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Showing posts from 2020

(Do) We Need to Talk About Santa (?)

 I vaguely remember when it was that I found out Santa wasn't real. I was in middle school, probably about 8 years old. It was coming up to Christmas and I recall a classmate a propos of nothing saying: "You know Santa isn't real, don't you?" At varying levels, I instantly believed them and confirmed scathingly that of course I knew. I didn't know. Hadn't even suspected. But it wasn't exactly a life-shattering blow to me for a few reasons: 1) My parents did not make a huge thing out of Father Christmas. He wasn't held up as a figure whom you must appease or else be stricken of all your presents come December 25th.  2) I had not thought a great deal about the logistics of a man traveling around the world in a flying sleigh in one night merrily chucking out gifts to all and sundry. Sure, his handwriting looked suspiciously like my mum's, but I wasn't interested in putting two and two together. I just took it as all as something that happened

A Rant about Sharing

 Hi. At the time of writing this, my children are 8 and 5. We have been to parks many, many times. Sometimes we take stuff to play with. Other times they just play on the equipment there. But never once in either of their entire lives have they gone up to some child they have never met before and asked if they could have a turn with whatever that child was playing with. Now, granted, my children are annoyingly asocial so are generally not interested in whatever anyone else is doing but also they understand when something is not theirs. It's different if they're with friends or at school where things are communal (although I'm writing this in the middle of a pandemic. No sharing pencils, please) and sharing is expected, if not mandatory. Although, to be honest, my son isn't great at it then, either. But what I'm talking about is when we're minding our own business and some rando comes over and wants to use our stuff. They don't want to play with my kids. Ther

Masks Revisited

I know what you're thinking: "So, tell us the latest about your very interesting mask situation!" OK, thanks for asking. I will.  Go Gaiters As I'm sure you'll recall from my previous post , I was thinking / panicking about getting some extra masks for my children. I also wanted to try some that were just one piece i.e. not pleated, to see if they found them easier to breathe through. I decided to try my luck with some "neck gaiter" style ones that they could wear around their necks and just pull up to cover their noses as needed. I went with a 5-pack from SA Company  via a Facebook ad for suckers which cost $26.93 including postage and packing. We tried these out on a walk one Saturday. At first they were a hit. My son liked pulling it up like a ninja, although he actually preferred pulling the face shield over his entire face, eyes included. They're not very thick, though, so apparently he could still see. After about ten minutes, however, it was c

A Brush with MLM - Part Two

If you read my previous post, A Brush with MLM - Part One , you will know how willing I am to go along with somebody's sales spiel even if I have no interest in what they are peddling. Does this give them false hope? Or are they just used to it? I think my main problem is that if I'm in a one-on-one situation with said peddler, I am very unlikely to be politely firm (heaven forbid I'm ever rude to anyone) and say "no, thank you." After my most recent experience, however, I feel that forewarned is forearmed and I hope I can end the encounter quickly if it ever happens again. The Over-Friendly Couple I was in Albertson's grocery store earlier this week with my two children. As we're still in the throes of COVID-19 here in Orange County, we were fully masked up and keeping out of everyone else's way. We were in the snacks aisle when it happened. As I was deciding between party size or family size wavy Lays chips (if you're in the UK and reading this,

A Brush with MLM - Part One

 Have you heard of "resting bitch face"? It means that when you're not actively pulling ker-azy expressions, you look like you're in a bad mood and kind of mean. Even if you're not. Well, I seem to have "resting sucker face". Yes, I am that one born every minute. I guess I'm just too nice and polite to say "no, thank you!" (it seems so easy just typing it out like that. And "no, thank you!" is also a very nice and polite way of telling someone to fuck off and I can't even do that). It's been a curse since I was young. I remember listening to a long telephone sales pitch about the benefits of a special women's health insurance and agreeing that it did sound great and I was very interested but did it matter if I was only 14? Fast forward a couple of years and my mum had to tell the Jehovah's Witnesses who popped around for a return visit that I'd suddenly gone to University in Manchester. Now in the States I'

What Not to Do at the Start of a Lockdown

Miss the Boat It was Friday the 13th of March, 2020. The last day of on-campus schooling and the last day I had anything remotely approaching patience left. Sure, it had been in the news, I'd heard of the panic-buying, seen photos of ransacked stores with nothing but some squid-ink pasta and jarred artichoke hearts left. But I live in a civilized  area. I had 12 rolls of toilet paper and had just done a biggish shop at Trader Joe's. Sorted. But...was I? When we got official word that Friday was the last day of on-site school, I decided to pop to Target to join the herd and stockpile a few things just in case. Well, guess what? As you might have guessed if you've read any of my previous posts, I had missed the boat. And not just missed it, it was sailing merrily over the horizon, toilet paper streaming from the funnel. I dashed about with a few other disheartened shoppers, madly grabbing anything that was left. I got one box of frozen sliders (miniature burgers), one bag (th

Masks for Days

Somewhere in the dim and distant past, probably about 3 months ago (remember then? March 2020? The month that never seemed to end and now seems like a million years ago?), it was becoming clear that in order to re-enter into society in any meaningful way, you needed to be in possession of some sort of facial covering. A mask, in other words. Of course, as is my wont, by the time I started realizing this, all the fecking masks were long gone. You could get stuff on Amazon, but it seemed to be the equivalent of a piece of toilet paper with two elastic bands on the ends for the princely sum of $500 for a set of 5. Late one night, I decided to get into a bit of a panic so literally googled "where can I buy masks". As it turned out, there were several places and my first mask purchase came from trendy LA scenesters, Monogram . I got a pack of 4 washable jersey masks for $43.10 including postage in a week or so. At first I was relieved, then annoyed with myself as they were too big

The Eliot Effect

Have you ever been so pumped up to do something that you totally think you can do, been filled with motivation and spurred on by adrenaline to finally make your dream project come to fruition and then....pfffffffffffffft. Nothing. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Doing this blog is an example. I've started them before but ran out of ideas after a post or two.  I was complaining to my friend that I was dying to do something after so many years as a stay at home mum but wanted to do something on my own terms. She suggested starting a blog to document how I was doing. So...over a year after that conversation, here I am! I had an epiphany one day that I could write things for other people for money. This turned out to be "copywriting". If I wasn't going to be a world famous novelist by the time I was 40 (revised from 30), this could be the next best thing. OK, so what do I need to do? Maybe a course, read some books, set up a website, get some sosh meeds going and

The Housewife's Lament

Heading into a so-called "milestone" birthday next year (*cough cough* 40 *cough cough*), it's tough not to occasionally take stock and think where my life is and also where I wanted it to be by this point. If you ask my 18 year-old self, I wouldn't be able to even imagine being 40. 30 was more than old enough. I would either be dead or a successful published author, maybe married but not that bothered, definitely no kids, no way! Gross! So, that hasn't happened. I went to an all-girls school from the ages of 11-18 and looking at my contemporaries now, I see doctors, vets, pilots, project managers, environmental scientists, financial managers, teachers and business owners. Most of them are mothers too. And then I look at myself. I have been a full-time parent for nearly 8 years and...erm...that's it. Yes, I know, being a parent is HARD, especially in the beginning. But my youngest is starting full-day kindergarten this August (COVID-19 permitting) and I gues

On Joking

One of the good things about being forced to stay at home during this COVID-19 pandemic is that I get to spend all day with my two children, ages 5 and 7. One of the worst things about being forced to stay at home during this COVID-19 pandemic is that I get to spend ALL DAY WITH MY TWO CHILDREN, AGES 5 AND 7. So far, we have been getting on OK. My daughter is the 7 year old and spends a lot of the day doing school work so that takes up a big chunk of time. My son is 5 and, while he's happy to watch YouTube all day, I feel obliged to try and engage with him in some way so he doesn't actually biologically merge with our sofa. Unfortunately, yesterday was a bit of a disaster. I was crabby and got increasingly crabbier as the day progressed. I entered into a phase where I was just saying "SHHHH!" or "be quiet!" to everything the kids said, even if it wasn't that obviously annoying. The reason? My son decided to tell some jokes. Now, I am not a comedian, humo

Strange Days

Good time to start a blog? In theory, yes. COVID-19 is keeping everyone indoors, I need to start writing something as I paid for this domain name several months ago and if I ever want to earn money as a freelance writer, I need to strut my stuff. In practice, it's a bit more difficult. My 7 year old daughter is using my laptop for distance learning, I am looking after her and my 5 year old son all day so by the evening I am pretty much worn out physically and creatively. Also, if there was a world championship for procrastinators, I would probably come in the top 10. Or maybe not, as I wouldn't be arsed to turn up. Here's my quick quarantine round-up. I'm lucky enough to be in a great position here. Number one, yes, we have toilet paper - thank you Office Depot and Sam's Club. I am currently a stay-at-home parent anyway so no big change to my life and also no loss of possible paycheck from any imaginary job I may have had. My husband is able to work from home and