Sunday, April 26, 2009

Random Thoughts by Liz Jackson

Will, who now sports a mohawk, has coined a new term. When our family of 5 is all together, he refers to us as being "Cheddar". Cheddar- togeddar, he sings out.

Sammy continuously bites Ben. We cannot seem to stop him, and in what is perhaps the ultimate cruel irony, his teeth leave smiley face bite marks, with two clear eyes and a mouth. I think he'll have my teeth. He also puts his food on the bottom of his foot before eating it a lot of the time.

Ben loves two things in this world: food and sleep. He is one of few babies I know who actually smiles every time he is put to bed. We have been giving the kids more ice creams and popsicles since it's been so hot. I never thought that Ben's tongue tie was much of an issue; however, it is impossible for him to lick an ice cream cone. It is a very sad sight. Time to get snipped.

When we had one of those rare warm days in early Spring, I thought to myself that it seems like it's a lot easier to have a better day when it's nice out. I take it back. It has been near 90 the past two days. Tomorrow's forecast is 90, Tuesday is 93. There are bugs everywhere, it's too hot to cook anything, and when we go outside, I am the SPF Nazi. Ben, particularly, gets special attention when we are in the sun. His color could be describes as a whitish blue in its' untanned state.
Also, it makes me feel like such shit to have my disgusting body that I have neglected all winter being exposed on a larger scale. I feel pale, dry, hairy, and fat; and it's too late to do anything about it for this year.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stage 5 Clinger

I haven't made a new friend in nearly 8 years.
I think about that a lot. I would say I am pretty friendly. And I do have some casual conversations with other women my age. They just never go anywhere. Sometimes, I'll meet someone and think, "I could see myself being friends with her". But, the moment passes, and I'll not have even gotten as far as her name.
One of my good friends up and moved to upstate New York almost 9 years ago. I am amazed to hear of the social circle she has created for herself. When we moved to PA, I was fine with basically sticking to myself for the brief period we'd be here. And then, something happened. One day, while at Reamstown Park, I met a young mother with a son about Will's age. Will and her son played so well together, and she and I chatted while I wiped the dripping blood from Sam's split lip with my sweatshirt, since I am a fucking ROOKIE and didn't have a FUCKING SINGLE TISSUE, WIPE, or NAPKIN with me!
She clued me in on some cool places to check out in the area, gave me the lowdown on some of the other idiosyncrasies of central PA. She had met Kate Gosselin also, and she said she was mean to her, too. And, then, in a rare instance of candid self depreciating humor, she joked that she should have named her son "Jose" instead of the uber-trendy moniker bestowed upon his tan skinned self. I liked her. As things were wrapping up at the park, she asked if I had a cell phone, and gave me her number; she said she'd like to have a play date sometime. This was as far as I'd ever gone with a stranger; it was like the equivalent of Mommy second base. After we left the park, I giddily called my long-distance friend-making champion for some advice. How long to wait until I call? A day? A week? I didn't want to seem too eager.
After Easter weekend, I gave her a ring. Sure enough, she answered, and we set a play date up (at her house- 3rd base, almost all the way; this girl was easy). What followed after that was a nearly constant barrage of phone calls regaring nap schedules, dietary restrictions, and toddler style skill set matching.
I was overwhelmed. Is this what it's like making a new friend? I was willing to tough it out and give it a shot, and then I had an epiphany. I was leaving this place in a few weeks. I would most likely never see this woman again. Was it worth it for me to endure the pain of geting to know someone only to have it be in vain? Furthermore, what if she killed us when we went to her house, or if she was one of those crazy cat people/hoarders, or she propostioned me for a menage a trois or even worse, tried to sell me Papmpered Chef? I had to get the fuck out of there before I even went. And, so, with a push of her name on my speed dial, I cancelled. And, I didn't feel at all bad about it.
My inner circle is pretty small. It's actually more like a teeny tiny polka dot. I would say that I have lots of acquaintences with whom I am very friendly, but very few close friends. I'm basically limited to about 5 or 6 ladies who I know I can call on at anytime for help, advice (usually about cutting my own hair), or some laughs. In my posse, are a few obvious choices.
My sister. Really, nobody knows me like my sister. We are only 14 months apart, and when we were little we shared a room. I remember drifting off to sleep, and synchronizing flipping over our pillows so that we would both feel the coldness of the bottom side of the pillowcases on our cheeks at the same time. We share the same childhood stories, lack of breast tissue and excess of premature gray hair. We have grown closer and closer as the years have gone by. And, although it's sort of like we have to be each other's friend because we are family; I would want her to be my friend even if we weren't related.
My BFF. J and I met in junior high...I fancied her a preppy art student in the making. I'm sure she thought of me as the friend from the wrong side of the Assabet. As our children become friends, we have even sillier experiences together. It's nice to have someone laugh at your dumb mistakes, and know they aren't judging you.
Throw into the mix a few wives (well, one isn't technically a wife anymore)of Brett's family. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I have great in-laws, and these girls have taught me so much, each in their own way. Lessons about distance and closeness, marriage and divorce, and most of all that being a friend doesn't really depend upon who you're married to.
It's rounded out by a good college friend, although we have grown apart, and a very funny wife of a firefighter.
And, really, when it's all written down in front of me, I can see why I haven't made a new friend in so long. I don't need one. I have all the friends I need. Who else in this world needs to or wants to know about my facial waxing habbits, my grotesque menstrual cycle, or my penchant for cutting my own hair, only to be filled with regret?
Apparently you do.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Big "O" (PA Style)

All praise is due. First things first...Kudos to The Bean for this title. I love a double entendre, and honor your version with a recycling. Earth Day's coming up, my bitches!

So, owning our own furniture company has been pretty cool. Since most of our retailers are based in high end areas like the Hamptons, Hilton Head, and Westchester County, we have gotten to produce things for some really cool and noteworthy people. Most of the time we don't even know who they're for, but occasionally an interior designer or store buyer will drop a name...
A few weeks ago, Mary (the 16 year old Mennonite who I am training in the office) received an email about an author who had just ordered a work table from us. The sales rep mentioned that his first book was on Oprah's book list, and his second just went to the publisher. Upon reading this, Mary looked at me quizzically and said, "I figured you would know what this all means." I explained to her that, basically, the sales person was being a show off and just wanted to brag a bit. But, she then asked, "But what is this word?", as she pointed out the word "Oprah". What the fuckity fuck?! Who doesn't know who Oprah is? And that is when I realized just how different we truly are.
Of course I did my best to clue her in on who Oprah is, but in an effort to explain her influence on pop culture, we strayed a bit. I took her on a mini-cruise of the information super highway; avoiding my favorites, but trying to do my part to open her eyes, even if just a bit. I wouldn't call myself a feminist at all, but I couldn't help feeling that I had a responsibility to tell Mary about how the "other half" lives. Nobody has ever asked Mary, or her sisters for that matter, what they wanted to be when they grew up. Can you imagine? So, I did. I asked her what her family would do if she decided to become a doctor, which seemed to confuse her. She kept asking if I meant a nurse, which makes me wonder if she even knows she COULD become a doctor. I did get a little teary, and I told her that for me, a woman, it did break my heart a little to think that there is so much she will never experience. And so much that she and her sisters have within them that will never be shared with the rest of the world. These girls grow up under their fathers roofs, abiding by their fathers' rules, until they are married to a man they must obey. Her jaw almost hit the floor when I told her that I just didn't believe that I was put here to follow Brett; that I thought we were put here to follow one another, taking turns leading.
The weird thing is though, that as my heart aches for them, so does theirs for me. I know they have such strong faith, and when they look at me, they do not see the strong, opinionated and hardworking person I like to think I am. They see a woman who has chosen a career over her family; who does not know her true place as a help mate to her husband. And who knows? Maybe they're right. I don't think it's my place to say. But, as I explained to Mary, maybe it's right for her, but I know for shit sure it is not right for me.