A Gillmore diversion

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If you asked me to discuss The Gilmore Girls with you eight months ago, I would have had no idea what you were talking about.

My 16-year-old daughter introduced me to the series and it became a mother/daughter thing. So, a few times a week we set aside time to catch up on the seven seasons we missed. (Ok, so we may have missed a few…) We started last spring enjoying lazy afternoons and evenings, watched over the summer when it was too hot to hang out by the pool, spent the early days of fall in front of the fireplace and finished the ‘Revival’ last night, which seemed appropriate given it was based on the seasons.

So, what am I missing? Strong women, strong characters and even good role-models! Now, I understand that characters must evolve based on the author’s interpretation and advancement of the story, but when one of the lead characters, Rory, is given every opportunity possible to a woman coming of age and, in addition, has a mother, Lorelai, who sacrificed all for her daughter, how do you wind up with a thirty-something woman who has no home, no job and finds herself pregnant, which is the closing line of the series? Now, one might ask, why is this important? In the scheme of things, it’s not, but in a private home when you have invested some time with your daughter and have grown to appreciate the discussion it opens up between you and your daughter, it is.

After reading about the writer and learning that, because of contract negotiations in 2006, they stopped writing for this series and it never ended the way she clearly wanted it to (with Rory telling Lorelai she was pregnant) that might have made some sort of sense, given Lorelei’s situation when Rory was in her late teens. At thirty-something, not so much.

So this is what I think, even though no-one asked: the writer remained defiant and this was going to be the ending no matter how many seasons had passed or, given there are no guarantees in life and no-one is guaranteed a job after college, this represents an unfortunate reality of our times. Either way I was disappointed, and it is quite possible that is what the writer wanted.

And, just a side note, sometimes in the ‘Revival’ episodes, it felt like they were trying too hard to prove the series was updated to life as it is today, and less on the characters fully developing – just my opinion.

So, to the writer’s credit, you have given my daughter and me so many things to talk about that we might not have had reason to discuss in a very casual setting. My daughter is strong-minded, as I am, and it is refreshing to be able to get her point of view on the very serious subjects you touched upon without having to face the situations when it’s too late to discuss them.

If I had the opportunity, I would ask the writer to give us another season, for selfish reasons of course, because my daughter is still young enough that maybe a mistake or two can be avoided through discussion.

And, if I had the opportunity, I would thank the writer for the dialogue my daughter and I will forever be able to have in the future when discussing her boyfriends, I can now ask,”so is he a Dean, Jess or a Logan” and know exactly what she is talking about even if she is not with me.

 

Red Sea Glass

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Red Sea Glass

‘No guilt intended, but this may be one of our last family vacations’, that’s what I said to my teenage kids when they came down to the pool the first day of our vacation and said they were bored.

Needless to say, that did not go over very well and probably made it worse.

Given sleeping doesn’t  seem to work that well anymore and we had arrived on the late side,  I decided to leave by 8AM, take a walk to the local store,  pick up some food, specifically breakfast for my children when they woke up and then go down to the pool to hold a table in the shade before they all became occupied so my kids and husband could enjoy their day.

My kids are 13 and 15, so I am only just starting to enjoy the freedom that comes with that!  The idea of going for a walk on a beautiful day with my headset in and listening to my playlist feels like a vacation in itself and clearly I am not alone.  I passed many women who appeared to be doing the same thing I was.  The only problem when you are left to your own devices is that you start to think, and then think some more, so that by the end of the walk, yes, you are calmer but you are also much more focused.

Although I was the one who carried her and gave birth to her 15 1/2 years ago, it only occurred to me during my walk, that there would not be that many more ‘family’ vacations, just the four of us and suddenly I was very sad.

Yes, when you vacation with young children there is a lot of work involved and you try to steal a moment just to enjoy a chapter in a book or a private walk on the beach, just a little alone time.  While enjoying every moment of them growing up you do tend to think it will get easier when they are a little older or soon they will be able to stay alone in the room for a bit so I can run to the store if I need to and yes, it does get easier but there is a price to pay for that only you do not realize that part of it so fast.

The biggest part I miss is the pure excitement you would see when they found out they were going on vacation.  There were no questions asked except when are we leaving.  The smallest things would amuse them and they couldn’t wait to do things, it did not matter what the things were, as long as you did it with them.

Renting the same apartment on the beach as they were growing up was something that they looked forward to.  Something as simple as looking for the biggest ornate cup in the cabinet to play with in a bathtub was an enjoyable game for them. It’s not easy to pack up a family for a vacation but it is so worth it because you knew they would enjoy every minute of it.

Flash forward a few years and it changes.  The words ‘we are going on vacation’ are no longer as welcome as they once were.  Now there are questions attached, who, what, where, when and for how long to start with and of course ‘will there be anyone there I know?’ comes up a lot too.  I started to feel like the family was not enough and if the family is not enough, what else isn’t enough.

So this is what I would say to my children if I weren’t so afraid of saying it wrong:   ‘I understand it is no longer ‘cool’ to take a walk on the beach with your mother and the game of mini golf also loses some excitement if I am the only one you are playing with.                                                                  Even laying next to me at a pool or on the beach may limit your opportunities to meet someone new which is ironic because that is what I most want for you, just to be happy.

What you don’t understand is that I know all of these things.  I know this is your time.  We are raising you and hopefully preparing you for exactly this and the fact that you have the confidence to want to go and do and try means that your father and I must be doing something right.

What you don’t know is that I would do anything to see you smile and know that we as a family can still make memories.

What you don’t know is that while you are still sleeping in the morning, I walk to the beach to try to find the red sea glass you have hunted for.  I fantasize about giving it to you just to see you smile, maybe you would agree to walk with me after that to find some more.

I know how much you love me and your father.  We never doubted that and never will.  But sometimes although you are with me, I miss you.’  That is what I would say to them…….

So, while I appreciate and enjoy the freedom that comes when your children start to grow up, I still want to milk a few more family vacations and I will continue to hunt for the red sea glass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Elective, isn’t it?

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As I walk the track on an early Sunday morning while my son has a soccer practice I consider the decision I have to make and wonder why I have to make it.
Surgery is never easy or anticipated unless it is life saving, but what happens when you have too much time to think, when you don’t have to have it but there are certainly benefits to it..

I haven’t never felt betrayed by my body, that even sounds strange when I read it back.  A 52 year old woman, I lived a clean life, never smoked, not drugs, (in my younger years probably from fear), social drinking, lots of exercise and healthy eating.  I remember my grandfather working out before Jack La Lane made it fashionable.
He would say, when the pressure gets too much, exercise is the answer.  The body has the answers .  I have lived by that, of course there were and are transgressions, but for the most part when other people might reach for a tranquilizer, I went to the gym.  It has never failed me.
It is part of who I am .

So as I walk the track, the decision remains and the fact the the exercise itself can make the medical problem worse, makes me feel like my own body has betrayed me. Don’t misunderstand, I cannot die from this, that is something different that I have experienced as well.  I had thyroid cancer and the surgery was imminent .
I had the luxury of not thinking about it, doesn’t that sound strange?  But what happens when it won’t kill you, just hinder you, what is the bigger risk, living with it or surgery?

Of course we want to get older, the alternative is not one I like to think about, but with age comes experience and fears become very real when you are aware of the dangers, you learn that even the best can make a mistake, that no scenario is perfect and accountability is questionable.

The challenge of shopping for jeans…..

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Shopping for jeans..always a challenge, but if you can manage the right mind set, you do get through it. Me, I have a ritual, most important the kids need to be in school, this is something I need to do alone.
In an ideal scenario I would have worked out before shopping, showered and put on enough makeup that I would want to see the whole picture in a mirror, throw on leggings or sweats with flip flops, much easier to try things on with flip flops, almost like I was making a statement, “if I have to do this, it will be on my terms”.
I prefer shopping for jeans in a mall where there is more than one store to look in, almost like a back up plan. This way when the first pair I try on doesn’t fit right I wont be too concerned, it would be the stores fault for not carrying the ‘quality’ of jeans I am looking for and I would know there are many other stores ahead of me. But before any stores I need my starbucks, I need to have my chai latte’ in my hand as I walk around and take a mental survey of the stores that are worthy of my patronage.
I guess we all know how it goes from here, it is rare to get ‘lucky’ with the first pair and if you actually leave the mall with the perfect pair, that is even rarer, but oh how sweet it is to find the right pair with the perfect fit. The air of confidence when you leave the store is almost glowing.
So, having said all of that, let me tell you about the jeans that actually work but are underrated in my opinion. While my belt has saved many a pair of jeans as well as many outfits, sometimes I find a pair of jeans that do not need my belt and actually fit like they are supposed to. NY & Company ‘bootcut’ jeans do just that!!

http://www.nyandcompany.com/nyco/prod/Pants/Denim/Bootcut-Jean-City-Slim

The waist is not too small that it doesn’t fit over your butt and at the same time it sits very comfortably just below waist, (which is sometimes misleading but in my case it is directly under my belly button). I always find the description confusing as to where your “natural waist” is and to make it even more confusing I do not think the stores use the same guidelines, at least it doesn’t seem like they do. I did not order these on line, I did purchase directly from the store but I love that they are available on line and in my opinion a very reasonable price of $59.95. When I purchased them I was able to use one of the many coupons NY & Company offer which is just an added bonus:)

I am forever searching for the ‘perfect’ pair of jeans, I’ll let you know what I find:))

My biggest critic;

My determination to find a low-profile belt started over two years ago, as I have explained on the History page of the Beltless Belt site. Who would have thought my biggest critic would have been my daughter?

So Hanna is now 13 and she knows almost everything, or so she says. While I was in the process of designing the belt and going through the trial and error stage, she pointed out to me on a regular basis all the reasons this would not work but, in a way, that was a good thing; it just made me more determined to prove her wrong.

At first, she explained to me that this was not the style, that wearing shirts half in, half out was in style now and low-profile belts were not necessary because it was ok to show any belt. I explained to her that that was not the purpose of this belt. She didn’t get it. She than went on to explain to me that if nobody was going to see the belt, what was the purpose of wearing it? So, I went on to explain to her that sometimes even the right pair of jeans, may not fit right in some places and again she didn’t get it.

And the last argument she had, which was a good one, and I quote, went “but mom, I don’t want to hurt your feelings but we can get belts with tiny buckles”, and I explained to her that what she said was exactly the problem: any buckle, no matter how small, would protrude even slightly, And she did what any normal teenager would do; she shook her head, gave me a kiss and walked away.

Up until now, after many months of positive feedback from those who have purchased the belt, other than the occasional look, my daughter has not offered any new criticism, so when she came to talk to me during my workout, the last thing I was thinking about was the belt.
She started by saying; “mommy, I never thought I would ask you this”, my reaction as any mothers would be was an instant headache, “yes dear” was all I could manage, “could I borrow the belt when I go out tonight”?