Men are Such Whiners

10.1.12

Mr. G had his surgery Thursday. He came home in a drug induced haze and my mother handed him a bell to ring so he could summon me. The ringing of the bell was unpleasant but very likely felt about 8,000 times better than my husband’s head did after being cut open.

As much as that bell irritated me, my husband never did.

Maybe I live in an alternate universe but I’m really surprised when the first things folks expect to hear from me is that my husband is a whiny baby when he’s sick. First of all he isn’t so the assertion that men are babies when they are sick is patently untrue. My son isn’t particularly needy when he’s feeling ill.

The only high maintenance sick person in this house is me.

I’ve spent the last two years moaning about my own health, staying downstairs for most of the day (and asking my family to run up and down for me), and avoiding anyone who so much as sniffles (no matter how much I love them). Maybe because of my neediness I’m sensitive to this. I try to not whine. I try to be a good mother but the reality is that good mothers can get up and down stairs a little better than I. Good mothers don’t need to pull their cars to the side of the road for a nap.

I did the best I could.

So maybe it’s my own insecurity that makes me cringe when folks want to know how whiny my husband is. My typical reaction is to tell them that he’s Superman. I’m sure Mr. G would die if he could hear me talk because one of his superpowers is humility, another other is his physical strength. His surgery was Thursday, the doctor shaved down his septum and then fucked around with his sinus cavity either tamping things down or scraping things out… I don’t recall exactly because I was busy trying to not pass out when the doctor described it. Friday morning my husband didn’t require pain killers.

Maybe he’s so out of touch with his feelings that he can’t even feel the physical ones. If so he’s the perfect man because I’m incredibly inconsiderate and clumsy. I can hurt both body and soul, but never on purpose. Not with him anyhow.

I’m prickly about this one today. I hope suspect that my son is going to get married one day and I’d hate to think that his bride was weaned on a steady diet of men are weak. My daughter deserves the opportunity to love a man without making fun of him for being one. My children worship their father, he has earned that lofty position and I guard it for all of our sakes. I love my girlfriends, all of you, and we’ve promised to not tear each other down. I’d love for us to promise the same for each other’s spouses.

 

We Wanted to Hate Your Humble Brag but Now We Hate You

09.10.12

 

Last week I got together with a girlfriend and, as is often the case, we got to talking about social media. Social Media is comprised of people so we talked about a few people and what their twitter and facebook streams look like.

And then She Who Will Remain Unnamed (SWWRU) mentioned a mutual friend’s habit of (not so) humble bragging.

“Humble Bragging?! I shook my tequila at her, there isn’t an ounce of humility in that woman’s vocabulary. It all starts with ‘I’m so fabulous’….” I screeched. “Every photo is a selfie and she never talks about anyone but herself.”

Then we both admitted to having used Muuter on her, next we both admitted to having silenced her on the facebook timeline. So at this point we were guessing whether or not she was still humble bragging, bragging or quite possibly dead and buried because having not heard from someone in three weeks means that they no longer exist. Right?

And then SWWRU and I started talking about how people whose timelines are full of nothing but parties make us jealous even if we were invited to those same parties and decided to stay home. I’m not saying this is logical I’m just saying this is how it works. If you’re a woman you understand if you’re a man you might want to just nod a lot and take notes.

Of course we don’t like feeling jealous of someone who is out five nights a week with whatever brand comes calling because we don’t want to be that person. The idea of working for cocktails and swag is abhorrent but the Not So Humble Bragger has made it actually look appealing. This is why she is so annoying. Turning a brag page into appeal is a talent I suppose and perhaps one day she’ll be paid with something more than a $14 martini at SkyBar.

To recap SWWRU and I end up feeling jealous of an acquaintance (let’s be fair, that’s what many Facebook friends are) who is going places we don’t want to go and taking home bags full of crap we don’t want. That is why she has become the frenemy.

We agree that we don’t like this in ourselves, we don’t want to feel jealous of things we never wanted to begin with. We want to be the kind of women who celebrate our friends’ successes. We want to be the kind of women who have successful friends. Instead we wasted 11 perfectly good minutes talking about someone who brings out the worst in us.

 

 

Sometimes Having Kids in School Only Makes You Lonelier

06.12.12

A few girlfriends are experiencing the same Mommy Loneliness that many of us have, had or will experience. It’s universal and it’s awful but maybe knowing that everyone experiences it at least a little bit will take some of the sting off.

If you think tweenage girls are cliquey try getting into a conversation in the parking lot after drop off. Every school has it. These aren’t mean women, they aren’t trying to leave you out, but they do. They just have the same interests and have worked on the same projects or committees forever and you haven’t. And for my Asian girlfriend who married a caucasian man, you’re right, you are different and they just don’t like you. They don’t really have the words for it but your Asian-ness is very not okay and your instincts are right. Find nicer women. That little group IS bitchy.

To be fair there are some really great women you’ll meet just by virtue of being a mom at the same school. I’ve made some fabulous friends at the kids’ schools but I’ve also experienced overwhelming loneliness when people talk about the school being a community.

Whose community is the school? Is it for the adults? I mean the adults are a community of sorts, but unlike kids (who are grouped by age and then subgrouped by skill) the adults aren’t a homogenous group. The only thing they may have in common is having a child the same age. Expecting the mother of every 4th grader to be interesting is just unrealistic.

Three girlfriends in the past four days have talked about how lonely they feel at their child’s school. I guess I want to tell y’all that it’s normal. What is also normal is to make acquaintances with the moms and to still feel lonely.

The women at my kids’ school (particularly in Jane’s class) are absolutely lovely. I enjoy the time I spend with them but the time is quite often brief. When we get to talking about anything that’s not child related I realize I have little in common with many of them. If they read my blog I probably don’t have any funny stories left to tell them and folks who don’t really use the internet think I’m odd. To be fair I think they’re odd. We just sort of bore each other to tears and I sometimes leave feeling lonelier.

I guess I just wanted to say that it’s normal and that if your girlfriends don’t come from your child’s school that’s also really normal. They don’t mean to be cliquish, they’re just defaulting to comfortable behaviors…. except those ladies that hate the Asian brides. All I can do is apologize on their behalf, because they never will be self aware.

Photocredit Flickr. 

 

June 4, 2012 can go Fu¢k Itself

06.5.12

The morning started fine enough. I did a little laundry, wrote a few things, and got dressed to go meet some folks and contribute to a video. My hair wasn’t great and I have total raccoon eyes because a few minutes of sun turns me red on the nose and brown all over the rest of me.

I grabbed the mail on the way out of the house and got a notice that our homeowner’s insurance was cancelled because we have a trampoline and a tree needs trimming. Here is a pictures of the “multiple branches” that are on the house and would give the insurance company cause for canceling a policy.

I looked at the letter in the morning and decided to schedule a cry for the afternoon. I had no idea how very much I’d need it.

After schlepping to Culver City I was going to loop through mid-cities to pick up Junior from the dog sitter. I’d left him with her for our little weekend away at Bacara. I called the sitter and there was no answer so I decided to go over to LACMA, grab something from a food truck and have lunch with Rodin.

Since the dog sitter wasn’t answering her phone I polished off my Korean food in the sculpture garden and renewed my museum membership. I wandered into a room that welcomed me with a giant mural from Matisse. Not quite a mosaic but more than just tiles.

I remembered the year we were visiting my Grandmother and her mother, my Great Grandmother, fell. We were in New York City and there was a Matisse exhibit at the Met. I wandered there for hours on end and studied the cutouts that Matisse converted into beautiful works of art. I imagined gnarled hands working magic with scissors and razors and paste. In my childhood mind Matisse was born an old man.

My brother and I were stuck indoors while everyone took turns watching over my Great Grandmother. My Grandmother’s friend Dave took us to Tompkins Square where he would play chess at a speed I’d never before seen while he smoked cigarillos. My brother and I were rapt and learned to play chess that week. I was never very good, my brother was. He’s always been smarter than I have in a mathematical sense.

We spent the week with stacks of construction paper and glue recreating Matisse’s work on long rolls of butcher paper. The Chasidim gave us tin Hanukkiahs so we could light candles with our Great Grandmother at night in the hospital. In retrospect the flames were unwise.

Standing at LACMA before an oversized Matisse display it all washed over me. The women in my life caring for each other.

Standing in front of one of Picasso’s Blue Paintings my phone rang. The dog sitter was home. I reluctantly left to pick up Junior.

I grabbed the kids from school next and brought Jane home to rest. She’s been ill and a day at school knocked everything out of her. Alexander went to tennis and on the way a girlfriend called.

Not a girlfriend. The girlfriend. The one who knows everything. The one who lived with me in high school and helped me survive the teenage years. The one who inspired me and made me a better person. The one who has never judged and who giggled when I failed to be a better person. That friend.

She’s sick. She’s going to be okay, but right now she’s sick.

So after tennis I got dinner on the table, ate a few bites of salad and tried to not yell at my family. I wasn’t overly successful but I did okay. I took the dog for a walk but it’s a well documented fact that Junior is essentially useless. After about four blocks I had to carry him and so now I’m walking down the street with my little dog and my giant Bose headphones becuase I really don’t want any outide noise. I don’t want to know that other people are happy or chatting or that they even exist.

I just wanted to walk and cry in the dark with my dumb little useless dog.

So I listened to the Sex Pistols and NWA and the combination of tortured youth from here and abroad helped me through this early part of my 40’s just as effectively as it pushed me forward in my teens.