Friday, February 19, 2010
Here's what he does for a history project. You know, He Who Cannot Be Named but is taking this to the state History competition after inadvertently turning a 'write a paper on recent history of your picking' into something really cool.
Even better? He said she could post this.
Be still, beating heart.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
My, my, my. . . the Matron has been very interested in details at the Colony!
But the outright vilification of flesh gave the Matron pause. Why? She’s thinking of our daughters. Yes, yes, the boys –and she has two of them—feel pressure to adhere to cultural ideals, yes, indeed. But she’s here to argue that there’s a unique condemnation of female flesh. Is there any male counterpoint to Oprah’s battle of the bulge? Starr Williams? Ricki Lake? She could go on and on and on. For every Jared, there’s a Jenny Craig, Valerie Bertinelli, Kirstey Alley and every celebrity who has ever given birth. The Matron would love to take every “how she got her body back after baby” article to kerosene and torch. That would be one big bonfire. She’d toss in a few pages on Jennifer Aniston’s abs, just to make that flame burn brighter.
Every few days, she’s reminded of how cellular these issues are to women, how this deep-tissue condemnation of female flesh is being passed along to our daughters. You see, the Matron has a good friend – a rail-thin woman who, not unlike the Matron, works toward that condition--- who cannot get her daughter to be thin enough. The daughter is not fat. Not thin. She is firmly in the middle, a 12 year old with new breasts, hips, and a little bit of tummy. The Matron’s friend, Jay we’ll say, is routinely saying things like this:
“I’m taking Kay for a walk tonight to make sure she burns some calories.”
“Do you pack carbs for Scarlett's lunch? I’m just leaving carbs out of Kay’s diet unless she asks for something like a cookie.”
“I know, I know, I’m worried about the weight. But it’s so much easier to be thin. Your life as a woman is easier.” (True)
“Kay? Do you really need to eat a whole hamburger or is half okay?”
“Girls? Can we skip a snack after school and save our appetites for dinner?”
The Matron is not condemning Jay but putting her on a spectrum, a spectrum in which the Matron herself, survivor of an eating disorder, is firmly situated. With three spindly young ones, the Matron hasn’t (yet) navigated the land of ‘watch what you eat.’ But she sees plenty of mothers, not just Jay, fretting about their daughters’ physiques.
Last week, Jay’s daughter, Kay, said this to Scarlett. The Matron overheard from her secret spot out in the open two feet away from the kitchen table:
Kay: “Scarlett, let’s go on a cleansing diet next week. No carbs, no wheat, no diary, no meat, no sugar. What do you think?”
Scarlett: “Sounds good! We can get healthy just like our Moms!”
Oh darlings. It is a little more complicated. Please don't emulate your mothers.
Move beyond us.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Sung to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies.
Thankfully, Merrick's finger looks pink and pretty and, most importantly, full intact. He was the Hero in school yesterday, wielding splint and bandage as Badge of Honor, and earning that most coveted Minnesota grade school privilege: he got to stay inside and paint during recess --with a friend!
His life has never been better. Next time he's aiming for a more dramatic digit.
Kiara (so not her real name): "Mary? This is Kiara X. I'm in your Class NeverShowUp."
Matron: "Well, not any more Kiara. You haven't been there since January 19th. I just withdrew you from the class."
Matron: "A migraine? Nothing else? No jail, no bankruptcy, unplanned pregnancy, fifteen family members moving in?"
Kiara: "Actually, I've been sorta hanging out at home watching TV with my husband when he's not at work. It's just a bad migraine, that's all. I've been taking care of myself real good with movies and home-cooked meals. I think I'm on the mend."
Kiara: "Oh, I will be FINE next week. When I get a bad headache I just need a break from life. Get comfy and CHILL and take care of ME, you know. My migraine is all gone and thought I'd come back to class next Tuesday, in a week, just to kick it, you know."
Sigh. This is where the Matron draws the line. Sorry, Kiara.
Monday, February 15, 2010
But Merrick kept wailing and --because nobody else was home-- she asked Stryker to see what was what.
Matron (above Merrick's screams): "So what do you think Stryker? Does that look all good like it's going to just heal on its own?"
Stryker, calmly hugging Merrick: "Mom, that looks great. I wouldn't worry."
Stryker, then moving BEHIND Merrick to stage whisper and gasp behind his back, mouthing: "CALL THE HOSPITAL."