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A Slow Roll –and Halt–to Neutered Mom Town

I look like I’m having a midlife crisis, wearing my 8-year-old daughter’s Mexican floral blouse as a dress with matchy-matchy dangling earrings. It’s like a cross between Frida Kahlo and going out for margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. This got me thinking: what is up with my mom gear?

“I’d like salt on that margarita, along with female empowerment and pain”

I may need an intervention. This first occurred to me a few weeks back when I found myself shopping, for real, in the Chico’s store. I mean, when you’re shopping at Chico’s in your 40s, you may as well just put on an adult diaper and call it a day. No, that’s mean. Chico’s is fine—for someone else. Ha, that’s like when someone insults something you have in your closet, and they say, “No, it’s fine! It’s just not for me. I can see it’d be amazing on you!” No, you can’t; you’re just a bad liar. And not my friend anymore. Kiiiidding.

I recently went through my closet to pare down, realizing I was saving dresses, pants, and jeans (so sad…I will miss them) from my 20s and 30s that I will never fit into or wear again. During this cleanse, I was frightened by the number of Lilly Pulitzer dresses in my closet. It’s like someone barfed neon flowers in there. And, worse yet, I think I kind of hate Lilly now. Wait, for me, I mean…it’s fine on you.

I also have been dog-earing pages in the Talbot’s catalog. First of all, who even reads catalogs anymore? Well, I do, because it’s the only mail I actually enjoy, and magazine subscriptions are a thing of the past. Second, who dog-ears them? Like, make a decision. Buy it now or never. Third, Talbots is just one small step closer to Chico’s. It’s maybe a little more “profesh,” as in “I get my work clothes there.” But, that’s not true, because I legit just bought a cardigan there for my trip to Charleston that had pink, green, and blue buildings on it with green trees, and it looked like a South Carolina landscape. (LOL) I mean, it could be worse. I almost bought the Capri cropped salmon-colored jeans that matched it. I had them in hand and realized I was in neutered mom territory. That’s not good terrain.

Typically, swimwear choices can be an indication that you’re going down elderly lane, like when you have a one-piece with a skirt, or something with a ton of scrunching around the waist and a padded underwire. I haven’t gotten there yet. In fact, I may have gone the other way, because my son told me yesterday that I was wearing a “hooker bathing suit,” because there’s like this mesh, see-through material over part of it. I know that sounds kinda gross–the see-through part, not that my 11-year-old called me a hooker. Well, that’s a whole ‘nother issue. And also gross. But, yeah. Maybe I should toss that in the donation bag too.

Me: Who wants to go SWIMMING???

I did just splurge on some Prada sunglasses, which is beyond wasteful and stupid. It was more for retail therapy than anything. I wanted to make myself feel better after trying on a miniscule floral sundress at H&M that was skintight and 2 inches below my underwear. I looked like Blossom in that 80s sitcom, Blossom. I mean, I have no business shopping at H&M anymore. However, I DID find a cute leopard blouse, which I bought, and I probs look more like a cougar than a leopard in it...Note to self: don’t wear that to a bar after 8 p.m.

All this is to say, I am reevaluating my clothing choices. It’s easier to focus on this, of course, than to focus on the multitude of other more important things in my life, like wanting to get my book published or making more money…but, hey, at least I’m being productive!

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10 Things I Wish I Knew When I was 30

  • 1. You are not old. Your eggs are not rotting. You will get married and have children, and you’re not “almost 40.” Just wait till you’re 40. Or, worse yet, 47…
  • 2. Stop being so wistful and hopeful and get a career that actually is lucrative. It may be all fun to be an artist now, but if you’re one of the very few who “make it,” even if you’re truly talented, it won’t be fun when you have to reinvent yourself in ten years and wonder why all your friends have people who report to them, and you’re entry level.
  • 3. This follows #2: Money matters. Yeah, I know; I know. “Happiness is what’s important; money isn’t.” Giiiiirl, I used to think that, too, when it was cool to live in a fifth floor walk up studio in NYC. Not so cool when you have two children to support, a mortgage, a car payment, and bills. Get a real job. And, sadly, money makes the world go round. This was a hard lesson for me.
  • 4. Divorce totally sucks. So, be very mindful of red flags and any other issues before you get married. The choice to marry someone is actually huge. And, even if you’re 30, panicked, and want to be like all your friends and get married, don’t just insert groom/just add water with whomever you’re with at that age. Be picky. Wait. Be prudent. Be wise. Listen to your instincts.
  • 5. Following #4, don’t have kids if you’re not in a happy marriage, because they are not a bandaid, and it will make divorce all the more complicated, as you will forever be joined with the father of your children. And, if that happens, then be nice. It’s more important that you coparent well than hate your ex. Your kids need both of you, and they want to love both of you.
  • 6. Don’t begrudge having to go to another wedding at age 28. You know why? The invites will stop soon, and then you’ll miss the free booze, dance floor, and revelry of weddings! They are so fun! Later on, they are far and few between. Worse yet, you are no longer at the “single’s table;” you are the overweight aunt in the corner, who is dancing to Brick House. #justsaying
  • 7.Start botox by age 40. If you catch the wrinkles early, it’s easier to fix than later when you have indents in your forehead and wonder why you look extra terrestrial.
  • 8. Following #7, wear sunscreen. I know it’s fun to get tan, and you look better, but either go get some Jergens Glow or spray tan, instead. Getting sunburnt will age you, create wrinkles, and can cause skin cancer. It’s real.
  • 9. Most problems at 30, in my experience, are not as bad as problems at 40. So, be conscious of that and chill a bit. You’ll wish you didn’t waste the youthful time agonizing. Go out with friends, or on a hike, instead, and have a good time.
  • 10. I mean, maybe don’t listen to other people (like me- ha!) Follow your gut and “the whispers,” #oprah. You will land on your feet. It will be okay.
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I Want Some Answers!

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Today, I want answers. I want answers to the following questions regarding things that happened to me:

1. When my ADT home alarm system is faulted, and I can’t fix it myself over the phone with them, why must I pay for the labor costs for a technician to come out to repair it? I mean, it’s by no fault of mine that it doesn’t work, so why do I have to assume the costs to fix it? Makes no sense.

2. Why are there very few remote job opportunities now when people are actually mostly only working remotely? I have been perusing Indeed, Glass Door, Linked In, etc., and the remote work opportunities are few and far between. Oh, and I’m like candidate 154, if there is one.

3. How many times can I explain that I don’t get unemployment, because I quit, and I don’t qualify for pandemic assistance? Just curious. I get tired of explaining, as if I didn’t look into those options myself.

4. Ew, why am I so belligerent right now? Ha!

5. The song my son keeps singing, which he has titled “Poop Under the Covers,” and really only has those four words repeatedly…does it mean something? Is there some hidden meaning, or just hidden poop under his covers?

6. Can we really not wear white in a week? I mean, who even made that up? I didn’t wear enough white this summer, and if we are just home and not going into work or school, who cares if we sneak in some white sweatpants?

7. Are Dunkin’ Coolatas made with real strawberries and fruit? If so, are the blue raspberry Coolatas then made from actual fluorescent blue raspberries? If these exist on some farm, I must see and pick for myself.

8. Is mail-in voting going to work? I sent in a ballot via mail. Did you?

9. When my daughter tells me she is exhausted because she had TWO play dates (insert screams)…do I feel bad? Um….

10. Why is only Season 3 of Siesta Key free, and the episodes before it are $17.99 if you want to catch up??

11.  My children don’t actually go back to the school till October in Massachusetts. Is this actually going to happen? And I can’t believe it’s September, and I have a whole other month of summer left home with them! How am I supposed to even get a job? Oh, and when they go back, it’s scattered half days: half-remote, half in-person. So, essentially, I have two young children, varying times of learning and drop offs and pick ups, but I’m supposed to also work. Go figure.

12. When I ask my son to help clear the dinner table, and he tells me, “It’s not 1982!” What does that even mean? Oh, PS-he was born in 2010. And, I mean, I guess, yes, in 1982, I was indeed helping my parents clear the table!

 

 

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When Enough is Enough

When is enough actually enough? I was walking down Main Street yesterday and saw one of those personalized, wooden, oblong signs that hangs from nautical rope that read: Whatever You Accomplished Today Is Enough.

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It struck me, because I had just been thinking that I had not done nearly enough to consider myself productive, and the hours in the day had slipped away. Evening was encroaching, and I had not written one word for my book, and I had yet to buy any gifts for my son’s birthday, which is tomorrow. I also hadn’t gone for a run, and my refrigerator was bare. My health insurance issues weren’t resolved, and I forgot to buy a new sprinkler.

So what the hell had I been doing? 

Well, I got up with my kids, and I played a round of Barbies with one and Adopt Me on Roblox with another. I also walked the dogs, cleaned the house, and made lunch. That was all before 1:00 p.m.

So was that enough? I mean, I guess it was?

I also often wonder AM I ENOUGH?

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Well, there’s the argument that I am sometimes too much, but that’s a whole different topic. When I consider if I am enough, I am more asking myself the question if I could be more intelligent, prettier, in better shape, wealthier, more successful, more accomplished, etc. Blah, blah, the list goes on…

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It seems very counterproductive to wonder these things, and I think, yes, I am enough most of the time. But sometimes those doubts creep back in, and that’s when it’s good to have another one of those wooden, oblong signs around to read: You are Enough.

It’s funny how no matter how much you have, the human condition makes us want more. It’s oddly greedy and unkind. It’s important to be kind to yourself, as well as to others. One of the best pieces advice I got once was to stop beating myself up. And sometimes that means not getting a whole lot done. Give yourself a break. Whatever you accomplished today was Enough.