Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 17

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word culture. Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws.

Today's topic: Meat.  It's not just for eating anymore.

I'm going to start Whoreticulture Friday with an apology, never a good idea.  Because you should never apologize for awesomeness.  And if I were awesome, I wouldn't apologize.  So I am sorry.

This week has been crazier than a stage mom on meth.  I was an assistant on the talent show at my kids' elementary school the past two years, and this year I am in charge.  Oh. So. Effing.  Scary.  (Almost as scary as writing the F word in my blog, which I occasionally do, but I fear you people and the power of judgmental comments.)  Tonight was the dress rehearsal, and while it went well, oh so much can go wrong.  Tumbling act could fly off of the stage.  Shredding guitar kids during finale song to "School of Rock" theme song could tear their knees up on the old splintery stage.  Child could freeze up, begin to cry, and talk in two decades about how this was the worst night of their young life.  So I am having a quick beer, writing the blog, and going to bed for the certain nightmares of ruined childhoods.

I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that my heart is not completely in a whorish state of mind.  Sorry, Current Husband, it's Cinemax or women's Olympic ice skating for you tonight.  Speaking of CH, I love meat.

Sometimes when I get on the blog, I notice the ads on the sidebar.  When I wrote about Brazilians, I saw ads for hair removal.  When I wrote about mocking teddy bears, Build-A-Bear showed up.  For some reason last week, an ad for illegal Mexican wives appeared, which honestly I don't even know why they need to advertise, because those seem to sell themselves.  I would love to have an illegal Mexican wife right now, because frankly, I am tired, and there are dishes in the sink and a lonely man in my room.  Two days ago, this ad slogan appeared on my blog:

"It's like filet mignon for the price of a butt steak."

I found myself wondering if this is how CH describes me to his friends.  Because truly, I am.  And if I were to name myself after a piece of meat, it would have to be the butt steak.  It seems so obvious.  You may say, "But Julie, you're selling yourself short.  You are so filet mignon and you don't even know it."  Let me explain:
Pronunciation:  fee-lay mee-NYOH  Plural:  filets mignons  Notes:   These are cut from the tenderloin, and they're the most tender steaks you can buy, though not the most flavorful.  But filet mignons are total high maintenance bitches, and they don't put out.  Sometimes the French call them putain or salope, and the French really know their meat, if you know what I mean.   
 A boneless sirloin steak is sometimes called a rump steak = butt steak.  Sirloin steaks are usually grilled or broiled.  Don't overcook them or they'll lose much of their flavor.  In other words, "I'm easy like a Sunday mornin', but don't piss me off or I won't be so fun anymore."
This reminds me of the famous quote by Paul Newman to Playboy magazine about the longevity of his marriage to Joanne Woodward, "Why go out for hamburger when you've got steak at home?"  And while many women look at that quote and say, "Awwww!", Joanne Woodward was pissed off.  She was all "I'm an Oscar-winner, MF'er, not your piece of meat!" and Paul Newman didn't have steak for a very long time.  It was at this time that he created "Newman's Own" salad dressings with his own two hands.

In other meat news, at my book club I found out that at high school basketball games, when you want to insult the other team, you chant "Hot Juicy Burgers", which is supposed to imply a vagina, so you are calling the other team pussies.  I would like to take this time to point out that the other moms thought they were calling the other team "Vaginas", and I connected the dots for them that they were actually being called "Pussies", but I still don't see how "Hot Juicy Burgers" is more insulting than flat out chanting "Pussies" or "Va-Jay-Jay" or making cat noises.  Most of the moms in my book club are Catholics, so they're the drunks and I'm the shocking token Methodist.  They mix the drinks, I explain the porn.
What have we learned?
  1. Julie volunteering for school events ruins childhoods.
  2. Illegal Mexican wife is going on my birthday list.
  3. Butt steaks are more fun than filets.  Unless they are bacon-wrapped filets.  Because bacon trumps everything. 
  4. Newman's Own dressing might be able to impregnate you.
  5. Kids yelling "Hot Juicy Burgers" does not mean they work for the Beef Council.
Happy Whoreticulture Friday!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More on the Mommy Wars

February is the month of love.
And I love comments.

Yesterday's post about "To Hell With All That" and the Mommy Wars inspired some interesting comments and e-mails on both the blog and Facebook.  Thanks to Dixie and others who are passing the blog (Butthead:  "Huh huh, she said passing the blog") and welcome new batch o' readers.

I think the Mommy Wars is an issue many moms deal with regularly from the kid ages of 5 to 12, and after that you are so worried about keeping the kids free of babies and STD's and police records and broken hearts and academic probation that you quit caring what other parents think.  But since Oldest Daughter is 12, the only experience I have with teenagers is from when I was one.  (Rut Row.  Must get daughter micro-chipped.)

I started writing a response to Mifocals comment yesterday, who doesn't have kids yet but is scared pantsless to have one (which, by the way, WILL get you pregnant, Mifocals), but the response got long-winded (imagine that) and I decided to post and open it up to you, the purported readers.  I think it's all motivated by guilt.  Before the kids go to school is a blur because you are so tired and trying to figure out how to operate your new baby.  Then when school starts, At-home moms feel like they should be "using" their degree if they have it, or that what they do at home isn't valued and they are looked down on by others.  Working moms feel guilty they aren't delivering Monogrammed Clown Cupcakes to school and being June Cleaver.  Meanwhile, we are all beating ourselves up when everyone, working in or out of the home, is probably doing a great job.  In the words of Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, The Kids Are Alright.

Clown cupcakes I made for first grade room party:
  I'm kidding, Mandatory Reporters.  Thanks for the image,  
And seriously?  WTF?  Who made these, John Wayne Gacy?

 It all really comes down to the Golden Rule, but it's a tough cycle to break.  Guilt and fear (of screwing up your child) are powerful motivators.  So everyone tries to justify what they are doing, which makes other people defensive and then they justify what they are doing and then things get ugly and then Mommy is in handcuffs in the squad car.

So tell me all about it, People.  Do you think there is a conflict?  Why do you think that is?  How do we resolve it, or is it even solvable?  I'm curiouser and curiouser... I promise I'll try to stop being all academic and Gandhi-like tomorrow and go back to the usual pointless crap I post.

A side note to my Book Club from last night:  Please.  I am begging you.  After my second martini and my fourth brownie, CUT ME OFF.  Because really?  I know it was too much information.  Let's give everyone else a chance to talk too.  I'm bringing water and the duct tape next time.  Remember, friends make friends shut up.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Love Books. And Moms. And the Lead Singer from Ok Go.

February is the month of love.
And I love books.

Lots and lots of books.  Lately I've been fantasizing about going to a hotel about 1 mile from my house and spending the weekend.  The kids and CH can visit the first night and use the pool, but I'll just sit in the hotel room and read and eat Chinese takeout.  There is a Starbucks conveniently located across the street.  It would be a slice of heaven.

Since we bought George the Superpet, I've been spending time teaching him tricks.  He can sit, lay, speak, and read.  George pre-reads all of my books and tells me if they are worth the time and aggravation of me reading it and telling my kids to quit interrupting and ultimately making me feel like a neglectful and verbally abusive parent while not comprehending anything I'm reading because I am anticipating when the next small person will approach and say "Can I have a bagel?" or "Where is my iPod?" or "My snake has mites". 

Don't believe me?  Here is George reading in his chair:

He really loved "The Girls From Ames"
This week, George the Superpet is reading "To Hell With All That - Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife" by Caitlin Flanagan.  He loves it, and so I started reading it too, and now I am wondering why the hell Caitlin Flanagan felt it necessary to track my life and record it in her absurd yellow book like she's my own personal Jane Goodall, watching me make coffee and observe my developing turkey gobbler chin and packing lunches.  Because the book is pretty much everything I think about wifery, and I'm beginning to consider suing her for taking every idea I've ever had on the subject.  Was it necessary for her to be THAT good?  Couldn't she have saved something for me to write about?  Sheesh.

Caitlin (Ms. Flanagan if you're nasty) writes about the dichotomy between the working mother and the at-home mom, and how we, as women, are always willing to vilify the other side as "the wrong choice".  As soon as you have children in school, you are expected to take sides in the Mommy Wars, with one side saying Betty Freidan and Gloria Steinem worked so you could have that job and free yourself, and Martha Stewart and PTA's across the country saying that the real freedom is being home with your kids and making a perfect souffle or running the talent show.  

Caitlin is funny and witty and I can relate to so much of what she says.  She had me at hello.  I've always struggled with the issue of what kind of mother I am, and I've done it all:  I've worked full time.  I've worked part-time.  I've job shared.  I've been home full time.  I've owned my own store and brought the kids in with me.  I've started my own business from home.  And since I've done it all, I am here to tell mothers across the world what I have learned:  


What feminism really brought us was the choice to do what we need to do in our individual lives, and how feminism failed us is in not bringing the men up to speed in their half of the bargain.  I see homeschooling moms ripping on the public school moms, who rip on the private school moms, who rip on the homeschooling moms.  I see moms criticize other moms for not volunteering enough at school, and then for volunteering too much, and then for not doing a good enough job at their UNPAID volunteer work.  I see working moms criticize at-home moms who turn around and criticize working moms.  By tearing each other down, we don't make our particular method look better, it makes us all look equally bad.

How many dads do you hear saying "Has he ever been room parent?" or "He is ruining that kid's self-esteem."?  Probably not many.  And this is because most dads don't judge each other by their parenting skills, and they've managed to absolve themselves from the responsibilities of room parenting and intensive self-esteem instruction.  Hero time!

Both of my grandmothers were bona fide farm wives.  They were home with the kids and worked their asses off (sorry Grandmas, I said a bad word, but I feel it was necessary.)  My mom, on the other hand, was a full-time nurse in management and also worked (still works) extremely hard, and my sister and I were latchkey kids.  So I became an at-home mom for the most part to "be there" for my kids, as though somehow my mom wasn't there for us, when she was there if we needed her.  So what did Oldest Daughter tell me yesterday?  That IF she has kids, she is planning on being an attorney who makes partner, and she'll hire a good nanny.  It is the cycle of post-feminist motherhood.  Erma Bombeck said it best when she said 'The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank'.  You're going to want what you didn't have as a kid, but no matter how green the grass looks, there is a vat of shit underneath through which you will inevitably have to wade.

I was in blissful Gavin Rossdale/Edge-type love with the book, and then Caitlin went and took a side.  And I had to disagree with her.  And it was like I found the perfect husband - he was hot, he took out garbage and fixed things and scraped my windshield and brought me coffee and was great with my friends, and then he was gay.  We could be great friends and go to movies and terrific restaurants and think Robert Pattinson or the lead singer from Ok Go was hot even if he was too young, but we couldn't be married.  And I was sad. 

She said the at-home moms are the way to go, and the kids really need you at home.  Maybe I could go along with Caitlin to some extent if she recognized that she's an at-home mom who had a nanny waiting on the front steps when she brought her babies home, and has a housekeeper and a gardener, and is a published writer with regular work.  She has the best of all worlds, I don't doubt most of us would jump at the chance for our own version of her scenario.  I don't judge her for her choices - Yay for her!  I want her life!  But I take issue with her judging others' choices.

For the most part, we're all good moms.  I think most of us yell and lose our cool.  I think most of us wish we were better cooks/organized/housekeepers/moms/wives to some extent.  And there are times when I certainly think To Hell With All This...but when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter what the other moms think about how I parent.  I love my kids, and they love me.  We laugh, and we hug, and we cry, and we stomp, and while we have our ups and downs, I think we're all going to come out of this relatively unscathed with lots of great stories to tell the daughter- and sons-in-law who will join us.  And so will you.

Congratulations.  I just named you Mother of the Year.  February is the month of love, so take a minute to love yourself and the choices you make.  Feel better?  Good.  Let's go get some coffee and eat some brownies and tell those kids to shut the hell up.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 16

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word culture. Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws.

Today's topic: Telling Victoria's Secret.

Shopping for clothes for Oldest Daughter used to be so easy, mostly because I didn't have to do it at all.  Not only does she have three grandmothers, but she also has an aunt who is a mere two years older than her, so we were in Hand-Me-Down Heaven for a long time.  When she was about six we were in Von Maur (local awesome department store) and I saw a cute pair of girls jeans.  

ME:  "Do you like these, honey?" 
OD:  (looking confused) "Yes."  
ME:  "Would you like them?"
OD:  "What do you mean?"
ME:  "I'll buy them for you, but I won't if you don't like them."
OD:  "I don't get it." 
(I'm getting frustrated, my last coffee infusion is wearing off and I don't actually like shopping.  I know, I'm a freak.)
ME:  (speaking slowly and carefully) "DO. YOU. WANT. THESE. JEANS?" 
OD:  "Yes?"

And then it hit me.  I had never purchased clothing for her, at least not with her present and old enough to care about anything other than breast, bottle, or snack.  She didn't actually know what I was doing.  Ouch.  I've spent a lot of time since then trying to make up for that deficiency.

Now that she is nearly a bona fide teenager (March 2 she gets fitted for her chastity belt) shopping has changed.  Last Christmas, I got a lovely Victoria's Secret gift certificate from my mother-in-law (she thinks they quietly sell birth control) and I took OD to shop with me.  OD was absolutely mortified. 

OD:  "Oh no.  Not here.  You aren't buying BRAS, are you?"
ME:  "Yes.  And thongs.  And I need you to to fasten them for me."
OD:  (hiding behind a rack of sweatpants that say PINK on the butt) "I'm not going with you.  You can't make me go in the bra room."
ME:  "Fine.  You have your cell phone.  Go to the bath and body section and call me if you need to.  And don't leave with strangers."
OD:  "MOM!  You ARE the stranger!  Get this over with!"

And so OD crept into the bath and body room, crouching behind different displays, her shifty eyes darting around.  I watched her for a moment like one might watch a raccoon in the daylight to see if it has rabies.  I was concerned.  I grabbed a lacy DDD bra and yelled across the store, "HEY OD!!  How about this one?" and waved it at her.  She turned, gasped, and dove behind a cabinet covered in hot pants with PINK on the butt.  She was okay.

Can I just take a moment to address the PINK issue?  Maybe I'm alone here, but I just can't bring myself to wear anything with PINK across the ass.  Why?  Because for some reason every time I see someone's butt with PINK on it, I get a crystal clear anatomical picture of a clitoris in my head.  It's gross, I know, and I can't explain why "nether parts" and "pink" go together like "gynecological" and "exam" for me, but they do.  And I giggle every time, because it is Junior High Forever in Julietopia.  (To the friend with PINK on the butt of her VS sweats:  I just want you to know if you're reading this that I do not think about your clitoris when you wear them, and if I was a size 2 I might want to draw attention to my butt too. Smooches.)

I pick out some things and get in line for the fitting room, and my cell phone starts ringing.

ME:  "Hello?"
OD:  (whispering) "Mom!  Where are you!"
ME:  "In line for the fitting rooms.  Where are you?"
OD:  (whisper-shrieking) "FITTING ROOMS!  You're trying things on!?!"
ME:  "Yes.  It could be a while.  You can hide out in the fitting room if you want."

Surprisingly, she agrees.  She half-hides behind me.  We are in line behind three high school girls, who all look a like they're scheduled for a rainbow party (Urban Dictionary is the go-to reference guide on Whoreticulture Friday) in a couple of hours and need to get a move on.  They are all holding thongs and skimpy push-up bras (not that there's anything wrong with that), they all have Gucci or Chanel purses the size of a Yugo (because shouldn't ALL 16-year-olds be able to fit their possessions in a purse to hop a Greyhound if necessary?), and they are all talking like this:  "So I'm all I don't care what you do and he's all whatev and I'm all fine and he's all see ya and I know that bitch Hailey is halfway in his pants already..."

OD is not making eye contact with me.  She is visibly sweating and looking at the ceiling, the floor, underwear with PINK on the butt, anywhere but the trampy teens and me.  After nearly 13 years together, OD knows me well enough to know these girls might as well be dangling a Krispy Kreme in front of my face.  Sometimes, if I think I've got some really funny material, I might just feel compelled to say it.  Even if it's under my breath.  Or in the form of a song.  Right now "Gypsies Tramps and Thieves" by Cher and "Crazy Bitch" by Buckcherry are duking it out in my head.  I  bite my tongue.  This is supposed to be Girl Time with my daughter, and I should treasure it, because someday soon she could be one of these fake-Chanel-bag-thong-whatev hos.  Don't judge, Julie, don't judge.  We get in a fitting room.  Crisis averted.

In the room, I take my shirt off.  OD promptly faces the wall and starts rocking and moaning.  This has become her personal hell.  I take off my sad bra and put on the new spectacular bra.  It's a moment of personal triumph.

ME:  "Look, OD, isn't it great?"
OD:  (Sighs.  She is defeated.  She turns.)  "Actually Mom, that is a nice bra."
ME:  (Victory!  Hallmark moment!)  "I know!  I'm getting this one for sure."
(I unclasp the bra and release the hounds.  OD gasps.  I look around for a rat or a serial killer in the room.)
OD:  "Mom...why are know...areas THERE so big?  Please tell me mine won't get that big..."
ME:  "What?  My boobs?  What do you mean?"
OD:  "You know...this..." Makes circular motion in the nipular region.
ME:  "Mine are probably the same size as Grandma Jan's."  (Sorry Mom.)
OD:  "Oh no.  I so do NOT want that."  She slumps down on the bench, sad.
ME:  "You are also getting our varicose veins and the family gobbler, so enjoy your youth."

We didn't say much else that day.  I bought her a Double Chocolate Chip Blended Creme from Starbucks to try and cheer her, but at that moment she could not be consoled.  Her future body was laid out in front of her, as clear as the silicone that would perhaps be necessary to fix her middle age issues and bad genes.  And really, it's not like the nips are salad plate-sized or anything - they are perfectly normal breasts, show some respect for the old girls!  They lured your father in and nursed three children and can still look reasonably respectable in the right bra.  They need to be revered like a Triple Crown-winning racehorse put to pasture for the rest of her days, or like Babe, the sheep-herding pig.  Well done, pig.  Well done.

What did we learn that day?  
  1. Trampy teens like quality lingerie too.
  2. PINK is plastered on a LOT of ass.  Pink.  Hee hee.  Admit it, you'll think of it.
  3. There are no secrets in the Victoria's Secret fitting rooms.
Appreciate yourself as you are now - it can always get worse. Happy Whoreticulture Friday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday in My Pants

February is the month of love.
And I love food.

(For those people who say, "Uh, Julie, it's Wednesday!"  Yes, I get that.  I write late at night because the full, coherent sentences come after the children have been bedded.  But perhaps in my world it is Tuesday every day.  Perhaps this is Julietopia, where I am queen, and days and time have no meaning and everyone gets sugar cookies and there are no taxes, or laundry, and it is always May and Starbucks delivers.)

This morning I sat down at my computer with my large, steaming cup of beige coffee and a bagel, and read with amazement that today is Fat Tuesday.  "Huh," I thought as the bagel crumbled out of my mouth and past the cream cheese on my t-shirt, "I thought every Tuesday was Fat Tuesday".  But maybe it's just MY pants that celebrate.

A friend in Mount Vernon, Iowa owns and cooks in the best restaurant on the planet, The Lincoln Cafe.  I'm not biased.  It is really the best food ever.  Ask anyone.  It's crack on a plate.  It's an unexpected check from grandma in college and summer camp and kids gone for the weekend and Girl Scout cookie delivery day and John Cusak holding up the Boom Box in Say Anything all run through a chopping mechanism with mango and cumin and some other wacky ingredient you don't recognize like bison or quail or quinoa (Matt just said via Facebook that he was repeatedly beaten with a box of quinoa as a child, and would prefer "eggplant" instead) and presented on a nice white plate.  And then it's a taste explosion in your mouth, like the best fireworks ever or Gourmet Pop Rocks on your tongue.  Matt's motto is "Honest Food" and they have t-shirts (like the one I was wearing with strawberry cream cheese on it) that say "Food Is Important".  I see that shirt and I think, Damn Straight.  And I don't care if the food isn't honest.  Lie to me, food.  Say you're negative calories.  I won't kick you out of bed.

Have I mentioned I love food?  So for all of you wanna-be poseurs who celebrate Fat Tuesday once a year, I give you my 52 Fat Tuesdays.  And you should see what happens on Merlot Mondays and Wasabi Wednesdays and Thigh Thickener Thursdays and Deep Fat Frydays.  Delicious.  And then it's on to Weekend Food!  Yay!

However, I am a realist, and know I will be killing myself by inches if I succumb to my gluttonous instincts.  The days of waking up on Saturday morning in the sorority and eating donuts and drinking 64 ounce fountain Mountain Dews to chase away the residue from a night of 10 beers and Taco Bell or Quik Trip microwave food after the house dinner of Starchy Crisco Ground Beef Casserole with Oreo Mint Dessert are officially over.  (No disrespect, Suzie, it was all delicious, every last starchy fat bite.)  The day of my 35th birthday my metabolism said, "Well, my work here is done," and it took off, leaving me with a 3000 calorie a day latte habit and no exercise ethic.  That was five years ago, and I'm still drinking lattes.  Action needs to be taken.  Literally.

I did a brief stint at the YMCA, and actually made friends with an elliptical machine and got in shape, and then I stopped going, because who wants easy success?  It should feel like a struggle, right?  CH was doing MediFast, and wanted me to try it, and I was all, "you take your pyramid scheme diet plan and I'll stick to the Whitey's malts", but soon he was down 35 pounds and I was lactose intolerant.  I caved.  I got on MediFast.  And I lost 25 pounds pretty quickly and have kept it off.  So my jeans will zip, but my heart and cholesterol didn't get the memo. 

I am still lacking in the cardio/exercise department.  On Monday, when the girls were testing me switching rooms, I found a pedometer, and decided to put it on.  By the end of the day Monday, I logged 3500 steps.  Hey!  That's good, right?

Uh, NO.

I Googled how many steps I should be taking a day, and it told me some vile stat that said I should be taking about 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy.  WTF?!?!  I consider myself somewhat active, but I guess writers who sit in front of their computers all day are actually in the Michael Moore/Marlon Brando/Kevin Smith Institute of Health.

"Monday was an anomaly," I thought.  "I'm more active than that!"  Today, I got up from the computer, carried loads of laundry up and down the steps, and walked laps around the house while on my weekly call with one of my freelance clients.  Then I took the kids to their piano and cello lessons and to a playdate...but that was driving, which oddly doesn't show up on the pedometer.  So here I sit, with 4090 steps.  Crapola.

Apparently my dog is getting fat as well, as neighbors are starting to comment.  George the Superpet lays around all day with me, and to make matters worse, he gets his lattes with whole milk.  Since OUTSIDE still resembles a weather station in Antarctica, I'm going to give myself a pass for another few weeks, get my Girl Scout cookies in and eaten, but as soon as it thaws out there, I'm going to have to leash up the dog and get out in the hood.

I love food.  I hate exercise.  My dog is large and energetic.  I, sadly, am aging and bitter.  But I ordered 15 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, and I want to eat a big dinner at the Lincoln Cafe soon.  Lonely Nikes, I will be with you soon.  And baby, we were born to run.

p.s. Happy Birthday Matt!  I'll trade you a birthday cake for a pulled pork sandwich....


Monday, February 15, 2010

Why The Children Are Locked in Their Rooms...Forever.

This is another sad tale from The Mothers Grimm, about how sweet little children are lured by an angry, evil witch with candy, only to realize they are going to die because of their own greediness and addiction to high fructose corn syrup.

Oh, wait.  Wrong story. 

This is the tale of a fun college party girl who was lured by a dangerous, seductive fraternity boy who would be sure to piss off her father, married him, bore his children in excruciating labors, and then found herself sitting by the fireplace in rags, sweeping up the cinders and talking to the mice.

Um, that's not the story I meant either, sorry Current Husband.  I meant a different fraternity boy.  Of course I didn't have other children.  Are you saying I look fat? 

This is actually the tale of how a sweet, caring mother with no spine was lured by her Nutri-Sweet diabolical daughters into switching their bedrooms over the past weekend, only to discover that both of the girls are hoarders and should have their own reality show called "Mini Hoarders:  Youth in Training".

It all started on a boring winter snow day, when another 48 inches of snow and ice fell upon our fair land and the children were confined to their houses with their mothers, who had other plans until the school called.  But I digress.  Oldest Daughter (OD) and Youngest Daughter (YD) seemed to be getting along well...TOO well...and then they approached me together, which meant they immediately outnumbered me.

THEM:  "Can we get you more coffee, or a Xanax, Mommy?"
ME:  (suspicious) "NO!  You stay away from my Xanax!  What do you want!"
THEM:  "We decided we would like to switch rooms."
ME:  "Why?"
THEM:  "Because YD needs the bigger room for her gazillion small creepy fake pets with the big eyes, and OD merely wants to piss you off."
ME:  "OD, didn't I just paint your room for the second time in three years?"
THEM:  (because they are speaking in creepy twin-speak, like the girls in The Shining) "Yes."

ME:  "Why did you have me do that if you meant to switch rooms within the year?"
THEM:  "To test your love."
ME:  "You understand that if I let you switch rooms, I refuse to paint or decorate either room in any way.  You inherit the decor.  Capiche?"
THEM:  "Of course, Mother."  And then they both turned in their matching pinafores and walked away.  I had a small glass of Red Rum in the laundry room behind the boiler.

And so it happened.

We had a four day weekend off from school, and so The Great Room Switch began.  We put on some yoga pants (I found a use for them!) and some fun music and I poured a very large, beige coffee, and we started moving.  I told jokes, we laughed, we danced, we had a great time.  And then when that 30 minutes was over, I started yelling at them.  It sounded a lot like this:


The girls started avoiding me.  The Son realized he was not connected to the stress in any way, so he started asking if he could get me more coffee or cookies or knit a sweater for me, because he is a very clever boy and knows he has a birthday coming up.  In June.  But he's a planner.

OD put on her best Martyred PreTeen mask and began looking at me like a kicked puppy - one that plans to cut you when you turn your back.  She stalked up and down the stairs with her things, and stood in her room listening to music until I would appear in the doorway and then she would busy herself.

YD couldn't care less.  She was getting The Big Room!  Wheee!  And YD knows that Mommy gets angry, but isn't physically violent and it will blow over sometime around her next meal.  She sat upstairs and sang Hillary Duff in the karaoke machine OD bequeathed to her.  What YD didn't realize is that I took the opportunity of her absence to throw away all kinds of treasures:
  • Easy Bake oven with the semi-melted and twisted cake retrieving stick.
  • Huge pink plastic Barbie art center with all of the pictures colored in.
  • Cheap rubber Tinkerbell fairy flower cap CH bought her at Disney on Ice two years ago.
  • All McDonalds Happy Meal toys.
  • Ripped Polly Pocket outfits.
  • Barbie Island Princess puzzle with five pieces missing.
  • The desk in OD's room, and with it, her soul.
Had YD realized even one of these items was being hauled to the garbage, she would've worked up her best Sweet Precious Last Baby face, asked sweetly to keep them, and then fought me to the death to keep them in the house.  So sing with Hillary, princess.  Sing it loud and sing it proud, because Mommy is cleaning house downstairs.  Mwah-ha-ha!!! 

However, it all came crashing down when we tried to throw out OD's desk.  It is Bulky Item pickup day on Tuesday, so this made it the perfect weekend to get this broken down white trash monstrosity out of our house.  It has two broken drawers and no knobs.  But when I asked CH to help me move it out of the room, YD began sobbing, "But I moved up here so I would HAVE THAT DESK!!!"

I said no.  It was going outside.  YD had other plans.

Soon, I heard her talking to CH upstairs.  "Daddy, I really love that desk, but I suppose we could get rid of it since Mommy said she would buy me a new one."  WHA?!?!  "We don't need to buy a new desk.  If you really want it, I'll fix it for you."  DOUBLE WHA?!?!  In the words of the King of Pop's sister, Ms. Jackson if you're nasty, What Have You Done For Me Lately, CH?  I can't get this guy to take out the garbage or shovel regularly, but he's going to repair a desk that's been broken for three months because Sweetness threw Mommy under the bus?  Yes.  That's exactly what happened.

So while Bob the Builder repaired the desk, I continued to carry loads up and down the stairs.  CH helped me dismantle the beds and carry them between floors and reassemble them.  (See, CH, I made it sound like you do stuff.  Mom and her two non-English speaking friends who read this blog know I am just kidding.)  And then OD started smiling and I knew there was something rotten in TeenWorld.

OD:  "Mom, this is great!  I just love it!"
ME:  (warily) "I'm glad you are...happy?"
OD:  "I think the dark purple and light purple accents I've picked will go great with the light green walls!"
ME:  "Back up the bus, sister.  What are you talking about?  Remember, we are not decorating these rooms!"
OD:  "Well I had to give my bedding to YD because it matched the room, but her bed is a twin and mine is a full, and her ballet princess comforter won't fit my bed.  And she had to take her rug and shades since they will go with her new room.  I e-mailed Grandma Jan and she is getting me a purple duvet for my bed for my birthday, and I figure I can use money or gift cards from the other grandmas for my birthday to get some other things."
ME:  "I've been out-maneuvered.  Well played, OD, well played.  I see a bright future for you in the legal field."

So YD is happy, as she gets all of the items she's coveted from her older sister.  OD is happy, because she gets a brand new redesigned room for the third time in three years.  Middle Son is happy because he didn't get yelled at, and assumes this means he is the favorite.  Who is unhappy?

Me.  Why?  Because CH and I realized the first night after the switch that OD, who will be 13 in two weeks, is now approximately twenty feet away from our bed, with only a thin wall and a door without a lock in between.  She stays up later than YD, and doesn't sleep as soundly.  Plus, she has already seen the "Growing Up and Liking It" films and had her middle school teachers dress up as ovaries and testes in class.  She KNOWS things.  Icky things.

After nineteen years together, CH and I are embarking on our first year of celibacy.  Or lots of nooners.  Or Nyquil for our teenager every few nights at bedtime.  I hope this story has a happy ending.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

For the Love of Dog

February is the month of love.
Oh, George the Superpet!  How I love you.

George the Superpet is our 106 pound Standard Poodle/Human.  We are sure he is a dog/human mix because of his ability to casually burp and his disdain for laying on hard surfaces.  
This is how George spends most of his days:

We are kindred spirits, George and I.  He follows me around the house and lays on the softest surface he can find nearby while I work.  I normally get out of bed around 6:30 to get my coffee infusion and make the kids' lunches for school.  George the Superpet will stay in bed until he hears the sound of the peanut butter top being unscrewed, and then I can hear him scramble out of bed to see if he can get lucky.  I, too, have been known to get that excited about peanut butter.  I will tell George the Superpet that it is time to wake YD, and he will trot off to her room and nuzzle his nose under her covers to wake her.  (I know she's awake when she starts yelling, "Knock it OFF, George!"  Then she invites him on her bed and tucks him in until I arrive.)

Since George is a Standard Poodle, he actually grows hair instead of fur, and he doesn't shed, but he needs to get groomed every couple of months.  Since it's been so cold, I haven't taken him in for his regular grooming in a while, because I like him puffy and looking like a polar bear.  When I walked into my bedroom the other day, George was laying on my bed, smoking pot, listening to "Get Up Stand Up" and twisting his dreadlocks, so I made his grooming appointment.
This is what George looked like before his appointment:
Don't you just want to run your hands through that?

Here is George after his shearing yesterday:
It's sad, isn't it?

When he comes home from the groomer, he is always embarrassed and angry.  He goes outside to pee as quickly as he can, presumably so the Yorkie twins next door and the Golden Retriever across the street can't see him, and then he sulks in his chair.  He won't lay by me, and he gives me dirty looks.  And to this I say, "Welcome to the hell my other children experience every damn day, George.  Now suck it up and clean your room."

But I still feel a little bad.  So to George the Superpet, I say don't worry, it will grow out.  I am sorry.  And I still love you, even if you are pink and rat-like. 


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Margarita Love

February is the month of love.
Oh, margaritas!  How I love you.

How do I love thee?  Let me count thy ways:
  1. You are deliciously icy cold lemony-limey salty tequila-ey goodness.
  2. You can salvage many an otherwise poor evening.
  3. You cover the major food groups of Salt, Fruit, and Tequila.
  4. You are so wonderful that you require a special glass.
  5. You are the perfect compliment to Mexican food.
How does the magic of the margarita work?  Let me give you an example.

Last Friday night, a friend of ours who is obviously a sadist asked if all three of our children could spend the night at her house.  Her children are of the same genders and approximate ages, so I said, "Well, if you're sure..." and then dropped my kids off before she could change her mind.

This left Current Husband and I with no children on a Friday night.  I've read about these in Cosmo.  I believe they are called Date Nights.  My understanding is that Date Nights can be classified into two types:

Pre-Children - these nights involve dinner at a restaurant nicer than Taco Bell, a movie, a couple of drinks, some heavy petting and innuendo, lacy edible lingerie, refrigerator scene from 9 1/2 weeks, slow removal of lingerie, protracted sex session, broken furniture, sleeping in, possible pregnancy.

Post-Children - might get you Taco Bell and sex lasting longer than 5 minutes from start to finish.   

With no children to be found, I talked CH into trying a new restaurant.  A few friends recommended it as the best authentic Mexican food in the area, so I called to make sure they served margaritas.  Because unless you are Taco Bell, I don't do Mexican without Jose Cuervo on the guest list.

CH was not really convinced.  It's hard to get him to try new things.  The last three times he did, we ended up with babies.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me three times, you're knocked up again with kids in the house until after you're 50.  I told him they served drinks, and how bad can you mess up chips, salsa, and tacos?  Right?

We had to Garmin our way to the restaurant, as it was a bit out of the way.  As we pulled up to the old brick building with bars on the windows, CH said, "Charming.  Are you sure this is it?"  to which I replied, "These are the kind of places where you find the best food.  It will be great!"

We got out of the car and looked at the building.  There was no clear direction on how to get in.  We finally opted for the back door, which looked a like a place where you need a secret handshake and a mob connection to enter.  We walked in, and the eight people in the place turned and looked at us.  I smiled, walked over to a booth and sat down like I belonged there.  If you look like a regular, they might believe you are one.

Twenty minutes later, an older looking woman stopped by our table and gave us menus.  She had already served menus, chips and drinks to the other group that sat in the booth behind us five minutes after we walked in.  That group brought the total number of tables with people at them to three.  We had resorted to staring at her and mouthing the word "parched" until she came to us.

HER:  "Here you go!" and started to walk away.
CH:  "Could we order some margaritas?"
HER:  Stops, turns around, comes back.  "Sure, sure.  You want salt?"
CH:  "Yes, and some chips please."
HER:  Sighs.  Looks at him like he's her annoying stepchild.  "Okay."  Walks away.

Man in chair not four feet from me lifts his left buttcheek.  "BRRRRTTTT!!!"

ME:  (whispering)  "Did you just hear that?"
CH:  "What?"
ME:  "That guy at the table next to us just ripped a huge fart!"
CH:  "I think that was his vinyl chair squeaking."
ME:  "Yes, because he just ripped a huge fart on it."
CH:  "Nah...people don't do that in restaurants."
ME:  "The hell they don't!  He just did."

Twenty minutes later, our margaritas and chips arrive.  CH stops waitress before she tries to run away again and we give her our order.

Tooter McGee lifts his left buttcheek, again.  "BLAAATTTT!!!"

CH:  "Okay, I heard that one."
ME:  "So I wasn't imagining it.  You are willing to admit I was right."
CH:  "Yes.  That was definitely a fart.  But I thought you just blogged that farting is okay.  You defended Jessica Simpson."
ME:  "If Jessica Simpson farted four feet away from me in a restaurant it would not be okay.  There is farting, and there is farting.  Farting near food is unacceptable."
CH:  "At least we have THAT cleared up." 

Waitress who hates us puts two plates in front of us.  Mine is a beef-filled corn tortilla so overdone it is splitting down the middle.  CH called after her that he wanted another margarita as she was running away from our table.  She is long gone, so I eat what I can of the dish, and pretend I am one of my friends who apparently eat delicious, authentic Mexican food at this place.

Phil McCracken lets another one fly.  "GRROOOONNNKKK!!!"

CH:  "Okay, this is getting both gross and hilarious."
ME:  "Do the women he is sitting with not HEAR that?  Are they legally deaf?"
CH:  "Or maybe scent-impaired."
ME:  "I can't believe that he isn't even TRYING to be subtle about it.  He is lifting his CHEEK!"

Soon, Gaston Leaksalot is letting his booze show.  He has been looking at a framed picture of Miss Illinois 2008, Katie Lopez, who is wearing a blue bathing suit, crown, and her Miss Illimois sash.  Her framed photo in the restaurant would indicate she has some sort of relationship, or at least a place of respect, with the owners of the establishment.  This is lost on Jack Daniels and his table companions, three women who look like they should be sitting in front of slot machines.

HIM:  "That is a fake.  It is such a bad fake."
WOMAN:  "What are you talking about?"
HIM:  "That picture.  You can tell that thing that says Miss Illinois (that would be a sash, dumbass) has been added by a computer or something."
WOMAN:  (turns to look) "Nah - that's really her.  You think that's fake?"
HIM:  "You can tell it's fake.  I've been looking at it a long time (Really?  A photo of a hot chick and a bathing suit distracted you from your dinner companions?  Shocking.) and that's not real."

Clearly, he is right.  Either the people who own the place want to make themselves look better by faking a photo of a woman to LOOK like she is Miss Illinois to impress their patrons, OR the woman in the photo electronically faked a Miss Illinois sash on a photo of her in a crown and royal blue standard pageant bathing suit to impress her friends.  I bet this flatulent, clever man works for CSI:  Miami or is in the FBI.

Our food is burned.  The second margarita has become just a dream.  Two young boys in the other room are now threatening each other with pool cues.  And Lifty Buttcheeks is...
CRRROOOONNNNNKKKK!  And that would be four.

That just did it.

CH and I are giggling hysterically as we pull on our coats.  Just then, The Accidental Waitress puts a margarita in front of CH and runs away faster than you can say "Check please!"  But there sits a margarita, glistening in its salty icy goodness, beckoning us to stay for just a little bit longer.  We share this last margarita.  It is bliss.

We pay $50 for the privilege of eating in this lovely establishment, and go home.  And despite the fact that we are belching burned tortillas and getting the smell of man fart out of our clothing, we still have no children in our home, and we still had our margaritas.  All told, the night was a success.

And that is the magic of the margarita.

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 14

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word culture. Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws.

Today's topic:  Leaky Pipes

One quick non-whorish topic - my book club read "The Help" last month, and I just finished it at 1 a.m.  I wouldn't probably have read it if my book club hadn't picked it because of The Hype, but I'm really glad I did.  An amazing book, and a first novel, no less.  Well done, Kathryn Stockett!

So, on to other woman topics.  Have you ever just flat out wet your pants?  I'm talking about after you were five years old.  And not during one of those misguided "Dime Draws" night at the bars during college.  I'm talking about "After The Baby Comes And Your Girl Parts Are Never The Same".  My name is Julie.  I'm a wife and mother of three.  And I wet my pants.

(Okay, Internet Porn-Trolling Freaks, you got your free visual.  I am not going to pee on you.  Move back to the Dark Side of the Internet.)

I am not alone.  I have one college friend who said she was washing dishes at the sink one day in her kitchen, and out of nowhere she did what she called "an Old School piss myself moment".  Another friend told me she was at a college football game waiting in line for the Port-O-Johns and just couldn't take it anymore...she stood in humiliation as she wet her pants in line.  Awkward!  Another one was at a stadium concert and really had to go - there were 10,000 women in line for the bathroom and she knew she wasn't going to make it, so she did what she had to do.  She squatted in the bushes outside of Soldier Field in front of about 5,000 people instead of walking around in her own urine-soaked clothing.  She picked the lesser of two evils.  What do we all have in common?  We are vaginal birthers.

I don't really flat-out wet my pants.  It's just a little bit.  Enough for me to know, but the world at large to remain ignorant.  It happens occasionally when I laugh or cough too hard, or when I've hit a golf club into the ground (have I mentioned what an excellent golfer I am?  "We're hitting balls, not sod, Julie.")  I thought this was my post-labor life until I met my high school OB-GYN friend for a night in Chicago when she was at a Coochie Conference (not the actual name) and she re-introduced me to the Kegel.

By the way, you can get cool stuff at a Coochie Conference.  All of the materials have uteruses (uteri?) and fallopian tubes and ovaries all over them.  I am sure there are pens and buttons and Post-Its with vaginas all over them.  Hook me up, OB-GYN friend!  (Another friend whose husband is a doctor gave me a Viagra pen, which YD accidentally took to school and the teacher sent back, and a Cialis pen that was bent in half, and when you click it, the end (shaped like a penis, of course) would rise up.  It is awesomeness squared.)

Anyway, back to the Kegel.  They are your friend, and they cure a multitude of ails.  Here is the fast definition from The Mayo Clinic:
"Kegel (KAY-gul or KEY-gul) exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder and bowel. If you do Kegel exercises regularly and keep your pelvic floor muscles toned, you may reduce your risk of incontinence and similar problems as you get older. Kegel exercises can also help you control urinary incontinence."

Here is a picture of your pelvic floor muscles:
OKAY, now that the remaining men are gone... 

I actually wrote an informational article on Kegels not too long ago, and here is what OBGYN friend and her PT said about them:
"A proper Kegel can be done easily and without detection.  While you are sitting or lying down, try to contract the muscles you would use to stop urinating or to hold gas.  You should feel your pelvic muscles tightening or closing, including those around your urethra and your anus. You should be able to do this without tightening your buttocks or squeezing your legs together.  If your lower stomach muscles tighten or pull in, that’s correct. It’s very important that you are able to actually breathe while keeping your pelvic floor muscles up and in."
(She said, "Anus".  Heh-heh.)

Okay ladies, let's all do one together.  Tighten.  Hold.  And release.  Excellent.  Still not convinced?  There are six good reasons to do them:
  1. Better sex.
  2. Less 'leaking'.
  3. Less bathroom time.
  4. Less back pain.
  5. A flatter stomach.
  6. Your uterus won't fall out.

Because your uterus.  Can.  Fall out.  OBGYN Girl (Hey!  She's a superhero!) does LOTS of vag overhauls, because that pesky uterus is sneaking around those weakened birthing muscles and ...Peek-A-Boo!  Your uterus is getting a look at the world outside.
 Hopefully, you are now scared shitless about your parts dropping out of you like candy out of a broken PEZ dispenser, so let's do another Kegel.  Tighten.  Hold.  And release.   
You just participated in a group Kegel!  This can be your naughty secret.  Do one in church.  At your parent-teacher conferences.  On the phone with the cable guy.   During sex...but then it won't be a secret anymore.  You should actually try to do three sessions of 10-15 per day.  That's a lot of private vaginal action, you naughty monkey!

Happy Whoreticulture Friday!  Have a terrific weekend!  I have a date tonight with CH, we are kid-free!!!  Whoo-hooo!  If you are a writer, please visit my friend Anissa's blog, Anissa Off The Record, which is covering some great writer topics this month.  She is RocknRolla, so if you like it, click that Follow button and get on with that novel already!  


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

When Third Children Go Bad

There are many ways to screw up a child.

  • One could blog about them.
  • Tell dinner guests how your son cried in a store when he was 2, and when the clerk asked him what was wrong, he said, "I'm sad because girls don't have penises."
  • Get a great deal on a floor model of Barbie's Partytime RV at ToysRUs on Christmas Eve Day, and then when Santa gives it, the recipient realizes some of the stuff is missing and it's a little rough, thereby making her wonder how bad she had really been that year.  (That was an oversight, I swear.  She was FOUR, how could I know she had the commercials memorized?)
  • Know they love turtles and then not catch them in time when they eat the beef jerky at Grandma's house, only to find out it is, indeed, Turtle Jerky.  ("Do you mean...I...just ATE...a turtle?!?!"  And now she is a vegetarian.)
I don't care how awesome you think you are, you are going to give the kids something to discuss in therapy someday.  You may rock the organic treats, but make them wear stupid-looking boots.  Go ahead and take them to Disney, but they'll remember you sent crappy cookies for the Valentine party.  Go to every intramural basketball game, but you didn't decorate their room like the PB Teen catalog room.  These transgressions are generally between you and your offspring.  The trick is to not let others on to the possibility that you are perhaps not June Cleaver material.  As Andre Agassi once said, "Image Is Everything,"  and he said this whilst adjusting his mullet wig and doing crystal meth.  Very clever.

My older children are lovely, funny beings who want to please us.  When they do something we don't want them to do, it truly pains them.  Youngest Daughter, on the other hand, is studying the works of cult leaders so she can run her own compound someday.  (For those of you aghast at how I can say such a thing, of course I love her.  Please redirect to the Dr. Spock "How To Raise a Perfect Child" Homepage, A Day in The Wife is not for you.)  I go into her room at night to tuck her in and she is reading "The First Grade Primer Guide to Mind Control", with all of her American Girl dolls lined up, looking at her with these emotionless, blank eyes and seemingly frozen smiles.  It's already working.

We knew something was...different...when she was about 3 months old and giving us dirty looks from her car seat.  Current Husband would turn his head toward me without breaking eye contact with her and say, "Do babies usually make faces like that?" and I would say, "Should I call a priest?" 

YD expressing displeasure, about 2 years old.

I tried to do some research on Third Child Syndrome to see if anything could be done about YD to make she doesn't hurt anyone mentally or physically.  Here is an accompanying photo on a birth order article describing the bitterness between first and second born children:
I think these little girls are more disturbed 
by these dresses than their birth order.

Wikipedia, my usual go-to source (because let's be honest, I'm not concerned enough to move from this chair to research) only had an article basically outlining the bickering between prominent psychologists about the effect of birth order, all obviously first-borns. had this to say about it:
"The baby of the family basks in the sentimentality of being the last child, and are basically spoiled rotten. The youngest children tend to be most affectionate, and more sophisticated than their peers without older siblings to show them the ropes.

Having a third child also means a changed parenting style. Here you must move from one-on-one to a zone defense. You no longer have one parent per child and everyone gets less individual time and attention. You have to double-up and the logistics get more complex."
This sounds like I need weaponry.  I need logistics?  A zone defense?  She'll be spoiled rotten even though we are raising the first two Methodist and YD as Amish?  All of the other links were mom blogs saying "Don't have three children!" or "How do I reign in my third child who is spoiled rotten?"  or "How do I run a zone defense?"

Here is a picture of YD at the zoo two 
summers ago, before she got her way:
See the other two look at me for direction..."Help us".

Here is YD after she got her way:
See?  Sweetness and light.  And unmitigated power.

Last one - we took a picture this year for the Christmas card.  YD didn't know, but the premise was about spiking Santa's cookies because he gave them coal in their stockings the year before.  (He didn't - that whole Barbie RV thing got us Scared Straight.) All I told YD when setting up this shot is "someone has made you very angry."
Oy.  Please don't let it be me.

So now perhaps you get the idea.  

Last year, YD saw a girl in her school with a cast on her arm.  But it wasn't just ANY cast.  It was a bright fuschia cast that everyone signed.  It was like a neon arm that said, "I run this joint.  Worship me."  YD told us she wanted a cast for her birthday.  We told her that she had to have a broken arm to get a cast.  She asked, "How bad would that hurt?"  

YD, thankfully, did not get her arm broken, but she does still ask me to wrap ribbons around her arm so that it looks like a "cast".  I do it, and tell her how bad a broken arm hurts the entire time I am wrapping.

Just a couple of weeks ago, she was helping me make dinner, and we had the following conversation:

YD:  "Oh, Mrs. K told me that I should get glasses because I squint while I read." 
ME:  "Do you have a note?"
YD:  "No, she just told me to tell you."
ME:  "Well I need a note from a teacher about something like that."  

I thought that would be the end of it.  The next day, she brought home a piece of lined notebook paper on which the following was written:  "YD said I need to write a note to tell you she needs glasses because she is squinting when she reads.  Mrs. K"

The operative part of this note is that it said "YD said I need to write a note" not "YD needs glasses".  I recognized this, and told her that we would get an eye exam at her physical next month.  I thought that would be the end of it.

A few days ago, I was at the school and saw her teacher, and had this exchange:
ME:  "We are going to get YD's eyes examined at her next physical to see if there is something to the squinting."  
T:  "I didn't think those were reading glasses."
ME:  "What?"
T:  "She's been wearing glasses the last few days.  She said they were her new glasses."
ME:  "What do they look like?"
T:  "Purple frames, sort of tinted lenses."
ME:  "Those are her sister's sunglasses.  She does not have glasses."
T:  Snickers.  Understands I have no control over my children.  Again considers exercising her Mandatory Reporter duties.  Decides I'm not worth it.

Here are the "reading glasses" YD self-prescribed, 
acquired and reported to her teacher and classmates:
I'm sure everything is much clearer now.
Like how to bend multiple adults to her will.

But I will confess - I am just like the MSNBC article said.  I am letting her bask in the sentimentality that she is my last child (please God let that be true).  And she is incredibly affectionate, and incredibly cute.  She is a big hugger and still wants to sit on my lap and thinks I am the funniest, prettiest, most gracefully stylish person on the planet, which she knows damn well is the key to the kingdom.  She has me figured out.  I'm keeping her.