Friday, February 15, 2008

If I Were

Please take a big historic breath.

I have broken every single chain letter I've ever received, even the ones that threatened dire consequences or promised big return.

Now, I'm participating in a meme--thanks, Laura. That 'thanks' was fully loaded.

Meme? I first saw this word in October, right after I started blogging. Does one write a meme? Participate in a meme? Create? Here's a helpful little blog about memes. Blog. Meme. Tag.

Who created this vocabulary? Where's the sustenance to these words, some syllabic punch?

Here we go:

If I were an ice cream I'd be sherbet because I can't follow rules.

If I were a fried food I'd be tempura. Does that count?

If I were an extreme sport I'd be . . . what are my options here? Anybody know anything about this?

If I were a retail store I'd be Bergdorf Goodman. Of course.

If I were a vegetable, I'd be daikon radish, tart and tangy that will do your body good.

If I were a fruit, I'd be a cashew. . . that's right. The cashew or caju is native to Brazil and the thing we call a nut? The seed of a fruit.

If I were a building I'd be the Statue of Liberty and starting letting the tired and weary back in.

If I were a car, I'd be a sturdy blue Volvo wagon, circa 1990.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Gauntlet, Laid.

Over at while they play, Kalurah is celebrating one year of blogging and 50 etsy sales by giving away an Amazon gift certificate of Significant Dollar.

To win, you write THE kick-ass caption to a photo that makes epidemiologists orgasmic with disease potential. It's a contest.

The Matron, she has no competitive bone in her body. Oh. No. Those years of academic toil, intellectual intensity and bad-ass drive made absolutely no mark on this sweet psyche.

That's why the Matron has zero Master Plan -- no strategy for success--- in regard to this contest. Submissions close at 8 pm tomorrow and oh no, the Matron won't be circling that blog like a hawk for her rivals, seeking inspiration, and scouting the pack before swooping in with a knock-down-drag-out Contender of a caption.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

200th Post

I had lunch with a friend yesterday.

As in a member of the Top Five Friends, the first you call on the days corporeal punishment sounds, well, reasonable or when you buy that $188 purse at ValuThrift for $7.49.

Me: "Tomorrow will be my 200th post."

Friend: "What?"

Me: "Blog post. I started with four weenie ones in September and I'm up to 200."

Friend: "I always forget about that blog."

Me (!): "You're kidding. I thought you read every day."

Friend: "Actually, I talk to you every day. Why would I read the blog?"

Me: "Because I'm writing it? It's good?"

Friend: "Actually, I like you better in real life."

Me (umbrage, taken!): "How could you! No you don't."

Friend: "Yes, I really do."

Me: "You can't possibly."

Friend: "You're wrong. I like you better, here."

Me: "But I'm funny on the blog."

Friend: "You're funny in real life, too."

Me: "I am not!."

Friend (sigh): "Yes, you are."

Me: "But I'm funny in a more thoughtful, well-done way on the blog."

Friend: "Actually, you're quick as a whip in real life. "

Me: "Now you're hurting my feelings."

Friend: "Sorry, but I prefer the real deal to the blog."

Me: "But I offer interesting political commentary on the blog. Gender stuff, too."

Friend: "Mary, you are Commentary, incarnate. In real life. You're just like that."

Me: "Oh my God. I can't believe you're saying this about my blog."

Friend: "I'm saying this about you."

Me: "But my blog is climbing in numbers! In just four months of steady postings I have hundreds of readers!

Friend: "Do they pay you?"

Me: "Of course not!"

Friend: "Are these relationships? If their kids showed up at your doorstep, do you know what to feed them? Tampax or Kotex? Which bathroom in their house is for public use and which strictly off limits?"

Me: "I know them through comments. There are kids' names involved, like Nature Girl and Boy G. Mr. T and Mr. G. Wild Child. See?"

Friend: "Hmmmm."

Me: "They put my name on their blogrolls: Minnesota Matron."

Friend: "That's not your name."

Me: "Yes, it is. And it looks good sitting up there for everyone to see, all shiny and taut: Minnesota Matron."

Friend: "You like being the center of attention."

Me: "I do not!"

Friend: "Who are we talking about?"

Me: "But I wish you preferred the blog."

Friend: "Center. Of. Attention."

Me: "Oh my God. I'm so sorry! Let's talk about you."

Friend: "Sweetie, you're always the center of attention. That's okay."

Me: "Thank God. I was getting worried, you hating my blog and all."

Friend: "Mary, the internet was created specifically for your blog. Online creativity can now take a rest. Can we order now?"

Me: "You like the blog--better? Prefer it to me in real life?"

Friend: "At this moment, yes. Very much so."

Me: "Thank you. Lemon grass soup?"

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's All About the Butt Cheek

You should see how adorable a box looks on him, too. Smack, smooch!

Earlier in the day, Scarlett and Merrick were fussing over me on the couch. Think you've got a head cold? Sorry, sistah. I own this lament.

All of a sudden, Scarlett says, "Merrick! Let's get naked and play that game again!"

They start stripping.


Turns out 'that game' is chasing each other in order to generate agonizing noise for further pounding headache--and 'naked' meant underwear for Scarlett.

Not my baby. I still get me some butt cheek.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Here You Go, Stryker

See, Stryker? You are the official center of attention. He asked me why I never put any of HIS very interesting creative work on my blog. He is deft with YouTube and the Creative Arts.

Considering yesterday--see below to understand how the Matron suffers--my obedience is hasty and complete.

Stryker? This is how you're currently using the brain described by your teacher as perhaps the sharpest in his 30 years of teaching?

Readers, please. Save your synapses. The visuals may make this point sufficiently.

And when this guy woke up on Saturday morning, the first thing he did was seek me out and proclaim his LOVE.

Fighting the good fight.

Stage Mother . . . .

has other children.

Merrick once offered Scarlett's bedroom to his best friend, Lachlan: "Scarlett lives in a play, Lachlan. You can sleep here."

Although his whole life is about keeping up with the big kids (who have 4 and 6 years on him), his battleground is minutiae: who has the best banana, latest bedtime, last marshmallow. Big Gun sibling wars--self-identity, parental preference--haven't yet erupted.

Plus, he's my baby! Hey, you big kids: give Merrick the best banana, the latest bedtime (wink, wink), the last marshmallow! This guy gets coddled. Position, secure.

Stryker plays on an entirely different field and knows it: "I am openly jealous of Scarlett. I actually feel like I hate her sometimes."

Here are the Cliff notes: Scarlett gets all the attention. Never gets into trouble. Gets to skip chores because of rehearsals. Misses weeks of school. Makes a lot more money than dog-walking or babysitting. Might be famous. Has found Life Passion. Gets all the attention. All the attention. Attention.

When his eyes opened on Friday (opening night), he started producing a steady stream of this: "I hate plays. Plays are stupid. Can I bring a book. I'm not going. You can't make me. Scarlett is stupid. You guys are torturing me. You must hate me."

Still, his complaints were backdrop. Tenor, muted. Behavior at the actual Tortuous Event Itself, excellent.

The performance was perhaps the best children's theater I've ever seen. I was floored (even with Bias firmly in hand). My daughter cried on stage. Real tears. She was casually cruel as the overseer's daughter, whose quite conscious silence means that her best friend--a slave--is brutally whipped. The entire cast radiated. It was raw, powerful, transporting.

At the cast party, because I remain genuinely surprised over--and slightly skeptical of--Scarlett's theatrical inclinations, I had to ask the director and stage manager: How's she doing?


This stage mother felt foolish, like she went digging for compliments. The director, stage manager, and choreographer offered commentary on Amazing Natural Talent and Big Career Coming that would be untoward to reproduce here. Detailed and enthusiastic observation, with names dropped and new Opportunity, mentioned.


As the van door closes for our ride home, Stryker instantaneously becomes the most evil, wretched, rude and cruel child on the planet. He is a Demon.

"I hate this family. That play sucked. You suck, Scarlett."

Every comment, threat, and attempt to calm was met with one of these dark bullets: I wish I had different parents, can't wait to move out, hope Scarlett falls and breaks an actual leg, want some fairness in this house, wish Merrick would get punished for what he does, think my mother and father suck, will never do chores again and SO ON.

He was so vile that once home, I ordered him to his bedroom --till noon the following day!

Of course, it was already well past bedtime, so it wasn't long before I had to face Demon again to say good-night. He was in bed, on the same soundtrack.

But he offered this special stanza: "My life is torture--and I heard every single word that guy said about Scarlett. Why does everybody think she's so great, so special?"

The word 'special' popped out in a blaze of glitter and phlegm, so dark, so solid and bitter that it bounced off the walls and hit me.

Aha! Origin of the Demon, noted.

Before I could tell Demon how absolutely great, how special he was, he barricaded himself in an ice cold voice: "Mom, I have something to tell you."

Ominous tone? Understatement.

Me: "Remember, words can cause real damage. I'd think very carefully first."

Demon (calmly, with a sense of reflection and peace): "Oh, I've thought about this for a long, long time and I'm ready, no doubt about it. Mom, I never thought it would come to this. I don't love you anymore. I genuinely don't. Sorry."

Dagger! Excellent aim, exacting delivery! Target down!

I walked away without a word. Took a few deep breaths. Got a little teary. Spent a few minutes debriefing with the spousal unit.

Then, I went back upstairs, popped open the door to his dark room and said into that sweet, lonely silence: "Good-night, babe. I'm sorry you had such a rough time and I love you so, so much."

Stage mother. Sometimes the real story is the one nobody sees.