Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award

Kreativ Blogger Award!

Because I never think to check back at my comments on old posts, I almost missed that I won a Kreativ Blogger Award. Not only am I honored, but this gives me yet another chance  do my two favorite activities: share other bloggers with you and talk about myself. While I’d like to think it was my amazing writing, I’m pretty sure it was the photo of my darling daughter that captivated Carrie, putting her in such a deep trance that she unknowingly picked me.
I started following Carrie (http://carrie-ourjourney.blogspot.com) because like me, her son was born with a congenital heart defect. If you followed my pregnancy, you know that the only people freaked out by my repaired Tetralogy of Fallot are OB-GYNS. My own cardiologist was so unfazed by my beautifully repaired heart that he refused to take my co-pay when my hysterical OB sent me in for an echocardiogram.  Of course, it took having children of my own to fully understand my parents’ (and Carrie’s) struggle.  I hope that knowledge helps her. Because, in truth, it’s much harder on the parents than it is on the kids.  We don’t know any other way of living.  At 32, I’m still surprised that not everyone has a giant scar down their chest and across their back.  My scars are my normal. My heart is my normal.

This award comes with rules. Here are the rules:

1.   Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
2.   Answer seven questions. (Carrie said that her blogger said that I have to make up the questions. I don’t think Carrie made them up, since I make up questions for a living, I’m going to use Carrie’s questions)
3.   Provide 10 random factoids about yourself. - (more Shosh time!)
4.   Hand the award on to 7 deserving others.

1. I already covered this part. However, thanks Carrie! http://carrie-ourjourney.blogspot.com. I love that you are able to use writing to help you through your journey.

Seven Questions...

1. What is your plan if the world ends in 2012?

I’m pretty sure that I heard on NPR that the Mayan calendar does not           actually end in 2012, so because I trust the Mayans to make all my       important decisions, I have no plan.

2. What's your biggest fear?

Water towers and mascots. You think these are simple phobias? Wrong.Every time I see a water tower or a mascot I get an intense feeling that  someone is going to come behind me and murder me. You thought I was scared of water gushing out? Nope, I know water isn’t going to come pouring        out. That’s crazytalk.

WAIT WAIT WAIT…These questions aren’t doing it for me. I’m stealing questions from @DEHausFrau, aka, my best friend, from her Mothers&More Blog.

What would you do if you were invisible? 
When people are in meetings and they shut the door, I’d go through the      door. What exactly do you not want the rest of the office to hear?

What is your favorite word?
Cunt because it scares people. I used to love throwing it out there when I   taught my students the difference between the connotation of a word and the  denotation (look it up or sign up for your own community college English class).

What is your least favorite word/phrase?
Panties. It’s underwear. Undies. Panties is an onomatopoeia that I don't want to think about... 

What is the best song introduction?
"My Baby Just Cares For Me" performed by Nina Simone . The first time I heard it was in the in the movie Stealing Beauty with Liv Tyler. It’s captivated me ever since.

What do you hate the sound of?  
Other people's children whining because I can't yell at them or tell them to suck it up.

What have you always dreamed of being?
A rabbi. However, you can’t be married to the Giant Gentile and be a rabbi. He’d have to become the biggest goyish looking Jew in all of history if I wanted to become a rabbi. Or, they could change their rules…

What wouldn’t you be good at?
Along the same lines, I’d be a terrible Orthodox Jew. First, I’m married to a Giant Gentile. Second, I’m tattooed. Third, I’m too in love with my hair not to share it with the whole world. Forth, I’m too in love with my cleavage not to show it to the whole world. Fifth, I won’t give up chanting from Torah on Rosh Hashanah or leading services. All of these things take nothing away from my friends who are Orthodox. For them, it works. For me, not so much…

Ten Random Facts.
1. I'm from Wisconsin

2. I know more about Emma Lazarus than 99.9% of the country and I fully realize no one else cares.

3. I almost never wear pants.

4. I hate reading fashion magazines

5. I don’t understand why people are scared to talk about religion. AND I have a slight obsession with evangelicals.

6. My parents had a much harder time with the fact my husband started dating me when he was 28 and I was 19 than the fact he isn’t Jewish.

7. I’ll probably never be thin or a good housekeeper

8. I’m not good at being friends with men (though there are some exceptions)

9.  Despite the fact I’m outgoing with strangers and individuals, I am painfully shy at cocktail parties.

10. After eight years, I quit teachin college Critical Reading and Thinking after being told teaching Elie Wiesel’s Night was not an example of teaching critical thinking. 

Seven Bloggers I love:

Erin at www.erinmargolin.com. I’m sure she’s won these awards before because she’s one of those girls who gets voted for on twitter and goes to blogger conferences but has no idea how awesome she really is.  Like all of us, she’s a girl on a journey, and I want to help her on her way. She has a deep love for roots, so here are her’s: http://www.erinmargolin.com/where-im-from-new-orleans

Tara at http://www.pohlkottepress.com. I hang on every word, every syllable. She makes me want to write poetry in the rain.  

Pish Posh at http://www.the-pish-posh.com/. She’s brilliant and educated and aware that it simply might not be enough.  She’s trying to follow her heart even if her very diplomaed brain doesn’t know if it’s such a good idea

Rachel at www.getrealmama.blogspot.com because she puts herself out there. I love keeping up with her. Plus, I think she could put herself out there even more. I’d like to help!

Eric at  http://www.saalonmuyo.com because he makes me laugh  and he’s a dude that stood up for vaginas.

Mimi at http://www.mimismartypants.comokay, so she certainly doesn’t need any kudos from me, but she makes me laugh my ass off. I’ve been following her as long as I’ve been following Jen Lancaster.  Her taglines are my dream.

Michael at http://dearharrison.com. He gives me the chills. He makes me cry. He makes me feel hopeful.


Monday, June 18, 2012

The Invisible (Nursing) Woman

As many of you know, on May 11, I was honored to participate in Listen to Your Mother Philly. It was a life changing experience. I intended to publish my piece, but I didn't feel like waiting: 

Cleavage Corner

Before Baby, if you had one word to describe me, you’d say cleavage. I’ve always believed that cleavage hides any flaw, and if I were a hot mom, you’d hate me. Alas, deep into mommyhood, my cleavage has been hijacked by a hooter-cover: hiding both baby’s head and my ample bosom. I always assumed I’d be one of those women who whipped out their boob with no cares in the world; I was wrong.  Now, I imagine my plentiful boobs spilling everywhere. I am mortified that one small inch might expose itself to the world.

With cleavage I brought attention, with breastfeeding I become invisible. I hear stories of cruel words and unwelcome commentary. However, despite my fears of over-exposure, no one has even looked in my direction. It's as if, the minute the baby is nursing, I cease to exist. Instead of screaming out, “Look at me! I’m breastfeeding!” The hooter cover has become my cloak of invisibility. People, males, in particular, forget that I’m even there. Mysteriously, I find myself in the midst of testosterone fueled conversations I’d like to pretend don’t exist.  

Scene one: a burger joint somewhere off the Garden State Parkway. My husband finds what he claims is a discrete table where I can feed the baby. Discrete my ass, I find myself surrounded by three tables of teenage boys. The second my husband walks away and I place my invisibility cloak over my head, the boys start talking like, well, boys. Their mouths fill with stories of the latest young lady who’s fallen for the sweet nothings only a teenage boy can promise.  Of course, none of these stories involve innocent hand-holding. Instead, it is the R-rated version of “Summer Nights” from Grease. Details of what they (supposedly) like girls to do to them are swapped back and forth across the table. It’s like a bad Penthouse letter. No shame. No body part left to the imagination. No act left unspoken. The boys laugh loudly, filling the air with their smut.  "In their dreams," I think and then, looking down at my nursing daughter, “God, I hope you turn out to be a lesbian.”

Scene two: one day later. I'm in a ski lodge bar filled with families. I sit down to feed my baby, place my cloak over my head and BAM, three thirty-something guys plop down next to me. They appear perfectly normal:  brightly colored hats on their heads, Patagona jackets keeping them warm, and glasses of Vermont’s newest microbrew in their hands.  They sit so close to me, I can smell the beer on their breath. Their conversation? All the girls on the slope they want to bang. Each girl that skies past the window or walks through the bar is rated- graphic details of legs and boobs and unmentionables analyzed at length. Then, the conversation turns to marriage. A friend has an apartment in Manhattan and a house and wife in Connecticut. They practically squeal over his luck. Imagine the possibilities—the women, the booze, the sex their friend could have all week and then spend the weekend with the little woman who would provide him with a home-cooked meal and a clean house.   "I'm sitting right here!" I want to scream. “Hello! I'm nursing a baby!!” But, the courage that cleavage always gave me has disappeared under my cloak, so I'm stuck, for twenty minutes listening to their hopes and dreams of the meat that is woman. And then, my daughter falls asleep, so I pull off the cloak. Suddenly, one of the men turns to me, looks me in the eyes, smiles sweetly and says, "what a cute baby."

I'm posting again this week on Yeahwrite
read to be read at yeahwrite.me