Monthly Archives: November 2015

Long Overdue Visit with Nordstrom Liz, with Fashion Tips

Finally got to shop with Nordstrom Liz again — she moved to a more distant Nordstrom a year or so ago and I hadn’t gone to see her since the move. Friday night I took Lizzie and a bunch of her friends. We had dinner with Nordstrom Liz and then tried on a bunch of clothes in the fancy, large dressing rooms that Liz had put together for us. I could hear the girls giggling and trying on clothes and hats and boots, while I shopped and got some fashion advice from Liz. For example:
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Not Allowed to Join a Roller Derby (But Get to Smash Crockery)

Liz climbed into my bed to fall asleep with me last night. But instead of sleep, this conversation about broken crockery and appropriate hobbies happened.


The heavy white bowls will be most satisfying…


Lizzie: Rehearsal was a disaster today. The person I’m doing my scene with got a concussion in roller derby yesterday so she was totally slap-happy.

Me (ignoring the main point of the comment): Roller derby? That’s awesome! Where does she do roller derby? I want to do roller derby!

Lizzie: Mom. No.

Me: What do you mean, no?

Lizzie: That’s not a hobby a mother can have. You can have middleaged hobbies. Like, crochet. Or fishing.

Me: Have you even met me? What has ever given you the idea I would enjoy fishing?

Lizzie: Mosaics!

Me: I have no desire to find a new craft.

Lizzie: Mosaics isn’t a craft. You break things. Then put them back together again, differently.

Me: Breaking crockery would be fun. But, no. Speaking of crockery, though, have you ever noticed that the word is only used when being referred to as broken?

Lizzie: Yes, or shattered. You always read about crazy women shattering the crockery. So actually, that might not be so good for you. Let me think about it. You have to have a normal mother-hobby. You can’t, like, learn horseback riding.

Me: That’s so unfair. You know that one of my goals in life is to gallop on a horse.

Lizzie: You can when you’re a grandma. Then it’s spunky.

Me: So I have to wait until I’m a grandma to have fun?

Lizzie: How about antiquing?

Me: Not interested.

Lizzie: Furniture refurbishing…

Me: No.

Lizzie: Some mothers join church groups where they discuss their children and the dangers of cell phones. You could do something like that.

Me: I got the church choir to agree to do a Christmas carol sing-along. I’m the one planning it! Does that count?

Lizzie: No. A teenager should have organized that.

Me: I can’t wait to write about this conversation.

Lizzie: That’s another thing: your blog. Blogs are okay for mothers, but not the topics you write about. You should discuss, like, whether the Harry Potter books are satanic. [She frowns, probably thinking of what a boring life I must have, then perks up on my behalf.] But your clothes, your clothes are good. I approve of your clothes. I don’t like mothers with boring clothes. And your hair. You have good, normal, mother hair.

Me: I don’t want “normal mother hair.”

Lizzie: Actually, you’d look better as a brunette. Why don’t you organize a bake sale?

Me: You know I don’t bake.

Lizzie: Perfect! You can take classes.

Me: If I take baking classes, it will be a class on how to make the perfect sensual chocolate cake, and I’ll embarrass you by talking about it in front of your friends.

Lizzie: There’s no such thing as a sensual cake. And speaking of my friends, you should stop singing in front of them all the time… at least in front of the ones you don’t know well.

Me: I’m going to sing more. I’m organizing a Christmas carol sing-along, so I’m pretty much a professional.

Lizzie: You could protest GMOs.

Me: What are GMOs?

Lizzie: Genetically modified foods.

Me: Um… wrong acronym?

Lizzie: Just protest something! Write letters. Form a group. Join the PTA.

Me: I really just want to join a roller derby.

Lizzie: Now, if Dad was in a roller derby, I’d totally go to every one of those meets.

Me: So, Dad gets to ride a motorcycle and do roller derby, and I get to crochet?

Lizzie: You’re lucky I approve of snowboarding. Snowboarding is allowed.

Me: Wow. Thank God. You’ve given me a lot to think about. We’d better stop talking now or I’ll never be able to get to sleep.

This morning, I shared the conversation with Michael. His response: “Mom, that would be great! You should totally do roller derby!” Then he patted me gently and made a sympathetic face. “Except, um, you know you’d get hurt the very first day…”

He’s right. Which is why I will not be researching roller derbies in my area: because I do not want an injury. NOT because my daughter won’t “allow it.” 

Anyway, remember when we were kids and we thought life was pretty much over once we were adults? I refuse to let that be true. I’m going to go smash some crockery now.    

I Am Now a Ninja; Fear Me, People

Today I saw a Tweet from a writer friend who suggested, “Don’t know what to write? Add Ninjas.”

What would a middleaged woman (MAW) Ninja look like? She’d totally be a bad-ass, fighting for:
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Bulging Eardrums Lead to Middleaged Wisdom

I have nothing witty to share today. I have been sick for more than two weeks. I am on my second round of antibiotics and still feel like my head is going to explode. The pressure on my ears is intense. The doctor says my eardrums are showing the pressure they are under (happens to us all, eventually). I can’t remember if she actually used the word “bulging,” but that’s how it feels: like my eardrums are bulging and may soon simply pop. And they hurt so much that I imagine, if they popped, it might not be a bad thing. I picture my head filled with sludgy swamp water, and if my eardrums pop, it would all drain out. Then maybe I could lean over the kitchen sink and use the sprayer to rinse out the inside of my head. The warm, soapy water would wash out all the sticky bits of shameful memories, useless knowledge, and cobwebs, leaving my whole brain sparkling and new and so, I don’t know… rejuvenated! It would be like coming home from a month-long vacation in the Bahamas, but without the expense. Or the tan.
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Technology Tears plus Thoughts on Short Bodies

I have been asked to include better pictures when I post items about style, but have been challenged by the fact that I have no initiative when it comes to technology. But now I am happy to announce that my photos should be improving. Here’s why:
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Plashing, Soughing, and Screams of Pain

I refused housework and laundry again today in order to go “day-camping” with the kids and a couple of their friends yesterday. Packed up snacks and firewood and hot cocoa packets and chairs and sleeping bags to wrap around us and hats and mittens and my camping hammock. Enjoyed a gorgeous, sunny, cold autumn day on the lake with a campfire and four delightful teenagers. Really, I am not lying: the teenagers wanted to spend time with me! In the outdoors. With no phone service! And it was their idea!

I also managed to spend some time alone in my hammock, on a hill above the lake, wrapped in a sleeping bag with my face in the sun. 


The view from my hammock

I started out reading, but soon I drifted into some daydreams and put the book down to follow my train of thoughts. Such as:
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Are You Frightened in Public Restrooms? Also, Socks

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who enter a public bathroom worrying that they’ll find a dead body in there, and those who put the dead bodies in there.
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I love Being Middleaged; Do You?

I’m middleaged, and I’m determined to celebrate it. Do you love whatever age you are? I’m thinking about this because of a conversation I overheard between a teenage kid and his middledaged mother recently. These are his exact words: 

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ADD Saved My Marriage (but Ruined the Ice Cream)

Discovered this morning that I left the stove burner on all night. Said a prayer of thanks for still having a house. And a family!

Middleaged friends, are you this bad? Is your brain your enemy sometimes? 

About 10 years ago, I told a therapist I was worried I was going to get into a car accident because my mind seemed so foggy when I was driving. I couldn’t focus on cars or traffic signals because I was constantly distracted. The kids were about 5 and 3 years old, so obviously they distracted me in the car. (And at many other times during the day. Well, MOST other times during the day. Okay, ALL day.) The therapist suggested that, like many middleaged women who work and have children, too much was going on in my life. If I truly worried I was going to get into a car accident (and I truly was), I needed to do something about it. I wanted to knock her down and pull her hair: what the hell did she expect me to do? Give away one of the kids? Spray lavender on my pillow and take to bed for a week?
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