How to Not Incite Rage When You Tweet

purse

Did you watch the Oscars? I sure did, complete with a magnifique French Les Mis-themed dinner: French Onion Soup, crepes… and piping hot controversy casserole.

If you watched the show like I did, you were snuggled up with your Twitter account, scrolling along to the beat of as folks from all walks of life weighed in on everything– the dresses (Too much nip! What was she thinking?!), the host (He sucks! So lame!), the awards (What a rip he wasn’t nominated!) and… the innocent nine-year-olds (I’m not going to post what The Onion said here. Look it up yourself). Noticing a theme?

The Onion’s gross grossness slapped us all in the face with the cataclysmic levels of snarkiness, flat-out rudeness and riot-inducing cruelty that’s fully permeated our public opinions on pop culture. On each other. On sweet, sparkly dress-wearing little girls. How do we pump the breaks on all of this– and pump ‘em good?

  1. Chill On The One-Upping. It seems that he– or she (we don’t know if Offending Tweeter was a woman, after all. Stop assuming things, ya big sexist.)– who shouts loudest is re-tweeted the mostest. It’s like everyone’s just sitting there eating movie snacks and trying to think of the meanest, most shocking thing to say– just for the sake of getting attention. Not classy, not funny. That’s just being a Grade-A jerk.
  2. Nice Can Be Funny.  Host Seth MacFarlane’s getting a lot of criticism for his mean-spirited humor. But remember when Tina went googalooga over ‘Bill Rodham Clinton,” and Amy sat doe-eyed next to Clooney? Their biggest laughs came from admiring people, not making fun of them. Classy.
  3. What Would Your Mom Think? I’ll fully admit I’ve written things I’m not 100% proud of (but not ashamed of, either). Here’s the test I suggest, no matter how old you are: would you be embarrassed if your mom or dad read it? If it would shame the very people who think everything you do is all kinds of call-your-grandma fantastic, then maybe do a quick re-write.

The Onion has since apologized, and let’s hope they learned something. Maybe we can all learn something, too.  I’ll start. Hey, did you hear where Quvenzhané Wallis got her super-cute puppy purse? New Yorkie!

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A Mom’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

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5:52 a.m. Awaken to breakfast in bed. How is there literally more Cheerios than there are grains of sand at the beach under your covers?

5:57 a.m. Change Cupid’s diaper. How did Cheerios get in there, too?

6:22 a.m. Give your honey a valentine. Draw a heart around the Post-It note you left next to his keys that says, “Remember to call your mother back re: goiter surgery. Buy cat litter.”

9:16 a.m. Indulge in a sweet treat. Play the Is It Chocolate… Or Poop? Game, Valentine’s Edition! (Hint: Poop isn’t heart-shaped. Usually.)

10:46 a.m. Remember to Flirt! When you pass those three post-college dudes buying bulk toilet paper and their first Swiffer at Target, suck in your stomach until you feel your bellybutton wrap around your spine.

High Noon: Crack open a bottle of the good stuff. This isn’t a clever play on words for something parenting-related.

5:01 p.m. Go dancing! The tango? Naaaahhhh. Your Hot Dog Dance would make Julianne Hough beg for Toodles.

6:44 p.m. Savor a romantic dinner. Those Fish McBites aren’t going to try themselves.

6:48 p.m. Bust out your special lingerie… not the ratty nursing bra you still wear daily, even though you stopped breastfeeding two years ago. Wear the new nursing bra with the tags still on it.

8:06 p.m. Retire to the boudoir for another threesome… your third one this week. Hopefully, the tiny person in the middle doesn’t steal all the covers this time. Hey, is that a Cheerio?

Mommy Must-Have: Cool Socks

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Socks, you say? Yes. In my pre-baby days, I owned two varieties: thick, white ‘n ratty gym pairs, and manmade material brown and block work lady pairs. 

When Posey was a few months old, we started a music class together. Here’s the thing I never thought of– and nobody told me. At most mom/baby events (classes, story times, indoor play cafes), there are strict no-shoe policies. It makes sense to keep the floors clean when our little bugaboos are crawling around on them. 

So on my first day of my first class, I removed my shoes to reveal my old white gym socks, and I was shamed. Shamed, I tell you. Every other mom had cutie patooties: stripes, argyle, animals, polka dots… you name it. The next day, I went on a sock run at Target. 

Last week, I met a friend at the Kookaburra Play Cafe. In preparation, I slipped on pair of gray and purple polka dotties. Good thing, because the Lincoln Park moms were sporting all kinds of fancy feet. Neon. NEON, I TELL YOU! And who did I spot in the corner of the cafe? A new mom, cradling her teeny infant, her feet clad in ratty white gym socks.

When you know better, you do better. Go invest in some playdate socks. 

 

 

How to Hand-Wash Laundry

There is only one thing worse than checking the tag on your new sweater and finding the dreaded “dry clean only” label, and that’s finding this one:

handwashonly

There are about 100 things I’d rather do than wash my laundry by hand, starting with “pay someone to hand-wash my laundry.” It’s not that I’m lazy. If you have a hole in your elephant-print Sleep ‘n Play, I’m more than happy to mend it. If you want me to remove your duvet cover, launder it, then crawl inside it to smooth out your comforter, crawl back out to admire the fresh bedding, leave the house for an hour and return to find a fresh cat barf stain right in the middle of said duvet, forcing me to start the process all over– I’m game. In fact, I practiced just today, just in case.

But I’m stuck on the hand wash thing, mostly because how do you wring the water out without stretching the piece of clothing out? And get it dry enough that it doesn’t weigh a ton and drip pink water on the floor? 

Looks like I wasted a lot of years worrying, because today I looked it up from the place that would know about stuff like this. The answer was so simple. Almost too simple:

After squeezing out water, lay the sweater on a white towel on a flat surface (a white towel prevents dye transfer from towel to sweater). Gently roll the towel and sweater together to remove moisture, squeezing and pressing as you work.

It totally worked. Any even though the water was extra-cold, sending me into a Tierra-like fit… my expensive-so-I-don’t-want-to-ruin-it Banana Republic sweater and my cheap-so-I-don’t-want-it-to-fall-apart Forever 21 peplum top are saved. Thanks, Martha!

The Groupon I’ve Waited Her Entire Life For

There is a hole in my soul in the shape of a professional family portrait.

When Posey hit the three-month mark, the six-month mark, her first birthday… I let each milestone pass without commemorating it with a classic “playing around in leaves” or “swinging child by the hands” or “fun day in the park” or “matching turtlenecks” photo shoot. But I wanted to. If we are friends on Facebook– and you have a child– there is a 100% chance that I have stared longingly at your family album, googled the photographer and spent hours browsing their portfolio. But I haven’t pulled the trigger. I haven’t found that special someone who I feel confident will get that magic shot where one or all of is not making this face:

And then, I stumbled across this deal on Groupon today. Whaaaaaaat? An in-studio session with a world-renowned portrait artist who’s shot Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and this Mellencamp album cover, for crying out loud?

YES, PLEASE. THIS IS THE MAN FOR THE JOB. Pretty sure he’ll be able to get one where Beef’s eyes aren’t closed. This is like buying a Groupon for Richard Lewis to craft you your own tailor-made joke about your own personal insecurities. Which, Groupon, would be a pretty kick-ass offer.

So what should we wear for the big shoot? Bolo ties, or no bolo ties?