Fearsome tales of a tyrannical mother

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Friends, I have a gruesome fable to share. Some of you may not last long reading this for fear that you may faint. I understand. Many have reacted the same way. I bear news of a sorrowful story of three desperately wronged children and the crusade of all around them to save them from the clutches of their evil parents.

On any given day in this household the children are expected to…mother of mercy help me… walk while indoors. Their oppressors force these desperate souls to say “ma’am” and “sir.” These wretched dictators go so far as to deny the children the pleasure of sweet confections if they do not consume the entirety of their supper. They are denied multiple servings of said treats even when they do comply with such senseless demands. “Tooth decay” and “upset stomach” stand named as the culprits, but I say the true culprit is treachery against childhood!

Unbelievably, not one…not ONE, I say, of these children is properly equipped with an iPad, iPhone, nor even an iPod. Oh! The humanity! The eldest will be entering third grade! Such atrocities cannot stand!

These fascists dare to demand an utter lack of screaming indoors. And yelling is forbidden as well! The blasphemy in which these “parents” engage knows no bounds. Children may never be expected to display self-control under any circumstances. It is a well-known fact. To leave yelling and running for outdoor play only will undeniably crush their tiny spirits to the point of no return.

And the myriad of chores assigned to them… You will cringe to hear them named. They are responsible to not only brush their teeth, but use floss as well. To heap insult upon injury, mouthwash must complete the torture. If they make a mess, you will not believe who is expected to pick it up. They are! The sweet, poor children. Who cleans their bathrooms you might ask? They do! Their rooms? They do! Children? Indentured servants more like!

These desperate beings have even been denied conveyance to a local center of recreational activity for offenses as small as hitting, name-calling, and refusing to do assigned work. The depravity of their keepers flows from an endless font.

These wards of the wicked find themselves saddled with a bedtime. They are doomed to find no joy, no JOY, I say! How can a child truly enjoy the freedom of summer vacation without staying up until morning? How can they know true happiness without the unbroken overnight use of electronic devices? They are allowed a mere two hours a day to engage in the sacred act of submitting to a comatose state in front of an absurdly tiny 42 inch screen. And not even an LED screen at that.

I will have you know, good friends, that these children are expected to WORK for money rather than have it flow freely from the hand of parent to child. Can you understand the anguish they must endure when they have not saved for an item and must put off its purchase until they have toiled for the sake of its procurement? I weep for their agony.

These juvenile slaves have had their youth stripped from them by brutes too cruel to care for them! They say they must “teach” them about “work”, “respect”, “reciprocity”. But I say what about permissiveness, entitlement, and greed? How will this god-forsaken environment teach them that?

Save them! Take up the cry that is shouted all around these vile beasts who call themselves parents! Save them! Save them! Save them! Do it for the children!20140729-144154-52914745.jpg

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My biggest fear

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There are a lot of things in the world to be afraid of if you let your mind focus too long on them. Nuclear war, widespread food source contamination, asteroid hitting the Earth, etc. Frankly, there are a lot of things in town that could be pretty scary. Walking the street at night in an unfamiliar neighborhood, drunk drivers, that creepy-ass spider in the backyard that keeps managing to evade your boot of death. However, my most debilitating fear is not any of the above-named nightmares. I’m less worried about death, dismemberment, or the collapse of our planet than I am of this one thing that turns my body into a high-alert survival machine and my mind into primal ooze trying to spew forth creations of my own terror.

I am afraid to sing in front of almost everyone.

Good old-fashioned stage fright sends my body into fight or flight mode. I can barely breathe. My body tenses up awaiting attack. I close my eyes hoping to ignore the source of my deep dismay. The same mindset of a small child, “if I can’t see you, then you can’t see me.” If you were to ask me to deliver a speech to 5,000 people I’d be less nervous than singing in front of 5 people. That girl near tears in the back of the room because she’s about to sing alone at a concert with eight and nine year olds? Yup, that’s me.

I’ve never found the cure and I’ve never found the confidence. I never tried out for a solo, ever. I bombed my senior choir tryout and was graciously allowed in. I’m a study in trepidation. I am lucky I have a few supporters who have heard me really sing a song the whole way, all the way. They are saints for smiling through my overwhelming insecurity.

This year I’m trying to overcome my fear. I’ve treated this post as a confessional of sorts. I suppose it always feels good to set yourself free. I wonder if any of you have been afraid in this way before. Tell me, how do you prevail?

Be brave, friends.
-MM

I have a confession…

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I love boobs. Seriously. If I’ve met you in person I have guessed your bra size in my head. Because I love boobs!

I think women in general spend a ton of time focusing on our body flaws. So much that we forget to love the good parts. Boobs are amazing! And no matter their size, shape, or age you should treat them right, damn it!

It’s time to buy a properly fitting, amazing bra. Mine are shipped in from Poland because I (and my sister) have been in “extreme” sizes since senior year of high school.

There are many things to discuss about proper sizing. The first step is admitting you have a problem. If you believed the Victoria’s Secret girl when she told you that you are a 36B but you’re a size 2, you’re in trouble. So let’s get started.

First, you need to learn your real band size. When a guy buys pants, he measures his waist (by that I mean he eyeballs his waist size) and gets pants that are the size of his actual waist. Crazy, right?!? Thirty four inch waist, thirty four inch pants. When girls buy bras, we have been foolishly following the “plus four” rule. Thirty two inch bust, thirty six inch bra. Wha??? You need the band to hug your body to support those fabulous boobs! So let’s throw out that concept! You need to match your bra size to your chest size. It might feel tight for a bit. Those boobs have been tumbling around in your bra like shoes in a dryer for too long! It’s going to take some time to get used to the restoration of order.

Next, we deal with our cup size. We’ve been doing this by measuring where our boobs rest on our body unsupported. But we want them to be lifted! Otherwise, why would we bother ourselves with these medieval torture devices, a.k.a. poorly fitting bras? So we must measure them in the lifted position. What they don’t tell you at bra stores is that improperly fitting bras can hold your whole boob, but they do it in a horrible position. So a 38C holds the same AMOUNT of boob as a 36D or 34DD, but in a very different way. Trust me, you’re pretty much going to shock yourself with this move. You are going to feel like a harlot having your boobs at attention like that. Just remember, you are embracing the awesome that are boobs!

Lastly, we need to get our WHOLE boob in the bra. “But I do have my whole boob in my bra,” you say. LIES! There is such a thing as migrated breast tissue. Which is basically when your boobs have been shoved into weird positions, usually the sides of your bra, for so long they got stuck that way. Like when your mom told you not to make “that face.” But for real. With boobs. Never fear! It can migrate back where it belongs. In this instance, you must accept that the extra two cup sizes you just measured for are actually there. I promise you they are. You’ve just been shoving them out to the sides of your bra for so long you forgot they were boobs and not back fat.

So here’s how you’re going to measure for your new bra.
(1) Take a soft tape measure directly underneath your boobs. You may have to lift them up, but get to the root of the boob! This number is your band size. If you buy the Polish bras you need to exhale all the way and pull it tight, then breathe in and leave it just resting there. Then you plug those numbers into the handy calculator. Since bands come in even numbers, you may have to try the rounded up and rounded down sizes to get the best fit. Write that measurement down. For example, 32.75″ will be written as 32/34.

(2) Bend over at the waist. Make your back parallel with the ground. Now you are seeing your boobs in what will be their lifted position. Take the soft tape gently around your nipples and take the measurement while keeping the tape even. Don’t let it sling down to your butt. Keep it straight! Then, write down this measurement. Let’s call it 39″ for our example.

At this point you have the data to start your bra math. Here’s how you determine your cup size. For every inch more than your band size you are, add a cup size. So a 40″ band and 43″ cup means band +3. Therefore, 40C. Keep in mind that when you go higher, the US and UK cup sizes are different.

**US vs. UK
+1) A = A
+2) B = B
+3) C = C
+4) D = D
+5) DD = DD
+6) DDD = E
+7) G = F
+8) H = FF
+9) I = G
+10) J = GG
+11) K = H
+12) L = HH

Some helpful bra-fitting tips: Always make sure the middle part of the underwire is resting on you chest, not your boobs. This part is called the “center gore.” It helps you separate and define your boobs. Because of migrated breast tissue, you will need to “swoop and scoop” your boobs into the cups. Put the band on around your middle, bend over at the waist, shimmy the band up to the root of your boob, then start pulling tissue in from under your armpits into the cup. The cup will fill up! Then slip the straps over your shoulders to hold the position.

Using our previous data, this means Example-girl (she has the power to enlighten you) has a 32.75″ band + ~6. So our friendly super hero is a 32(or 34)DDD in US sizing, or a 32E in UK sizing. If you are lucky enough to be a size that is available in retail shops, try several variations of the bra. If your boobs are completely encased but the band is too tight, try the next band size up plus one cup size down. Example-girl could only get one finger underneath the band and she needs two fingers for comfort, but the amount of boob coverage is right. She will try on a 34DD next. Ahhhhh, perfection! Example-girl is stoked! Also, her boobs look awesome. She is going home to burn her 38C bras today!

You know you want to be like Example-girl. Love your boobs, ladies! I’m ready to love them with you!

Be boobalicious, friends.

MM

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What it’s like to be lazy

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I am utterly indolent, slothful, lackadaisical, and all other synonyms for lazy. However, I am still a functioning human being. Let me tell you what that’s like.

Everyone recognizes the value of hard work. They treat the industrious person as the ideal, at least here in the U.S. Even regardless of the tendency of the industrious to succumb to diseases of stress (cancer, heart disease, etc). My post today isn’t about telling those folks that they are working too hard. My post is to share how my lazy brain works and motivates me differently. I suspect many of the lazy out there will find their brains work much the same way.

There are people reading this post that will see it and find themselves surprised at my degree of laziness. Most especially the people who have known me only at work. But being lazy does not mean that I never accomplish anything. It means I am constantly looking for ways to have nothing needing to be accomplished. I can assure you that I never achieve this by simply putting in more hard work. Can I figure out a way to get that one hour process down to 20 minutes? That will leave enough time to read an interesting short story. Can I develop something that will turn two jobs into one? Who doesn’t hate moving the clothes from the washer into the dryer?

I value my relaxation and leisure more than any person I know. Sure, everyone likes down time relaxing, but I’m the person who aligns my goals to acquiring more of it. If I’m working my ass off to move up at work it’s because I want to have enough cash to retire early. I never get too bored on vacation and desperately desire to return to work. I’m working so that I can have a permanent vacation.

I am almost entirely led by impulse. My ability to complete any task is forever at war with my desire to just do whatever I want. I need rewards to stay motivated to work. Those don’t have to be monetary. If I work hard at something and everyone tells me how smart I am for a week, it was worth it. If I suck it up and put away the socks (god-forsaken laundry devils) and my husband showers me with kisses, worth it. I would never do hard work for hard work’s sake. This is why I would never go to the gym to be skinny, but I might do it to get to live out my retirement on the coast for longer.

I’m indulgent. I can read an entire book series in two days because I love it. I mean, have you guys read Divergent? It’s book-binge utopia. I have to buy mini ice creams because that pint of chocolate chip cookie dough will be obliterated before I give it a second thought. I’m much too lazy to exert will power. I’d rather make it inconvenient for myself. Luckily for my employers, my indulgence also means that I will often give 100% to something I think will improve my job. Sometimes that’s too much, but such is the life of the lazy.

I live for short term goals. Urgency will always get more out of me than importance. This is likely why I enjoyed waiting tables for the length of time that I did. I am capable of executing long-term plans, but I enjoy putting out fires. My five year plan would consist of 60 thirty day plans. Unless, of course, we’re talking about a plan that will get me on the beach sooner.

I am constantly in a state of reprioritization. In almost every situation I weigh the pros and cons of expending my energy and using my time. For example, in a biology class in college, my professor had a policy to drop the lowest test grade. He also only had tests for grades. Everything else was voluntary. Prime lazy A ground for me. I looked at that and knew that if I invested enough time and effort to study hard for the first two tests, that I could simply choose one of the two last tests to study for. I did just that, made three A’s and turned in the cumulative final with just my name on in. Those of you tied into the morality of hard work may be appalled at me by now. But I put in just as much work was necessary to get the optimum result. In classes where more was expected, I either chose to put in more effort (based on what the outcome would get me) or I chose to make a B. This is what it’s like to prioritize due to laziness.

I assign value to everything. Maintaining an acquaintance has a low value. You want to talk about real life hardship, let’s get to it, my friend. Our friendship is valuable. You want to talk about the weather, can’t we just part ways and watch reality TV instead? My husband’s happiness is valuable. I’ll prioritize it accordingly even if that means exerting time and energy. My distance Uncle who hasn’t seen me in 25 years, his happiness is not valuable. No you may not attend my wedding in place of a friend. Organize a reunion.

I hurt feelings because I find it so inefficient and wasteful to go in conversational circles. I may take enough time to choose the words that convey exactly what I mean, but that does not mean the words will be gentle ones. I’m too lazy to walk you through my perspective in stages so that you may grow accustomed to it. This means that if you are the kind of person who is willing to hear me, then honestly and openly agree or disagree with me, I will likely cling to you. You are valuable to me.

All in all, being lazy really isn’t so bad for me. I have been successful at work, happy in my marriage, and surrounded by real friends all while still being an inherently lazy person. Laziness is simply about different priorities. So don’t be so quick to judge the lazy. They may accomplish more than you know.

Be well, friends.

MM

How my husband won me over

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There are a ton of blogs, books, websites, and more dedicated to the pursuit of a lifelong mate. Even more dedicated to obtaining sex. I can’t speak for everyone’s experience, though I sure love to share my opinion about it, but I can say what it was that my husband did that made me so sure we would work.

For some background, I broke up with my college boyfriend after two and a half years and a few bad decisions about the relationship. After that I remained religiously single. I chose to go on only three dates in a span of almost three years before I met my man. I had vowed I would never get married. I couldn’t fathom how anyone could simply decide to tolerate another human being encroaching on their individuality until the day they died. I was kind of an idiot.

The first thing that my husband did was made sure I had fun. If I wanted to dance, he danced. If I wanted to watch a movie, we did. If I felt like embarrassing myself in a bowling alley, he watched me bowl a 28. It made me feel good about doing stuff with him in return. He never asked me to give up the fun stuff to be with him. Which leads us to thing number two.

He believed me when I told him I needed to have my own life, too. I could hang out with my sorority sisters or friends from work without being worried that he was going to be pouty or miserable. This is because of point three.

He knew he was worth being with. He knew he was a good boyfriend. He knew he was a nice person. He knew he was going to be fine without my constant attention. I’m pretty sure he knew exactly how hot I thought he was. It made him so easy to be with. Which brings me to reason four.

He did not bring in, nor participate in drama. I have met people who genuinely believe that their relationship lacks depth of emotion if there isn’t near constant drama and turmoil. They are in for shitty relationships and even shittier divorces. If he had any issue, which was rare, he simply told me what he thought and we talked about it. This was the major appeal highlighted in point number five.

He communicated with me honestly when I asked him anything. If I asked if he was pissed, he’d answer truthfully. When I asked him why he loved me, he knew and could articulate exactly why. That was powerful. More powerful than I knew it could be until I experienced it. And on top of that, he chose to do this final thing.

He was the most thoughtful person I’d ever been in a relationship with. He was amazing at making me feel like I was always on his mind. He did this without ever making an announcement about how often he thought of me. I remember being disappointed I was going to work late and miss a TV show. He recorded for me and then invited me over to watch it. When I was coming home after work and he was going to meet me at my apartment, he left the closest parking space for me even though he arrived first. He knew I used the last of my bread when I packed my lunch in the morning so he picked some up. He was able to buy me expensive jewelry or high-end gifts, but he honored the fact that accepting those types of gifts made me uneasy. He kept them few and far between and chose to do the little things that won me over.

In summary, my husband is amazing. For so many reasons. We are absolutely compatible. He changed my whole perspective on marriage in far less time than it took for me to previously abandon the institution. I know romantic comedies will tell men (and lead women to believe) that love can only be displayed in grand gestures that are heroically sentimental. But the real truth is that love is easier than that if you let it be. I owe my husband so much for showing me that.

Be loving, friends.

MM

I didn’t mean to start a war

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Last night I accidentally started a war on a teenager’s pin on Pinterest. It wasn’t intentional. I was scrolling through the Popular feed and saw the following picture attached to a Fitspo (fitness inspiration) board.

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This is a picture of a (probably) healthy girl that has been photoshopped to push in her thighs, “waist” (more like six inches below it), and arms. I commented on how sad I was to see a girl like this morphed into something closer to an anorexic. That’s when all hell broke loose.

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I didn’t realize the pinner was a teen. If you’ve ever told one they were wrong before, you can imagine the reaction. She said something slightly rude and a little angry. A different adult jumped down her throat and told her the picture was gross. She defended the picture saying there was no way to know it was photoshopped (see above). Another teenager jumped to her defense. Yet another adult insisted it was a photoshopped image. In the end this teen just asked us all to hush. Fair enough.

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I apologized for starting a war on her page and told her that the adults got all up in arms because we don’t like seeing people lied to about what their body should look like. I genuinely felt bad for this young girl. She only believes what she’s been told her whole life. I hope she looks a little more closely at the pictures from now on, and I think I’ll keep my mouth shut. Pinterest is a happy place!

Be careful, friends.

MM

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When Your Dog Dies

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Yesterday we lost one of our animal children. My husband has such a deep connection to his dogs and the loss has hit him hard. Seeing his deep pain is heartbreaking.

The task was mine to tell the kids. I scoured the internet for stories of those who have done it before me. I told the children the night prior that our dog was very old and had gotten sick. We prepared them for the inevitable by telling them that she would be dying very soon. They already had a sense something was wrong based on all the recent vet visits. We told them to spend a lot of time with her giving her lots of love. They wrote her notes. It was such a genuine outpouring of feeling from such little hearts.

That night, we took her out to go to the bathroom. She was feeling pretty weak. The first time we checked in she was shaky but no worse than she’d been. The second time, she wasn’t breathing. We brought her inside, covered her up, and said our goodbyes.

In the morning, I told each of the kids separately that our friend had died at night. I let them see her and pet her one last time before they went off to school.

I hate to see so much grief in our home, but I would not trade the years with our canine kid. We’ll miss her.

Be loving, friends.

MM

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