Mystery Blogger

I would like to thank Mischenko  https://readrantrockandroll.com/author/readrantrockandroll/ for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award  This site is filled with great reviews, great music and just great everything!  Am so glad I got to know this blog and this blogger!!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

This award was originally created by Maggie @okoto enigma

Mystery blogger award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.
The rules:
• Put the award logo/image on your blog
• List the rules
• Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
• Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
• Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
• You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
• Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
• Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
• Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Me:

  1. I like to write with a freshly sharpened pencil, except when I do crossword puzzles.  Then I choose pen.
  2. I’m really organized, but I can’t find a way to organize the people I nominate for blogger awards.  I need to have a better system.
  3. My shoe size is really a 6.5, but I often buy a 7

Miscneko’s Questions:
1. What’s your ideal pet?

I Love cats, especially my cat because she is so self-sufficient and can take care of herself.  I also love cats because they dole out love at their own pace.  We have that in common.  But don’t tell my dog.
2. What’s your favorite food? 

Cheeseburgers.  Love them!
3. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

Not to let my M control me so easily.  every bad decision I ever made was in response to my Mother
4. What is your favorite music?

Classic rock.  Can’t get enough of it.
5. Who do you most admire in life?

My daughter.  She sets a goal and does everything she can to accomplish it.  If she doesn’t succeed, she gets up and gets on with life.  I would love to say her attitude is nurture based, but I think nature played a little hand.

The questions for my nominees:

  1. When were you most proud of yourself?
  2. What is your favorite drink on a hot day?
  3. If you could go anywhere on your next vacation, where would it be?
  4. What color are your eyes?
  5. Dark, milk or white chocolate?

My best post:

You all know I am really critical about my writing- and I’m not sure how to qualify “best” in this situation.  Is it most likes, most views, most comments?  Is it one that I find the best?  So- I’m going to say I love when I write about my Daughter, both the funny ones and the heartfelt ones, because they mean the most to me.  And if you disagree, please feel free to reread all my blogs and give me a hint….kidding…..!!!!

The nominees!  These are blogs I’m just getting to know, as well as some I may know better!  I apologize if I keep forgetting you, or if I’ve nominated you a million times!  It’s more stupidity than anything else!

http://welcometothenursery.wordpress.com/

http://cupcakecacheblog.wordpress.com/

http://outrunningmydemons74.wordpress.com/

http://kwoted.wordpress.com/

http://cherylbalcom.wordpress.com/

As always- there is no penalty for not playing!  This is fun, not torture!!!

 

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Method to my Madness

Ok- here’s the post 2 months in the making….the one you’ve all been waiting for……My Sunday Evening Routine.  I know- I know- very exciting.  I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile, but something has always gotten in the way, but here, for your Friday enjoyment…..a little peek into the crazy that I call my mind.

On Sunday nights, (now with the aid of my new planner) I plan out my schedule for the week ahead.

  1. I look at what I have going on and schedule in prep and travel time if required.
  2.   I get everyone else’s schedule for the week and schedule in if I need to assist Husband or Daughter, and I confirm things that I am supposed to do with them
  3. I go over my to do list, schedule when things will be done, and go over my goals and see if anything can be tweaked. This road map time is important to me because it allows me to think about what is and isn’t working, and where I can adjust my routine.  I will write notes months in advance, for example- my January Calendar already has a note- “start planning summer vacation”
  4. I go through “action” folder on my desk.  My action folder holds all papers, mail and school related things that I received that week that did not require immediate action.  It also holds things I ripped out of newspaper or magazine, or brochures I picked up alone the way.  I really look at these things and act on them- ie- if I pulled a recipe I put it in my recipe folder, if I got a flyer for a concert I buy tickets, I schedule to buy canned goods if there is a donation drive at school.  I also file things such as medical reimbursement or anything we still get on paper (which is surprisingly high even though we’ve mostly gone paperless)
  5. I send out text/email to everyone I am supposed to meet with that week to confirm (I also reconfirm the morning of meeting, but that’s just me)
  6. I plan meals and grocery list for entire week (I like knowing who will be home for dinner, what time we will eat, and how much prep will be involved.  I also have certain themes- Monday – Vegetarian, Tuesday -Chicken, Wednesday- Fish, Thursday- Beef, Friday- Pork.  The weekends we often eat out, and I will also utilize leftovers/freezer things.)
  7. I plan time with my family and friends.  Yes- I schedule this because it is important to me.  My goal is to have 2 dates with the Husband (1 us alone, 1 with others), 1 daughter outing, 1 family outing and 1 friend outing and something just for me.  This doesn’t always pan out-(this week I am not able to have an outing with daughter- our schedules conflicted) but I try.
  8. I plan exercise time.  The goal is 5 hours a week.  Exercise is important to me.
  9. I figure out what needs to be bought, and if it can be done online or locally.  I make one run to a drug store type store every week.  If my family needs be to get anything, they must tell me by Monday morning because that is only day I will go.  They don’t tell me, they’re on their own.
  10. I also have a little relax time for me on Sundays.  I like a bath, and I do a face mask and a hair mask and I read a magazine.  This recharges me and makes me the happy go lucky person you read on a daily basis……what- you think I should step up my game on the relaxation cause it’s not really working?!?

Some people will think this is stressful, but seriously- it works for me.  Taking an hour on Sunday nights really sets me up for the week ahead.

And on that note- have a great Friday!

The Queen Can’t Win

Once upon a time, the Princess asked the Queen to read her homework essay.  The Queen read all three pages and pronounced it royally sufficient.

“Just sufficient?”  the Princess asked.

“No.  It was good.” the queen responded.

“Good or very good?”

“Very good. You answered the questions given.  Your thesis was strong.  Your choice of evidence was excellent.  Maybe there were one of two sentences that could be tighter, but over all- a very good essay.”

“Which sentences?”

The Queen scrolls down the essay and locates the slightly wordy sentences.  The Princess quickly readjusts them.

“Now is it good?”  the princess asks.

“It was good before.  Now it’s better.”

“I thought you said it was great?”

“It’s great.  It’s outstanding.  It’s the best paper ever on this question.  Your teacher will be extolling the virtues of this paper for years to come.”

“You’re just saying that because you’re my Mom.”

The next day we find the Queen at the not so regally located tennis courts where the Princess and her teammates play their home matches.  The Princess and her doubles partner have just lost a really tough match, 10-8.  The princess approaches the Queen.

“Nice match” the Queen says.

“We lost.” the Princess responds.

“I know.  But it was close.”

“What could we have done better?”

“You made some bonehead moves.”  the Queen says.

“Like…..?”

“No man’s land.  You guys sort of moved in.” (for those who do not know/play tennis- no man’s land is the area between the service line and the base line- you really don’t want to be stuck there as the opponent is returning the ball- almost impossible to recover a shot when you are there)

“We weren’t there that much.”

“Ok.  Whatever.”

“My God – you could be nice to me.  All you ever do is criticize me.  You’re my mom.  You’re supposed to tell me I’m great.”

The Queen walked away shaking her head.  She would never understand teenagers.  Scratch that.  She didn’t want to understand teenagers.  And she walked off to the not so regal subway to go home to prepare the royal banquet.

They still lived happily ever after…..

 

 

 

 

Fiction?

I went to an open house at Gotham Writer’s Workshop last night  (they were serving cider and cupcakes) .  I have been considering taking a writing class for some time now, and a free 1 hour class seemed a good way to put my toe in the water.  I signed up for Beginners Fiction, which is, you know, fiction for beginners.  Our teacher had us introduce ourselves and reveal our guilty pleasure.  Of course- one woman said her guilty pleasure was that she read all the Jane Austen novels.  Can you imagine somewhat that would admit to something so guilty?  I mean really- what other skeletons could be hiding in her closet……

For the second part of the class, we were given 15 minutes to write a story using our guilty pleasure.  Since I didn’t get to read my story out loud- I am presenting you with my story.  Remember- it’s first draft and unedited and I know there are some plot issues…..but any other critique is welcome and encouraged.  Don’t worry- we return to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Maeve and Sheila sit in Maeve’s upscale living room, wine glasses in hand.  They are here to discuss Sheila’s apparent lack of love life.

“You are so being Catfished?” Maeve says.

“What is with you and that show?  I am not being catfished.” Sheila replies.

“Have you ever actually seen this guy?”

“No.  He has a busy job.”

“Please.  All jobs are busy.  It’s why people get hired.  There’s work that needs to be done- hence, they create a job.”

“No.  Seriously.  He’s a Doctor.”

“I’m calling Max- he’s tough.  He’ll agree with me.  This guy is not a Doctor.  I thought you said he works in a shelter.  And knits blankets for orphans.”

“Now you’re being ridiculous.  He’s a Doctor.  A busy Doctor.  The last time we were supposed to meet he got called on an emergency.”

“Why doesn’t he schedule a meeting when he’s not on call?”

“Well….”

“Well what?  My husband is a busy doctor.  But he’s not always on call.  He has a life.”

“I know you have the perfect life.  Handsome Doctor husband.  Perfect child.  Perfect apartment.  Perfect job.  You don’t know what it’s like being single.”

“Well, you’re only going to know being single.  You realize this gorgeous doctor you met on Tinder, but never actually met is not real.  Can’t be real.”

“You have a gorgeous Doctor who’s real.  Why can’t mine be real?”

“Because you’ve been sexting for 4 months and only seen pictures of his better half.  How many face shots have you seen?”

“Well. one or two sort of blurry pics.  We start texting, and things get all hot.”

“How come no FaceTime?”

“He usually texts from the hospital.”

“Ok.  Isn’t that cat fishy?  Why only from the hospital?  He’s hiding something.”

“Don’t sabotage my relationship.”

“It’s not a relationship.  You have fictional sex 5 days a week.  You never even talk to him on the phone.”

“Well, he’s….”

“Busy.  I know.  But don’t you think he’s hiding something?”

“Like what?”

“Like what?  He’s married.  Or he’s 18.  Or he’s in prison.  Or he’s a she.”

“No.  I can tell he’s a man and he has maturity.  The beauty of his language.  He gets me.  No prisoner or child would get me like that.”

“It smells….fishy to me…”

“Stop.  I’m tired of being alone.”

“But you’re still alone.  I bet if you text him he won’t answer.  Try it.”

Sheila takes our her phone and sends a text.  At the same time an iPhone buzzes in the apartment.  Maeve’s husband enters the living room, picks up his phone, grimaces and shuts off his phone.  He kisses the top of his wife’s head and walks away.

 

Ok- it was really hard not to self edit as I was typing it in!  I have more plot issues than I thought…but there you go!

And this ad addition that I forgot the first time around!  My guilty pleasure is the tv show Catfish!!

 

 

I’ve Got Some Good Gossip….

For the record- I think gossip is mostly bad.  I try not to engage in it unless it’s about you.  Kidding.  But no, I’m not eavesdropping on conversations so that I can dish about it later.  If I see a friend’s kid doing something that I know his parents won’t like, I don’t rush to tell everyone else.  I try (the optimum word being try) to be as nice to, and about, people as possible.

But…..

Can gossip be good?

Example 1- About 8 years ago I was at girls night.  I had read an article that day about the number of married women who had affairs with their personal trainers.  I went on and on quoting stats, asking what people thought.  I asked if an affair with a personal trainer was just sex, or was it a relationship, or was the woman just seeking comfort, etc.  One woman was kicking me under the table- but I’m slow to take a hint.  After the night, the soccer playing friend texted me- “S is having an affair with her personal trainer.”

Yes, I felt like a moron.  (and yes, I have felt like a moron too many times to count) And the women having the affair was mortified.

And I know that telling someone about another persons extramarital affair would indeed be really big gossip.  But….if a group of women are out, and wine is involved, and these nights usually revolve around complaining about husbands and kids, and I usually pontificate about things….maybe a head’s up would have been nice.   Or maybe I have to be more aware of someone kicking me under the table.  Your call- who’s wrong me, or the woman who was being a really good friend by not telling a secret?

Example 2- Last year I was at a holiday celebration with my Husband’s family.  I innocently said to his Cousin B, “Where’s  K tonight?” (her husband).  Her reply- “Oh.  We separated about 3 months ago.  I thought everyone knew.”

Apparently, not everyone knew.

I went to my Sister in Law- “Did you know that B and K are separated?”  “NO WAY” she replied.  We found my Husband- asked him the same question, and he didn’t know either. Of course, he hadn’t even realized that K was not at the party, and if pressed, I don’t know if he remembered that B was even married…so…..

Then we cornered my Father in Law.

“Did you know B and K were separated?”

“Yes” he responded

“Why didn’t you tell us?”

“I didn’t want to gossip.” he said.

FYI- My Father in law does a lot of borderline ethical/moral things, so it’s funny to see him draw the line at gossip.

But is that even gossip?  Should news like a separation or divorce just be shared grapevine style amongst the relatives?  Did his cousin need to inform everyone individually?

I know that the majority of gossip is bad.  I know that people can really be hurt by malicious spreading of information.  I try to avoid gossip like the plague, both in telling and receiving.

But is there a place for gossip?   Or, should I just get over feeling awkward in a situation when I just didn’t know the situation?

What do you think?

 

Open What?

Open Marriage.

That’s the issue in a book I read last week, “The Arrangement” by Sarah Dunn.  Couple decides their marriage is getting stale, so they set up a 6 month time frame and a list of rules, and decide to give this alternate arrangement a go.

Hmmmm.  What could ever go wrong?

Ok- this is not a book review- this is a lifestyle review.

I don’t think open marriage can/will work.  I don’t think having sex with other people is the way to solve marital issues.  If you want to solve marital issues, you have to identify the issue- then you can solve the problem.  How is having sex with someone else helping you solve a problem?

Oh- you say that lack of sex is the problem?  OK- I get that.  But again, how is sex with someone else helping your actual relationship?

Marriages can get stale.  I understand that.  Life gets in the way.  There are bills and chores and jobs and families and about a million other things.  When you go to bed, these are the things that flash through your mind….is there milk?  did I pay the insurance?  Am I supposed to bake cookies for the bake sale?  I’m supposed to present at the 9am meeting tomorrow- do I know what to say?  You forget about that person that is actually sharing your bed every night- they’ve become your roommate.  Sex?  What’s that?

So what should you do?

I have no idea.

But I am pretty sure that opening up your marriage to others is probably not a great way to start.

Side note- my husband just wandered by, and when I told him what I have been attempting to write about he said…”Oooh that sounds interesting- Do you know anyone hot?”

FYI- not a great thing for a husband to say….especially when his wife is having tremendous writers block.  Also- whenever my husband hears that I’m having writer’s block, he says, “Maybe it’s not a good topic.”  And then at moment’ s like this I think to myself….hmmm, maybe open marriage would be a great idea, except instead of finding a sex partner, I’ll find someone to be more helpful when I’m writing……

But back to the topic at hand:

If you love your partner, and the issues you are having are because you don’t see them in a romantic way anymore…..try to figure out how to see them in a romantic way!  I know- it’s hard- life, blah, blah, blah……

But isn’t it worth it to try to rekindle the passion you once felt for one another?

So- here’s your homework….

  1. Can open marriage work?
  2. Am I old fashioned in thinking that it is not a good idea, or is this the way of the future?
  3. How do you revive a marriage that has become a bit rote?
  4. Would you ever consider open marriage?  If so, would you have rules?
  5. Do you think that if someone suggests open marriage they have an ulterior motive, ie- they already have a partner in mind?
  6. I’ve seen statistics that suggest that less people are actually getting married.  Do you think they are less likely to get married because they want to have the ability to explore their sexuality with multiple partners?
  7. Can something be “just sex” or are emotions going to become involved no matter what? (I think emotions are going to jump in no matter what- how many people equate sex with love?)
  8. Even if you’ve given the green light, is it possible to truly not be jealous? (Seriously- can you really remain detached if you know your spouse is sleeping with someone younger/hotter?)
  9. Do you want your kids to know what you are doing?  (I mean really- kids are smart- they figure out everything we want to hide…..)

I know- I’m a demanding teacher.   Also- writers block!  I need you guys to write for me!!!

Also- I may be taking applications for a muse.  Start working on those resumes……

 

 

Sunday Wrap Up

Welcome fall, my favorite season!  I am always energized by this season- and always busy!  But here’s what I did this week, that can be talked about in a PG13 format…..Ratings are 0-5.  All locations are NYC unless otherwise specified.  I have received no compensation for any of the following!

Books

“The Arrangement” Sara Dunn.  This is light and easy to read.  Basically, a couple decides that their marriage needs a little oomph, so they decide to try having an open marriage for 6 months.  Very thought provoking, and I will probably write about the subject this week- cause I might have an opinion.  This is not a “literary” book, but it’s OK.  3.8

Television

Didn’t watch much TV this week- we’re in TV limbo.  But these are my fall shows that I am really looking forward to this week: Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, This is Us- reboot Will and Grace, and new show Young Sheldon.  I like sit-coms.  They’re easy.  I don’t like my television to be heavy- I need light, especially at night.  Anyone ever wants to dish about these shows, feel free to PM me.

Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art 4.5  Full disclosure- I love the Met.  I think it is an amazing space and museum.  But, I was underwhelmed by the special exhibits I saw this week.  “Rodin at the Met”- it’s Ok, but if you want to see Rodin, go to Philadelphia.  3.8.  “The Roof Garden Commission: Adrian Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance”  I think the new thing in large format installation art is having a table and “setting” it in an odd way.  This made me think, but mainly it made me think, what was the artist thinking?  But, the roof garden is glorious, so…worth it for that alone.  3.9.  “Talking Pictures Camera-Phone Conversations Between Artists”  I love photo exhibits.  This was amazing mostly because these photos were taken with phones, and really they were glorious.  But even though I got the concept- it was just OK. 3.9

Grey Gallery 4  The Grey Gallery is part of NYU, so the exhibitions, though small, are usually well thought out and interesting.  “Partners in Design Alfred H. Barr Jr. Philip Johnson”  This exhibit delved into the Baohaus design aesthetic from Berlin in the 30’s.  Minimalism.  There are some lovely pieces of furniture and some well chosen household items on display.  Oddly, I most vividly recall the stainless steel sink- when it was being designed it was a combo of function and form- how to make a sink that would be really easy to clean, beautiful at the same time.  Small but interesting exhibit. 4.2

Other

Apple Dave’s Orchard (aka Applewood Orchard) Warwick NY.  We have gone to this orchard every year since my daughter was about 3.  We have found that going mid to late September is perfect- Macintosh and Cortland apples- delicious.  Yes- +NYC dwellers will drive 2 hours north to pick apples……

Ye Old Warwick Book Shoppe- I would like to save all the independent book stores.  This is a cute little store with a super knowledgeable staff.  If you ever happen to be in Warwick NY- please stop by this little store.

Food- I went to old standbys this week.  Patrizia’s of Brooklyn and La Folia.  These places are fine and  fill particular needs in my life, but not worth searching out, unless you need to fill these needs- Patrizia’s is great if you want to go out with a group of 10-20 (or more) people.  Reasonable family-style menu (includes beer and wine), great service, and good if you’re going to be loud.  La Folia is a quaint little neighborhood wine bar that is perfect for girls night- not too crowded, not too loud.

Housekeeping

Thanks again for all the great commentary this week.  I love all the dialogue.  I look forward to interacting with you all every day!

School is going well for my daughter.  Yay.  She loves her teachers, which always makes things a bit easier.  on a funny note, a new Bubble Tea (think fruity tea with tapioca) opened up down the street- at night between 6 and 9 they will offer help in calculus and physics.  For the price of a tea, my daughter can get help from kids that went to really really good schools.

Have a great week!!

Unique Blogger

I would like to thank http://valeriesmusings.com/ (amazing book reviews and all around inspiring person) and https://hisperfecttiming.blog (beautiful and inspirational blogs) for nominating me for the Unique Blogger Award

The Rules:
1. Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
2. Answer the questions.
3. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
4. Ask them 3 questions.

My Questions from His Perfect Timing

3 Questions for the nominees:
1. Provide a blogging tip for other bloggers.

Set up a writing schedule (you’ll post every day, you’ll post on Fridays, etc) and stick to it.  Do not let writers block get in the way.  Once you give yourself an out, you are essentially giving permission to stop writing.
2. Share something you have learned from blogging.

I have learned by sharing my personal stories, I have felt better about myself, and found others who feel the same way.  Sometimes it’s nice to find others in the same situation.
3. What is your favorite aspect of blogging. Why?

I love all the new friendships I’ve created.  I have learned so much about people who live in entirely different circumstances.  It has been eye opening.

Valeries’s Questions

1.Where is your favorite place to visit? Why?

There are about a billion places I love to go, but I think my favorite place would be a botanic garden, specifically New York Botanic or Brooklyn.  I love flowers and gardens, and as I don’t have one in my apartment, this is the closest I get.
2.List three characteristics about yourself that you’re proud of.

  1. I am really good with instructions, whether it’s putting together furniture or following a recipe
  2. I am a great editor of other peoples writing
  3. I am great at organizing my kitchen cabinets

3. If you could spend one hour with someone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Jane Austen.  I want to know how she figured out so much about human nature with the limited people and situations she encountered. Her characters transcend time, in that the types of people she writes about still exist today.

My Questions to my nominees:

  1. What is your perfect Saturday afternoon?
  2. What is your favorite flavor pie?
  3. What is the one chore you hate doing the most?

My Nominees:

http://thefeatheredrose.com

http://kfoglephotography.wordpress.com/

http://threesaherd.com/

http://writesideoftheroad.wordpress.com/

http://dstecca.wordpress.com/

As always- there is no pressure to participate!  This is supposed to be fun, not torture!!

 

The Tale of the School Portraits

In the hallway of the royal palace stood pictures of the young Princess.  A wall filled with 8×10 portraits from school, soccer and softball.  Any visitor to the Palace would be greeted with smiling images, ranging from age 4 to age 14.  The team colors changed, the hairstyles changed, but the face remained constant.

Then the first week of Junior year, the Princess walked into the royal apartment and stated….”Do we really need to have this shrine of me when you walk in the front door? It’s embarrassing.  Why do we even have these pictures up on the wall?”

This was a rather frugal Queen, who had spent good money on all these portraits, so she felt it was well within her rights to display them.  But she also understood that this blatant display of parental pride could be a little daunting to people, and yes, embarrassing to the Princess.  So the Queen took out the royal planner and scheduled time to order a photo album, take down the pictures, unframe them, place them in an album, repaint the wall and hang up different artwork on the wall.  It was rather a long process, but worth it for the happiness of the Princess.

So about 10 days later, the Queen was able to accomplish the first half of the tasks.  Pictures down and organized, frames donated, wall painted.

Princess came home from a long day of school and tennis practice.

“Wherenare my pictures?”  she exclaimed.

“You said they were embarrassing.  I understand why you would feel that way and I rearranged things.”  Queen replied.

“But, but….it’s your house.  You didn’t have to do that.  You’re allowed to hang up anything you want.” the Princess continued.

“I understand why you wanted them down.  So that’s what I did.  It wasn’t a big deal.” (Well, the thought behind taking them down wasn’t a big deal, but you know, the process…..)

“Can you put them back up?”  the Princess asked.

“What?” the Queen exclaimed, trying to remember that she is going to try to be calm in all situations and take a moment. (FYI- this was not working out so well at this moment) “I spent the whole day doing this.  The pictures are already in an album.  I am NOT undoing it.”

“But it’s like all my memories are down and boxed up.  My life was on the wall, in chronological order, and now…it’s blank.”

The Queen went and gave the Princess a hug, kissed the top of her baseball cap.  “your memories are not gone.  They’re in your head, and in my heart.  And they’re now in a photo album on the bottom shelf of the coffee table.”

“So this is Ok?” the Princess said.

“Of course.  Life changes.  We change and grow.  Things can’t always remain static.  And look around, there are still plenty of reminders of you in the apartment.  Your artwork is on the walls, and some projects are on the shelves, and there are still pictures of you, of our family all around.  It’s just a little different.  Change is OK.  Change is necessary.”

And all was right in the royal household.  For a little while anyway.  Remember, the Princess is still a teenager.

 

A Fine Line

I read something the other day.  A Mom said she rarely tells her daughter that she is beautiful.  She doesn’t want the daughter to be overly focused on appearances.  I get this.  I don’t like that people are often judged by how they look.  I don’t like that other qualities are often over looked.

But….

You knew there would be a but…..

Can we be harming our children just as much by never commenting on appearance?

I’m going to take you back to my childhood.  As the dinosaur passes by my window, you can see my Mother lecturing me.  Now my Mother was/is obsessed by physical appearance.  She never left the house without make-up, and if she did she wore large dark sunglasses, even at night.  She invented eating disorders.  She sold cosmetics as a living.  For the record- these behaviors are bad.  These behaviors led me to a whole bunch of self-esteem issues, that I have fought my entire life, and continue to fight.  And while my Mother was at the extreme end of the spectrum, the underlying message was the same.

My Mother never said I was pretty.

So why is this important?

A child has to feel that their parent thinks they are wonderful.

What’s the catch?

A parent must make sure that the child feels they are wonderful and conquer the world, because if your parent doesn’t think you are wonderful, who will?

Conversely, a parent must make sure that the child does not develop an ego or become arrogant.  A parent must let the child know that there will probably be others that will be better than them.

What?  you say.  Do I still have a head cold? you ask.  How can a parent do two completely opposite things?

That’s the great mystery of parenting- to make their child feel like they can conquer the world, but know, at the exact same time, that they might not succeed.  How do parents do it?  I don’t know, but you guys will be the first ones I tell when I figure it out.

Now back to looks.  I know from personal experience, not thinking you are pretty leads you to make a lot of really poor decisions about men.  See, no matter what lessons we teach, everyone wants to be attractive- they want others to find them attractive.  Seriously- do you own a mirror?  Do you look in the mirror?  Is it really “just for you”?  Or do you care about how the world views you?  So when a really crappy guy says you’re pretty, and you’ve never been told that you were pretty……you forget about all the bad things this particular guy is, and focus on the word “pretty”.  Then, there are the crappy guys who never tell you that you’re pretty.  Guess what?  You go to them to, because in your adolescent mind, your mom doesn’t think you’re pretty, or she tells you you’re not good enough, and you begin to think that that is what love is- love is a person that highlights all your faults.

So- here’s my advice.  Compliment your children on all aspects of their personality and appearance.  Encourage them to be clean (I know there are people that will disagree with me on this, but I don’t care- I think you need an occasional bath)  Encourage them to eat healthy and exercise.  These are just good habits that will keep you healthy.

Tell them that they are attractive and smart and organized and talented and funny and hard working and all the other things that they are. Let then know you love all aspects of their personality, as well as them. Kids need to hear these things from their parents.  It’s a cruel world, and things are not going to go right the majority of the time, so let them know there is always a soft spot for them to land in, at home.  You need to be their rock.