Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the Curvy Girls!
Remember that the candy you eat in the coming weeks will be a critical part of those
post-New Year's pounds you will need to remove.
Eat it anyway. YOLO, as the kids say.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The cup is...half full

I am going to be positive about this. Yes. The cups are half full. By cups I mean my bra cups. They are half full with my....breasts? Yes. I guess they are still referred to as breasts.

Many know that I am a little hung up on the in breasts. (what you may have been thinking about is for another blog altogether) I just wanted to have nice full Bs. I have a full bottom and I wanted just a little fanfare up top. 

I was one of the first to have breasts in school...and by breasts I mean pudge being pushed forward out from my armpits. I remember in 5th grade, shopping with mom in Marshalls, a cardboard box hit my head. Was THROWN at my head. It had a training bra in it and that was the introduction to it. A box to the head and my mom giggling, hand still in mid air from the toss. Later that year I was with my mom at the firehouse to vote. While waiting on line I turned to her and whispered, "How can people wear these bras? They keep riding up!" My mom whispered back, "You need something to hold them down. You aren't quite there yet."

By the time I hit NYC at the age of 22 I realized that I could just let them be- free of cuppage- and wear strappy things and rejoice in myself for all of the 2 years I think that lasted. That was fun. Me and the triangular nippies, running all around Manhattan and shelving books and finishing up my 19 years of school.

Then I was teaching and I strapped them back in and met a guy named husband and we had babies. And I had boobs off and on during that process. Yes, I took a picture of the cleavage I had after not nursing for 4 hours. I took a picture to remember the awesomeness of Bs.....

Now I have situations in which, like in 5th grade, my bra starts riding up. I absently tug the bra down from time to time. I guess too much while in Boston last week and my dad finally turned to my mom and said, "Mom, Kate's bra is not comfortable!" kind of loud......kind of out at a restaurant...kind of while the waiter was poised to take out order.

I flumped down the next day on a couch, surrounded by gorgeous curves and turned to one curvy, Mandy, and said, "I can't fill my bra anymore." I pulled my shirt, looked straight down to re-confirm I could see my breasts sitting there, waiting patiently to disappear completely. And Mandy said those dreaded words, "You need to find a new bra."

Visual smack down of an old blue haired, 5 ft woman, cigarette hanging out of the corner of her mouth, with a measuring tape assaulted me. Words like:
this is all a mess.....
completely wrong cup size.....
if you THINK you are a 36 you have another think coming......
And that plastic measuring tape would be so cold against the girlies. 

Honestly, if they would consider a mammogram, bra fitting combo- I would go for it hands down. But 2 women trying to fit my breasts into places with cold hands 2 times in one year....I mean, to disrobe TWICE in order to get a new bra and a scan seems..seems...overwhelmingly overwhelming.


But, as I said, the cups are half full. They are mine. They are healthy (knocking on pressed wood, hope that counts) and they got the job done thus far. Hang in there ladies! (or at least, keep leaning slightly to the left against my sternum.....whatever.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hung Up On Somebody That I Used To Know- Wendy Anderson

I have been so many different versions of me in my 41 years.  I am sure you can relate on some level. I’m on a journey and I wonder if you are too and maybe you’d like to walk with me. 

When I was really young I was into my Barbie dolls and eating Rice Krispies with my Grandpa on Saturday mornings. 

I found refuge in books, probably the only thing that has stayed constant in my life. 

As I grew my identity got wrapped up in outside things. 

I was a Brownie,
      Big sister
Scared, abused child
Rape victim  survivor
  Wife (again)
 Sexy, Ugly, Fat, Not As Fat, Fluffy, Angry
  Mother (3 times over)
Cook, Nurse, Peacekeeper, Maid, Jailor

But I am seldom Wendy. I had a glimpse of her back in…yeah, the year isn’t important, I’m old and that’s enough you young whippersnapper. 
I don’t think I ever really knew me, and I want to because the glimpse of me I had was of someone I kind of liked. 

I might be trying to figure out who I am but there are some things I do know. 

I am not always open but I am real. I’m not comfortable pretending to be something that I am sure I’m not. I won’t bullshit you and tell you I think or believe something I don’t. I will however be kind about the things we differ on. I wont tell you your cooking smells bad but I might not eat your food. 

I feel more comfortable in the pages of a book then in a room full of people, unless there is a copious amount of booze, then I am able to relax and you can see me peeking out of this shell, if you look closely.  Don’t worry; I don’t have a drinking problem. 

I have a potty mouth. I like the word fuck and use it often. I have tattoos and want more. I like to sing loudly and badly to my favorite songs and I seem to be stuck in the 90’s. 

I lose my shit with kids sometimes and yell. It has humbled me and taught me about the necessity of owning your actions and apologizing, sincerely, when you fuck up.  But, I am a good mother and do my best and love them and laugh with them and teach them and hold them always even when I have to let them go. 

I push myself really hard, unreasonably so and it makes me feel stressed and short-tempered. This is really evident when we talk about my schoolwork.  

But I can be your best friend; I am loyal to those who allow me to feel safe and will defend you with every ounce of my being.
I am quick to love and slow to leave. 

I am a square peg in a world of round holes. I thought I wanted to fit in and now I think I don’t, I just want to be welcomed in, as I am, pointy corners and all.  

Oh, and eat Rice Krispies with my kids on Saturdays. 

Because the someone I used to know that I am hung up on is ME. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Calling All Curvies :: Looking for Guest Bloggers!

Why, you ask, should you write a piece or two for Curvy Girl?

Well today I am polishing off my heels and donning a wrap-around black dress (with sensible sweater) for an interview. A job interview.

And it occured to me that when I sent in my resume and cover letter for this particular job, I was able to send links...LINKS! So savvy, so high-tech...that showcased some of my more personal writing.

So if you -- like me -- are currently in the position to enter or accelerate your way through the workforce, it's good to have some published writing to showcase your skills.

Just food for thought, writer-mamas. We are here to support you in your quest.

Please send submissions or queries to

Thursday, October 25, 2012

First Born

Many of us can remember with vivid clarity, the moment our first-born arrived in our arms.  I was filled to the brim with excitement, fear, anxiety, happiness and more.  I was convinced my first born was a boy, so imagine my shock when the nurses announced, “It’s a girl!”  My husband and I looked at each other stunned, eyes-wide, quickly wondering what on earth would we do with a girl! 

I woke up the morning of Sunday, February 8th, 1998 at 5:15 a.m. in contractions.  I had no idea what to expect, but I told my husband, “This is it!” and he nervously cleaned every possible space of our apartment in anticipation.  By 9:10 p.m. I was holding my baby girl, with her crooked nose, and starting in awe that this little creature was mine.   (The crooked nose was from dropping into my birth canal to hang out for a whole eight days before she decided to come on out).

As any new parent would be, you want to be the most perfect parent.  You want to instill your child with all the proper societal rules and a mix of your own family values.   You want to shape and mold this newborn being into a wonderful and functional person to add to society.  You want to love your child unconditionally, and yet, balance that adoration with a sense of parental boundary.  You want to fill your little person with just the right amount of consequences to teach them, but not so much as to traumatize them.

My Riley is nearly fifteen years old.  My first born has turned out to be everything I could have ever wished for, and so much more.  Riley has made being a parent so much easier than I would have ever considered.  My girl has set the standard:  she has raised the bar for not only her siblings behind her (eek, sorry Jake and Reece), but she has been the role model for those around her.  Riley inspires me to be a better person.  Is it possible for a child to inspire their parents?  I emphatically say yes.

Riley is beyond compassionate.  She has a love for animals unlike anyone else I know.  Her desire is to be a veterinarian and I have no doubt, her future line of work will include animals.   She has deep-routed bloodlines of love for her family; from her 99 year old Memere to her cousins to her little four year old sister.

Riley’s compassion has extended beyond her circle of friends.  She has often times gotten up and left her crowded lunch table at school to go and sit with a child who is lunching alone.  Riley has gone over to the new kid in class or on her soccer team and she has invited them to participate or hang out with her.  Riley has confronted bullies at school, telling them in a way-too-mature voice for her age to knock it off.  Trust me; you would be afraid of that menacing look on her face, too.

Riley is so much like me, but a million times more the person I wished I was at her age.  I wish I had the confidence to stick up to the bullies (especially when I was the subject of the bullying).  I wish I had the security to not worry about being judged as I left a table to go sit with someone all alone. 

We have had our challenges and Riley has insecurities; which makes me want to be a better person and a better parent.  Until the past year or so, Riley has been incredibly insecure about her body.  Not unlike most teenage girls who worry about their bodies, but Riley has been worried about her body since she was in pre-school and a nasty little bugger told her she was fat.  Of course, this Momma wants to go and find that girl all these years later and give her a little lesson or two on the lifetime impact of such carelessly thrown words.  However, Riley has finally gotten to a better place and realizes now how strong and athletic her body is.  She’s growing into her curves with grace.  The boys have taken notice.

Yes, the boys have taken notice.  (I think I will throw up now.)

She is now a freshman in high school.  The boys seem to be everywhere.  Everywhere.  Did I mention boys….everywhere?  (Where’s the toilet when you need it?).
I have to trust that my daughter has been raised to make the right decisions.  I have to trust that when she makes mistakes (and she will); she will learn from them and move on.  I have to trust and hope that my first born will not make the same mistakes that I did.

In the meantime, I talk to her.  I talk to her.  I talk to her some more.  I ask questions.  Every day is full of questions: 

Ø  I want to know who’s she’s hanging out with. 

Ø  I want to know who she talked to today. 

Ø  I want to know how school was. 

Ø  I want to know what homework she has. 

Ø  I want to know how soccer practice was. 

Ø  I want to know her plans for the weekend. 

Ø  I ask her what boys she talked to and in return, which boys said hi to her. 

Ø  I want to know what boys she’s crushing on.

Ø   I want to know what boys her friends are crushing on.  (Yes, I ask them too!)

Ø  I want to know who’s dating who and who’s allowed to go out on “real” dates already at this age. 

You may be asking if Riley gets annoyed by the daily interrogation.  Sometimes, yes, she does.  I carefully explain to her that the more I know about her life, the more I trust her.  I remind her that I do not want to find out that stuff is happening through other sources, whether it’s her friends, other parents or through the grapevine.  I have explained to her that if I find out some important detail of her life from someone aside from her, I will be hurt and I will lose some fraction of my trust.  My goal is to have as much open communication between Momma and her daughter, so that we can go through the teenage years together.

When Riley gets to the eyeball roll point with me, I gently let her know that I was once this age, too.  I remember the feelings of awkwardness, inadequacy, the tingles and nervousness around boys and so much more that comes with teenage angst.  I remind her that my mother never talked to me about any of this stuff.  I remind her regularly that I will be there for her when she is struggling with a decision.  I want to be her grounding when she feels like she is falling.  I will be the Momma when she needs a good dose of a reality check (hypothetical car dates with boys?  Um, no….not at 14 or at 15). 

After all, she is my first-born and I am still determined to get that right.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On Doughnuts and Besties

At Uncle Richard’s funeral, his older brother got up and announced to the roomful of mourners that Richard had been his best friend.

But the most powerful statement was to come. He then said that he figured there were many people in the room that could say the same thing. Heads nodded wildly, lonely tears fell. Yes, Uncle Richard had been the very best friend to a whole lot of people and that translated into a loss that was beyond words and multiplied by a million.

And so that is important to keep in mind as I tell you that I love to make fall doughnuts -- cider donuts as they are called in New England -- with my best friend. It’s kind of a tradition. (And in true Curvy Girl fashion, I never eat an entire doughnut – I just pop the occasional piping hot doughnut hole into my mouth so the calories don’t count.)

Every year, it’s a different scene because – Like Uncle Richard – I am blessed with more than one best friend.

What makes a best friend a best, and not just a friend? In my case, it’s that rare and beautiful handful of women who get me…who don’t challenge or judge my flaws because they know the soft core that lies beneath. While I gently navigate conflicts with most of the women in my life at one point or another, my best friends know my heart instinctively without me having to explain it. There is comfort in my ability to be silent with them and have them just know.

I also know that all of my best friends have at least one or two other best friends themselves. It’s a big booming circle of awesomeness, and I eat it up like the warm sugary doughnuts that make an appearance every autumn in my house, and did when I was a kid and my mom made them with my sisters and me.

And it’s lovely, because it means that no matter where I go and what I do, I am always in the company of a bestie.
3 1/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
2/3 c. milk
1/4 c. melted butter
2 beaten eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
In bowl *1*, combine all 2 c. flour, baking powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt
In bowl *2*, combine milk and melted butter
In bowl *3*, combine eggs, sugar & vanilla and beat until thick
Alternately add *1* and *2* to *3*, then stir in remaining flour.
Chill overnight and fry in hot oil -- a Fry Daddy works best! SUPER HEALTHY!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Never Had a Big Sister Until MHC

Yes, I know I talk about my college too much. It comes up as often as possible. Not to brag or annoy, but because it is like a num num. It is still, besides my children, the most amazing thing I have ever done (and I have parasailed and ziplined and eaten an apple turnover AND a donut at the same this is big).

I went to revisit Mount Holyoke this weekend as I do every Fall with my bestie. Sometimes we end up there in Spring, too. We talk of bringing our kids there to run around and soak it in. I think I may go again next month with another friend/Alumna and her girls. I keep going back because of one reason: Mount Holyoke believed in a girl who did not believe in herself. (That'd be me) It is a place that centers me and recharges me. 

All my friends from college probably know this. Anyone from the college offices who have thanked me and asked me why I volunteer for them will hear me gush about the reason why. I am sure I have shared it with friends I have met since my years at MHC. Mount Holyoke took a chance with me and knew I could make it.  It was a total right-on move of theirs and I will never, ever stop thanking them. Ever. And it will make your ears bleed from listening and your eyes ache from rolling, but I won't even be embarrassed. That school is like the coolest older sister EVER. And I will tell everyone about her. She is my legend. She was the clearest mirror I have ever had in my life. So I go back there and I wander and I re-look at myself in that mirror and damn my ass looks good. You know? (not literally....well....yeah, maybe it does there. But I was using that as an analogy or metaphor or euphemism... something....OK. Moving on.)

I used to wander the campus junior and senior year with my friends saying, "I love this school and all it has taught me!!! (stage whisper) but I kinda want to be a mom, still." I was paranoid that my staying home once I had children would let the school down somehow. Some serious pioneers have graduated from there. And my alumna friends talk about how little we feel we have accomplished once we have read the class notes and learn about an alum building a school in a third world country out of reinforced, organic popsicle sticks, harvested sun power and a dream. (Wellllll, no. But some pretty amazing stuff.) But then I go wander the campus and feel a big sister harsh knuckle punch to the arm in which the college says "No, dweeb! Just impart who you are in the world. Give something and be smart about it!" I need that yearly punch in the arm.

MHC has no size or color or religion. She has them all. She has no judgements. She has diversity...not just of people, but of sweatpant styles and approaches to friendships. She is here and there and anywhere you want to be. She doesn't parent, you see. She big sisters. She gives you a funny look when you suggest something and then shrugs an "OK". She teaches you the lesson by making you go through the fire rather than preventing the fire as a parent might. She watches us stumble and fight and picks us up when we fall.... she doesn't dust us off, but throws us back in the center and says, "GET IT!! GET IT, YOU PUNK!!" or at least that is what she did for me. What she does for me still.

So I am back. I am feeling better after a weekend of non drama with my friend and a quick under arm pinch from the school. My head has cleared and my worries have lessened. If I made it through those 4 years of growth, development, and change unscathed and a better person, I can make it through life right now. Of course I can. And I am re-commited to being the kick-assiest. Not sure what that means exactly, but it will contain getting out there, outside of myself, and doing some great things.

And now, some inspiring words from Mary Lyon, the founder of Mount Holyoke College:

If anyone thinks he has no responsibilities, it is because he has not sought them out. 

There is nothing in the universe that I fear, but that I shall not know all my duty, or shall fail to do it. 

Go Forward, Attempt Great Things, Accomplish Great Things.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Guest Blogger: Teresa Kelly Farley

The journey through loss and grief.

Death has been on my mind a lot lately…’s been a couple of months since I lost a childhood friend and this month marks the 4 year anniversary of my father’s death.

I have had a few conversations about the journey from life into death….there is even a question on the ballot this November. It is regarding Physician Assistant Suicide….if it passes; someone can actually go to a pharmacy with a prescription from their doctor and take pills to commit suicide.  Not judging here, but WOW!

If you ask me whether I would take a long winding road to death or a short quick road, I would choose the long, winding road every time. Here’s why:
It has been 4 years this month since I lost my dad. He was 71, a husband of 46 years, a father of 10, grandfather of 27 (and still counting)….and friend to all.

He was first diagnosed with skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) in 2004. This form of skin cancer is easily treated and so we thought all would be well. However, my father had noticed an issue some 10 years earlier and had not gone to a doctor. Still, they were able to take out the tumor, do a skin graft and all seemed good.

In 2007 we found out he was sick again. The skin cancer that he had a few years earlier had come back and had now spread to his bones. There was little to be done at this point and he was not willing to give chemo a try because he felt it was just not worth losing what little time he might have feeling sick all the time.

I was angry…….SO angry! At him, at the dr’s (but really, more at him). Why didn’t he bother to go to the dr all those years ago when he first noticed something was wrong? Why did he let his fears get in the way? Why was I losing my father and my children their grandfather when this didn’t have to happen?

I went into panic mode….I had to do something! I started reading everything about the cancer and what could be done. As dad always taught me, knowledge is power and I needed to feel powerful in the moment. But I could find nothing about it that would change the outcome…..once cancer goes to the bones, there is nothing to be done. I was powerless…..

During the next year and a half, I had a glimpse of my father in many forms and there were many blessings. He was always there for me, whenever I needed him. I took full advantage of all the time we had. We spoke everyday and I was with him as much as possible. My siblings and I and our mother had time together as a family, more than we had in many years since we were all spread out around the country. He suffered a lot, but he was undeniably strong through this. I cried…..everyday, but I also gained a strength that I cannot put into words.

On October 29th, 2008, I was holding my father’s hand as he passed on. I am forever grateful for that moment, when he squeezed my hand, sat up and took his last breath. I knew it was coming (which is why I had not let go of his hand in 5 hours), yet it was the single most difficult thing I have ever done. I miss him everyday…..I still go to pick up the phone and call him. I don’t know if that will ever change and in some ways I hope it doesn’t.
I am not angry anymore (ok, maybe still a little)…..but mostly I am just sad. I am sad because my kids won’t get to listen to my dad tell stories and give advice….and he was the smartest, funniest, most gentle sweet soul I have ever known. I am sad because I still need him here….

So back to that question of whether to take the long, winding road or the short, quick one….I still choose the long winding road because I had so many more moments with him, even the tough ones….and I would give anything just to have even one more!

This is breast cancer awareness month…..take it a step further and think about cancer in all forms. Do you have a mole that you are not sure about? do you have a family history of cancer? GET CHECKED!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Little New England for a Sunday Morning

It's Sunday - and I just had to share with you the goodness of what I just made because I know you will love it too!  The house smells so cozy and warm.  After one bite, your tummy will literally smile and you can embrace the New England fallness in the air!
A little back story about the love of these tidbits of fall nourishments, first.  Back in 1998, I was working for an energetic woman lawyer in Worcester doing Labor & Employment law.  We had a couple of older, sweet school teachers who had been dismissed from their jobs for younger candidates.  In the multiple visits these gems made to our office, they would come bearing homemade treats.  One day is etched in my memory - my tastebuds did the dance of joy as they rolled around with pumpkin goodness.  Our clients shared that this was indeed the Longfellow Wayside Inn's recipe for Pumpkin Muffins.  Anyone in New England knows that the Wayside Inn is about as New England as one can get. 
With that, I share with you the deliciousness for your own home.  I had no raisins, so I used chopped dates and I added walnuts.  I also sprinkled the top of the muffins with a cinnamon and sugar topping.  Enjoy.


Pumpkin Muffins
Longfellow's Wayside Inn

1 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1-3/4 cups flour

1-1/2 teaspoon baking power
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Soak the raisins in the water for 5 minutes, do not drain. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until foamy, stir in the pumpkin, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. Add the canola oil and mix well. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture with half of the raisin-water mixture. Mix well, add remaining raisin mixture; stir to mix. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees F until the top springs back when pressed with fingers, about 25 minutes for muffins, 22 for muffin tops.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wild Child

“Ever close your eyes?  Ever stop and listen?  Ever feel alive?  And you’ve nothing missing?  You don’t need a reason; let the day go on and on.”

 “Wild Child” by Enya is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time.  Have you heard it?  If not, you must:

As time passes me by, I become increasingly aware of how ridiculously fast the years, the days, and the moments surpass us all.  You will notice I opted against using the word “age” – as in, how I age!  The older I get, the more stubborn I become in allowing myself to age!  We tell our children to act their age, but honestly, why should they?  Why should we?  I want to be a wild child!

The more, er, um, mature I get, the more I refuse to allow people who cast judgment upon me to bother me.  If I want to wear a pink wig and rock……..out……well, then so be it.  I am going to wear a pink wig; I am going to act like I am young at heart and frankly, be a wild child.  If I want to giggle over the word flatulence, well, then so be it – we all know it IS funny.  Honestly, I do not care if people laugh at me – in fact, I want them to laugh at me!  Heck, it may have been their only funny spot that day.  I am going to have one helluva ride throughout the remainder of my years; either you jump on and have a scream with me, or you move aside and get out of my way.

I recently went to a fundraiser where the theme of the party was simply to have fun.  Props were provided as was good music.  As I pored over the pictures, the very evidence of many people in their best “wild child”; I realized, this is exactly what it means to be alive – to live in your moment, to live your life.  Why can we not have a moment like this every day?  Can we get absolutely lost in a musical moment?  Can we fall apart in side-splitting laughter?   Can we relish the view of the changing hues of fall for longer than a passing glance?

Every time I listen closely to the words of “Wild Child”, I feel the need to embrace my inner child for perhaps an infinite period of time.  I do not need to make up for lost time for some of my more challenging periods of my youth.  I only need to assure myself that upon my last hour, I will reflect upon a life, MY LIFE, as being chock full of nuts – and no, I am not talking about coffee. 

As the dragonfly season comes to a close, I have been thinking about the local young woman who passed in August more and more (Fly Free).  My actions are consumed with thoughts about how mundane our daily lives truly are NOT. 

Instead of grinding my teeth because of my helter skelter:  I have to fit in yet another trip to the grocery store after work, after the pre-school pick up, but in between the boy’s cross-country practice, the girl’s soccer practice and the boy’s soccer practice, all whilst somehow cleaning up the cat vomit, making dinner and paying the electric bill that was due three days ago.   

I simply close my eyes, I stop and I listen.  I feel alive.  I have nothing missing. 

Wild Child lyrics
Ever close your eyes
ever stop and listen
ever feel alive
and you've nothing missing
you don't need a reason
let the day go on and on

Let the rain fall down
everywhere around you
give into it now
let the day surround you
you don't need a reason
let the rain go on and on

What a day
what a day to take to
what a way
what a way
to make it through
what a day
what a day to make you
a wild child

Only take the time
from the helter skelter
every day you find
everything's in kilter
you don't need a reason
let the day go on and on

Every summer sun
every winter evening
every spring to come
every autumn leaving
you don't need a reason
let it all go on and on



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Unlucky 13?

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary and I have been reluctant to acknowledge it, much less discuss it. It seems unlucky somehow, something of a bad omen, more sensible to ignore than celebrate.
But I have also been privy to some conversations, television shows and gossip mag fodder lately that confirm what – after all this time – I already knew. Marriage is really freaking hard.
So in honor of my beloved, I give you
Top 13 Reasons Our Marriage has Lasted 13 Years
13. My husband lets me have the remote. This is true. Lucky for him, I sit still for about 19 minutes a day so he only has to endure my Real Housewives in short bursts.
12. He’s hot. Much hotter now than he was 13 years ago and this is also true. Ask anyone. Except his mother. That would be gross.
11. I am a forgiving sort of person. After I take out all of my anger and aggression in totally pathological and vindictive ways, I am very forgiving indeed. I deserve some credit for this over the course of all these years.
10. We love each other. A lot.
9. We like each other. Enough.
8. We make hairy little monkey babies that grow into amazingly beautiful girls. Nobody will ever love them as much as we do and therefore we stay married so they can have the best in life, forever and always, times two.
7. Here's what I really want in life: to have someone to sit with on a porch someday at dusk and say “Remember when we were young?” and have him reach out and grab ahold of my wrinkled hand and say, “Yes my love. I do.
And you were beautiful.”
6. In the midst of my third child’s homebirth labor, I wailed in the shower as the contractions came on in agonizing waves. I just wanted to be alone. I found out 5 years later that he had spent that entire time sitting right outside the bathroom door, only a few feet away.
5. We talk. Constantly. And frequently to each other.
4. My kids all look like him. What kind of man is going to want to date a divorcee whose daughters all look exactly like her ex-husband? Safer to stay married.
3. He is stable enough to make me feel safe but unstable enough to make me feel like life is interesting. I loathe boredom.
2. He hates to camp, which frees me up to do camping trips with my friends. And those are infinitely more fun than dealing with a man in the woods who is depserately missing his television.
And the number 1 reason my marriage has lasted 13 years: He loves me – on dark days when I am filled with venom, on light days when my love could blind him. He has loved me through it all and for this, another 13 years would simply never do. I want the whole thing -- that lifetime deal.

I won't settle for a minute less. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


My mother had Breast Cancer. It was caught early and she had the lump removed, some lymph nodes removed, and a tattoo placed upon her breast for radiation. She thought it even stranger that 2 of her kids had tattoos after getting that.

My mother has been rendered speechless once in her life that she will admit to- when she met the Pope. Other than that- she will pretty much talk. People she doesn't like get a different tone of voice and clipped words, and even some rueful laughs. (I find those so compelling). She will talk to strangers about anything, to animals to tell them to get lost, and to her childrens' friends. When she came home from her diagnosis and immediate removal of the cancer and nodes, she was silent. That scared me most of all.

My mother finally spoke to tell me to not tell the boys (my 4 brothers and an Elon), and I looked at her and to her face(!!) told her no. I would be calling them. I took the receiver off the wall phone and pulled it into the mud room. As I closed the door she slowly turned and went upstairs, batting the twisted phone cord out of her way. I think that was my first openly defiant move towards my mother ever (not counting all the sneaky defiances over the years). I was 20. I grew up at that moment. You could hear it. It was so abrupt it had a sound, a color, a smell, a feel, and it left a mark.

My mother does not like to be referred to as a survivor.

My mother was looking out her apartment window 17 years later with me as the sun was just beginning to rise over the Charlestown Navy Yard. She was waiting to take me to the starting line for the Avon 2 day walk for breast cancer. She wasn't saying much and I knew it was because she was feeling things. She finally said that it was complete incompetence that killed her mother. Breast cancer that her doctors did not understand how to handle. It finally made it's way to her brain. She didn't talk about Grangy's dying often, so I listened quietly. We didn't say much about it because being the same person, my mom and I, we both hate being choked up. We want to be tough. In the air was her feeling off loss and her feeling of pride. "It is so good of you to do this" she said. "I never did stuff like this." 

My mother always donates the most to my fight in the fight to end breast cancer. I don't think she sees it as her donating to the fight against the cancer itself. She donates to me, her child, because she supports me most of all. She asked me why I was so involved. Many people asked me that over the years. There is so much that swirls in my chest and puts an ache in my throat, but the spoken reason is easy. 

I lost a grandmother early. I fight that.    

My mother was hurt by it. I want to destroy anything that hurts my mother. 

When my aunt was diagnosed, it upped the ante. I will admit- I felt a little surrounded.......

And then I had a daughter. And then I had another. Please. No contest. The disease ends here. Before it has any chance to reach my children.

It is October. Not the only month in which you should feel your boobies....but the one in which you may remember it the most. You will be surrounded by pink. You will be boobsmacked by all the ribbons. All year long you will be surrounded by fundraising. I used to take a full year to raise all the money I needed in order to join a walk-a-thon for breast cancer. Now what I do is this: I make a meal when needed. Attend an event when I have the time. Donate money to the cause. I volunteer my time when asked and I have it to give. 
And I promote Pink Revolution
I choose Pink because it is local. It has no payroll. It supports Umass Cancer Center in Worcester. It supports local women in need of help while battling breast cancer. The money reaches an area where change is happening.


                                     Cancer can suck it.