Monday Stories

When my son was a preschooler, he didn’t subscribe to ideas of mythical figures.  He, like I did as a child, felt that it was his humanitarian service to other children to expose the hoax.  We agreed to esteem the wholesomeness of the mythical figures, but agree in front of other children that we would save face and share an inside joke.  Being firstborn, we assumed that he would set the standard for his siblings.  Apparently, his sister marches to the beat of her own drummer.  She is not privy to the ruse, but wholeheartedly embraces it. (Then again, I’m not entirely sure. She may be playing me too.)

My daughter lost her third tooth.  She had heard a rumor that sometimes the tooth fairy brings chocolate instead of money.  She lost the first two teeth on the same day, so she’s only had one experience before this with the tooth fairy.  She’s still learning the ropes.  I inquired, “What do you think the tooth fairy brings?”  Her face was suddenly all of the beautiful things of childhood.  She paused and answered, “I think it must be money and chocolate.  I know!  It MUST be those gold coins that are filled with chocolate.”  I was imagining Venn diagrams in her head coupled with the wonder of a snaggle-toothed child.  I had to make this happen.

My son and I set out on a late night adventure.  The short version of the story is that we went to four stores, ask a lot of clerks foolish sounding questions, but finally found success (chocolate replicas of monetary units) in the store very close to our house minutes before it closed.  Aha!  This tooth fairy was already a little exhausted, but effective to this point.

When we returned home, I heard the little voices of my daughters (much too late) and my husband upstairs.  They were too excited to sleep, according to my four year old.  My husband had visited them to remind them that they needed to put more effort into sleeping.  So, I took the opportunity to verify that the tooth was in an easily retrievable apparatus and placed properly…for the tooth fairy.  I also reminded them that fairies don’t visit little girls who stay up to see them.  I was anticipating the excitement the next morning when my daughter found that the she really did get gold coins.

Eventually, I crashed into my bed and woke up the next morning in a panic to replace that tooth with the ever important gold coins.  I crept into the room…only to find my toothless darling missing.  I checked her sister’s bed.  I found a pile of blankets and stuffed animals, but no little girls and no tooth.  I was beginning to develop a second reason to panic.

I checked the closet.  There, in the brightness of fluorescent lighting were my two sweet princesses.  I felt under the pillow for the tooth but found nothing.  I reached again and pulled out…a fake pirate coin?  I was utterly confused.  But right before I hunted again, my daughter woke.  I had been caught.  I was holding both the fake coin that was under the pillow and the gold coins in the other hand.  I was confused.  So was she.  She said, “Good morning, Mommy.  The tooth fairy came but she only left me this fake coin.  What are you holding?”  Off the cuff, I insisted, “That doesn’t make any sense!  The tooth fairy was confused.  She knew that there was a tooth under your pillow, but she couldn’t find it.  She told me that she would leave the gold coins with me, but I can only trade them for the tooth so that she can come back and get it.”

My four year old chimed in, “It’s over here in the night stand drawers.  I hid it and replaced it with a coin so that my sister would have something.”  Now, let me get this straight.  The four year old knew that no magic would really be taking place, so she high jacked the tooth herself before I got to it…to preserve her older sister’s spirit.  That’s both endearing and frustrating.

The girls shared the chocolate coins, but I missed sharing the moment of discovery.  I hope that in a few years, she appreciates the humor of the backstory of her gold coins.  Then again, it might be sooner rather than later because she found my back up stash and asked why I had two packs for only one tooth.

This summer, my brand new eight-year-old and I have been reading the Harry Potter series.  I have a small confession: I’ve been entranced with the series despite the fact that I am not the target audience.  I have enjoyed using my kid as an excuse to escape.  Mind you, I usually loathe reading fiction, but this is an exception.

So, I was delighted when our son asked to go to Universal Studios for his birthday excursion because it houses The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Outside of the primary attraction, a kiosk was set up like a magic wand shop.  As we three were holding the different wands and attaching each one’s qualities to the supposed characters who wielded them, a Muggle lady (this is to say, a non-magical lady) beheld a wand and asked the clerk, “So, what does it do?”

I buried my face in my husband’s chest to keep from laughing out loud.  “Nothing.” The clerk graciously answered.  “You mean they don’t do NUTHIN’?”  Now all sorts of smart alecky things were running through my head.  For example, “These are ‘Muggle’ wands.  They aren’t magical.”  Or, “Wingardium Leviosa!  Lumos!  Aw, this one’s broken.” And prominently, “Here’s your sign, Muggle.”  But I didn’t.  I did have to walk somewhere else very quickly.

As we were leaving, my son lamented that he had already spent too much money to buy a wand.  I comforted him by reciting the merits of frugality and reminding him, “Besides, your sisters would probably break it…if you didn’t poke an eye out first.”  Then, a panic came over me as I turned to my husband and announced, “Oh, no!  I’ve just become most of the adult characters on A Christmas Story!”

I wanted to take my son out and finish our book.  I grabbed the jeans from 3 years ago (meaning 2 sizes larger)—the ones with the ill-placed pockets.  There was a chill, so I got my cardigan—not a cute one, one that was marketed to an older crowd.  Hair in a quick bun, rimless glasses.  After reading the last chapters of Farmer Boy, I stopped by the bathroom and THERE WAS A MOM IN THE MIRROR!  A MOM I tell you!

I know that I spawned more than seven years ago.  I don’t just mean that I saw a literal mom in the mirror.  I saw a stereotype in the mirror.

I should have seen this coming.  I’ve heard, “You’re such a mom!” and “You hug like a mom.”  (I’m not really sure what that last one means.  I think that both were intended to be compliments.  I think that they can be translated as “You plan/prepare well.” and “Your affection is firm and heartfelt.”)   I define a car’s quality by how many carseats can fit in the backseat.  I feel the urge to remind people to say “please” and “thank you.”  I look for the I-have-to-go-potty facial expressions.  I use the word “potty” even when talking to adults.  Yes, it’s entirely reasonable that there’s a mom in the mirror.

It still weirds me out a little.

Now, to embrace or run from the stereotype?

My husband and my mother each asked me what my New Year’s resolutions are this year.  I hadn’t determined any.  I guess that I just feel that resolutions don’t need to be made on January 1st: they should be made and kept as the need/awareness arises.   I told both, “status quo.”

Maybe I need to elaborate.

Academic goal: audit classes that I passed as an undergrad.  I started that last semester.  The only problem was that the only time slot that I had available, there were two different things vying for my time already.  I was skipping something in order to attend the first hour and I was skipping something else in order to attend the second hour.  This semester, I had decided that I would require myself to attend one hour of lecture a week.  After all, if I don’t have time to do what I want to do because it gets in the way of what I ought to do, I will intend to accomplish it still but in a lesser capacity.  Only one problem remains: there are no classes that I wanted to audit that would fit into my schedule at either college.  I might have to find an online course, set a timer, and do homework problems until the time runs out.  The plan needs a little reworking.

Career goal: consider the possibility of getting a babysitter for Beth when Sarah goes to preschool in the fall so that I may explore the possibility of working full time.  This one is a soft goal. It is not a soft goal because of the working—I’d rather enjoy that, but because I’m not okay with telling my youngest child, “You’re not as worthy as your siblings to have the privilege of my attention at home.”  That may be a little dramatic, but that’s the way that I see that she might perceive it.  Then again, it’s a case by case decision.  I don’t know what kind of alternate care I might be able to find for her.  My son was enriched by his alternate care while I worked.  My husband and my mother have been asking me about that too—when I’m going to go to work full-time.  Sigh.  I have to fight my very nature to become a stay-at-home mom (that is, until I go to work at one of my two jobs, so I’m not really a true stay-at-home mom), then I get flack for that too.  Which is the choice that aids my family the most?  I’ve been straddling the fence of stay-at-home vs. working mom for seven years.  So, I thought the change would be in 2013, but maybe it’s a 2012 change.

Personal goal: read the Harry Potter series.  I’m working every night while my husband reads to my son.  So, they’ve conquered several books together while my son and I are about to finish our first.  My son is at school all day while I’m home and at home while I’m at work.  I always said that I’d read it with my son when he got to this age, but it looks like I don’t get that privilege.  Maybe I’ll read it independently so that I’ll have something to discuss with my son.  Furthermore, I made the decision that I wanted to read it with him (when he was four years old) after reading about all of the biblical parallels in the series.  So, reading the Harry Potter series would be in the vein of the Chronicles of Narnia series.

Personal goal: follow a predetermined Bible reading plan.  I’ve been picking my own passages.  Really, it’s a lazy choice to use a predetermined plan, but I think it might feel like it’s more of an accomplishment to finish someone else’s plan.

Personal goal: either memorize new scripture in NASB or re-memorize old scripture in A-KJV.  I memorized a sizeable chunk (chunks over four years) of scripture in high school.  We used the authorized King James Version because the most conservative opponents couldn’t argue with that choice.  Now I read NASB.  I have a hard time reading from NASB anything that I memorized in KJV.  I need to be able to quote again.  I don’t know if I want to learn new or remember old, but I have a listening buddy if I need to quote.  (Shout out to Leah!)

Fitness goal: now that I’m back to high school weight, get back to college weight.  Hmm.  This one.  This one I can’t really call a goal.  I haven’t really changed anything in more than a decade.  Eat right and exercise?  Did that when I was fat and when I was thin and everywhere in between.  I lost 20lbs after I started dating my husband. Gained 35 after the first kid.  Gained another 10 when the second kid had long, emotional hospital stay.  Then, came the third kid.  I’ve lost 25 since the third kid was born.  What’s the secret?  Apparently not diet and exercise.  I know that those things do have a bearing, but I did them even while I was getting fatter—so the presence of those elements won’t keep me thin or the absence of them won’t make me fat.  The only thing that changed (despite my husband’s mother’s “interesting” guesses) was that I took my herbs and took a nap.  Yep, the only factor that shows any direct relationship is stress/hormones.  In order to lose the first 25, I didn’t make any special “life changes.”  I’ve been consistently doing that since I was an adolescent.  So, this isn’t really a goal…because I feel that it’s so far out of my locus of control (and any “success” cannot be attributed to me), but a hope for a year that is relaxed, comfortable, and prosperous.  Fat chance.

Health goal: make the majority of our dairy products and bread products at home.  I’ve been doing that since before January 1st too.  I made butter last week and yogurt the week before.  I’ve been intending to eliminate wheat products and make what we really will be using.  My area of fault is sandwich bread for my son’s lunches.  Buying it is so much more practical.  I also want to find a raw milk source because making butter is not a useful skill with store-bought cream; it’s just for bragging rights.  With the yogurt, I’m eliminating the garbage thickening agents, but raw would be better.  The goal might be better stated: make sandwich-worthy bread and find a raw milk source.

Health goal: make more plant based dinners for the family creatively.  See above.  Pasta or rice or bread are easy bases for dinners.  Make them out of plants.  Again, this is not a new goal, but a recurring one.

Personal goal: learn to knit.  I crochet.  It’s a creative cousin.

Financial goal: get rid of debt.  I’ve been adamant about not getting the debt since before I was a teenager.  So, this is not a new goal…for me.  But my other (better/nicer) half has finally gotten on the same page with me.  So, I’m finally starting to see some progress!  I’m still listing it as a “goal” because (though it will take me about four years), I’ll still be putting in the efforts that are not new to me.

Creative goal: sew more.  It makes me calm, but it takes so much time.  Maybe if I did it more often, it would take less time and still make me calm.

Financial goal: either coupon again or make more products at home.  I’ve been somewhat of a couponing hypocrite.  I won’t have the patience to accomplish both goals.  I’ll decide later where I want to put my efforts.

Personal goal: take more naps.  While I advocate being super-productive, that super-productivity has its pitfalls.  Building my stress isn’t a worthwhile goal.  So, I’ll take a nap.

Creative goal: when I need inspiration to continue to contribute to the efficiency goals or health goals or creative goals or fitness goals, go to Pinterest, just keep creating.  Feeding off other people’s inspiration is rejuvenating.

Personal goal: make friends at church.  Oh, wait…never mind.  I did that!  They just aren’t the group where I find people with similar interests and similar walks of life.  They’re much cooler than me.  I’m okay with being the oddball of the group.  Again, feeding off other people’s inspiration is rejuvenating.  I think this still counts, right?

In conclusion, these are not really things that I decided to do because of the New Year.  I feel as though if one waits until a specific date to make a change, that waiting kills the spirit of the change.  If something needs to change, change it immediately.  Fix it!  ”Status quo” in this case is a constant state of fixing and changing…regardless of the calendar date.

I was sitting at the computer deep in thought, wearing my glasses, unwashed hair, yesterday’s makeup (yeah, don’t ask), slouched, and not feeling great.

Darling Husband: You’re beautiful.
Me (assuming that he was being sarcastic): Whatever, shut up. (not looking up from my computer)
DH: I’m serious.
Me: There is no evidence to support your claim.

DH: You’re beautiful.
Me: That’s getting annoying.
DH: What do you mean? You’re ALWAYS beautiful.
Me: “Always” is much too lofty a claim. You see, you’re a pretty person by nature. You’re pretty about 95% of the time. Your “not beautiful time” is only limited to about 5%. I, on the other hand, could only claim your description 13% of the time. 13% is certainly not “always” and it certainly isn’t now.  In fact, 13% is kind of generous. I’m aware that though I am the girl in this relationship, I’m not the pretty one. I’m okay with that. I’ll stare at you.
DH: You’re …(calculating in his head) 87% a dork. You say that I have rose-colored glasses, but maybe you’re just wearing cloudy shades 5% of the time.
Me: Wow. You’re going to contest the mere 5% instead of accepting the 95%? Your hyper-optimism just killed your argument.

I know that I should just accept the hyper-optimism as a gift, but the lack of reason begs for a rebuttal.


I made a pickle sandwich.  I’m not pregnant—just throwing that one out there.  I chose pickle because it’s a little late to eat and I wanted something flavorful but not densely caloric.  This thought process reminded me of my mother-in-law.

My in-laws remarried in their late fifties.  Shortly after their second honeymoon, my mother-in-law made herself a bowl of ice cream.  Being somewhat hungry, she made the wise decision of filling up on something less caloric first.   She chose pickles, a worthy option in my opinion.

Just then, my father-in-law walked into his home and beheld his bride holding a large pickle in one hand and a bowl of ice cream in the other.  With his calm southern drawl, he grinned and asked, “Is there something you’d like to tell me?”

My Macedonian-Canadian friend and I were discussing the appropriate age to marry.  She said that she is getting a little long in the tooth (to use an American expression) already because she is 26.  I said that’s absurd.  I chose to marry 10 years ago at the age of 19.  I said that that is much too young for most.  Most people need more time to figure themselves out before binding themselves to someone else for life.  She rebutted that people ought to marry when they are on the cusp of adulthood because they can “find themselves” together and form a unified plan instead of finding themselves separately and clashing over established individuality.  She has an interesting point of view.

I decided that I needed the homemaker satisfaction today.  My toddlers didn’t get the memo.

I shuffled them into another room so that I could steal a few moments to bake some things from scratch.  Baking from scratch has a wholesome feeling—the kind of feeling that I might have if I were good at this mommy/homemaker stuff.

I baked the banana bread and did a load of laundry.  I shredded apples and put them into the crock pot to try out making apple butter (so far, so good!).  I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher.  I put the butternut squash in the oven while it was still hot from the banana bread.  I did another load of laundry.  I scrubbed the kids’ bathroom counter.  I folded laundry.  I made the butternut squash into soup.

Then, I was frustrated.  In the middle of preparing the 7,458th cup of milk/V8 fusion/water (as in “You’ve already had juice…you get water…I know that was your sister, but you’ve had juice too…Nope, you’ve had milk too…if you’re thirsty, drink this water…you’ve already had your almond milk today…well, I’ll just put this cup of water over here on this counter…oh, you want it now?…you’re welcome)/carrot sticks/ banana bread/granola bars/etc., I realized that I was STILL far from being done.  I’m looking for that gratification that comes from completing the task of homemaking for one more day and I sit and with my laptop and a cup of tea (and hopefully, my husband) and concludes that I have accomplished something.  I’m only home one night a week, so, I need to get in my jollies while I can.  I was frustrated that my satisfaction felt so unreachable.

There were glimmers of hope.  My daughters asked if they could vacuum.  Bless them!  Well, they sucked up something.  I still haven’t had time (I mean energy.  No I don’t.  I mean patience.) to identify what exactly…because I don’t  want something else to clean up.

Also, my two-yr-old gleefully skipped through the kitchen repeatedly.  She was announcing her existence.  I thought that I needed to stop and acknowledge her.  I held her and played with her.  I told her, “You smell good.  Why do you smell like peppermint?”  She replied, “My hands are sticky.”  That was accurate.  Apparently, her sister had found a stash of peppermint candies and she was kind enough to share with her sister.  How thoughtful!  The entire media room is covered in peppermint slime.  Great.

No problem.  I’ll just mop.  Uh, huh.  Why is the vinegar empty?  I’m not really sure why, but I’m really glad that I chose something natural to make a mop solution!  It looks like the little stinkers got into that too.

Yesterday, I found the two-yr-old (same one who smelled like peppermint) using anti-frizz serum instead of soap to wash her hands.  Really, how do you mistake those textures?

Sometimes, I just want to yell, “Mommy has two part time jobs and she really needs you to pause the destructive behavior because she doesn’t have time to fix these things and find the solace that comes from completing the homemaking tasks!”   I doubt that my 3 ½ yr old and 2 yr old would see my point.

There were a lot of good moments.  Reading a chapter of Farmer Boy with my 7 yr old, hearing my daughters request bedtime songs, hearing them giggle, making plant based meals from scratch, and completing the kids’ laundry all go on the list of good things today.  No satisfaction of being all the way done, but that’s okay.  Not really.  It bugs me, but I sound really neurotic if I don’t say that I’m settling for “good enough” despite circumstances.

When I was a teenager, my father and I had a football-watching understanding.  He would grade papers while watching the game and I would busy myself with something productive in another room.  When something interesting happened, he’d holler, “Hey, Courtney!  Come watch this replay!”  I’d pop around the corner and watch and exclaim appropriately.  When a play was especially phenomenal or excruciating, he’d add his own sound effects. Then, I returned to my tasks until he filtered out another good play.

Then, when my husband and I were dating, he would ask me to sit and watch football with him.  Sit? Sit and watch football?  Certainly, there was a better use of my time than sitting during a football game.  He eventually got me to oblige at HIS house because I didn’t have an everlasting to do list there.  But at my house, I resumed my task list and let my dad alert me to the good parts.

Sometimes, I fell asleep on the couch next to my husband (then fiancé) while he was watching football.  That seems natural.  The productive girl falls asleep if there’s ever too much sitting.  He’d help me by slapping me awake (not intending to be violent, just excited) when something noteworthy happened.  I barked that I preferred my father’s method.  :)  One of his parents would inevitably tell him, “Drive her home and let her go to sleep!”

However, even then, sitting was false advertizing.  Poor guy.  After we were married, his house was my house.  Therefore, I didn’t want to watch football with him because I now had the chore list to keep up with.  I asked him, “Why don’t you get off your duff and help?”  He responded, “Why don’t you act like you like me and sit down and watch the game with me?”  Sit? Sit and watch a game while there’s a load of dishes to wash and floors to mop?  Sit?  I could be using this time to get my running done.  I have calculus homework.

Let me clarify that I still don’t mind watching the game at other people’s houses.   I don’t play a matriarchal role there.  I don’t have a chore list there.  I also like going to a game or two a year.  That’s a whole different experience.  In fact, about 4 years ago, I begrudgingly had to lay down in the stands during the 4th quarter until the Braxton hicks slowed down enough for me to catch my breath.  I heard other spectators laughing when my arm would pop up for the fight song or in sync with the crowd yelling “1st down!”

Ten years into this marriage and I’m finally learning.  We just finished watching the second game.  The floors that I just mopped yesterday are sprinkled with toddler debris.  There’s a load in the washer that needs to be put in the dryer.   I hear these and other things calling to me.  But I’m busy leaning on my husband.  He doesn’t notice the things that are calling to me.  I like him and he likes that I want to lean on him.

What’s this?  Apparently, we’re watching the end of a third game.  Bless wifi.  That would have been useful ten years ago too!

I have long described myself as missing the “girly” gene.  I mean, I am female, but I’m missing that innate desire to exhibit “girl behavior.”  I still don’t understand the draw of it.  I don’t understand the desire for behaviors that other women seem to be born with.  It’s like those posters at the mall that look like a bunch of squiggly lines and if you stare at it long enough, a picture will pop out at you.  But there’s always that one guy who stands there saying, “I just don’t see it!”  I’m that guy.  I’ll see women doing things that they feel compelled to do and it never would have occurred to me to exhibit that behavior.

When I was a child, I didn’t want to play with dolls.  I understood that I was a girl and I was supposed to want to play with dolls, but I couldn’t figure out why.  Dolls didn’t DO anything.  Other little girls carried dolls around with them, but it just seemed like arm clutter.

I remember once asking my mother how to swaddle a doll.  She very sweetly and slowly relished the opportunity to impart her motherly knowledge (which is natural for her).  I think I disappointed her, though, when I replicated in super speed, handed her my swaddled doll, and ran off to play with my blocks and matchbox cars (neither of which I believe are masculine toys, by the way).

My family compares my teenage years with my sister’s (my sister also has the innate girl gene) when they say, “We told Alison, ‘Go wash off some of that make up!  We are not going into church with you looking like that!’ But we told Courtney, ‘Young lady, you had better go put on some make up!  You look awful!  We are not going to church with you looking like that!”  I must also point out that my sister’s teenage years were in the mid 80s with all its neon glory and mine were in the 90s during the grunge era.

My husband’s aunt always has a clean house and ample seasonal trinkets.  I am baffled how she can do that and everything looks clean and cohesive, but if I attempt the same thing, my house looks cluttered.

My friends have the girly gene too.  My friend, Lauren, has been trying to dress me and give me hair instruction for years.  My family truly appreciates her efforts.  I still need lessons.

My friend, Hannah, is the perfect hostess.  Hannah reminds me of a “Cathy” tv special (at 2:45 - but without the judgement) I saw when I was a kid.   Cathy’s mother comes over to see her, grabs a plate out of the fridge that holds only three peas, waves her hands wildly, and reveals a beautifully dressed turkey.  That’s Hannah.  I see her moving, but I have no idea how she makes things materialize.  I can identify that everything she touches turns to gold and I can usually follow her logic, but sometimes she says things that baffle me.  For example, she said, “I’m really into white pumpkins this fall.”  I understand that one can change preferences over time.  I understand that one can have different preferences seasonally.  What I don’t understand is the implication that she will like something this fall and know that she will like something totally different next fall.  I’ve seen her wave her hands wildly in front of my sad centerpieces and wall décor and the end result looks so much better with the same set of materials.  How?  Okay.  Thanks.   Do it again.

Though I get “girl cred” for a lot my behaviors, none of them are really motivated by my inner girl.

For example, I crocheted a hat (with a big ol’ flower) while I was talking to students yesterday.  Crocheting is regarded as a motherly skill.  Really, it’s just fidgeting and patterns.  I like fidgeting.  I like patterns.  Crocheting is a way to keep my hands busy (instead of taking the students’ pencils and doing their homework for them) and to keep me patient.  I’m not really crafty.  

I prefer skirts.  This doesn’t stem from any femininity, but from the conundrum of why men choose to wear pants all the time.  Truly, a full, long skirt is a tent of freedom.  Men have NO IDEA what they’re missing.  Togas and kilts.  I’m just sayin’.

I birth at home instead of going to the hospital.  Two reasons.  1) Hospitals are for sick people.  Having a baby doesn’t make me ill.  So, I don’t need to go to the place for sick people where it’s more likely that I’ll end up being sliced and diced.  It’s just not logical.  2)  Why would I want to PACK a bag and GO somewhere?  I’m already having a baby.  Isn’t that enough doing?  Can’t you come to me?  Healthy birth – there’s no place like home.  I also exclusively breastfeed.  It’s the healthiest thing I can give my human infant.  But there’s a better reason.  IT’S FREE.  Yes, I know that it’s bad that I rank the reasons in that order, but I do.  For these two things, I’ve been called “Granola Mama” and “Earth Mama” at work.  Nope.  It just seemed to be the reasonable things to do.

Furthermore, I love my children, but I’m not partial to every child.  Moms (assuming that I possessed the every-child-is-wonderful-I-just-love-being-around-children-so-much gene) have asked me, “Don’t you want to hold the baby?”  Nah.  I’ll hold the baby so that the mother can go do something, but I don’t understand holding someone’s baby for the sake of holding a baby.  If there are enough people around who truly want to hold the baby for fun and this gives the mom a break, I’m not vying for my chance to hold somebody else’s kid.  I don’t get it.

I wear lipstick to work.  If I don’t, I hear my mother in my head telling me that it’s unprofessional not to.  Frankly, I don’t keep open containers of makeup in the house.  There’s only makeup in the car.  If makeup takes more than 3 stop lights, it’s taking too much time.  Efficiency is a preferable professional skill.

I bake, but that’s because I can bake cheaper and better than store-bought.  I’ve also learned to compensate for my poor hostess skills (dinner is ALWAYS late) by setting out a tray of veggies/fruit or a crock pot of soup.  I’ve been credited for serving multi course meals, but I’m just too unorganized to get dinner done on time.  My dad said of my food, “Haven’t you ever heard of cornbread and collards?  I’ll probably like your food, but I can’t ever pronounce it.”  So, I cook, but that’s not the same as being a good hostess.  It helps to mask the insufficiencies though!

Sometimes I do girly things, but I have concluded that I am really just a poser.  I’m okay with that.

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