murphyormel

wacky reflections from a nutcracker wannabe

Month: March, 2015

reading glasses do not alter curious observation.

curiosity killed the cat.

  • What the hell does that even mean?*
  • Why is the first time your teenager tells you, “you are the worst mom, ever”, your therapist tells you, “congratulations, this is healthy development and a necessary separation for her growth”?
  • How is possible to be terrified and excited at the same time?
  • How is gray hair a sign of wisdom?
  • Why does “doing the right thing” sometimes hurt so much?
  • Why is learning to breathe a technique?  (And lol, there are many that I teach that DO actually work to either heat up the body or calm.  (Let’s just say Nadi Shodna in traffic looks like I’m picking my nose.))
  • Why does “fake it till you make it” actually work?
  • Why doesn’t the St. Louis Bread Co / Panera Bread market a ‘morning happy hour’ or ‘speed dating’ concept for the 70+ crowd?  I’ve been there with my mom.  She talks to strangers naturally, hugs and touches shoulders of those she doesn’t know well, enjoys the low key coffee and pastries.  It’s perfect.  They talk about their ailments, what cousin’s cousin’s children are married or single while they pass around grand-baby photos with their shared reading glasses. The coffee wraps could be used for collecting phone numbers.
  • Why is being with the people we love the most in the world, and who love us to infinity as well, so darn stressful at a holiday?
  • When did I become the subject of my own teaching on “the dark side of consumerism”?  Yes, binge-watching Netflix newly released, ‘House of Cards’ in one weekend should be a text-book case study.  The a-ha moment in class as I admitted my addiction stunned even me.
  • Why can’t Apple add a photo feature so my male, British speaking Siri is looking at me when he speaks?
  • Why doesn’t the school system allow the parents a choice in our children growing older?  I offer every year, but no.
  • Why is it easier for me to trash the greasy, thick, sloppy, ‘left in sink’ too long pan, than wash?
  • Or better, rerun the dish washer so you can postpone emptying?
  • Why does mouthwash taste so awful?  And for that matter, the prep beverage for a colonoscopy?  Seriously, markete(e)r friends, simple economics…. consumers pay a price to meet a need. Price increases as demand increases.
  • Why did anyone let me buy a condo with a balcony outside my soon-to-be high school blonde beauty’s bed room?  (Probably not appropriate to use Rapunzel and “conceal and carry” in the same sentence. It isn’t like I’m a stranger or ever a saint to the teenage sneak factor.)
  • How can I remember details of a professional contact from five years ago: know their political affiliation, connection to others in my network, what Board positions they hold, recall what school they graduated and know they are cousins with a hottie who has a knack for great jokes, but ………I can’t remember what I made for dinner last night?
  • I have convinced myself grapes with pizza is a meal.  Not really a question but probably should be.
  • Why is laundry, picking up the dog poo, or unloading groceries called a chore for the teenager but it is real life for the parent?  I call it, “You live here, you help, you eat.”
  • St. Murphy struck on St. Patrick’s Day.  Why did my teenager find the container of corn in the microwave 24 hours AFTER it was to be a compliment to our evening meal?

And finally, why DIDN’T my $4K lasik procedure guarantee that BAM, one month after my early 40s birthday, I wouldn’t need these silly readers to make my curious observations?  When I had to wear glasses, I disliked them. Now, I forget they are on my own head.

Cheers to never-ending curiosity,

Mel


* Wikipedia:  Curiosity killed the cat” is a proverb used to warn of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation. A less frequently seen rejoinder to “curiosity killed the cat” is “, but satisfaction brought it back“.

The corn.

IMG_6418

lunkheads. we see you.

…from the lens of a gym girl.  And magnified.

we wear headphones for a reason.  And we laugh when we get in our car.  Just sayin’.

  • The charts the trainers give you are for recording reps/machines/body focus- not phone numbers, though GoPro and Match.com might want to consider a partnered after-market attachment.
  • “Disgrosting™” to quote my daughter.  Clean up your own pool of wetness post machine.  The gym staff can’t make enough cash to cover you.
  • There is no track at my gym, boys.  Stop walking laps, winking and waving to “cool down” around the cardio area. Walk your damn selves outside!
  • Tanning inside a gym environment?  Not my thing, but lol, boys- 1. It doesn’t count for strength training, 2. Completely counter-intuitive.  Hand over cash and ask for cancer?  You are in a health club!
  • The pool is for swimming laps, not flat back free-floating to see if your belly sticks up higher than your head.  It does.
  • Please do not wear your compression stockings on the treadmill next to me.
  • And for goodness sakes, hold on to the side rails when you check your iPhone. 1. You can’t hit the emergency button when you are flying off backwards. 2. A phone in a gym? You go there to enjoy a break from the outside world- not bring it in!
  • Full out hair and makeup at 5:30pm on a Monday at the gym says, “I want a date, I’m not really here to work my abs.”
  • Gym architects, placing the adductor and abductor machines face on to the loft of lunkheads above and between sets?  You are either a brilliant macho lunkhead yourself, or you failed to ask your mom how that might be offensive to women. On the upside, if a gal chooses that machine on a busy, weekday night, you might have a chance for a post-workout cocktail.
  • Seriously fellas, the sleeveless, cutout 80s t-shirts?  If you were that ripped, you wouldn’t need to show so much skin.  Mystery, men, mystery!
  • I am confident there are mirrors in both the locker rooms and free weight areas. Your hair should not look perfect, and your shorts are yes, too short.  At some age, there really should be an above knee requirement, not unlike work or school dress codes.  Again, “disgrosting”.
  • ‘Buy ’em or grow ’em- they are still your own.™’- my personal thoughts on breast augmentation, but please girlie, be careful of the tip-over factor when stretching pre-workout.
  • And men, when you stare at her purchase, at least pretend to be lifting something other than your package.  The “rearrangement” can wait.  (NOTE: iPhones are present as listed above)
  • I do absolutely adore the completely confident man or woman rockin’ with their earphones to their own beat, as if they own the place.  You do always make me smile.  Thank you.  Own it!

I tease from my lens as a long-time gym girl, but these are all realities.  So too is the newbie gym rat’s New Year’s resolution that starts to stray about now (mid-March); thus, sending all of us regulars to the gym on a 70s weekend day like today.  We are happy you have joined our squad of silliness. Stick with it- if even just a small percent of you keeps coming back, we are a healthier whole. Plus, the merchandise is always a bargain when you join.

But karma plays the game, as just today as I was giggling about how many funny things I try not to see as a gym girl (so of course I can write about them), and I realize I am just now old enough to need my reading glasses for my locker numbers. 🙂

And yes, I AM the girl who sprained her ankle on the stairs AFTER a workout, AND who injured my other foot after dropping a motorcycle, only to have a gym staffer step on it while I was wearing a big damn BOOT.

lunkheads, go do your thing.  Just know I am not the only one laughing on the drive home.

Flex and smile,

Mel

“never do for a teenager that which they can do for themselves” – mom

lol, my brave, psychotherapist, mom said that to me months ago, and I am watching my own 14-year-old…. well, NOT always do that which she can for herself….unless there is a consequence from me.

I suppose I too was the same at that age. I’ve blocked a lot, as of course, I only recall cleaning my room without being asked, playing classical (yeah, right) music softly while doing homework immediately upon return from school, cleaning the dishes without being asked and making gourmet dinners for the entire family after walking all the neighborhood dogs and babysitting for free.  lol!

The 60s.  The 80s.  And today.  Girls will be girls.  Trips to the mall with no money and small figures to try on clothes we couldn’t afford but giggling and following the cute boys who appeared more interested in the video arcade than our awkwardness.  Fashion trends that used to be magazine cutouts from Teen Beat are now iPhone apps or Instagram polls to determine the best dress or shoes or nail trends with immediate inputs from our girl ‘squad’. I remember roller skating parties with hard rock hair, lip gloss and the hope of a cute boy to ask me to slow skate to Rick Springfield or Loverboy, or the school or regional teen nights where again we waited our moment to slow dance with cute boys to the same Rick Springfield or Journey favorites.  Girls will be girls.  The motive is the same, the approach very different.

We rode our bicycles all over town and to the pool day in and day out, only coming home for meals and darkness. Wore t-shirts over our bikini’s because of feeling self-conscious. We called one another on our princess phones to chat up who liked whom, and whom should ask who to the Sadie Hawkins dance.  Today, they text directly without a face to face reality of body language, speak in group chats (and forget who is included), forward information behind one another’s back, create fake identities, “borrow” WIFI, and try leaving the house in outfits a dad wouldn’t approve, watch the “like” frequency grow on their Instagram and Twitter accounts, flirt in a much more overt approach than sneaking notes in class with alter ego’s (i.e. the Soda Pop gang of my own elementary days), and have to delete the photos mom watches online (because well, I pay for the phone, and that is the deal)……but when we as parents really evaluate our teens of today…...the outcome our own kids seek today remains exactly the same as we sought at their same age.

But…..my sweet girl is approaching teen-hood with different tools in the toolbox.  We both wanted the same things at 14:  To be liked. To be kissed. To fit in.  Somewhere. Anywhere. To feel safe. To feel confident. To have our parents trust and respect our choices and privacy.  To not get in trouble or be grounded or frankly, caught when we did cross a line.

It is the right of passage to push boundaries at this age.  It is a healthy part of development that they do seek the edge, and it is our place as parents to teach coloring inside the lines.  We are both doing our part, but it isn’t easy.  Sometimes, it is damn hard.  And still no one offers me the handbook?  So I do the best I can.  Sometimes I get it right.  Other times, not so much.

So as parents, how do we keep them safe, instill confidence, ensure the toolbox stays within the lines and doesn’t place them in a social bullying situation that appears easier today with a click of the button in a world WE created?  I’ve often joked that my use of Breck hairspray likely contributed to global warming; but the internet offering opportunity for endless wonderful resources also offers endless new areas of temptation;  processed foods make life faster and easier, but perhaps not healthier (and Celiac disease more prevalent).  Friends of my generation, we created this world, and so as parents and consumers, we must face the darker side.  Our tool box has changed too.

There are no easy answers, but I do have to give my sweet girl the trust I wanted from my parents, and the resources and knowledge to feel confident, remain safe, and know she is unconditionally loved.  I trust her to make good choices.  And when we do not agree, there are, in fact, consequences. In our house, there are rights, and there are privileges.  They are very different.  No, we don’t always agree on the difference.

That however is the fun and balance and journey of this parent-teen relationship….seeking what works for us in 2015 with the toolbox we have today.

Cheers to our own children repeating the same phrase, “never do for a teenager that which they can do for themselves.’  The world will be different at that time, and so too their toolbox.

White lights,

Mel

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