Fametimidation:(Noun) the state of anxiety, timidity, and awkward muteness experienced upon meeting a celebrity author, actor, musician or other professional idol in real life; adjective and verb forms: fametimidated, fametimidating Example: “I sat with one of my favorite writers at lunch at BlogHer and could barely speak because I felt so fametimidated.”

Pretty Awesome

Do I look pretty?

“Yes, you look pretty. So, so pretty.”

Here I am with another 3-year old going through that “Pink Phase.” This time around, however, I’ve given in to the pink. I’ve surrendered.

I’m encouraging it, even.

The first time around, I bought my daughter blue, green, and purple clothes–even black. I urged the wearing of pants, the breaking of stereotypes, and the development of a self-image independent of “pretty.”

She had other ideas.

She insisted on wearing long dresses, and after too many morning battles that made me late to work, I gave in and bought a bunch of secondhand holiday dresses with ruffles and bows, fit for a princess. Yet despite believing she was the most adorable creature ever, I shied away from calling her pretty and beautiful. I focused more on what she did and said than on how she looked. I wanted to protect her, while I could, from the social forces that mold girls into carbon copy “in girls” and social rejects. I didn’t ban Barbie or Disney, but I didn’t allow them to take over the joint either. I bought her trains and tools and blocks in primary colors. Cars. Balls. “Boy toys.” (But not toy guns–because I don’t see a reason to teach kids that it’s fun to kill each other.)

In fact, I have deliberately shielded both my kids from the toy aisles so as not to infect them with the messages they so clearly send: pink, barely-there dresses, and babies are for girls; guns, cars, and fighting are for boys.

Now, five years later, I’ve found myself scouring secondhand racks for another generation of pink, ruffly dresses. Hair bands. Flowery shoes. Tight shorts.

This time around, they’re for my son.
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Maple Syrup The Life of Kylie

Strange Customs

I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I’m just thrifty. My husband swallowed a laugh as the customs agent replied that I would have to give the banana peel to the Agricultural Inspection Agent. Beginning to comprehend the gravity of our situation, I quickly stuffed the banana into my mouth, passing the rest to my ever-helpful husband. They’d already taken my adorable tin of authentic Canadian maple syrup,…


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