Thursday, December 30, 2010

Personal Grooming: A Dangerous Trend

Okay, children of the eighties. You will recognize the slippery slope we've been descending since our youth. Back in the day personal hygiene responsibilities were basic. Shower daily, shave your face or legs and pits depending on gender. At the time I thought that was pretty unfair since I am borderline furry and have to shave every day, twice if I want to show some leg without a five o'clock shadow.

Summer upped the ante for us gals. The bathing suits had gone decidedly northwards and the expectation was that no hair show beneath the line of the suit. (Thanks, Sports Illustrated.)

Note the severe vertical line of the bikini bottom.

Whatever happened after you crossed that line was your own affair. Since razor burn on the upper/inner thigh is nearly as unsightly as awkwardly escaping hairs of the extremely intimate variety, alternative, permanent methods of hair removal gained popularity. Electrolysis. Absolutely medieval, people. I know. I tried it and wasn't man enough to handle it.

This trend toward beautiful, hairless skin caused no end of consternation but in the grand scheme of things, we didn't know how good we had it. Those damn Playboy girls took it to the next level. I turned around twice and gals were opting for anything from the landing strip to bald as a cue ball. (That was where I drew the line. No lasers, no electrical shocks, and no razors. Dudes, some things are sacred.)

This hairless pussy is clearly unhappy.

Starlets, showing off their well coiffed hoo-hahs, all went commando in their mini whatevers. All of a sudden, the collective acceptance of which goodies you show and which ones you cover up changed. It went from a sedate amount of cleavage to a free-for-all, including hints of butt crack in $5000 Golden Globes gowns.

Celebrity flaunting bald vajajay

And now it is time to draw the line. All these bald or thinly fuzzed peep-show personal areas have engendered a strange new notion. You should care what your va-jay-yah looks like. To the point that they now have jewelry and plastic surgery for it.

Bedazzled vajayjay

No. Just. NO.

Not reconstructive, like post delivery repair work. The pretty-it-up kind. If you have a few thousand dollars to spend on personal improvement, body repair, whatever you want to call it then why, for the love of all that is holy, would you spend it on a place that presumably only your MD will be looking at very closely? Even your partner should be, erm, focused on other things. Like what you're doing with it. Or what they're doing with it. It's not exactly celebrated for its innate beauty, like, say, a nice rack. A pretty waist. The small of the back.

And seriously. Hef's sac must look like two old socks with golf balls in the bottom by now. Think he's going under the knife? Or even cares?

Sock stuffed with ball. Observe the unaesthetic nature of said article.

I'm going with the old-fashioned way to achieve desirability, myself. Keep it exclusive and voila! It's a hot commodity. When the fellas start going in for ball lifts, maybe I'll give it some more thought.

Nope, not even then.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas is like Florescent Lighting, OR, How the Holidays Reveal Every Flaw

Every one tells you how the magic of Christmas is once again revealed when you have kids. This is BS. For a few reasons. Allow me to elaborate.

Reason #1: My husband. He's nosy as hell about where the money goes even though I am not a woman who spends money with abandon. It's annoying when he wants to know "What is this $1.76 at Circle K?" but I make allowances since we have caught fraudulent charges this way.

HOWEVER. I am now a "stay-at-home-mom." This was a joint decision, made in the best interest of the family as a whole. As in, not necessarily what is best for MOM, but what our kids needed and, well, since we decided to procreate and all, time to suck it up and commit. This ended the era where Mom (previously known as Laurel) earned an actual paycheck. Joint checking gained an entirely new significance. Gone are the days when Laurel could purchase a nice-ish gift for that boy she married and have any reasonable expectation of surprising him. This is how she was reduced to asking her dad to pay for this year's gift with the promise of paying him back as soon as the gift was opened. A bit humiliating, truth be told. Dad was a really good sport about it, though.

Reason #2: My mother. I've discovered that my mom has a bitch streak as wide as an oxcart. This should not surprise, really, since my sister and I both sport healthy bitch streaks. But Mom? Honestly, you would think we were Jewish or Catholic based on the reverence we (and everyone else) share for my mom.

Mom is over the holidays. Fair enough, as she has spent every single Thanksgiving and Christmas in the kitchen for the past forty years. BUT. She has two able-bodied adult daughters and one son-in-law who are all bang-up cooks. And a nephew who is a professional chef. As in, New York and Chicago's coolest restaurants sous chef. We volunteer year-in, year-out to bring/cook anything and everything. My dad even offered to have the holidays catered this year. Mom has refused each and every overture to take some of the holiday burden from her tired shoulders. And then she gets pissed because she is doing all the work. The pathology surrounding the laundry room is perhaps even worse.

Reason # 3: My dad. Holy hell. He lives in a bubble. The only reality for him is the one he is in that very instant. I'll be juggling dirty dishes, whatever casserole my mother has granted me permission to be in charge of, and a six-year-old and three-year-old who are wild as bats because SANTA IS COMING TONIGHT!! and from the computer room I hear, "Laurel?"

"Yes, Dad?"

"Can you help me with this for a minute?"

Inevitably, the "this" is related to email. I have never been able to explain to him how Microsoft Outlook is a program. On your hard drive. It downloads email from "out there" and puts in on your computer "right here". If you do not use or link it with an online server, then the email gets pulled from the mysterious internet and only exists on the computer you downloaded it to. I've tried analogies, like how voice mail from BellSouth is different than an answering machine. No love. This has been going on for years.

I swear he's a smart man. He just gets wrapped around the axle on something and you can't dislodge him. He always comes back with: "But I have Outlook on the computer in the office. Why don't these messages show up there?" Nothing I say will penetrate the frustrated conviction that because both computers have Outlook they should exhibit the same information.

Reason # 4: People who should be here and aren't PLUS people who shouldn't be here and are. My grandfather was a Christmas staple. The holiday didn't start until he and his wife arrived. Seriously. It just wasn't Christmas until Pappy pulled up in his big gray sedan and wheeled their suitcases into the guestroom. He died almost three years ago and things haven't been right since. I mean, less right than they were for the previous three years when his wife had Alzheimer's and was so fragile in any space outside her own home.

Then there are the widows and orphans. I am SO GLAD that we are this sort of family, but it does make me, erm, bitter when I'm ready for all the extra people to go on home. Someone doesn't have family for the holiday? Can't afford to travel? Recent loss in their family? They'll be at our house. I really, really love this about my family but I'd like a year where we can wander around with no make-up and pajamas all day.

We talk about inventing a holiday for this express purpose. We won't tell anyone else when/what it is. It will be our family holiday. But I'll be damned if my mom does the cooking or my dad brings his computer.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mixing Genres


Okay, disclaimer over. For the twisted sense of humor set:

Mixing genres allows the creative juices to really flow. Observe what happens when this clever Australian quartet combines a Wiggles-type ditty with adult themes:

Genius, I tell you. Genius. Way better than Jane Austen zombies.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I am not a baker.

I like savory things. Savoury, truth be told, since I think the extra vowel in the British spelling is sort of like an onomatopoeia for the palate. More layers to the word, more layers to the flavor. Even subtle layers, like an extra vowel you might not hear but somehow sense is present.

Lobster enchiladas? No problem.
Rack of lamb with rosemary and red wine reduction sauce? I could do it in my sleep.

Sugar cookies? Epic fail.

We produced the ugliest sugar cookies EVER today. They were tasty, mind you, but could my 6 and 3 year old cut them into anything resembling holiday shapes? That would be a resounding NO. We had to settle for green and red sugar sprinkled blobs.

My poor kids. They may never overcome the tragedy of their childhood.

I think I'll stick with coffee creme brulee. It's the only dessert I can produce with the desired result.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Resolved: Something Seasonal Will Get Done Up in Here

The Rejectionist! Uncontest! Here are my resolutions:

1. I resolve to actually put something on the tree. Lights AND ornaments. It's up in the living room and mocking me in its naked state. The kids have concluded that the boxes of ornaments are actually kitty toys since they have been on the floor for two days and still show no inclination of migrating toward the tree.

2. I resolve to take the tree down before New Year's Valentine's Day.

3. I resolve to complete the annual family slide show that we watch on Christmas Eve. Oh, and the slide shows that I didn't get done last year or the year before.

4. I resolve to get my poor little boy scout's badges attached to his uniform. Since I have had both for three months.

5. I resolve to apply the super ideas to improve my MS to my MS.

And in the actual self-improvement instead of get caught up category:

6. I resolve to do one randomly nice thing each day. Take someone else's grocery cart back to the store, pay for the next person's coffee, something. Smiling at someone who is rude to me totally counts.