A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Category: opinions (Page 2 of 4)

And that’s why I finally took The Mom Pledge.

Funny story: about a year ago, I came across a pretty little button on someone’s blog that piqued my interest.

BWS tips buttonI clicked on it and read all about the author’s campaign to end Internet bullying, particularly “mom-on-mom” aggression.

And I thought to myself, “Huh. That’s odd. I’ve never seen anything even remotely redolent of online bullying, particularly by women against other women.”

Then it hit me like a sock full of quarters, “Oh my God…is she talking about ME? I am pretty snarky sometimes. OH SHIT. Am I a cyber bully?”

I immediately emailed the author, Elizabeth Flora Ross, and asked her to please tell me more about it.

Elizabeth kindly explained that she was particularly concerned with:

“women who attack specific individuals…by leaving hateful comments repeatedly on a person’s blog…by writing nasty posts on their own blogs specifically aimed at that individual, and by saying bad things about that person on social media sites. It happens a lot. I see it all the time.”

And I wrote back, “That’s shocking!” and “Oh phew, that’s not me!” and “Thank you for the information!” But I never did anything further about it; never took “The Mom Pledge,” never even gave it another thought.

As many of you know, last week my satirical blog post about Bucket Head and the gum ball machine was viciously attacked by a small and particularly hateful group of anonymous commenters. 

It was eerily reminiscent of a (virtual) home invasion.

They crashed into our little community and verbally assaulted me, my parenting, my children, and even my readers. One of them even wished us bodily harm.

The whole experience was rather unsettling and caused me to feel a wide range of complex emotions.

At first I was like, “Huh?”

confused face

And then I was like, “Oh-Em-Gee.”

Come Bobo, they're being meanies.

 

And then I was all, “Oh no she DI-int!”

You should learn to take a joke...

And now I’m just like, “Ha!”

Got trolled; page views through the roof. Success!

I’m just saying.

So where were we? Oh yes, Internet bullying.

I recognize that publicly sharing this blog puts me in a vulnerable position. It’s like hosting an Open House every day and not knowing who might walk through my door. And perhaps I’m at greater risk than some because of my colorful vocabulary and willingness to “tell all.”

But that doesn’t give anyone the right to disrespect me. Ever. 

This particular pack of attackers chose to check their manners at the door and “crap all over my house.” Not okay.

Many of you who jumped to my defense here and on Twitter, Facebook, and your own beautiful blog posts (here and here) were as stunned as I was. Your support was incredibly comforting to me. Thank you.

Several of you applauded me for ignoring the nastier comments and thus “not feeding the trolls.”

Interestingly, some of these attackers did not take kindly to being called “trolls,” even though their actions were clearly in line with the Urban Dictionary definition of a troll.

Unwelcome, offensive, stupid or abusive commenter on a blog, chat room, user group or BBS.

Silly me, I didn’t even know what an Internet troll was before last week. But now I do, and I feel compelled to officially announce my stance on this issue:

Any questions?

No, I didn’t think so.

It’s really quite simple. No matter what your background, race, religion, age, gender, interests, or politics…just be nice.

Or like I say to the ladies at my church potlucks, if you don’t like what I’m cookin’, don’t fucking eat it. 

Love thy neighbor.

Now, for you citizens of the Internet with your own blogs, I urge you to learn from my mistakes. Take action NOW. Don’t sit back and think “Oh, that will never happen to me.”

It can, and it might. It’s the nature of the Internet.

If I had taken The Mom Pledge a year ago, I would have been more prepared for how to deal with this issue. I would have immediately recognized the difference between a dissenter and a bully. And I would have known my rights and how I should react (by immediately deleting such comments and not giving attackers a platform for their hatred).

I’m proud to say I’ve finally taken the pledge, better late than never, and I encourage you to do the same.

Be prepared. Know your rights. Take the pledge. 

“The internet provides an unprecedented opportunity for women to connect. What we should be doing is celebrating the joys of motherhood together and supporting one another through the challenges. This is the environment we hope to create. Take the Pledge today and join us!  ~ Elizabeth Flora Ross

Together we are strong,

-Iris

© Copyright 2012, The Bearded Iris. Be nice.

 

Pushy Preschool Paparazzi and The Power of Prayer

T’is the season for school parties and pageants. Or as I like to call them, Court Ordered Anger Management Practice Scenarios.

I have things to do, folks. Why must I be forced to change out of my flannel pajayjays and mingle with these people?

For all my complaining, I actually couldn’t wait to see Bucket Head in his little Indian costume at the Preschool Thanksgiving Feast singing the very un-PC songs he’d been practicing for weeks.

I got there early and found my assigned seat at a table full of very busily texting parents.

{Sigh.}

Oh look! Here he comes!

Me: “Hey Bucket Head! Pssssst. Over here! Right here honey! SMILE FOR MOMMY!

Him: “Shhhhhhhhhh”

What a good boy, shushing his loud Mama like that. Check out the ‘fro spilling forth from his headband! He kinda looks like a young Greg Brady when he went through that beaded-curtain-hanging-in-the-groovy-attic-doorway phase, doesn’t he? (Back off, Florence Skankerson. He’s only four.)

I snapped a few more (blurry) pics while the children were silently guided past me toward the “stage” (a bare patch of floor in front of the buffet table). And by the time I turned around to face the kids, it was too late. All the other parents had pounced onto ALL the good spots for photographing their ridiculously adorable offspring.

Oh. My. GOD.

Really? This is my view?

Oh HAYLE no. This is my last baby y’all. I’mma just have to move.

So I bobbed to the left:

Crap. Can’t see my kid.

Let me try the other side…

Seriously?

All I can see is his lone little feather framed by a sea of Stay-at-Home-Ass. This will not do.

Maybe if I just stand up on a chair…

Dammit! He’s in the back row, totally obscured by feathers. Where is the justice?

I still can’t get a clear shot of my kid.

I could feel my temper starting to rise.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. “Do not cause a scene,” I repeated in my head.

Fearing the worst, I began to pray.

“Dear Heavenly Father, have mercy. Please…help me to not lose my shit and embarrass myself or my child!

Oh, and God? If you could find it in your heart to part the crowd like you did for Moses with that whole Red Sea thing and let me get ONE good shot of my kid…I’d really appreciate it. Tell you what, one good shot and I’ll cut back on the cussing. Please God. Help a sister out. Amen.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I now present: the power of prayer…

Fuck.

I guess I should have been more specific, God.

Oh well. Pick a winner, honey.

Two more weeks ’till the Christmas party. I’m going to bring a ladder, a telephoto lens, some pepper spray, and a flask. Wanna come?

-Iris

WTF Wednesday: The Very Special Halloween Hangover Edition

{ding dong}

You open the door.

Here’s what you see:

Witch, Orca Whale, Skeleton, Halloween 2011.

Immediately followed by the sound of my little Bucket Head singing:

“Trick-or-Treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!”

Always a crowd pleaser.

But did you know there is a second verse to this classic holiday greeting?

There is.

It goes like this:

“If you don’t, I don’t care. I’ll pull down your underwear!”

WTF?

Who on earth taught that to my sweet, innocent, cherub-faced four year old son?

Uh, that would be me.

Sorry, neighbors.

In hindsight, bad idea. Apparently, pulling down other people’s underwear without their consent isn’t very socially acceptable nowadays.

But when I was a kid? Shoot. We called that “getting de-pantsed.” It was a classic bully maneuver. Naturally, I rocked at it. Just ask my little brother.

Something else you may have heard if you trick-or-treated on my street was Bucket Head shouting “I AM NOT A SHART.”

Bless his little speech impaired heart.

What he meant was “I am not a SHARK.”

And I totally feel his pain. Really I do.

What the fuck is wrong with grown-ups today?

People, if you don’t know the difference between an orca whale and a shark, you need to spend less time chatting up little trick-or-treaters and more time watching Animal Planet.

We're going to need a bigger boat.

I can’t even tell you how many adults told my Bucket Head, “My, what a scary shark you are!” To which he would always reply that he was not a shark, but an orca whale (duh). As the evening progressed, he became more and more frustrated with having to correct so many people.

And listen, the only thing worse than trying to correct an imbecilic adult who doesn’t know their sea creatures is then being laughed at for your mispronunciation by said imbecile. Thanks a lot, neighbors.

But my biggest WTF Halloween moment occurred when one of my kids received this in their treat bag:

Valentine Candy. To: _______, From: Bridget. On Halloween.

Say it with me, friends:

What…

The…

F!

I know what some of you are thinking. It’s kinda brilliant.

Wrong.

That’s jive. (Says the lady who hands out gently used Happy Meal Toys.)

Even though I’m a huge advocate of being green and frugal, giving out personalized Valentine candy treats on Halloween is just plain shitty. That’s like giving out soy sauce packets and used dryer sheets. Don’t be a douche. These kids are working hard to walk all the way to your door and sing the “smell my feet” song. Eight month old off-holiday candy is a TRICK, not a treat. Save it for the un-costumed teenagers who show up after your porch light is off, not the cute little SHART who still says “gank you.”

And now, to answer all those lingering questions.

Did our house get egged?

No! In fact, I observed The Gatekeeper greet the first few trick-or-treaters and whenever he asked them “Would you like candy or a toy?” they always said “A TOY!!!” So there, doubters. Kids love plastic crap. Told you!

Did I dress up?

Yes indeedy. I did. Well, kinda. A hat/wig, lipstick, tattoo sleeves, and a bracelet count, right?

Semi-Biker Chick with her brood.

Good enough. Or as my stapler-wielding Mama says, “Done is better than perfect.” 

We even returned to our hippie friends’ 2nd annual Halloween Party, where once again, I was the only adult in costume. No, The Gatekeeper didn’t come. He did dress up though…as an Ohio State Fan. Whoop-dee-frickin’-doo. He stayed home and watched football and drank beer while I bravely battled my social-anxieties alone at a dry party. Awesome.

Who did we trick-or-treat with this year? 

We trick-or-treated with Mama Cloud and her kids again and it was delightful, as usual. She and I have similar parenting styles and it’s so refreshing to not have to be the lone bad cop all night shrieking things like “DO YOU HAVE A DEATH WISH? THEN GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE GOD DAMN STREET, Honey.” (Because tacking “Honey” onto any rant makes it not quite so negative, right?)

Did Nature Boy trick-or-treat with his friends and no adult supervision? 

Aw HAYLE NO. He just turned 12. He and his best friend came with me and Mama Cloud and our combined broods. And it was a good thing, too, because he almost peed his pants at the local haunted house…it was that scary. I ended up going through it twice because he was too afraid to come with me and his best friend the first time. Pussy. Kidding. We held hands the whole time, but it was totally dark, so his best friend couldn’t see what a scaredy-cat he was. Too cute.

Was alcohol involved?

What are you, slow? Of course. I had to make up for the withdrawal I was experiencing after the hippie Halloween party.

So that’s that! I hope your Halloween was a happy one too and that you got only treats and no tricks in your goodie bags! And by goodie bags, of course I mean vaginas.

I’m linking up with Sellabit Mum and Fourplusanangel for Boo in the Blogosphere and Nicole at By Word of Mouth Musings because I obviously need to make some new friends.

 

Photobucket
 

with kisses and consensual de-pantsing,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

WTF Wednesday – Parking Lot Pariahs

I’ve tried Wordless Wednesday. Pretty tough gig when your passion is words.

I’ve also tried What I Wore Wednesday. Those may have been my four least favorite blog posts ever.

So rather than continuing to force my stubbly square peg into round, perfectly coiffed holes, I’m making an executive decision to dedicate this Wednesday to something I’m actually good at: shaking my head, raising my hands in despair, and saying WHAT THE FUCK! 

Yes, my friends, it’s officially known as WTF Wednesday. And unlike the word “vajillion,” I did not invent it.

For those of you ESL readers of The Bearded Iris, WTF is an expression people use to succinctly express a combination of utter disbelief and disgust. Mothers of young children are particularly familiar with this feeling, especially upon the discovery of bodily excretions in odd places like walls, ceilings, or door handles.

I probably mutter/sigh/shout/sob this glorious phrase several times each day, so the challenge for me will be to pinpoint and highlight just one mindboggling topic each week.

This week, my most profound WTF experience was a no brainer:

Say it with me, friends: WHAT. THE. FUCK!

I know what you’re thinking: Iris is going to get her ass killed one of these days taking pictures of cars and bad drivers.

Maybe so. But totally worth it. This is precisely the kind of crap that pushes me over the edge. If I don’t do SOMETHING about it, I will most likely explode. And like my husband says, “At least she’s not keying cars anymore.”

I took this shot last week at my daughter’s overcrowded elementary school, where parking is always at a premium. And I’ll have you know this car is nowhere near the entrance to the school, so don’t get all compassionate on me and give this d-bag the benefit of the doubt. Chances are pretty good the driver was not racing to administer an EpiPen to a child in advanced stages of anaphylactic shock.

And I can’t imagine the driver of this vehicle is strategically trying to protect the sides of her Armada by purposely taking up two parking spots. If it was a vintage cherry Mustang, that would be one thing. But a late model Japanese SUV? Don’t think so.

Nope. This is just vehicular inconsideration at its finest.

Was he in *that* much of a hurry to volunteer in little Johnny’s classroom that he couldn’t take 30 extra seconds to straighten out his parking job? If he’s two minutes late will the kids in that class miss their opportunity to make 3-D topographic maps of the state of Georgia out of candy and marshmallow dough? Don’t get me started.

This level of inconsideration is deplorable to me. And in a public parking lot where everyone can see and take pictures and slash your tires? Dumb ass.

And I see it all the time.

Earlier this week at my daughter’s dance school:

Are you effin’ kidding me?

This parking lot is so small and crowded that people regularly have to park up the street and walk across a weedy meadow to get to the school. But this lady is going to prevent an additional car from parking here, in the RAIN? Really? She’s lucky Bucket Head was asleep because I was *this close* to cramming my big ass Mombulance into that spot and swinging open my door over and over and over. Can’t you just hear me: “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry! I couldn’t get out. I guess you didn’t realize it, but there are handicap spots closer to the front door for folks with special needs, bless your heart!”

Twat waffle.

I don’t know who died and made me the head of the Brigade Against Asshole Drivers (BAAD), but what’s done is done. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent about it.

Clearly, dealing with such inconsideration on such a regular basis is enough to cause any decent citizen to hit the crack pipe. But instead of letting these idiots get me down, I’m going to find a more constructive way of managing my stress.

We are in the process of (slowly) remodeling our master bathroom and I wonder if there is a special shower head like this fab little Monoglide that can soothe away my road-rage-induced stress. Perhaps Professor Toilet can help. And if not, maybe I can borrow his sick-ass wrench to leave a little hello-howdy on the next poorly parked car I see.

Just keeping it real, one parking lot at a time,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.
All rights reserved.

Just the Tip Tuesday: Don’t be an asshole.

You know, I don’t do a lot of ranting around here. Well maybe once or twice.

For the most part, when I blog, I try to keep things light and entertaining.

In addition, far be it from me to judge another person’s parenting. Ahem, what’s that they say about people living in glass houses?

But forgive me; I can no longer hold my tongue (or typing fingers). It has come to my attention that some of the parents in my child’s preschool carpool drop off line are assholes.

And not just because of the gigantic hair bows they put on their daughter’s heads. Jeeeeezus.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present exhibit A:

Excuse me, this is not a parade. Sit the fuck down and get buckled, Junior!

This was not just a quick “pop-up and test the wind direction” either. This kid remained in parade-mode for the entire quarter mile length of the carpool line:

"{ack ack ack} The fumes...can't breathe...must...get...air."

If this was an isolated incident, I could probably ignore it and perhaps just say a little prayer for that poor boy and his devil-may-care parents. But alas, I see this crap every single day. And that means every single day I get to tell my sweet little Bucket Head “No, you can’t do it too. Mommy loves you too much to put you in danger like that.”

Mark my words, it’s only a matter of time before he tells some kid on the playground “My Mommy loves me more than your Mommy loves your hillbilly ass.”

"Hang on, Sugar Britches, Daddy's about to make a turn."

Hey you! Ever hear of something called a car seat law? Or are you claiming sanctuary just because you’re in a church parking lot?

"Who me?"

Yes you, Sweet Cheeks. Sit your {ahem} hillbilly ass down before a bird builds a nest in that pie hole.

This next poor kid must not have a sunroof. No matter! He’ll just have to make do:

"Hey Mama! I can see the hubcaps spinning!"

As you can see, these are pretty nice cars. Which just goes to show you, you can’t buy common sense.

I swear, there is some kind of gravitational forcefield that melts parents’ brains the minute they get into the carpool line at this school.

Don’t they realize that about 98% of the parents driving the other cars in this carpool line are texting (or taking photos of your kid doing something dangerous)? If one of us fails to notice you stop short while we are OMGing or LOLing or MFering, your child could have their neck snapped like a twig. Or worse yet, decapitation. Hard to learn the ABCs at preschool without a head, ya know.

Bitch, please. I know that when WE were kids we used to ride in the back of pickup trucks on highways at speeds of 70 MPH, holding a litter of kittens and daddy’s shotgun.

How do you think all these seat belts and car seats and traffic laws evolved in the first place?

And no, it doesn’t matter that the cars in this carpool line are moving at a snail’s pace. Kids can be crippled for life or killed at even 5 miles per hour.

Just ask my pediatrician. The last time I took my kids for their annual physical I asked how old my 90 pound 11 year old son needed to be before he could sit in the front seat and I was read the riot act. “What’s your hurry? I have a friend who let his tween sit in the front seat ONE TIME, just to cross the parking lot of a mall. They were only going 5 mph and got rear ended by another car and the child’s neck was broken by the impact from the airbag. She’ll be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

{GULP.}

So that’s my Just the Tip Tuesday advice for you today, guys. Don’t be an asshole, follow the seatbelt laws. Please keep your kids buckled into their PROPERLY INSTALLED car seats until you get to your destination and it’s time for the kids to get out of the car.

‘Preciate it.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by The Bearded Iris.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. Don’t be an asshole: all rights reserved.

There was a story on the Today show yesterday morning about couples having plastic surgery together.

I think.

I was choking on my All Bran too hard to hear the whole thing.

“The look is natural and appealing to everyone,” says BOTOX® patient Nancy Emmitte of Fort Worth, Texas.

Alrighty then.

Clearly “natural” means different things to different people. Like the people who call MSG “natural flavoring” on the back of the Ramen Noodles bag.

Nancy, you look so familiar to me. I can’t place my finger on it, but you definitely remind me of someone. Hmmm….

Is it this lady?

No… not quite.

How about her:

Kinda…

Oh, I know…

There you are! Hello, you.

I’m often the last one to know these things, but is there a new beauty trend? The higher the eyebrow arch, the closer to God? Why would anyone want to always look so surprised?!

And this look requires needles, people. Needles in the face. Needles filled with live botulism… a toxin that paralyzes your facial muscles so as to flatten out those pesky furrows.

But hey, to each his/her own. Who am I to judge? I have a beard! You say po-TAH-to, I say Pinot Grigio.

But this isn’t just about Nancy. Women have been doing stupid shit to themselves in the name of “beauty” since the beginning of time. What makes this story special is that Nancy’s husband Nick is going with her and having his own BOTOX® injections so he can “keep up with” his wife’s good looks.

Pack your emergency kits, folks. This is surely the beginning of the apocalypse.

“Make me look like I’m not mad,” said Nick right before the Nurse Practitioner jabbed him with a poison filled needle right between the eyes. Youch!

Ironic. I would think dropping $400 every 4-6 months to temporarily paralyze your forehead with injectable toxins would actually make someone feel, and thus look, MORE angry. Maybe Nick wouldn’t have so many deep set wrinkles if he wasn’t blowing his money on “his and her” Frankenfaces.

Not to pick on Nick and Nancy. Their friends are doing enough of that for all of us.

I don’t know what burns my biscuits the most about this: the pandemic of low self esteem or the ridiculous amount of money being spent on something so shallow.

According to Today, Americans spent nearly $10.7 BILLION on procedures in 2010, which was up 9% from the year before. Is there really that much extra money floating around our country? Damn. Can I have some?

“People are trying to look more well rested, younger… trying to get jobs, maintain their jobs, get clients… I think that has a lot to do with it,” speculates Vanessa Sisson, Nurse Practitioner.

I get that. This would be a scary time to be without a job.

But you know what else is scary?…facial paralysis.

Get that toxin injected too deep or too low, and HOLLA… you don’t look well rested or younger. You look like Droopy Dog.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m hiring someone, I’m probably NOT going to pick the guy who looks like he might fall asleep with his face in the soup at our next big client luncheon.

And the idea of couples doing this TOGETHER? This isn’t tennis, or golf, or a wine tasting. This is an elective surgical procedure. 

Gosh, I hope couples who get facial injections together don’t get all hot and horny and leave the doctor’s office all hopped up on the “we’re going to look so hot!” wave. Apparently you’re not supposed to rub the treated area for at least twelve hours after your BOTOX® procedure and you are told not to lie down for three to four hours after treatment or the toxins can spread and effect the wrong things. (According to FaceForum.)

D’ya hear that Nick and Nancy? No rubbing. No lying down. You don’t want your new BOTOX injections to migrate to your eye area and cause blindness! Then you wouldn’t be able to see how hot you both look. 

I just don’t get it. But then again, I don’t get a lot of things…like Planking, or Owling, or butthole bleaching.

We need a revolution. We need brave men and women to take a stand against this ridiculous pressure to look young. And the revolution is going to have to start from within. We have to stop comparing ourselves to the photoshopped or surgically augmented images we see in the media and start accepting and loving ourselves for who we are.

And this needs to happen now. Our children are watching. People are hurting themselves, exposing themselves to ridiculous risks, and in the end, they are looking worse than when they started.

Remember when we were teens and we slathered ourselves in baby oil to get that savage tan (while sneaking our moms’ Virginia Slims). And now we’re all having suspicious moles the size of nickels removed from our backs? (No? Just me?) And here we are decades later buying sunscreen shirts for our kids and putting on hats and sunscreen before we even go outside to get the paper?

Think about that.

What are all these BOTOX-ed people going to look like in 20 years?

image credit http://www.oddee.com

No thank you.

Go look at yourself in the mirror right now and tell yourself, OUT LOUD, three things that you love about yourself. Bonus points if you get nekkid first. Go ahead. Do it. I’ll wait.

YOU. Are. Beautiful.

Now start taking better care of yourself, from the inside out.

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

PS – I have no way of controlling the ad that is going to appear below. If it is an ad for plastic surgery, DO NOT CLICK IT. I beg you. 

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