Well, THAT sure was an event. Usually my experiences with things viral consist of me, a stomach bug, and a lot of ginger ale, so to say that I was completely astounded by the reaction to my most recent post is understating it by at least half. I'm chuffed when my readership for any one post reaches into the double digits, so to write a post that hit the thousands... well, I think this "social media" thing they keep talking about just might be onto something!
Speaking of onto something, it's time to move onto something else, i.e., a post which probably will not generate readership in the tens instead of the thousands. Ah well. It's probably better that most of my words reach a limited audience anyway.
So! It's that time of year, as we all know, when the holiday decorations come off the walls and the lines at the gym head out the door. [NB: Notice I did not say that the decorations actually make it back into storage. I had a conversation today with a local friend, in which we concluded that the decorations put up to celebrate the Lord's birth need to be put away before it's time to celebrate His rebirth, but anything before that is acceptable. But I digress.] Usually, I'm very diligent about not making any resolutions, but I realized just recently that I've been kinda-sorta carrying around a bunch in my head. I might as well formalize these thoughts as official resolutions and be done with it, the better to get the process of not living up to them underway. Therefore, without further ado, I bring you:
Some Pig's 2013 New Year's Resolutions
1. There will be no "Justice" in this household.
For those of you not blessed with pre-teen girls, in this case, Justice does not refer to an abstract concept of equity and rectitude, but rather, a chain store of shoddily-constructed goods in violent neon colors made by people probably not much older than the intended target audience of seven-year-olds. The clothes are, to use my aunt's words, all so much clather, intended to introduce kids to a lifetime habit of buying crappy, trendy clothes only to see them disintegrate just in time for the next season's fashions. If you know me at all, you know that I am cheap to a fault, and nothing makes me more irritated than buying something that either falls apart before it can be handed down to the next kid, or becomes so pilled, stained, or out of fashion that no one else wants to wear it. Unfortunately, nothing makes my elder daughter happier than a new set of duds from Justice, unless it's the same new outfit topped off with new accessories from Claire's, another store that makes my teeth itch. But you know what? I'm the adult, it's my money, and I refuse to spend our hard-earned dosh on poor-quality merchandise. So from here on out, we ne'er shall darken their door again. If India wants trendy clothes, we're going to have to ante up and get stuff from Boden or J. Crew, or better yet, beg hand-me-downs from people with older girls. If you have castoffs, message me and I will gladly pay the postage.
2. No more pigs in lipstick.
Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas, used to say: "You can have a pig, and you can name her Lucille, and you can put lipstick on her, but she's still just a pig." Well, I am a forty-five-year-old woman, and it is high time I embraced that reality and stopped trying to put lipstick on the pig. In other words, it's time to stop cheating Mother Nature in the form of coloring my hair. I can remember in my younger days, seeing women sporting 25-year-old hair and a 50-year-old face and wondering who they thought they were kidding. Now I am five years away from fulfilling the latter half of that equation and I've come to realize it applies to me as well. I asked Warren if he would be okay with my not dyeing my hair anymore, to which he answered, "I don't know, honey, because I don't know what your hair really looks like." Well, dear, you're about to find out. And if you know what's good for you, your response will be, "I think you look great, honey!" [PS I get to take all the money we save and spend it on myself, btw, lest you start thinking you can 'invest' in more motocross gear.] [NB To the Coworker Who Shall Remain Nameless: The blue streak is staying, so you will still be able to make all your little side comments, and I will still ignore you. So there.]
3. I'm not (P)interesting and I'm not magically going to become (P)interesting in 2013.
I seem to have an inordinate number of friends and friends-of-friends who post updates on various social media sites chronicling how they turned 273 pipe cleaners and some PVC piping into a clever mural for their offspring's room, the one that looks like it's straight out of a Pottery Barn Teen photo shoot. Or sharing status updates like, "Just taught my 3 y.o. the passe composee, 16 years earlier than I learned it!!!" Or posting photos of the family gathered around the hearth, doing something wholesome and fun, with no one whining that they'd rather be watching The Wizards of Waverly Place or out buying crappy clothes at Justice. Then I feel guilty that my house is ordinary, I don't have the slightest desire to teach my children how to bake kale chips with me, and I will never think of anything clever to do with mason jars and a length of old wash line. Well, you know what? Screw that noise. All you Pin(terest)heads can kiss my lazy, unambitious backside on your way out the door to Michaels' craft supply. Last time I looked, I had the equivalent of 2.5 full-time jobs and no more than 24 hours in a day like everyone else. And when I do have a free moment to myself, like now, when the kids are in bed and I'm taking half an hour between planning lessons and making lunches and cleaning up and getting ready for tomorrow and making kids get back in bed, I want to follow *my* interests and talents. Apparently, my 'interests and talents' consist of watching the Kartrashians and writing snarky posts, judging by where I choose to spend my time, but starting right here and right now I am going to stop feeling guilty about not leading a Pinnable life. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that approximately 90% of the sh!t pinned on Pinterest is by people who don't do any of it, but who think it looks really cool and someday they'd like to get around to it. Meanwhile, their lives look a hell of lot like mine; it's just their Pinterest pages that make them look like the living embodiment of Becky Home Ecky.
4. We are picking up around here.
Last weekend, I spent my two inside-the-house workdays dealing with stacks. Everywhere I looked, there was a stack. A pile. A cluster. An amalgamation. Of....stuff. Christmas gifts and books and school papers and pens and pencils and old magazines and laundry and American Girl doll cultch and GAH IT JUST NEVER ENDS. What's more, the stuff kept piling up in a cascade of messiness. As in, we can't put away this stuff until we move the chairs back to their usual place in the living room which is where the Christmas tree is now residing and it's taking up the spot where the side tables usually go which are now sitting in the hall so everyone trips over them and THERE IS NO PLACE TO PUT ANYTHING. So, the stuff! The stuff has got to go! My stuff! Their stuff! His stuff! The pets' stuff! Well, wait - my stuff can stay. The rest of their stuff can go.
5. I'm only doing what I can do and I'm not doing any more.
This year, I sent out a grand total of five Christmas cards, and I have three more addressed but not stamped, which are sitting in the cabinet (they were out in a stack of cards on the counter, but as part of my stuff-eradication effort, they got banished out of sight, where they no doubt will languish til Easter) (And again I invoke my rule about holidays centered around the Lord's birth/death/rebirth). And you know what? That is the way it is going to be. Remember how I said I have roughly 2.5 jobs' worth of work to do? I meant it. Admittedly, I got myself into some (okay, a lot) of it by opening up my big pie hole and saying things I didn't mean like, "I would love to help!" and "If it means we can offer something for the kids, I'll do it," but a lot of it is stuff I have to do just to keep everyone in the family alive and fed without our house turning up on an episode of Hoarders. What does that mean? Well, it means that five people got Christmas cards from us this year. It means three of Cici's little friends from her birthday party got thank-you notes before I lost the list and couldn't get her to sit down any longer to fill out the cards. It means I've done kind of a sucky job on a bunch of things I agreed to do when I should have said no, but I felt guilty so I said yes, and now I feel guilty for doing a sucky job. It means that I spent a week pushing myself to go to work when I was a little sick, which of course resulted in getting really sick for the better part of two weeks, during the exact time when I should have filled out those effing Christmas cards. It means that I don't have time, literally do not have the extra thirty minutes in a day to run out to the store to pick up something for the girls' classroom when we get the last-minute email from the class mom. It means that I'm living in a situation where my whole day is mapped out from the time I get up to the time I go to bed, where most days I have something to do or someplace to be or someone to watch over every. single. minute. of the. day. so that if one thing, if one little thing goes wrong like oversleeping by five minutes or forgetting to make it to the copy machine or getting stuck in traffic on the way to bus pickup, then the rest of the day is deep-fried screwed with a side of disaster. It means that if I want an hour to read a book or think or or have a conversation with my husband or talk on the phone or, hey, write a blog post, then I have to take it out of my sleep budget. It means Warren and I spend Friday night on the couch, staring into space, swapping ideas of all the things we could do as a family to socialize if we just could keep our eyes open.
So, no mas. If I already agreed to do something, I'll do it. But if you want to add any other additions to my plate, they'd better consist of filet mignon and chocolate cake.