24 January 2011

Can I Still Carry a Cute Trapper Keeper? (The Adult College Student)

There are a thousand things that make it inevitable, really.

Recently, my stepdaughter heard Yale mentioned on TV.
“What’s Yale?” She asked me.
“Well, Yale is a really good college. It’s one of those colleges you want to go to if you’re going to be a doctor or lawyer.” I answered.
“Oh, so really smart people go there?” She asked.
“Yes, usually. You could go to Yale, if you wanted.” I smiled.
“No, thanks. I just want to be a Mommy.” She twirled her hair. (No, she really did.)
“Well, you know lots of Mommies that are Mommies and do other things, like college and working.” I countered.
“Yeah, that’s okay. I just want to stay at home with my kids. I don’t want to work or anything.” She confirmed.

There the conversation paused, because it was at that point I learned (unfortunately) that I was out of all stomach acid reducing medication in my home had mysteriously misplaced itself.

This conversation sparked more thought that she’ll ever know. You can’t for ONE MINUTE tell me that woman at home vs. woman at work (with the exception of Ivanka) isn’t a learned behavior. The majority of her time and adult influences are not spent or gained at our house. Without trying to sound snide, draw your own conclusions.

Next up? A few days ago:
Husband: “So, do you want me to get out of the Army, or do you want to have another baby?”
Me: “I thought you were going to get out of the Army anyway.”
Husband: “I just think it’s more responsible if we’re going to have another baby, if I stay in and retire.”
Me: “You’re the one that brought having another baby to the table, and I got onboard. Now I have to choose?”
Husband: “Well, maybe you need to start looking at getting your degree again, so I we can have the baby and I don’t have to go on any more deployments.”

Yeah, you don’t need three box tops for the decode-r ring to figure out the underlying meaning in that conversation.

So I have these transferrable credits, right? The Army didn’t give me bunches, but they did provide me with about fifteen semester hours toward various culinary degrees. Good Eats, right?

My dad: “Putting a culinary degree on your resume and not working in that field looks like you wanted to cook, and then changed your mind.”
Me: “That seems fair.”
My dad: “English and Math degrees always get my attention on a resume. You could get an English degree standing on your head.”
Me: “Probably.”
My dad: “I thought when I went to college that I couldn’t study something that came easily to me, because it would make it less valuable. That was a dumb way to think.”
Me: “Yeah.”

So it was decided.

The inevitability seems to be this:

I want to have another baby. I want to make my husband proud. I want to be a financial supporting partner in this family, rather than being the “wife that works”. I want my daughter to look at me and see me as a role model because of accomplishments other than the child bearing variety. I want my sons to look at our life, and realize that joining an armed service isn’t the be all, end all. Or, if they are going to, that they at least begin through an Academy of sorts, rather than at an entrance processing station.

And I really, really want my kids to fill in the bubble on standardized testing that says their parents graduated college.

The true inevitability?

It’s all for them. They deserve everything we can give them, and they deserve our tireless efforts to be the best parents we can be.

Even if going back to school terrifies me.

23 January 2011

I Like Free Stuff, Too, But Damn... (I Think It's Time For A Flood)

Hello All! (Well, all four people who will read this, anyway.) I’ve been slacking on my blogging lately, I know. It’s just been busy in my ‘hood of late. So for my funny, ranty blog, you get another FoFree blog! And if this isn’t enough fun for you, later on I’ll light some sparklers and do some kicks.

“i am renovating a house and need a shower, a kitchen sink, cabinets, and carpet. im would love anything that is functional. thanks from 21921, elkton.”

See, here’s the thing…it doesn’t sound like you’re renovating a house. It sounds like you’re building one. You may want to rethink the reno…just for now. Maybe start with something small, like building a toybox or something.

“Toothbrush holder. 4 slots, one single rosebud decal. Fastest pickup gets them. State day and time in your email...all others will be deleted. “

Yeah, I know for sure I wouldn’t want to wait around for days and weeks on end for someone picking up my funky ass old toothbrush holder. I might respond, but only if the dentu-grip is still stuck in the bottom. But if I forget to put the date and time, I’ll certainly meet with the disappointment of being deleted. Shit.

“Offer: 6 pez dispensers. I know some people collect these. There is a which, a pumpkin, a panda, a lady bug, winnie the poo and cinderella. Must take all if you want any.”

What if I don’t have room for all six? What if I only wanted the which? (Witch which?) Does the lady bug have spots? Who the hell has a panda Pez dispenser?

Oh, and “winnie the poo”?


”i have a cockitail who ever wants it please contact me aslap i cant afford him anymore please let me knopw aspa i want him gone this wook hes on his last bit of food my jamie i want him gown before with in the next day ty “

Holy shit, dude.

”My mother in law would love to have another ferret and I was hoping to have one for her for Christmas we would also need the cage and accsoroes for it she would also love to have another female kitten with extra toes! Your help would be much appreashiated! Thank you all again! Have a happy and safe holidays!



Amanda, I absolutely understand your want to please your mother in law. But before you take the path to Chernobyl to find these animals, might I suggest finishing third grade? Also, stop wishing kittens to have extra body parts. I'm pretty sure that people who wish kittens to have extra parts have a special rung in hell. That’s a BIRTH DEFECT, you fucking idiot.


”HEllo... Does anyone have something I can mix cement in? “

I hear my jamie’s cage will be free soon.

“I have a box of 8 track tapes that have been in storage forever. Haven't had an 8 track player in years.”

You don’t say.

”I am looking for a mini horse for pet”

Oh, good. As long as it’s for a pet. If you were looking for a mini horse to play Gulliver, I might worry.

”I have a little lady that is in need of a ride to hockey practice. if someone is involved in the ****** **** high school field hockey and is going past south queen st and has room i will pay for gas?? thanx for reading”

Also, thanks for kidnapping my little lady. They should do a Sixty Minutes on this broad, and then call Child Protective Services. At least you can’t call her a cheapskate. She is willing to pay for gas.

“I Just got a new puppy for my boyfriend and i am looking for supplies such a toys, crate, or leashes or collars for him, thanks”

Girlfriend, didn’t the checker stop you at PetSmart? Did she tell you that real puppies aren’t like the cute, battery operated back flippy puppies? Did you at least get food? And the food is going to need a bowl. Oh, make sure you water it. Shit, that needs a bowl, too. If you go to buy two bowls, you’re going to need your wallet. Oh, you might need a car. Jesus, it’s like an MC Escher painting. There’s no beginning or end.

Why Should Raising Your Kid Require A Battle Hymn?

Is it just me, or does “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” media infection set your nerves on edge?

Now, I don’t mean to be judgemental, I just have a bit of a hard time understanding the lifelong personal benefits of “Old World Discipline”. We’re pretty progressive ‘round these parts. So progressive, in fact, that when my sick kid balked at his pancakes this morning and wanted a lollipop, I gave it to him. Quit judging me. I bet you put syrup on your kid’s pancakes. I was just smart enough to cut out the carbs and maple flavored handprints on my IKEA couch.

Recently, my husband came home from work and warned me:

“If you’re in the PX or Commissary and the boy acts up, don’t discipline him. The Army is going around posts making sure that people aren’t abusing their children. If you swat him or yell in public, I can get in trouble at work.”

Is there a happy medium here? Up to what point is appropriate and “effective” child rearing a matter of personal, familial, or cultural opinion? Should my slapping my kid’s hand in the grocery store for screaming and grabbing candy be a “punishable” offense? And, if yes, who should be made punishable? Assuming I am a lollipop giving, hand slapping harpy, why should my husband be reprimanded for having the misfortune of having children with me?

While it’s clear that this woman is pleased to be at an educational and social stature that she views to be both intellectually and socially superior, I can’t help but feel that she’s lost out hugely. Not only as a mother, but also in the simple joys of life. I’m sure that saying I find a published, accomplished Yale professor “pitiable” will highlight me as slightly ignorant. I mean, I have no college education, I have yet to be published on anything other than public forums (and am the only one doing the publishing), and my children do not yet excel at anything other than dancing and singing raucously while making a gigantic mess. Despite those points, I wouldn’t trade my son running up to me and hugging me as tightly as his tiny arms allow, for no reason that I can see. I can’t imagine my stepson not wanting to color or read with me, snuggled on the same IKEA couch. I think I might fall apart without my stepdaughter wanting to cook with me, or spend time simply hanging out and talking.

Obviously, being pushed to be “stereotypically successful” can be sporadically beneficial. But at what cost? Does this person think this is fair for her children? How many times have you heard of the criminal and derelicts “they weren’t hugged as children” or “those are ‘mommy’ issues”? Is hearing your kid flawlessly fingering Mozart or Basie (assuming they are allowed to have fun once) a fair trade for the child/parent relationship?

Before you get too worked up, this is not a book review. To be honest, I have about as much intention to read this book as I have to read…well, anything else with the word “hymn” in the title. I have a bit of a hard time finding it acceptable to equate a culture knows for it’s strictness to marketed child abuse. While I’m sure it can be rewarding watching your child excel so immensely at a task, I find it counterproductive to society as a whole to publicly laud the berating and emotional beating of our loinfruit.

I suppose that if your goal is to raise the prodigal child (and possible subject matter expert on the Triad of Sociopathy), then the “Battle Hymn” is an acceptable route.

Me? I’ll take cupcake baking messes, hugs, and explaining what “Under the name of Sanders” means. But, then again, my kid shakes his ass to Count Basie and Drowning Pool.

What are you gonna do?