Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good Bye 2011

As the end of the year nears and we all try to sort through the good and the bad, here are a few things that I hope fade quickly from memory (and fashion magazines where applicable).

1. Colored jeans. They are too tight, do not go with anything but black shoes, and were forgotten quickly the first time around. Would you even consider going back to egg white mouse and double gold necklaces? Then keep the colors above your waistline.

2. Fake feather extensions. I first thought they were earrings. When I realized they were actually anchored somehow in people's hair, I became even more confused. In my experience you don't want a reminder of a close encounter with a bird. Even if it's supposed to bring good luck.

3. Plaid and/or flannel shirts. We live in the northeast and consider cowboy boots a fashion accessory. Wild mustangs, johnny cakes, and belt buckles that double as a hood ornament do not exist in your world. Leave your cow girl clothes where they belong: the Neverland Ranch.

4. Katy Perry's naked thighs. Pretty sure we went through this with Beyonce and even her tan didn't help her escape the YouTube ridicule. Katy is a shade lighter than pale and must have forgotten she isn't 15 anymore. Her thighs are not setting off any fireworks for me.

5. Old school football/baseball/basketball uniforms. Why make it hard for the fans you still have to find their favorite team? Its so irritating trying to figure out who or what is being remembered. Just play the game and keep the home team in white. Plus, there was a reason why they updated their unis, stop second guessing the decision and get your butts down the field/baseline/court. Or take a cue from the Yankees and don't change a thing.

Feel free to add to the list. I may...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Beyond Sorry

Can you imagine walking in to a wake and not having to wait in line? Then imagine you are only the seventh person to sign the guest book. You look among the rows of chairs, only to see a teenaged girl bookmarked by her two younger brothers. There is no one else in the room. Except for the solemn figure awaiting you at the casket. He stands there a devastated father morning the loss of his second wife to debilitating disease.

Imagine you kneel at the casket and rack your brain for some words of comfort to offer this grieving family. A family whose beloved mother passed on much too soon. You look about unable to face them. On her wrist sits the friendship bracelet that her ten year old son made for her; her name spelled out in heart charms.

Imagine you turn from the casket, tears streaming down your cheeks feeling something beyond sorry for this family. Imagine that instead of comforting him, your ten year old student hands you a tissue.

On second thought, don't imagine any of this and be so grateful that you have not had to experience this day and that unlike Daniel and Patrick you never will.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Card "Exchanging"

I will be the first person to admit that I sporadically send Christmas cards.  Some years I am super organized and find really nice cards (reasonably priced) and send them out to everyone I know: friends, colleagues, aunts, uncles, anyone that sends one to me.  Other years, unfortunately they are the last thing on my mind. 

I appreciate the cards that people send to me:  the funny ones from my sister, the traditional ones from my aunts, the picture cards from my friends with their adorable families on the front.  I am not on Facebook (believe it) so the updates that the picture provides are welcome.  Others however I don't quiet understand:  the piano keys on the card from my financial advisor, the wedding photo from two years ago from coworkers whose wedding we didn't attend, and adults who take pictures of themselves and send them as Christmas cards.  Wouldn't you rather save that picture in a frame instead of my recycling bin?

My favorite cards are the ones that are unexpected.  Your kids are waving from the beach, your dog is dressed as The Grinch,  they have a Holiday scratch off, and any card from Hallmark's Shoebox collection. 

This year I have received more cards than ever before and am feeling guilty that I didn't send a card to each of them in advance because exchanging cards means more than just receiving one.  My goal next year is to be more equitable and mail out the latest photo of my child to all that I know.  Maybe I will even throw in a three year old wedding photo as a bonus!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Salute the Boot

Tomorrow I turn the big 30 (plus 7) and this year instead of wallowing in self pity and yearning for those crazy years when I was young and thin and broke and could drink two days in a row, I am going to relish in my day and head down to the Biergarten.  They don't care that I have a child safety seat in my (gasp) 4-door sedan, that I donated all of my (say it isn't so) odd sized, low-riding jeans, or that I now share a bed with two other people (wait for it), one of whom is 17 months old and likes to stick her finger in my nose.  They are happy that I am an employed 30-something with a three bedroom house, a husband, and some loyal friends to share in my happiness. 

They also encourage me to celebrate my birthday by throwing wonderfully salty peanut shells on the floor and drinking German beer from a boot.  There will be soccer on the TV, beer pretzels at the table, and maybe even some spetzle with gravy to keep the spirit high.  There is also plenty of happiness to go around if you want to join us!  See you at the high top near the dart boards.  I will be the one with my head sticking out under the wooden elf hat.  Unless of course you join us later when I will be laying at the foot of the elf...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Has Political Correctness Gone Too Far?

Every year our school is visited by the Seal A Smile program.  It provides free dental care for any student whose parent completes a form stating that their child does not have dental insurance and is in need of a check up.  Four to five of my students usually visit the hygienist and I hate to think about what they discover in their gross little mouths.

Before the forms go home, the hygienist visits each classroom and reviews proper hygiene, tooth brushing techniques, and the importance of flossing.  Most of the students know that you need to change your toothbrush every few months (end of the school year, beginning of the school year, Christmas, and Easter), that soda rots your teeth, and that water is the best liquid for a healthy mouth (and body).  It is in asking such questions that political correctness may have gone too far...

When referring to the adults that the students live with and are seeking permission from the lovely, older, gray haired hygienist called them "your grown ups".  No longer are the people who bore us our parents or guardians, they have become our grown ups.  Does that make us their young downs?