Sunday, February 28, 2010

Way to go New York Times ... again

I woke up this morning and leisurely embraced that famous ol' rag of a paper while sipping a latte in my 400 thread count kingdom.
Yeah. Right.
After running out to the grocery while my husband manned the domain (read: slept)feeding fifteen, (sometimes I exaggerate) loading one thing and emptying another, I returned a call, typed up my seven year olds' latest song (about love and being seventeen) encouraged one kid to start his homework, found the 3x5 note cards, swept, negotiating with my 13 year old about going to a movie vs. coming home, assisted my daughter's in washing their hair and picking out the day's clothes, I sat down to read the Style Section.
I'm a writer, (At least my publisher and agent think so. Fooled them.)so imagine my interest in Jan Hoffman's article about writer, Gretchen Rubin's latest, The Happiness Project.

I'm not a huge fan of self help books (anymore). Perhaps because I read my fair share (and my husband's) and lo and behold, I have a life I love. But hey, I get that some are better than others, and The Happiness project sounds clever enough. If nothing else, it made me look around my home and consider the possibilities of a life uncluttered. See, dreams are good I tell you. Good for soul. Good for the country. But I digress.
It was this little morsel of brilliance that I felt compelled to mention. In my mind's eye, I wouldn't be doing my job if I let this one fly. I mean, who else is going to speak up for wealthy white American's with vaginas. We are the forgotten ones. The ones it is still okay to bash. Our crime? You wonder, though it is so obvious. Our crime is: Having help. To the stake, bitches. To the stake.

Readers may not realize that she doesn’t live on the generic row of low-rise apartment houses on the cover of the book, suggesting the West Village or Park Slope in Brooklyn. Her triplex is in a neo-Georgian building on the Upper East Side.

And to those who may feel daunted by how she does it all — the charts, the reading, writing, exercising, volunteering, socializing, parenting, scrapbooking and glue-gunning? Relax. She has a sitter and a housecleaner.

Thank you Jan Hoffman. Thank you. For a moment there, I thought this former- Yale Undergrad/editor in chief Yale Law Journal who had researched Boethius, Schopenhauer, St Therese of Lisieux and Tolstoy might have had something interesting to say on the topic of (guffaw) happiness. But you, sister, have set me straight. This Rubin is a fraud. She lives on the UES people. She has a sitter. A housekeeper. A rich, white, Wall Street man in a suit father in law.
Wake up America.
I, for one, wouldn't be caught dead reading such low brow in public. In fact, I prefer the scholars. (Especially the ones in hard cover with even harder penises.)
I'm far too busy for Happiness fluff. There's the rest of style section after all.
So, ahem. No. I will not be running out to get my copy. I have standards.
Then again, there's always my kindle.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Am Woman

With four saucer sleds in tow, I hustle my bunnies across narrow sidewalks en route to Central Park. I take in tree branches swathed in snow, which would have been entirely beautiful if not for one falling on a man two days ago-- killing him.
Pushing those images out of my overzealous, anxious, mind- we trek on.
For those of you who’ve never witnessed snowy Central Park on a Saturday, it is sight to behold. Hundreds of kids and their parka-clad parents make their way to the already speckled hills. The energy is electric. I swell with pride that I have gotten my posse to this particular space in time. Maybe I am one of those functioning mothers after all. Perhaps anything is possible. Crock pot meals. Bike trips down the coast. Knitting mittens for kids who won't lose them.
But truth be told though, the bustling urban landscape is a tad frenetic for my taste. Especially because of my ... issue. You see, in winter crowds, I tend to regress to my seven year old self, which by definition means all boys starting around age ten become terrifying little snow ball perpetrators to be avoided at all cost.

"Put the snowball down mother fucker. Put it down." I hear my voice
"Mom, calm yourself."
"Easy now. And no one has to get hurt."
"Mom, shhhh. You're embarrassing me."
"You think I won't ...?"
"What's with her?" asks the friend.
"Flashbacks," my first born answers, dropping the white weapon of mass destruction.
"Thought so," I say, walking away.
Across the vast plains, there is a collective sigh. Or maybe that's just me.
Regardless, I walk taller, taking pride in the fact that the park is a little safer, now.
We can all feel it.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I'm not going to lie to you. For one thing, that's no way to start a relationship, even a virtual one like ours. I figure if you're worth talking to at all (again, virtually)I might as well tell the truth. However, the truth is not always so easy to convey. It's often layered. Nuanced. It takes time. This is why I suck at cocktail parties. And mingling. But I digress.
Back to truth telling.
Here is one problem. I am not always so good at figuring out how much truth to tell. (See linkage.) And even when I have untangled that tricky web I like to refer to as appropriate boundaries--I am faced with another quandary. Whose truth is it, or said another way, if it involves another, is it my right to deconstruct (read confess)?
Allow me a hypothetical.
Let's say the other day a certain mother I know screamed at her children. Perhaps she said something like, I'm done! I cannot take another minute. You, Mr. are on your own. Charge your computer or don't charge your computer. Take your phone, or don't. (Pacing frantically, possibly flailing her arms.)Miss the bus; make the bus. Makes no difference to me. I'm out. Done. Who needs it? Not me, Mr. Not me. (Finds coffee, sips coffee. Refueled, continues.)It's a privilege (pauses, not sure where she's going with this) a privilege ... to have someone following you around picking up the pieces. A privilege.
Dream sequence fades to black.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Say this mother decides, hey, why not blog? I'm smart. I can stand still. Why don't I put pen to paper (Virtual people, virtual.) and spread my seed for all to sow (Last gardening metaphor. Promise.) Maybe I'll bond with other mothers. Maybe I'll unearth (oops. WTF? I live in Manhattan.) some sage (Really?) wisdom and someone will be the better for it? If nothing else, I'll have a legit excuse to delay those revisions beckoning in the corner.
But alas, I'm back to this:
Whose truth is it to tell?
So for now, this whole blog thing will be an experiment. If it disrupts my life, I'll bail. Scadattle. Adios. Pack up. Ship out. Move on. Delete.
And in the meantime? Let's just say, for the most part, I'll speak the truth. My truth (Virtually.)