Tag Archives: friends

Dear Diary, I Am Mad At Tyler Perry

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This is what i looked like thru the whole damn movie....

This is what I looked like thru the whole damn movie….

Today, a few single mom girlfriends and I went to see Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club. I was really excited about this movie. I am a single mom. Finally someone was going to tell MY story. And I got to hang out with other single moms! We all brought our kids and they went to see The Muppet Movie while we were in our movie. That worked out well…especially since I was so forward thinking in having my kids at such a young age so that when my friends had kids later in life, I would have the kids who can babysit. Cause that is just the kind of friend I am. Considerate. Or really bad with birth control…either way, it has worked out well for all of us.

I didn’t think this was going to be an award winning movie. But Tyler Perry is very popular and I have liked some of his other things…he generally tells a good story. But he totally dropped the ball on this one. I mean it was insulting and I usually don’t  recognize when I am being insulted. Maybe he was bored, maybe he needs money, maybe someone forced him to write this movie…maybe he just wanted an excuse to kiss Nia Long…not sure but the acting was awful, the directing was worse, the story was shit, the heartwarming scenes were cliché and the humor was non existent. He showcased every stereotype single mother, never developed any real back story and then had them all realize they should be more co-dependent on their kids and if their ex is an asshole they can just take him back to court for more money. And in the end it’s all ok because the ladies all find men. Just snooze. Lacking the romance that would have intrigued us single mothers, lacking the reality of the true struggle of co-parenting, and disrespecting us and the fear and anguish that court brings up for all of us when we are forced to go that route makes me really angry with Tyler Perry.

I guess it’s definitely a life experience that if you haven’t “been there, done that” then you should just keep your mouth shut. No one can tell the story of single motherhood unless they have been a single mother. You can argue with me and say that creative people or emphatic people can absolutely tell a story from the view point of a single mother. And they might be able to describe but they will never be able to convey and relate. And that’s ok. The ways we are the same but different,the real discriminations we face daily. The true grief we struggle with. The secrets we keep so that we don’t hurt the new partners we become involved with. It’s compound and complex and hard as hell. It is also the most rewarding thing we could possible do with our lives. There is no substitute for a two parent home, and we single moms know that and yet, we give our children more than we could have by staying married. We are lucky in that we get to have a very unique and special relationship with our kids. We might not have a partner there to witness them growing up or share the overwhelming love we feel for them, but we get to single handedly receive all the love, all of the pride, all of the closeness and we don’t have to share it with anyone else. It’s not selfish, it is one of the many perks of being a single mom.

Tyler Perry basically called the single mothers in his movie lazy, wealthy, emotionally distressed, non authoritative, with kids who are entitled, in jail and unbalanced. He said with this movie that we are all looking for a man to be the stability in our lives, that we are fundamentally unhappy alone and at the very least we need sex. Now, those things may be true OCCASIONALLY. but it is not the standard or the norm. And all of that bullshit would have been tolerable if he had a story that was worth watching. If the acting was not sub par or if the directing supported the actors. But, basically, it sucked. I am offended and pissed off and unentertained. It’s a damn good thing the popcorn was fresh and I had my girlfriends with me or Tyler Perry would have at least 3 emails from me tonight telling him where he can stick his movie.

But I got to hang out with some phenomenal single moms who are really doing it all, just like I am. We laughed at the stupidity  and marveled at the stilettos all the moms in the movie were wearing…who the hell goes to pick up their kid at school in platform stilettos? The ONLY woman I have ever seen do that is happily married…weird. Thumbs down Tyler Perry Single Moms Club and a giant BOO HISS. Unless you go with your single mom friends and make fun of it, or if you are not a single mom, then there is no reason for anyone to go see this one.

The movie made my face like this...I think it is frozen this way...crap. Now how the hell am I going to find that sexy man and make him save me from my sad pathetic little life. Thanks alot Tyler Perry.

The movie made my face like this…I think it is frozen this way…crap. Now how the hell am I going to find that sexy man and make him save me from my sad pathetic little life. Thanks alot Tyler Perry.

 

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Dear Diary, Test Driving Shoes

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I still haven't gotten the hang of Selfies...

I still haven’t gotten the hang of Selfies…

Today the kids had a half day AND the new Divergent movie opened!! So,my bff, the kids and I went to see it! I was so excited I bought all of us tee shirts with different things from the movie on them. Pretty sure it was just me and the 11 year old who thought this was a brilliant idea. But, everyone was a good sport (this is the same bff who wore the tiara I made out of sparkly pipe cleaners at her work for her birthday…she is the epitome of good sport). Loved the movie. I read the book like two and a half times and I really don’t remember it so it was sort of like watching something that was familiar and yet surprisingly new! This memory loss is really not so bad when it comes to things like remembering who I hate, or the plot lines in a book. It sucks when it comes to remembering sentence structure and whether or not I have my glasses on (I constantly poke myself in between my eyes when I am wearing my contacts because I forget that I don’t have my glasses on…or maybe I am wearing invisible glasses…that are made out of thin air…I can’t remember).

Today I decided to wear the shoes I am thinking of wearing on our annual trip to NYC. We have been taking this day trip to NYC for the past 8 years and every year I go for cute rather than comfy. And I wind up in severe pain after the first hour. By the end of the day my feet are usually swollen and bloody. It’s not pretty. But I have these cute little boots I wanted to try…so I put those on, to see if I could stand it (get it? “stand it” cause it has to do with my feet…and walking and standing??? Cripes Sake it’s the best I got tonight guys…lighten up!!!) I feel like I have been walking around NYC all day in mean but cute shoes. I’m curious to find out if this is the year I give up and wear sneakers and a fanny pack or if I forget that my feet hurt and just wear some super sassy little boots…it’s like every day is a surprise!!!

My microwave died so now I have to be all Little House on the Prairie to heat up my foot bag. I mean Little House if  Laura Ingalls had ziplock baggies and an electric stove…wouldn’t that have blown Nelly Olsen’s spoiled bratty mind!!!

I am trying to think of my rolaids as my midnight snack…

3 out of the 4 tee shirts...I can't show you where we put our temporary tattoos...

3 out of the 4 tee shirts…I can’t show you where we put our temporary tattoos…

Dear Diary, It’s Groundhog’s Day

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I call this "Mennonite and Cow" Because it is a Mennonite and a cow...

I call this “Mennonite and Cow” Because it is a Mennonite and a cow…

Six more weeks of winter!! I guess some people were disappointed with this news. Here’s what I think : now we have a timeline! We have an end date!!! Why would that be a bad thing? But other people are weird. I mean, they get all cranky when we “spring ahead” because they think we have “lost an hour”. The way I think of it as we absorb the hour into our bodies. When we “fall back” we lose that hour that we had absorbed and that is when we actually feel tired and cranky…which, if you happen to notice, seems to last all winter until we “spring ahead” and re-absorb that hour. Our bodies know. I also thought the rhyme was “red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning sailor’s be wary” which doesn’t rhyme but I figured that was because it was translated from some ancient Sanskrit or something.

This morning I woke up to the sound of the dog puking in his crate. I have learned over the years to not make a judgement on how my day (week/year/life) is going to unfold based on how it starts. I don’t do well with bad smells in the morning. So, I also puked in the dog’s crate. He’s just lucky that he was already out when I tossed my cookies. See? Good day for the dog!

I got dressed. Went to church. I am currently in the middle of a crisis of faith. It’s ok. I have been here before. But, we had a guest pastor and we found out our organist is leaving for the Presbyterian church. I can’t lie, it made me feel a bit worse about myself than I was already feeling after cleaning up two piles of vomit before 8am.

The kids and I came home, did all the laundry, made chicken wing dip, watched The Puppy Bowl, became aware that the dog must have left over puke somewhere on his head because he stinks and then left for the annual Super Bowl party friends of ours throw. It is so much fun because none of us are die hard football fans. But the guys know enough that it keeps it all interesting. I used to dread Super Bowl Sunday. I hated football, it would inevitably  lead to an argument about me being just wrong about everything that I have ever said. So, going to a really fun party, with funny people and ofcourse chicken wing dip, well, it’s as close to sports heaven as I am ever going to get!

We left, came home, put the kids to bed, told the dog he is getting a bath tomorrow and decided to document this day. I am telling you guys, if I was one of those people who took everything as a sign, I would never get out of bed. If I chose to just accept the way everyone else interprets things, I would be so depressed. Puking in a dog crate? I’ve puked in worse places. Six more weeks of winter? That brings us to the middle of March which is when winter around here usually ends anyway so…

Richard Sherman really does look like Doug E. Doug.

Sometimes I really wonder about me.

I call this one "cows" Sticking with a theme tonight.

I call this one “cows” Sticking with a theme tonight.

Dear Diary, Day of Love

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Us in NYC with a cast member of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

Us in NYC with a cast member of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

Today I woke up and turned to my social media asking for prayers and positive energy to be sent to my best friend who was undergoing a mastectomy. And because I have the coolest people in the world as friends they responded with a quickness and a kindness. 

My friend came thru the surgery and it looks that they got all the cancer! The lymph nodes are clean! This is great news. Those of us who love her were so overwhelmed with relief. Even the kids at work were beyond happy to hear she is going to be ok. This, my friends, is a very good day. 

I can’t tell you I did anything at all today except worry and pray and cry. The feeling I had was that she was going to be ok. She is the strongest woman I have ever met. I knew she would handle this the same way she handles everything life throws at her, with grace and dignity. 

She’s a dancer, like me. She fights like a dancer. A dancer feels the pain and does it anyway. Because on the other side of the pain is beauty. We know it will hurt but we know the pain will be worth it. It’s how dancers think. 

I have told her that she is like the big sister I never had without the condescension, hair pulling and boyfriend stealing. She leads by example. Whatever lies ahead I know she will show me how to get through it with style. She is my best friend who I have seen almost every day for the past 19 years. We had kids together, we lost our dads together, we are watching our children grow up together and I am so very thankful tonight that this is not going to change.

So, that was my day and although it started out with alot of fear, it is ending with alot of power and love. 

Women rally.

Dancers fight.

Life wins.

When we are happy, we dance. When we are sad, we dance. When we fight, we dance.

When we are happy, we dance. When we are sad, we dance. When we fight, we dance.

Dear Diary, Day 723

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It's a good day at the mall when you're eyes are shut.

It’s a good day at the mall when you’re eyes are shut.

I think I left off on day 5…let’s recount what has happened in the days, well-nigh, weeks since my last post….

I have no idea. Really. I have no memory of anything ever. I think it is partly hereditary, partly voluntary and a little bit of 10 years of ambien. But I will give you a general idea.

It’s winter here. It’s cold. I went back to work after vacation. I started working on choreography for the end of the year performance. I yelled at the dog alot. I got bagels at the bagel shop and green tea at Starbucks every morning. I got into fights on the internet. I worked very hard at ignoring cravings. I made a decision to eat better (just made the decision…like this: if there are 5 frogs on a log and one decides to jump off, how many frogs are left on the log? 5 because he simply made the decision….I’m a freaking frog).

The kids and I went to the movies a few times. We went to a hockey game. We threw one of my closest friends a Stay Strong dance party because she is going into surgery for breast cancer. That, despite sounding strange, was the most fun…bitter sweet fun. I could go on for days about this woman and how she has stood by me in sickness and in health. 19 years I have seen her almost daily. But I think I will keep this in my heart for now.

And that brings us to today. Today is the 22nd. It was bombastic cold out today so the schools cancelled. SNOW DAY! Minus the snow and plus -17 degree day!!! So, we slept in, woke up, took the 15 yr old to the Dr because she has a cold. She hasn’t figured out her own body stuff yet and who am I to say she doesn’t have strep throat or Ebola? I’m a dance teacher not a doctor. She does not have strep. I told ya so. Got our bagel at the bagel shop and green tea at Starbucks. Came home.

I thought about taking the kids to the mall. I took a shower and made a pot roast instead. It came out sort of blechy. But we ate it anyway. I yelled at the dog alot. I thought about why I am where I am now and I ate peanut butter and chocolate chips. I made the kids watch my favorite episode of Fact of Life (the title of the episode is The Golden Years….I laugh so hard I cry…and I quote lines…I am not ashamed).

Now I am figuring out how to not make Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate my new obsession.

I can watch the movie Bridesmaids on repeat for the rest of my life.

Eye doctors are weird people.

I have never worn these and never will. But I will always have them.

I have never worn these and never will. But I will always have them.

It’s My First Thanksgiving Charlie Brown!

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Yup, that was what we had in our fridge Thanksgiving 1990

My first Thanksgiving on my own was memorable. Not for the gorgeous bird or the huge table of family and friends. But because I was 17, living with my best friend in Houston, Texas. And she was a vegetarian. But I was determined to make us a turkey. After all, we were grown ups!! Her boyfriend was coming but not until the next day with one of his pals. I just couldn’t let Thanksgiving pass without a celebration. My mother was coming also but not arriving until 2 days after the holiday.

I had no idea what I was doing. Not one clue as to how to begin. So, I called my dad. He got me started. First, buy a turkey. Ok, that was priceless info because I  thought that turkeys just showed up in the kitchen. Put the bird in a pan and turn on the oven (my dad was a gourmet cook who didn’t hold out much hope for my traditional thanksgiving being that I was 17 and didn’t realize I had to actually go and buy the turkey). Got it. Bird, pan….wait… was I supposed to take off the wrapping? Ok, hot wrapping off the bird. So far so good. I made real, undercooked, lumpy, mashed potatoes and stuffing out of a box (the best kind). My best friend made her green bean casserole and some other gross tofu/veggie dishes that I would never eat because gross.

My favorite part of the meal is the gravy. It always has been and always will be. I could drink gravy. I love gravy. Now, how do I make gravy? I had no idea. Hello Dad? Ok, I needed flour. Or cornstarch. Yeah, we were 17 years old….I didn’t even know what cornstarch was. I thought it was what you used on shirt collars. The grocery stores were closed by this time, so I went to my across the way neighbors. They were a couple who were, um, 17 years old!!! No, they didn’t have any flour or cornstarch (don’t you use that for keeping collars stiff?). I tried some of the other neighbors. Most were gone to friends or families for dinner. And the rest didn’t have flour or cornstarch. But Terry was home. He was the super special guy that lived below us and he was already half in the bag. He assured me I could make gravy with the coarsely ground cornmeal he had in the cupboard, as long as I invited him up for the festivities. Excellent!!

And off I went to make my fav part of thanksgiving, confident that coarsely ground cornmeal would do the trick! How exciting to be so grown up and independent and making our very first thanksgiving dinner!!! My best friend and I set our tiny table with what we considered our best china. She had bought some cool plates at Pier One….yep, we were all grown up!! I stirred that coarsely ground cornmeal into the gravy for about an hour trying to thicken the drippings. No luck. Come ON!!! It’s cornmeal you really can’t get more traditional than that!!

2 hours later Terry showed up ready for some yummy thanksgiving dishes. Instead, he got lumpy mashed potatoes, turkey broth with what resembled saw dust shavings in it and some tofu sweet potato disaster (it very well may have been delish but it had tofu in it so it was just simply nasty in my book). The turkey itself was not bad. Except for the bag of salmonella that no one told me to take out before I cooked it. What kind of a joke is that? A whole bag filled with the grossest parts of the bird!!! And I was supposed to TOUCH that thing???

Despite it all we had a lovely dinner, all grown up like. Since then, I have been fortunate to have some of the best thanksgiving dinners with some of the most wonderful people. But I will never forget that very first one, which despite the food fiasco, was filled with good friends. I have since grown up to make the most incredible gravy anyone has ever tasted, I know anyone who tried to down that first gravy experiment would agree!!

And so begins the tradition of M&M’s, Honey roasted peanuts and cat in a glass…

Speaking of broken toes

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The Toe

When I was 17, I was living with my best friend in Houston, Texas. That sentence is all sorts of a bad idea. Who’s parent lets their 17-year-old daughter move half way across the country with her best friend? Mine. Because when they realized they were only having one child, they read Dr. Spock’s chapter in his famous book and it said the most important thing to know about raising an only child is to NOT over protect them. My parents took that to heart. There was no over protection happening in my house!!

Anyway, I decided to audition for a few local dance companies. I was pretty homesick and I knew that I would find home once I was back in a studio. I jumped into the South By South West Jazz Ballet Company (The Unofficial U.S.O.). Fun little company. And it was like being home. Any dancer will tell you that they can walk into any dance class in the world and be home. Not that they make you cookies or wipe your nose or hold you when you cry. But the feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and despair feel like home….I’m kidding!!! It’s something about the structure, or the movements, or knowing what’s expected of you that can give  a sense of peace.

The Gulf War had just broken out, and being this company was the Unofficial U.S.O. we immediately started working on some patriotic pieces to tour with. We had a trip planed to Saudi Arabia (which was cancelled because of the escalating violence and the speed in which the war was taking off). In rehearsal for these pieces, I injured my toe. I was doing this great grande jete, and I landed on the middle toe of my right foot. It was swollen immediately and one of the boys had to drive me home. We were laughing and crying all the way home cause it really was funny, but it really did hurt.

I got home and iced it and kept it elevated. But by about midnight it was still throbbing, so I talked my roommate into driving me to the ER. Now, here we are a couple of young girls, in Houston, at midnight, looking for a hospital. We had a general idea of where the hospital was. There was a whole section of the city that was just hospitals. We find one and go on in. There was no one around. Strange. So, we hop on the elevator. Now I am still limping and we are kind of laughing at me limping. A doctor gets on the elevator with us and we ask her which way the emergency room is. She kind of paused, looked us over, smiled in a “poor stupid kids” kind of way and then explained to us that we were in a psychiatric hospital and they didn’t have an ER and unless the voices in my head told me my toe was broken in which case they could admit me.

That sent us into buckets of giggles. She eventually pointed us in the right direction for the hospital that could help me and my toe. We arrived and sat in the ER for about 5 hours amongst gun shot victims, old men having heart attacks, little kids puking and one lady giving birth. It was way better than tv!! I was finally put into a curtained cubicle to wait another 2 hours. Lucky for me my friend was resigned at this point to making the best out of our little excursion and we had all sorts of fun. Stealing gigantic Q-tips and tounge depressors and blowing up rubber gloves. Yeah, stick a couple of teenagers in a ER for 7 hours and watch the fun!!

The doctor finally comes in and looks at my foot. He was from another country so I had a hard time understanding him over all the wailing and screaming coming from the waiting room area. Anyway, he starts examining my big toe. Big toe, the first toe on my right foot. NOT the toe I injured. I injured my middle toe. But hey, what do I know. He’s the Doc. He finally bends it and asks if it hurts. I said “no, but that’s not the one I injured”. He looks at me like I was nuts as he had just spent minutes examining a perfectly fine toe. I point to the middle toe and explain that is the one I injured. He checks it out, determines that it is most likely broken and tapes it to my other toes. He re-examines my big toe again and then looks at me with total seriousness and says “This one isn’t broken?” I said no. “He said “was it ever broken?” I said no. He said “it’s the biggest big toe I have ever seen….” and with that he left. My friend and I lost it!! We had been up all night, getting chased out of mental hospitals and watching people die and give birth and this doctor has the nerve to insult my big toe!! It was just too much!! And to this day I have a complex about the size of my big toe.

I was back to dancing (in pain) within the week. My middle toe healed but my big toe never quite got over the slight from the doctor. I can’t complain because it has served me well over these 37 years. I have grown fond of it. I think it looks like a short, fat bald guy. Both of my big toes look like short, fat, bald guys. Maybe I should have stayed at the psych hospital….