Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Delusions of candor

I knew it was coming, and yet did nothing to prevent the disastrous outcome. I ate, drank and avoided the gym as though my soul would set fire by stepping foot on the stair-stepper. And here I sit, hideously encased in the one female torture device known to bring grown women to tears - if not AA meetings; the bathing suit.
Visual – if a Vienna sausage mated with extra lumpy cottage cheese and dressed their resulting off-spring  in spandex – Poof – you’ve got me in my finest beach wear. And yes, I know women everywhere, from the size 2 to the size 20 feel equal torment over this body-image obstacle – but I’m particularly sensitive to this issue today as our beach vacation approaches.  Surf, sand and shame – bring it!
This year I noticed a trend ; wise retailers have selected magical verbiage when marketing swimwear, it’s like Harry Potter goes to the beach with his fat Aunt; vanishing waistline,  illusions of longer legs, secret bust lifting properties. I’ve got news for the retailers, unless their product also comes with Siegfried and Roy, there is no illusion large enough to mask the size of my derriere.
On the upside, cover-ups are very hip, or so I’m told; unfortunately, several appear to be designed for those more vertically gifted than myself.  I guess what I really need is magic beachwear that offers not only instant thinness, but height; kind of a Spanks/Stiletto mix. Do they have those at Target? I'll let you know what I find.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vacation: then and now

Growing up, my family spent two weeks every summer on Cape Cod, MA. The cottage was simple; tiny bedrooms, one bath, no AC, no TV and no phone.  Recounting the memory to my children, I watched as their faces reacted in horror; our adorable little cottage sounded more like Cell Block 9 than paradise, but in their defense, they are growing up in an age when technology is no longer the exception, but the norm.
This year we started vacation planning with simplicity in mind; attempting to reconnect as a family and unplug from civilization for a week or two. Surfing the online websites, we looked for little out of the way places with few luxuries, limited electronics and a true sense of tranquility.
Yeah – that went over like a burp in church.
About halfway through the search the grumbles began.
 “No cable? How’s Dad going to watch the Yankees – he’ll get grumpy.”
“It says the cell service is bad here – how am I gonna get texts?”
“Mom! No AC – what are we, cavemen!”
I gave up and let the cherubs plug in a few search criteria. Check these out; Oceanfront, Nintendo, Elevator (Really?), Boat Taxi (who are we, the Trumps?), private heated pool. The reality check hit with a click of the SEARCH key; quickly realizing they had a choice: College or vacation.
Compromise was eventually reached; there will be beach, AC and small blocks of approved electronic time available only when Mom is sleeping late, sipping a Cosmo on the back deck with a smutty book or having a nice long conversation with Dad WITHOUT stopping to settle an argument, make someone a sandwich, or judge who can make louder armpit music.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Elementary entitlement

Here’s the deal – this is one of those Babbles I warned you about early on – the kind that stem from the apparent insanity running rampant with today’s parents. No meaningful content or life affirming message – just a little rant. In fact, I’m going to post a poll on the site - I need to validate my belief that some parents out there still have an ounce or two of reason sandwiched in their overscheduled brains.
Recently, my 14 year old started coming home with tales of his friend’s lavish graduation gifts. Unlike my son, I attended Catholic school; and as such my 8th grade graduation gifts consisted of a little cash, glow-in-the-dark Rosary beads and a blessing from the big-wig visiting clergy presiding over the ceremony - praying for the souls of my classmates. (And judging by some recent Facebook posts, the latter has proven beneficial.) That’s it, cash, beads & get-out-of Hell –free card; NOT iPads, parties rivaling Teen Cribs or phones capable of stock trades.
A smart boy, my son requested cash – in fact he gets a thrill going online to check the interest earned on his CD’s; true story. But don’t let that fool you, he still wants the ‘stuff’ his friends haul in, and believe me, he has more than his fair share already. But I worry the more common the big ticket gifts become at such early ages, the more he – and all of our kids, are at risk of losing the importance of earning over the expectation of entitlement.  (Dear God – I sound like my grandfather talking about the depression.)
So chime in – check out today’s poll or leave a comment. Let me know what you feel is appropriate for an 8th grade graduation gift – and how many kidneys I need to sell in order to buy it.