Not Hot for Teacher: The Bachelor Recap, Week 2

12 Jan

Welcome back for another week! Where were we? I think last we left off, Ben sucked.  Let’s check if this is still the case.  It is? It is.  This status remains unchanged.

We pick back up with some interviews with the ladies.  Lace has sobered up and regrets her  antics from opening night.  Oh man.  Lace sorry to tell you this but you’re a nutter butter and the world had front row seats to your drunken implosion.  You would be better off moving to a Dakota of your choice and changing your name.  Tartan? Doily? 80% Synthetic Polyester Blend? Lotta possibilities there.  “I’m not a crazy girl at all,” she says.  Let’s continue to explore this claim as the episode unfolds.

Ben is back at his undisclosed location putting on pants.  ABC wants to be sure we are all aware that Ben is a person who puts pants on.

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Gross! My notes here just say “crotch eww!”.  Not sure I have much more commentary beyond that.  Ben ain’t nobody want to see your smurf skivvies. Foul.

Tonight’s group date is a trip to Bachelor High.  The production team has taken over a school and the women are broken into groups for several rounds of competition. Ben says “High school is where I have some of my fondest memories.”  Gawd he WOULD say that.  He is totally the guy who peaked in high school.

In one of the rounds the floozies bob for apples.  Ben remarks, “One of the most attractive things about this date is seeing these women really put themselves out there.”

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He continues: “If my teachers in high school would have looked as good as these women I would have paid attention a lot more.”

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Ben are we looking at the same human specimens here?

 

Next is where the episode really came together wonderfully for me.  For the floozies’ second challenge, they are provided with a borderless map of the U.S. and several cut outs of states.  Their mission is to 1) identify Indiana and 2) place it correctly on the map.

Ben says, “I think this is going to be easy for the women.  I’m not asking them to place Indonesia on a map.  It’s just Indiana.”  Oh Ben Ben Benny Ben BEN! Oh ye of excessive faith! But I mean God forbid one of these morons COULD place Indonesia on a map.  Intelligence is such an unattractive quality nowadays.

Two of the teams seem to be managing this Indiana task well, but Becca and Jojo are struggling.

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“Is that Oregon?” –Jojo

Recall that Becca indicated in her ABC bio that if she could be anything, she would be Meredith Grey or a dolphin.  This assignment is predictably challenging for her.

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Hmmmmmm well let’s just see here Magna Carta signed in 1984…

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Nixon succeeds Lincoln… 

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Dan Quayle signs the historic Kentucky Purchase….

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Hydrogen helium rhombus carry the eight [inner monologue dissolves into dolphin squeaks] 

The first two teams get pretty close:

Here was Jojo and Becca’s attempt.  I actually laugh aloud for a while.

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Following the group date they all enjoy a Signature Bachelor Rooftop Cocktail Party.  Lace is back claiming “I’m not that person.” Lace you make that person look like a picture of mental health and normalcy! You are like the that person TO the that person! She also keeps pronouncing Jubilee’s name like “Joobly” which I find hilarious and will henceforth adopt.

Let’s see, what else.  I hate to appearance snark but Becca is looking like she aged five years in the last 10 months.  This fills me with a sick sense of joy because she’s well on her way to fulfilling this prediction I made about her future last season.  Ben escorts Jojo to the peak of the rooftop and she’s yammering like an idiot (Ohmygooddddddddd this is unbelievabuuuuuuuhhhhhllllllll we’re up so hiiiiiiiiiiiiigh) seriously somebody pass me some hedge clippers to clobber her with.

Crazy Olivia gets the rose.

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“Everyone else please feel free to help yourself to a lime garnish,” Ben says.  No actually he doesn’t but I wish so badly that he did.

Caila’s one-on-one date is next.  It’s so awful and stupid I can’t even.  Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are guest starring and they go swim in a hot tub store.  I mean the hot tub date is a staple of the show but at least they’re usually at a ski resort or a scenic vista or whatever… today they’ve got, like, chlorine testing kits behind them.  And, I don’t know, like that big green net you use to scoop debris and dead pigeons out with. I mean I guess it’s supposed to be funny in an ironic kind of way but it just ends up awkward.

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Another group date is next.  They go to a “Love Lab” where they analyze, I don’t know, fake science stuff.  We find out Ben is a person who pronounces the word data “day-ta” so I know everything I need to know about this individual really.  For one of the exercises they blindfold Ben and make him smell all the girls.  The Bunson Honeydew fake scientist is there writing Ben’s observations on a clipboard or whatever.

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He is describing most of the smells favorably (“Like… a giant raspberry!”– actual quote) but when he smells Samantha he declares her “a little sour.”  OMG.  Now I like to think I have a healthy sense of self but if someone ever told a national television viewing audience that I smelled bad, I would probably need to go live in a cave forever.  A woman just wouldn’t recover from that.  Sheesh.

Now we’re back at the house for the last cocktail hour before it’s rose acceptin’ time.  Lace is crying as she confesses her deepest life traumas to Ben.  No joke, the total tonnage of these traumas is… she had bad bangs as a kid and her brother made fun of her on the bus.  GOOD GOD! This is terrible even as far as Bachelor sob stories go.  I mean Joobly spent half her childhood in a Haitian orphanage but LACE’S BROTHER MADE FUN OF HER.  Let’s all cry together.  I made her an awareness ribbon and a hashtag:

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Ben presents a few gifts as the episode drones on.  He had a picture printed for Lauren B; then he has like a goofy award ribbon for an inside joke with some other chick.  Then he pulls Amanda aside and they craft some little hair clips to send home to her abandoned daughters.  All snark aside, I think Ben is actually probably a really sweet guy.  Dumb as a chunk of limestone, but sweet.  This is why he makes for such boring TV.

 

Rose time! He sends home the attorney, denist, and gerontologist.  He keeps Meredith Grey, Dolphin MD. Seems right.

Take From Me My Lace: The Bachelor Recap, Week 1

4 Jan

My friends, another season is upon us.  I can’t tell you how much joy washed over me when a few weeks ago I remembered it was almost Bachelor time.  I swear it’s the only thing that gets me through the winter doldrums.

My spirits were dampened when I remembered The Bachelor was Ben, who is about as exciting as dry pasta noodles. But there he is in all his forgettable glory, rocking a delightful little Forest Gump haircut that looks like it came from the $8 place except he had a coupon from the back of the grocery store receipt so was a steal at $5.99.  Ben starts us off with the usual introductions, taking us on a tour of his lame Indiana hometown.  We go meet Ma and Pa Higgins at their quaint little lakefront bungalow.  They are sitting in lime green Adirondack chairs and drinking beverages from clearance Pier One cups.  SO BASIC.  Ben’s dad is pretty hot.  Ben’s mom cries.  OK.

Next, Ben gets poolside group therapy from former Bachelors.  Sean and Chris are as hot as ever.  Jason looks like he is like 300 years old now.  Actually he looks like a strange older version of Ben.  He is like the Ghost of Bachelor Future.

Enough with this snoozefest, Ben.  Bring on the floozies!

Caila: “Sales Rep” (read: flunked out of Strayer University) who likes to paint still life.  Seriously this season could not get boring-er if it tried. Jubilee is a war veteran, not sure how that differs from a regular veteran? Hailey and Emily are twins.  Their occupation tagline reads: twins. Amanda: esthetician, divorcee, has a daughter named Kensley or Kinsley? Samantha: has a sob story, can’t snark on her or God will smite me.  Tiara: chicken enthusiast.  Any relation to Tara the fishing enthusiast from last year? Tiara’s favorite chicken is Sheila, who sleeps in her room.

THIS SINGLE IMAGE ILLUSTRATES WHY YOU MUST WATCH THIS SHOW:

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Here come the flooziemobiles– it’s time for some introductions!

Lauren the flight attendant hopes he’s ready to take off.  My eyeballs break from the force of their roll.  Caila leaps into his arms.  Lace makes him close his eyes and then kisses him– not to be a buzzkill but isn’t that, like, assault? Shushanna is speaking in a foreign tongue.  Is that Portugese? Because she sounds like Aurelia from Love Actually.  That’s the only guess I could come up with.  I is intelligunt.

Joelle “Jojo” arrives in a unicorn mask:

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When she takes it off she says to Ben, “That must have been super frightening.”  Ben replies, “It’s not frightening.  Its, like, normal.”  Yes, Ben, it is LIKE normal.

Maegan is a cowgirl who likes to barbecue with her pet horse, Breanne disapproves of gluten, Rachel is unemployed.  “Unemployed” is actually a considerably more admirable occupational description than “Twin”.  This is the bar for success in this show.

Ben calls his dad when he’s all done meeting everyone.  He puts him on speaker so we can all hear.  His dad is much better at speaker phone than anyone in my family, whose conversations usually sound like:

Hey Mom!
Hi! Hi hold on let me just put you on [indistinct clattering]
Mom?
[dog barks]
MOM?
[oven timer goes off]
MOM TAKE ME OFF SPEAKER!!!

Next up is the Obligatory Bachelor Plot Twist™.  Becca the Fungus Sucker Fish is back.

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Seriously seriously seriously you guys I don’t think I can keep up my job as  a Professhonal Bachelor Blogger.  I just can’t deal with her.  If I was being interviewed off-scene right now I would tell you how I LITERALLY think she is the worst and I LITERALLY can’t tolerate her boring self and I LITERALLY was made to believe I’d never have to see her again after last year.  Feh! She is accompanied by Amber, bartender, also apparently a star of a past season but I have no recollection.

Gawd.  What else.  The rest is predictably boring.  Jojo is a house flipper but describes herself as a “real estate investor.”  Mmhmm.  You know she is like on the highway median pounding a sign into the ground– We buy any house!— except the sign is like the torn-off side of a cardboard box and it’s written in Sharpie and the “E” is backwards  and if you call the number it says like Verizon! Error! Code! Nine! Nine! Four! Nine! [call ended].  Totally legit.

Blah blah blah yes we get it, Lace is the requisite crazy villain who will keep everyone’s attention for the first few episodes until it gets good.  Mandi will fill the role of the friendly but even crazier crazy. Please someone with industry knowledge tell me these kind of people are just devices planted by producers? It scares me to know that these people walk among us.

Rose ceremony time.  He shuffles through Becca, Amber, BOTH twins, and BOTH crazies.  Fortify me, o friends, I don’t know if I can get through this another week!

 

Have Child-Rearing Experts Ever Actually Tried to Put a Child to Bed?

29 Dec

Frogson, now a few days shy of three years old, has recently been a disaster about bedtime.  We’ve not been doing anything differently so I don’t know WTF his deal is.  The new sibling? She’s been here for a while now.  Moon in the seventh house? Possibly.  Demonic possession? You never know these days.  Always a likelihood.

Bedtime, once a peaceful and happy bonding experience for all parties, is now a torturous triathalon of despair.  Phase 1: Fight every step of the bedtime routine.  Have a 10 minute meltdown over getting in the tub, getting out of the tub, not enough toothpaste on your toothbrush, unpreffered dixie cup color, preferred PJs are dirty, etc.  Phase 2: Procrastinate.  Distract.  Bring up random memories, ponder existential questions. Will your stuffed bear ride a bicycle when it’s spring? Will a man or a woman teach the next session of story time at the library?  I DON’T KNOW.  GO TO BED.  Phase 3: Once you’re finally snuggled happily in bed and a parent lovingly gives you one last kiss and closes the door, jump out of bed and tear the door open cackling maniacally.  When a parent returns you to bed, repeat as needed.

What’s an exasperated mother to do? Now we do our best to be SMUG AWESOME ATTACHED PARENTS™ so we don’t do spanking or draconian punishment.  What does that leave me with? That would be Google.  Outstanding.  So I read a thousand things about what positive, gentle parents are supposed to do about this problem. Guess what.  Nothing works.  He just looks at me like LOL your techniques are adorable, Mother.  Yet– hmm– I find myself– how do I say this?– still not entirely convinced bedtime is the right choice for me at this time.  I appreciate your understanding.  Now can we revisit my request for more yogurt?

Here is a sampling of the baloney the experts peddle:

Have a routine.  Wow! A routine! What’s that because I haven’t thought of that! GROUNDBREAKING.  OK for starters let’s just go out on a limb and say I have a basic knowledge of parenting and I have an MFing routine.  You know chimpanzee mothers probably have routines.  Gerbil mothers probably have routines.  CELL OF ALGAE mothers probably have routines.

Make the bed a comfortable space.  WAT? It’s a bed.  Like, with a mattress.  With soft, inviting dinosaur bedding no less.  This is seriously the stoopidest piece of expert advice I’ve ever read.  Oh, gosh, thanks for saying something! No wonder he won’t go to bed, I’ve been making him lay on this large piece of sandpaper scattered with glass shards, thumbtacks, and puddles of acid!

Offer choices.  Who else finds this parenting technique wildly ineffective? This is where they say to let the kid make decisions about arbitrary, unimportant details and it’s supposed to give them a false sense of control and independence.  This– SAYS THE EXPERTS– magically makes them cooperative.  “Frogson, do you choose giraffe PJs or reindeer PJs?” I choose keep playing! “Do you choose to read Curious George or Clifford?” I choose stay up! Sometimes he just responds with the always versatile I CHOOSE NO! Do I choose to cry into a bowl of ice cream or a Chipotle burrito? Do I choose to send you to boarding preschool or sell you to the neighbors?

Restrain them in bed.  So this piece of advice says that the child shouldn’t be permitted to jump out of bed and run around, that you should just hold them there if they won’t stay.  And I’ve tried this a few times.  He fights valiantly for a while, but then settles down and I think I’ve successfully held the boundary.  “OK, are you calmer now?” Yes.  “Are you ready to go to sleep now?” Yes.  I love you, Mommy! I smugly saunter out of the room patting myself on the back and reflecting on what a brilliant, patient mother I am, and two seconds later he’s back out of bed squealing and chortling and doing an evil little jig.  So I wasted 15 minutes of my life restraining a raging 30-pound human like a freaking Cops episode for… well I’d say for nothing but it’s actually a terrific cardio regimen.

Return them wordlessly to bed.  Last week Frogson was playing at the library and I was reading Positive Discipline for Preschoolers.  Actually as I was distracted with this he tried to push through one of those “Emergency exit only” doors.  Friends, this resulted in a rare three fails in one: 1.  My kid set off the fire alarm 2.  My kid tried to actually exit a building while I was distracted and 3.  My kid did these things while I was IRONICALLY READING A BOOK ABOUT BEING A GOOD PARENT.  It takes skill to fail that hard, friends.  Anyway, there’s an entire chapter about handling bedtime drama and the solution they said was simple: stop bargaining, threatening, or explaining with words.  If your child leaves the bed after the routine is done, you pick them up and wordlessly return them to bed.  Repeat as necessary.  They brought up a heroic mom who had to do it 24 times before her daughter stayed.  OK so let’s say it takes 30 seconds to deliver your kid back to bed, you spent 12 minutes on this task? Oh boo hoo! What a martyr you are! Please tell me how to nominate you for canonization! Cry me an 8-pack of mixed berry Juicy Juice boxes! I did this for an hour and forty five minutes.  It did not work.  He stopped when I told him his grandparents wouldn’t come to see him if he didn’t go to bed.  I’m a terrible person.

Assorted Attachment Parenting bunk.  Blah blah blah only in Western cultures do we expect children to sleep in their own rooms! Blah blah blah maybe your child simply just needs the comfort of a parent as they fall asleep! Blah blah blah how will your preschooler nurse on demand all night if they’re sleeping in their own room! Blah blah blah SUCK IT, DR. SEARS. Then you can come over here and do the 1,047 things that I need to cram in during the freaking 84 minutes I have to myself at the end of the day.

Lock them in the room.  Now we’re getting into the more severe options, but seriously I did not think twice about this after every other option failed stupendously.  We were desperate to find something that worked because sleep is important for a child’s health and the health of the whole family. JK because my DVR isn’t going to watch itself.  I guess normal children just wail for a bit then resign themselves to bedtime? Not my Frog.  I swear he is a wonderful, compliant, angelic child about 93% of the time.  The 7% of the time where he finds himself opposed to what he’s being asked to do?  HIDE YOUR KIDS, HIDE YOUR WIFE.  I had to abandon this tactic out of fear the neighbors were going to call the police.

Quiet Time.  Frequently naptime is just as painful as bedtime, so I’ve been experimenting just cutting the nap altogether and replacing it with “quiet time.”  Do you know what’s more annoying than trying to get an uncompliant kid to nap? Your uncompliant kid standing right on the other side of his closed door yelling this script for 15 minutes: MOMMY YOU FIND MY BLUE SNOWFLAKE STAMP?? MOM! MOMMY! SNOWFLAKE STAMP! YOU BRING ME MY BLUE SNOWFLAKE STAMP? MOM YOU FIND MY SNOWFLAKE STAMP YET? YOU BRING IT TO ME?? MOMMY!!!! SNOWFLAKE STAMP!!!!

Reward charts, cute lists of your routine with pictures.   “Wow, this piece of paper totally makes me forget about whatever it was I was having a tantrum about” said no three-year-old ever.

Actually Television is One of My More Fascinating Pursuits

8 Nov

This Thought Catalog piece popped up on my Facebook the other week.  If you don’t feel like reading it, and I don’t suggest you do because it’s tripe, the gist is that the author is super interesting and adventurous and not a lame boring person who likes to watch TV.  She makes a long list of requests and suggestions for how a partner can keep up with her special self. I found it positively adorable… like oh bless your heart sweet pea, you are like twenty two and so cute and have no idea that in 10 more years, your relationship will be boring like the rest of ours.  The comments are fantastic too– in particular I enjoyed “In 55 years, your horde of cats will devour your corpse when you die miserable and alone” which made me laugh out loud and wake up the baby on my chest.  Anyway, please enjoy this rebuttal.

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Take me on an adventure.  Surprise me.  Wake me up and fly me to Tahiti on a whim.  We’ll sleep off the jet lag on porcelain beaches.  Or maybe just take me to Home Depot.  I’d go myself but I’m nine months pregnant and can’t lift the bag of mulch.  But wait I need a mocha.  Pull into the Dunkin drive thru.  If I recall, my app said something about a free muffin today.  Or was it a breakfast sandwich? Man I hope not.  Really looking more for a muffin at the moment.  No it’s fine, trust me the line moves fast.  And I recognized the woman working the window.  She’s good.  Keeps you moving.

Tell me everything.  Your dreams, your desires, your fears, the times you’ve felt most alive.  Ugh wait hold on let me resolve this situation with the two-year-old first. Where are your underwear? Hey! HEY! WE WEAR UNDERWEAR ON THE SOFA! THAT’S A RULE! 

Take me to the library.  Let’s check out every foreign film they have and binge watch them.  Light a fire and read me Dickens as I rest my head on your lap.  Or just text me links to Wheel of Fortune bloopers and GIFs of people wiping out on diving boards.  They’ll hold me over until we see each other again and I can tell you how I peeled a clementine in one fell swoop.

Let’s be spontaneous.  Let’s peruse food trucks at midnight or stay up all night cooking a gourmet meal together.  Or take me to Red Robin because I still have this coupon from it being my birthday.  Wait this coupon is for a free burger? Didn’t the birthday coupon used to be for an onion ring tower? I forget.  Listen to me during the car ride as I intensely debate between beverage indulgences– a Rookie Cookie Shake or a Mango-Rooty-Tooty-Rita? How can I possibly choose between an alcoholic indulgence or a whole milk and Oreo indulgence? It just can’t be done!

Pick up the phone when I call you, just because I can’t go five more minutes without hearing your voice. Or because you’re at the store and I forgot to tell you we need yogurt.  No listen it has to be Yo Tots, they have a sweet $20 Shutterfly coupon printed on them right now.  No not Yo Baby.  Not Yo Kids.  No come on it’s THERE, trust me. Dude just look for the one with a big orange coupon on it! No no if you hit the kefir you’ve gone too far.

Kiss me in the morning when I wake up.  Push my hair behind my ears and whisper my favorite Bon Iver lyrics in my ear.  Next, listen to me when I complain to you that the DVR deleted our child’s favorite Daniel Tiger episode. No, no sir, don’t tell me it auto-deletes because your Steve Bartman documentary has been on there for 3 years but my college gymnastics seems to disappear after 10 days.  Just please can you fix the settings? Well I COULD do it myself but you know I don’t know how that stupid thing works and do you think I don’t do enough around here already? Seriously? Just please, OK?

Talk to me.  Captivate me.  Fascinate me.  Tell me about your childhood rock collection, or the smell of the grass on little league opening day.  But first let’s talk about Thanksgiving because my parents are asking already.  Well no it won’t be that bad if we leave early.  Well 2011 was an exception.  Well we can’t worry about weather that hasn’t happened.  Well just take a half day from work then.  Well we’ll just have to revisit this later I guess.

Never stop being captivated by my physical beauty.  Notice my ankles in sling backs, the softness of my angora wool sweater against my skin.  Actually wait don’t come near me with your work clothes on.  My boobs leaked milk all over my Panhel Recruitment 2005 shirt.  And what the– what else is on this shirt?– are her diapers leaking AGAIN? That’s the last time I trust Target brand.  Bunch of swindling jerks over there.  Those favorable online reviews were from Target plants! I’m sure of it!

Take me somewhere unexpected.  Make me an all-day scavenger hunt, ending with a picnic at our favorite park bench.  Ugh wait are his underwear STILL not on? Seriously? Excuse me! EXCUSE ME! UNDERWEAR! NO CURIOUS GEORGE UNTIL THEY’RE ON!

Explore with me.  Let’s drive out of town, find an abandoned mine and take in some stalagmites.  First we’ve got to go to this 3rd birthday party.  No I TOLD you about this, I’m sure.  Yes you know his parents, I’ve introduced you to his mom like four times.  No she’s Evan’s mom.  No she’s Ethan’s mom.  Come on I know like EVERY one of your coworkers and their spouse’s and kids’ names, do you have like ANY interest in my life? Yes I’m sure you’ll be fed.

Never let our fire burn out.  Let our only fights be about what Italian province to visit, or who drank the last PBR.  Whatever happens, let’s never fight  because I unplugged your phone charger to accommodate my hair dryer.  (Omigod for three minutes!) Or because I didn’t properly cover the toaster oven pan with foil and it got all oily and burnt.  (Omigod don’t have a cow it’s not the end of the freaking world!)  Or because I filled up the gas tank and forgot to swipe the loyalty card.  (Omigod it was fourteen degrees I just wanted to get it done!) No, that will never be us.

Teach me.  Let’s learn together. We’ll spend the day brewing our own beer while you tell me everything you know about the French Revolution or the politics of Eastern Europe.  Actually disregard that, just pour me a glass of whatever variety of Barefoot was on sale and let me tell you about being yelled at by a 90-year-old woman for accidentally blocking the celery with my cart at the grocery store.  And speaking of the grocery store, what is with the bulk foods aisle lately? Am I the only one who thinks apricots would really lend themselves better to a scoop than tongs? Someone’s going to be hearing from me on this.

Frogette’s Birth Story

19 Oct

Warning: discussion of womanly birthin’ stuff which some may find unappealing.  Don’t read if you can’t deal or otherwise prefer not to deal.  Additionally, this ended up being one zillion words long because as a birthing enthusiast, I just have to tell the story in excruciating detail.  I know fellow enthusiasts will appreciate it, but for others you might find this a giant festival of No1curr.  So don’t be like whine whine whine I can’t believe this woman made me read  5,000 words about her reproductive organs what a weirdo because you’ve been warned.  Make your own life choice.

————–

Once upon a time it was January 2013 and I had Frogson.  It wasn’t traumatic or anything but it was a) sucky and b) long.  Like 26 hours long, and never with that BS mythical “early labor” thing I was promised in birth class– more like contractions that were strong from the start, never very far apart from each other, frequently two in a row– all of which dilated me from a 3 to a 4.5 in 11 hours.  YOU GO, CERVIX! Actually you don’t go.  You are pretty terrible as far as cervices are concerned.  You should probably just go and find a different pelvis to live in because things are just awkward between us now.

But blah blah blah that story’s been told.  All this to say that going into Frogette’s birth, I had very low expectations for my body’s ability to get things done in a timely manner, and I was trying to keep a really open mind. I visualized my ideal scenario of a natural, average length labor and successful birth– but I knew a lot of it was out of my control.  Maybe it would go the same as before, maybe it would go worse, maybe I would ask for the epidural again, maybe I’d have a csection– whatever.  It was cool.  I would accept any journey that led me to a healthy baby.

Anyway.  One thing Frogson’s birth did have going for it was that it started on its own and he was punctually born a day before his due date.  Second babies apparently are known for coming earlier, so I (and everyone, including the doctor) expected her to arrive by her due date.  I had been dilated since 37 weeks, having practice contractions every day since 37.5, and my mucus plug was long gone.  (They really need a cuter term for that.  I prefer baby cork.  Let’s make that happen.)  But at 39 weeks and 6 days I was still waiting.  I saw the doctor that day and she reevaluated and said OK OK if not by your due date then definitely in the next 2-3 days.  She swept my membranes which I am absolutely convinced is a giant conspiracy by Big Obstetrics.  I seriously think they reach up there and pretend to do something scientific when it’s just a huge act to give insanely impatient overdue women a false sense of control over the situation.

As an aside I’ll mention one other advantage going in. At this last appointment I was 3 centimeters and 80% effaced, which was slightly more than I was when I arrived at the hospital with Frogson following many hours of very painful contractions.  (I was 3/75% then).  This time, I had met that before the show even got started.  Sweet! I was trying not to get my hopes up, but this really did fill me with a lot of confidence.  Because of this, the doctor said she thought things would go fast once they got started, and told me not to worry about waiting for contractions to be a certain frequency– I should come in as soon as they felt intense.  I nodded compliantly but in my head I was thinking nope, this will never go quickly for me.  Let me introduce you to my cervix, Doctor Lady– its spirit animal is a garden snail.  Actually like a garden snail crossbred with a sloth and an Aldabra Tortoise.  Actually a garden snail crossbred with a really hungover sloth and an Aldabra Tortoise with a peg leg.  IT’S POKEY.

Anyway (←this is how I start all of my paragraphs because I missed “how to write transitions like an adult” day at 11th grade English and Composition), 2-3 days came and went and yep– still a big pregnant beluga with no end in sight.  Fig. A (she ended up being born about 17 hours later):

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Every day I was walking laps around my neighborhood like an idiot and I decided I was going to stop trying.  The only home induction tactics that remained of any interest to me anyway were eggplant parm and pedicures.  The Saturday after her due date I treated myself to the latter.  I remember I could hardly drive that day– she was so low I couldn’t sit without splaying my legs out (attractive!), and she was so big I couldn’t lean over my belly to see into intersections.  I was just really ready.

The next morning I remember waking up to some painful moments in the 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. hours.  I know it must have been really mild because for the last week or so, any time I felt any little abdominal twinge overnight, I’d get all atwitter thinking maybe things were starting, and wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep.  So I know it was pretty insignificant because I was only half aware and falling right back asleep.  At 6:45 a.m. I was awake and alert and definitely having some pain.  I wasn’t sure this was it, but this hurt more than the practice stuff and they were coming steadily so I was hopeful.

At 7:30, Jeff and Frogson were up.  Jeff’s family was driving in from about 2 hours away to be with Frogson when we went to the hospital.  I told Jeff to put them on alert but that they should NOT leave yet because even if it was happening, we were still probably 12 or 24 hours away from a baby.  (←I was in attendance for Foreshadowing Day…)

I’m amused now at my refusal to believe I was actually having her, considering I was already so dilated and three days past my due date! But I think one of the things that really mentally tripped me up with Frogson’s birth was how eager I was– like I kept thinking to myself This hurts a lot, I must be close! when this time I was kind of doing the opposite and telling myself This is easy, I’ll probably be at it for 15 more hours.  I really think this mentality serves a laboring person better.

I was also legitimately busy that morning because Jeff’s family was coming to stay.  I had been nesting with estrogen-fueled fury for weeks (“Jesus God who left this measuring spoon on the counter!!!!!! This is not Tony’s office at The Bing!!!! This is not a Chechnyan military camp!!!! This is a home where respectable people live!!!!111!!”) so the house was in decent shape, but I really wanted to do last minute stuff like give the bathroom counters one last wipe down, wash the sheets and towels, Windex the mirrors, blah blah.  (Because everyone knows all you have to do is floss one time after a Windexing and your mirror is back to being Detroit Flecks-of-Phlegm City.)  Actually this was another thing that made me angry at the end of my pregnancy– every night I was making sure everything was picked up and clean in case I went into labor.  So annoying! Gawd, I just wanted the option to be lazy again and go to bed with a filthy kitchen if I wanted! I excel at homemaking.

Anyway! I also excel at telling stories in a succinct way.  I know you all are like enough about WINDEX, woman, get on with it.  Okay okay okay.  So I was having contractions and cleaning stuff.  Contractin’ and cleanin’! I don’t think you could conjure up a more pathetically stereotyped image of womanhood than that! LOL sob.  Being in labor is a good time to wish you were a dude.

Frogson was running around doing 2.5-year-old stuff like refusing to put on clothes and putting stamps all over me.  It was funny later that I birthed with a dog stamp on my thigh and a bunch of stars on my hand which ended up with an IV over them.  The contractions weren’t going away so I told Jeff to get ready and take Chooch to my parents’ house, and to take Frogson over too and let him play a little and have breakfast. I wanted to finish stuff up at home, call the doctor, text a few of my friends, get a shower, maybe bounce on the birthing ball, and just spend some time relaxing and settling into the contractions.  I could write a story of equal length about how I thought this day would go…

So they headed off.  It was like 8:30 or so? I kept scurrying around doing random stuff.  I would breathe through a contraction and plan what needed done during the next break between them.  I thought about the doctor who was telling me to call when things were “intense”.  Were these intense? Nah, I thought, they had some power behind them but I guess I wouldn’t say intense.

Things changed quickly.  This will seem abrupt because it WAS abrupt– I don’t know what else to say except things just got really nuts, really fast.  Suddenly the stupid stuff I wanted to do around the house seemed really unimportant.  I kept getting hit with really strong contractions and I was incredibly confused by them, like I kept thinking WOW, that was a bad one! Weird!  Must be a fluke.  I’m sure it will go back to normal now.  But they just kept coming.

It was a little after 9:00; I texted Jeff.  I said his parents should leave.  I told him to come home and bring both my parents with him.  I didn’t know what was going on, but I felt like we needed all hands on deck.  Providence at its best that it was a Sunday and everyone was around.  Crap, I still hadn’t gotten around to calling the doctor.  I should do that.  Wait, they’ll ask me how far apart my contractions are.  I don’t know.  Let me time a few.

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I will seriously crack up at this screen shot forever, because I still didn’t think anything of this.  No joke, I thought Hmm, that’s weird, they’re less than 3 minutes apart? Wait, but they’re shorter than a minute, that still means it’s early right? Yea I think so.  Nothing to worry about here.  

I called the doctor.  There were three doctors in my practice; of course it was the one guy I didn’t really know that well who was on call that day.  Blah.  He said come right to [hospital].  I said wait, we wanted to go to [other hospital where we were already registered and took the dumb class and knew all the right doors to go in and everything].  He said well I’m stuck here at [hospital] with another lady so if you want me you have to come here.  This threw me off a little because I didn’t know this was a possibility, that I could get bumped to a different hospital if another laboring chick beat me there.  This other hospital was further away, urban, and much more of a pain traffic-wise to get to.  I went along with it, reminding myself that I was OK with wherever my journey took me and I wasn’t going to let anything wreck my Bubble of Peace (a Hypnobabies visualization thing… shut up it works).

Jeff, Frogson, and my parents got back at about 9:45.  The wheels were pretty much off the wagon.  Again, I don’t know what else to say except that thirty minutes before, things were strong but manageable.  Now it was getting agonizing.  I had perched myself on the edge of our bed right in front of an open window with a fan in it– it was a gorgeous morning, the trees looked beautiful and the air felt so good– between contractions I remember thinking how wonderful it all was but then another would start and it would just rock my world.  And not in the feel good Michael Jackson kind of way, y’all.

I remember having the feeling Crap I really should be at a hospital right now.  I was worried things were suddenly this intense and Frogette hadn’t been monitored at all.  I tapped my belly and called her name and she responded immediately with a reassuring little kick.  I am so glad I remember that kick so well– her perfectly timed response as if she just knew my thoughts, and the last time I was consciously aware of one of her movements inside me.

Things were just overtaking me. I kept thinking everything would be fine if I just had 15 minutes to sit in front of this delightful fan, listen to my Hypnobabies, and just mentally get on top of everything.  But the instinct telling me to GTF to the hospital was stronger, and as soon as Jeff was back I said we needed to go now.

The idea of going from the bedroom to the car seemed unbearable.  Like someone could have said hey Sarah go swim across Lake Huron! Flap your arms and fly to outer space! It was that challenging. Any time I moved at all it would either start or intensify a contraction and I just wanted to stay put so badly.  They also were kind of a perma-contraction at this point.  It was just one big wave that would strengthen and weaken but rarely give an actual break.  I waited for as favorable of a moment as I could and then just bolted for the car.  On the way out I didn’t immediately see my flip flops and I was so crazed I thought well OK, no shoes then and this was a totally reasonable idea that I saw nothing wrong with.  I just HAD to get to the car so I could be sitting when the next one came.

Oh, the car ride. You guys I was just losing my mind.  I did not think the pain could get worse but it did and I was just screaming.  It was a scene.  Play O Fortuna in your mind as you picture it.  Maybe about halfway through the drive I had a very distinct feeling come over me.  The one feeling you DO NOT WANT TO FEEL when you are 9 months pregnant and barreling down a highway– the feeling of a baby head being right there and like it would maybe feel good to go ahead and push that out.  Here’s where a glimmer of hope and joy emerged from the pain.  Omigod, is this the urge to push that people describe? No, it can’t be.  Reel in your expectations.  You’re gonna show up there and be five centimeters dude.  But I had a feeling she was coming.  And honestly, the relief I felt at the possibility that this would be over so soon was greater than the fear of a car birth.

I also remember LOLing at myself that I didn’t want drugs to take this pain away– if we got there and I was anything short of a baby head being half out of me, I wanted every drug in that place and every other drug-dispensing place in the next ten counties over.  I know this is what women say when they transition, which I assume I was doing right there in the passenger seat of our Equinox.  Hashtag good times.

More driving, more screaming.  We got there and my mom ran in and brought a wheelchair out for me.  Again, moving my body three feet from the car door to a waiting wheel chair was too much of a physical feat to comprehend.  She is there gesturing at it like get in loser we’re going shopping and I’m just wailing NOPE NOPE NOPE I CAN’T I CAN’T I CAN’T.  There was seriously like a 45 second standoff here because I couldn’t bring myself to accomplish this task.

When I completed this incredible feat of strength, Jeff went to park the car and my mom was pushing my wild self through this random hospital.  I recall we came up behind two women and a little boy and I tore into another scream, causing all of them to startle and spin around.  Probably scarred that poor child.  Sorrs.

Next thing I know I was in one of those homey little birthing rooms.  Some nurses appeared, on my case to climb onto the bed.  DO YOU KNOW I JUST WENT FROM THE CAR TO A WHEELCHAIR? SORRY I’M DONE FOR THE DAY.  I was again repeating No I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t.  Then the obstetrician is there, pushing the same agenda.  They’re all just on me like blah blah blah get on the bed, Sarah! Nonononocantcantcantcant.  Get on the bed please, Sarah. NO!!!!!! I CAN’T!!!!!! Another standoff.  I’m a little embarrassed thinking back on all of this but ultimately I have no shame.  Any of them would have been doing the same thing.  Everything happened so fast that the pain was just owning me and I was just… really shocked, overwhelmed, and not in control.

I did manage to haul my hysterical self into the bed.  As I did I felt my water break a little.  The doctor checked me and I was told there was in fact no cervix to check, just a baby head right there.  He hustled over to wash his hands and the nurses are getting stuff ready and telling me not to push.  LOL right OK.  I think I said OK but in my mind I was like you’re medical professionals and you can deal with it, you’re nuts if you think I’m prolonging this agony for one freaking second longer than I need to.  Because next thing I know I was pushing and yep, screaming.

Then I had another loud standoff with the obstetrician. The guy obviously had good intentions and was trying to get my attention so I could effectively push instead of just making noise, but I see now why people seek out the calming presence of female practitioners. He was just yelling back at me the whole time which I didn’t appreciate.  He also said at one point, “Sarah, there are things you can do to help me here!” and I was like HAHAHA ALRIGHT YEA DUDE tell me more about how I can help YOU do this. Here is mostly how our exchanges went:

Me:  WWwwwwrreeeeeaaaaaahhHHHHH!!! AaahhaaaaHHHAAGGGHHH!!! *bomb emoji* *revolver emoji* oooAAAAaaaaoooooEEEeeeee!!! *squinty eye sobbing emoji* *skull emoji* GGGGggAAAAAAhhhhhHHH!!!!!!!
Him: Sarah! [screaming continues] SARAH!!!!!! STOP SCREAMING!!! LISTEN TO ME!!!

Jeff does a brilliant reenactment of all of this (Frogson finds it utterly hilarious) so I’ve been told some of my other favorite lines were OWW! and STOP STOP STOP! and WHAT ARE YOU DOING! They were all just in my space and it was really distracting and annoying.  The doctor broke my water the rest of the way, they were trying to put in an IV which I thrashed my arm and pulled out… more good times.  Hashtag.

The doctor yelled at me to just be silent, hold my breath and push– this is the “purple pushing” that Big Midwifery will tell you is really bad– but I have to say, as soon as I shut up and did that, I felt her cruise on out.  I feel like for as momentous as this occasion was I should have more words here, but I don’t.  I pushed two times.  It was excruciating but over so quickly.  Out of nowhere a little baby was plopped down on my tummy.  I couldn’t believe it.  I just couldn’t.  I had dreamed forever of this moment, of reaching down and scooping up a deliciously gooey, vernixy little daughter.  But honestly I think all I did at first was STARE at her in UTTER SHOCK.  The one immediate thought I remember having was how TEENY TINY! she was.  I guess I was so used to hefting around a 30 pound toddler that I looked at her and thought she must be four or five pounds! Was there something wrong with her? There wasn’t.  She was in fact an 8 pound, 7 ounce beast!

So in the end I did give us the natural birth I so badly wanted to– but a big part of that desire was for me and baby to share this beautiful, peaceful experience together.  There was definitely nothing peaceful about her arrival.  Oops.  You know how natural birth proponents love to say how misrepresented birthing women are in movies and TV? I was one billion percent the hysterical stereotype from every terrible sitcom and romcom ever.  So it was not peaceful.  It was, however, amazing and hilarious and memorable and just very… full of life and joy.  I would not change anything.

The final math on everything was just nuts.  The hospital had my official admission time as 10:16; it was also 10:15 when Jeff had parked the car and was on his way in because he had called his parents and was able to check the time stamp.  So by the time he had made his way up and I got done yelling at people it was probably past 10:20? Frogette arrived Earthside at 10:28. I never even changed into a dang hospital gown.  Conveniently I was still in the attractive little maternity night gown/moo moo I arrived in, so all I had to do was whoop! up with the skirt, out with the baby.  OMFG.

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I was tired, and unfortunately a little torn, and I had totally forgotten about all the gore that accompanies the aftermath… but I still felt like one zillion dollars afterwards.  As opposed to Frogson’s ordeal, when I hadn’t slept in 30 freaking hours and couldn’t walk and was cathetered and disoriented with a placenta still stuck inside me and felt like $1.08.  I say that just to laugh about, not to seriously complain, because no matter what happened, they both ended up here and healthy.  That is all I ever asked of God/The Universe.

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DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT CRAP ON THE MIRRORS

This was about three weeks ago, so we’re still hard at work navigating our new life managing double the little people, which is many more stories in itself. But we figure it out more every day.  Today Frogette was snoozing on her Boppy Lounge and Frogson approached her.  Oh sweet pea don’t touch her, OK? She’s napping! He said he just wanted to give her a kiss.  I allowed that.  He kissed her, said I love you, and pulled her blanket up to her chin– exactly how I put him to bed.  My heart dissolved into a puddle of goo on the floor.

Fail at Blogging Like Becker

11 Oct

Hello again, my long-lost yet beloved blog.  *Runs up gives it WWII parade kiss* Sorry for all the neglect.  What can I say? Busy parenting, freelancing, picking stuff up off the floor (I spend approx. 87% of my day in this capacity), watching Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making The Team 10, eating cheese, etc.

I did have one piece of news to share:

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Look! Baby feet! I grew those.  Also, birthed them.  A couple weeks ago.  A lot has changed since 2012 when I couldn’t go nine seconds without updating you with every detail about being pregnant.  Partly because I’ve struggled to find time (see litany of excuses above with a special emphasis on the cheese component), and partly because I’ve just found myself being a lot more protective of Frogson’s privacy since actually having him.

It’s not because I don’t think pregnancy blogging is awesome.  I read somewhere a criticism of it– that people who write about pregnancy and birth think they are the first person ever to do these things, blah blah.  I really disagree.  That’s exactly the cool thing about them– that they are the most boring, primal, been-done-a-million-times, total non-events– and at the same time, they’re absolute miracles of life and biology.

Do you know how brilliantly and intricately the human shoulder is designed? Google that crap, people.  We learned about it in Yoga school.  One of my classmates was pregnant at the time and I remember thinking WHOA, her body is building one of those, like, at this moment.  TRIPPY.

Anyway, to return to what I was trying to say before I veered off on Exit Infinity Towards Tangentville, I hope you will stick around because I’m making a renewed effort to write more.  It’s fun, it’s therapeutic, I get to torment the masses with my inane word vomit because the people who live with me are tired of hearing it– what’s not to like.

I will be starting with something I’m ABSURDLY EXCITED to write down– the birth story of our new little person.  (Henceforth, Frogette.  She’s a girl frog if you couldn’t tell from her neon pink stripey leggings that I’m a little jealous of her ability to pull off, not gonna lie).  Frogson’s birth story is one of my favorite things I’ve written down (freaking miserable as it was) and I still love re-reading it.  You can busy yourself with that in the meantime if you like.

Thanks for reading, friends.  Internet smooches to all of you.

The Hater’s Guide to Daniel Tiger

10 Jun

Sometime in the last few months my two-year-old broke up with Elmo.  It was ugly.  You should picture my child standing at his window, hurling Elmo’s possessions onto the street below.  JUST TAKE BABY DAVID AND GET OUT OF MY LIFE.  *Guitar smashes to the ground*

The new love of his life:

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Yup.  Here is your own convenient guide to hating Daniel Tiger.

Daniel Tiger: Protagonist.  Interests: oatmeal, trolleys, general brattiness. Lacks coping skills and perpetually worked up over some first world preschool problem, i.e. needs a vaccination, misplaced his wristwatch, has to wait at a restaurant, or his boutique birthday cake– like not from Wal-Mart you guys but like from an actual bakery– gets smushed on the drive home.  All this whining while he lives in a beachfront property, enjoys an impeccably decorated room with an en-suite bathroom, and rests his spoiled little tiger head in a custom trolley bed that must have cost– well it’s unclear if U.S. dollars are traded in the Land of Make Believe but it looks effing expensive.  GET OVER IT, DANNY BOY.

Dad Tiger: Patriarch of the tiger family.  Interests: clock making, Polaroid photography, pantslessness, vegetable soup.  Seriously what is it about them and vegetable soup.  YOU’RE TIGERS.  You should be eating raw ham hocks, wayward livestock, and village orphans.  DISGRACEFUL.  Anyway.  I actually don’t hate Dad Tiger.  I have a crush on him and find his voice to be sexy AF.  This admission is about twelve kinds of disordered so let’s move along.  (Move a-lo-ong! Did you see what I did there?)

Mom Tiger.  Daniel’s mother.  Occupation: homemaker.  I hate Mom Tiger for two primary reasons: 1) Jealousy over her baller collection of Hawaiian shirts and 2) She is so effing sweet and calm even when her son is being obnoxious and bratty that it makes me feel like the biggest failure of a parent ever.

The other thing that grinds my gears is that even though Mom Tiger is presented as a stay-at-home mom, Dad Tiger is around an awful lot.  One episode focuses on Mom Tiger being sick and I got excited thinking what a brilliant lesson this actually was, like Daniel is home with Mom except she’s down and out so he has to find quiet activities and stuff. I’ve been there and my child could genuinely use this skill. (If I were scripting it, the episode’s signature jingle would be something like Your mom feels like trash and can’t move/how about you take a break from being a terror for five minutes and find a way to occupy yourself.)  Well, no, it must have been a Saturday or President’s Day at the Clock Tower or something because Dad Tiger is home so Daniel just pesters him instead for glue sticks and apple juice and his other whiny needs while Mom Tiger sleeps happily.  SUCK IT, MOM TIGER.  Last time I had the stomach flu I was desperately texting my spouse at freaking 6:30 p.m. please please please can you come home I’m sick and throwing up and Toddler is trying to pull the blinds down and throwing a soccer ball at the dog please I’ll never ask for anything ever again.

Katerina Kittycat: Friend and classmate of Daniel’s.  Daughter of Henrietta Pussycat.  Father: not in the picture.  Katerina and Henrietta are by far the most irritating parts of this entire show because they speak half English, half meowing cat.  It’s absolutely excruciating. Here’s an actual dialogue sample from Episode 107, original air date 10 September 2012, “Friends Help Each Other”:

Katerina: Hello, Daniel Tiger meow meow!
Henrietta: Meow meow Daniel Tiger, wonderful to see you, and [to camera] hello meow meow!
Katerina: Meow meow we’ll be upstairs, Mommy!
Henrietta: OK meow meow!

Basically they both need sent through the wood chipper.

O the Owl: Friend and classmate of Daniel’s.  Lives with his uncle (X the Owl) in the same tree as the Kittycats.  I’m always curious as to what led to X’s custody of O, because X has a distinct Southern accent and could be related to Foghorn Leghorn.  O has a Canadian accent.  Very strange.  Anyway, O fills the role of the neighborhood’s mal-adjusted kid.  Gets extremely worked up over minor life adversity, seeks comfort in predictability and rules.  O has actually remarked, “I love rules!” (Episode 128, 15 July 2013, “Safety Patrol”).  Pro-tip: if you are ever playing at O’s house and want to read a book, you MUST do so in his designated reading nest or he flies into a rage.  (Owl pun +100000).  Several of the neighborhood friends have learned this the hard way.  Chill, brah.  Things he also can’t handle: backwards day at school, loud sounds, crowds, thunderstorms, camping, and anything involving the outdoors.  Honestly you feel for the little guy because I think his chronic and debilitating anxiety represents most of our childhoods a lot better than freaking Daniel and his nuclear ideal beachfront paradise.

Miss Elaina: Friend and classmate of Daniel’s.  Greets everyone with a “Hiya, toots!” and frequently declares favorable things or situations to be “boomerific” (?).  The etymology on both of these expressions is unclear. While Katerina Kittycat likes conventionally gendered female activities like ballet and tea parties (SOOOO OUT RIGHT NOW), Miss Elaina gets to be the cool progressive girl who likes robots and outer space stuff.  You know Miss Elaina’s mom must be all over Facebook like “EVERYONE EVERYONE look at me encouraging my daughter to do cool progressive stuff WE DON’T DO PRINCESSES IN THIS HOUSE everyone everyone worship me for what a politically en-vogue statement I can make through my child who is actually not an individual of her own just a vessel for displaying my own superiority.”  Ahem ahem it’s possible I let a little tangential social commentary slip there.  Moving along again.

Prince Wednesday.  Friend and classmate of Daniel’s.  Son of King Friday.  What’s the deal with the family structure of the royal family? Prince Wednesday is in preschool, his older brother Prince Tuesday is like 20, and their father King Friday is like 78.  Pretty sure Wednesday is the product of a third marriage.

This kid is, quite honestly, an entitled little douchebag.  Makes you want to pull that douchey little gold “W” belt off his idiotic purple pants.  He likes to remind everyone of his status by preceding every adjective with the adverb “royally.” I.e. being royally hungry, royally excited, royally tired.  As if that wasn’t bad enough he does so with this obnoxious little trill of the R sound.  It’s unbearable. ROYALLY STFU KID.  We get it, you’re loaded.  You live in the neighborhood castle while your poor classmates Katerina and O the Owl share an effing TREE like effing 1904 tenement dwellers so how about you exercise a little sensitivity.

Grandpere: Father of Dad Tiger and Daniel’s paternal grandfather.  French.  Smug.  Pursues several nautical hobbies.  Wears a pea coat and a tinted pince-nez.  The hating work just does itself.

The end.  Roll the “It’s Such a Good Feeling” song.

Baltimore and the Case for Compassion

27 Apr

I hate the news.  In the last few years I’ve stopped reading it or watching it.  I’m done.  It does nothing but depress me.  I know there are terrible, horrific things going on every day, in my town and in every corner of the globe.  Me being depressed about them doesn’t make anything better.  I feel a little guilty being the ostrich with its head in the sand, but I absolve myself by trying to offer up the same prayer every day: Please bring peace to everyone hurting or suffering today.  Boom.  All bases covered.

Anything big will make its way to me anyway.  I’d heard people talking about Baltimore within the last few days and today I managed to get caught up on what’s been going on.  Here’s another reason I hate the news: something notable happens and everyone flies off the handle and suddenly has a really strong opinion in one direction or the other.  That’s the thing– everyone seems to lose their ability to think in a balanced way, to consider possibilities outside their normal way of thinking– and everyone seems to come down strongly on either Team Police or Team Minority.  Everything on both sides just feeds into this ENDLESS cycle of conflict, hate, and intolerance.

I don’t know why I feel called to write about this.  One reason is purely selfish, that I am just SAD about this, just like I was sad about the Ferguson stuff back over Thanksgiving, and feel like maybe if one person reads this and unearths some compassion in their thinking that wasn’t there before, then I have in some teensy way contributed positively to everything.  (I am aware that this in itself is an obnoxious, privileged way of thinking.  OMG something horrible is happening! Let me say something *EnLiGhTeNeD* and *hEaL tHe wOrLd* by showing everyone how smart and contemplative I am!) I don’t know.  Whatever misguided intentions are motivating this, I want to write about it.

Here’s the thing.  What if we let go of our “side”? What if we just agreed that this is horrible, and tragic, and sad, for each and every person involved? BECAUSE IT EFFING IS.  It’s tragic that it’s Two Thousand Effing Fifteen and we haven’t figured out how to break the culture of violence and across-the-board HORROR that is inner city existence.  It’s tragic that people are volunteering to serve in law enforcement– volunteering for a job that puts their lives in daily danger– and being treated like murderous monsters.

No, nobody should break any law in the first place.  No, senseless violence and rioting is not EVER appropriate or justified.  No, looting is never OK.  Yes, police shouldn’t use more force than necessary in carrying out their jobs.  Yes, police should expect to be accountable and answer questions when force is used.  Yes, there should be humane expectations when force is required, and strict mechanisms in place to enforce those expectations.  ALL OF THESE THINGS CAN BE TRUE AT THE SAME TIME.  There is not some rule that you only get to pick one thing.

It’s so easy to look at this footage and draw knee-jerk reactions.  I just did tonight.  Saw some dude climb on top of a police car and just start bouncing up and down on the roof.  Which honestly is probably one of the more benign things that’s going on right now.  I think the exact thought to go through my brain was: Oh my God, why do people think you can just… DO THAT?!  Like, in WHAT world?!

Then I realized, hey, I know exactly in what world people think they can do that.  It looks absolutely insane and incomprehensible and barbaric to me, because I came from a different world where people modeled respectable behavior and taught me right from wrong.  It can be said with certainty that I, Sarah Becker, Bachelor of Arts, Wearer of Pearl Earrings, Eater of Organic Produce, will live out the rest of my life without it ever crossing my mind to climb on top of a cop car and bounce around on it.  I can say with near certainty that my family, my children, my friends, and NOBODY I personally know will bounce up and down on a cop car in their lifetimes.

But what happens when you live in another kind of world, one that most of us can’t even begin to comprehend? The horrible, tragic, EFFING UNFAIR REALITY is that generations of children keep growing up in unthinkable conditions.  I want to cry thinking about this– that all these children, all these boys, are born into the world just like everyone else is.  Six or seven or eight pounds, umbilical cord stump, a little hat from the hospital.  They could grow into engineers or consultants or mechanics or attorneys or educators or plumbers or piano repairmen or just nice members of society– just like you, and just like the other adults you probably hang with, and just like your children probably will. They could– THEY COULD!– but they won’t.  Because the odds are already stacking against these babies the second they’re brought home, because they’re not going home to places like you and I brought our babies home to.

Many of them will spend their childhoods without any kind of stability or security.  Do you know what that does to a kid? Many of them won’t even have parents in the picture.  Many of them will start school already behind from not getting the attention and stimulation they needed as toddlers and preschoolers.  Many of them won’t have people who care if they go to school in the morning, or care what grades they bring home.  Many of them will spend their entire impressionable childhoods looking around their families and looking around their communities and finding NOT A SINGLE EXAMPLE of an adult who has an education, respects the law, shows up consistently at a job, and generally lives like a contributing member of society.  To circle back to the above analogy, just like I don’t know anybody who would jump on a cop car, this kid is looking around and can’t name anybody who would NOT jump on a cop car.

So what, what, WHAT do we expect when these babies grow up? How do we expect them to know the first thing about right and wrong when nobody ever taught them, or modeled it for them? You can hardly blame their parents because their parents were the same.  Next these young people will be parents themselves and what can we expect from their children? Nothing but the same.  IT’S EFFING TRAGIC.

Then here is where people say, Well I know of this person, or this story of a person, who grew up in horrible conditions and overcame incredible adversity and went to college and now is doing this terrific thing with their lives! If they can do it anyone can do it! As if everything is just that simple.  I actually hate this line of thinking.  Like taking an inspiration and just saying, well what’s wrong with everyone else, what’s their excuse.  When the takeaway here is that some people are incredibly blessed with resiliency and talent and intelligence, and thank God for that, and how tragic for the 98% of their peers who weren’t born with that innate strength and will never know those same successes.

And to revisit the question of expectations in the police’s defense.  These police officers are volunteering for incredibly dangerous and difficult jobs in these communities that are just nothing but violence and crime on a daily basis.  When entire communities are deciding to “take out” law enforcement, police officers are going to go about their jobs guided by fear and mistrust.  DUH.  They are going to assume ever hand going into a pocket is a weapon and not something innocuous.  They are going to assume the worst case about every situation and– perhaps– overuse force accordingly and accidentally.  How do we not expect this? How can we blame them? How can we say we’d do it any differently?

It’s like we dump police officers into these violent, unpredictable neighborhoods– give them a near impossible job of keeping the peace against all odds– and then expect them to respond PERFECTLY in every situation. To INSTANTLY size up situations perfectly, magically read minds and intentions, and respond with JUST the perfect amount of force.  We sit at our safe white collar jobs, or in our safe homes, or have safe little Facebook fights about how police officers SHOULD have done it all differently.  Armchair quarterback, hindsight is 20/20, EVERY stupid little adage applies here.

And here’s the thing– they do respond perfectly– police make thousands of arrests every day without incident– but it’s an effing dangerous business and the rare thing is going to go tragically wrong.  It’s tragic, but in communities full of violence and crime, how can we expect tragic things to NOT happen?

It’s tragic what happened to this Freddie individual.  And to the teenager in Ferguson, and to Trayvon Martin.  And to every other person I didn’t hear about on the news.  There’s not a “but” that follows that.  It’s tragic.  It’s also tragic that police officers lose their lives all the effing time in the line of duty– here, look— frequently at the hands of criminals, in DELIBERATE, not accidental acts.  It happens so often that it’s not even newsworthy like what’s happening in Baltimore.  They are mourned quietly.

It’s tragic.  All of it, for everyone involved, across the board, start to finish, A to Z.  Let us hope for peace for each and every person hurting and angering over this.

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Ain’t Too Much Sadder Than the Tears of a Clown: The Bachelor Recap, The Women Tell All

2 Mar

Oooh baby, the day is here.  Time for the Women Tell All special, which is totally the highlight of the season and do not lie to yourself you love it DO NOT LIE TO YOURSELF.

Our intrepid host Chris is back to hold our hands through this journey.  I love his adorable lil’ polka dot tie.  Chris and Chris hit the road to make extremely planned visits to Bachelor viewing parties across the nation (errrr I’m sorry I mean “crash” and “surprise” mmmm hmm yea eye roll).  I fast forward this part on the DVR.  Deal with it.

First commercial break.  Ugh my phone battery is low from playing solitaire all day so I have to go upstairs for the charger so I can take pictures of my TV which is SO much effort and apparently tonight I have problems with using run-on sentences as stylistic devices.  Deal with it.

Next my mom calls.  “Are you watching this?!” DUH MOM do you forget I am a PROFESHSHINOL BACHELOR BLOGGER? But I’m behind on the DVR so shhhh. “I haven’t watched it since that time I watched it with you.  I’m watching some awful woman [Kelsey] now.  They’re all nuts!” Mom I’m so sorry I brought this into your life.

OK next we’re off to a strong start as we begin Deathblow: Britt vs. Carly.  It’s hard to take sides on this because they’re both kind of terrible.  Britt cries like a fourteen-month-old; Carly I went from not liking, to liking, back to not liking because she just turned into an obsessed villain at the end.  I don’t know what else to summarize because they basically just fight like sixth graders.

Do you remember I was putting like cucumbers like on my eyes from my salad ’cause I had been crying so hard? –Britt

Here is a Britt visual.  Just stare at this for two hours and that was pretty much the experience of this program:

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Jillian weighs in (she’s #teambritt).  Don’t know what else to say about this woman except that she’s scary aggressive and I will cherish forever the moment she went home in a blaze of humiliation.

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Chris loses control (“Girls, hold on!”) and all twenty of them continue a cacophony of bickering as we slip gracefully into another commercial break.

Now we’re back with Kelsey.  Groan.  She begins by blowing her snot into Chris’ silk paisley pocket square.  That is a true story.  Don’t really know what else to say.  Broad’s crazy.  And brilliant, but in the craziest way possible.  I can’t believe this woman counsels people psychologically for a living.  Is there a licensing board or something I can contact about that?

How do you evaluate humanity? –Kelsey

Now it’s time for Ashley S., onion hunter.  Say what you want, she looks hot tonight in an Old Hollywood kind of way.  I love her white and silver chevron dress.  She gifts Chris an onion.  Absence has made my heart grow fonder; she is growing on me tonight.  Chris asks her about her conversations with cats.

It was not cats.  It was one cat.  It didn’t reply.  –Ashley S.

Chris asks that she consider joining them for Bachelor in Paradise.  Does anyone watch this program? I tried once.  It could not be stomached. There was just no way.  I feel like a person could catch STDs just watching it on TV.  Go make a Kickstarter and raise $300,000 for me and I will recap it for all of you.

Jade and her pair of fake boobers are up next.  Pretty uneventful. Jade was always in pretty close to Becca on the snooze-o-meter.  “Wants closure” blah blah blah.  Kaitlyn too is uneventful and has the same closure-seeking agenda.  Gals, this is hard to hear, but the answer is that Chris liked other chicks better than you.  Sorrs.  The other chicks are Becca the asexual fungus sucker fish and Whitney the Fertility Muppet who herself must be illegally sneaking Clomid shots from work because she’s so crazy desperate I have to just assume she is in a constant state of hyper-ovulation.  You lost to these individuals.  I would cry for myself too.

Here comes Chris! ::disco dancer emoji:: I swear I could write a whole case study on this man.  He officially bothers me now.  I loved him on Andi’s season, and he looks just like Bruce Springsteen that is to say SMOKIN’ HOT, but I actually now find him to be a really emotionally checked out dude.  What do you think? I’m fascinated.

Anyway he comes out and Britt is doing this sad puppy cry/clap that makes me LOL.  She goes to hug him and must have something on her hands because she gets crap all over the back of his suit coat.  What was that? I think it was from wiping her tears when she’s wearing so much freaking makeup.  Britt you’re from California you know how mudslides happen.  Does ABC cover dry cleaning when distraught floozies get gunk all over your nice farmer clothes? And/or when floozies blow nasal mucus into your pocket square?

The last few rejected chicks get turns confronting Chris and cry and “need answers” and Chris just kind of sits there with his eyes twitching and eeks out a few words (“UhhhhIdontknow Uhhhitsjustthat UhhhhhhHHhhhhhhH OK BYE”).  Really, he is a PRIZE.

At last we’re up to the blooper reel which made everything worth it.  In particular, the footage of Chris laughing juxtaposed with the dolphin squeaks made EVERY moment worth it.  Correction, the announcement that Chris Harrison wrote a romance novel (took me a few minutes to realize this was for real) made every moment worth it.  I will one million billion percent be reading this.

Next week is the three-hour finale.  I’m so exhausted thinking about it that instead of beginning to author this, I sit on the couch in an unproductive stupor not playing solitaire on my phone (JK playing solitaire on my phone) and having my mind blown by this cat on Youtube.  Bon soir, amigos.  See you next week. ::more disco dancer emojis::

Monkey, Will You Accept This Rose: The Bachelor Recap, Penultimate Edition

24 Feb

Firstly, sorry that I slacked off and didn’t do a recap last week.  Four hours of Bachelor between Sunday and Monday was just inhumane.  I felt like I had completed an Iron Man of The Bachelor and I was just too emotionally exhausted to revisit all the painful moments again.  I was like collapsed at the finish line and never wanted to type the letters B-R-I-T-T ever again.  Also don’t Google the naughty Jade pictures.  I went straight to Google Images thinking it would be like tee hee here I am in a swimsuit and instead was like OHGODOHGODOHGOD *throws phone across room* *runs to the emergency eye wash station in the chem classroom*

So, here we are this week.  The description from Direct TV: Chris and the remaining three women travel to Bali for overnight dates; Chris has a meltdown about the upcoming elimination; the final two women are revealed. Let’s do this, big boy.

Act 1: Kaitlyn

Chris shows up for their date in jewel tones and white sneakers.  They walk around the local Bali scene acting like idiot Westerners.  They go to a monkey park.  Technically they’re macaques but much like my two-year-old, Chris’ zoological wheelhouse is probably restricted to farm animals. I smile happily when he gets attacked and peed on by one:

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Kaitlyn is drawing some kind of analogy about how the monkeys’ zeal for bananas is like her own quest for love.  Monkey analogies like 5 minutes in and I’m expected to last another hour and fifty five minutes? No sir.  NO SIR.

We’ve made it to the first commercial break.  Would you like to date our next bachelor or bachelorette? No.

We’re back just in time for Chris n’ Kait’s awkward dinner date.  Chris says she is shaking just like she was earlier.  I love that these people in their bizarre universe are planning to be formally engaged next week yet still are shaking with nerves in each other’s presence? In a normal relationship this is when you could, like, fart in front of your partner and it would not be a thing.  I’m going to keep watching this horrible program until the first on-screen fart.  This is my solemn vow.

Anyway, Kaitlyn recites the usual script about she is falling in love but scared and vulnerable and BLAH BLAH really I’ve heard this exact set of buzzwords at this exact moment like 1,486 times in this show.  In a development shocking to no one– recall Kaitlyn made her national television debut with jokes about walrus/seal sex– she chooses to forgo her individual room to stay with Chris in the fantasy suite.

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EWWWWWWWWW back to the emergency eye wash station

Act Two: Whitney

I have to say, Whitney the Fertility Muppet has totally won me over.  She’s mature, she’s articulate, she has a job requiring intelligence, she always looks cute in her bright colors.  I still think she comes across a little desperate but really there’s only so much you can expect from these broads.  Whitney runs up to Chris and embraces him with the Obligatory Bachelor Reunion Leg Wrap™. They are going on a date on a… pirate ship I guess that is? OK.  They cruise around a little and then– again, has happened approx. one billion times on this show– hold hands and plunge into the water.  Blah blah. Back on deck Whitney apologizes for her TOTAL JERK of a sister who wouldn’t give Chris her marriage blessing the first hour she met him while he was still dating three other chicks.  Trifling saboteur!

They head off for the awkward dinner component of the date.  Whitney assures Chris she is ready to dump her life/job to become Arlington, Iowa’s 401st citizen, adding if she moved she would be immediately “ready to have babies.”  A grin sweeps across Chris’ face in the biggest display of emotion I’ve seen from him yet this episode.  Hoo boy.  Chris Harrison’s pimp note arrives and Whitney too will be joining our resident randy farmer in the fantasy suite.  She has a bubble bath drawn too but it’s just, like, plain water without multi-tonal rose petals. WHAT? This is supposed to be a FANTASY SUITE, PEOPLE, not some kind of depressing lair of reality. Good LUCK you two.

Act Three: Becca

Oh man.  Becca makes me want to quit my job blogging about this stupid show.  She’s so effing boring to watch.  Like, the woman would be just about as good of a partner as like a garden hose or ficus plant or a pet fish.  Not like an interesting pet fish but like the weird vacuum fish that blended into everything and just slowly sucked the fungus off the bottom.  She has this horrible monotone, rarely makes facial expressions, and seems not happy about anything.  Even last week when Chris went to her house, her family basically described her as some kind of strange hermaphrodite who didn’t really seem attracted to other humans.  Despite the two of them having zero chemistry at all, Chris digs her.  I don’t get it.

Anyway, Becca shows up today in her best Umbra shorts.

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They go to some kind of temple to visit the village medicine man.  The village children are sticking their heads above the wall laughing and snickering.  Kids I’m RIGHT there with you my little friends.  The rest is predictably boring and awkward.  Becca accepts the fantasy suite invitation but because she’s a virgin I guess the tub is filled with ice cubes or something.  Finally she tells Chris there’s “something she needs to share” with him, something that’s “a big deal”.  She then awkwardly pauses for a long time as she struggles to spit it out, and Chris is so nervous you can hear him panting like an injured mammal into his mic.  I do kind of feel for him in this moment because we all know what she’s going to say, but the way she is drawing this out he’s got to think it’s something REALLY bad or awkward.  Chris I don’t know how to tell you this but I had gender reassignment surgery two weeks ago and I’m not medically cleared for intercourse.  Chris I don’t know how to tell you this but I did ten years for racketeering, migrant smuggling, and theft of motor vehicles.  Chris I don’t know how to tell you this but I’m your biological mother. 

We’re now an hour and fifteen minutes in.  Stay strong, sisters, STAY STRONG!

Act Four: Rejection

Chris’ balcony reflections and therapy session with Chris lead us to believe that Becca, her tan lines, and Umbra shorts are toast.  Schweet! It’s time for the rose ceremony.  It’s at another temple thing and Chris n’ Chris are wearing some kind of ceremonial garb that looks more like Saturday Night Fever II: Indonesian Nights.

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Chris calls Becca aside for a private chat and I’m giddy.  The moment must be here!  (“You’re out! Finished at Faber! Expelled!”) But, in a plot twist that I don’t understand, she talks her way back in.  It’s unclear if Chris just wanted to have one more conversation with her to decide, or if he was trying to dump her and she really did change his mind.  Regardless, I’m unhappy.  Kaitlyn instead is chosen to go home.  Chris’ last gesture of chivalry is pulling open the sliding minivan door for her.  LOL.  Walruses worldwide honor her with a moment of silence.

Join me next week when all our favorite floozies reunite for the Women Tell All special!

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