Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What Not To Wear, Tween Edition

  It went down like this.  A show-stopping conversation between me and. . my tween.

It started with the high black patent boots this morning.  I love her black boots.  (I own the same ones.)  I did not love them with the leggings, Dr. Seuss t-shirt, belt (albeit, mine), and miniskirt.

     "I thought we were wearing that skirt with tights," I said. (We?)
     "I hate tights."
     "I can see skin between your knees and your boots.  That's tacky."
     Eye roll.
     "Where is your sweater?"  I continue, feeling my luck literally PUSH.
     "Mom, I don't want to wear a cardigan everyday.  I'm not you."  Ouch.  Truth, and ouch.
     "Abby, it's February.  You are not wearing a t-shirt.  If you are wearing that outfit, put on a sweater.      

She did, and I let the outfit, Horton-Hears-a-Who shirt and all, go out the door.

She came in after school without the sweater.

     "Where is the sweater?"
     She looked at me.
     "Where. Is. The. Sweater."
     "In my backpack."  As if I'm the stupid one.  Here's an idea-- if you're going to lie to your mother, don't stroll back into the house without the SWEATER.
     "When did you take it off?"
     At this point, my head might pop off.
     "Don't make me say it again."
      "6th, 7th and 8th period.  After lunch."
      "So I can't trust you.  That's a real shame."
      "Mother!  Why is this such a big deal?  Is it EVER going to be about ME and what I want to WEAR?"
     Her hands were on her hips, she was glaring at me.  Again.
     "No," I told her.  "No, it's not."
     "You should see what so-and-so is. . ."
     "I. Don't. Care."
     "Can't I even say anything in defense of myself?"
     It was then that I told her to stop looking at me like I was an alien from outer space.  I told her that I did think she looked lovely (most days) and that since I bought every single thing in that closet, I obviously liked her clothes.
     "But you don't like the way I put them together."
     "Fair enough.  I don't always."
     "And every morning you find something to say."
     Fair enough.
     So we made a deal.  What Not to Wear, Tween Edition.  For the rest of this week, there are rules for both of us:

Abby's Rules:
1.  No short sleeves.
2.  No tank tops, unless used as layering pieces, and no showing too much skin.
3.  Do your hair every morning.  Ponytail, headband, barrette, whatever.  Do it.
4.  Do not wear a tank top twice in a row, then wear it to dance class, then sleep in it.
5.  Do not pull things out of the hamper to wear them.

Mom's Rules
1.  No commenting on Abby's outfits in the morning (if Abby has followed the rules.)
2.  Get Abby's laundry done today so she has lots to choose from.
3.  I will not comment on choice of footwear.

Will this make for a smoother exit strategy?  Who knows.  But it's already made for a smoother evening.
I'll let you know how the first edition goes. . .

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm a Straight, Non-Crafty Republican and I love Rosie Radio!

I have a total friend-crush on Rosie O'Donnell.  Yep, it's true.  Which is weird, because on paper, we probably wouldn't make a good couple.  I'm a Republican, I'm straight, and I'm not too crafty.  But I'm pretty sure that if she met me in person, she'd like me.  In fact, I've thought this for many years.  I remember watching her show with my baby in his bouncy seat, watching her crush all over Tom, watching her celebrate her birthday on television (on my anniversary) and thinking:  it's serendipity.  We're meant to be friends.

When Rosie's show started, my oldest son was little, maybe eighteen months.  I think her son Parker is close to the same age, so the stories she would tell on her show would make me laugh or cry, and I would wait all morning for her show to air.  It was a break in my day, and I loved it.  It was feel-good television.  The audience loved her, there were give-aways, surprises, celebrity crushes and Broadway!  I missed it when it went away.

We moved, I had two more babies, and heard through the news bits and pieces about Rosie, but I had to think. . .  if bits and pieces about me ever traveled through the grapevine about me, would they always be flattering?  Would they always be true?  Ick.  No thank you.  Either way, my day-to-day relationship with Rosie was over.  Until. . . The View.

My mother had been trying to force me to watch the view for years, and I had resisted.

"You would love it," she would say.
"No I wouldn't."   Was I thirteen again?  Was I protesting and refusing just because I could?
"You would like the Hot Topics, Christy."
"Mom," I would tell her, "there is not one person on that show that I could possibly relate to."
"Meredith is a mom," she would say.  "You would like her."
"She is a working mom who doesn't wear underwear," was my standard comeback.  So I didn't watch.

Until Rosie came back.  And then I watched every day.  Sometimes I got mad or frustrated, even at Rosie because my opinions and hers can be very different, but you know what?  That's what makes the world go around.  Mostly I got mad at the tone of the show.  But I watched until Rosie's last shocking day.

Because I am a Republican, albeit socially liberal, which is a hard position in which to find both balance and political candidates, people may assume I aligned with Elizabeth during my short View-watching period.  Not true.  While I did feel like she was occasionally beaten-up and talked-over, I also felt that for such a young woman with such a long life ahead of her, I wanted her to be able to be more flexible, more open-minded, less factual and more soulful.  Not to change her beliefs, but to look up from the papers and into her heart.  I might not agree with every one of my friends,  but I can look into their eyes and really try to see.  Listen to them.  Talk with them.  Learn from them.

So Rosie was gone again.  And I stopped watching The View.  What did I say I was looking for on that show?  Someone I could relate to.  And while Rosie might not have stood for everything I stood for, or believed in everything I believed in (but really, who can?  or who should?) the important stuff was there:  kids, family, love, real life, truth, humor.  That, I believe.  That, I relate to.

Then, like a Christmas miracle, arrived Rosie Radio on Sirius XM Satellite Radio!  It's my new favorite thing.  If I miss it in the morning (though I try to do my errands at the right time, because I never remember to turn on my online XM in the house) I can catch a replay in my car when I am taking Jono to baseball.  I am reminded all over again about why I loved listening to her in my house all those years ago when Jono, now 15, was a baby.  Her real stories, her real questions, the real love of her viewers/listeners.  Her friends, the truck drivers, her children, the squirrels, the singing, the honesty.

Today she was talking to Janeane Garofalo.  And I got worried.  Yikes, I thought, "They would really not like me."  But you know what?  All opinions of Fox News Radio aside, I think they actually might.

Have a good day, everyone :)  Stay warm, drive safely, eat something delicious (you know I did-- it's Tuesday!)  xxoo ~Christy