Tag Archives: Guest Posts

My Life is a Mess

This morning I woke up full of anxiety.

This is not necessarily a new thing…the to do list is always long, and I feel like I can barely reach it past all of the laundry piling up in front of me…or the dog hair that needs to be vacuumed out of the corners…the dishes…the general grossness of cleaning up after children, pets and let’s face it – husbands (at least mine)…

But tomorrow is Easter. And we have family in town. And there is a hole in our living room ceiling that no handyman had time to fix last week. And I never did get much cleaning done over the past few days since SPRING BREAK. And…well, the house is just a mess. I’m kind of a mess. My life is extremely messy and it can feel so overwhelming…discouraging…

Then I remembered something my Dad wrote for me. I needed to read this today. And if you commiserated with my post title, then I’m guessing you do too…

Life As a Reflection of Its Priorities
by Terry Coveny

When I grow up…

I think I would most like to be like my daughter, Kate.

Kate, to me, best reflects the essence of a business conundrum that states your choices include good, fast and cheap. But you can choose only two.

As a mother of three young children, her choices are happy, tidy and timely. She chose happy and timely.

Think of it…something in life always has to be sacrificed. Even the rich have been known to sacrifice cheap.

As I sit in Kate’s living room at Christmas, I consciously stare at the beautifully decorated tree… ignoring the helter skelter chaos that surrounds me. But my ultimate pleasure is reflected in the eyes of my grandchildren who radiate the blessings of being well loved.

The crayon stains on the sofas may seem rather distressing (at least from an Archictectual Digest point of view)… but to me, here is the happiest place on earth.

Thinking back in time to my own immaculately maintained home, I wonder what sense of joie de vivre was sacrificed for the tidy perfection that was achieved. Thankfully, both children maintain only happy memories.

But…I wonder. What if I were as insightful as Kate? Would the happy memories have been happier?

What of your imperfect existence?

Which of your three choices are you sacrificing?

Choose wisely.


I rarely feel like I have time to choose anything. But I guess that’s not really true. Everyone has priorities that influence their choices. And if I choose to let the house – my life – get overwhelmingly messy because I prioritize happy children over the neat and tidy existence I desperately want…well, then I guess I’m doing okay.

IMG_1515This picture was taken of Oliver and me at a neighborhood party well after midnight. I guarantee that there were piles of laundry to be folded and dog hair dust bunnies rolling through every room back at my house… But I have a happily exhausted child passed out on my lap (and yes I know he has one hand down his pants) and I’m holding a glass of wine (and yes I know that I’m wearing a captain’s hat). Don’t mind the mess. We’re all JUST FINE.

Whatever you are celebrating this weekend – I hope it’s the best kind of messy.


Today, I’ve exchanged posts with one of my favorite bloggers, Heidi Cave of Fancy Feet. You can read her favorite post of mine, I Never Thought I’d Wear Sunglasses over on her site, and below you will find my favorite post (or one of them) of hers, Summer.

As a quick intro… When I first started reading Fancy Feet, I thought Heidi was funny and her writing was beautiful. But I was a little confused about what her disability was. She referred to it every once in a while and I knew it had something to do with her feet because of her blog name…but there wasn’t a statement about it anywhere on her sidebar or in her profile at that time. Eventually, she wrote something that clarified the vague allusions for me. She explained that she had been in a horrific car crash that killed her friend and burned her own body to the point that she lost both of her lower legs. Heidi has been writing about this in a novel and she’s posting pieces of it on her Fancy Feet. While Heidi’s story of recovery is inspiring, it’s really her talent inspires me. Her talent and her choice to dream big. To make things happen. She chose the life she has. She made it happen. And she continues to dream for more. If you aren’t already reading her blog, you need to change that NOW! Here is an example of why:


I’m always excited about the first days of summer when sunsets linger and the night becomes an extension of the day. But, the heat, when it reaches its peak, is relentless and exhausting. It sinks beneath my skin and into my bones reminding me of what was.

The slap-slapping of flip-flops, toes curling into the sand, cool water over sun-drenched skin…the sounds and sighs of summer. I miss them.

When the summer unleashes its full force on us it takes my breath away with its memories. After all this time I’m still sucker-punched-in-the-gut-I-can’t-believe-I’ll-never-know-this-again, the scars too great to see too much sunlight; my legs encased in silicone, plastic and metal. The sun became my enemy, no longer something I  ran toward and bathed in. Summer was my favorite season filled with hours at the lake; reading until the words blurred together, adjusting my bathing suit straps for minimal tan lines. My year began in the fall, not in January. Summer was my chance to shed the worries and mistakes of the past year, and live carefree for a few months until I got to start over.

In the wake of June 12, 1998 the summer was cruel to me, a joke. I couldn’t do what I wanted. I couldn’t wear what I desired to wear. It was unbearable to see girls my age, toes wiggling, skin exposed, hair flipping, and complaining about the heat. God, I wanted what they had. I ached to have a toenail painted, to know smooth skin again. If I could just feel the stones under my feet as I waded through the lake one more time.

Today, you couldn’t pick me out in a crowd. I might be more covered up than some. I look as though I’m sun-conscious, worried about overexposure. Everybody’s concerned about the sun’s harmful rays now. You might notice my arms are scarred or that I have a small scar that curves around the right side of my chin, but you wouldn’t think I was too out of the ordinary. I’m not wallowing, shoulders hunched. There is little sign of loss. I’m at the park or the beach herding my kids like every other parent out there, telling them to stop that or shouting good job as they swing from wrung to wrung on the monkey bars. I’m dressed for work, in line at Starbucks picking up my coffee. I’m having a raspberry margarita with friends or shopping, gasping at some cute top.

I want to rush through the summer. I want to sprint ahead and get it over with. To get to my beloved fall, my favorite season by default. But, I need to give summer its due. The season of my rebirth. One beautiful summer evening my life ended as I knew it and another began. I was not stripped of my will. Nobody claimed my soul. It was still my life to do with as I wished. I fought for what was mine. The summer may be bittersweet, but I’m here. I’m rich in choices and family, alive with the knowledge of many summers ahead of me. And I can take the heat, relentless in strength and memories, if I’ve got that.

A Guest Post and Links AND Happy Halloween!

On Saturday, Varda of The Squashed Bologna (a.k.a. @squashedmom) asked me to contribute to her Special Needs Siblings Saturday (SNSS) feature. This was more than an honor, and let me tell you – if you ever do guest post for Varda, she will make you feel like a celebrity in her introduction. Talk about VIP treatment!

Please come visit me there and leave a comment so she knows I have friends. And click on the button below to see more SNSS posts.


Thanks so much Varda!

I also found a number of links to share this week. Hope you enjoy them:

In Support of Anna! (Have you written something? Let me know.)
Utilizing the Power of Social Media
Tweet for Margaret
For Jack: Will You Help Us #LiftMargaret? (Also on Chicago Now)
Online Community Rallies for a Girl Who Lost Brother

So I’m not the only one who thinks being sick in bed sounds kind of great…
Silence of the Lambs masks for kids!
We all have different parenting styles – so why sweat (judge) the small stuff?
Too funny: “faking anger” with your kids to make a point (and yes – I totally do this)
Feeling sentimental about mess – I should try this…
A great reminder to be as intrusive as you want about what your kids are doing online.
Want to feature a home project or decor job? Tips for taking better room “interiors” pictures for your blog.

FINALLY – it’s Halloween today. And in spite of Saturday’s snow and the current toe-numbing temperature outside, we are very excited!

Have a fabulous night of fake gore and Disney princesses!

(Want to comment? Click the cake in the top left corner of this post – or just click HERE.)

Crazy, I’m Crazy for Feeling So Lonely…

I’m away this week on a family vacation in CA/AZ, so I asked a few friends to send me guest posts. Some are new and some are golden oldies, but all are as fantastic as the women who wrote them.

Today, Jessica from Bern This shares one of her infamous vlogs (in fact – it’s one of my favorites). If you’ve never seen it before, enjoy! If you remember it well…watch it again because it gets funnier every time.

Welcome Jessica!

Thanks to all of my guests this week. I loved reading (and re-reading…and watching?) all of your posts!

The Cheese Stands Alone

I’m away this week on a family vacation in CA/AZ, so I asked a few friends to send me guest posts. Some are new and some are golden oldies, but all are as fantastic as the women who wrote them.

Today, Gwen from Not Really joins us with her musings about being an expat wife. I’m really excited to have Gwen writing even a laundry list on my blog since she’s kind of brilliant. Her writing simultaneously makes me think, “oh my god – I really suck at this…” and “please write a novel, already!” She’s also got a fascinating life story to tell – which she does in jewel toned bits and pieces on Not Really. If you aren’t familiar with her site, you should definitely check it out. Like today. But maybe read this first. Since she went to the trouble to send it, you know…

Welcome Gwen!

“I bet the hookers here in Central Switzerland make a killing in the summer, when all the expat wives and kids are gone,” I laugh to my friend on the phone.

We’re ostensibly talking about my life in Zurich. I moved here in January, from Chicago. I grew up in Indonesia, however, so being a stranger in a strange land is less foreign for me than it is for others. But our conversation is really more about the compromises one makes in a marriage. Don’t frown. You know we all make them, everyone flawed, everyone in need of extra helpings of grace. Compromise is not the same as settling, not even close.

“See, I imagine that expat women have to keep themselves hot. Isn’t that the deal you make with your rich husband? He makes lots of money and you stay attractive?” my friend muses.

“Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t have a rich husband,” I answer. “But anyway, I don’t think so, although the expats I encounter do seem to be empirically better looking on average than what I’m used to in America,” It’s true. Or it seems true, which is more or less the same thing. Make of that what you will–the connection between physical attractiveness and financial success. I have already drawn my own conclusions.

“No,” I continue. “What the expat husband wants more than anything is for his wife to be able to deal. He brings you to cool countries, and you manage emotionally. That’s the compromise you make: you get to live overseas and you get to suck it up.”

It’s a shadowy side of living abroad as the spouse of someone with the kind of job that allows you to live abroad and send your children to an international school. Your husband works his ass off. He is stressed. He has enormous amounts of responsibility. He probably travels all the time. All the time. Traveling all the time is draining in ways you can’t anticipate. He doesn’t intend to be absent from the daily drudgery, from all the negotiating required to create a life in a foreign country, in another language, but he is. And he needs you, his partner, to manage.

It’s the same everywhere, I suppose, when one spouse has a job that requires enormous amounts of attention and time away from home and the other one doesn’t. Except that it isn’t.

This expat thing is tricky on so many levels that are difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t been through it. The problem of language is enormous. You’re always working twice as hard to figure out what’s going on, and it gets exhausting. You receive official correspondence from who knows where and these missives look scary and important, but you can’t immediately work out what they say. Am I doing something wrong? Are they going to fine me? arrest me? throw me out? The language barrier creates a sense that you’re no longer competent. Sometimes it’s the little things–where do I have my kids’ birthday parties? buy bleach? find black beans? How do I get a functional dryer?

And sometimes it’s big–there’s a persistent nagging worry that you can manage as long as nothing goes really, truly wrong, but if someone gets sick? or has an accident? then what? You know people, sure, but you don’t know people. You are not part of a village and your community is scattered among mountains and the mom you chat up in the school playground isn’t necessarily the one you’re going to call in an emergency. You can’t let too much out, anyway. Not because you don’t trust the new friends you’ve made. You do. You have to. But you know that if you let a little slip, the weight of it all, absent that lever, will avalanche and crush you. So you joke with the Australian mum who arrived at the same time you did about crying yourself to sleep at night which is a half truth that conveys just enough. It forms a tenuous link. Later, when the two of you are sharing a bottle of wine and some bruschetta, you widen that bridge, strengthen it. Then you can express clearly how hard it is sometimes. How alone you feel. How off-balance.

Balance. That’s the key. Because you can’t live by pretending the difficult stuff doesn’t matter, isn’t there. But you also can’t get so buried in sorrow, you forget the good all around you. And you have to be able to function and parent and survive all on your own, like a big girl. But you can’t get so competent that you stop needing your spouse all together. And that, perhaps, is the toughest part. To be strong without getting hard.

“My friends in the United States. They just don’t get it,” I lament to one of my closest friends here. “They can’t get it. I wonder if they even try sometimes, since they never ask me about my life, what it’s like, what I’m struggling with. It’s all just: ‘You’re so lucky! Your life is so awesome!’ And then I feel like such an asshole for wanting to vent.”

She’s been at this 4 years longer than I have, knows so much more about being a grown up abroad. “I know,” she soothes. “But we are lucky. Our lives are awesome.”

The fingers of my memory sort through my folder of photos as she says this. I see the places we’ve visited already in our 5 months here–Florence, the south of Spain, Paris, Lake Lugano. I remember the experiences we’ve already had–lake cruises and cow fighting and zip lining on mountains.

“I know!” I laugh. I sigh, conceding the difficult point. “I know.”

We both laugh again, this time together.

Gwen – I imagine that I’d have a similar experience if put in the same situation…but your life really is awesome. Lucky bitch. Seriously though – I loved this. Thank you.

Dear Human Resources Representative

I’m away this week on a family vacation in CA/AZ, so I asked a few friends to send me guest posts. Some are new and some are golden oldies, but all are as fantastic as the women who wrote them.

Today, Ann from Ann’s Rants submits a formal letter of complaint. Ann is one of the funniest bloggers I read and I think she’s writing a book… Well if she isn’t, she should. In the meantime, we’ll just have to settle for her fabulous blog.

Welcome Ann!

*Ann Imig’s piece “Dear Human Resources Representative” was featured on humorpress.com. in 2009. She wants you to know that the situation has NOT improved significantly.

Dear H.R Guy,

I need to schedule another HR consultation. The situation grows increasingly dire with each passing day.

I’m referring to inappropriate language, touching, and even nudity. I’m referring to blatant insubordination, and untenable working conditions. As per your earlier instructions, I began documenting the offenses. Yet, as quickly as I administer warnings, new more egregious offenses occur. Our new found springtime weather—allowing for open doors and windows—only exacerbates the humiliation I endure.

Take a look at this incriminating evidence:

INDECENT EXPOSURE: 9am Two-Year-Old disrobed completely, diaper-flung in my general direction, and ran out the back door to “run da-round da-naked.”

SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS: Naked Two-Year-Old flaunts his miniature body, running around the backyard with crayon in hand, “fixing” things and screaming to our neighbors “I like to screw! I screwing, Mommy!”

INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING: Bath-time toes-in-butts situation completely out of control, as is inappropriate peeing-in-bath behavior demonstrated by both Two and Five-Year-Old. My “ucky pee pee water” warnings go completely unheeded, and may in fact have the undesired effect of increasing washcloth-in-mouth ingestions levels.

Frequent random poking and grabbing of “Mommy’s Butt” (and butt refers to a highly generalized area) should be noted.

VANDALISM is rampant around the toilet area as a result of pee tagging. When confronted, Five-Year-Old offers a weak explanation that “this happens if you close your eyes while peeing” And Two-Year-Old’s defense? He wants to stand and deliver, without handling the goods. So to speak.

Before I go on, I should share that your web seminar “Poop Talk: When Defecation Is The Conversation” proved effective. I highly recommend it to your other clients. We established dinnertime as a “Poop-Talk-Free (PTF) Zone,” and that five minutes of our day remains blissfully PTF! I, however, still suffer symptoms of PTD (Poop Talk Disorder) as is apparent when I unselfconsciously discuss poop consistency in mixed company, and occasionally yell ‘POOPYHEAD’ in a fit of rage. I’m working on it.

INSUBOORDINATION: As much as 1-2-3 Magic (also known as One-Two-Fwee Magic) seems perceptibly magical, when taunted with counting from my child-subordinates it creates a hostile environment. Or makes me laugh, rendering the whole process completely ineffective.

HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT: Lastly, Two-Year-Old now employs a torture tactic long-banned under the Geneva Convention—REPETITIVE RAFFI. “Willabee Wallabee Woo” is directly responsible for a substantial increase in insurance copays, as I now require weekly therapy. When coupled with nap-avoidance, REPETITIVE RAFFI creates a cruel and unusual workplace.

Please advise before your earliest convenience. And bring back-up.



Thanks Ann! I feel much better knowing my children are not alone in their ongoing struggle with public exposure disorder. Currently looking into starting a parent support group – I’ll add you to my distribution list.

Destination on the Side

I’m away this week on a family vacation in CA/AZ, so I asked a few friends to send me guest posts. Some are new and some are golden oldies, but all are as fantastic as the women who wrote them.

Today, Heidi from Fancy Feet has honored us with a new post that utterly charmed me as pretty much everything she writes does. She’s currently working on a book about her experience as a burn victim/amputee and has been posting the most incredible pieces of the story on Fancy Feet. Heidi is one of those rare individuals who infuses everything she touches with hope, humor and courage – and I’ll be damned if I don’t get to meet her in person one day!

Welcome Heidi!

I was at my four year old son’s preschool graduation a few days ago. Little girls and boys in costumes showed off their dramatic skills they had been learning for the month of June, projecting their voices and gesturing with their hands, playing their assigned roles. Later the preschoolers walked single file in their caps with tassels to return to the stage to sing us a few songs. While they made their way to their spots a teacher read out what each child wanted to be when they grew up. Parents and grandparents that made up most of the audience laughed and clapped as potential firefighters, teachers, and doctors, who won by a landslide, filed onto the stage. There were a few lone career choices out there. My son, Benjamin, was the only one that wanted to be a spy when he grew up, but I think my favorite was one four year old boy who very much wanted to be a Person when he arrived at adulthood.

It was cute and refreshing all at once. How does one grow up to be a Person? I know it doesn’t pay much or, okay, at all. It’s no doctor. But what makes up a successful Person? I guess it hinges on how we define success.

We are survivors, sculptors, and navigators in our lives. We create, explore, define what matters to us, fail and rise again. We’re storytellers. We share, eager to talk, to make others a part of our stories, our lives. We listen. We impact our families, our communities as they in turn impact us. We do this daily. We do it over and over again. We do it without thinking we’re so used to living life this way and, yet, it’s no small feat.

We’re often ‘woken up’ to what’s going wrong with our lives. On almost every talk show, in thousands of magazine articles we’re blasted with how lacking we are. But, lately, I’ve been asking what’s going right, what is good? I’ve heard it said life is about the journey, not the destination. I have wanted so badly at times for that statement to be false. To scream, “It is about the destination! Screw the journey.” But, as I’ve discovered repeatedly, life is more about the journey with some destination on the side. The pitfalls we learn to avoid and victories we claim, the small sighing moments where we come to a conclusion or reach a part of ourselves that we thought we lost long ago. The storytelling. These moments, both small and monumental make up our lives. And they’re significant. They matter. I don’t always know where I’m going but I have learned where I’ve come from and I know who I am here and now. That has to count for something. Something big.

We have choices at our feet and years of experience on our side. We get to be travelers in our lives. Successful travelers. Persons who leave their mark reaching multiple destinations along our way. Some journeys are great and winding and long. Others are shorter and steeper. And we keep moving, we keep going. Because we can. Because of the hope of what may be.

Thanks Heidi! I love this image of us all being travelers in life…let’s check our itineraries so we can meet up along the way and compare passports.

Party Pooper

I’m away this week on a family vacation in CA/AZ, so I asked a few friends to send me guest posts. Some are new and some are golden oldies, but all are as fantastic as the women who wrote them.

Today, Jill from Scary Mommy tells us about her love/hate relationship with birthday parties (you may remember this one from last year). Jill isn’t afraid to show her scary side when it comes to motherhood, and she does it with a rare combination of grace and humor.

Welcome Jill!

You should know that I love birthdays. Truly. I love the never-ending countdown until the big day. I love to spoil my children rotten, waking them up with pancakes and balloons and making them feel like it’s the best day of the year. I love buying them gifts, wrapping them and hiding them, eagerly anticipating their reactions. It’s so much fun. Having said that, I’m not a big fan of birthday parties. As a host I find them draining, expensive and stressful. As a guest they rank pretty low on my list of what I’d like to be doing on a Saturday afternoon, slightly above a trip to the pediatrician and several notches below spending a rainy day at home.

For Lily’s third birthday, I handmade every stupid invitation from scratch, slaving over them for weeks. I cut, I printed, I drew, I glued, I tied. It was work. And they were good. A few days later she found a cheap Cinderella fill-in-the-blank in her cubby and asked why she didn’t get to have the beautiful princess invitation too? It was so much nicer that what she had. Lovely. Her most recent party was a joint effort during which I learned that I am way to much of a control freak to ever plan a party with anyone again. Ever.

When one of the kids get invited to a party, it’s rubbed mercilessly in the others face for weeks. Once the big day comes, the cheap trinkets the attendee brings home are suddenly the most desirable toys in the house. The fights over them can last for days. Balloons inevitably end up in the ceiling fan and the sugar crashes far outweigh the high that preceded them.

And what about the blowing out of the candles? I think this is the oddest of traditions. When else is it considered acceptable for a kids to spit all over communal food? After I’ve survived the pure chaos of a party, your kid needs to spit all over the cake that mine is about to consume? And then take another deep gasp and do it again? And again? How difficult is it to blow out five candles in one breath? And this is after the icing has inevitably been taste tested by a slew of grimy pre-school fingers. Yuck.

Am I the the only one gagging over spit on cake, or do I have some company here? Or have I just forever ruined birthdays for the rest of you?

Thanks for dropping by Jill…and for ruining birthday cake for me. You’re the best!

Guest Post: "Virtually a Nice Person" by Debbie from Suburb Sanity

My last guest blogger for my Summer Hiatus week is Debbie from Suburb Sanity. My immediate connection to Debbie is obvious – we both have twins. Of course mine are 15+ years younger than hers, but that’s all the better since it assures me that the toddler years do eventually come to a close. “Yes Virginia, there is an end to potty training.”

Of course she’d also be the first to say, “this is easy – just wait until they’re teenagers…” Thanks Debbie. You’re the best.

If you aren’t familiar with Suburb Sanity, I should mention that she is actually a mother of four, ranging in ages from 12 to 18 (the twins are 18). But she’s so much more than a mommy blogger. Sure – she’ll write about her kids sometimes, but more often than not, she chooses to write about whatever happens to be on her mind at the moment. Such as the ridiculous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue editorial and her spot on “counterpoint.” Now this is a mommy blogger I can relate to! And aspire to.

Welcome Debbie!

Virtually a Nice Person

When I received an email from Kate asking if I would be a guest blogger for her this week, I was immediately honored and thrilled.

Which, the more I thought about it, the odder it seemed.

Allow me to explain.

I have been honored by several bloggers to have been asked to guest post for them. Each and every time I have felt unworthy. I have anguished over the post. I spent much more time thinking about it and laboring over it than I ever do a post on my own blog. If the blogger is popular, I worry no one will read my post. If she is an author, I sweat bullets over my grammar and punctuation. Each time, I feel inadequate and nervous. Yet, I’m thrilled to be asked.

Is there a correlation in my real life, I wondered. No. Absolutely not.

If my phone rang and a friend, even a good friend, said, “Debbie. I need a week off. Will you come over to my house next Wednesday and do what I do all day so my family won’t notice I’m not around?”, I would laugh in her ear and hang up.

How about if someone said to me that a holiday was coming up and she wanted to have some people come over and present different ways they would decorate her house. Might I be willing to do that? Heck no. I don’t even manage to get my own house done.

Or if a friend asked me to fill in for a volunteer job she regularly did so she could go on vacation. Am I a nice enough person to do that? You know I’m not.

If someone called me and told me that a friend of hers had a husband who had been laid off. She knew I didn’t know these people but would I call and leave a message on their answering machine telling them how sorry I was to hear about their misfortune? Would I do that? No. I’d feel weird doing that to someone I didn’t know.

Yet, I spend hours popping all over the internet leaving messages for people I don’t know, thinking up new ideas for them, helping them out.

I’m fascinated by my epiphany. I’m happy to help out a blogging friend I’ve never met in real life. I agonize over whether I will do a worthy job. Will she still like me after I post? Will anyone read it?

Maybe you blogging people need to ask me to come clean your house or help raise your kids. Apparently, I’m a nice person – virtually.

Guest Post: "Age" by Chris from Csquaredplus3

I met today’s Summer Hiatus guest through AllMediocre.com. Chris lives in Utah, has three boys and the flattest stomach I’ve ever seen on a mom (don’t hate her – she earns it by working out daily). Her blog is called Csquaredplus3 because she and her husband are both named Chris (and of course – the three sons).

When I first started reading Csquaredplus3, I was immediately struck by Chris’ ability to mix both funny and sad, joyous and poignant, irreverent and serious. I truly enjoy her writing regardless of topic. Two recent posts that I loved are Secret Lovers (a title she regrets since everyone who reads it instantly gets the old 80s song stuck in their head) and The Damn Scam.

More often than not, I find myself nodding as I read Chris’ blog and saying, “me too!” And her guest post doesn’t disappoint.

Welcome Chris!


As a child, my parents socialized with their friends, not the parents of my friends. I remember meeting kids when Mom and Dad took us to an adult get-together where the invitation was extended to the children too. My parents eased our anxiety about the unknown [who will we play with?] with promises of, “There will be kids your age. You’ll have fun.”

Sometimes there were kids our age, sometimes not. While parents had cocktails, played bridge, and visited, the kids resided in the “kids area” and awkwardly introduced ourselves, asking… “How old are you?”

Grade level and school attended were also of interest. God forbid someone’s age betrayed a grade level. Some rude kid [usually my brother Mallory/Joe] would inevitably ask, “Did you flunk, or get held back?”

I think our fascination with age never leaves us. In college I dated a boy I met in an Economics class. I assumed he was my age. On our date he told me he was 23. I was 20. He might as well have been 64. He seemed too old to be living in the dorms taking sophomore-level college courses. I chose not to date him again. [He also giggled like a girl. I couldn’t get beyond that.]

As an adult, I’m frequently asking Chris and my friends, How old do you think he/she is? How old are they? Are they our age? When I visit a new blog I’m disappointed when the blogger doesn’t reveal their age on the “About Me” page. If an age isn’t revealed, I satisfy my curiosity by searching for facts and photos that might give me an indication of the person’s age. Oh, she has a 19-year-old son and celebrated her 22nd anniversary. She’s got to be about my age… Oooh, this is a young one. Not married, he knows an awful lot about 90s kid shows. I’m thinkin’ early 20s… Look at her skin! And that chest! She’s not a day over 30 and she’s obviously never nursed a baby, or if she has, she’s had a little work…

As I’ve gotten a bit older, I’ve learned that age can explain much about someone’s interests, views and priorities, but at the same time I’ve learned I can’t generalize as much as I once did. Age continues to fascinate me – I love to know a person’s age. I wish we all wore a number on our shirt, like Lavern’s “L” on Laverne and Shirley that reveals our age. I’d like that.

A couple of days ago, Toddler Child was sitting in his highchair and he said, “How old are you Mom? Are you six or nine?”

I said, “How old do you think I am?”


I’m 42 years old. How old are you?