Thursday, June 30, 2011

Religion & Underwear at The Gym

Maybe I just think too much about my underwear and not enough about religion because I can tell you this:

I  would not be caught dead in a pair of stretched out faded granny panties that go well above my belly button and have a pin-head hole in them if was going to be taking my pants off in a very crowded locker room AND I would tell my Muslim hubby to take a hike (only not that nicely) if he expected me to wear sweaty head garb to kick boxing.  No thank you.  

You don't think these things really happen?  Well, here is some information to show that women really should not wear panties more suitable for cleaning up oil spills in your garage and they do wear Muslim dress to work out and I am sorry but . . . 

We cannot be bothered with religion or bad underwear at the gym!

Female Body Builder May 
Change Dress Code for Muslim Women

Analysis Shows Ugly Underwear Can Ruin Your Day

Women own an average of 21 pairs of underwear, and many say an ill-fitting or ugly pair can ruin their day, a new survey shows.
"We know that bad hair days can affect women's moods, but who knew that bad underwear days could also ruin their day," says Lisa Lee Freeman, editor in chief of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher ofConsumer Reports. Their research center conducted a telephone survey of 1,008 women 18 and older about intimate apparel.
Almost half of women (47%) say they feel sexier and more confident wearing a nice or special pair of panties. "The first thing we put on in the morning does make a difference in our day," Freeman says.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Classroom Crap

So, I'm a 4th grade teacher and the worst thing about teaching is having to pack up your classroom at the end of the year for various reasons - to move to another room, to switch grade levels, to have it thoroughly cleaned, etc.  Regardless of the reason, this is a real nightmare.  

This year though, I am packing to leave the general education classroom to be a math support teacher where I will share a much smaller room with another person who is even more organized and afraid of "stuff" than I am.  So today, as I was about to begin packing, I very suddenly and very simply realized that I COULD NOT BE BOTHERED with all the STUFF!  

Wanna guess what I did?  

I started drawing names and asking kids to pick things from the classroom they might want.  That's right - I pulled a name out of a bin and that kid got to ask for something in the classroom that was not purchased by the school and in most cases, he/she got the response: "Take it, its yours, and take this to go with it."

The kids told me they felt like it was Christmas or a free yard sale and that it was possibly the best day of the year.  Kids!

We drew names until every child was chosen 3 times and on some turns they didn't just get one thing, but a bin, basket or bag full of things!  At the end of the day kids were walking out to the buses with plaques that read World's Best Teacher,  with homemade board games, bags full of fabric, decorative plastic apples and Christmas decorations. 

If I ever go back to the traditional classroom, I am really going to wish I had this stuff, but right now I just wish I could hear the dinner conversations tonight as one student tries to explain why he brought home an old "Time Out" bench or another makes a case for keeping the wicker basket full of old cards and magnets.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sad Songs

Do you ever hear a song from some of the happiest most wonderful moments in your life and have it end up turning around on you and making you so sad you cry your eyes out - unable to even listen to it, or is that just me?

The thing is, some moments were so amazing and joyful and once-in-a-lifetime-incredible that it almost hurts now to think of them because you can't go back.  Its not that everything is terrible now, life is still full and blessed, but some of the most rich and beautiful times only happen once, and are gone way too soon.

After walking down the aisle to a song I have loved since the moment it was released in 2004, I can no longer listen to it.  I actually change the station whenever it comes on and skip it on my ipod (note though, I won't remove it).  Its "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts and the first time I heard it 7 years ago I swear I said:

Someday I am going to walk on my dad's arm to that song and he is going to give me away to an amazing husband and I am going to bless this road that is so damn broken right now.

It didn't occur to me then that once it happened, I'd never be able to listen to it again.  I mean really, whose bright idea was it to have us dream of white dresses, cake, dancing and prince charming since we were 6 years old and then let us only do it one freakin' time (well, for the first time anyway).  I really think we should be allowed to renew our vows at least once every two years - complete with a bridal shower, registry, reception, all of it!    We only get to do it once though . . . and then its over and you can't go back and that is sad.

Want to hear about another one?  Are there any of my college girls out there who can hear "Brown Eyed Girl" without thinking about dancing in a bar in Brockport, or whatever college town you were in . . .  beer in your hand and all your best friends around, singin' like it was written just for you?  Maybe your college song is another one, but no matter what song it is, it brings you back to those days when you were finally on your own,  just beginning the path that would be all yours, scared to death at times but loving every minute because you found a bunch of girlfriends who were right there with you and guess what?   They'd picked the same path so you had some hands to hold on the long journey.

When I hear that song I want to put on a body suit (1992, they were totally in!) and tight jeans and get in a drunken circle with at least 10 girls and belt it out.  I want to dance and laugh and not care that much about anything except having fun and a song written just for us - brown eyed girls.  I can still listen to it, but it hurts a little every time.

Oh my God, I don't even know if I can talk about childhood songs.  I could cry right now and I'm not even listening to them.  What are they?  Oh, how about some 8-tracks of Kenny Rogers, "Through the Years," or a little bit of Elvis and "Love me Tender." These both bring me back to dancing in our living room with my sisters and my brother crying in his crib and dad laying on the couch and the smell of mom's sauce on the stove.  Think of your song and close your eyes and I bet you too will be ten years old and you'll see your childhood bedroom, the kitchen counters and the couch.  These songs are so complicated because families are so complicated and they bring you back to all the times that shaped you - good and bad.  That makes me think of the new Miranda Lambert song: "The House that Built Me."  Its beautiful and awful at the same time and I haven't heard it once without crying, so maybe I shouldn't listen to it anymore.

I mean really, I can't be bothered with all of this "remember when," which reminds me of the Allan Jackson song "Remember When," which is all about this stuff - the memories we carry with us.

"Remember when, thirty seemed so old?  
Now looking back, it was just a stepping stone . . . . . . 
Oh I'd do it all again.  
Remember when."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Car Trouble!

OK, I am going to insist that anyone reading this immediately remove the following items from your car if they are in there . . . and if they are - you seriously need to rethink how you are living your life.

- Beanie Babies and other stuffed friends in the back window
- Fake flowers (yes, spotted on the grill of a car as well as in the back window)
- Anything hanging from your antennae 
- Seat covers, steering wheel covers and yes - seat belt covers, spotted for the first time today

That's right - this entire post is prompted by my first sighting of a set of leopard print seat-belt-strap-covers stretching across the chests of an 80 year old couple in the car behind me today.  I have to believe the guy was being held hostage by these stupid things and probably hates 'em too, but still - there he sat. I bet he'd rather get in a fatal accident than have one of his bingo buddies see him wearing that damn thing and quite frankly, so would I!

Listen, it simply is not fashionable to decorate your car in anything, nothing at all.  Wash it, vacuum it, fill it up with gas and get on the road.  Oh, and do not even get me started on the soda cans, paperwork, clothes and other debris I saw floating around the car I parked next to today.  Cars doubling as another room in the house - I CAN'T EVEN BE BOTHERED getting into that right now.  It should carry at least the same weight as a DWI.  

Call me.  I will have the front, back and trunk cleared out and vacuumed in less than 15 minutes - guaranteed!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Out of all of your experiences:  the ones that have made you laugh your ass off, cry your heart out, scream at the top of your lungs, dance, sing and jump on the bed - are there any quite like the ones you have had with your girlfriends?

I don't think so . . . and I don't think I could ever live without the girls in my life either.  I don't know if they know that, but I do.  I tried for a while too.  We all have.  You know when you are young and stupid (or maybe even not so young, but still stupid) and you meet that guy who makes you think you don't need friends anymore?  Ya, you know what I mean.  Thank God we all snap out of it eventually, and hopefully before our greatest friends are long gone, 'cause I will tell you what - girls will love you and fight for you and yell at you and forgive you and build you up and hold your hand and keep promises and give you the time of your life - like nobody else will.

Well, OK,  if you are lucky enough to find an amazing husband or partner like I did and if you have parents, siblings, cousins . . . who you love deeply then yes, you will get that from them too.  Family though - that is an entirely different post.  This is about girlfriends, just girlfriends - the ones who, unlike your family, choose you!  Its about girlfriends, the ones who stay - even without a legal agreement or vows or money - they stay.  Some for just a very long time, as long as you need them, and others -  forever!

My first girlfriend, aside from my sister, I found on the school bus at 5 years old.  We both had on dresses and knee socks and we sat together on that bus almost every school day for 13 years and shared bumpy rides and smooth ones and she actually isn't in my life anymore and that makes me sad, but she was in my life for close to 30 years and that is amazing.  Those first friends - they teach you what it means and what it doesn't mean to be a friend and that can't ever be replaced.

Elementary school girlfriends are supposed to be hard to find because they are all too busy being mean to each other, but not mine.  I found them in the back of the room at the cloak closet, on the playground and in the hallways and most of them were with me still in high school and some are even now.  We saw each other through so many firsts: first boyfriends, first dances, first drinks, first cars and we said our first real goodbyes to these girls too - as we headed off to college and other places and made promises that we'd never lose touch and for those first summers (more firsts!) we didn't, but then eventually we did.  The thing about girls though - they find their ways back to each other, the best ones anyway, even if it takes years.  We saw one another grow up and we'll see one another grow old because we're from the same town.  Our families are still there and old buildings and roads and spots where we made our first memories together and now all of our sentences begin with "Remember when . . . " There is a bond in that and that's why these girls can't ever be replaced.

College girlfriends are scared when they meet but you can't tell because they are always drunk (lmao). . . and so begins the friendships formed over kegs, fake IDs, shared bathrooms, eating at 2am, falling asleep in class, and the list goes on.  If you are like me - lucky enough to find yourself trying to mock sorority life and then suddenly realizing its everything you didn't know you were looking for - you will spend a night with these girls even 15 years later (last night, hence this post today) and feel just as tied to them as you ever were.  On the car ride home, between chugs of water in an effort to hydrate, all I could think was what if I'd never met these girls?  How different my life would be and not for the better.  College girlfriends know you in a way others don't because they lived with you, saw you in every possible circumstance and not many of those were pretty.  Plus, lets face it, while we do not condone underage excessive drinking, there is undoubtedly something about the friendships created and maintained over lots of partying, something about those stories that bond you for life.  The true test though - if, when the partying is over you still want to be together, you've really found something.  I did, and that's why these girls can't ever be replaced.

The girls you find at work - when you are finally out in the real world trying to make a life for yourself and where, if everyone stays put (and in my profession they often do), you are possibly going to be together every day for about 30 years - are girls you might not notice at first.  Eventually though, many will emerge as friends, some as good friends and others among your best.  These are women who see you every day trying to do and be all that you can and supporting you in how hard it often is, then celebrating with you when you get it right.  They understand the stresses and the joys because theirs are the same.  Invariably too, because now you are really into it - this thing called life - you are going to notice when something isn't right and somebody isn't OK and you're going to stop working long enough to take care of each other and that's when it really happens - that thing called friendship.  There it is again, only this time in such an unlikely place as work.  One day, you might even find yourself in tears behind your desk suddenly unable to do your job and these women, if you are lucky, will flank you and pull you in and lift you up and be there while you heal, trying to find ways to lighten the load until you can carry it again . . . and right there is why these girls can't ever be replaced.

Are there more?  Maybe.  Right now though, because of my GD college girlfriends who kept me up until 3:00 on the morning, I just can't be bothered!

Sometimes having girlfriends is a real headache.