Wednesday, March 26, 2008

c'est dur, dur de ne pas pleurer!

i had heard this song way back in the day, but i'd never seen jordy's performance of "dur dur d'être bébé" [translated as hard, hard to be a baby to my monoglot readers].

watching this gave me the exact same reaction as promenading otto across the catwalk at a recent fundraiser-cum-fashion show i participated in for my alma mater. i almost started crying just walking across the stage with my son who seemed more fixated on the big lights than on performing whatsoever. if i were la maman de jordy sitting in the audience, i think i would have just burst like a giant saline bubble and soaked whitney houston's dress. given that she eschews air conditioning, she might have appreciated it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

in defense of the schlumpadinka

a lot of shows are hell-bent these days on helping women with less than fashion-forward wardrobes break out of some diagnosed rut they've dug themselves. now i'm as voyeuristic as the next makeover show addict, and i settle in for what not to wear and ten years younger from time to time myself, but mostly to soak up the snark that spews forth from the hosts.

if you've never checked these types of programs out, they go like this: first, view secret footage of the guest dropping kids off at school, eating lunch with a buddy, or correcting her student's homework at her desk. snicker loads. present guest with various outfits to try to wear on for certain specific occasions. guest appears dubious, and the hosts roll their eyes at how hopeless their charge is.

i think the producers must know we viewers want the mean girls redux because even when the guest is all, "okay! that's so cute! i love it!" they hosts still find a way to be cutting about the guest's mom-jeans or wardrobe comprised entirely of cotton jersey. oprah has even coined a name for these victims of sartorial scrutiny: the schlumpadinka.

yes, i will absolutely agree that the high-rise, peg-leg, acid washed jeans need to go, and the old stained t-shirts need to find their way to the thrift store and into the loving arms of some spindly indie rocker. i also totally agree that if you're traveling to another country, you just can't go around wearing workout clothes and gym shoes and complain how rude the [insert european of your choice here] are. what i don't agree with is the lack of attention to the guest's lifestyle.

a common theme is to take a stay-at-home mom of small children and secretly decide everything she should wear should be dry clean only. cruel! i mean, if i'm getting ready for a day of laundry, changing diapers, and grocery shopping, i sure as hell won't be, "let go of mama's linen pantleg for one second, otto. mama needs to make her shirt placket a little crisper with this searing hot iron." what about just, oh, up-to-date jeans, a slightly fitted cotton knit top, and some kind of casual non-athletic shoe? worst of all, they always put this manipulative twist on the show by insisting that the mother needs to stop doing so much for everyone else and start taking care of herself. i am pretty sure that, if i had more time in my life, it would not be spent spit-shining emerald green patent slingback pumps to wear to the jewel.

and the schlumpadinka spinsters aren't spared either! there was some other twentyish woman who had a less than corporate career, like she was a teacher or an exercise instructor or something who didn't need business casual clothing, and she liked to go out with friends for lunch in some other standard schlumpadinka attire. they put her in... a shirtdress and heels! guffaw! if i went out to breakfast with friends wearing that, they'd be like, "what the hell's happening here? are we being punk'd?"

so what do i say? i say rise up, fellow schlumpadinkas! embrace your casual chic! makeup, be damned! the ponytail lives forever!

Friday, March 14, 2008

the secret lives of package delivery drivers

as most of you know, i work at home and, between continual shipments from my office and our endless love of online shopping, i'm here to receive a lot of deliveries. this means our delivery guys know me and we exchange pleasantries as we exchange packages and signatures. though there is a slightly larger cast of characters that come bearing gifts, our leading men are the cute little latin ups driver with the huge white smile and the wilfred brimleyesque, grandfatherly fedex driver.

most of the time, the ups delivery guy is super-friendly with a smile that corrugates both sides of his face. as a home office worker, i like to see another smiling face from time to time, and i can usually count on getting that little happiness fix when he stops in with some amazon purchases. once in a while, i've seen mr. ups driving his open brown truck about town with a sullen expression, and then turn and wave brightly to me, beaming his beatific grin. i've thought, "hm... is that a thinking face or is he like, man, i hate driving this stupid truck with no doors in the winter."

grandpa fedex sees that a lot of my packages come from a cheerleading company so, when he brings a particularly heavy box [usually filled to the brim with scoresheets for a competition], he'll heave the box into my doorstep and say, "hello, dear. looks like they shippped you a cheerleader this time!" we chuckle at the old-man humor and he says, "have a good day."

he dropped a small box of staff applications to me last week and asked me how i was doing. "i'm doing well; how are you?"

"not so good. okay, have a good weekend!" he replied and walked off.

yesterday, he came bringing more fedex supplies that i ordered and again, asked me how i was. i replied, "great, how are you?" head down, he dropped the stuff inside the door and said, "have a good day," and left.

do i ask him more? do i stop asking altogether? it's sort of awkward. i sure hope he's okay.

Monday, March 03, 2008

mondays with otto

thank goodness for spring.

thank goodness for the end of the competitive dance team season...

and thank goodness for mondays!

each monday, i am without gina, our new and terrific nanny. on these days, i masquerade about town as a stay-at-home/not-working-for-money mom. we find small errands to run to keep the day interesting, which is far easier when the weather cooperates. sometimes it's hot doug's for veggie dogs and punk rock music. sometimes it's just the lowly kinko's on western for some fed ex needs.

today, i took otto to the one person that really cuts his hair damn well -- the barber in roscoe village. when we sat him on the board and put the cape on, he did cry some big fat tears, but the barber did a little mambo step for him and went zoom-zoom with the clippers and trust was reinstilled. he watches the barber very intently when he changes the guards, and he really loves the tickle of the clipper buzzing around his ears.

well, the lollipop he received before and after never hurt either.

looking forward to writing more this spring!