Sunday, September 23, 2012

MOM FAIL #3: 5 Never-Before-Thought-Of Mommy Daughter Dates

During a recent Pinterest marathon, I came across a pin that led me to a blog post titled “20 Mommy Daughter Dates.” Right up my alley, I thought. But no. These ideas were neither in my alley nor in my neighborhood.

Among the 20 date suggestions were the not-so-unique:
  • Go to the park
  • Go to a movie
  • Go to a children’s museum
  • Get frozen yogurt
The sexist:
  • Bake something
  • Mani/pedis
  • Go to the mall
And the offensive:
  • Go to the American Girl store

Oh hell no.

For those moms out there who might like to share a different kind of moment with their daughters, here is an alternative pin-able list of Mommy Daughter Dates Your Little Angel Won’t Soon Forget.

1. Clean a Public Restroom Together. If your daughter is shorter than 3’ tall and hasn’t yet mastered the Public Toilet Squat, an uncomfortable amount of time together in a community loo should do the trick. Nothing bonds two generations of women like a pinky’s-up, one-ply TP-wipe-down of a Home Depot toilet. No, not the new ones on display; the urine-dappled ones in the restroom behind the Electrical aisle that smell like chili dogs and fertilizer.  LIFE LESSON: Cleanliness.

2. Have a Good Cry Together. From her first D- on a test to the first time the pretty girl wears the same dress she did, it’s important to let your baby know that both The Four Seasons and Fergie were wrong. Big girls do cry, and that’s OK. LIFE LESSON: Crying helps you lose water weight, so do it with abandon.  

3. Fill Up the Car With Gas. I’ve actually done this one with my son as well. Read about it here. LIFE LESSON: Know when to let go. Of the gas pump.

4. Do a Craft Together. I might suggest crocheting a coozy to keep Nana’s happy juice cold. What? Yes, it is! Alright, fine. The happy juice isn’t Nana’s. It’s mine. But she’s the one who drives me to drink it. Does that count? LIFE LESSON: If you don’t know how to knit, you should at least know how to pour Mommy the perfect cucumber gimlet. Now that’s crafty!

5. Start a Business Together. Come up with a great product or idea together--like a roadside guinea pig grooming business--then disagree about the details, mismanage money and post the whole experience on YouTube. This will lead to a segment on the Today Show which will lead to a reality show on a major cable network. LIFE LESSON: In today's world, you can be famous and rich without the burden of talent or hard work.

For anyone who read to the bottom of this blog hoping for real or redeeming ideas, here's one: turn off your computer and hug your daughter. Tell her she is smart and funny and your greatest accomplishment. Get up and do this now. Seriously. I'll wait here. . .

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

5 Fictional Friends I'd Want in Real Life

This post is inspired by

Share 5 Fictional Friends You'd Want In Real Life.

This writing prompt, though intriguing, turned out to be much more difficult than I expected. I mainly read non-fiction, and the fiction rolodex in my memory consists mainly of books I was forced to read in middle and high school, most of which involved depressing tales of old white men or sad, weak women. Luckily, I did recall the five characters below, all of whom I would be proud to call my friend.

Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride.
I love this essay by Ann Hood where she discussed how she “Fredo’ed” people. You know, like in The Godfather II when Michael Corleone decides he won’t have anything to do with his brother Fredo because Fredo has betrayed him. Inigo and I feel the same way. Trust is like a fresh piece of paper. Flawless. But like paper, once you crush it, it can never be made perfect again. Monty (that's what I call him) and I can both hold a grudge with unwavering stamina. I’m not necessarily proud of that fact because it certainly shows a level of immaturity, not enlightenment. But a friend like Inigo Montoya can fully appreciate a merciless desire to mortally wound or kill someone. Some days I have people who fall onto that list. Monty could help me cross them off.

Walter Mitty, from James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Walter is my polar opposite. I am a classic Type A, organized, hyper-analytical list maker. But opposites attract, and it would be great to have someone like Walter in my life to remind me to be a dreamer, get distracted and escape reality once in a while. What else is it in my life that allows me to get distracted and escape reality… Oh! I just thought of a great name for my new honey-whiskey cocktail:  The Walter Mitty!

Dory from Finding Nemo.
Everyone needs a comic sidekick, someone who can make you laugh until you pee just enough in your underpants that you have to run to the bathroom with your knees pressed together and your vagina in a semi-Kegel lest you have a full on Depends-variety “accident." Or is that just me? Dory would be that person, er, fish for me. As I have explained to my husband many times before, when I’m crabby it’s best not to try to fix it or talk me out of it. Just make me laugh. Then, all things are right again and I can “just keep swimming . . .”

The sinners from the Inner Ring of the 7th Circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno.
I first read this book in my tenth grade literature class. It had such an impression on me that I still own that same copy today. Here's why. Our teacher asked us to volunteer to choose a ring (outer, middle, inner) from a corresponding circle of hell and present an oral report on it as if you were a person from that level. I raised my hand for the inner ring of the seventh circle of hell because, upon scanning the circles looking for something easy, I saw the word Blasphemer in that ring. I don’t really believe in god so I thought, I can relate to and report on Blasphemers. No problem. What I didn’t see was the second sinner also banished to this inner circle:  the Sodomites.

This report was given long before the Internet, and my parents were not the types to ever help me with schoolwork. When I looked up sodomite in the dictionary the definition was vague, so I decided to focus most of my report on the blessed Blasphemers. When it was my turn to present I held a poster in front of the class depicting the Blasphemers, with a small section showing a group of wanderers in the corner with an arrow pointing to them labeled "The Sodomites." When my report was finished my teacher asked me—in front of the entire class—
“Heather, do you know what sodomy is?” 
I stared at her blankly.   
She said, “They are the masturbators of the world. They are the folks who have same-sex intercourse or intercourse with animals.”
I answered, “Right. I didn’t know how to draw that on my poster, so I just left it out,” then shuffled back to my seat, face ablaze.

I got a B+.

As Billy Joel once said, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than die with the saints. The sinners are much more fun.”

Harold from Harold & the Purple Crayon.
Being the good friend that he is, Harold would have drawn my ass right out of the above situation.

Which fictional character would you befriend?