In honor of Earth Day, I give you Granola Girl. A little bit crunchy, a little bit glam, a whole lotta Spiritual Gangsta. Get it, Raquel!!!! She’s a friend of mine who wil be your new BFF go-to for how to stay fly and feel good about it. Read her and enjoy!
“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
Every Monday I’m gonna put a friend on blast—not out of nepotism, but out of being a straight up fan. Today, meet Cara of shedontcara. A self-described lifestyler, producer, creative cook, health nut, jewelry designer, spinner, yogi and soon to be certified wellness coach.
I worked with Cara in a former life, and not only does she give good conference call, she’s fun to travel with, too. Check out her blog to learn a myriad of things like how to make PizzaFlower Bread…and how to look foxy on a yoga mat.
I guess I hit a nerve, because my last post garnered the highest number of views since askpiper hit the web in ’04. Since the world doesn’t need another freaking mommy blog (and especially since the perfect one already exists right here) I refuse to go down that path.
I do, however, have this to add to my most recent post:
6. When are you going back to work?
It’s the greatest paradox. All through our 20s and 30s, women are asked (literally and subtlety) when we’re going to get married and spawn. A friend of mine, upon getting her MBA, was told by her mother, “Congrats. But I’m not sure how that thing is going to get you a husband.” Then, as soon as we do put our uteri to work and breed, we’re asked when we’re going to leave our newborns with a stranger, or a group of strangers or a willing relative and return to the work force so we can quickly learn the impossibility of having it all.
I first got asked this question just a few weeks after delivery. I write for a living and at the time I was so sleep deprived I was having trouble forming sentences and remembering words. Typing? Wow, that seemed much too physical a task to tackle. The question confused me; especially considering most people think giving birth requires a lobotomy (see question number 4). How could I go back to work without a brain?
My doctor had advised me not to have sex until 6 weeks after delivery. I figured that held true for commuting, too—in New York City it can be just as physical and invasive. And don’t even get me started on the backwardness of the US compared to other countries when it comes to maternity/paternity leaves!
So don’t ask a new mom when she’s going back to work, unless you’re her boss and you’re calling to give her a raise, a promotion or, a la Melissa Meyer, to tell her about the nursery you’re busy building right next to her cubicle to ease her return.
(photo from examiner.com)
1. So when’s the next one coming?
Before this thought even crosses your mind, let alone your lips, just sit down (because you can! you can sit down without wincing, without breaking into an immediate pain-management sweat, without first looking around for your inflatable donut contraption, without counting the minutes ’til your next sitz bath! lucky you!) …sit down and think about it. How likely would you be rubbing your hands together, eagerly planning the ‘next one’ after squeezing a human being out of one of your orifices? Trust me, you wouldn’t be. And she’s not either, so shut up with your stupid future plans for a uterus that isn’t even yours and do the right thing…bring a casserole, smile at the baby, then leave. If you must stay, start doing laundry.
2. Is the baby sleeping through the night?
No. It’s a baby. They are programmed to have big, beautiful, curious, helpless eyes that never stay shut long enough for their parents to even encroach on anything looking like REM sleep. Don’t ask this question because it will send any mom into an immediate state of panic–Should she be sleeping through the night? What am I doing wrong? It’s a wrap, I’m the worst mom ever. If you feel compelled to ask this question you must follow it up with an offer to take the baby for an entire night so you can see for yourself. It’s either that or make her a casserole. So, make your bed, then lie awake in it, okay?
3. Are you breastfeeding?
This should be a no brainer. If you’ve never seen the new mom’s boobs, you have no business inquiring about them. Take your dirty mind to the kitchen and make her a casserole.
4. Can you even remember your life before baby?
Most deliveries consist of a baby entering the world via a vagina or an incision. A vigorous google search will not serve up deliveries that require lobotomies. Yes, she remembers that life. There are artifacts of it all over the place…the bottle of Scotch in the cupboard that only her man has touched, the cute kitten-heels in her closet her swollen feet may never be reunited with, the make up she used to wear, the toothbrush she used to use, the dog she used to remember to feed. She remembers that life and in it you once made her a casserole and it made her very happy. Be a dear and take her on a trip down memory lane, why don’t you?
5. Are you going to vaccinate/pierce her ears/circumcise him/hire a nanny/take her to daycare/give her a tramp stamp/let her cuss like a sailor/teach him French/let her juggle knives…etc.
Leave the future in the future. New mom’s brain is hormone-assaulted and not ready to make all kinds of plans that are probably none of your business. The only thing she’s planning to do is tear through that casserole you were nice enough to bring, so be a peach and go pop it in the oven, okay?
I’m reading ‘How To Be a Woman’ by Caitlin Moran. And I’m laughing my arse off at her recounting of her formidable years, like when, for her 13th birthday, her mother ‘made’ her a baguette filled with Philadelphia cream cheese instead of baking a cake—with seven candles, each counting for two years—never mind the math. She also touches on topics like why weddings are no fun for anyone involved, why she’s given up on heels and how, despite her best intentions to keep it at bay, her first period arrives anyway.
But the book isn’t just funny for funny sake. She makes some pretty powerful arguments for feminism, albeit a different kind of feminism than we’ve entertained in the past. If the bra-burning, man-hating, underarm hair braiding movements of the past don’t float your boat, you should give her a read. Here’s one of my favorite passages:
But all those littler, stupider, more obvious day-to-day problems with being a woman are, in many ways, just as deleterious to women’s peace of mind. It is the “Broken Windows” philosophy transferred to female inequality. In the Broken Windows theory, if a single broken window ion an empty building is ignored and not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may break into the building and light fires, or become squatters.
Similarly, if we live in a climate where female pubic hair is considered distasteful, or famous and powerful women are constantly pilloried for being too fat or too thin, or badly dressed then, eventually, people start breaking into women, and lighting fires in them. Women will get squatters. Clearly, this is not a welcome state of affairs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wake up one morning and find a load of chancers in my lobby.
Find out more about Caitlin and the book here: http://www.how-tobeawoman.com/
There’s no greater peace than knowing who you are and how you wanna live. But, knowing is just the first part. Then comes the preaching…and practicing what you preach. Unapologetically. Hats off to this gal, who’s putting it out there for her future husband.
This just floored me. Via A Cup Of Jo’s husband, an explanation of the different role annoyances play in relationships between younger people and older people. I can’t wait to show this to one of my younger friends the next time they complain about the boyfriend who snaps his fingers when he dances, whistles or likes to eat cereal for dinner while sitting on the couch in his boxers watching Comedy Central and playing Farmville. Some things just shouldn’t carry that much weight.
“Young people in relationships tend to give negative things too much weight and underrate the positives. Negatives often get three times the weight of positives. But look at married couples in their eighties. Their little annoyances are often all they talk and joke about. “Oh, Miriam always says this…” “Oh, Herb always does that…” The little annoyances are acknowledged, accepted and part of the fabric of their relationship. They try act like they’re driving each other crazy but they really can’t live with out each other. Annoyances aren’t a deal killer. They’re a natural part of a long, happy marriage.”
To all the single women out there who are looking for a walking date with some cigarette action and maybe a trip to the aquarium plus a guaranteed one night stand—today’s your gettin’ lucky day! I’ve found your man! If you happen to take him up on his offer(s) let me know how it goes. I’m especially curious about which activities you two choose, and what order you do them in.
So there’s a woman in North Dakota who up and married herself. You can hear her tell Anderson Cooper about it here. Well, now she’s getting a lot of flack about it and I think that’s unfortunate. What’s wrong with a woman throwing herself a party, even if that party is a wedding? If I’ve said it before (oh look, I did), I’ll say it again…you don’t have to wait for Mr. or Mrs. Perfectly Right to come along to bring some love into your life. You can do it right now, whether it’s buying yourself some flowers, taking yourself out on a date or, in this case, saying ‘I do’ in the mirror.
I do have some questions about her big day, though. Did she smear wedding cake in her own face? Did she not let herself see herself in her dress before the ceremony? Did she carry herself over the threshold? And…of course, was the wedding night sex the best sex of her self-sexing life?