Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Little Black Book of Style: Take Two Birkin Bags and Call Her In The Morning

I have a new review up over there on my other blog:

Don't let my current look fool you. I didn't always walk around in sweatpants, a faded Gap t-shirt and shoes that look like they were run over by a truck. You think I went out of the house without lipstick in my twenties? Back in the day I actually got my hair cut more than three times a year, had neatly pedicured toes and my belt freqently matched my shoes. I've got an Azzedine Alaia dress in my closet, an old Fendi bag on my shelf and even a Gaultier suit I had altered to fit. By a real tailor.

So what happened? Somewhere between then and now, I had kids. Plain and simple. Some people may say that's no excuse, but I beg to differ. Show me a woman who's style hasn't faltered since she's had kids, and I'll show you a woman who's got a full-time nanny and an assistant who irons her socks, I always say. Read more...

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Tales From Middle School, Part I: Those Who Truly Suffer

Everyone knows that middle school can be quite traumatic. The too-early mornings, the frantic schedules, the daily lunch grind. It's all too much to bear.

I'm not talking about my child's angst - I'm talking about mine.

It's safe to say that middle school is totally and completely kicking my ass. Kira has been a sixth grader for exactly seven whole days and at the end of each of those seven days I found it necessary to drink more than a reasonable amount of wine, curl up in a fetal position and swear loudly to anyone within earshot that homeschooling was imminent. It's gotten pretty ugly, especially when the neighbors yelled at me to stop laying on their lawn.

We're having to get up half-an-hour earlier here to allow time to get the girls to their two different schools. Thirty minutes may not seem like much to most of you, but to Rigel and I it's huge, the difference between a fairly lucid morning and a dangerously incoherent one. Turning on the stove to make hot water for oatmeal and then putting a cereal box on that open flame would fall into that last category. You get the picture.

Once dressed it's into the car to fight the other eight hundred edgy middle-school parents for the few safe spots to drop off your child. This is my least favorite time of day, aside from the half-hour-early wake up and the other eleven hours of the day that I'm prevented from sleeping. It's a jungle over there - people who think their kid's going to be late for first period get irrational and do crazy, dangerous things like make U-turns in the middle of intersections. Luckily, no one saw me.

On top of everything else, apparently the new school has a cafeteria menu that is troublesome to the sophisticated palate of my 11-year old. The hamburgers are dry, the pizza's burned - exactly the same complaints she had about the elementary school food that I used to ignore. But now, as a wordly, middle-school gourmet these foods are completely unacceptable. So where before I could convince her to buy lunch by extolling the virtues of processed chicken lumps or coax her into treating herself to a leathery corndog, I'm busy packing bagel sandwiches and elaborate turkey wraps smeared with dijon mustard and garlic mayonnaise. I figure I'll keep up the charade for a few weeks and then start sneaking in the ham sandwiches with wilted lettuce and the mac n' cheese that's turned to packing foam by lunchtime.

Never mind the fact that millions of people are going through the same routine as me and handling it with far more grace and composure - I find being a middle school parent an exhausting and spirit-crushing experience. It's also the first time in five years that I've had my girls in two different schools - dropping them off at two separate locations in the morning! Picking them up at two different times in the afternoon! It's as if the school district is personally trying to sabotage my life. I'm hoping the next few weeks get a little easier as we all adjust to our schedules, fine-tune our routines and I up my caffeine intake to dangerous levels.

Next up: Tales From Middle School, Part II: Wherefore Art Thou, Locker?

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