Kelly and Michael. If you don’t recognize these paired
names, then you are not a Celebritydom visitor.
One of my visits happen at 10 a.m. two or three times a
week. I sit at my kitchen high chair, sideways to the counter, with my 15 inch
TV in front of me as I eat my breakfast. I don’t usually stay for the entire
show – unless the kitchen needs major cleaning - but I always make it through
the host chat.
Like a lot of people, I bought the chemistry between the two
of them; the “TV wife” that Michael referred to her as, and how he called her “my
lady” while telling her to cover her coffee mug before they shook their confetti
sticks. When I heard that he’s leaving, I
gasped with disappointed surprise. Why?
His position, which was likely approved by Kelly, a job that catapulted him
into the big league, beyond the “already successful” status that he was
enjoying before Live… Why? Doesn’t he
owe more than four years?
Does he? Or is it
my selfish desire to be entertained while I eat my cereal and fruit, or on a ravenous
day, my bacon, eggs, and toast? Yes… that’s what it is. My charming and
personable breakfast companion is leaving me.
As the days passed and each gossip TV show added more to the
debacle (the snubbing of Kelly from the powers that be), my thoughts and
interest grew along with them; especially during the highly anticipated re-entry
of Kelly to the show after a few steam-filled days off. She’d be back on Tuesday,
everyone was saying… which just happened to be the morning of my mammogram.
Umph! I’ll have to
Funny… I never did watch it; didn’t have to. Every time the
TV was on, someone was showing a clip of Kelly’s angry, yet composed, speech.
Between her and Prince, I sacrificed Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy to watch ET and Inside Edition.
Anyway… As I watched, I sensed a vulnerability in this woman
who reportedly earns $15 or $20 million a year. And then it hit me… All that money, and her power is limited.
She’s at the mercy of the men at the top of the pyramid; the men who took one
of theirs – fellow male specie, Michael – and placed him in a position where
they presume he’ll make more money for them. And I’m sure they paid him a boatload
to do so.
So yes, this goes beyond celebritydom. This is business;
real life. How did this happen to, I assume, the smart and savvy Kelly? I can’t
help but see her in another light now – still confident and funny, however different. It may sound
like I’m blaming the victim, but I’m not. Quite the opposite, actually. Someone
else’s disrespect has cast a shadow on her; albeit, temporarily, I’m sure. But
Kelly, like regular worker bees, has to watch her back from now on. And Michael
– aside from the money – I understand why he’s moving on. He has an opportunity
to move beyond his sports job and his play job to GMA, where his proximity to serious issues and a different kind of
production will add another dimension to his career. Best wishes to both of
It’s not what you think.
Well, maybe it is. I had my first overt experience with it a few days
ago; this newly coined phrase that defines messages used to tell people that
his or her body is not what it should look like. Based on my brief encounters
with media explanations, i.e. Internet, TV, and tabloid magazines while
standing in the grocery store line, the majority of the opinions express disgust with a person’s weight; what they feel is
an abundance of it. But I’ve also heard body parts being honed in on, like
height, breast and/or butt size, facial features, and hair. On rare occasions,
I hear or read of a thin person getting a lashing. And it seems that the recipients are mostly women.
I love food. Currently, I’m having an affair with avocados
and Tostito corn chips. It’s my overly snacked snack of the day, times 3.
Another soul mate is buttery shortbread cookies. It’s the dessert of the day - a
treat after lunch. I decide how many I’m having, eat them (2), and then return
for more. Both of these pleasures surely don’t appeal to everyone, but I’ll
bet you have something that you love experiencing on the taste buds of your
So I get it… the hardship of resisting something that makes
us happy, if only for a few minutes, that may have unwanted consequences.
Those of you who know me are saying, “What are you talking
about, Anita!” And those of you who don’t, are either sympathizing with me or
formulating your opinion or feedback. So this is what happened:
My dog has a sore on her belly. I take her to the vet and
like humans, the first thing done is the weigh-in. Little Layla steps onto the
scale and the vet announces, “21 pounds.” (I always wonder if they translate the kilograms correctly, but that’s beside the point.) I say, “She’s
plump,” to which the vet responds in an austere tone, “She’s plump-ER. She was 20 pounds the last
time she was here.”
What can I say? I was hoping Layla would have been less
weight or at least the same, but I know the vet is right. I let
the comment go. (Maybe I shouldn’t refer to her as Little Layla.)
After shaving around the wound, cleaning and lancing it, the
vet decides to staple the quarter sized sore. Tool in hand, assistant standing
by to help, she squeezes Layla’s skin, but it won’t come together enough for
the narrow-width tool to clamp over it.
I'm thinking that she's putting on the demonstration purposely, knowing
that it won't fit, just so she can (and does) say, “Her belly is too big to
stretch the skin any more than it already is.”
Gotcha, you horrible
dog abuser! How dare you overfeed her and put her in this shape.
No she didn’t say that, but in my mind, that’s what I hear, so
I whine my explanation:
“Ever since she had to take prednisone, her appetite has
been so big. She seems hungry all the time. She bangs on the pantry door and it
drives us crazy! Do you think the meds she takes now make her hungry?”
That garners a little sympathy from the vet:
“With her neurological issues,” she says as she gestures the
cuckoo sign near Layla’s head, “she might be begging as a habit, or she’s
confused. Or possibly, she has thyroid issues. She’s going to need blood work
Tired after sitting in the waiting room over a half hour in
a place that causes me mental anguish, my thought is, “Whatever.” I’ve been here
so many times over the last fourteen months… but that’s another blog post.
Anyway, I gather up my sweet little porker, pay the 200 plus
bucks, and proceed home to begin her treatment of antibiotics, ear drops (oh
yeah, she has ear infections), ear flush, and pain pills (that she doesn’t
Did the body shaming work? For right now, yes. We’ve started
the diet for the tenth time. I’m measuring her food, substituting green beans
for snacks, and trying to limit my trips to the kitchen which is Layla’s signal
to ask (paw my ankles) for food. Wish us luck!
Thoughts? regarding people, animals, or both
Fill in the hole with more squiggly hairs and it is a replica of what Layla ate during one of her prednisone induced hunger attacks about a year ago. My friend and I took our dogs on their poopy walk and parts of this, color included, exited Layla's rear. After our initial Ewwww, we came to the conclusion that worms are not lime green.
The inspiration for this post comes from 7:20 a.m.
basketball shooting on my neighbor’s driveway. The dad and his three elementary
school kids, two girls and a boy, dressed for work and school, shoot ball after
ball in the great arrival of spring weather; waiting for the yellow bus to arrive
as I walk by with Layla the dog. I think, “What a great way to start the
My thoughts continue to flow, taking me back to my kids’
elementary school days which are not that much in the distant past. I was a stay-at-home mom, a title thrust upon
me when my first child was born; a supposed upgrade from housewife and homemaker.
I wore the label nonchalantly, as I was not so much into the semantics then;
however, very much into what it meant to be a stay-at-home mom. I bought it; the whole package: the joy of taking care
of my newborn and toddlers throughout the day - diapers, crying, bathing, playing,
feeding (breast feeding really was a joy,
for that was when I sat on the couch with my metaphorical bonbons and watched
TV); in addition to sparse house cleaning, answering phone calls, bill
paying, meal prep, etc. No, it wasn’t all joy, but I felt proud and triumphant,
as well as blessed. I was doing this! I was given this opportunity to not have
to work (cough, cough), as well as my
kids not having to be bundled up and rushed out to another location. I wondered
how the other moms did it.
At play group, the discussion
would come up here and there with varying degrees of pompous attitudes.
can’t leave my baby with someone else.
make it on one income; they can do it too if they give up the new cars
feel sorry for them missing out on all the things that the babysitter gets to
I need not go on. All mothers know the dialog, as well as
the dialog on the other side of the coin where 9
to 5 mom wonders how stay-at-home mom
can give up her career to stay home…
things like that.
Before I continue – Is this still a topic? Hold on for a
minute. I’m going over to Google to
Yep, it is. However, it appears that the war now encompasses
other parenting choices, too, like breast-feeding, the right/wrong age for
pregnancy, the family bed, homeschooling, etc.; but back to how and where she works.
I can hardly scratch the surface of this topic and it is not
my intention to do so; one reason being that I don’t believe that there is any
objective right or wrong answer. Women around the globe have babies; across
cultural, economic, racial, and religious boundaries. Are we all supposed to
spend the exact amount of time with them? Feed them the same amount of breast
milk? Supply them with the same amount of monetary privileges?
And yet, the women of the world have managed to produce and
raise some pretty amazing people who have managed to keep this world going;
women who are Amish, women who are doctors, evangelical Christians, teachers,
and farmers; women who marry and have kids young or when older; single moms, factory
workers, those pursuing degrees, world leaders or women married to world leaders - all
different and raising their children as best they know how.
As a card carrying AARP member, I’ve progressed to a place
of contentment when it comes to other people’s kids. Mine are not perfect and neither
are theirs, but as long as they are loved, respected, and taught positive
values, they’ll all have equal chances to have healthy minds and lives.
So when I see the kids happily
playing basketball on the driveway with Dad in the morning and with the nanny
in the afternoon, I figure, relatively speaking, all is well.
Coincidentally, each of my daughters and I have had a
conversation this week about situations involving people being taken for
granted which prompted me to give it further thought. Independent soul I am, I
tend to notice when actions or feelings are not balanced between two
individuals; not that everything has to be tit for tat, but it shouldn’t have
the proportions of Person A giving 95% and Person B giving 5%.
I’ve avoided the obligatory, reciprocal acts by doing things
on my own or by explaining to people in my life that there are certain things I rarely do – like having a big party at my home. Family and close friends
are as much as I can handle, and even that’s because my husband does the
planning, shopping, and cooking! I could never be in a supper club where, let’s
say, five couples have a meal together once a month, rotating homes and cooking
duties; sometimes, the host doing all the cooking and buying all the booze. Or the
other kind of dinner club where mothers of young children trade nights to serve
each other dinner, giving nights off from cooking. I knew a group of women who
did this. On Monday, Mary would cook for Jane, Linda, and Marsha’s families;
plus delivery. Then she’d have three nights of dinners delivered to her family
from Jane on Tuesday, Linda on Wednesday, and Marsha on Thursday.
Not my thing, but I see the advantages of sharing. It’s a win-win
for all involved when no one in the group is taking the others for granted.
So if people know that I don’t host big parties, I’m fine if
I don’t get invited to theirs; or they can invite me if they’d like. (We
usually show up with something in hand.)
One of my daughters has noticed that her printer is being
“borrowed” by her college housemates at a growing rate, resulting in increasing
ink and paper expense. And let’s not forget wear and tear. Nice girls, they
are: they ask, but they don’t offer – money, that is.
Girl #2 has noticed that having a car to drive means “chauffeuring.”
Fortunately, her closest friends have access to family vehicles and they take
turns at being the driver; however, she sees other situations at school where
the balance is lacking. Some cases can’t be helped (they’re teens), but an
offer of helping with gas is always an option.
Girl #3 isn’t behind the wheel yet and has to rely on parent
chauffeurs – my husband and me or friends’ parents. I’ll admit it – when
another parent drives, it’s a treat for me; however, I’ve had to explain to
darling daughter that the carpooling has to be shared and that she needs to ask
us so that we can figure out if it’s our turn or not. Don’t want to be known as
the slacker parents who take the others for granted!
Bottom line: In all their conversations, the solution
advised was good ol’ communication, as awkward as it can be. If I’m taking
someone for granted, I want to hear it... Really. My feelings might get hurt, I may be
embarrassed, or even annoyed, but if it’s true…
*sigh* I’ll do some something about it. And likewise, if someone’s using
me, or you, knowingly or not, it needs some thought and maybe some action.
with my girls pertain to kid stuff, but adults have the same issues… right?
I suppose all of us have had a relationship with someone and
lost touch. College roommates, co-workers, girlfriends/boyfriends, relatives, and friends - we are reminded of them at any given time. Looking at a book on a shelf
can pop the conversation with Mary into your mind. You’re driving past the restaurant at 5th
and Main when you remember the meal you shared with John. What’s Mary doing
nowadays? And John?
Generally, I think of her or him as living a normal life, as
I am. I don’t perceive any horrible situations because somehow the grapevine
would have done its job and passed along the info; and sad but true, bad news
travels faster than good news.
I don’t envision anything grand either. Most of us don’t
change vastly from who we were ten or twenty years ago. Our trajectories seem
predetermined. A dynamic go-getter as a young person is probably still that
person, excelling with money and all its perks. Those who have long practiced
their faith, I assume, still have peace with their beliefs and are encouraging
others. The talented and creative should be deeply entrenched in their
passions. The givers are still giving; the haters are still hating… Unless that
horrible or sublime thing has happened, deeming someone not recognizable as the
person of years past.
The majority - traveling through life on a general path - we’re
progressing along at average pace, having our ups and downs, alternating
between “one step forward and two back” and “two steps forward and one step
back ;” hopefully more of the latter, as it is a pace that allows us to move in a long term positive direction.
Once these old acquaintances enter our minds, we delve into
the reasons for our renewed curiosity. Maybe we liked them a lot and wonder why
we didn’t stay in touch. We’re lonely and/or bored, perhaps; or simply, our
lives have freed up and we have time to renew the relationship. One of my
girlfriends is seeing a man who was at college with us after her long marriage
that ended a couple years ago. How did they reconnect – facebook, through friends, phone call, text, email, a letter?
Ahhh… you say; a
letter. We used to do that.
Letters: I’m told that you’re good at it or you’re not. I’m
good at it. The eye-pleasing stationery and the pen that connects to it with
ease, the quiet space needed for thinking, transferring my message to the paper…
I like that.
Emails: Not the same. Quick thoughts, rapid movement of the
fingers, SEND, BAM, it’s gone! Was the intent of the message accurately relayed? After getting an email from a businessperson and
discussing its content with my friend Denise, I told her that it didn’t answer
my concerns, though all the concise wording was there. Denise reminded me that
writing, especially an email, is not the best form of communication for some, including herself.
“I prefer to talk on the phone,” she said. And as I speak
with her often on the phone, I get it. Her honesty and patience are palpable.
Me… I tend to eject every uncontrollable, incomplete thought
or sentence from my mouth, possibly sending the wrong message; so…
I’m gearing up to write a
letter to a friend from the past. When we met, we were excited to have each
other in our lives, chatting incessantly about the things we had in common
and opining about life. We spent time together with our kids and introduced our
spouses; it was the honeymoon phase.
And then the conversation and outings became less frequent. We
began to see our differences, though nothing disturbed me about her. She was an
inspiration – intelligent, organized, good at domesticity, etc. I envied her,
which evoked a pinch of self-consciousness here and there.
In hindsight, I wonder why? Maybe it was… the pending menopause. Ha! (Gotta blame it on something.)
That was nine years ago. Since then, I’ve seen her a couple
times; both of us hurried with errands, but stopping to give the quick update,
mostly on our kids, and then saying the pleasant good-bye.
Should I write the
letter to her, asking what happened? It was a worthwhile friendship. I’m
reminded of her occasionally and I’m curious about her life and family. Not seeking
a gal-pal relationship; just a dissipation of the cloud of wondering.
Hmmm... What do you think? Any old acquaintances that you're curious about?
So I’m walking through my house with my cleaning caddy, having
just finished the toilets. I call this routine
Toilet Tuesday. My sick, out of school daughter is lying on the family room
sofa watching Kathie Lee and Hoda, when I glance over to the TV and there’s
this big phrase, “We’re Pregnant!” spread across the screen. Kathie Lee and Hoda
are opining about Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s impending life change, I
guess… I’m not sure because my mind was, once again, thinking about how ridiculous
this politically correct phrase is. My attempt to get a reaction from my fifteen
year old daughter (Why do they say that?
Your daddy wasn’t pregnant – I was!), who usually makes a joke or rolls her
eyes when I say anything that could remotely be related to what she thinks of
as feminism, was met with a brief look at me and silence, as if to say, “I’m
not going there, Mommy.” I know… you’re either thinking about your own opinion of, “We’re
pregnant,” or you’re saying, “Here’s Anita again! Blogging out of the blue!”
Yes, my last post was in January. Eventually, I’ll whine about why I haven’t
posted lately or visited your blogs; but today, back to “We’re Pregnant.” When did this start? Is it here to stay? Dictionary dot com
defines pregnant as… well, you know what it says. Why do I notice it? Am I annoyed by it? Why does it
matter?Will I evolve to the state of not noticing it and begin to say it,
too? When my daughter marries and gets pregnant (in that order), maybe I’ll
excitedly announce to my friends, “My daughter and her husband are pregnant!”
Or, “They’re pregnant! I’m going to be a grandma!” Where did this come from and who started it? A woman who
wanted to give her husband or significant other more credit beyond being the
fertilizer? A man who needs more of a
connection to the gestation period? I say, “Men, if you need more validation, brag on how much more house cleaning you’re doing because Your Wife is pregnant and needs help… only
if you are cleaning more.” I wonder who else has this fixation on semantics regarding this
topic. After I post, I’ll head over to Google
to find answers to my 10 questions. Thoughts? Congratulations Chrissy & John! image found here