My one and only Birthday Party

I believe I was in the third grade. Somehow I think it was a surprise birthday party. (My sister might remember). It was during a time when I was into “My Little Pony.” I can barely remember who was at my party, except for a few photos I still have of the day. The problem is I cannot remember who most of the people are around the table in the photo.

The strongest memory I have is also one that paints me as a brat of a kid. While I know that survival was most likely the reason I never had another birthday party (food on the table at each meal was more important than having the best birthday bash) the memory I have was one of ingratitude. Before I tell you I have one further side note. I was in third grade during a time of “name envy.” The butt of your jeans had to have the right name brand or you did not fit in. Goodwill, hand-me-downs, and non-name brands did not work. As a kid growing up in a poor household, having “Guess” on my jeans was definitely not an option.

For that sole birthday party my mom made a cake and shaped it like a pony. It was to be a “My Little Pony” cake. The problem was that my mom spent so much time trying to shape the cake (I rather doubt they had a pony cake form back then), she forgot one of the key elements to the cake. The decoration/icing. My favorite (and probably only) My Little Pony was light blue with a lavender tail and mane. All My Little Ponies had a symbol on their hind that signified which Pony they were. Mine had lavender bows on the hind. My mom however decorated the cake so there were literally bows on the entire surface of the horse.

I was MORTIFIED. No one made fun of me, but I assumed all my friends thought this is what I thought a My Little Pony looked like. My friends never mentioned it, and I never brought it up, but I do think after it was all over I said something to my mom in tears. I am sure she wanted to slap me across the face (not that she ever would have) but wow did I sound ungrateful. When really I was afraid for what I would be thought of in a world that teased so heavily, where I would never have the “Guess” triangle on my butt.

Was it too much to ask for at the time to not stand out and to just fit in? Now that is the last thing I want – to fit in. Bring on the bows!

Is he a lumbersexual?

I love learning new things. Last week we were having dinner with friends from out-of-town and as our waiter walked away one of our friends said: “Our waiter is a lumbersexual.” I had not heard the term and my eyes widened with interest. My mind wandered with thinking of all the hipster Portland men with proper fitting jeans (sometimes rolled), nice shoes and shirt, hair well taken care of and of course either a mustache or beard. Usually I have thought of those that fall into that realm as “hipster.” However, lumbersexual is such a better descriptor.

Of course I came home and spent some time reviewing the Internet of recent articles pertaining to those deemed lumbersexual. I am not completely out of the loop. The term is fairly new of the last few months. Beards, beer, jeans, tattoos, flannel, loves the outdoors, and shops for beard oil. What? Beard oil. Yes, it is all the rage in Portland. A few articles heightened my interest. Of course I love when one mentions my backyard of the Willamette National Forest and even a comment on moisturizer:

“It goes without saying that virtually no man ever called himself a metrosexual, which really just referred to men who shopped for their own pants, went to the gym, and used moisturizer. (That was a big leap. It really was.) So don’t expect the term Lumbersexual to blow up, no matter how ubiquitous Lumbersexuals become.”

I have never been able to get Chris to use moisturizer. Why is that so hard for us women to get our men to see the benefits? If you live in Kansas, or Tokyo, or London and you have no idea what I am talking about, take a trip to Portland. Lumbersexual men abound. They are all things Portland. You will find them in coffee shops, wine bars, brew pubs, you name it.

Jeans: Wash ’em or freeze ’em

I love learning new things. It is actually one of my favorite things. What is not to love about growing your mind with information and letting your universe grow a bit each day? Even if the new knowledge is a bit on the random side. A few days ago I learned something new about jeans. Some of you may say: Wow, how clueless you have been all these years, how could you not know about it? Yet, it is a fascinating dilemma for me. I have known folks that dry clean their jeans and others that iron their jeans… but this is different:

Freezing your jeans.

Yes. I mean it. I mentioned something to Chris the other day about fading jeans and he said: “Maybe you should freeze them.” Huh. I was a bit stunned. He said he knows someone at work that does it. How have I been on this earth for well over three decades and I have never heard of freezing your jeans? It is real. No joke. There is an entire movement around not washing, but freezing your jeans. Seriously. If you do a Google search you will find countless articles about how and why you should freeze your jeans. They are quite descriptive. Levi’s has even been promoting it.

Maybe I am old school but it kind of grosses me out. I think about all the places we sit, I think about the crotch, and I think of all the places we eat and that our jeans often absorb the smells of our surroundings. I would want to wash them just as a sort of detox from where my jeans have been. Not to mention that I wash them because after one wearing they get stretched out. A wash brings them back to the shape that I want, and while my many washing might mean the color eventually fades, what is wrong with that?

Who thought of freezing your jeans? Have you ever tried it? What is next… the microwave?

My pants were on backwards

Yes, that is what I said. My pants were on backwards. Chris and I were heading home from a little vacation up north in Vancouver, British Columbia. On the way home we stopped at some outlets, as I wanted to start some Christmas shopping BEFORE Black Friday, and all the crazy world is out getting the deal of their life. We just happened to be driving by some outlets on our way home. Not usually the destination I pine for, but we saw, we shopped, we conquered.

Well, maybe not conquered. We left with a t-shirt and another top, and some baby gifts, so not a crazy shopping spree, but for me just going is enough. Before we left, I kept thinking my pants felt funny. I kept having to pull them up in the back, again and again. It was not until I went to the bathroom that I realized my pants were on backwards. Of course, I had tried on pants at a few places, but who knows how long I was walking around with my pants on backwards. Now, let me tell you I was wearing black Nike Pro tights, so it was not like it was as obvious as it would have been if I was wearing a pair of jeans backwards. But still, my pants were on wrong. Maybe I am getting old, or maybe I just need a vacation, some turkey, and some sleep.

Has that ever happened to you? It reminds me of those days when you get to work and you think, did I put on deodorant and brush my teeth? Or when you wake up from the dream where you went to work without a bra and if you are at all endowed like me that would be quite a nightmare. Sometimes I think when we have those dream/nightmares it is our body and mind telling us that it is time for a break and some rest/relaxation.

When was the last time you had your pants on backwards?