Are You Kidding Me?!

Are You Kidding Me?!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Over the Hill or "40 is the New 20"

Sweet 16. That’s a magical time for kids. Mostly girls, I guess. 13 is a big deal in some cultures. 18…eh. Yah, they’re technically adults now but...not really. 21 is great because these “adults” can down their first legal drinks and legally puke in the bathroom of a reputable bar—one that checks IDs. All the decades are cool to celebrate: 30, 50, 80…all those. 100, of course, is awesome. Although people are mostly just toasting the fact that you’re still alive. 64 will be pretty groovy because I’ll get to sing the Beatles song all day and, because it’ll be my birthday, nobody will be allowed to make me stop. 

But, even though 40 is the new 20, 50 the new 30, and 60 the new 40 or whatever, I still can’t get the big 40 out of my head as OVER THE HILL. That’s the way it was the entire time I was growing up. Forty was old. Forty was the big birthday party with all your friends, neighbors, and relatives. Forty was black decorations, plates, and napkins with tombstones or vultures or the grim reaper on them. It was funny. And the person whose birthday we were celebrating was old.

Now, I look around for those party plates and it’s all, you know, “birthday” colors. Primary rainbow crap. Is this supposed to make me feel younger? I’m turning forty. And I am feeling that. I don’t know why since I never really cared about my age all that much (except for 30—I loved turning thirty). Maybe that’s why. Maybe I’m mourning that magical decade of still looking fabulous but actually being wise and having some life experience. I’m going to miss my thirties. I’d love to say that my forties are going to be “even better!” but I just can’t. I’m not feeling it. I’ve been wanting to be thirty since I was a teenager. Forty? Not so much. But I hadn’t thought about it until now because I was enjoying my thirties so much. 

I don’t want 40 to be the new 20—I hated my twenties. I wouldn’t go back there if you paid me. I was an immature idiot who was under the delusion I was an adult. 

I thought I might maybe grow old gracefully but that is so not happening. I’m looking at myself seeing all sorts of unpleasant things. “Laugh lines” my ass—they’re wrinkles. And those things that you see near your eyes when you smile? They’re not cute creases from living a happy life, they’re crow’s feet. 

Ugh. I feel old. Maybe that’s another problem. I should change my mindset. I’m not "Over the Hill" but more like "Over the River". When I’m 50, I’ll be "Through the Woods", then, when I’m 60, I’ll be all "To Grandmother’s House I Go!"…which would, I guess, be 70? 80? That’s cool.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Double Standards During Halloween

Girls can be ghosts, goblins, and ghouls. They can be zombies, skeletons, and soldiers. They can be unidentifiable “things” with masks that have eyeballs hanging out and faces falling off. Boys? They can be these things, too. Sure. But they can’t be princesses. They can’t be a Snow White, Strawberry Shortcake, or Barbie. Not that they’d necessarily want to but, hey, you never know--they sell a girl’s costume for Sully from Monster’s Inc. who was a giant BOY monster.

Yes, girls can wear any costume they want. And the stores now offer girl versions of “boy” costumes like cute cowboys and pink pirates. Girls can also get away with being a cuddly panda, puppy dog, or bumble bee a lot longer than boys can.

Pink pajama zombie? How cute!
Boys’ costumes are all guns and guts. There really is no alternative. If you have a lot of time or are super creative, you can make (or find) something that is not disgusting, I’m sure. But, when searching for little boys’ costumes this time of year, you are limited in your choices. And so are your little boys. They also see the “Boy” section and the “Girl” section and they learn what is socially acceptable which is vastly different from what is parent acceptable.

Here is where I am gonna get all immature again and say that it is totally unfair.

Blood-splattered child with a gun AND an ax, a clip of bullets and a bloody head? No, thank you.

I’m not trying to keep my boys babies. I’m not crying and wishing I could dress them up like a little lamb. I’m just saying…where are the cool, classic costumes that don’t involve intestines hanging out or axes dripping with blood? They’re harder and harder to find, if they’re out there at all. As I recall, my brother dressed up in non-violent costumes our entire childhood. Still…they were “boy” costumes. So, except for the amount of gore, things haven’t changed since the 70s?  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Don't Put a Damper on Donations!

People are stepping up and giving. They’re donating and helping. Can we stop beating them up for it? I am so sick of seeing comments about how they could have done more, they could have given to a “better” cause, or they shouldn’t have done it at all.

Like this amazing couple who donated $10 million to fund Head Start programs that were going to shut down because of government funding (or lack thereof). Yes, they have money—so what? You going to stone them for it? Comments included things like “Why are they giving money to Head Start? That’s full of lazy parents who expect everyone else to pay for their kids!” and “If this couple is so rich, they should have donated more.” How many other people are wealthy and aren’t doing a damn thing with their money except buying (another) new $700,000 car, a $60,000 purse, or a $3 million pair of shoes?

Stuart Weitzman designed these $3 million beauties.

This Lana Marks bag is only $100,000.

I see people posting “good news” and “pay it forward” and “happy stuff” on Facebook quite a lot now. And some of that stuff is informing us of nice things people did. Like a teenager who received a brand-new dream car for her 16th birthday, sold it, and used the money to buy a cheaper, used car for herself and a friend of hers who couldn’t afford a car. The girl was bashed. “What did her parents think of her selling the car?” “Why is a 16-year-old getting a car that expensive anyway?” “In my country, most people can’t afford even run-down old cars.” And on and on. This girl did a good thing. Period.

So, when someone donates $10 million to help others, or even if they donate one dollar to help others, either thank them or shut up. 

Clearly, since I won’t shut up, I will happily say this: Laura and John—thank you.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Grievance With the Way You Mourn

Everyone grieves in their own way. That’s what they say. Do they also say I can get pissed at someone for not grieving the same way that I do? Kidding. No, I’m not. Really. It’s incredibly difficult to mourn with other people. Crazy, right? Maybe.

See, when you experience a loss, it is what it is to you. You feel what you feel. But you also want to be able to feel that and, when you have children, you have to hide and cry in locked bathrooms or closets. It’s weird. And wrong. And it makes me angry. It makes me feel like a child myself, frankly. I want to stomp my foot and shout “This is NOT FAIR!” I may have done that. I’m okay with it.

So back to the thing, you know, where I’m saying “Hey, you have to grieve the same way that I do!” What I mean by that is I want people, even children, to grieve in some way. It doesn’t have to be the exact same way as me but it should be something.

I don’t want to walk around my own house hiding my feelings. Is that what parents do? Is that good for children anyway? I mean, really. What are we teaching them? The children who are feeling something are going to see that it’s not okay to feel something. The ones who aren’t feeling anything are going to think that’s okay. They will think it’s okay to act totally normal around someone who is grieving. One will learn to bury his feelings. The other will learn a faux pas.

I think hiding “bad” feelings (which I’m going to go ahead and call “normal” feelings) is not a good idea. Not for either type of child mentioned above. Therefore, when they ask about the door that I ripped off the hinges, I’ll tell them I was grieving. Kidding. No, I’m not. Really. I’ll tell you that story another time. It’s funny. And true. And all me.