About Me

Hi, I'm Debbie. Sometimes, people like ask me what I do. Good question. I'm not always sure how to answer it myself! I'm hoping this blog helps me answer that question, or is at least fun to read along the way.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lookin' Beautiful

It's that time of year again: People Magazine has put out it's 50 Most Beautiful publication, and Gwyneth Paltrow has taken top billing

Apparently, the internet is all a-twitter about this.  Ms. Paltrow is, it turns out, as reviled as she is pretty. When stories (and maybe a cookbook?) about how you only eat non-dairy, gluten-free, grass-fed bark fill cyberspace, and you're already rich, thin, and blonde, well...haters are gonna hate.  Still, if Chris Martin wants to show up at my house and tap out the opening measures of Clocks whilst Gwennie and I sit atop the baby grand and braid each other's hair, I won't stop it.  Hey, we all have our fantasies.  Let me have mine.

My problem isn't that Gwennie is rockin' this year's People's Most Beautiful cover.  It's that, once again, they didn't pick me.  Yes, me. 

You may not know this about me, but I'm beautiful...so stunning, that if I uploaded a picture of mine to prove it, my computer would likely crash, imploding on itself like a hardware Trojan Wars.  Or, maybe I don't post 'cause I can't actually find a good pic of myself.  Let's not get hung up on technicalities.

Mostly, I'd love to be picked by People magazine so that they could interview me about my beauty regime.  Nobody ever asks me about it.  Ever.  Shocking, I know.

So, here it is:

I look like shit most of the time.  Then, when I do clean up, it's such a stark difference, people notice.

Consider the logic: assuming I'm not one of those young, freshly pretty faces than pull of anything--like a messy "top knot" and oversized coveralls--and still look adorable as opposed to borderline insane, this strategy is perfect.  I don't wake at 5 a.m. to shower and "coif" my hair and "put on my face."  Last time I woke at 5 a.m., it was to feed a baby, and you bet your bottom dollar I crawled my ass back into bed after that.  Heck, with my colicky first-born, 5 a.m. until about 9 a.m. was about the only time I could maybe catch some uninterruped zzz's.  I sure as hell wasn't going to use that time to put on an anchorwoman's face for a being who couldn't registered clear images beyond 12 inches.  Or for the grocery store cashier, who bless her minimum wage heart, probably isn't going through this routine, either.  (An exception may be this tall, thin, African American woman who works at the Target by my house, who should so just go on America's Next Top Model and be done with it.)

I know, stay-at-home moms are fodder for fashion show make-overs and what not, but I really don't have a problem looking like crap once in a while.  Grubby looking people are like Tina Fey's bitches: We get stuff done.  I'm much more likely to do things like work out, tend a sick child, put together a casserole, or clean a toilet when I'm un-done.  Sure, none of this is glamorous, but guess what?  It's life, and someone's gotta do it.  If I gussy myself up 8 a.m., no merry maid or nanny is gonna strut in 5 minutes later just to allow me to sit pretty for the rest of the day.  If I want to get anything done, it's practically imperative that I keep on my hobo clothes.  (And for the record, I can write just as well in yoga pants as in dress pants.)  Then I get to take my shower and apply some makeup, the latter of which is a total gift since the kiddos are now in school.  (When kids are constantly underfoot, showering in itself becomes questionable.)

So what's my point?  Ouch, it suddenly seems like I have one, when I really just wanted to toss out that Coldplay fantasy.  So I guess it's this: beauty, style, all that...it really is skin deep.   Don't go all martyr-y and forgo getting yourself a decent haircut or whatever, but if you really think life is some constant fashion show, then I ask you this: What model do you think will be changing your bedpan someday?

Beauty, after all, should be from the inside.  In which case, obviously, Katie Couric should be on the cover, because I hear she has a great colon.

Then again, I bet Gwenyth has a great colon, what with all that detoxing she does, in which case, okay People, you made the right call.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lake Rules

Happy Friday!  While I haven't actually decided on a particular date or time or quantity of posting, today feels good for that. 

I don't know if other bloggers do this--or writers, for that matter--but I often go through the day "writing" things in my head.  Yeah, yeah--I know this ultimately counts for nada unless I actually get pen to paper (or keyboard to Word, or whatever.)  The problem with this is that sometimes I think I have good ideas, and then by the time I sit down, everything fizzles.  Also, as an aside, I wonder if other people think this way.  I have a friend whose dad is a mathematician, and apparently he would go through the day thinking through math problems.  So maybe not.

Either way, I figure my blog title is already a misnomer: What (a) Debbie Does.  What I actually do is typically pretty boring.  But I have this crazy notion that if I, I don't know, put something out there that I might actually try doing--I'm thinking one of those "out of my comfort zone" ideas--I might feel commited to actually going through with it, so I don't look like an idiot.

Yeah, still waiting to be gutsy over here.

In the meantime, my mom visited this week.  By visited, I mean she only lives 30 minutes away, and it was a short stay.  She was supposed to stay for her grandchild's music concert, but apparently some music teacher was busy heaving her guts out, and so it was cancelled.  Bummer.  But my mom got to do her favorite visiting thing: Use my computer! 

I remember watching her periodically type things when I was a child.  I really don't recall it being the  slow, painful, typo-backspace process that it is today.  But damn, seems like she's all opposable thumbs on the keyboard these days.  (She was never some Joan Harris secretary type.)  And what was she so busy typing?  Why, "Rules for the Lake!"

(Okay, Mom, what can I say: I immediately feel like parodying your rules.  I do love you, I mean no disrespect, but I just can't look a blogging gift-horse in the mouth. 

Also, "the Lake" would be a summer home that just transferred from my grandparents to my mom this fall.  She's in a tizzy about it.  Re-written rules should help, though.)

Here's the original:

  • Windows and blinds closed.
  • Dishwasher empty
  • Waste baskets and trash empty. Trash at the road Sunday night.  Pick up on Monday.
  • Refrigerater- perishables taken home
  • Tidy up . If needed vacuum and mop floors.
  • Towels and sheets washed as needed.
  • Bathrooms- wipe sink, floor, shower with Pinesol or Bathroom cleaner.
  • Beach towels drying in garage or put in basket in garage if dried.
  • Lock up.  Hope everyone had fun.
Pretty basic stuff; Mom included a bunch of white space, in case we're reading them tipsy.  But let's consider this spiffed up version:
  • Close the windows and blinds when you leave.  You should be done enjoying the breeze and spying on the neighbors by then.
  • Don't leave the dishwasher full of dirty, nasty dishes.  While you're at it, don't leave stinky beer cans around.  I didn't raise you in a barn, and all that.
  • Ditto with garbage...no barn raising, etc.
  • Food: if you're going to leave it, please put everything in smaller containers.  I really like that.  Special bonus points if you repackage liquor in Tupperware! Also, leave crackers and cookies poorly sealed; stale snacks are a tradition around here. 
  • You might not vacuum much at home, but guess what: these are Mom rules!  Use the vacuum. 
  • Strip the beds and wash them if you've had crazy, nasty sex in them.  So what if they've "only been slept in once."
  • Make sure you don't leave ugly globs of toothpaste in the sink.  "Dab" the room with Pinesol so it smells all clean.
  • Leave dry beach towels in the garage.  Be gentle with them; they're vintage.
  • Lock up--you all had fun, right?


Monday, April 8, 2013

Thank you's (and other balls-y things)

Now here's that awkward blog I write where I freak out that I actually shared this with a few folks.  Well, thank you.  Thank you if you read, and thank you if you commented.  Even if the comments weren't very nice.  Although they were.  Even if the comments were things like "I won't read this unless for some reason I know you've posted," (err...annoying self promotion on facebook? Some sort of subscription button somewhere?) or "I'd comment, but it's frickin' confusing...it tells me I need a freaky Google profile or PhD or something."  Yes, I know.  My technical skills right now are waaaay lacking...probably worse than my proofreading.  (Dan Draper?  It's Don Draper.)  However, I did dork around a bit with the comments section, so maybe it's easier for lay people.  Or spammers.  We'll see.

Yep, now that I think someone might actually read this, I'm wondering if it's worth writing several paragraphs about how cake pops are the killjoy of cake balls.  I'm thinking not.  It's obvious: anything with the word "balls" in it is funny, especially if Alec Baldwin is doing the talking.  Pop a stick in it, and you've just turned it into some sort of suburban mommy birthday project.  And trust me, I now know a little bit about this.  And no, I am not the neighborhood vasectomy go-to gal.

But as we're talking about birthdays, mine is coming.  It's the big 4-0.  Yeah me.  And now I will steal a little trick from Pam at Starbucks and post a bit from an essay I wrote recently that was once published, well, nowhere.  So I'm giving it to you for free!  Yes, free!  You can thank me later.

Reflections as 40 Approaches...

 I remember my mom turning 40, and I remember her acting like it was some big deal, and me finding this rather random.  Why was 40 so important?  Hmm.  Why not 25?  Or 30?  Or 50—that’s a nice round half a century, after all. 

 But she seemed set on 40 being important, and my dad played along.  He bought her a TV for her bedroom.  It had a remote, so Mom could watch shows right from bed without having to get out!  Woot woot!

 Although one might suppose increased life-expectancies would adjust how we feel about alleged “milestone” birthdays, 40 seems to have stuck.  It still seems random.  At 18, we can vote.  At 21, we can legally drink.  At 35, we get more testing if we become pregnant.  We might get an AARP card or something when we turn 50—not there yet--and it’s still a nice half-a-century number. 

 I’m not sure what you get at 40.  A mammogram? 

 Not only does it still seem to be some “big deal” of an age, it actually seems to be a bigger deal.  A generation ago, you got to chill out in bed with a remote; now I have to be “fabulous.”  I know that sounds like a good thing, but it also sounds like a lot of effort.  What’s fabulous enough?  My husband takes me to dinner?  A few friends at the bar?  A backyard extravaganza replete with hothouse flowers and twinkly lights?  Taking a pole dancing class in heels and posting this photo on Facebook?

  Am I supposed to have a “midlife crisis,” or am I supposed to have achieved a bunch of brag-worthy feathers in my cap, like having a book on a best-seller list, or being a founder of something-or-other?  I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to have my living room furnished by now, but it’s still a toy-strewn warzone with a desk that used to be my grandma’s.

 Am I supposed to be “mentoring” someone?  When I was 20, I had this fantasy that a successful, warm, loving 40 year old would take me “under her wing” and “show me the ropes.”  Actually, I think I just wanted somebody to hand me some fantasy job with a smile.  But 40 year old women—oh, hell, even successful 30 year olds if they were tall with shiny bobs and wore black pantsuits—scared the hell out of me.  When they passed me in the hall, they rarely smiled, and if they were “successful”, they had a reputation for being bitchy and snappy and never stopping to chat.  They were probably actually just really, really busy, but I didn’t have children at the time, so I had a minimal understanding of what “busy” meant.  I had lots of time to mull over situations.  I was Taylor Swift, wondering why they weren’t helping me, and they were Tina Fey, passing me briskly and thinking “Um, why are you bothering me? I’m just doing my job, and now I need to call my nanny and figure out if my child is stranded someplace, or has a ride back from daycare.  Will I miss taking little Phoebe to her swim lesson and have to send her with the neighbor again—oh God, I’m such an awful mom!” 

Ultimately, I had kids, and didn’t go the working mom route—no thanks to you, non-helping, non-existent 40 year old mentor lady!—so this has saved me the guilt route.  This does seem to put some pressure on me to somehow be an extraordinary stay-at-home mom and homemaker, thereby forcing me to channel “success” through my children, and, worse yet, even use the word “homemaker” in this sentence.  I feel like I fell asleep during some feminist movement.  Sorry about that, bra burning ladies; babies make you tired!

 I hear 40 actually is the new 20—or something like that.  Does this make 60 the new 40?  Will I have to be sexy at 60, or something?  Do I need to find a successful, warm, loving 60 year old to take me under her wing?  Am I supposed to take a 20 year old under mine?  What am I supposed to show her?  And if 40 is the new 20, what does that make 20?  And who is inventing this crazy new math, anyhow?

 No wonder my mom just wanted a TV.

 Pass me the remote.

What do you think about this fabulous and 40 business?  Or, alternately, cake pops and balls?