I yell to her to run, the flippin bus is waiting! Yeah, that got a “Oh my Gd Mom! Calm down!”

Now you do know what is coming next, don’t you? YUP! Wait for it…wait for it…door closes..SLAM! MOM GUILT!! My babies just left with all of us mad and frustrated and me screaming like a frickin’ lunatic! Nope, not a good morning. But, what can I do? Make cookies, vacuum, and hope that their day is not ruined? Let’s see what Donna has to say about this situation…

Yup, just try to make it up to them in the afternoon.

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