Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Victoria's Secret? Your Boobs are Deflating.

So, if you ever want to sneak clothes into the house without anyone asking "what you got there?"

... do not sneak in "clothes" from Victoria's Secret.

I've found the giant pink bag with 102384 sheets of hot pink and glittery tissue paper quite difficult to weasel on up the stairs.

It's even harder to get this giant pink mess into a closet before anyone notices when you are getting chased by the world's largest toad in the driveway.

All that to say, it's nice to shake things up a bit. In married life. You know.

My grandma told me never to feel bad for buying nice underwear, "... just so long as you actually like it, though. That is very important," she said. She is actually the one who bought me my honeymoon gear. It totally rocked. When my aunt told me the same thing, I knew this had to be truth. Grandma + Aunt = overtime payday trip to Victoria's Secret.

I say all of this to share an important lesson I learned about spicing up a marriage ... on my honeymoon.

The first night on our honeymoon in Hilton Head, SC, my husband and I went to a karaoke bar. While we were eating, I signed the two of us up to sing a little duet. When Preston and I stood to rock our own version of "Zombie" by the Cranberries, the crowd was pretty impressed. I think. Besides the fact that many patrons were laughing, I believe some were inspired. I'd like to think that an older, average looking white couple was inspired by our talents, but I think it was more along the lines of - no one could do worse than the people who just sang ZOMBIE - that they also got up.

The man was tall, thin, lanky - very Stretch Armstrong. His hair was a teensy bit gray, and he was wearing what looked to be like all khaki. His wife was wearing a black skort and white tennis shoes. She looked like she could be best friends with Mitt Romney's wife. They sang a song together as well, though I don't remember which one. All I do remember is that, as Preston and I boogied the night away, they danced right alongside us. At first, they were a bit rigid - the man's primary dance move looked like he was trying to shove a large dresser to the left. The woman just kind of shook her butt back and forth ever so slightly. The karaoke ended and the DJ was doing her thing. As the songs went on, and the floor filled up, they started to dance harder, laugh, sweat, and just bust some serious moves. When Preston and I left, they were still going strong under the strobe light. Now, this is just an assumption, but - provided they had enough energy after all of that dancing - they probably went back to their hotel room and had just as great a time. Before you think "gross," try thinking "well that's just great." I give props to the Romney-esque duo.

I know that being married just over a year does not give me a license to counsel others in any sort of way. However, I don't think there is anything wrong with sharing the good advice that's been given to me, whether it be the underwear lesson from Grandma and Auntie, or the 47 year old lady shaking her thing right there in her white tennies. Though the couple might not have been inspired by my rock star abilities I picked up by singing in the car in the late 90's, I was certainly inspired by their ability to shrug off any insecurities or cares and just... have... fun. Bravo (especially to the hubby).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Set Your Hair Free

My niece, Burkelle, is very special. She also goes by the name of "Nug." She is the first niece I ever had, and I even lived across the hall from her for a year during college. We loved to have dance parties.

When Nug was very small, she discovered how to ask interesting questions, a talent she still puts on from time to time, like yesterday. She asked me what a period was. When I tried to shrug the question off by saying it was a way for a woman's body to prepare for a pregnancy, she asked - "Then Aunt Brittany is pregnant?" "No." "Will I have one?" "Actually, that is something only your mommy knows."

Back to the small Nug questions. I think she was about to be 5. She came back from Sunday School and asked me to "Explain Jesus." I tried. A few days later, I was sitting on the couch watching TV, and out of nowhere, the top to a long wooden basket flipped off onto the ground. Tiny Nug rose up, eyes closed, proclaiming "I'VE BEEN RISEN!!!"

Small children listen to what you say, and they watch what you do. They remember, especially if they are girls. Now that Nug is here in Cleveland for a visit, I'm reminded in a new way what an influence I had, or could've had in some respects, on her. Now that I have a daughter, this scares me.

These are some things I want to teach my daughter.

If she is ever watching me do my hair, and it is doing its African Fro-Jewish frizz-Random white person straight pieces, I will never curse it. I would rather go to the park with a greasy ponytail and a daughter without hair anxiety.

On a similar note, I will never angrily comb her hair, sweat dripping as we try to get it ready for church in time.

I randomly want to answer her questions with the most fantastical, imaginative, in no way real answers. And then maybe tell her someday. If she doesn't find me out first (she could probably beat me at Scrabble already. Em is very smart.)

I don't want her to think she has to keep friends who treat her badly, especially when she is down.

I will encourage her to always pick up the things I am scared of. Like worms.

I will teach her to ask daddy to buy mommy a Mastiff.

I wish, want, hope with all my might that she will hide beside her bed with a flashlight until 11:30 pm on a school night reading The Babysitter's Club, or other great works of Literature.

I want to teach her that she can grow tomatoes easily, and then cut up a load of them, put them on a cookie sheet and roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then throw them in a blender with some cream and make wicked soup. With grilled cheese croutons.

I hope she has a lady professor friend who wears great shoes and gives great advice, some of which she will understand, some of which she will pretend to get but won't really until she matures a bit more and then one day goes "ah..."

I will give her a Bible.

I will give her Journey, Creedence Clearwater, Johnny Cash, Feist,  Patty Griffin, and as many 80's punk rock or Dance Cds as I can.

I will give her pens, paper, crayons, toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, bird seeds, and a smock. And then I will sit with her instead of playing on my iPhone.

Like my mother, I will tell her she is beautiful as much as I can, and take her out of school sometimes just to go out for lunch.

I hope to teach her that it is totally ok to cry, even if you haven't figured out what's wrong yet.

And, like Caitlin Moran with her little girl, I will teach Emilia to say "Damn you, The Patriarchy!" every time she falls down.

God bless my lil' chunker. I hope I make it out of this mommy thing alive. I'm glad I had practice with the smartest, sweetest lil' Nug.