Category Archives: humor

The Fault In Our Stars: A Mother-Daughter Review

fault

Far before all the opening weekend fuss, or even the buzz about a movie in the works, my fifteen year old daughter recommended I read, The Fault In Our Stars.

There came a visceral moan from behind the door. I ran down the hall calling to her.

“Baby, are you okay?”

An inquiry that only caused an escalation in the sobbing.

Panic setting in…

“You need to open this door now and tell me what’s wrong!”

Red-eyed, puffy-faced, heaving with suppressed sobs…

“Some infinities are longer than other infinities! Hold me Mommy!!!”

The book falls out of her hands. My typically cynical, eye-rolling, aloof, teenager falls into my arms.

Naturally, I had to read this. A tome so powerful as to transform an angst-ridden pre-adult into a child in need of her mother’s arms for succor.

I read it.

Then we had our own little Book Club meeting. It went something like this…

“The night of the broken trophies. Eggs! OMG, Amsterdam!!”

“I know!”

Laughing. Sighing.

“Not Augustus! Why?!!! He hates basketball! Cigarettes!!! It was his daughter!”

Tears. Snot. Kleenex.

“His words were perfect!”

Synchronized sobbing. No more Kleenex left, move on to toilet paper.

“I love that you get this mom. I love that you’re such a sap. I love that we are both book nerds. I. Love. You.”

We now have a date for the movies.

The ‘Hippocratic’ Oath of the 40 Something Woman

do no harm but take no shitThat Hippocrates may have been onto something with the whole, ‘doing no harm’ in his oath.  Such a gem was that one that I can pretend he didn’t go on ramble – ad nauseam— about, “his” this, “him” that, brothers, sons and men, men, men.

No room for women in the bathhouse eh, Hippo?

Sexism aside, I’ve done a lot of thing about the idea of doing no harm, first. When each day seems to bring a new headline about bullying, be it cyber, in school or even in NFL locker rooms, doing no harm sounds like a salve.

While I know that extreme cases like those mentioned above, do exist {shout out to the 80’s and the pack of roving mean girls who preyed on me like rabid coyotes} it is the quiet, more passive harm that has me waxing Greek Philosopher. What of the small ways we harm?

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time pondering, struggling and dealing with the rippling effects of the harm we do to one another. Be it the small sting that comes from being excluded, to the deeper bruising caused by discarding the entirety of a person’s spirit.

Living in a world of words, managing to make living from them, I am keenly aware of the power they have. To be told you are beautiful – at that exact moment when you feel anything but – by the one person whom you so desperately want…  does there exist  here any drug that can take you higher?

Hearing your child whisper, “I love you,” with their eyes closed, as they drift off to sleep… if your heart doesn’t break from the purest joy ever felt by a human, you need to check your species.

Then there are the words that harm. Some cutting so deeply there simply isn’t a tourniquet strong enough to halt the bleed.

“I’m sorry. You’re great. There is someone perfect for you, it’s just not me”

decades later typing that still made my chest hurt.

“I can’t right now. I’m on a deadline. I promise I’ll make it up to you”

sounds pretty harmless, until you say it over-and-over and never make it up to them.

“I promise you”

ah, this one is a tough one. It can go either way, can’t it? The scars left behind by broken promises rarely completely fade away.

Perhaps it has something to do with being on the down slope of forty, but these days I feel as though I need an oath of my own. A mantra that serves as a reminder to be mindful, avoid doing harm.  One that also empowers, taking back the control and refusing to allow others to do harm to me.. or you for that mater. We can call  this the ‘Hippocratic Oath of the 40 Something Woman’

Let’s keep it a simple philosophy, very UN-Greek. I give you the Hippocratic oath of the forty something woman…

Do No Harm But Take No Shit

do no harm but take no shit

Dublin, Ireland: Pints, Passports and The Blue Oyster Cult

Sure I’ve traveled quite a bit, but most of the best destinations came BC (Before Kids).

Though, there was this one time in Dublin.

Temple Bar District, Dublin, Ireland

Actually our trip was an Italian escape. A week in Tuscany. Shopping in Florence. Stopping to see family in Rome, a day trip to Lucca and enough wine to float us home. So where does Dublin factor in? What I’d done was book our flights so that the layover in Dublin was more like a day trip. Bonus, it saved me money too!

Travel tip: Long layovers can save you money AND get you an extra destination in your itinerary too.

After one of the best flights I’ve ever been on* we touched ground is sunny Ireland, my ancestral home. All the lucky holders of EU passports got swiftly ferried through the fast line, whist Hubby and I had to cue up with the snails. It was still great, after all we were kid free and about to hit Temple Bar for an early morning pint. Gotta love that you can get a proper stout at nine in the morning served in with a frothy head and no judgment.

The fine gentleman at the customs counter asked us the usual questions, “Where is your final destination?”, “How long do you plan to be in Ireland?”, nothing out of the ordinary. Passports stamped, hand-in-hand, we made our way towards the throngs of travelers exiting the inspection area. All was right with the world.

Until the guy in the supervisors booth stepped in front of us and said, “Come with me please.”

Wholly crap! My heart climbed into my throat and started to do a jig. Couldn’t this guy tell I was Irish? I mean, I belong here. What was going on? I’d never even been stopped at a border. Not even as a slightly inebriated teenager returning from Mexico on a Saturday night. What the heck is going on?

Naturally. It was all my husband’s fault.

As the Supervisor lead us out of the crowd and towards his booth he introduced himself. Then he proceeded to ask my husband if he wouldn’t mind posing for a picture with him. Good looking as my man is, he’s never been mistaken for a movie star. Ah, but he did have an association with one. See he was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with an image of Will Farrel in his classic SNL parody of  The Blue Oyster Cult skit in which we are all told that,  “It Needs More Cowbell!”

I’d nearly had a heart attack because the guy wanted a picture of the SHIRT??!!!

Oddly enough we’d later be stopped on the streets of Temple Bar so that the shirt could be admired. I guess Will Farrel is a big deal in Ireland.

Temple BarStay classy Dublin!

(this post is in NO WAY sponsored by anyone. That said, mad props to Aer Lingus for great service… a rare thing in air travel these days)

On The Road: My Childhood Travel Memories

“The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream.”
– Jack Kerouac

Growing up, my parents were keen to hit the road with the three of us in tow. They were adventurers, wandering souls, Hippies in search of that bit of Zen that Ginsberg and the gang had promised them. My brothers and I were the beneficiaries of this wanderlust.  By the time I’d turned ten I had stood in awe of mysteries of The Thing

Many a stoic “Indian”, my fair share of taffy shops, “World’s Biggest” ______, ghost towns and even a few dinosaurs.

Getting up in the wee hours, watching as dad loaded the family wagon with that Coleman cooler and more bags than people was somehow magical. Hitting the road was a sort of alchemy. All the things that drove mom nuts diminished in their potency, my brothers transformed -no longer annoying little ogres- jam-sodden bread became a four star delicacy. The destination didn’t really matter all that much, it was the “getting there” that got to me. It imbued me with a want for trekking that grows as my own kids do.

Do you have those special childhood travel memories? I’d love to hear all about them.

Come share with me and the Traveling Moms as we host the weekly #TMOM Twitter Party. This week the party will be sponsored by one of MY kids favorite places to travel to, Omni Hotels. <— Obviously they have far more sophisticated travel tasted than I did as a kid. We’ll be talking  about Traveling with Kids, on  Monday night, 6/18, from 9-10pm EST, using the #TMOM hashtag. RSVP at TravelingMom.com to register for a chance to win a two night stay at any Omni Hotel


Smart Phones Are Taking Over The WORLD!

My “smart” –or evil genius in waiting– phone can help me find my way out of that paper sack I’m always lost in. It can babysit my kids (hello Angry Birds). The mother-in-law gets her own ring tone. I call it the “off” button. I can shoot video, send email, take pictures… just like every other schmuck out there. All that and until today I thought it was my friend. I now know that it’s just waiting for me to fall asleep so it can turn on the Chevy Traverse I’ve been driving for almost a month now as one of the Baltimore Chevy Girls and proceed with it’s diabolical plan for world domination.

Okay so I might be suffering from a little Invader Zim-itus there, but this video will explain the roots of my paranoia inspiration.

Chevy: There Is An App For That from Baltimore Chevy Girls on Vimeo.