Monthly Archives: November 2013

You Should Date An Illiterate Girl

Thought Catalog

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into…

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Letter of Gratitude to a Terrible Principal

Dear Draconian Administrator;

We have had our disagreements these past 4 years (some of them have involved the police and courtrooms). I know that you shake your head in disbelief at my parenting strategies in the same way that I shake my head at your power trips and obvious dislike of my boys.

I want to first apologize for leaving our last meeting early, you see I felt that I was perilously close to violating several of my Quaker testimonies (simplicity, peace,integrity,  community, equality) and I just didn’t want to go there.

Mostly, what I would like to do is express my Gratitude to you. Sounds crazy, I know; but you have helped me teach my oldest sons lessons that I never could have taught them alone. Big Life Lessons. Important Stuff that will make them better, stronger people in the long run…

Thanks to you, they have learned to Stand Their Ground, to weight their choices and decide if their conviction was worth facing the consequences, to listen to their own hearts and trust that still small voice to tell them what is right instead of following the leader.

They have learned to Fight for the Little Guy, because sometimes those people charged with protecting the most vulnerable just won’t do it, and when that happens people of conscience have to step up and step in and join the fray in the name of those to weak to fight themselves.

They have learned to Question Authority, because no matter how well educated you are, no matter what your position, no matter who else trusts you – you may be wrong, and someone needs to call you out on that.

They have learned Public Relations, everything can be spun, and public opinion is rarely based on facts. Armed with this understanding, they can chose how they present themselves for others perception.

They have learned Civics up close. They now know the inner workings of the Police Department, the School Board, the City Council, and the Court Room.

They have learned persistence. They now understand that losing a battle does not mean you should quit before you win the war.

Most important (to me, at least) you have given me the opportunity to show them that I will always have their backs; that when they screw it up I will hold them up while they fix it; and when they’re in the right, I will fight tooth and nail to make sure they win.

Thank you for all of this, Terrible Principal. I wish you well, and sincerely hope that I can find a better way to teach my younger children all of the wonderful lessons you have taught their brothers.

Girls With Swords

Girls With Swords

My sons opted out of Halloween this year (well, sort of). The 14 y.o. dressed as a “disaffected teenager”, the 12 and 9 y.o. dressed as their older brother. The 7 y.o. has sensory issues and doesn’t dress up.
But my girls… my girls did it up. The big one went as a “dragon fighting knight” or Joan of Arc, depending on who asked. The little one, a blood thirsty pirate. In solidarity, I went piratey too.
When we were all done up it occurred to me – all the girls have swords!
Now, I know that as a Quaker and a pacifist I should be bothered by this. I should probably never have strapped on that sword, or allowed them to.
But here’s the thing, I kinda think we rocked. Given the choice, with no input from me, my girls chose to haul out their brother’s old costumes and fantasize about being someone who kicks butt and takes names, rather than someone who looks cute and requires rescuing. They were fierce in costume as they are fierce in life.
Girls with swords… finally some tangible proof that this Mama is getting some things right.