Monday, October 22, 2012

Go team?

Last week, my son was invited to a birthday party for one of his classmates.  He was one of only two or three kids from the class invited, so clearly this kid and my son have connected.  We had a fantastic time, and I enjoyed the other moms and the kids.  But here’s what happened.  The party had an Orioles theme.  (That’s baseball if you’re as sports-dumb as I am.  I’m just proud that I didn’t have to look it up to determine the sport.)  The birthday kid asked my kid, “Do you like the Orioles?”

And my kid looked at him blankly, and said, “Huh?”

Once someone at the grocery store asked my kid if he liked the Ravens. (That’s football.  I didn’t have to look that up either.  Go me!)  He answered, “A raven is kind of like a crow.” 


See, I pretty much hate watching sports.  I would go to a live game, I guess.  If there was going to be beer and naughty food I don’t usually allow myself.  But honestly, I’d rather go to a pub and have beer and naughty food without the boring sports part.  I could see tailgating, especially with friends of ours, one of whom went to culinary school. He makes elaborate meals including Scotch eggs from scratch. (He mixes his own sausage spices, etc.)  I would be totally down with that.  And just, you know, skip the football part.  (A Scotch egg, if you don’t know, is a hard boiled egg, encased in sausage, breaded, and then deep fried.  Dipped in spicy mustard, if you’re me.  Mmmmm, Scotch eggs.)

I like playing sports.  I played basketball, soccer, and tennis as a kid, and I still enjoy those, or the slower-moving mommy-playing-with-kids equivalents.  I would probably still enjoy the faster-moving versions if I had better shoes and a better bra and a month to get back in cardiovascular shape.  But watching?  Absolutely no interest. 

My husband doesn’t watch sports on TV either.  He probably would.  He watches when he’s with his family.  But it’s not high enough on his priority scale to set aside time to watch, especially since he knows he would be watching alone.  He has made some noise about taking the kids to an Orioles game, and I said, “Awesome, have fun!”  But since I tend to plan all of our outings, the odds of this ever happening are pretty low.  Like, not statistically different from zero.  He can go.  I’m not going.  And I’m not planning it.  Maybe some other dad will plan it and he can tag along.

He has taught them baseball (a sport I loathe in all forms—playing, watching, watching kids play, etc.)  My daughter, who is very sporty, can already bat better than I can.  I have taught them some soccer skills.  They did gymnastics, and they both dance.  They have been exposed to parkour, and know the names of some of the feats from American Ninja Warrior.  They’re not… you know… deprived.

But in this area of the country, I wonder if sports and (gag) the local teams are an important part of their social education that I am neglecting.  Maybe they should know who the Ravens are.  Sigh.  But do I have to?

Kids their age are asking.  If I expose them to sports and they still prefer Mario and Pokemon and reading and dancing, at least I’ll know it’s their choice.  But what if they like sports?  I managed to score a husband who doesn’t watch sports.  I am not having football on every… um… Monday?  Monday night football?  That’s a thing, right?  Except that my dad comes down on weekends, and there always seems to be some important football game on while he’s here too.  So, is it, like, more than once a week?  Is that right?  That sounds bloody awful. 

Can I just not?  What do you guys think?  Can I just… not?

I’ve spoken with a few friends about it, and the consensus so far seems to be that I have to at least expose them to sports.  Football first, and then baseball, pretty much the two LEAST appealing sports possible.  I guess it could be worse.  It could be golf.  I imagine myself sitting down to watch a Ravens game with them, telling them that the Ravens are “our” team.  It feels like talking about the Easter Bunny.  Or maybe more like indoctrinating them in a religion that I don’t share.  In Maryland, the Ravens are more of a religion than, like, you know, god.  People (apparently) wear purple on Fridays before games.  No one dresses up every week for god.  I’m just saying.  Well, maybe for church I guess, but around here, people don’t really dress that nicely for church.  This isn’t Manhattan.  There are no fabulous hats.

This whole question makes me miss the San Francisco bay area.  Around here, my friend’s kids apparently have a “wear your favorite team jersey” day at school.  I have this fantasy that in the bay area, people would send their kids to school wearing the uniform of the Irish curling team or something.  It’s not the appreciation of sports that makes me uncomfortable.  It’s the assumption that everyone is into sports.  We have no jerseys.  We have no favorite team. 

The easy solution, proposed by a dinner party companion the other night, is that I outsource the problem.  Send the kids to someone else’s house on a game day.  Or make chicken wings and taco dip and buy a bunch of beer and have some people over to my house to teach my children what they need to know to be socially accepted in suburban Maryland.  So I guess I’ll do that.  So that at least when a school friend asks them if they like the Ravens, they won’t start quoting Poe. 

But can’t I have that same party—chicken wings, taco dip, beer—without the football?  Oh, right.  Right.  Crap.

Monday, October 15, 2012

An honest resume

Pam-a-rama ding dong



Job utilizing my creative energy, requiring absolutely zero follow-through.  Must have flexible hours, and a yoga-pants-friendly dress code.

Qualification summary

Overeducated, intelligent, creative type with savant-like knowledge of a completely useless array of domains.  I can make something from nothing.  But it might be crooked and/or unfinished.



  • Sole writer for a successful blog with tens of regular readers.  Especially skilled at creating an authentic voice using such devices as F-bombs, ludicrous overuse of sentence fragments, excessive ellipses, and idiosyncrasies borrowed from Joss Whedon characters.

  • Have several unfinished novels languishing about.

  • Craft a mean facebook status update. 

  • Zero-tolerance policy for poor grammar.

  • Can beat most people at Scrabble and Boggle.


  • Can seriously rock a corset, and have trained minions people in appropriate corset-lacing technique, because that shit is not as easy as you think.

  • Specialized expertise in the area of deviant sex slang describing disgusting acts that no one I know would ever do.  Go ahead, quiz me.

  • Used to belly dance, and have retained just enough muscle memory to look like I know what I’m doing for the 15 seconds it takes to impress someone.

  • Apparently have the voice of a phone sex operator.  Or so I have been told.  More than once.

  • My boobs have their own twitter account.  Yes, really.  They don’t talk much, but once in a while.

Making stuff

  • Ability to wing it/fake it at any art or craft, from painting to making a faux fur bike seat cozy. 

  • Can bake and cook my ass off (or on, perhaps I should say).
Pirate costuming. Corset.  Boobs.
Oh, and I made those curtains.

  • Extensive costuming abilities, with specialties in Mario characters, Renaissance Faire garb, pirate costuming, and anything involving a corset.  Specialize in modifying existing costume elements into a new costume.  And pushing up boobs.

  • Can make lampwork glass beads and jewelry.  Wait, that is an actual skill.

  • Speaking of actual skills, I am a decent decorator.  You should let me pick all of your paint colors.  I am always right.  And I can make curtains and stuff.  And I’m really good at shopping and buying all of the pretty objects.

Judging people

  • Statements made while watching So You Think You Can Dance often repeated nearly verbatim by “qualified” judges.

  • Superior expertise in choosing glasses frames, as evidenced by having once had an ex-boyfriend ask me to accompany him glasses shopping, even though he was dating someone new.

  • Correctly chose last season's American Idol on week one.

  • Paragon of fitting-room clothes shopping companions.  Kind, but honest.


  • Extensive and somewhat snooty knowledge of single malt Scotch and bourbon.

  • Can totally drink you under the table.


  • Not the best mom in the universe, but hella good at loving those kids.

  • Giver of freakin’ awesome hugs.

  • Bow-chicka-wow-wow.


Dude, you guys?  I have a PhD in Psychology from Stanford.  Isn’t that weird?  I know… it freaks me out too.  Seems totally out of character.  I met the best people there though.

Work history

1991-2007         A bunch of jobs I was really good at and have absolutely no interest in doing now.

2007-present     Person who can count to three really well, even though I usually only count to two.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Car conversation: My son, the bachelor

Sooo, I was having some random conversation with the kids that ended, as these conversations often do, with "Because I'm the Mommy and you're the kids, so I'm the boss."

Son: "When will you not be the boss?"

Me: "When you're 18.  You'll be a grown-up when you're 18 and then you can do whatever you want."

Son: "So when we're 18 we'll get married and have kids?"

Me: "If you want to, but it's a good idea to wait to get married until you've been a grown-up for a little while, so you make sure you find the very best person to marry.  And it's a good idea to wait to have kids until you're older too, because once you have kids, you can't do whatever you want anymore.  Mommy and Daddy used to go to movies and restaurants and travel to other countries, and then after we had kids, it's harder to do that stuff because we have to get a babysitter.  So when you're 18, you can do what you want, but I think you should wait to have kids until you're older so you can have some fun being a grown-up first.  Mommy was 33 when I had you, and Daddy was 50."

Son: "I don't want to have kids at all."

Me: "Why not?"

Son: "Because I want to do whatever I want all the time."

Me: "You don't have to have kids if you don’t want, but you know what's great about having kids?  I love Daddy and I love Aunt Rebecca and Mimom and Poppie.  I love lots of people very much, but when you guys were born, I loved you more than I ever loved anyone else.  I didn’t know I could love anyone that much.  And I think it’s really great to have that much love.  When you hug me and kiss me, that is the happiest I have ever been in my whole life.  So I don’t mind that I can’t go to movies because you guys make me feel so much love.”

Son:  “I still don’t want kids.  I just want to play Wii all day long.”

Me: “Do you want to get married, or not?”

Son: “No.”

Daughter: “But what about **** (my son’s best female friend, who has planned their wedding and whom he calls “My love” and has agreed to marry someday)?”

Son: “No, I love her, but I don’t want to marry her.  I just want to play Wii.”

Me: “You can still play Wii if you get married.  You can even play Wii if you have kids.  Daddy plays Wii with you.”

Son: “No, because then I would have to take care of them.  I would have to take care of my family.”

Me: “OK.”

The end.