Wednesday, February 24, 2010

from the what the hell files

So the other day I was wandering through Bed Bath and Buy More Stuff when my eye hit upon...finger puppets? For Passover? Depicting the plagues? What the -?

Do people want their children to play with depictions of the plagues? Boils? Locusts? Darkness? Blood? And yes, the death of the first born?

Is this weird and creepy, or am I really ignorant of other's cultural practices? Who buys this?

ETA: Ok, wow. Who knew? Sadly, BB&BMS does not sell them online. My store must be lucky. You can buy them at the Jewish Store for $14, OyToys (great name) for $17.99, or, heck, a bunch of places for prices ranging from $14-$20. You can also buy a box set of toys for each of the plagues from Amazon, though why the first born plague is a nine piece puzzle is not clear. I, uh, had no idea. Although my catholic lenten sacrifice was to stop buying stuff, I have an idea for a giveaway. I'll happily mail one set of puppets to the first person who e-mails me (address at right). A better contest (from someone who receives more comments than I do) would be tell me what plagues you, or something along those lines, but I'll tell you, ever since I was a child, as a first born, the first-born thing - the whole reason for "pass-over" - has really, really scared me. I stay away from plagues.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


First, thanks for sticking with me in my fits and starts. I have about 50 million posts in my head (ok 4 definite ones all thought out) and just no umph to get them out.

Second, NO, my recent bout of minor stomach virus resulted in NO weight loss. Must hope for more vriulent strain next time, I suppose.

So relations with my in-laws continue to thaw. My husband calls there once every ten days or so, and his mother reaches out to him, too, calling or e-mailing or texting about the same.

For Valentine's Day, she sent a huge gift box. My daughter got a goody bag of candy, two fancy spring dresses from Laura Ashley, and an outfit from Gymboree. My son got the same goody bag, two play outfits from Carters, and an outfit from Gymboree.

My mom sent cards to both, with stickers and a $5 bill.

My parents are very thrifty, very frugal, and enjoying their retirement on their own terms. I never worry about their future. His parents are spendthrifts, have declared bankruptcy, have a full mortgaged house, regularly spend more than they take in, vacation in the Caribbean, bought a timeshare, rely upon a pension, eat out frequently, and purchase lavish gifts. Who will take care of them once the money eventually runs out?

So I grew up living within my means, only buying what I could afford (which meant after money was put away for rainy days and future desires). And these gifts kill me. I love shiny new things are much as anyone. I love the dresses and outfits for my daughter. I used to enjoy receiving gifts from them myself. But I know the true costs of those gifts. Not what they cost today, but what they'll cost in the future, either in terms of expectations or family fights once they run out of money and require their children to take care of them. I don't want to pay either price. I don't want my kids to eyeroll at my parent's frugality and prefer big boxes from their other grandparents. I want them to understand value, not cost. I want them not to be swayed by shiny and new.

I think I just have to trust that values will win out. I also have to accept that they will develop their own relationships with each set of grandparents, and that's a good thing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just wondering

Is it wrong of me to hope a recent bout of a very minor (thank the lord) stomach virus has left me a few pounds lighter? Been snowed in, cold and stomach virus going through the household, and saw a mouse in the kitchen yesterday. Awesome.

I'll be back. Eventually.

Monday, February 1, 2010

a definite double standard

I realized something after I hit publish on the last post. I dismiss those media accounts of Elizabeth Edwards possibly not being a very nice person. I do pause when I think of her defending him when she knew of the affair but he was still running for President, though I think that charade was also part of her denial/fear/worry/dread/victimhood (still lied to by Edwards)/anger of discovering the affair and not wanting it to be true, wanting to minimize its impact, to save what was her dream, too, of a happy marriage and high public office. In short, she gets a pass. I respect her and empathize to a certain extent with some of her pain, and know I've never experienced the extent of pain she has. And I think the accounts of her behavior are exaggerated, mostly reported anonymously, and written through a prism of politics, not real life.

But the other woman? Those exact same media accounts that call EE a shrew and harpy (namely the Game Change book as well as the one by the repellent aid of Edwards) describe the other woman as pretty much a kook. And I have totally accepted that as obvious fact. Clearly she's a kook, a hanger-on, brazen, shameless, a desperate Other Woman.

I suppose the good news is we'll never know, will we? (Until, god help us, she writes her own book and sits down for her tell all with whomever. Now that I think about it, the fact that she hasn't sought publicity probably means something - still getting paid off? hopeful of reuniting with Edwards?)

I'm done with this story, I really am, but I was surprised to realize the logical gap in my interpretation of this situation.