Scribbling Dame

Preposterous Pondering.

Embracing Woo-Woo December 9, 2013

I do not know where this term came from, but it is the perfect term for what I used to envision as hippie granola-kinda-crazy-but-always-sweet healing type stuff. I have always loved people who love woo-woo, because let’s face it, they are downright nice people who generally like helping others or at least listening to them. Still, for years, I have strongly identified as non-woo-woo. In fact, I would say I strongly identified as the opposite of woo-woo, which I perceived to be bitchy, kick-ass, step on anyone’s throat with a stiletto if I want, get-shit-done kind of lady.

I am stubborn and kick-ass and I do like a challenge. I’m not easily intimidated and I am confident, but I am not as anti-woo-woo as I once thought. Or maybe I’ve evolved.

woo.jpg

The truth about me is I’m really quite gushy inside. I cry at the thought of others’ pain and I can also tear up at the wonder that is the beauty in people and life. I like yoga and puppies and shit and I don’t even own a pair of stilettos. I have no desire to prove anything to anyone anymore. What a fucking relief.

Some of this softening is definitely due to hormones and childbearing and science, but the rest is most certainly due to a respectable quest for more fulfillment and my own definition of happiness in my life, and embracing more woo and woo-bringers. This quest has resulted in shedding a toxic work environment (for me), downsizing a house, making decisions without considering money, and trying all sorts of healing practices like acupuncture (no likey), meditation (still working on it), yoga (love, and still working on it), Body Talk (can’t even explain what that is) and only spending time with folks who not only say they care, but actively show they care (no fakes).

I have replaced so much of what didn’t fulfill me with better people, less stress, more gratitude, feeling free and generally being a nicer, happier person. All via woo-ness and woo-dom and woo-dwellers.

So, as long as it works and you’re not out there killing babies or something, go for it. Embrace the weird and the woo-woo. If you want more official word on this Deepak Chopra totally backs me up in this article.  

Also, as a fun aside, when I googled “woo-woo” this really awesome drink recipe came up, which you should also embrace.

 

 

Sweaty Bridesmaid and Fucking Up August 28, 2012

Filed under: SuperWoman Syndrome — Scribbling Dame @ 12:02 pm
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I was in a wedding this weekend. The couple are some dear friends who are awesome. The wedding was awesome, but I realized I was a complete wreck about it leading up to it.

Dear God please don’t let me fuck up this wedding…

With your own wedding you are nervous about what will go wrong and all the last minute details you still need to handle in only 24 hour days. However, you aren’t worried about messing up–it’s your own wedding. Any little mistake you might make will be the cute tidbit of personality that, along with the gazillion details you’ve planned for months, will make your ceremony stand out. Plus, almost everyone at the wedding loves you and /or was hired by you, so they will let it go.

When you are in someone else’s wedding, if you fuck up, you are FUCKING UP SOMEONE ELSE’S WEDDING! Which means, depending on the magnitude of said fuck up, you could ruin the day and married life of your beloved friends and your fuck up will be FOREVER BURNED IN THEIR BRAINS not to mention captured on YouTube, fifty iPhones and a professional photographer’s portfolio.

So here is me, realizing this about a week prior and knowing my history of fucking up. I don’t fuck up often, but I tend to fuck up in really dramatic, intense moments or in really awe-inspiring ways.

Here are some examples, both involving deaths and pets.

1. I accidentally let my best friend’s dead grandma’s bird out of the house. We tried to get the fucker back inside but were too late and ended up watching it be devoured by a small dog in their neighbor’s yard. This was the equivalent of watching their grandma die again. Funny now. Major tragic fuck up then. I still hate fucking birds.

2. My friend’s dad passes unexpectedly. I rush over to take care of her kiddo while she packs and neglect to close their gate. Dog gets out and we spend hours trying to find him. We see him once, but he takes off (fucker). It’s 100 degrees. We eventually have to tell my friend that in addition to losing her dad, she may have lost her first-born hair baby too. She has to push back her flight to her hometown. We find dog sitting under a tree hours later. This is just now hitting inside joke status, but still makes my stomach turn to think about it. This is why I basically only like my dog.

So, when I fuck up, it is rare, yet epic. And this is why, besides heat, I was sweating like a Republican at a Women’s Convention at my friend’s wedding. Alas, all went well and I only made one teeny weird mistake that was totally fixable and only a few of us noticed. <Relief sigh>.

 

Pregnant From Behind February 21, 2012

I can’t get over the fascination people have with how pregnant women look. People will say things to a pregnant chick’s face that they would never dream of saying to any other woman. I am noticing this even more with my second pregnancy than with my first. With my first, everything about my body was novel and mysterious. When would I get the “bump?” How much bigger could my boobs actually get? Would I experience the cankle? So, I didn’t particularly notice other people’s comments on my appearance.

Be it "bump" or watermelon ka-pow--we should all want to strut it...

I gained a good 50 pounds with my first born and by the end, at least 30 of those pounds were in my face. But, I was content and healthy and successfully delivered a healthy baby girl, so there was no wrong in the world as I knew it, even when I didn’t really lose much of that baby weight after-the-fact.

This pregnancy I am tiny by comparison. I weigh less now at 8 months than I did before my pregnancy. My midwife keeps asking me questions to make sure I don’t have an eating disorder and/or I am not starving. But, I am eating at least 6 times a day, have totally upped my protein intake and still can’t seem to pack it on.      With being put on disability early and dealing with “gestational diabetes” (it’s a real thing it’s just that since my “diagnosis” I haven’t had one damn abnormal blood sugar reading) this pregnancy has actually been fairly unhealthy comapred to the last one; and I am getting the most compliments on how I look. Apparently I don’t even look pregnant from behind, whatever the fuck that means.

I am not sure what to do with this. On the one hand, I am hoping I can maintain this magical metabolism post-pregnancy so I can get back to a healthier size, and it is nice being constantly told how lovely I look, even though I have absolutely nothing to do with this outcome. I also don’t mind that I can still wear some of my non-maternity shirts.

On the other hand, I figure, shouldn’t I look pregnant from behind? It seems a shame not to look pregnant when I am in fact so pregnant I have to roll my legs out of bed first so I can build the momentum to move my torso. I am also pretty sure that my husband will have to paint my toenails for me from now on.

The one time a person should look pregnant, from any direction, is when they are, in fact, pregnant. And, the last thing a pregnant woman should be made to feel insecure about is her appearance.  Don’t worry–she has plenty of competing guilt about other topics like her diet, her birth plan, the choices around immunizations and circumcision. If you must, if you are absolutely compelled to comment, tell her she looks magnificent–if only for the reason that she is bringing new life and hope into our world.

 

 

Pregnancy Goals October 11, 2011

Two unexpected things happen to my brain when I am pregnant;

1)I genuinely become ditzy and forgetful–I like the term “Pregmentia.” This is very challenging for those of us who pride ourselves on our quickness and wit, but highly amusing for our colleagues and partners who are usually the victims of said wit. I have literally asked my husband for the date 20 times in 5 minutes before. (At least I put out.)

2) The other thing that happens, and maybe this is just me, but my filter of politeness and tolerance for idiocy dramatically decreases (and for those of you who know me in real life, you are aware that this is not my strength on a good regular day). I have literally spent years  learning how to not immediately express the thoughts that come into my head, and sometimes to keep them to myself altogether. This is a very difficult symptom to deal with if you are not self-employed, if you are married, or if you have to talk to other human beings. This is also one of the reasons I am working from home more.

The worst part is, I am not one of those that likes to excuse all naughty behaviors because I am pregnant. I should probably change my position on that, but generally I don’t want to be treated differently because I am pregnant, unless I like the difference in treatment (i.e. not having to cook as much, carry things, or do dishes at home). Still I don’t want to send the message that pregnant chicks are stupid, unreliable or overly emotional, even if I did cry at the trailer for that Dolphin Tale movie.  Sadly, the reality is I haven’t pooped for a week, I haven’t felt cute in ages, and the last thing I have the energy for is waiting behind you in the checkout line while you organize your coupons and write a check for your groceries with your left hand because your right one is arthritic due to the rain. This is also because I am starving every 30 minutes.

My goals for this pregnancy are the usual: don’t fuck up noticeably at work and don’t bust a cap in someone’s ass. I will have to focus.

 

Working Mom Conversations September 20, 2011

Filed under: Mommy Issues,SuperWoman Syndrome — Scribbling Dame @ 8:27 pm
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There are a lot of things you become comfortable freely discussing once you enter into parenthood. Talking about poop with your friends (size, shape, color, consistency, smell, frequency) is about as shocking among parents as discussing a cardboard box. Today I found myself in one of those conversations that only parents would care about, or even notice–I have no idea how in the hell this even came up, and in retrospect, I am totally shocked that we were engrossed in it for so long. Alas, this is part of what makes a community among the parent set:

[Context: Betty and I (Wilma) are both pregnant and discussing how useless we are when we get home from work at the moment.]

Betty: We’ve been eating a lot of macaroni and cheese lately. I feel bad that there’s no vegetables in that, but Bam Bam doesn’t really eat vegetables anyway.

Wilma: I know. Pebbles likes to dip her pizza in that terrible garlic sauce, so I always make myself feel better about it by shoving some carrots on her plate. You know, to add balance. Whenever I feel guilty about our meal, out come the carrots.

Betty: Thank God for daycare. They always say he eats his vegetables there so at least he’s getting them from somewhere. I don’t know why he won’t eat them at home.

Wilma: Peer pressure. It’s the same reason Pebbles doesn’t nap at home, but always does at school. If you had ten kids at dinner eating veggies with you, I’m sure he’d do it. You could always give him that juice that has sneaky veggies in it.

Betty: Oh we do drink that. And we eat a lot of fruit.

Wilma: Well between daycare, sneaky juice and fruit, we’ve got it covered I think.

A few things to note about this conversation: 1) yes it’s totally benign, but 2) lots of women have made fortunes on their cookbooks that teach you how to sneak veggies into kid food undetected so it’s a moneymaker topic and 3) I find it highly fascinating that I could generally give a shit about what my husband eats (including the pizza in garlic sauce) but if my kid doesn’t eat a carrot with dinner I am ready to accept a worst mom ever award. Sometimes when I step out of my life and observe it I wonder WTF?

I am not the healthiest eater in the world, but CREEPY!

 

 

 

UVS: Ugly Vagina Syndrome August 30, 2011

Apparently I am out of the loop on the latest fashion trends. It could be because I’m pregnant again, and have been trying to keep quiet about it for a few weeks just in case, which is so very hard for me. It could be because I am anxiously awaiting the new T.V. season so I don’t have to watch re-runs of Ellen. Never-the-less, I managed to totally overlook the fact that I should be critically assessing the prettiness of my vagina.

Apparently, if you are unfortunate enough to have an “ugly one” you can opt for vaginal reconstructive surgery, which is seeing a rise in occurrence among women with no apparent abnormalities. If she just needs a touch up or some pampering, you can consider a “vagacial” or “peach smoothie” spa treatment. Apparently your vagina can be too fat, too flabby, in need of exfoliation, a dye job, or for the more ambitious types: rhinestones instead of hair.

So do they put a cucumber on your labia?

Don’t shoot the messenger! It’s not my fault if your vagina is sub-par!

My newfound knowledge of this trend has gotten me pondering a few questions:

1)Where does one find out if they have a pretty vagina? Or an ugly one for that matter? Is there a quiz in Cosmo? I am pretty sure no partner in their right mind is bringing it up!

2)How much time should a lady spend on grooming and examining her lady bits to ensure beauty standards are maintained? Is this a group activity?

3) Do vagina groomers specialize in this kind of spa treatment? Do they get a certification at beauty school, or is it just part of the standard curriculum?

I think given my limited availability in time and money and the fact that my husband still seems to like this pony ride, I will remain ignorant as to the ranking beauty of my vag. For the rest of you, go with God.

 

The Wrath of the Tiger Lady February 14, 2011

Filed under: SuperWoman Syndrome — Scribbling Dame @ 10:33 pm
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I have no idea how this pic of me got onto the internets.

Before you get all excited, this is not the mandatory mommy blog post about Amy Chua’s new book The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, though I am definitely going to read it as soon as I get my Kindle back which was in the purse that I left at the Koren BBQ joint at lunch today. Fingers crossed.

The Tiger Lady is what happens to those of us who, for whatever reasons, have to do for ourselves from a very young age, resulting in a potentially scaly and rarely vulnerable demeanor. This demeanor is not one that many people warm up to, in particular men.

You can call her a feminist if you want, but they are not interchangeable. You can call her a tough ass bitch, which I can assure you is a smoke screen.

The reality is that not all women know how to accept help because they have rarely been extended a hand. Not all women know how to flatter, because they have not been around enough people who have paid them compliments. Tiger Ladies don’t always know how to be a good friend, because not many people have stuck around them long enough to be good friends to them.

Sometimes I am a Tiger Lady, though having a kiddo has certainly made me more empathetic and compassionate and affectionate. Sometimes I have to remind myself that though I am a fighter, not everything is a battle. Ultimately, empowerment is about making conscious decisions regarding who to be. Sometimes those claws need to be out, but not always.

 

You might look thinner, but you will also look stupider February 1, 2011

Before any of you comment, I am using the word “stupider” ironically. I am fully aware it’s not a word.

Okay. Now that we got that out of the way…

I always find it hilarious that people who are obsessed with losing weight, something you might say is connected to vanity, will often do the most ridiculous looking things to lose weight.  In order to permanently look good, they will temporarily look like a complete ass.

Almost all weight loss infomercials and exercise products reinforce this. Remember the thighmaster? Ridiculous. Or, a more current example: the shake weight. These are items that no one looks good using, which is why they are on infomercials–so fat people who don’t leave their house can use their embarrassing near-sexual exercise gear at home like good Americans.

I recently happened upon a segment from Good Morning America that featured an exercise regime for   new moms called “The Stroller Stride.” I have a problem with this for a couple of reasons; first, if there is one moment to enjoy being gelatinous it is pregnancy and new motherhood. Let’s give ourselves a break already! Secondly, it defies the decency of doing your stupid-looking exercises at home away from public scrutiny. I don’t need to elaborate. Watch for yourself.

I can tell you they had to use fake babies because no right-minded kid wants to be seen pushed around by these crazies.

 

“Vacation” December 30, 2010

Filed under: Mommy Issues,SuperWoman Syndrome — Scribbling Dame @ 10:51 pm
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I would have a smokin' bod if we went back to these fashions...

Tonight I had a lovely dinner with some good friends who just returned from France. Sigh.

We were eating and chatting and decided to open up that card game Table Topics to mix it up a bit. The question came up, “In what era would you live if you had your choice?”

Knowing that being a woman in any era before the 1920s was pretty much going to be a question of which was least evil, my own answer surprised me when I eagerly said “1950s!” (It should be noted here that I am a white girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, so the ’50s would have been totally cool for me.)

Now, it is true I may have watched too much Mad Men without really paying attention to anything besides the clothes, but once I was asked to explain my answer it made total sense. Besides the clothes and designated martini hour, things seemed a lot more clear cut. Right and wrong, men’s work and women’s work, family, etc. It all seems less complicated to me and a little of that sounds awesome about now.

Figure, this is after a week at home off work where essentially my family and I had to re-learn how to be together for long periods of time at once. It took us all at least two days to figure out how to just enjoy each others company. It got so intense that at one point I was thinking it’d be more relaxing to just go back to work–I am a pro at navigating that drama.

It sounds very strange but I am guessing it is part of the new modern family structure. Mom and Dad both work full time, which means Johnny and Suzy spend the bulk of their week with a hired caregiver. This leaves a few consecutive hours on the weekends, but usually there are social engagements and other activities to distract. And how many of us spend the bulk of that time in quality interactions? If you are like my family, your husband is on his iPhone or computer, you are doing chores and your kid is watching a movie, or playing with their stuff.

I don’t have a grand conclusion. Just thinking,”huh.”

 

Birthday Party Success December 13, 2010

Filed under: Mommy Issues,SuperWoman Syndrome — Scribbling Dame @ 3:58 pm
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So I finally broke down and threw a birthday party for Sofia, who just turned 3. I never felt right about giving her a party before now because she would not remember it, so I have chosen to have quiet birthday cupcake celebrations with family where we all marvel at the fact that under our watch, she has survived another year of life.

So, this being the first birthday party, I had to go big–meaning family, friends and school mates were all invited. To one function. At my house.

Sometimes I am smart and sometimes I am not. After the invites went out to the more than sixty people, I knew the jury was out–this was either the best or worst idea I have ever had, especially since my kid was born in December and we live in Raintown USA,  so all these people would literally be inside my house for the entire event.

So I planned a first-Thursday style art party, which was really an excuse for me to appropriately serve wine at the event since I was pretty sure I might need a coping mechanism. Grown-ups had some yummy appetizers and kiddos had a buffet of goldfish, blueberries and PBJ tea sandwiches. There was a table for all the kids to do art which we would  then put in the “gallery” (aka my back yard sliding glass door) and all the parents had fake money so they could “buy” the art.  Then we played pin-the-apple-on the-Magritte, which was easy enough to make. (see image below)

You can pin anything on anything these days...

We did all this plus cake and gifts in two hours.  Major pressure! I don’t even know how to keep my own kid entertained let alone 12 kids, many of whom I have only seen in passing at daycare and whose parents I have never seen.

Amazingly, with about 30 adults, 12 kids under 5, 3 babies and 1 puppy, everyone got along and I think had a great time! Baby girl felt appropriately spoiled and recognized for living life so beautifully.

Having now added this notch to my experienced mother belt, I have two key revelations: 1) I would have liked to have spent more time with baby girl experiencing the party. I got too busy coordinating to savor the moments with her as much as I would have liked. 2) Despite having a great time, I honestly think I prefer the quiet celebrations–it is easier to celebrate the person and not get all caught up in the planning and the presents and other details.

But, I did it, and I did it well if I say so myself. Milestone achieved.

 

The Marathon Sex Diet December 7, 2010

Filed under: SuperWoman Syndrome,Uncategorized,Vagina — Scribbling Dame @ 7:19 pm
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It’s the holidays which means a lot of things for a lot of people. For almost every woman it means eating things you feel guilty about and lamenting your ever-growing waistline with the full knowledge that come January, it is your womanly duty to become a Resolutionary and discipline yourself back to an acceptable size and shape.

We also know that almost always, those good intentions never work out in the long term.

Fear not! As I was thinking about moving into a monastery where fast food and yummy mixed drinks are not allowed, I came up with an idea that frankly makes me a god-damned genius.

Like this only with sex and living people.

With the various diets I have tried–okay only Weight Watchers–I was shocked to find that there was no physical activity points given for sex. If a ten minute walk counts for activity, then I definitely think that sex should count. And, unlike all those other diets out there, having more sex to lose weight sounds like a diet I could actually follow through on. I don’t know a woman, even those with great sex lives, who wouldn’t opt for more.

Top three reasons why you should try the Marathon Sex Diet:

1) You don’t need a membership or any new gear to get started! (unless you want some of course).

2) Everyone can afford it. (See Note below)

3) I’m not making any guarantees, but it’ll probably create world peace! We all know that sex-starved men leads to more violence in the world.

My minutes of extensive Google research shows that on average, an hour of vigorous sex burns 300 calories! That’s the same as a treadmill and potentially way more rewarding! As women, it is our duty to multi-task. You might as well orgasm, lose weight and keep the love in your relationship alive.

Good luck, happy humping, and feel free to comment with your sucsex stories!

Note: potential side effects include pregnancy and chafing. Use precautions.

 

To Barbie or not to Barbie: a feminist dilemma November 21, 2010

Filed under: Boobs,Mommy Issues,SuperWoman Syndrome,Vagina — Scribbling Dame @ 10:00 pm
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It happened. Sofia has asked for a Barbie for Christmas from Santa.

I always knew this day would come but I did not expect it so soon. As far as I knew, she had never seen a Barbie, but she says she saw one at Preschool.

So, I go back in forth in my mind. We all know she has the dimensions of a stripper and dresses like a hooker with whore make-up to boot. We all know she was the offspring of a German sex toy and that her dimensions on a real woman would mean that she would be incapable of walking. This is feminism 101.

You naughty minxes!

I also know that my Barbies got dressed 50 times for one date and then had sex all the time–unprotected no less! Besides maybe riding in a Dream House elevator or pink corvette, I can remember making my Barbies doing nothing else.

I can also say that I never thought of Barbie as a real person. I never thought I should look like her or be like her, although I confess that even now a swimsuit that changes color in water is probably something I would still buy. So, Santa will be supplying her a Barbie this year–on a pink Vespa no less. Grandma will give her a friend for Barbie–who happens to be African American. (Did you know they make a RocaWear Barbie? Now that’s street.)

Don’t get me wrong, walking down the Barbie isle at Toys-R-Us was shocking. There were some Barbies that  had more make-up on than Snooki or a “preschool teacher” Barbie that was dressed like Pam Anderson. I am not saying that these images are totally harmless or that they haven’t reinforced some unhealthy perceptions and habits.

Hmmm. Didn't see this one. Must've been sold out.

However, after my mental tug-o-war on this topic I realized there are an infinite number of negative and unrealistic images of women out there. The best gift I can give my daughter is teaching her the skill of living in this world confidently despite those images–whether they come from toys or the media or even her own friends in the teenage years.

Barbie shall be lesson numero uno.

 

I would much rather be a humanist. November 8, 2010

Filed under: Boobs,Mommy Issues,SuperWoman Syndrome,Vagina — Scribbling Dame @ 10:34 pm
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An “ism” usually gets a bad name. There are not a lot of good “isms” in the world. In fact, I am having a hard time thinking of just one example of a good “ism.” Vagism–nope. Communism–nope. Socialism–maybe. One “ism” that seems to always ruffle feathers is the dreaded “f” word: feminism. As a definite feminist even I sometimes cringe at the label, because it often equates with man-hater, terrible parent, and other undesirable qualities.

Yet every time I think of shirking the label, the gravitational pull of the lack of equality in our society burns in my gut in a way that is frankly too compelling to ignore. I cannot turn a blind eye to this kind of injustice, and I especially can’t ignore illogical behaviors and policies, particularly since becoming a mother. It does not make any god-damned sense to me why, since I am the breadwinner in my family, I will make 70 cents to the dollar to the guy next to me because he has a wang and doesn’t deliver babies. This is one example of many.

And so, this is why for now, I must remain a feminist. My ultimate fantasy is that one day I will be privileged enough to focus on human rights, because the gender gaps will be moot.

So, what is a feminist to do in a time of trouble? She turns to her icons and her mentors. In my case, I  happened across a brief interview with the mother of all feminists, Gloria Steinem, who gracefully articulates the true spirit behind feminism, which is about individual freedoms and fairness that is for the greater good.

Enjoy the video. I shall be burning my bra whilst you watch.

Feminism Celebrates the Individual

 

Because you’re worth it. October 8, 2010

Filed under: Mommy Issues,SuperWoman Syndrome,Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 4:37 pm
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I have made a decision. I have a four-day work schedule and I have used that day to stay home with baby girl and get a lot of errands done. I can no longer do this. She has to go to daycare. Stat.

And I am not even going to feel guilty about it. So there. In fact, I may start every Wednesday morning in a cafe with a mocha and drink it in uninterrupted silence, unapologetically. And I will have a Jude Law look-a-like as my Barista. I will also not gain any weight from said mocha. Okay, so just the first part is true, unless Jude Law has actually been getting all those letters…

You might think, how lazy can a mother be that she can’t even hack one day with her kid?  To which I say, you have not met my daughter. She is lovely about 80% of the time. It is the other 20% that can make you run into a corner of a room and try to rock yourself to sleep.

At first when I thought of this, voices of Sanctimommies everywhere told me what an awful idea it was and how it was a cop out to send my kid to daycare when I am lucky enough to have a day a week with her. But consider this: I would much rather spend grateful, happy quality time with Sofia, than trudge through a day with her whilst in constant battle and angst. I do not want her memories of me to be frazzled, heinous, and hanging by a thread. More importantly, I do not want to set the example that being a good parent means utter self-sacrifice all the fucking time.  I will save that for the rest of my week.

Me-ow.

Wednesdays are for me. And Jude. (And grocery shopping.)

 

Minimalism is a Man Thing September 3, 2010

Filed under: SuperWoman Syndrome — Scribbling Dame @ 9:42 pm
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As part of my journey towards having less clutter in my life, and striving to actually understand what brings me happiness, I have found myself pleasantly bombarded with tons of interesting blogs about traveling around the world with no baggage, living with only 100 total possessions, and how experiences, not things make us happy at large. I like the idea of these things immensely. I thought about doing the whole 100 possessions thing (but I knew it’d have to be like 200), and then I remembered I have probably 100 items in my make-up organizer, and my husband has 100 camera parts and computer widgets, and my kid has 100 books, and my dog has a sweater and a t-shirt.

There may be a few things I could get rid of...

It occurred to me that most of the extreme minimalists out there are men, without children. Doesn’t this trend seem to perfectly fit with man-culture? Men enjoy being free of obligation and prefer not to be tied down. Men can have freelance occupations because no matter what they do, they get paid more than women. Men are often not required to multi-task.

I have not gone all femi-Nazi on you here. Men play important roles in society. I love my husband mostly because he does not fall into typical man stereotypes, but i don’t for one second deny that I could do everything I get done in a day without his partnership. I just find it fascinating that now our culture has gone from extreme consumerism to extreme frugality, both of which seem to fall neatly in line with the secret desires in many men’s hearts. Men are the hunter, and women are the gatherers.

The fact is, that paisley flannel throw blanket that adorns the back of the couch or your favorite lounge chair may be superfluous, but it is part of what makes a home. It, and many other non-essential items make a house cozy and comfortable. Having a handheld rotating cheese grater means I can spend that 10 minutes with my kid instead of laboriously grating. Bringing a bag with me on my trip means that my daughter can feel safe in strange places because she has her favorite blanket and her 3 monkey plush toys.

Part of being a woman is knowing how to buy stuff.

Another thought that occurred to me as I talked myself out of minimalism was the fact of heirlooms. There are a lot of things that I keep around, not for me, but for my kids (current and future) for one day when they are older. Things can often times provide a legacy; a sense of personal history and connection to those you love or even never knew. I only have a couple of things from my relatives because my family moved a lot and not much was held onto or survived. There is something special about owning your great-grandmother’s tea pot or earrings, which of course cannot be purchased.

The things worth holding onto are the things that make yourself feel at home and as though you have a history or a connection to someone else. Possession and things are not bad, and people who have a lot of possessions are not terrible people. The danger, like with any extreme, is in ensuring that things do not become the substitute for sustenance. Things in and of themselves do not make you a happy being, but your connection to things and your appreciation of things certainly can. If you don’t believe me, you should watch Wall Street.

 

 
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