Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It should be particularly happy for Tiffiny Duke, winner of the the Sound Asleep Comfort Pillow Giveaway. (That is, if she responds to my email. Waiting....) I know, I know. The rest of you are TOTALLY bummed. Hang in there. You still get my infinite wisdom and undying love. And I appreciated all of your song suggestions, too. I was introduced to some pretty cool artists. Thanks!
Today my mind is totally focused on preparing for Turkey Day so this is going to be a slap dash sort of post. I figured the easiest, most holiday appropriate thing to do would be to a few things for which I’m thankful. I won’t bore you with the whole ‘loving family, great friends, good health’ mumbo jumbo. Not that they aren’t at the top of the list, they’re just at the top of every mom’s list. Bor-ing.
So here are a few more personal ones….
I am thankful for bacon, Lindt chocolate truffles, and Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. I am also thankful for Fruit Punch Crystal Light, without which I could not eat my bacon, truffles and PBCC.
I am thankful for Spanx and slimming black clothes. A girl can’t drink diet fruit punch all the time, you know.
I am thankful for sunshine.
I am thankful my youngest son still thinks I am cool….Wait. Hold on a sec…I have just been informed that my youngest son no longer thinks I’m cool. (sigh)
I am thankful that Conan O’Brien is finally back on the air. I love that over-grown leprechaun. I am also thankful for my DVR, as two of my other favorite shows -- ‘The Colbert Report’ and one I refuse to name because it’s slightly raunchy and might tarnish my image -- are on during the same time. What madness!
I am thankful for vitamins, so when my husband is gone and I only have the strength to serve tater tots and pizza rolls, I at least know my kids are getting their daily B12 requirement.
I am thankful for books. Short and silly or monstrosities filled with meaning, Calgon’s got nothing on them when it comes to taking me away. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a look below. File under 'need to know pop culture for mom's generation.')
I am thankful I live where I do, in the time that I do. I often wonder how different my view of the world would be if I lived in Yemen, or even America before the feminist movement. I don’t think many girls fully understand the struggles women had in the not-so-distant past. I know I don’t fully understand how brutal it is in some parts of the world right now, regardless of your age or sex. I’m lucky to be where I am and I know it.
I am thankful for all of you. Seriously. Group hug!
Anyway, I’m sure I’ve got more rattling around in my brain, but I’m out of time so I’m turning it over to you. Tell me, beside the standard answers, what are some of the things for which you are thankful? Inquiring minds want to know!
Thanksgiving cat and dog photo link
A post from a fellow blogger mom recently rocked the internet. She wrote about how her pre-school son wanted to be Daphne from ‘Scooby Doo’ for Halloween. The boy loved the cartoon show so she let him. No big deal, right?Wrong. To a few other moms it was a big deal. How could she allow her son to dress up like a girl? People might think he’s gay. My God! He might even be gay. Oh, the humanity.... Anyway, the woman stuck to her guns and told the others to back off. For that I applaud her. Yay!I had a similar incident with one of my sons when he’d just turned seven. He loved Build-A-Bear Workshop and would save every penny of his $1 per week allowance just to buy a new furry pal. One day, after months of vigorous saving, he announced he was ready for his next Build-A-Bear purchase. He’d saved extra money to buy something really special, something he’d dreamed about. He didn't want to tell me beforehand. He wanted it to be a surprise.It was.
Yep. My son made a koala bear bride.
“Now my tuxedo bear has a wife!” he exclaimed. “They’ll be happy and in love forever!”
Awww, what a sweet boy. Did we get a few looks in the shop? You bet. Did I have to prep my husband and other kids before they saw it? Yep. Did I question my son’s sexuality? Ha ha ha …
No, I didn’t fly into an oh-my-god-he’s-gay fit. The kid was seven. He still thought The Wiggles were cool. But it prompted me to wonder what it would be like if one of my children did end up gay. How would life be different for them? How would they fare?
I’d be lying if I said I’m not a little worried about the issue. Not that I care whether or not one of them is gay. They are who they are and I’ll love them regardless. Plus there are a lot of super cool gay folks out there. Just watch TV. There’s Ellen DeGeneres (funny), Jane Lynch (funnier), and Squidward (hilarious), as well as knowledgeable experts like Anderson Cooper (news), Suze Orman (finance), and Tim Gunn (making it work). It’s just that being gay can be so, well, hard.
I know that for most it gets easier after teendom, but when I look at all the stories on the news lately -- the bullying, the suicides -- it breaks my heart. I can’t imagine the pain and torture those kids went through, the pain other kids are going through right now. When I was a teen, I felt so lonely at times. No one understood me. I struggled to fit in. If you saw me walking down the halls you’d have never guessed I felt that way. I kept it all inside. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do, keep it inside?
And I was ‘normal.’ I can only imagine how hard it would be to go around worried people might discover who I am and not like it, to live in a society rife with messages saying how I felt inside was wrong. I worry about how difficult it would be knowing there were people in the world ready to ostracize or hurt me simply because I was different.
It’s hard to admit this, but I don’t want that for my children. Having straight kids would sure protect them and me from whole lot of pain. Do I sound selfish and ignorant? Because I feel selfish and ignorant. I know our society has come a long way in its acceptance and understanding of others, but it has such a long way to go. It scares me. My love alone cannot protect my children. I want them to be happy. I want them to be safe.
But I want them to be themselves, too. Being gay isn’t a problem. Living in a world that doesn’t fully accept gay people is.
So let me make an open statement to my kids right now: If you’re gay, don’t feel you have to hide it from me. I love you just the way you are. If other people don’t like you because of it, screw ‘em. They’re missing out on one great kid, plus there are plenty of folks out there who could care less how you slice your sandwich. Hang in there, stay strong, and know I’ll always be your soft place to land…. Now go take out the garbage. You heard me. Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you don’t have chores. Sheesh!
Anyway, that’s how I see it. How about you?
US Gets the Pillow, Canada Gets the Love
Halloween has passed. Today is Veteran's Day (Thanks to all who served!) and Thanksgiving is coming soon. That can only mean one thing: It’s time to start holiday shopping.
I know, I know. I’m a little behind. Target put their Christmas stuff out weeks ago. It was such a joy sifting through all the ornaments and garland as I looked for an Iron Man Halloween costume for my son. Good times.
I’m not sure how it is for you, but for me finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list is stressful. It can also be costly. That’s why I decided to hold my first official -- make that non-official, for all you lawyers out there -- giveaway.
That’s right, folks. This is your chance to get something for free. What’s the super cool item? A Sound Asleep Comfort Pillow!
(cue the announcer)
The Sound Asleep® Comfort Pillow features built-in speakers that can connect to any audio source including iPods, mp3 players, radios and TVs. It's a fun combination of comfort and sound without headphones so you can easily drift off to sleep while enjoying your favorite music. Plus, while it relieves your stress and tension, it won't disturb others. 100% cotton with an all-polyester fill and 180 thread count. Measures 20" x 26". Spot clean. Retail: $29.99. Not $30.00, but $29.99.
Give it as a gift, keep it as a keepsake. Your choice. All you need to do is leave a comment under this post with the song and/or artist you most like to listen to while nodding off to sleep. From there, your name will be written on 3’’x5” orange index card, thrown into a kiddie pool with the others, then a rabid squirrel with an overbite will dive in and select one. You’ve got through Sunday, November 21, 2010. I’ll announce the winner the following Thursday. Only one comment will be counted per person. Spammers will be burned at the stake. There are no age or gender restrictions, but there is one stipulation….
(cue the violin)
The pillow can only be shipped to a U.S. address. If you live in another country, that doesn’t mean you can’t win, it just means you need to send it to someone in the States. (Remember the ‘give it as a gift’ idea?) Yes, I know. This kills me, too, but selling a kidney to pay shipping costs to Taipei is not an option. So if you live outside the US, I deeply apologize. If you live in Canada? Well…
(WARNING! If you do not live in Canada, stop reading now. Continuing may result in hurt feelings and/or crying in your wish-it-were-a-Sound-Asleep- Comfort pillow.)
…my heart goes out further. That’s right, ‘Oh Canada,’ country where close to one-third of my readership lives. I can’t send you a pillow, but I can send you this:
I love you, dear Canada. I love you for your mounted police, as well as your mighty moose. I love your beautiful bi-colored flag featuring a maple leaf (an oak leaf would have been so lame) as obvious tribute to your awesome maple syrup. I also love your Canadian bacon, which I affectionately call ‘ham,’ even though it is nothing like the vastly superior American bacon for which I have an unhealthy, but sincere, addiction. Your hockey playing is unparalleled (work with me, Chicago Blackhawks fans), your healthcare is free, plus you have the way cooler side of Niagara Falls. Having one national language instead of two? How chic and avant garde! A country like yours is too fantastic for just one. As for your famous citizens (Justin Bieber and Captain Canuck), as well as the more trivially known (Scott Abbott and the late Chris Haney, co-creators of Trivial Pursuit), they are, quite simply, a cut above the rest. Due to my sincere devotion to you and your people, I won’t even insert a Celine Dion joke here despite my wicked desire to do so.
So thank you, Canada. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued readership and awesome taste in blogs.
Okay, if you are from one of the other 53 countries that also read me and you were masochistic enough to read the above, please know I love you, too. Seriously. I wouldn’t be here without you….or rather, I would, but a lot less people would be listening to me and I would be sad, very sad.
That’s right. It's all about me, folks. J
So with all that being said, sweet dreams and good luck. Now it’s time for comments….
P.S. If you think I'm doing this for an ulterior motive (collecting email addresses to sell, etc.) you don't know me very well. I'm just not that sophisticated or motivated. I even keep the 'login or sign up' comment feature de-activated so I don't have to deal with it. You just type in the info and go. This is risk-free fun, folks. What's stopping you?
One of my favorite things about teenagers is how open they are with their feelings. They tell everybody everything, from their secret crushes to how worried they are about that photo that was taken last weekend by one of their friends…. Why continue? You know I’m joking.Sharing how you feel can be really hard, especially when you’re a teen. I remember feeling a sort of disconnect with people a lot of times, particularly those close to me. Thus my topic for today.You’ll have to bear with me, because the name of the book I’m about to share sounds totally lame. It’s called, ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. Actually, there are quite a few of them out there, ranging from ‘The Five Love Languages of Children’ to ‘The Five Love Languages of the Sumatran Orangutan.’ All right, the last one’s a lie. Still, the books are fascinating.They talk about the five different ways people like to be loved. (Note: I know talking about love isn’t easy for a lot of teens, so from here on out I’m going to swap out that word and use ‘appreciation.’)
Different people feel ‘appreciated’ different ways. If you can figure out what type of person someone is, you can figure out how to best show them appreciation. They can do the same for you. Here's a brief description of each type:
Words of Affirmation - People who fall into this category feel most appreciated through unsolicited compliments and kind words. Insults send them down the drain.
Quality Time- These people love your full attention, spending quality time with you. If you’re not around much, or you are but always texting friends and ignoring half they say, it hurts.
Receiving Gifts - Don’t confuse this with people who just like to get stuff. This group really appreciates the thought and effort that goes into the gift they received. It shows that the giver ‘knows’ them and cares about what they give them. Forgetting a birthday or giving them some throw away gift doesn’t play well with these folks.
Acts of Service - Don’t tell them that you appreciate them -- show it! These people love it when you go out of your way and do something for them. Forgetting to do something promised or creating more work for them isn’t the way to go here.
Physical Touch - Okay, cut the ‘hubba hubba’ eyebrows. It’s not just about that. It’s about hugs, or a pat on the back. They like physical contact. Denying contact or physically hurting them is the worst.Here’s the interesting thing: People tend to show appreciation for others the same way they like to be appreciated. That doesn’t always work. I’m a ‘Words of Affirmation’ kind of gal. Telling me what a fantastic writer I am and how much you love my blog (go ahead, tell me J) makes me feel more special than if you run out and get me cough syrup when I’m sick. An ‘Act of Service’ person would think I’m crazy....which I am, but for other reasons.How does this information help you? Take your dad. He may never give you the right birthday gift, but remember last week when he spent two hours waxing your car? So he’s not a gift guy. He’s an act of service guy. Your best friend has been cranky toward you lately. You keep telling her how important your friendship is to you, but remember last week when she asked for a hug and you were all, ‘don’t be gross.’ Maybe she needs a squeeze more than words.
Knowing what kind of person you are, and knowing what kind of people those close to you are, can help you big timehelp you navigate the sea of emotion surrounding you. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.Your mission should you choose to accept it: Figure out what type of person you are, as well as those close to you. It's easier than you think. It just takes a little observation. Then start ‘appreciating’ people the way they like to be appreciated. See how they respond. Later, tell them what you’ve been doing and ask them to guess what type YOU are. Think they’ll know right away? Think how they appreciate you will change?If you think this whole thing is silly, so be it. All I can say is it changed my life and made me happier. I wish I’d know about all this stuff when I was younger.Boy, you guys are so lucky to have me. J