Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Deep Throat: Okay, I'll bite.

The Haggis generally hates to cover anything that is already being covered in the general bandwagon media. But in this case, simply because it is so huge, I'll bite.


Mark Felt = Deep Throat.


And already Karl "Sauron" Rove's orcs and wraiths are out in force to discredit the 90-something year old man.

Pat Buchanan just called Felt "a snitch." Reeeaaaallllyy?

But Linda Tripp wasn't? Monica Lewinsky wasn't? George Stephanopoulous' opportunistic book wasn't?

What is the definition of a Snitch, Patrick? Someone who catches YOUR side doing something wrong and then blabs about it? Gimme a break, Pat. The very fact that you are debating the Watergate scandal on the side of Dick Nixon demonstrates clearly the political relic that you are. NO ONE argues for Dick Nixon on this one, Pat. Enough time has passed that we can all say, "Gee, Mr. President, that was wrong."

At the very least, can't we all agree that perhaps if Mr. Nixon had engaged in some "dirty tricks" with a 70's-era Monica Lewinsky rather than with Liddy, Haldemann, et.al, we'd all be better off, not the least of which because Deep Throat would still mean only two things: a) an old movie shown in sketchy theaters, and b) something not to be attempted on the first date.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Most Assuredly Chinese

Today marks the (count 'em) fifth time some lovely, well-meaning person has said to me about my daughter, "Are you sure she's Chinese? She doesn't really look Chinese."

Deep breath. Suppress all urges to answer grumpily. Assume role of educator:

"What do you think 'Chinese' looks like? Northern Chinese people are as pale as me. Western Chinese people look quite Russian. People with Southern Chinese ancestry look like my daughter. Guess why. 'Cause she's from Southern China."


Imagine how stupid that would sound if a Chinese person adopted a baby from America and was told that her baby "doesn't look American." What in the hell does "American" look like?!

Let's review:

Third largest country in the world by landmass, after Canada and Russia.

Borders include Russia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia.

1.4 billion people. Fifty-five ethnic minorities in addition to the majority Han. They are Mongolian, Hui, Tibetan, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Zhuang, Bouyei, Korean, Manchu, Dong, Yao, Bai, Tujia, Hani, Kazak, Dai, Li, Lisu, Va, She, Gaoshan, Lahu, Shui, Dongxiang, Naxi, Jingpo, Kirgiz, Tu, Daur, Mulam, Qiang, Blang, Salar, Maonan, Gelo, Xibe, Achang, Pumi, Tajik, Nu, Ozbek, Russian, Ewenki, Benglong, Bonan, Yugur, Jing, Tatar, Drung, Oroqen, Hezhen, Moinba, Lhoba and Gelo.

Let me break it down this way:

One fifteenth of the planet Earth's landmass is China.
One fifth of the planet Earth's population is Chinese.
It shares borders with no fewer than TEN other countries.

So considering that the US borders only TWO countries and (according to the US census) has a measly 295 million people, 75% of whom are Caucasian, wouldn't it be more likely that Americans would all look alike than Chinese? To put it another way, do you really think that it's statistically possible for 1.4 billion people to look just like what you picture in your mind when you hear the word "Chinese?" Might there be some room for variation in skin color, hair color and texture, and any other physical feature you can imagine?

So--regardless--and to answer the question once and for all--YES, I'm sure she's Chinese.


Because that's where I flew to get her.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Paula Zahn NOT

Does anyone else watch Paula Zahn Now? Does anyone else watch it, like me, because it is so godawful that it must be seen to be believed?

The CNN write-up gushes, "Paula Zahn NOW offers a chance to hear from people who matter, talking about the most pressing, most relevant and most essential topics of the day. Every night Paula tackles politics, justice, entertainment, business or health, with a line-up of contributors who are among the smartest and most intriguing people in their fields. On "Paula Zahn NOW", the most challenging questions will not only be asked -- they'll be answered."


Here is a transcript of a recent show I watched, and I have to say that it seems far less chaotic and thrown-together when it is written rather than viewed:

"ZAHN: Joe Johns, we're going break off here for a moment and come back to you in just a moment.

Senator Lieberman is now talking to reporters or -- who is it now? Senator Warner. I don't see the picture yet. So bear with us. This is breaking news. We'll go to whichever Republican is talking now. They keep on trading the microphone here.

And now, of course, with my luck, no one is talking."

But here is my favorite segment of the program, the Person of the Day bit. Apparently, CNN's assessment of "a line-up of contributors who are among the smartest and most intriguing people in their fields" includes anyone with A) access to the internet, and B) the time/inclination/boredom to vote for a theoretical "person of the day." The best part of The Person Of The Day bit is not simply that it is not journalistic or at all meaningful (does TPOTD win a free IPod? A trip to Puerta Vallarta with Bob Barker? A year's supply of Rice-a-Roni: The San Francisco Treat?), but that it offers the following asinine ballot:

"And time for all of you to pick the "Person of the Day." Your choices are Sergeant Mike Hall, the Florida police officer who found an eight-year-old girl buried alive inside a dumpster at a landfill.

The 14 senators who averted a nuclear meltdown in the Senate by negotiating a solution to the filibuster impasse.

Or Afghan President Hamid Karzai for coming to Washington to try to forge closer ties with the U.S.."

Gee, I don't know. The guy who saved an 8 year old child---a leader looking for more loans and aid---or 14 arrogant, pompous, badly-coiffed senators? I just simply can't decide. What a bold decision by CNN to offer such challenging choices. I sure hope Paula has a crack lineup of "smartest people in their fields" to help me pick! Because the stakes have never been higher, the need to let my voice be heard never greater, the ramifications of my vote never more far-reaching...

Ah. Hell with it. I'm changing the channel to Maury. Same level of intelligence without the pretense that it's journalism...

Friday, May 20, 2005

DC's Personal Protection Act

The esteemed and august Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has introduced The District of Columbia Personal Protection Act in the U.S. Senate. The legislation aims to reverse the city's 28-year handgun ban and repeals D.C.'s gun registration law.

Gee, thanks, Senator Hutchison. Not that YOU live here year-round or anything! Not that YOU will ever have to ride the metro or a bus or walk home from a train station in a city where it will be LEGAL to carry handguns, assault rifles and assault pistols. Anyone over the age of 18 will be legally entitled to openly carry AK-47S, UZIs, AR-15s AND TEC-9s on the streets of DC. Thank you so much for restoring this "right" to the "law abiding" citizens of DC you continually trumpet. And congratulations on the big props you received from the NRA. Quote: "The National Rifle Association (NRA) commends Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for her leadership on this issue, as well as the other co-sponsors of this important legislation," Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist, stated.

How nice for YOU that you want my child to have the "freedom" to live among assault weapons. Where do YOUR kids go to school, Senator Hutchison? When do YOUR kids walk home alone from public transportation? Any chance you yourself will be walking home alone or might suffer a home invasion by thugs armed with LEGAL military weapons? Yeah. I didn't think so.

Recognizing that your loyalty to the NRA will always trump your remotest inclination to give a d*mn about any citizen of the District of Columbia, I guess I do have the solace of knowing that you are a Republican: the party of homeland security. Because nothing says "homeland security" more than creating an assault weapons legal zone in the seat of American power. I'm so glad you are keeping America safe from its geopolitical core.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Silly Rabbit, Trix are for Kids

Just when I am feeling all motherly and maternal and adult and serious and possessive of tremendous gravitas, I do something that reminds me I am really a ten year old masquerading as a grown up.

To wit, yesterday I went to Target to do some bulk shopping for the bambina. Diapers, wipes, Cheerios, etc. The usual. I also picked up a package of those "variety pack" cereals that I used to dream about as a kid but that my mom always refused to buy because they were "a terrible waste of money" (say that with a Miss Jean Brodie Scottish accent, and you will get the full picture).

I bought the package because of---stay with me here--the psycho urban squirrels at the kiddie park near my house. No, really. Hitchcock should have made a movie about these squirrels. They climb on the stroller looking for food, they come within 8 inches of the bambina and when I jump toward them to "scare" them, they give me the little squirrel middle finger and walk even closer to her. Which makes me pick her up, put her back in the stroller, once I have denuded it of psycho squirrels, that is, and then run for our collective lives back to the safety of the DC streets. Yeah. I'm not kidding. I feel safer out of the park because I can jam a house key into the trachea of a mugger with my eyes closed, but I can't seem to make a squirrel back off my kid. And of course I'm thinking she's going to get rabies or fleas or whatever, not to mention that there is just something so appalling about having vermin climbing all over your Maclaren where your child sits. Bleeeaaah.

So. I bought the variety pack because the cheerios come in little plastic bags which are in the little cardboard boxes and which have some chance of not being smelled and opened by squirrels, unlike my little sad-act foldie sandwich bags. See? I bought the variety pack NOT because I was acting out some "do over" of perceived neglect from my childhood but because I was concerned for the safety, hygiene and welfare of my precious daughter. Of course.

It will come as no surprise to you then that the variety pack also included cocoa puffs, trix and lucky charms. NONE of which were purchased for Chez Haggis, being "terrible wastes of money," of course. And because my mother considered marshmallows and/or chocolate to be one hundred percent incompatible with "breakfast," regardless of their shape, color or "whole wheat" delivery system. We were Scottish, of course, so, humorously, a similar opinion was not held regarding fried meat, melted cheese, fried bread, and ketchup on our french toast (try it. It rocks). But that is a whole different post...

So what did I do yesterday? I set my daughter up with her Cheerios and her Cheerios book (it's one of those product placement things that actually is helpful, where it has little holes for her to put cheerios as "wheels on the car" or "the mouse's eyeglasses" or "tic tac toe." You get the picture). I then proceeded to draw the curtains, turn off the phone ringer, and tear open the Trix cereal box like it had been airlifted into my refugee camp. Not kidding. Tore that thing open and proceeded to down every last delicious, amazing, fruity, tasty, sugary, decadent, awesome crack-high-providing Trick (?) until the box was empty. Vaporized. Like, not even cereal dust left in the bag. Licked clean.

Dang. Trix are AWESOME!!! But, as the slogan says, they are indeed for kids, and so that was my first and last box. And although they are "for kids," you'd better believe that my kid won't be eating them. As delicious as they may be, and as much as I'm sure she'd love them, they won't be purchased again. Why?

Because they are quite simply a terrible waste of money.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Blame it on Schuyler Colfax

The Filibuster.

With thanks to the Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology:

In the middle of the nineteenth century bands of adventurers organized in the United States were in Central America and the West Indies, stirring up revolutions.
Such an adventurer came to be known in English as a filibuster, from the Spanish filibustero. The word had originated in Dutch, as vrijbuiter. Its travels on the way from Dutch to Spanish are uncertain, but it is likely that the Spanish borrowed the word from the French, flibustier, fribustier, who apparently got it from the English freebooter. Early in the nineteenth century, John Randolph, a senator from Virginia, got into the habit of making long and irrelevant speeches on the floor of the Senate. The Senate got so fed up with such tactics that it voted to give the presiding officer explicit power to deal with such problems. In 1872, however, Vice President Schuyler Colfax struck a blow against the expeditious handling of Senate business with his ruling that “under the practice of the Senate the presiding officer could not restrain a Senator in remarks which the Senator considers pertinent to the pending issue.”

Good old VP Colfax! Unfortunately, the filibuster is getting a bad rap these days, with Bill "I Swear I'm Presidential" Frist championing the effort to fundamentally alter the practice. My short summation of Senator Frist? He, with all due respect, is a complete ass.

Doesn't he get it?! The GOP will be in the minority again (or perhaps he doesn't believe that?), and the GOP will need the filibuster. Is he really so fat headed and drunk with power that he can't possibly envision a day when his party will no longer be in the majority and will be grateful for the filibuster's protection of the minority? Throughout this whole debate I've vacillated between wanting to march alone outside his office with a picket sign accusing him of a brazen power grab (What does the Haggis want? Common sense! When does she want it?! NOW!), and saying "Feh! Have at it, Fristie. When we beat your party next time around, you can cry yourself to sleep on your huge pillow about your self-inflicted impotence."

Now, I just think the entire debate demonstrates The Hill's complete lack of sense, real interest in ordinary Americans, and fidelity to their oaths of office. It's a farce. And it would be funny if it weren't Chapter Three in a book called "The Antics of a Dying Democracy."

Heaven help us. Or perhaps I should call on the divine powers of Senator Frist?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Heard 'dat!

I just came across the most hilarious quote today, and I quite like it:

"Learning and sex until rigor mortis."
--Activist Maggie Kuhn's motto

(Although I suppose the latter should stop somewhere BEFORE rigor mortis, right?)

Monday, May 16, 2005

I’m Telling You For The Last Time

Do you remember that Jerry Seinfeld tour and video of the above title? It was his effort, after constantly being asked to do this or that “bit”, to tell his old jokes one last time and then never have to tell them again.

I have made a vow that I am going to do the same with all of my old stories. Not because the public has been clamoring for them, but rather quite the opposite: because I am now able to detect that look of polite familiarity on my friends’ faces that tells me I’ve told it to them before—and maybe even more than twice.

When did I get to be so lame?

So I decided the other day that the only way to avoid becoming the most boring, annoying, excruciating-to-be-around human alive is to retire all of my old stories. Yep. From here on out, I’m just going to assume that everyone knows about:

The fact that my dad now wears multiple pairs of my aunt's deceased husband's pants "because they fit nicely and he doesn't need them anymore." Ditto that for his lazyboy recliner.

The fact that my wedding video is commercially unviewable because my dad was a "wee bit tipsy" and kept subtly moving the camera to my girl friends' boobs while interviewing them about their thoughts on my joy and happiness.

The time I met Rebecca Romijn-Stamos at my gym and was stunned into silence by her "man hands" and the gargantuan size of her teeth

My propensity for singing karaoke "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" with my male friend, who always does Barbra while I do Neil.

How surprisingly good-looking, charming and weird crush-inducing Bob Dole is when you meet him in person, perma-tan and all.

My dad's habit when I was an overly-vain and image-conscious adolescent of farting very loudly in public and then saying loudly, "E! That's terrible!" He was thinking he was the funniest guy alive, and I was thinking I wanted to die. My mother was right there along with me in the "please let the earth open up now and swallow me" department.

The time I was on a conference call via my cell and said to my colleague, "Thank god he's gone!" when I thought my VP had hung up...when he said, "What?!" I completely managed to invoke my "hee hee jolly japes!" persona to pretend I knew he was there all along, but I did have to change my shorts when the call was indeed over.

Blah blah blah. You are angels of mercy for sitting through all of my nonstop stories, and from here on out you can do your part to prevent me from becoming absolutely unbearable, and just say, "Yeah--you already told me."

Please. Do your part. I'm begging you. Or else the next time we're out for drinks, I'm gonna have to let one rip and blame it on you.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Post-9/11 Flight Instruction Manual

Dear Pilots,

Please add the following supplement to your flight instruction manual regarding the navigation of your aircraft near Washington DC:

Section 2.3.1a
If you can see the Capitol Dome, fly in the opposite direction AWAY from downtown DC.
If you see the Capitol in the distance, do not fly closer to it.
If you see the Washington Monument in the distance, do not fly closer to it.
If you see the White House in the distance, do not fly closer to it.

Even without instruments, the preceding supplement should be adequate for ensuring your safety and precluding the need to evacuate the seat of power in the United States.

Happy Flying! Morons.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Gay or European or Republican?

I was in my dry cleaners a couple of days ago. The guy in front of me was dropping off his clothes, a large component of which was an array of pastel button-down shirts. He was wearing one of those striped pastel belts found in JCrew catalogs and worn generally only within 5 miles of a country or yacht club, his hair was reminiscent of a neater Tucker Carlson 'do, and he had the kind of "doughy" look that says "I drink lots of beer with my buddies while watching Ole Miss football games." It's that "not-fat-but-affluent" doughy look that most young 'Pubs have. I chuckled to a friend later that I could tell within 1 minute which way he swung politically.

My friend and I decided that we should create a game along the lines of "Gay or European?" for identifying 'Pubs. For those readers not familiar with "Gay or European," it generally occurs spontaneously upon seeing a man with, say, red shoes, tight pants, and various other avant garde or tightly-fitting clothing that your American husband or dad or whomever would not know existed as a fashion garment, much less would wear. Invariably, men who wear these clothes are either Gay or European, and it is your job to guess which it is when you see them. It's all in good, clean, good-natured fun. If you live in Boise, perhaps this will not be the game for you. But here in DC, it can spontaneously erupt at any time due to the presence of many gay men and many tourists. It also works as a drinking game at a sidewalk happy hour, fyi.

Along those same lines, we decided we should play a similar game with "Republican or Democrat?" Allowing for the fact that there are red herrings, as I was in grad school (can you say "a string of Tricia Nixon pearls with every outfit"?), it is still a shockingly easy game to play. Your cue that a young guy is a 'Pub? Copious pastel button down shirts. Striped canvas belts. "Penny loafers" which have not been in style for people under 40 since I was a college sophomore, except in Waspynapolis USA. The "paunch" that says "I eat and drink well, but chicks will still hook up with me. I'm chunky because I'm affluent, not because I'm poor and eating government cheese over hamburger helper."

{See the photos below for examples}

The men are easier to spot than the women. Here in DC, it seems that most of the young women on the Hill dress alike, almost all quite inappropriately, in terms of both decolletage and bare leg exhibition. The kind of outfits that get you ON The Apprentice, but get you fired within 4 weeks because someone will protest, "This person is going to be running one of your companies, Mr. Trump! She can't look like that!" The chicks on the Hill have yet to figure that out. It gets you the internship, most likely gets you the hook up with a rotating panel of Pastel Shirt Doughboys, but truly doesn't get you taken seriously anywhere. I cringe every time I see one of them walking to work dressed like a high-rent Erin Brockovich..or perhaps a low-rent Jenna Bush (but I repeat myself!).

Anyhoo, I highly recommend playing a game of "Pub or Dem" the next time you have a free moment. I personally love it, being that I live not too far from the Heritage Foundation building housed in the majestically-named Ronald Reagan Republican Center, where a daily carload of young intern doughboys and JennaWannaBes pile out of their BMW SUVs to make their pilgrimage to the GOP mecca of meccas. Every now and again you will get one wrong (as many of my classmates did with me and my Tricia Nixon pearls; I clearly did not receive the memo that Dems are not supposed to wear pearls with sweater sets and instead should sport some kind of hemp garment or a Rage Against the Machine shirt). But for the most part, if you find yourself looking at a doughy twentysomething guy wearing more pastel than my mother and not seeming at all sheepish about it, you know which way to make the call.

Definite 'Pub--needs more Dough Posted by Hello

Gay or European? Posted by Hello

Friday, May 06, 2005

Quelle Drame

Oh my oh my. The contretemps surrounding American Idol is blanketing the airwaves. Did Paula Abdul sleep with Corey Clark?! Did he have an unfair advantage?! Can we actually trust the producers of this program anymore?! What does this mean for the future of American Idol?! How could something like this happen?!

Okay. Breathe, people.

Could we take a moment and just ponder the juggernaut of mediocrity that is American Idol?

It is a show whose winning contestants are determined by PHONE CALLS. Do you hear me?! PHONE CALLS! You can call in as many times as you can get through to ensure that your favorite contestant goes to the next round. How PURE a process do we think this is?! Are we shocked and stunned that somehow it's not a Jimmy Carter-certified ballot box that made Ruben Freakin Studdard the last American Idol?! It's a TV SHOW--not the first election in post-Soviet Czechoslovakia for heaven's sake! It's a TV show featuring marginally competent vocalists, with a couple of really good ones like Kelly Clarkson thrown in to make it seem legit. For god's sake, can we stop talking about this?!

The irony of this situation is that it sums up the essence of reality television programming, even as it seeks to discredit it. That essence is as follows: taking something that isn't really dramatic or interesting (if you really honestly think about it), like 9 people you don't know on an island you've never seen--or 22 adolescents who think they can sing--or 9 punk ass teenagers in a tricked-out house "interacting" with each other---and attempting to create drama and interest around it.

Now ABC's Primetime Live is trying to do the same thing by talking about a reality show. Did Paula Abdul, eminent has-been, sleep with Corey Clark, no-talent opportunistic dork--before he got kicked off the show anyway for having a criminal record?

I don't mean to sound like an elitist, but does anyone REALLY care?! Anyone over the age of 20, that is? Is this an issue that has been troubling Americans, even as our troops die daily in Iraq, as John Bolton is a heartbeat away from helming our ship at the UN, as Tom DeLay still walks the halls of Congress?

Somebody make it stop.

Alternatively, somebody should do a reality TV show. About this woman, right? She has a daughter from China, right? And she writes a blog, right? And she has a weird sense of humor--and she pretty much wants to put her foot through the TV but for the sole saving grace of Jon Stewart, Seth Cohen of The OC, every Law and Order episode ever made and especially the ones with Fred Thompson, and the occasional dose of Oprah. What do you think?! Ohmigod! It could be, like, so totally dramatic and interesting! And Ryan Seacrest will even host it: "Tonight: your results are in, and E will either eat a Chipotle burrito or a bowl of Honeynut Cheerios for dinner after putting her child to bed. After the break we learn how E's dinner will go! Don't miss it! And stay tuned for scenes from next week's program where your votes will decide if E misses The Daily Show to pluck her eyebrows while b**ching about her 'combination skin' OR whether she goes to Gay Drunk Karaoke and tears the joint up with a Neil Diamond medley."

Who's in?!

Bless Her Heart

As Dolly Parton said in Steel Magnolias, "Now, you know I would rather walk on my lips than criticize, but..."

This is courtesy of a former colleague. It's unkind to laugh at it, but laugh I did. For several minutes. So this is the part where, in true southern style, I say, "bless her heart" before serving her up to you for (friendly, good natured, I hope) ridicule.

Wing Sings

(Click on "Samples" and go to "Dancing Queen" if you only have time for one song).

Thursday, May 05, 2005


The FDA has just determined that it will bar gay men from serving as anonymous sperm donors.


Because I can think of about 7 straight guys from college--right off the top of my head--who would be higher risk donors than all of the gay men I know combined.

So if you are a straight man who takes a yearly Spring Break and sleeps with multiple women without protection every time, you can come on home and donate your sperm till you just can't donate no mo'. If you are a straight man who routinely uses prostitutes, you can easily be a "john" of sperm donation with no problems. But if you are a gay man who has been with the same partner for 15 years? Sorry. You are a risky proposition.

Helloooooo? Are the inmates running the asylum? Where is the science in this decision? How about measuring behavior and using advanced testing to determine who is or is not an appropriate donor? Although, with this administration, I suppose that hoping for evidence-based science and data-driven decision-making is a fool's errand...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The O'Mommy Factor

All I'm sayin' is that I am gonna be madder than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (thank you, Dan Rather) if someone doesn't get me this for my first Mother's Day:


Monday, May 02, 2005

No Offense, But...

Okay. Having been home from China for about 7 weeks, I would like to take this opportunity to say the following things, and I mean them in the kindest, tenderest way:

To All the Caucasians:

I get it. She doesn't look like me. You think that's funny/cute/remarkable.

You have about one more month to keep saying it, but as soon as she understands what you are saying I'm going to shut you down HARD. And I'll do that by discussing YOUR looks ad nauseum: "My! You used to be so much thinner! You look nothing like your younger photos. Your son is quite a bit fatter than you. Your husband must be what? ten years younger than you?" Trust me. I'll do it. Because as funny/cute as you think it is, and as much as you think you are the first person to say it to me, it's getting old really fast. Not to mention that it's not actually that funny, if you think about it. It just IS what it is: a clueless person reminding my daughter that she is not "mine" and that she is different. She'll already know it and won't need you to comment on how not like her parents she is to feel that reality. So chuckle to yourself if you do indeed find it funny, but just assume I've heard it a hundred times before thinking you'll share the mirth with me. I get it. She doesn't look like me. How hilarious!

To all the Asians:

If my daughter is staring at you and/or smiling at you, it's because she does that to everyone. It's NOT because you are Asian and "familiar" to her. Seriously. I know you mean well. But really. That makes no sense. As I've said before, to assume that a random Asian person will be more "familiar" to my daughter than I am, or her father or her grandparents is ludicrous. She may notice similarities at her age, but children don't develop a sense of racial identity until much, much later. The fact that you are Asian is not what makes my daughter smile at you. It's because she smiles at lots of people. She also DOESN'T smile at lots of people, some of them also Asian. She smiles at people she wishes to smile at, end of story, be they fluorescently white Scottish people, dark African-American people or anyone in between. Again, I know you mean well. But, again, it's getting old. So if she smiles at you, take the compliment personally, not as a member of an ethnic group.

To all the Nosy People:

Don't ask me how much "it" cost. How much did your kid cost? Oh, you wouldn't dare put a price on your children?! Right. So why ask me to do it? I was asked this question this weekend and I answered with, "More than we had in the bank; far far less than she's worth." The questioner pressed with, "No really. Just a ballpark?" I couldn't believe it. Have you ever heard of google, dude? Look it up.

Okay, now I can go to sleep with that off my chest. You all can bill me for the full hour of therapy...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Get Me To The Church On Time

So I went to Atlanta to my dear friend's wedding. Went to the pre-wedding activities, went to the rehearsal dinner, (and with permission and urging of the bride and groom) brought the bambina to every event, where she was a total peach. She was even a peach on the flight down there, just sleeping and chatting and eating animal crackers.

Quelle surprise (or not, perhaps) that 90 minutes before the wedding, my lil peach had THE MOTHER OF ALL MELTDOWNS and completely lost it. Not just "threw a tantrum" or "cried a lot." Nope. Lost It Totally. I realized about 30 minutes into the meltdown that you can fly a baby to a wedding weekend but you cannot make her attend. And so I took off my dress, put on my jeans, and laid down next to her as she finally napped for two and a half hours--right through the wedding.

In the end, the bambina did manage to wake up and get happy and dressed up enough to attend the reception to see the bride and groom, but I was profoundly depressed at not seeing my friend marry the love of his life. Everyone was tremendously gracious and agreed that it was less offensive to miss the wedding than to bring a screaming baby, but I still felt sad that I had missed out on something so important to me.

As I drove the sleeping bambina home after the reception I realized that while I had missed something very important, I had also experienced something that should have been equally important to me. I had just had my first experience as a mother where, without thinking, I put my child's needs before my own. She needed to be alone, to just be held by her mama, to not have to meet any more new people, to just be a baby and nap for a couple of hours--and she got exactly what she needed. To be honest, before I had her, I always thought it would be more of a struggle to do that, but it wasn't. Which is not to say that I wasn't disappointed beyond words, but that I was surprised in hindsight about how easy it was to just say Uncle and put her need for comfort before my own need for socializing.

In the past, when I've been asked about when I'd have kids, I always joked that I would not do it till I was ready, and that I'd know I was ready when I would gladly relinquish the last slice of pizza to my child. I'm pretty territorial about my food, especially my pizza, so for me to not even flinch at the thought of giving The Last Slice to another person, was for me, a good indicator of when I'd be ready for children, on the theory that if you are too selfish to give your kid a slice of pizza that you would rather eat yourself, then you ought not to have a kid to deprive of pizza in the first place. On Saturday night I felt like I had truly crossed over into motherhood, because I gave my daughter something that I actually wanted for myself...and although I was bummed...I knew I had done the right thing.

Moral of this story? Be sure to order a topping your kid hates.