Somebody's weird kid.

The other day my 8yo son was playing with his Avengers Legos and I heard him say, “Hulk. What a beefy lego.” And that was just funny enough on its own, but then I kind of laughed and repeated it and he just kind of looked at me – you know how kids look at you when you’re being a really, really stupid adult? – and said, “YOU KNOW MOM, ‘beefy’ can mean ‘strong’ too okay?”

hike sorta

I just found this quote on my phone from about six months ago. I have no idea what the heck was happening, but this was his response: “I can’t even feel my lungs this is so good. I mean I can. I just wanted to make a good pun.”

Elliott

A couple of weeks ago we met Bethany and her family for lunch and were going to go to the movies afterward. We took Annalie in the car with us from the restaurant to the theatre and Elliott held the door open for her to get in the car. I told him that was sweet and he replied, “Well, you have to be nice to the ladies.”

weirdo

Riding home from our recent vacation listening to Night Vale in the car, the host, Cecil, made some comment that I don’t even remember but that Elliott enjoyed. He laughed heartily and then proclaimed, “This guy is funny! DIBS ON HIM!”

Someone's a comedian.

The day before that, while trying to entertain the kids all the kids cooped up in one hotel room, Summer’s sister Amber offered the kids a chance to look at her son’s human anatomy kit. My son, the never-nude, squinted his eyes at her and replied, “I… don’t think that’s really appropriate for kids.”

meta

Filed in Being a Mom, Conversations With Kids, The Son

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This is the cute side of my head today.

Lately I’ve been introspective, reframing some thoughts I have about my self-proclaimed faults. I have long worked to balanced the good and bad of all things – to find the positive aspects of a troublesome trait or situation and vice versa. So I sometimes try to find the good facets of my faults (although admittedly not always).

One thing that has always been glaringly obvious to me is my need to please everyone around me to the extent that I sometimes sacrifice myself or my needs just to not make people even slightly annoyed with me. They teach you all through school not to give in to peer pressure and this sometimes manifests in that way so I feel like I should have learned this lesson a long time ago. And yet, I still struggle. Sometimes this means I’m really insecure about my tastes in music (which… why music? I’m not insecure in my tastes in books or television or fashion. huh). But, if I am being totally honest, sometimes this means that I listen with two widely open ears to the thoughts and feelings of other people. And so my openness, my need to please people, has actually made me more empathetic and careful and thoughtful.

Of course, just for fun, mix that in with my social anxiety and I become a tightly wind ball of awkward afraid to say any words in any order in the fear that I might inadvertently hurt someone. Thank god I’m cute.

My son is a good reader, but he does not (yet?) enjoy it very much. Once he told me it’s because he can’t see the pictures in his head. I know he’s got a mind that is very different from me. He’s a born engineer, and I suspect he’s got ADHD. So what if his brain is wired in a way that makes reading less enjoyable to him than watching a movie? I feel so strongly that books are important (and they ARE), but I wonder if maybe it’s okay to not like reading sometimes. Maybe it’s okay to have a differently wired brain, one that doesn’t like reading as much as some. It doesn’t make him any less smart, and it sure as hell doesn’t make him any less valuable.

So I started thinking about my faults – about this desperate need to please people – and about how those things mean both good and bad things for me. And I started to wonder if maybe it’s okay to just BE who I am. Maybe needing to please people isn’t something I need to fix about me. Maybe it’s just a part of me that gives me a gift in exchange for being challenged in other ways.

This week I went to a therapy appointment (because I do that now) and talked about my issues with self-hate. Because confession: Even after all the work I’ve done in myself and in the world, I still have this little ball of self-hatred underneath all the self-love and all the goodness that just won’t.go.away. I’ve tried everything. But that hard little core of loathing is just there. So I asked my therapist why and how I can make that stop and she said, “Maybe you don’t. Maybe you just learn to live with it.” And that was really not what I was expecting. But she has recently been doing work with balancing the light and the darkness of the psyche (my words, not hers) and I think she has a point. And I think this is all related to my recent musings. Maybe my little bit of self-hate is just a part of who I am. Of how I am wired (for some reason – maybe genetic, maybe a result of past abuses). Maybe if I just let her be, and accept that she’s always going to be there, maybe she won’t have as much power over me.

And honestly, it’s only been two days, but I feel like I might be on to something.

So here’s my radical experiment: Love my self-hate. Accept and acknowledge that little ball of self-hate. Talk about her when needed, casually, even. Don’t try to erase her, don’t try to hide her, don’t try to fight her. Just love her. Loving my self-hate. When Jesus said to love our enemies, maybe he also meant ourselves.

Filed in The Zebra, This is a Woman

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I have this creative nonfiction assignment for my creative writing class. I actually started this assignment like two months ago but now that it’s due this weekend I’m not happy with anything I have written. Naturally. So I’m sitting here scouring old blog entries for inspiration and I am toying with writing about the time I stalked that one actor. Or maybe that guy who was my first kiss. What I had started writing was bleak and basically hopeless because that is kind of who I am right now. I’m doing emotional cosplay of Richmond in general right now and that kind of writing is really better to never ever share with anyone because OMG EMO.

richmond

ANYWAY. I came across this at the old blog and it’s one of my favorite posts because I think I’m pretty much hilarious and I might be my own favorite comedian. I know PBS Ideas channel just did a whole thing about how memes get old and unfunny, but I call very bullshit much disagree wow. So there.

DSC_0073-007

________________________________________________

He seems so nice, Ryan Gosling Meme. He’s always supportive and kind, no matter what. And it’s obvious he’s sincere. He honestly loves the mason jar lamp. And then he and I started to get to know each other a little better. And he started to offer to do things for me. Things like hand massages.

And I started to get a little attached, maybe. Like, I may not be pregnant at the moment, but with a guy as supportive and on the same page as I am, I could be.

So I realized that I needed to marry him. Honestly, I didn’t think it was asking too much to marry the nicest internet Meme ever.

Turns out, it totally was.

The light in my hallway went out. The one above my pantry. So I had to try to find food in the dark. It was horrible. And it stayed that way for DAYS. Ryan Gosling Meme never bothered to fix it. I tweeted my frustrations and Jen, being the wonderful friend and graphic designer that she is, sent me this message. And it was the best thing ever. And, I admit, it totally won me back. (What can I say? I’m slutty for the Doctor.)

But you know what? He didn’t change it after I went to bed. And he didn’t change it the next day either.

*sigh*

And I got really kind of mad at him. No, really. You think I’m just writing this line in character with this blog post, but I so totally am not. I was pissed. At an internet meme. For not changing my lightbulb.

Thank god I’m cute.

I decided I needed a new Meme to marry. So I started shopping around. First I tried John Cusack.

And he has a point. And I’m definitely intrigued. But there are two things wrong with this. First, he’s making promises again. He’s setting me up to get my heart broken again. Second, it turns out Ewan McGregor makes a way better pensive face.

And he’s realistic about his promises.

And he quotes John Denver songs!

And he’s so suave he can take the blame for something without even promising to fix it.

And he totally wants to French kiss me.

True.

Oh, Ewan McGregor Meme, yes Yes you can!

Filed in The Zebra, Vintage Blog Entry Time Yay

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Yawning and ottering, respectively.

Why is cat fur so cute on a cat and makes us want to pet and cuddle them, but when it’s floating around my floors like tiny, sentient tumbleweeds no one wants to touch it?

The upside to having hard floors and a population of wild dust bunnies is that when you vacuum, the dust bunnies become hypnotized by the machine and float towards it like magic where they are sucked into it exactly like the ghosts in the Activision Ghostbusters game I played on my Commodore 64 when I was eight. It is extremely satisfying.

My cats have a love-hate relationship with being brushed. Because on the one hand how dare you human what do you think you are doing demoralizing me like this? but on the other hand OMG that feels really good don’t stop.

One more incredulous kitten picture.

I get overly emotional anytime someone suggests that cats aren’t loving. They absolutely are. I mean. I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself because they are so loving. I had more privacy for pooing when I had toddlers.

Where did my tiny kitten go?

The kitten is obsessed with stalking the bubbles in her water dish when I pour in fresh water. This freaks Leia out, as she sits to the side wondering WTF even is happening right now and if the water has bugs or something she hasn’t noticed yet.

One night the kitten, Khoshekh (we call her Khashi for short), noticed the pointer hand on the Wii and started chirping at it. Leia, who has a particular affinity for moths, and a total lack of interest in the Wii, assumed Khashi was talking about a moth so she ran over and started chirping at the glass door even though there was no moth. So I had the kitten hollering at the TV and climbing the shelves to try to get to it and Leia was hollering desperately at absolutely nothing. We are a mess.

If a moth gets in the house, the cats will sing to it all night long. And I don’t mean that weird chirping they do at birds or the red dot. I mean they sing to it. It’s very musical. And loud. And always at 2am.

Literally climbing the walls.

Cats bring out the baby talk in me more than human babies do. And, whatever, I’m comfortable enough with myself that I can baby talk a cat. But sometimes I wonder what my neighbors think when I get home and squeak out, “Where are my titties? OH THERE YOU ARE, TITTIES. HI TITTIES!”

Filed in KITTIES!

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photo-020

PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY: Sometimes I forget that the internet is a vast place comprised of many people. I wrote this post yesterday quickly and only after having discussed it with people who pick apart the various levels of society’s collective psyche in the same way that I do. So to clarify, keep in mind the following as you read.
1. I am in NO WAY AT ALL unsympathetic to this family’s struggle and grief. I feel strongly for them. I guess that aspect of the story is so obvious to me that I did not specifically mention it in this piece I’ve written. My sympathy for them is very real and not at all related to how I feel about this particular action.
2. I do not believe that they consciously intended this to be possibly psychologically damaging for their child. This is something I actually did state in the article, but apparently it needs to be clarified up here at the top. I believe they were aiming for something beautiful. What I am picking apart here is not the family’s intentions, but the fact that such a thing isn’t considered problematic in our society at all. I am not writing this to attack anyone. I am writing this to try to expose a societal problem that we need to all be conscious of. The more we become conscious of things like this the sooner we will reach true gender equality.
3. This is written with my own personal brand of insightful snark. If you have a hard time with snark, don’t bother reading this.

Okay. Now you may begin.

So there’s this story in the news today about a father, dying of cancer, who wants to walk his daughter down the aisle before he dies. It sounds lovely until you get to the part about how his daughter is only 11 years old, was never asked about this (it was a birthday surprise), and that they modeled this after an actual wedding complete with rings and a lacy wedding dress.

It’s reminiscent of those purity balls (heh. balls), where a father signs a pledge to act as his daughter’s protector “in the area of purity”. (The creator of this pledge swears it’s not about his daughter’s vagina, but I’m betting it’s not NOT about his daughter’s vagina, you know. Like. I’m willing to bet that her being pure of intent but sexually liberal is probably not okay. Therefore? TOTALLY ABOUT HIS DAUGHTER’S VAGINA.) In the instance of purity balls, it’s a disturbing trend not only because it’s disturbing, but because it encompasses an entire community. Yet that community is relatively separate from the rest of our society, at least in this habit. Those who are not of this ultra-conservative mindset look on these people as kinda wacky, to be honest. The majority of the world tends to see it for as fucked-up as it is.

And perhaps the father of this 11 year old was really entirely innocent in his own desires here. I can believe it. Sometimes we’re merely products of the fucked world we live in. It depends on how deeply you want to dig into the psyche of what’s really going on here. And, I assure you that I always want to dig as deeply into the psyche of shit as I can. And, frankly, this should be everyone’s goal – how else can we solve societal problems if we don’t try to understand their many layers?

On the surface of this situation, we want to believe the father is honestly just trying to share a beautiful moment with his daughter. And that’s a lovely sentiment that I can get behind. I think, perhaps, a letter written to her to be shared at her future wedding or other life-event might have been vastly more appropriate, though.

It’s irrelevant, though. No matter how sincere the intent, the world we live in is fucked up and even if he doesn’t realize it, what he is actually saying is not only that his daughter MUST marry (he’s not really giving her the option of how she will choose to live her adult life) but also that women are the property of the men around them and, in absence of a husband, a father will be the owner. If you check out the clip linked in this Jezebel article on purity balls (haha. balls), you’ll see the creator explain that the point of the purity ball is to teach daughters “how they should expect to be treated by men.” So, in this case, a literal child is told she’s going to pretend-marry her father without any consent on her part (it’s all planned ahead of time – even if she LOVED the idea, I argue that it’s without her consent). Is that how he wants a future man to treat his child? I’m guessing no. Probably because he considers her his property and doesn’t want another man controlling his property. But that’s just my guess.

Quite the opposite of how the majority of the world sees purity balls, in this story, this one incident involving the 11 year old, anyone questioning the appropriateness of the ceremony is considered to be the pervert. Just read the comments on the Facebook page where I originally found the article. This disturbs me because not only are we doing this thing to girls, but now society is not only supporting it, but we are also condemning anyone who questions it. Ew.

Further, this wasn’t about creating a lasting memory for HER, this was about what HE wanted. While I do think it’s important to do things for parents in the sense of creating memories and supporting them as people and in their parenting roles, the very point of being a parent is to raise people. We don’t have children for our benefit. That’s why we get pets. If you want a dog, get a dog. If you want to create a new person in the hopes of leaving this world in the hands of a competent and amazing new generation of people, have a child. This “wedding” isn’t just a nice, sentimental thing for her, this is his selfish desires warping her psyche. Even with the VERY BEST of intentions. As the creator of the purity ball says about 607 times in the above linked clip, “this is about fathers.”

Dads? Dont marry your daughters, okay? Instead consider treating them as though they are humans capable of intelligent thought and real feelings. And with that plan I bet you’ll get a pure-of-intent adult daughter and you’ll never have to pretend not to laugh when you hear the phrase “purity balls.” It’s basically win-win.

Filed in This is a Woman

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KPBS

We took a tour with our homeschool school last week. (What do you mean a homeschool school is an oxymoron?) Here are the pictures. Pretties.

sound board

mic

green room/dressing room

pledge drives happen here

Untitled

Untitled

Someday I’m gonna work or volunteer there.

Filed in Homeschool, Things We Do

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Well. Kinda. Basically only if you suggest things that I like/can afford/can make happen without much effort or skill. You can think of this as a sort of contest where you don’t win any actual prize except the knowledge that I picked the color curtains you suggested.

Clicky on the photos to go see larger versions at Flickr.

Exhibit A. My living room.

living room panoramic

living room panoramic 2

I am hoping to get curtains up really soon and I’m leaning towards a dusty kind of teal to offset the red and tie the living room in with the colors in my bedroom. But what I can’t figure out is what to put on the walls. I have these cool vintage hanging lamps that I think I’m going to put at staggering heights behind the TV there (but first I have to get them rewired). You can see one in this picture next to the desk. So I’m not planning to hang anything behind the TV. And in the space between the book case and the shelf the TV sits on, I’m not really sure what to hang there because in the future I am hoping to get a fish tank that will live in about half of that space. I’m hesitant to put things up knowing I may move the room around and not be ready to totally repaint (I’m worried that patching the paint after a couple of years won’t match). So if there are amazing, yet flexible ideas for that space share them, but I may be just happy with the plain red, too. Because it’s gorgeous. Really.

But that tan wall behind the couch – no clue. It leads down the hallway which has two more large spaces that want me to fill them with something. I’m thinking at least one will be old family photos. But not hanging from a mural of a family tree because A) no skills and B) no effort. Anyway, right now the cat tree is against that wall and so I have to be careful what I put there. I thought about buying cat shelves, but I’m not sure I want to encourage them to climb. I am actually less sure that they even WILL climb. Lazy bitches.

Exhibit B. The hall bathroom.

hall bathroom panoramic

I originally chose to paint the walls sage to go with the striped towels I already had. But I loved the walls so much and the towels could never live up to them. Also, they are roughly 100 years old now and I’m thinking maybe time to aim for something else. But I don’t know what color? I hate that brown rug on the floor b/c it’s too dark for the room (I think?) and shows every damn piece of litter ever. The tan(ish?) curtains there dividing the laundry closet are a good color, but that feels so bland I don’t know that it works. So you tell me: what color towels do I need?

I don’t need much art in here because I will eventually have one of those shelves that go over the toilet there against that wall. Because this house has very little in the way of places to keep toilet paper and towels.

Exhibit C. My bedroom.

bedroom panoramic

I love this room so, so much. You know how much I love my red walls in the living room? I think I love this room even more than that. A little bit. Cause those red walls, man. Is is possible to have a crush on walls?

ANYWAY.

I need major help with the curtains here. What color curtains? My bedspread is that same dusty teal I was talking about but in here that feels too heavy for curtains (I think?). My bedsheets are “elephant” gray and I LOVE them and they looks GREAT with the orange, but I’m not sure that would make a good curtain color? Would turquoise be too bright? Should I go with the aqua color to match the towels in the adjoining bathroom? HELP ME.

To complicate the curtain issue, I’m pretty sure I’m going to hang another curtain rod behind my bed and drape fairy lights behind it for a beside light (the current bedside light will probably wind up on my future sewing table). So the question is – do I fully pretend I have two windows and make them a matching set? Or do I go with something totally different?

Exhibit D. My bathroom.

bathroom panoramic

bathroom panoramic 2

That bottom one there shows you the VAST AMOUNT OF WALLS I need help with. I’m going to put another above-the-toilet shelf in here so that wall is spoken for. And I have an idea for an art piece I’ll hang on the wall in front of the toilet (abstract, comprised of the color scheme of the two rooms: oranges, teal, turquoise, and purple), but I’m not sure about that other wall behind the door. Ideas?

I wanted to go into all my plans for organizing and situating, but I think this entry is long enough for now and I need to go and do some homework anyway. So I’ll do that another time. For now just tell me what colors I need to focus on for each of the rooms? Once the curtains are up and ready I’ll come back with more future plans.

Can I get a group SQUEE? No? Too weird. *ahem* Never mind, then.

Filed in I Own a Home. WTF?

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I am always surprised by the sound two cars make when they try to share the same coordinates in space and time. It’s a BANG, not a CRASH. The word crash is too gentle, and too long-lasting. Crash ends with a shush, much too peaceful for the meaning, particularly when applied to large chunks of metal colliding. Cars don’t crash. They BANG. Begins and ends before you realize what’s happening and all your brain can come up with is, “NO.”

Fuck you, too, Friday.

The good:

It so far seems like the guy’s insurance is covering it and making my life easy(ish) (KNOCK WOOD).

I’m relatively unharmed and my foot that got shoved under the gas pedal is gonna heal just fine.

The kids weren’t with me.

My frappuccino didn’t spill. Although I left it in the car until my car was actually being loaded onto the flatbed because it just felt too First World to be calling the highway patrol with a frappuccino in my shaky hand.

The less good:

My car may take up to four weeks to fix. And while rental cars are novel in some ways (and while this one is like brand-spanking new which smells nice), I really just want my car back. I used to grumble about back-up cameras and how they were stupid but I was so wrong and I want mine back. So I can back up.

The accident also seems to have sort of kick-started my anxiety again. I mean, to be honest, it was lurking there, threatening, for awhile now. But this is a little different. My emotions aren’t necessarily connected to my anxiety which is a new thing for me, and I wake up with unconnected feelings of anxiety at nights now. I don’t really know how to handle that. Except to watch a lot of Scrubs. Which is mostly okay except for the few episodes which convince me I’m dying and I have to remind myself that this is a sitcom and not actually a diagnosis.

Last week was ridiculously difficult to get through. It was already going to be busy, but then I wound up having to deal with various accident-related issues for hours and hours on top of the good stuff like birthdays and the tour of the public television station (Steven Keaton shout-out!). I actually thought that if I had to do one more thing I would literally turn into butterflies like Movie Voldemort did at the end of Deathly Hallows. And then the anxiety was there, complicating things. I couldn’t keep my attention on things, and I forgot details and the poor insurance adjusters had to remind me like six times to scan a copy of the receipt for the new booster seat. It took me literally half an hour of being lost to finally find my way to KPBS. I was late to everything by at least 20 minutes. Perhaps as evidence of what I am trying to express here, I have forgotten what the point of this paragraph was. Except maybe to brag about how I got to tour the PBS station here. Cause I did. In case you missed that detail.

Oh I think my point was just that I barely functioned last week. I was a huge mess. I’m still up and down. And I’m so sick of the word “depression”. I feel like I should have new and exciting problems rather than the same old ones that bore everyone to death. Basically, I feel like I’m terrible at picking problems to have? I don’t know. I’m becoming incoherent and I have two weeks of school to do this week. You know what helps depression? NOT SOCIOLOGY. People are the absolute worst. But that’s what I’m going to do now.

I was talking to a friend and telling her that this is the third time that this has happened to me. I mean, the third time I’ve been rear-ended and it was a big enough deal to go through insurance. She has not, apparently, had the same experience. So the question is, am I a magnet? What is a normal amount of times to be rear-ended? Readers, I need your answers.

Filed in Depression/Anxiety, This Shit is Thursday as Fuck

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Lady Links 3.6

The clouds stop here.
this photo came out extra hipster so pretend it’s really, really motivational

I’m not gonna make excuses for why I haven’t posted one of these in like 100 years. I’m not gonna make excuses for why I haven’t posted one of these in like 100 years. I’m not gonna make excuses for why I haven’t posted one of these in like 100 years. I’m not gonna make excuses for why I haven’t posted one of these in like 100 years.

~TIAW on Pinterest and Tumblr.

The Bullshit:
~Get your barf bag ready because WHAT THE FUCK, MASSACHUSETTS? Update: Not everyone in MA is living in the dark ages.
~The story of one abusive relationship.

The Awesome:
~This guy basically let his life nearly completely fall apart in order to improve the lives of Indian women.
~Nicki Minaj being basically gorgeous, even straight out of the shower without any makeup.
~Buzzfeed asked Kevin Spacey the same questions women usually get asked and he is baffled.
~At some point Cracked became the new educational source online and Buzzfeed seems to be the new feminist one. I’m not sure what’s happening to the world, but I might be okay with it. Five things more likely to happen to you than being falsely accused of rape.

Filed in Lady Links, This is a Woman

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This is an entirely true story.

Sunday night on January 16th 1994.

No, really. I remember the night.

See, cause it was going to be the world premiere of the new Smashing Pumpkins video, “Disarm,” on 120 minutes that night so we were staying up. And I know the specific date because I woke up a few hours after falling asleep thinking a cat had jumped on the bed, but it had actually been the Northridge Earthquake. (This is life in California where you mistake earthquakes for cats sometimes.) (This is because I am several hours away from Northridge. I am fairly certain the people living in that area were able to tell the difference.) (But since the vast, vast majority of earthquakes are small ones, I really do often think it’s just a cat or a really big truck outside.)

But the point is that it was the 1990′s and I had not yet developed phone phobia (although answering machines gave me panic attacks) and so I was on the phone ALL THE TIME ALWAYS. And I had a cordless phone very similar to the one pictured above. It had different “channels” so that if you got a bad connection you could try a different channel and hopefully it would be clearer. And it might be. If you were within 6 feet of the base. Life was hard in the 90′s okay?

Occasionally, when I’d change the channel I’d accidentally switch to a neighbor’s channel and hear their conversation. 90% of the time that this happened to me, it was to a Spanish conversation which I could not understand.

Except this one time.

120 Minutes was one of the few worthwhile things on MTV at the time. There was also Daria and… No, those might have been the two. I think VH1 was arguably cooler than MTV even as early as 1994. And this particular night was an important 120 Minutes and because it was the Sunday night before a school holiday, I was allowed to actually stay up to watch it and not set the VCR to record it onto a tape. I mean. I totally ALSO recorded it. But staying up not only allowed me to watch it live, but also to press pause during commercials and therefore optimize my recorded copy.

So Kathy and I chatted all night. We usually told each other stories about how we’d meet Natalie Merchant (me) or Morrissey (her) after a concert some night and become besties. Somewhere around 10pm my phone started to go fuzzy so I told Kathy to hang on and I’d see if I could change the channel and get a clearer connection. Only when I changed the channel, instead of Kathy, I heard, “Press 1 if you want to talk to a sexy girl.” And because I was 15 and extremely innocent and naive I definitely did NOT want to hear someone talking to a sexy girl and this is where this story becomes anti-climactic and I am very sorry for that. However, if you followed my cordless phone drama on Facebook while I was writing this post I hope this will help ease the lack of resolution here. This is almost exactly the phone in question:

I found this image in a Google Search and it originally came from an Etsy item that's already sold so I can't link to the source. If you own the picture and want me to link it (or remove it!), just let me know and I happily will!

I found this image in a Google Search and it originally came from an Etsy item that’s already sold so I can’t link to the source. If you own the picture and want me to link it (or remove it!), just let me know and I happily will!

And these, my friends, are the things that I remember instead of what my kids’ first words were.

Filed in The Zebra, Throwback Thursday

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