Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


For us, the madness is over. Or, nearly so.

We will be travelling on Christmas Day, and we wanted to give the boys a few days to enjoy their gifts before we had to leave for Northern climes.

After chasing the boys back to their beds no less than seventeen times Saturday night, a thoroughly exhausted Husband and I dragged in the pitifully small mound of gifts, arranged them under the tree, stuffed stockings and then collapsed into our beds.

Well...there may or may not have been some yuletide gladness before the collapsing but only Santa knows for sure, and he doesn't kiss and tell.

Anyway, they boys had no idea Santa was coming early, but they were high on the excitement of exchanging gifts earlier in the day with Husband's side of the family. They were having a hard time settling down and they bickered incessantly as they readied themselves for bed.

To be quite honest, I wasn't feeling terribly jolly toward either of them as we placed the carefully wrapped packages under the tree, and the backbiting was the least of the reasons.

Diminutive One was the first to rise as usual. He has been admonished eleventy million times not to wake the rest of the household on weekend mornings, and he wasn't entirely sure if that directive applied on this particular morning.

He knows that Christmas morning is the lone exception, but he also knows that it wasn't really Christmas morning. So, surprised and bewildered, he simply sat and stared at the bounty, waiting for someone else to awake.

Finally Husband, who is almost always awake before me, rose and went downstairs, much to Diminutive One's great relief. Husband gave him the go ahead to roust Pre-Pubescent One and me from our beds, which he did, gleefully.

We had a nice time opening presents. The exhaustion and irritation of the evening before was forgotten and the bickering was kept to a minimum. When is it was Pre-Pubescent One's turn to open his "big" gift, Husband and I exchanged meaningful looks.

It was a moment we had been dreading, because it would be a great test of our parenting mettle.

He tore the paper from the package, and then promptly burst into tears. He cried for quite a long time, while Diminutive One looked at him quizzically. I wasn't sure if it was guilt or disappointment or remorse or a combination of all three that was causing the deluge.

When at last he could speak, he said, "I've been so rotten, and you guys still got me all this st-st-stuuuuufffff!!!!!" and then he started sobbing again.

You see, on Thursday, we received word that he had lost his place in the Accelerated Content program for failure to maintain a B average. He missed it by five. Freaking. Points.

He had two very substantial projects due last week that would have probably put him right at the 80 percent mark, and saved him by the hair of his chinny chin chin, but he just did not do them. And he lied to us all week long about it. He assured us that they were going swimmingly and we would be oh so proud!


He has been given every opportunity and then some because he is basically a good kid and the teachers like him and because he is so smart he can do the work with one synapse tied behind his back.

His AC advisor called me personally to give me the news and she was just beside herself. At one point, I was actually consoling her. She was supposed to have grades in on Monday, but held his until Thursday hoping he would turn those assignments in. He didn't deserve her magnanimous gesture.

The gift that he received was Guitar Hero III along with an extra wireless guitar and Guitar Hero I & II. It's all he has talked about for months. It's all his friends are talking about. It's THE gift this year among the 13 year old set.

But here's the rub...He was warned that if he got kicked out the AC program that he would have his video game privileges revoked entirely and indefinitely.

He was already on academic probation when the quarter began because he had gotten a C the previous quarter. He KNEW he really had to put his nose to the grindstone. At the midway point he was pulling a 72 and he knew then that he didn't have any wiggle room. But he still made a conscious decision not to turn in work. To just blow it off. And to lie about it.

It's the lying man...when your kid looks you in the eye and lies to you with pure innocence shining from their's a sad, sad day. A little part of you dies when you realize that you can't trust them any more.

So he has it. But he can't play it. And he knew it. So the tears were guilty tears, but also tears of self pity and disappointment.

God how we hated to do that.

It SUCKS having to be a hard ass on Christmas.


Are we doing the right thing? I don't know. The thing about the first one is that you just don't fucking know. I think that the reason he is so apathetic and lazy, is because he gets so many damn chances and it's time we put our foot down and make him accountable.

But maybe...maybe not. Maybe being hard assed on Christmas is just going push him over the edge and the next thing you know, he's sitting in a clock tower somewhere with a semi automatic weapon.

Well, at least Diminutive One was content with his booty. His "big" gift was a computer, to replace the relic that is older than he is, but I think he was more excited about the Bob Ross Master Painting Kit that he received from the in laws.

And, on a happier note, Father in Law was overwhelmed by his gift. If you don't remember, we found a 1957 Buddly L Coca Cola truck like the one he had as a child. They are highly collectible and usually, terribly expensive, but we happened upon an incredible deal out of sheer luck. We also found a dealer who carries accessories for Buddly L toys and managed to score five coke cases with teeny tiny little coke bootles in them and a little steel hand cart.

He started to sob before it was even fully unwrapped. He is a big, big man, with a big, big heart, and to see him sob like a baby is truly a sight to behold.

"How did ya'll ever remember??" he bawled. It was years ago that he mentioned it. I don't suppose he thought anybody took his offhand comment about wishing he could find one seriously.

So it was a very gratifying and touching moment.

As for myself? I have to take a moment to brag about having the most thoughtful husband on the face of the planet. I got lots of goodies that I have mentioned over the past year. Husband takes notes. Literally.

But the best gift from him by far was the BedLounge.

I LOVE to read in bed. In fact, it's really only place I do read. It's quiet, it's warm, the light is just right, it's quiet, the door locks, it's quiet.

But it can be difficult to get comfortable, especially for someone with ample hips and a bountiful backend, such as myself.

This lounge is DA BOMB, baby. It has amazing lumbar support. The head rest cradles your neck comfortably and the sturdy armrests allow you to hold your book at just the right height without fatiguing. No more slumping sagging shoulders, no more aching back, no more cricking neck.

So today while everyone is busy with last minute preparations, we will be preparing to head North, by cramming absolutely everything we own into our van.

I will be unplugged until Jaunuary the 8th, so I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have read and commented this year. I apologize to those who are new to Blogs Are Stupid of late, for not reciprocating with comments or adding you to my blogroll. I will remedy that when I return in the new year, I promise.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Good Tidings, Kind Thoughts and love to my fellows in blogging and humanity.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


This afternoon we travelled to RidiculouslySmallTown for the second weekend in a row to exchange gifts with the inlaws.

It's a rainy, gray and gloomy day here in the South, but I don't think anybody is really complaining. Persistent drought conditions and the very real threat of running out of water altogether have pretty much squelched the usual grumbling that people do about that sort of thing.

On the way, there is a largish Baptist church, magestically situated atop a small hill next to a somewhat depleted lake. The marquis bore this message:

Live Nativity Cancelled.
Thank God For the Rain.

Ya gotta love a Christian with a sense of humor, doncha?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Big Love, Prairie Style

As previously established here at Blogs Are Stupid, I am a sucker for nostalgia and/or any and all nostalgiac ephemera.

You know that line in "Pretty In Pink" where Andie says "Iona, You're going to O.D. on nostalgia" while tenderly patting Annie Potts' jet black beehive? That line always makes me laugh because I could indeed O.D on nostalgia.

Last Christmas, Husband gave me the season one boxed set of "Little House on the Prairie." It was my absolute favorite show growing up and The Little House series was my favorite reading material as well.

I still have the original set of books that I received for my 9th birthday tucked safely away. I get them out every once in a while and breathe deeply of the musty, dusty pages. That smell always takes me back to long lazy afternoons sprawled upon my bed, lost to that long ago world beyond the baby blue binding.

Ah. Good memories.

Anyway...I know a lot of you thoroughly dislike all the corny cheeseball Christmas specials that glut the airwaves this time of year, but I truly love them all.

Last night Husband and the boys and I watched "Christmas at Plum Creek", which is featured in that boxed set. It has joined our holiday viewing rotation, along with "A Christmas Story", "It's A Wonderful Life" and "The Year Without A Santa Clause".

There is a point in this episode where husband I both try, and fail, not to break down into sobs, every single time. And then we laugh at each other while the boys exchange bewildered and mildly alarmed looks.

In this episode, the Ingalls family members are all puzzling about how to buy one another gifts with the very meagre amount of money they have managed to save. Laura wants to buy Ma a stove, but it is so very, very expensive that she has no hope of being able to do so.

The stove costs $7.87.

Nelly has been begging and pleading with Laura to sell her horse Bunny, but Laura has steadfastly refused because she loves Bunny with all her heart, and also because she knows Nelly would not treat Bunny with kindness. But finally, because she knows how much Ma wants the stove, she agrees to trade Bunny to Mr. Oleson for the stove. She doesn't know, however, that Pa has made her a saddle for Christmas.

The scene that destroys Husband and me, is the one where Mr. Oleson comes to pick up Bunny. He and Laura leave the house to go out the barn, and we, the viewers, are left inside with Charles and Caroline, who is fighting tears.

"Oh Charles, her pony, I can't..."

Charles takes her by the shoulders and looks into her eyes.

"Caroline, she had the right." he says earnestly.

"But she LOVES that pony!"

"She loves YOU more."

Then Caroline breaks down and then Husband and I break down and pretty soon everyone is sobbing because we are all overcome by the sweet aching bigness of a child's love for her mother.

This scene didn't make me cry when I was 9, but it did evoke powerful emotions. I felt terribly sad that Laura had to give up Bunny.

But there was more than that for me.

I remember being a child, and thinking about how my mother deserved to have beautiful things and hating that she didn't; hating that I couldn't give them to her.

I wanted her to have a new dress for church every week, like the other ladies did. (Yes, I grew up in a Christian home..that surprises you, doesn't it?)

I wanted her to have a car without rust spots that didn't backfire like a cannon when it was too cold.

I wanted her to have things just because they were pretty and not because they were useful.

Most of all, I guess I just wanted her to have all the things I thought she deserved. Because my mother worked very, very hard. She still does.

She cooked and cleaned and worked outside the home as well.

And every Christmas she made dozens upon dozens of cookies, the really fussy kind that you have to roll and shape cut. She made divinity and almond bark and popcorn balls and rosettes. She shopped and wrapped and decorated.

I love my father. He was and is a terriffic Dad. But as a domestic partner, I think he was definitely lacking, having been raised in an era where the man was the king of the castle and the woman was at his beck and call.

So my mother did it all and then some. And she rarely got any help, much less a thank you.

One Christmas, when I was probably ten or eleven, while browsing in Prange's, the most upscale department store in town, and one in which our family rarely shopped, I spied a thing that was so beautiful it took my breath away.

It was a silver ice skater, in a short skirt that twirled stiffly away from her metallic thighs, suspended above a mirrored lake on a fine, almost invisable filament, where she danced and whirled with magical, if sometimes maniacal locomotion.

This...this was a thing my mother deserved to have.

It was $10, which was everything I had. I would have nothing left to buy gifts for anybody else. Oh how I contemplated, ruminated, and calculated.

In the end, I bought it.

I don't remember if or how I managed to buy gifts for anybody else, but I do remember the breathless agonizing wait as I anticipated the opening of that amazing gift. I couldn't stop envisioning the look on my mother's face; imagining the envy on the faces of guests to our home. I was so excited to give my mother something she could be proud of.

Years later, I ran accross that thing in an old box. The silver paint was peeling to reveal yellowing plastic underneath. The mirrored lake had blackened and silver thread was fraying. It was a terribly cheap and tacky little bauble.

But when she opened it, my mother acted as if it was as beautiful, as valuable, as tasteful as a Faberge Egg.

And do you know...that silly thing sat in our living room for years?

So then, as now, I could relate to all the complicated emotions that episode embodies. Nothing, nothing in the world could be more meaningful or more valuable than an opportunity to make a mother happy. Nothing, nothing in the world could be more important than keeping a child from being hurt.

As we sobbed, Diminutive One wordlessly climbed into the chair with Husband and slipped his arms around his neck. He's really too big to sit in the chair with Husband like he used to. But Husband's tears were too much for him...he needed to do something, even if it was only to touch and comfort.

That's a pretty big thing, that kind of love.

If I didn't understand it then, I certainly do now.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dear Poptart,

I'm not really a fan, but I am familiar with your work. Though you are not usually my first choice when it comes to listening enjoyment (My heart did, does and always will belong to Duran Duran), I find your music pleasant enough. However, I do have a small request to make.

Respectfully, if you cannot sing in that key, reach that note, remember those words, or otherwise perform Christmas Carols exactly as they were written and as they have been performed for decades, and in some cases, centuries....


I am a traditionalist, you see, as are, I believe, most folks when it comes to Christmas carols. I do not believe these songs are improved by tedious vocal acrobatics, impressive though they undoubtedly are to your masses of adoring fans. Additionally, I do not believe that speaking, shouting or shrieking the lyrics to these songs is "innovative".

Let me do you a kindness and clue you in to the fact that you are not fooling anyone by changing the arrangement or the key. We are quite aware that the "fresh new spin" you put on our beloved carols is to disguise the fact that your voice is not quuuiiiiiiite up to the task of performing them.

Not that there is any shame in that. Many classic carols are incredibly difficult pieces to perform. Only people with true ability and competent instruction can pull them off, and let's just be honest...that eliminates about 98% of contemporary artists.

For an example of near perfect execution, please listen to John Berry sing O Holy Night. Really, his entire Christmas repertoire is flawless.

THAT is how to sing a Christmas carol. Those little bumps on your skin? Those are goosepimples.

Thank You,


A Godless Heathen who is inexplicably moved by Christ centric carols and who is not amused when they are bastardized by Poptarts, Hip Hop "Artists", or others who perform dubious musical stylings.

(I know, I know, I'm reaching, I mean...reeeeeaaaaally reaching for blog content here. But C day is looming people. I have a trip to pack for, a house to clean, presents to wrap, and in t-minus 3 hours and counting I am putting on a party for 24 4th graders who are berserk with holiday cheer. And for some reason, I decided a homemade gift for the teacher personalized by said 4th graders would be "a good thing".

Yes, it's abundantly clear that I have lost my marbles if I had any to begin with. So until I find them again, you'll have to take any meagre offerings I can drum up.)

Monday, December 17, 2007


Every year, Husband's very large family holds their annual Christmas hillbilly jamboree potluck supper.

It's kind of like Hee Haw meets the Waltons.

I shouldn't poke fun. There are one or two who make Lonny the Banjo Boy look like a Mensa candidate, but the majority of them are really very normal, very kind people, ablbeit a smidge twangier than what I'm used to.

However they are simple, small town people and it's an entirely different world from the one I grew up in. It's can be a little bewildering. Sometimes it's frightening. Sometimes it's frustrating. But it's always interesting.

Husband and I thought the potluck was this past Saturday, which made for a pretty busy weekend, since Husband's company fete was Friday night.

I had to make food for the potluck, get my hair and nails (toe) done, get the boys packed up and drive them halfway to RidiculouslySmallTown since the in-laws do not venture within a 40 mile radius of BigCity, they do not tarry in BigCity after dark, and they certainly do not sleep in beds other than their own, particulary those in BigCity.

Curiously, they do occasionlly deign to grace Tony with their nocturnal presence despite the fact that he is no relation to them whatsoever. That would be Tony of Tony's Best Western in Gatlinburg, TN. Look him up if you're ever up that way. Apparently, he's quite the host, though I myself have never had the privilege of taking advantage of Tony's hospitality.

Anyway, husband offered to take the boys halfway to RidiculouslySMallTown to lighten my load and give me more time to primp, even though he also had to drive an hour to and from work that day.

So I managed to bake three loaves of pumpkin bread and make a HUGE container of broccoli salad. It's really quite delicious and it does not involve any cooking other than the bacon which needs to be crumbled into it, therebye minimizing preparation time, as well as simplifying the logistics of storage and transport since it does not need to be kept or served hot.

I was feeling quite smug in my preparedness.

But it seems that Husband doesn't listen some wires got crossed and the party was not going to take place this year as usual.

So we were left with a whole heck of a lot of broccoli salad.

But no matter, both Husband and I enjoy it a great deal, and after our night of merry making the evening before, we were glad to have a simple supper ready made to tuck into Saturday night. We both ate it with great gusto.

Oh but wait, I neglected to give the ingredients to this wholesome nutritious and delicious recipe:

5 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
1/4 cup of red onion, chopped
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Now, I don't know about you, but neither Husband nor I, at 41 and 38 respectively, has the intestinal fortitude that we used to. And to complicate matters, I am minus a gall bladder as well.

All I can say is that it's a damned good thing we have three bathrooms. It's a damned good thing I surrendered my dignity years ago when Husband witnessed the carnage miracle of birth. And it's a damnded good thing we had a plentiful supply of quality toilet tissue to hand.

I think, given the ingredients, the name "Broccoli Salad" is deceptively innocent and wholly misleading. So if you choose to pass this recipe along, you should be sure to label it something that will give the recipient a clue as to it's truly sinister nature.

Perhaps "Laxative Medley" might be more apropos.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Peace On Earth, Can It Be

Last night, Husband and I attended a fancy schmancy holiday party at a swanky restaurant in an affluent suburb.

Businessmen, bankers, brokers and surgeons pulled up in luxury vehicles that disgorged well preserved women in designer bodies. Diamonds dangled from lobes and wrists, and danced in the tanned hollows of slender laughing throats.

The staff at this establishment was excellent; solicitious without fawning, respectful but not obsequious. It very obvious that years in the service industry had given them an impeccable sense of the well to do.

They like to tell themselves that they are just like everyone else, but they want to be treated just a little bit better.

I felt a little foolish as we pulled up to the valet in our aging mini van. I opened the door before the valet had a chance, and he smiled as if he knew that I was unaccostomed to such amenities. But it was a kind smile; one of solidarity. He was not contemptuous of my counterfeit finery.

When I left the house dressed in a shimmering blouse and floaty skirt with satin pumps that were the exact same shade of bronze as my blouse and that I had actually capered upon finding after a weeks long search, I had felt very sophisticated indeed.

As we entered the restaurant and I was confronted by the effortless glamour of the truly refined, I began to feel like a cheap immitation; so much paste and glass in a setting that was undeniably glittering, but one that would ultimately dull and flake, revealing the true nature of what lies beneath.

But in our cozy little private room, the company was good, the food was delicious and the wine was flowing freely, thanks to the generosity of Husband's boss, our benefactor for the evening.

Soon enough, I forgot about my discomfort and began to enjoy myself. And as I looked around the room I realized that there were many different segments of humanity represented there. There was Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Agnostic, Atheist, and probably several others of which I was unaware.

People hugged each other in greeting, they asked about children and loved ones. They laughed and talked and genuinely enjoyed one another's company away from the chaos and stress of the work environment.

And tonight as throughout the year, they are kind and respectful of one another and the very different beliefs held by these people with whom they spend so much time, day in and day out, year after year after year.

Some of these people are fabulously rich. Some are firmly middle class. Some struggle.

And yet, they manage to live in peace with one another. In a small little company, one that is largely insignificant in the larger scope of world affairs, diversity has brought people together instead of driving them apart.


It's a salient reminder that all that other crap just doesn't matter...the have and the have nots, the believe and the believe nots. Especially this time of year. What matters is Peace. Harmony. Kindness. Love. Fellowship. Humanity.

That sounds sappy, I suppose. But I really believe that.

Maybe that's why this has always been one of my very favorite holiday carols:

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Today, I went to school to class-sit while the teachers all enjoyed an appreciation luncheon prepared by the PTSA. It was an hour and a half. No biggie. Right?

Holy Insanity Batman.

I honestly don't know what they pay fourth grade elementary school teachers these days, but whatever it isn't nearly enough.

I's absolutely LUDICROUS that actresses and athletes and models are being paid millions of dollars, but those who teach our nation's youth make next to nothing. It's shameful, really.

Teaching is incredibly demanding work. I put it right up there with neurosurgery, astrophyics and stripmining. Seriously. I was there an hour and a half and I need a vacation.

But that's really beside the point.

What I really want to tell you about is the apology I got from the little girl that I wrote about in the "Religious Conundrum" post from a few days ago.

Now, what I didn't say in that post was that she is really a very nice little girl. She has a very big personality. She is effusive and energetic and outgoing and really just larger than life.

She has a flair for the dramatic and I always tease her that she should be in drama class with Diminutive One because she has a way of taking center stage no matter where she is or who else is in the room.

She is not particularly pretty, but she always manages to upstage her more attractive peers. Strangely, they don't seem to resent her for it, maybe because she is just difficult to dislike.

And she seems to genuinely like Diminutive One. The desks are situated in groups, and theirs are together. She often asks him to draw pictures for her and she always takes up for him when there is a dispute or conflict.

So this behavior that she displayed the other day was really out of character for her. It was mean, and she is not a mean spirited child.

Anyway...most of my time was spent trying to keep the chaos at a minimum. I didn't really spend much time interacting with any one child in a manner that could be considered meaningful.

I was more like a drill sergeant in a room full of cadets, especially with the boys, who thought, mistakenly, that they could run rough shod over me. HA. Little did they know I am a battle weary veteran of the testosterone wars. They found out soon enough, the little....darlings.

At one point I saw Diminutive One smirking as I meted out justice to a pair who were being particularly problematic. He knows. But he enjoyed watching the others find out.

But I digress. Imagine that.

So anyway. During the fracas, I suddenly found a pair of slender arms that were encased in something pink and bedazzled wrapped around my waist. I felt a thin, soft cheek pressed against my back. Something was mumbled against my spine.

"Who is that?" I asked.

"It's me, DramaQueen."

"Well hello DramaQueen. What did you say?"

I pulled her around in front of me, and saw that she was crying just a little bit.

"I said, I'm sorry I was mean to Diminutive One."

"Oh. Did you tell him that?"

She nodded.

"I don't really think he's bad. I think he's nice."

"I'm very glad to hear that. He thinks you're nice too."

"But I didn't act nice."

"That's true. But nobody can be nice all the time, right?"


"Thank you for saying you're sorry. I know it made him feel a lot better."

She sniffled.

"Mrs. Antagonist? My Mom says we can pray for you and Diminutive One, even if you don't believe in God. Would that be okay?"

"Yes, that would be fine. In fact, I think that's very thoughtful of you."

Then she hugged me again, and scampered off.

I stood there, completely gobsmacked. I have no idea what, if anything was said to DramaQueen or by whom. After my email to the teacher, nothing further was said to me other than a brief assurance that the matter would be looked into and taken care of.

I did find out that DramaQueen's mother is a half day teacher at the school, and later that day, I met her when she popped into the classroom to give me money for the teacher's gift from the class. Perhaps it was my imagination, but I thought she had some difficulty looking me in the eye, though she was friendly enough.

Perhaps nothing was said. Perhaps it was the child's own conscience that did the talking. Even if that was the case, I'm satisfied.

I think everyone learned something, maybe not least of all, the adults involved.

One can hope.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Crafty Homemade Crap

Alllllright. We need a bit of happy here at Blogs Are Stupid. And happy is as happy does, right?

The Migraine is gone, thanks to the wonders of modern pharmacology and a doctor who recognizes when a patient is at the end of her rope and is willing to bring out the big guns. Crying helps.

I'm still a little woozy and weak in the cerebral sense, so I will share with you a very silly thing that has made me happy.

But first, a little preface.

I'm a bit of a humbug. I don't really dig Christmas. I don't loathe it the way that some people do, but I'm just not that into it. It's hard for me, living here in the South. Christmas to me means snow, and caroling, and sledding and WINTER fer crying out loud.

It means rosy cheeks and warm jammies and heavy quilts and hot cocoa, even though I don't really like hot cocoa. I would like to be able to drink it if I did like it. It just seems wrong to be celebrating Christmas when it's 75 degrees outside. I can't get into it.

But I try, for my boys. I think I do okay. I'm not a baker or a candy maker. Too much fiddly farting around for me. Too much mess. And I don't particularly enjoy cooking anyway.

But I do decorate the house. I like to put out my Lefton Holly Christmas China and my vintage Christmas linens. I like being the tree nazi. That's what Husband calls me. I'll own that.

I'm a creative person, but I'm not a crafty Martha Stuart-y type person. Usually when I try to whip up some crafty homemade thing, it looks like a pile of crafty homemade crap.

Last year, I found these cute little Christmas baskets at the dollar store. I bought three of them, but then they just sat there, because I had no idea what to do with them, and I knew that anything I did do with them would just look dumb and....crappy.

This year, I bought a bunch of cinnamon scented pine cones at Michael's to stick in them because I figured that would be pretty hard to screw up. Then, on a whim, I stuck a couple candy canes in for good measure.

The result? Well, maybe Martha wouldn't be impressed, but I don't think the crafty homemade crap police will be issuing me a citation either.

Not bad for $1.98, huh? Is it? It is. It looks like crap, doesn't it. It's crafty homemade crap. And I have those stupid things all over the damn house.

Well who cares. It smells really good.

OOPS, I almost forgot my other very simple little holiday happy maker. If you take an ordinary cup of coffee, add two or three Hershey's Peppermint Kisses and stir well, you will have a delicious cup of creamy peppermint coffee.

If you like that sort of thing. If you don't like peppermint, don't do it.

Because that would just be dumb. And not happy at all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yet Another Religious Conundrum

I'm so mad I can't see straight. Well, some of that could be the drugs I scored yesterday at my doctor's appointment. Vicodin is good.

But anyway...I want out of this state, and I want out now. I don't want my kids to grow up here, although it's already somewhat too late for that, since my children have almost left their formative years behind them.

I wish, twenty years ago, I had thought about what I was doing when I left my home and family for this place. The only good thing to come out of that decision was meeting and marrying Husband.

I wish I had thought about what it would mean to raise my children in the Bible Belt; the epicenter of religious zealotry and intolerance.

Husband says people are teaching their kids bigotted intolerent crap everywhere. And to an extent, he is right. But I counter that the percentage of ignorant intolerant Christian people in the Georgia is much higher than the percentage of ignorant intolerant Christian people in say...oh...I don't know...Wisconsin.

Let me preface this by saying that I fully acknowledge that I tend to blow things like this out of proportion. Keeping that in mind, I still think that it's a situation that needs addressing.

Tonight at dinner, out of a clear blue sky, Diminutive One asked if we are Christians.

Momentarily taken aback, I inquired why he was asking. He explained that a girl in his class had taken it upon herself at lunchtime to poll the class about their religious beliefs; specifically, whether or not they were Christians.

Diminutive One, unsure of his religious status, replied that we do not go to church. The girl informed him that in that case, he could not be a Christian. She then spread the word far and wide in a gleefully horrified manner, of Diminutive One's heathenism.

Embarassed and ashamed, he defended himself as best he could, but he was puzzled and hurt by her condemnation.

As he told me about the incident, I felt a white hot anger boiling up from deep inside me. I wasn't angry at the girl. She knew only what she had been taught. I was angry at those who had taught her. To hate. To persecute. To villify.

"So, are we Mom? Are we Christians?"

"Ummmm, I am not a Christian, but that doesn't mean that you can't be. You have to believe what you feel in your heart is right. And you don't have to go to church to be a Christian. There are a lot of people who love God who don't go to church. People who truly love God can worship him anywhere."

Husband added,

"America was founded on the prinicple of religious freedom son. The BEST thing about America is that we can worship who we want, how we want, where we want, and nobody has the right to tell us we can't. We don't all have to believe the same things here."

(conversation abridged for the sanity of the reader)

That seemed to mollify him but I was far from satisfied. Something had to be done. After he had left the table to take his bath, I exploded. Husband, as usual, let me vent my spleen in his general direction. He's heard it all before. He listened quietly and let me exhaust my outrage and indignation.

I stewed about what to do. Husband suggested that whatever I decided to do, I take some time to cool my jets first. How well he knows me.

He was right of course. Taking action in that state was bound to be anything but constructive, but I wasn't about to let it pass. No sir. The one place in this Godforsaken state my kid should feel safe from religious persecution is a public elementary school. And my kid has enough problems without worrying about defending himself against choices that are out of his control.

I decided to email the teacher to just let her know abot the situation and get some clarification. After all, I had only heard one side of the story,'s true that both of my boys are sometimes prone to over dramatization.

I emailed her late last night and have yet to get a reply, but I'm sure she will address the situation the first chance she gets. I'm the room Mom you see, and that carries a certain amount of power. She can't ignore me.

Not that she would, because she's not really that kind of person. She's painfully young and still very idealistic. She believes in doing "the right thing".

I don't know exactly what I am trying to prove. All I know, is that I want my boys to know that they don't have to apologize for who they are and what they believe. They shouldn't feel ashamed if they do not choose to embrace the same faith that others do. And most of all, they shouldn't have to explain their choices to anyone.

If there is any example to be set forth here, then let it be that.

Let them never feel that they are WRONG or LESS for not believing.

If they do believe, let it be because they feel it in their hearts, and not because somebody else said they should.

Hey...that's kind of like a prayer, isn't it?

A Heathen Mother's prayer, then.

Yeah. I like that.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

More Stupider

I'm on my third Migraine this week.

A couple weeks ago, I suffered the worst Migraine of my life that lasted for three days and after which, my left eyelid drooped for several days.

That freaked me the flock out.

Did you know that more people die from Migraine related stroke than from handgun violence?

My doctor ordered an MRI and referred me to a neurologist. She also prescribed Topamax. But Topamax can take up to 4 months to reach maximum effectiveness because you have to start at a low dose and build to a therapeutic level.

In the meantime, the migraines are increasing in frequency, though they do seem a smidge less severe. I still have to take to my bed more often than not, but at least I haven't been puking my guts out.

We have CRAPPY insurance. Husband works for a small local company that the owner recently bought back from Big Corporate Conglomerate. He is tryiing to cut costs wherever possible and that means high premiums, copays and deductibles.

It's going to cost $1100 out of pocket for me to have the MRI, so it will have to wait until after the first of the year. I don't know about you, but we don't happen to have $1100 lying around this time of year.

I'm honestly at my wit's end.

My life is being lived at the mercy of migraines. Diminutive One has a school project that was due Friday, and I had to ask his teacher to extend the due date for him because I've been too sick to help him with it.

My oldest son sometimes has to get himself off to school because I am in so much pain that I go back to bed as soon as Diminutive One gets on the bus. He is old enough and perfectly capable, of course, but it still fills me with guilt.

I've had migraines all my life, and I've always prided myself on that fact that I have not let them interfere with my parenting. I have gone to baseball games, school functions, doctors appointments and playdates with Migraines.

But I can't do that anymore. I can't push through the pain like I used to. My coping mechanisms don't seem to be as effective as they once were. Is it age? I don't know.

Which is why I've started researching different drug therapies after years of not using anything. I've already been through quite a few that were either ineffective, or that produced unbearable side effects.

I think the Topamax is working. As I said, though the Migraines have increased in frequency (which I don't believe is related to the medication) they are less severe, and, I think, shorter in duration. I think that trend will continue as my dosage increases.'s the rub...Topamax causes aphasia. It's not pronounced, but it is there. And for someone like me, it's maddening.

At first, I thought I was imagining it, because I'm kind of paranoid about taking drugs and all their various side effects. But Husband has noticed it, my kids have noticed it, friends have noticed it, and my sister noticed it during a phone conversation the other day.

So I either let Migraines rule my life and that of my family, or I take medicine that robs me of my one true pride...words.

I started out at 25mg of Topamax and am currently taking 50mg. The goal is to build to 200mg. I can't imagine what a blithering idiot I will be at that dosage.

Perhaps I will have to change the name of my blog to "Blog Is Stupid and Getting More Stupid Every Day".

Anyway...if you've been wondering about my lack of substantive content lately...that's the reason. Between the chaos of Christmas and the Migraines and the's all I can do to remember my own name.

Bear with me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wherein We Both Learn A Valuable Lesson

There was one day last week when it was actually cold enough here in Georgia to need a hat.

Since we wear them rarely, we have precious few hats and mittens. And, since trying to find hats and mittens in Georgia in February is like trying to finding organic boobage in Hollywood, I hoard them with a fierceness usually reserved for diamonds and precious metals.

On the morning in question, I sent Diminutive One to school in a hat. He did not come back in a hat. Every day since, I have asked him about the hat.

We are going to Wisconsin the day after Christmas, so I am already making lists and gathering supplies. I need to know we have winter apparel so I don't have to pay out the nose for it the day before we leave because there's a freak blizzard occurring six states away.

You've probably guessed by now that I am not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. Spontanaeity is not really my strong suit.

But anyway...

I told Diminutive One that the hat MUST come home with him Friday, or he would face my wrath. He swore that he would bring home his hat.

He didn't bring home his hat.

And I just had this sneaking suspicion that there was more to the story than a simple "I forgot".

"Diminutive One, what happened to your hat."

"Well, Mom, I had to throw it away."

"WHAT? WHY? It was a perfectly good hat!"

"Mom. It was dangerous."

I stared at him blankly. I smelled a whopper coming.

"And just how was it dangerous Diminutive One?"

"You know how the eyes on the dragon glow?"

They didn't "glow". They sort of kind of "glittered", if anything. There were tiny, cheap little crystals sewn on where the eyes were. But I went with it. I was really interested to see where this was going.

"Yeah, sure."

"Well, it turns out that there are wires in there, that make the eyes glow. I happened to see them when I dropped the hat and saw them poking out. I could have been electrocuted in the brain, Mom. I had to get rid of it. It just wasn't safe."

He stood there, looking at me; the picture of innocence with his big blue eyes and his round, freckled cheeks.

It was all I could do not to laugh. My mouth might have twitched just a little as I stood there, thinking about how to proceed with my teller of tall tales.

"Dude, just tell me what happened to the hat. I won't be mad."

"I swear, Mom. I threw it away. It was a safety issue."

I gave him my most piercing look, but he never wavered. He's a tough nut that one.

"Well I guess if it was a safety issue..."

"It was." he said earnestly.

I figure somebody told him it was a dorky hat and that's was all it took for the hat to find it's way into the trash. I can't say similar things did not meet a similar fate when I was a kid.

"Well, that's too bad, cause you really liked that hat. Maybe I could find another one like it. I think I saw one at Target."

"No!" he said, a little too hastily.

"I mean, I can wear one of the other hats. It's not that big a deal. I don't really need a hat with a dragon on it. I guess...I guess I could make do with a plain one."

"Well good for you. Who cares what everybody else thinks right?"

"Right." he said morosely.

"You are you're own man."

"Sure am."

"You're a leader, not a follower."

"Uh-huh" he sighed. And then he slunk away.

Wow. Who knew the guilt thing can work to my advantage? Forget grounding. I'm filing that little gem away for future use.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

This and That and a Dash of Oh, Pshaw

Oh...dear, dear bloggers. You are good for what ails a girl. I did not post my picture to solicit compliments, truly I did not, but I can't deny that your kind words have given me a huge boost.

And lemme tell ya...after spending the day looking for a party dress for Husband's annual semi-formal Christmas party, it was a boost I desperately needed.

Shopping for a cocktail dress in plus sizes is a bit like shopping for a ballet tutu for an elephant.

Could flourescent lighting be any more brutal?

When I stepped out of the dressing room to check out my fine self in the three way mirror, I thought I had accidentally opened the door to the alley and stumbled upon a crack whore coming off the night shift. I realized my mistake when it occurred to me that crack whores don't usually wear knee highs to ply their wares.

Dear Retailers marketing fancy schmancy holiday clothes to large and lovely ladies (Pssst...Lane Bryant, this means YOU):

Tulle is not our friend. Nor is anything made out of that stretchy faux velvet stuff you seem to think we like. It gets stuck places.

We do not want to show our batwings. We do want to look like we have a waist. Also backless = backfat = no flippin way. And those cute little trapeze, baby doll, empire waist top things? "Real women" (that is still your slogan, right?) avoid them like the plague because they create doubt about the reproductive status of the wearer. Don't make them anymore. Legions of "real" shoppers will thank you. I promise.

And finally? Satin is the textile equivalent of the Hubble telescope, and as such, should be considered wholly unsuitable for any type of garment. It should not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. Forget what they did in the 70's. Nobody was thinking straight then. It's just wrong.



I did finally find something. Coldwater Creek, how do I love thee?? Enough to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a shiny blouse and a kicky little skirt, because it does not look as if I donned a Christmas tree skirt and cinched it with an attractive belt in the hopes of affecting some kind of shape.

Okay, so anyway...I wanted to address some of your comments on my appearance.

The Eyebrows

Some of you may have read my post "Motherplucker". I am very proud and gratified to say that the brows that you see in that picture are the result of several months worth of very concerted effort on my part to grow them out.

I have brow issues, you see, and I had plucked them almost into oblivion. Think Betty Boop. Marlena Dietrich. Pamela Anderson without the boobs or the haggard hooker chic.

It wasn't easy. Stray brow hairs drive me completely bonkers. I had to hide my tweezers and then have my husband do a vulcan mind meld on me to wipe my memory clean. I had to throw away all my strip wax and depilatory cream. I did find myself contemplating my trusty razor once or twice, but that's a dicey business at best so I restrained myself.

The last thing I need is to explain to all Husband's co-workers how I ended up browless. I would have to manufacture something pretty spectacular to explain how I lost my brows but otherwise escaped unscathed. Fire? No. A raging bacterial infection that targets only facial hair? No. The chin hairs would give me away.

I did consider teaching myself the ancient art of threading, just to clean up the strays, but that seemed inefficient and barbaric and besides, I would have had to have husband do ANOTHER vulcan mind meld on me and it seems like too many of those would eventually have some adverse effects on the brain.

Anyway...I'm pleased. I think they look much more like actual eyebrows now. Thanks for noticing.

The Complexion

Yes. I am white. Fishbelly white. Milky white. Alabaster white. I'm the shade of white I always imagine Lestate to be when he describes how white he is. Vampire white.

I don't get much darker than that in the summer either, because I am pretty obsessive about sunscreen and hat wearing. I don't tan, really. I turn a ridiculous shade of crimson and then when the molting has stopped, I go back to my formerly albinistic state.

I don't mind not being able to tan, really. I hope I will avoid the leather face look that so many Southern women seem to sport. And I hope I will avoid the fate of my SIL, an avid sun worshipper, who just had a huge patch of skin excised from her back. They had to go down to the muscle to get all the cancer and she lost so much tissue that there is still a hole there.

I'd rather be fishbelly white, thank you.

The Hair

Girls, did I not tell you of the miracle that is Frederik Fekkai glossing cream?? It is quite simply, the most amazing hair care product EVER. It's expensive, but so worth it. I would sell my soul to the devil to get this stuff. I would give blow jobs to homeless bums (sorry Jen). I would watch Dumb and Dumber again.

The shine you see there is the result of one little pea sized dollop of product.

It's. Da. Bomb.

And my hair color? Would that nature had blessed me with such richness, but alas she did not. My own color is a dark but mousy brown. No grays yet, thankfully, but it's still rather drab. I have been dying my hair some shade of red since I was sixteen years old. I wouldn't feel like myself as anything but a redhead.

You too can have this color. It is L'Oreal Preference Warm Copper Brown. Because I'm worth it.

The Courage

Ladies, please. If I was really courageous, I would have posted a picture of myself without make-up on. And that, quite frankly, ain't happening unless and until the devil himself is threatening to roast my plus sized ass over a crackling fire deep in the bowels of hell. And then I would have to give it serious consideration. A girl has to draw the line somewhere.

Thanks again for all your kind comments. You rock. Truly.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Artist Formerly Known as B.A.

I don't like looking at pictures of myself.

Consequently, I don't like all of you looking at pictures of myself.

Because these days, those photos tell me things I don't like to hear.

Not that I'm not pretty.

Pretty is as pretty does.

Pretty is fleeting and unimportant.

I was raised in a household where pretty was a way to make a living and a way to have fun; not a means of defining one's self. Both of my parents made sure that all three of us girls had a sense of worth that was independant of our physical attributes.

So though I've always known that I'm not a conventional beauty, I appreciate my assets and I don't lament my lack of cookie cutter features.

Okay, okay...maybe once or twice I have fantasized about a slender, aqualine nose. Maybe once or twice, I used my birthday wishes to wish for a nose like Elizabeth Montgomery's. And maybe, in the eighties, I might have played a little fast and loose with the contouring techniques.

But aside from that...not being a legendary beauty has not been a great tragedy in my life.

I like to feel beautiful of course. What women doesn't? There are days that I feel like the most beautiful woman on the planet. This is due in large part to my husband, who tells me in word and deed, that I am beautiful to him.

He has done so when I was a size 8. He has done so when I was a size 22. He has meant it just as much the latter as the former. Perhaps more.

So why the reluctance to have my picture taken?

Because the images that I see do not match the way that I feel. The way that think. The way that I move and breathe and exist. I do not want to think of myself as a fat woman, because the skin I wear does not feel like that of a fat woman. Except when I have to unzip it to sit down.

Pictures are irrefutable proof of that. Pictures don't allow me to hide from myself.

And pictures tell me that once again, I've allowed apathy and impotence to triumph over strength and empowerment. Six months ago, the pictures told a much different story, you see.

And I suppose too, that there is that secret, stabbing fear that all fat people experience...that you will think less of me as a person, a writer, a human being if you can see for yourself who and what I am.

What I look like does not summarize me as a person.

I know that. Most of the time.

But when I see a picture of myself, just for an instant, I see a person I am ashamed of. If I don't look, I don't have to confront that shame. And I suppose a part of me has always thought that if I don't allow you to look, then you can't disapprove and you won't judge. You will still admire me in your ignorance of who I really am.

I could post a picture of myself from 2005, when I lost 60 pounds. I could pretend that I haven't allowed it to come creeping back, pound by agonizing pound.

But fuck that. This is me. As I am. Today. Not six months ago. Not fifteen years ago.

I am 38 years old. I am currently a size 16. At the moment, I have approximately six chins. You can't see it, but my ass, though pleasingly shaped, has it's own zip code.

Ta Da.

Ha. Ya snooze. Ya lose. What? You didn't expect me to LEAVE it up there didja? Look, there is little enough mystery in life. Let's enjoy it where we can find it, shall we?

Women Are Crazy

I’ve been around the internet in some form or another since it began.

My husband is an IT professional, so even when I was uninterested in using it myself, I was aware of it in a contemptuous, sneering sort of way. At that time, only computer geeks and gaming dorks used the internet.

At the risk of sounding like an aging relic of days long past…I remember when you had to pay by the minute for internet service and you had to use a proxy service like AOL or Compu Serve. I also remember hitting the roof when I found my husband had racked up a $400 AOL bill playing a now antiquated, but then cutting edge RPG.

When the information superhighway exploded I was a young wife with a new infant who had quit her full time job to stay at home and care for my baby. Like everyone else, I was looking for something. I got on the net to find some way of connecting to people like those I had once encountered daily with no thought to their presence in my life, but whom I now missed dearly in my isolation.

What I found, were message boards. People talking to one another about anything and everything. Expecting Club boards, Playgroup Boards, Debate Boards, Recipe Boards, Book Club was a dizzyingly diverse array of people, opinions and knowledge. I was dazzled and immediately drawn in.

Now, many years later, the internet has evolved and with it, my perception of those who populate it.

What I have learned, is this: Women are crazy.

Now, I don’t mean dress your doggie up in evening clothes and serve him dinner at the table kind of crazy. I mean, Single White Female Crazy. Squeaky Frohm crazy. Make your baby sick so you can spend time with handsome doctors crazy.

But I have also learned that for every mean, crazy, desperately unhappy woman out there, who needs to spread the misery and sorrow that poisons her soul…there are TEN women of immeasurable kindness, incalculable generosity, inexhaustible strength, undying passion, and unceasing tenderness.

For every woman is who Texas Cheerleader Mom crazy…there are ten who are Give the mortgage payment to a homeless family so they can have Christmas kind of crazy. Drive 500 miles in the middle of the night because a friend found out her husband is cheating on her kind of crazy. Sell everything she owns to finance a trip to Africa to care for dying AIDS patients kind of crazy.

At times, it has been tempting to simply give myself over to the belief that all women are contemptible human beings, devoid of any shred of human decency.

But there are women I have been privileged to know that have taught me that is not so.

So yeah. Women are crazy. Thank God.

Crazy Woman Canyon, Big Horn National Forest;
As beautiful and formidable as its many namesakes.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Rules Schmules

I am breaking my own rule (briefly) to share a picture of my boys with you.

Because even I, who make dire pronouncements about pedophilia and the monsters who lurk in the dark shadows of the interweb, cannot resist showing off my offspring from time to time.

This is the photo that will grace our family Christmas card this year. Gone are the days of perfectly coordinated outifts, cheery holiday backdrops, and kitschy but holiday appropriate props.

This is my boys as they are. Diminutive One with his truly unique style, his cheesy "there's a camera pointed at me" grin, and the still discernible traces of my little boy in him; and Pre-Pubescent One with his Zac Efron hairdo, his too long limbs and not yet straight teeth. You can see the emerging adult if you look closely. It's in his bones, the promsise of the man he will be.

I wish you could see Diminutive One's eyes better. He has absolutely amazing eyes. They are sometimes grey, sometimes blue, sometimes green. They are enormous and have the most incredibly long, dark lashes. Also, he has the cutest freckles. Naturally, they are the bane of his existence, but I adore them.

You can't tell from this picture, but Pre-pubescent one is all legs. He is not quite 13, but stands almost 5' 5". He hasn't an ounce of fat on him anywhere. He is all angles, long and gawky. Sometimes he can't get comfortable in his own body. Sometimes I can't believe he is the same tiny creature that swam from between my legs at a mere 5 lbs. 14 oz.

As you can see, they are as different as night and day. One or two tactless individuals have even asked me if they have the same father. They do, incidentally. They are just fantastically unique individuals. And I like them that way.

Times up. I can't let them dangle out there in the peril of cyber space forever. It goes against everything I believe in as a mother. Thanks all for looking at my babies.

Aren't they handsome?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Worst. Job. Ever.

This year and last, I have had to give permission for Pre-Pubescent One to participate in health class.

I signed willingly and even eagerly.

Not because I wanted to pass the buck, but because there is just as much appallingly weird and stupid misinformation out there as there was when I was 13, and I figure that we have a better chance at debunking some of those myths by working together.

Last night, after watching the most retarded movie of all time, (Hot Rod) he asked if he could get in bed with me while I read. He hasn't done that in a long time, (he's waaaaaaaay too mature and cool for that, yannow) so I knew something was on his mind.

We crawled in and got settled and then I waited. It didn't take long.

The long and short of it is that there is this new girl that he likes and he doesn't know how to approach her. He has decided to write her a letter. It's not like him to be so reticent with girls. He's usually very confident and assertive.

I asked him what it was about her that had him so tied up in knots. He didn't know. I asked him what it was he liked about her and he blushed. I figured she must have some pretty amazing erm....physical assets.

"It's stupid." he said. "You'll think it's dumb."

"No, I won't." I promised, trying to sound as earnest as I possibly could. But I was already preparing the speech in my head about liking girls for reasons other than the chestical.

"Well...." he hedged, "She's really funny and smart. She has a good personality."

"Dude. That's the best reason to like someone. Why would I think that's dumb?"

He shrugged; a universally accepted form of communication amongst the pre-pubescent set.

We had a good talk. And, as sometimes happens when discussing the fairer sex, the discussion turned to

Now, Husband and I have tried very hard to foster an attitude of openness in our home regarding sex. Not that we walk around starkers or copulate in the living room or anything...I don't want to give you the wrong idea.

Okay, sometimes we tongue each other just to gross the boys out but that's as far as it goes, I swear.

But seriously...both of us grew up in homes with very conservative sexual attitudes. And although I suspect that both of our parents do and did have a pretty healthy sex life, (ew) it was not something that was discussed. Ever.

So we want our boys to view sex as natural and normal and most of all, not something to be ashamed of. We want them to know that they can always talk to us about sex, and that they can rely on us to give them the truth, always, no matter how difficult it might be.

And trust me, sometimes, it is. Really. Difficult. Massively. Difficult.

As Pre-pubescent one and I chatted, he brought up some of those strange myths.

"I heard you can't get pregnant if the girl is on top and the boy is on the bottom because gravity makes all the, umm...stuff, come out."

"Absolutely not true. Listen to me, dude. The ONLY way to not get pregnant? Is to not have sex. Period."

"But what about anal sex?"

WHO WHA?? Did my 13 year old child just ask me about anal sex??

Easy Big Girl. Calm down. Freak out and you lose him. Breathe. Focus. It's all good. These questions are all good.

"Ummmm, where did you hear about anal sex?" I asked, the epitome of nonchalance.

"Health class, Mom."

"They taught you about anal sex in health class?"



"You signed the permission slip, Mom. Remember?"

"Yeah, I remember."

"Well can you?"

"Can you what?"

"Get pregnant by having anal sex?"

"Ohhhhh, umm, no. You can't. But you can get AIDS. So you should still practice safe sex."

"I know that. They taught us that in health class too."

And then, strangely, my own discomfort seemed a little less acute. Because all I could think about was how awful it would be if I was the guy that had to stand up in front of a room full of 13 year old boys and discuss anal sex.

That poor bastard.

That poor, grievously underpaid bastard.