Friday, May 28, 2010

I only ever read one fashion magazine anyway

You know what I find increasingly annoying? To the point where I may have to give up my free subscription to Glamour? It’s the way no one in fashion magazines ever simply PUTS SOMETHING ON. No, they must “throw” it on. Always. Big fancy dinner to attend? Throw on a little black dress! Need a day-to-night look? Throw on a pair of heels with your skinny jeans! Want a go-to cool summery outfit? Throw on a skirt and a t-shirt!

I get that it’s supposed to convey a sense of casualness and breezy confidence, but it starts to really grate on the nerves after the thousandth usage, in part because the problem is exacerbated by the way no one can “put” something in their bag. They “toss” it. With breezy confidence. For example, that day-to-night look I spoke of above? It requires that you toss some bright lipstick in your bag. That way, you can throw it on when you get to the restaurant. Gaaaah.

It would be fine if the “throwing” and “tossing” were intermingled with more typical verbs, but they are not. EVERY INSTANCE is either “throw” or “toss.” And this is a fashion magazine, so there are a lot of instances. Multiple instances on a single page, even. It reminds me of a terrible book I read called Odd Mom Out in which the main character consistently “grabbed” things instead of “getting” them. As in, “I decided to go for a run so I grabbed my iPod and headed out the door,” or “I really needed a break, so I grabbed my motorcycle helmet and went out for a ride,” or “I came down for breakfast and grabbed some cereal from the cabinet.” At first I didn’t notice it, but by the end of the book I could barely read the story because I was so distracted by counting how many times she grabbed something. Sometimes, it’s OK to just GET some cereal, you know?

I’ve now had this post sitting in Word for a couple of days, and I keep rereading it, trying to decide whether or not it’s horribly dull. But then I think, “Who wouldn’t want to read a snotty rant about English language usage?” So I am going to post it anyway, dull or not. You’re welcome!

But I shall end by explaining why, exactly, I have a free subscription to Glamour in the first place. See, about a year ago, I got a copy of Domino in the mail, along with a cheery note saying something along the lines of, “Here’s that free subscription to Domino you asked for!” Interestingly, I had never requested a free subscription to Domino. In fact, I had never heard of Domino. It turned out to be a design magazine featuring photographs of lovely rooms containing many items I could never in a million years afford. As a bonus, it was really really boring. But then! I got a sad note in the mail saying, “We regret to inform you that Domino is closing up shop and will no longer be published. So we are forced to replace your free subscription with a free subscription to Glamour. We are so so sorry! We are weeping!”

But here’s the thing: Glamour is my fun magazine! The only reason I didn’t already have a subscription is that I like to have a magazine to choose when I’m in the drugstore and am in the mood to treat myself. And now that I’ve told you this story, I realize it was not a good way to end this blog post after all, as it leaves unanswered the question of WHY I got a free magazine subscription in the first place. Unfortunately, that is a mystery that will have to remain unsolved, because I’m afraid that if I start calling around to find out why they’re sending me a free magazine, they will STOP sending me a free magazine, and then I’ll have to throw on a jacket, grab my purse, and go down to the drugstore to buy one for myself. And we can’t have that.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh ha ha ha. Double standards are hilarious.

Just checking in to tell you about this book I just finished reading. I have a hard time choosing good books at the library on the fly given that the forty or so seconds I am allowed to browse the stacks when children are in tow. Yes, yes, I know; sometimes I DO choose a book ahead of time and know what I’m looking for, but usually I just have just take a chance on what I happen to find. This is how I ended up with Wedding Season by Katie Fforde; I wanted something fluffy and quick, so I grabbed it.

And fluffy and quick it was. Of course it was. It was called Wedding Season, for crying out loud, in scrolly, swirly font no less, and there was a big piece of wedding cake on the shiny turquoise cover. That’s why I grabbed it in the first place. And for the most part, it was fine. Not the finest example of writing out there or anything, but diverting enough. Until, that is, the end, when one of the main women characters, Bron, finally got together with her love interest, James. They were working a big fancy wedding and Bron was looking for a place to take a quick nap. She opened the door to the caravan* and who should she find but James, sound asleep. Since they were friends and she was so tired, she lay down next to him. And all of that is fine. I have no problem with it. I even have no problem with her gazing longingly at his sleeping form.

You know what I do have a problem with? I have a problem with how she unbuttoned his shirt. She stopped herself before she undid his pants, but it was close. She almost undid his pants. And then she laid her head down on his bare chest and went to sleep.

He caught her, of course, and there was a lot of feigned indignation, but naturally he actually loved it. It was written as an amusing way to consummate one of the novel’s three relationships. Because oh ho ho! How droll! The cute little woman undressed a man without his knowledge or consent in order to leer at and touch his naked body! Ha ha ha!

Raise your hands if you think this cute little scene would have made it passed the editors had James’s and Bron’s roles been reversed.


*This book is English, so I actually have no idea what a “caravan” is. Is it a cabin? A minivan? A long train of vehicles? The wedding was at a huge country estate, so it’s maybe the servants’ quarters? Or something? Anyway, James was sleeping in it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How you know

For some, it’s the first gray hair. For others, the first fine lines around the eyes. The signs of aging are many and various, ranging from the involuntary grunt that escapes when you get up after sitting on the floor to purchasing a rug for the first time to having carte blanche in all doughnut purchasing decisions.

But you know when it really hits home? This fact that you are no longer the same carefree young thing you once were? It’s when you hear yourself telling your friend with genuine excitement and delight that you will be getting your grout cleaned next month. Grout.

In my defense, it really needs a good cleaning.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yes, I realize there is only one practical shape for these things

On Sunday, after the race, Andrew and I were rushing around the kitchen trying to get food into our children in the brief window allotted to us before they get too tired to eat and too hungry to sleep. But I, too, was tired, so when I applied the super sharp serrated bread knife to the rock-hard homemade bread I was planning to give to Nora (She LIKES to suck on rock-hard bread! Honestly!), my shaking hands slipped and I cut my thumb instead.

“Auuggghhhh!” I said and ran into the bathroom to run cold water on it, because that is what you do for a burn. Look, I said I was tired. I was also afraid to look at it. It hadn’t started to hurt yet, but our knives are SHARP and there is a delay between the actual slicing of the finger and the pain with a super sharp knife. So there was no pain yet, but it had felt to me like I had sawed right through my nail into the nail bed, and I was scared that my nail was no longer attached to my finger.

Andrew looked at it for me, and said that I had cut my thumbnail, but not quite all the way. THANK HEAVENS. It is sliced up good, though, and I have to wear a band-aid all the time to avoid catching the nail and tearing it off the rest of the way.

I have subjected you all to this painful story to get to the part where I discovered a product called “First Aid Cots” while looking for something called “New Skin” which I did not find. (My mother tells me it is basically sterile Super Glue. So I just used Super glue.) (To glue the nail back together.) You know how when you need to put a band-aid over the top of your finger and it is essentially an exercise in futility since the band-aid is the completely wrong shape and has nothing to stick to? Well, First Aid Cots are the solution, my friend! They’re little rubber finger tips that are just the thing to hold a band-aid in place. It’s as though someone cut the fingers off a latex glove and added a little rubber ridge on the edge. They look a little silly, but it’s better than tearing off your thumbnail, am I right?

Did I say they look “silly?” They also look like… something else.

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I mean, COME ON.

Monday, May 3, 2010

So very tired

So hey! I ran a 10K yesterday!

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Less than a mile in

My training has been going really well, so I originally had two lofty goals: Finish without stopping to walk and finish under 1:00:00. I didn’t really think I could finish without walking at all given that I had to walk some of last week’s 5.5-mile training run, but I’ve been regularly averaging 9:30 per mile, so I was really hoping to break an hour.

But then Nora was up all night on Saturday and would not let us put her back to bed. Andrew tried his valiant best to deal with her and let me sleep, but since neither of us could sleep through the screaming she ended up with me for the bulk of the night, nursing on and off. More on than off, if you want to know the truth, so I got maybe five hours of fitful sleep. Add to that the weather forecast of 80-degrees-and-muggy, and things were not looking good for me yesterday morning.

But Andrew let me take an hour’s nap in the late morning (the race didn’t start till 2:00), so I soldiered on with a small mental adjustment. New goal: Don’t die. I added a new goal when I got to the starting line because the race turned out to be a pretty small townie event, and there were only about 100-200 runners. So. New goals: Don’t die, and don’t come in last.

And I didn’t! I finished in 1:05. My personal stopwatch said 1:06, but the official clock said 1:05 when I ran by it, so that’s what I’m going with. It wasn’t under an hour, and I definitely walked, but I didn’t die, and there were… a few people behind me. Maybe ten? Not more than twenty. But the important thing here is that SOMEONE ELSE was last. Maybe someone with an ankle injury, or whose baby only allowed her three hours of fitful sleep.

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The home stretch. Can you spot the other two women who bought their running clothes at Target? (Hint: I’m giving one of them the thumbs up.)

When I signed up for the race two months ago, I saw there was also a Family Fun Run. They had one of those at the Thanksgiving Race I ran, and it was age-divided so that the four-and-unders only ran 100 yards, but the website for this race didn’t list the distance. I emailed the race organizers, and they assured me that it was for anyone! Sure, sign up the three-year-old! So imagine my surprise when, as I was picking up our bibs, I learned that there were no age divisions and the Fun Run was a mile. A mile! He’s three!

Jack has been really looking forward to this race. He’s been talking about it for awhile. “I have to practice for my race!” and “Will I get a medal, Mom?” I was afraid he’d be so disappointed not to be able to finish. Andrew and I told him it was going to be pretty long, so just do the best he could and if he had to walk or stop, that was fine.

Well guess what. He finished. Andrew ran with him and Nora and I waited at the finish line. It took them about fifteen minutes, and Andrew reported that he only had to carry him for a couple of yards.

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I got something BETTER than a medal, Mom! Candy!

A mile. My three-year-old ran A MILE. In an outfit he picked out himself, for the record.

We are so proud of each other.