One of the lesser known effects of gender bias

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday Morning - I am in the shower.

Emily enters the bathroom and begins to brush her teeth.

Emily: "Mama. I think I have gender bias."

Me: "What? What did you say?"

Emily: "Gender Bias. I think I have it."

Me: "Why do you think you have gender bias?"

Emily: "Cause when I brush my teeth, I can see a little blood on my gums."

Dawn: "That's Gingivitis, honey - not gender bias... Although both are pretty insidious."

Someone is clearly listening as her parents watch the Sunday morning political shows....

Not my Bag, Baby

Monday, May 19, 2008

While my "thing" for shoes has been well documented, I was never a purse gal.

I know purse gals...and I just never got it. I mean...A purse? The bag you carry your shit around in? What is the big deal?

For most of my adult life, I have been a very low maintenance purse female. I never thought much about what I carried or why..or how. Terrance would usually look at whatever I was lugging around and pronounce that it had to Go...and I would be presented with a new purse...which I would carry around until the next purse was presented and the old one confiscated by my spouse.

That was until I moved here to Montreal.

It was unexpected, my first sighting. I was browsing in Westmount in a cute little boutique and I saw it. Matt and Nat purses. It was orange, this first specimen, and completely impractical. I mean - an orange purse? I went back twice to the store and would hold this first purse. I couldn't bear to BUY it as I could not justify my parting with a hundred bucks for an orange purse.

Besides. I wasn't a purse girl. I am a shoe girl.

And then Terrance bought me the first one after we discovered that the orange one i had so coveted was gone. Pulled for being out of season....

It's the big one, the cognac Jorga. The smaller mustard one was an early birthday present this year...and the red one joined it's compatriots this week.

Because the demons that are Matt and Nat had a sample sale. And I went. Really, I just wanted a black one to match the other cognac "Bond Street" I got for my anniversary....

Which I found...and Then I saw this purse which so beautifully matched the computer bag I got for Christmas....

And from there it was a slippery, all vegan non-leather, slope - my friends.
The sale itself? PACKED. As in "I feel as if I am in a slaughterhouse line waiting to be zapped" packed. And Hot. As in "Hey, I now know what women in the workhouses in the 19th century must have felt like in these huge, no air circulation factory rooms right before the fire killed them and they formed the basis of a Stephan King book" hot.

But oh. The purses. The beautiful purses.

And there it was...calling my name as I walked through the door. The orange purse. Trainspotting, it is named. And it is now mine.

P.S. This is where I was.....You can see me at about 15 seconds in the film getting off the elevator.... Those women scared me outside.

Cruel to be Kind

Monday, May 12, 2008

Like every mother, I L-O-V-E my kid.

I think she is sweet and funny and her own way.

This morning, she hit her father and I up with the "permission slip" for the talent show.

The one in which she planned to sing Hannah Montana songs.

She exited into the shower to sing - enthusiastically. With Gusto.

Of course, she doesn't know all the lyrics to these songs. And she kind of screeches as she sings.

Terrance and I exchange pained looks.

"You're going to have to do something - she can't go on a stage and sing....", he says to me.

"I know. It will be a disaster..."

I muster up all my mommy courage and approach her as she gets dressed.

"You know honey - maybe it isn't the best idea for you to plan to sing in the talent show this year - you haven't practiced and you don't know all the words and it is in two weeks...."

She is outraged! OUTRAGED!!!!

She rails against me. She WANTS to do it. She CAN do it. She WILL do it!

My tactics need to change. I go for the jugular.

"Baby - not everyones talents lie in singing. I know you like to sing and you have a nice voice for singing at home and in the shower...but I am not sure that you should sing on stage...."

Dear Lord. The knives that fly out of my child's eyes pierce me through the heart.

She begins the appeal to her father...and I say "He thinks the same thing!" in my defense.

Terrance cuts my rope from his ship. "What's wrong baby? No, I didn't say you weren't a very good singer....."

I glare at him. "I just don't want you to be teased by your friends, sweetie...", I stammer.

And then she turns to me, eyes full of tears and shouts:


All this before 8:30 in the morning.

Team of her Own

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I have made few bones about the "type" of Mom I am. A goofy Mom. An artsy mom. A Mom willing to go to ridiculous lengths to secure the "right" playmobil for any given occasion. I'm the mom who HAS playdough and fingerpaint in her home and is perfectly fine with the mess. Want to blast your music from your room while you make up your bed? No Problemo.

Yesterday, however, found me in a role in which I honestly never envisioned myself.

Soccer Mom. More specifically, sitting on the edge of a field shouting "Good Job, Emily!"

It all started when I went away. You know - to hang with the guys in their bathroom in Borders. The phone call left me incredulous. Soccer? Are you kidding? My kid running up and down a field kicking a ball. Um, No. Besides this was something Terrance wanted her to do, which meant that she would whine and cry and after one disastrous practice the ludicrous idea would be abandoned. We don't least I don't run.

And team sports? {shudder} I don't get it. I tried in 7th and 8th grade basketball.... until I got kicked off the team for being mouthy to the coach. I think, for the record, I called her a bitch. So endth my juvenile sports career. No - I was destined for the individual achievements. Arts and Drama! Overacting, and Madrigal singing! Hey Nonny, Nonny! Places where weird, opinionated, smart ass teens such as myself gravitated in order to mock our lemming like counterparts with extended skits from Monty Python. Wink Wink, Nudge, Nudge, Say No More.

Yet there I was last night. Trying to look kind of cool with my gauchos and "Model Citizen" T-shirt and unruly hair. Holding my cup of coffee and wearing my bad ass Danish Clogs. And there was my kid. Running up and down the field - looking winded....but Happy? Does she look happy? Dear christ - is she enjoying this? Did she just shout words of encouragement to her team mates and raise her arms in the "GOAL" motion?

Terrance leaned into me just after I squealed and shouted "Get Ready Emily!".

"I know this isn't your thing", he murmured. "But you're being a really good Mom."

I glanced at him - balefully - over the top of my coffee cup. And felt my daughter grow a little further up and away from me.

Two sides to every story

Sunday, May 04, 2008

(on cell)
"Okay - I will meet you over at Legal Seafood in a few minutes - Yeah I am in Borders, but I just have to pee so I'm going to hang up and I'll call you when I am done to let you know I am on my way. Jesus! This is a terrible bathroom!"

Now internal dialog of Dawn:

{{{{This is seriously the worst bathroom I have ever been in - Borders must have a contingent of homeless people who LIVE in this bathroom. Bleck. It stinks in here. That person next to me has incredibly ugly shoes. And are they wearing overalls? Who the fuck wears overalls and furthermore - who wears overalls and lets the latches fall onto that disgusting bathroom floor? Dear christ. This bathroom STINKS. Is that a magazine stuck behind the toilet? Seriously??? Who smuggles a magazine into a borders bathroom? I am just going to hang over the toilet and try to pee so I can get out of here as humanly possible. There isn't a place to hang my purse. WTF? Now I have to hang onto my purse and pee, because there is no WAY I am letting my sweet little Matt & Nat bag touch that floor. Phew. Done. I am getting out of here. Just need to wash my hands. Okay. Mirror check. Not bad for the hair, although the rain is making it lose it's mind. Where is the soap dispenser? }}}}

Said out load : "Why is the soap dispenser on the other wall away from the sinks? What kind of design genius did this?"

{{{I mean HONESTLY - who puts soap on the opposite wall from the sinks? Jesus. This is the worst bathroom EVER. I already know there are no paper towels. I am just going to flap my hands and dry them off and then I am wrapping them in my coat cause I am TOTALLY NOT touching the handle on the way out. Yep. Hair looks good. A little lip balm. That person in the stall is still there and not making any noise. I hope she finds some better shoes, cause those SUCK....and all right - ready to go............
Walking out the door - hand with coat out to pull door..............Hey. Whats that? Is that a urinal? Oh my fucking god, it was...}}}}

Imagined Internal dialog of other person in bathroom:

oh my god. who just came into the bathroom? Is she on the phone? fuck. am I in the right place? I am just going to sit here as quietly as possible and hope this is over quickly. I wonder if I am in the right place. Try not to fart. My entire ass has seized up. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
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