Parent Shaming…already?

Parent shaming is a real thing – and its such an interesting topic. Typically, you will hear about “Mommy Shaming”. People like Chrissy Teigen tend to really get the brunt of mommy shaming in the public eye, which is great because she literally gives zero craps about what people say about her – and she is VOCAL about that. Most recently, she was under fire for going to dinner with her husband after their baby was born. SHE was under fire, not her husband, to a point where he even said “I was there too, how come no one is attacking me?” (or something to that affect).

What I find so interesting about “shaming” other parents is the source of the shaming. Last time I checked, the world was not over run with Nobel Peace Prize winners – or even really great people. Kids can range from being really great kids, to self entitled little brats you want to shake some sense into. They all come from various walks of life, and various types of parents. Its not too far off to say the people who are passing judgment, probably are raising assholes. The whole apple not falling too far from the tree and all.

Last weekend we went to a little gathering for my husband’s grandparents, in separate cars so I could leave at my whim and let Dan help his family wrap things up. In the process, his parents neighbors began chatting about the impending little one’s arrival, and the neighbor made a comment about how the baby essentially needs to be quarantined for the first month – or anyone that comes in contact with him will need to get immunized.

Not entirely sure of what she was talking about, Dan asked a little further and she looked at him like he was a raging moron, saying something to the likes of “what do you mean you aren’t going to have everyone immunized before handling your baby?” as if that would result in the immediate demise of our child.

Let me just say – its a good thing it was only Dan there. I have a very specific question when someone passes judgement on our decisions or how we plan on raising our child: Did I ask you for your opinion?

If the answer is NO then maybe you need to mind your own business. If I did ask your opinion, its entirely possible that I may not agree with you. I won’t argue with you about it, but if you attempt to make one of us feel like a lesser person because of it, chances are…we aren’t going to have a productive afternoon.

What happens when you’re pregnant….

So, I’m pregnant.  And I have been for about 38 weeks.  Quite honestly, its been a very easy pregnancy.  I’m one of the lucky ones – my morning sickness was minimal, there haven’t been any complications, I’ve been able to exercise regularly (hell, I went to the gym this morning.  If I can workout at 9 1/2 months pregnant…what is your excuse to skip the gym?  More on that later).

Something I’ve noticed though, throughout the whole process, is people tend to forget what is appropriate and what is not when they see a pregnant woman.  I mean, I’ve heard it second hand before, from expectant mothers, but didn’t really know what they were talking about until….

  1. Complete strangers will either touch you, or ask to touch you.  In what world is that okay?  I was out to dinner with some friends and walking back to our table from the restroom when two older women stopped me and started touching my stomach, asking me all sorts of questions.  Lets start with the obvious – keep your goddamn hands off me unless I know you (and if I know you – ask first).  And really, even then its still weird.
  2. People you don’t really talk to will be so very offended that you didn’t call them when you found out you were pregnant.  Kind of sweet, kind of odd.
  3. People you do talk to all the time – may not be around for a while.  Whatever the reason is behind it, accept it and move on.
  4. People are experts.  On EVERYTHING.  And they are not ashamed or shy to tell you that.  You will get so much unsolicited advice, its amazing.  For the most part, its people that are looking to help you out, or just want to share their experiences, which is really great.  For example, its really nice of someone that has already had their hospital stay to give you hints on what you should bring with you.  On the flip side, its obnoxious and condescending to tell me how I feel, how I should behave, how I should act, and things I’m going to want.  One person told me I was going to want to take a belly shot every month once I started to feel more maternal (what?) and another couple told me I was going to want my husband to take pictures in the delivery room.
    1. he knows better.  That will NOT be documented
  5. You will get judged.  For all sorts of things.  Now, I had no problem not drinking, or skipping out on the sushi dinners that I love so much.  I mean, its only 40 weeks, so in the grand scheme of things, its not really a big deal to not indulge for me – but if other mothers choose to do any of those things, its none of my business.  Or yours.  Unless they’re mainlining heroin or something in front of you.
  6. I think that people don’t always know that pregnancy doesn’t affect a woman’s hearing.  So when you say things like “Wow you’re HUGE” or “You’re just going to get bigger!” or “Look at those feet!”, she will hear it.  And depending on her mood (due to raging hormones), she’s either going to want to tear your face off, sit on you, or cry.  So be a little considerate, maybe.
  7. I mentioned earlier I’ve still been exercising.  And shockingly enough, I either get comments or mean mugged at the gym.  Now, I’ve been exercising fairly regularly for about 12 years, so its not like I found out I was pregnant and decided to take up Olympic Lifting.  I know my body, I listen to my body, and on the days that I didn’t feel well, or wasn’t really up to it…I didn’t go to the gym.  There were/are so many people that think because you’re pregnant, you should be at home, in bed, eating ice cream with your feet up.  While that may be nice for some people, its not in my cards. So back off.
  8. I’m pregnant, not handicapped.  Granted, there are certain things that I shouldn’t/can’t/won’t physically do until after this squatter is evicted from my loins, but peeling a banana is not one of them.

I have to give a lot of credit to my husband.  He’s been quite wonderful through the whole entire pregnancy.  He also gave us sushi (for the most part, sometimes the man needs a treat), and he’s considerate and helpful around the house.  He got the baby his first velour suit.  He put together all the baby furniture and toys and all that stuff, and on the days where I was unbearable…he got me cookies.  If he’s half the father he is husband, this kid is going to be very, very lucky.

Except he’s planning on us having an army of children, and sweet baby Jesus, that is not happening!

Sorry Fellas

The Beefcake asked me to marry him.  And of course, I said yes.  After a romantic “are you f-cking kidding me?” and a “wait, did you ask my parents?”

He did.  And both of them said (separately) “are you sure?  She’s pretty annoying” or “You have to ask her, she hasn’t asked me for permission to do anything since she was 18” (touche).

So, from what I understand, you don’t get to skip from the engagement phase to the being married phase.  You have to plan a wedding.  And while I LOVE planning things – hell…one of my favorite things to do is make lists – it seems quite the large task.  And there are so many options.  Where do you have it?  Do you have it at home, or do you have it at another place?  Do you have a wedding party? If yes, how many people?  And what if you upset someone by not asking them to be in your wedding party?  What if you upset someone by asking them TO be in your wedding party?  How many people do you invite?  What do you wear?  What the hell are we all going to eat?

Now, a lot of people who I’ve spoken to have dropped a few pearls of wisdom:

1. Enjoy being engaged (I like that advice)

2. Elope (I kind of like that advice, takes all the guess-work out of it)

3. It goes by fast (prove it)

Aside from all that, its been so nice to hear all the kind words from my friends and family and coworkers, congratulating us and wishing us well.  Regardless of what we plan for the wedding part, I’m pretty confident it’ll turn out just as wonderful as the past two years have been, if not better.

 

Ain’t no getting rid of me now, pal.

 

 

I need to sit up straight

I need to sit up straight

 

#whyistayed

There has been so much talk the past few weeks about Domestic Violence. This is a good thing, people don’t know nearly enough about the subject, and there are entirely too many people who will comment on Domestic Violence, without fully understanding what they’re talking about.

A lot of this is coming to light after the Ray Rice video was released. Hey, NFL…you guys really shit the bed on the “punishment” you doled out to Good Ole Ray. Even if they HADN’T seen the actual video of a professional, strong, well-built, muscular FOOTBALL player swinging at his fiancée and knocking her out cold – the secondary video of him dragging her halfway out of the lobby then dropping her in the threshold of the elevator should have been enough to realize what happened in the elevator.

I don’t care that she spit at him
I don’t care that they were drunk
I don’t care that they were arguing

There is no scenario where what happened is okay. Its also another slap in the face of domestic violence victims everywhere that he only got a 2 day suspension as his punishment. Its worse to smoke pot than knock your partner out?  Even Ray Lewis doesn’t beat his wife…he just stabs people in bars.  Totally different, give him a Superbowl ring.

A lot of people have been talking about his fiancée staying with him, and later marrying him. I urge you all to search #whyistayed and really learn about what is going on here, then formulate your opinion. I can’t believe we live in a world where its okay to blame the victim. Believe that, she is a victim and a survivor, not a money grubbing hoochie.

oh for the Love of God People

#nonreligiousGodofcourse lest I offend anyone.

I love the internet. I love social media. I love how the different platforms can bring so many people together, and spark unity/outrage/conversation/discussions/growth/knowledge/awareness.

That being said – are you friggin people kidding me? The internet is making ya’ll dumb. Or ignorant – whichever classification you prefer. Guys – not everything you read on the internet is true. I know its unbelievable:

 

"BONJOUR"

“BONJOUR”

 

But its true (see the irony? THIS is on the internet.  SO its TRUE).

It’s very, very easy to believe everything you read.  I know this.  I re read your moronic posts every day – and I’m not talking about all of you – I’m talking about you über conservatives, or you ultra liberals that tap into your own political sites and spew your crap all over the internet.  MY internet.  That I LOVE.  And then – when people disagree with you, or begin to comment on what you’re talking about, you take one of two routes:

1. Insult them

2. Delete their comment

Which, at the end of the day, is fine.  You can do whatever you want on the internet.  I mean, it IS mine…but its also yours.  So go circulate your skewed “intellect” and your bizarre, often unfounded claims.  And ignore people when they try to discuss with you (because if your view isn’t shared, it’s clearly incorrect), but you’re only hurting yourself.  There’s so much knowledge and information, and such great debates to be had.  If the only response you have to someone disagreeing with you is: “your an idiot”…well…
facepalm

 

I rest my case.

Misery Loves Company…

The other day, a friend of mine posted a blog she read entitled “Why I hate Long Island With all my heart and soul”.

yikes. Just the title is a little aggressive. After putting thought to it, I really couldn’t think of anything I hated with “every fiber of my being”, short of people who kick pupppies, but I feel like they’re in a league of their own.

So, I clicked out on the link to check it out (http://geeksjourney.com/why-i-hate-long-island-with-all-my-heart-and-soul) and unfortunately, it seemed as though  the author is bottling a very significant amount of anger and hatred, that he was funneling towards the people of Long Island.  I’m not a therapist, but I have a knack of reading people.  After re-reading his blog and comments a few times, I generally began to feel bad for the guy.

He made several mention to the people who live on Long Island – and its social distortions, or caste system (in a sense).  Yes, there are privileged people on Long Island.  Yes, there are people who suck on Long Island, but there are also a lot of really great, caring people and their families.  Basing an entire theory on not being able to communicate with people, or putting yourself in a self-induced recluse, is only hurting yourself.  In 2012, there were 7.2 million people living on Long Island.  If you can’t find a handful of people in that 7.2 million, I’m going to have to assume the issue is you.

Also touched upon was the cost of living on Long Island, where the author cited rent for a studio apartment starting at 2400$ a month.  What the author failed to mention is that rent reflects the base line cost of LUXURY APARTMENT BUILDINGS.  Of course its more expensive, you half twit.  Why are you looking outside your price range for a living space?  There are a tremendous amount of apartments for rent in various towns of Long Island spanning any range of prices.  You have to determine what you can afford, what you want, and what you need – and then do your homework.

There was no mention of the beautiful beaches on Long Island (http://traveltips.usatoday.com/beautiful-beaches-united-states-100414.html) – and while I know this beach is the affluent East Hampton the blogger shows such contempt for – there are several other scenic beaches on the south shore you can wander with your friends, enjoy the water, make sand castles, eat seafood…whatever floats your boat.

If you’re not into that, you can always check out the vast farming and gardens on Long Island.  Don’t like that?  Try some of the vineyards and breweries.  Not your speed?  Check out the villages and towns of Babylon, Huntington, Sea Cliff, Roslyn, Great Neck.  Hate wealthy people?  Cmon down to Long Beach and experience the beach town feel (if you come down here with a puss and act like a dick, though, we WILL tell you).  Hate the beach?  Span any of the 118 miles that stretch across the Island.  Want to play with Hipsters?  go to Brooklyn…you dont have to cross a bridge.  Want a culinary experience?  Head into flushing.  Want to wander one of the most influential cities in the world?  Head into NY.  Can’t afford it? Still hate it?  Move.

Long Island is a suburb of Manhattan.  A lot of the people living on the Island work in the City and commute.  No one likes commuting, but its a part of life if you want to make the money available in Manhattan.  Comparable jobs exist on Long Island.  If you’re not into corporate america there’s a CVS and Starbuck’s in every town.

Stop whining about not having everything handed to you.  Do some people?  Yes.  Does everyone?  No.  Do people work for what they have?  Yes.  Those who don’t fall into the “Poor Me” Syndrome and can’t find happiess anywhere.  Do us all a favor and just leave for your elusive search of Narnia before your negativity poisons those around you.

pump, pump…pump it up

Everyone who enjoys working out has gym grips (etiquette, people in the gym, all that).  I’m no exception, of course.  I can’t stand people at the gym.  I’ve belonged to my fair share of gyms – my personal favorite being the Powerhouse gym I used to go to in Queens.  It was this big, two level gym that had weights.  And you went there to work out.  And it was run by these smokin hot twins who were covered in tattoos.  Sure, it closed down for a few days because of an “alleged steroid drug bust” (whatever) but they comped us those days…so I’m cool with that. 

Now, I’ve belonged to both gyms in the town I live in (not at the same time, of course) so I can easily compare the two.  I stopped going to one because the building we moved into had a gym, which served its purpose for a while.  After a while I got bored of watching pastey old doughboys bicep curl the 10 pound weights, grunting, sweating, and watching television.  Give me back my commercial gym!

  1. No One Cares What You’re Lifting.  No one.  Unless you’re making a friggin scene at the gym.  If you spend five minutes preparing to deadlift, and grunt while you’re doing it, and only have 2.5 pound weights on the bar…you’re an idiot and you deserve to get stared at.  
  2. Don’t get in other people’s way.  Its so annoying.  Its like when you’re walking down the street, and you just stop, and then someone walks into your back.  Pay attention to the people around you!  Don’t be an idiot.
  3. Don’t come to the gym looking like a hobag sweetie.  Cmon.  If you can come to the gym in full makeup, and not ruin it when you’re working out – either you have the most wonderful, streak proof/water proof/sweat proof makeup in the world – or you’re not working out and you’re trying to be cute.  
  4. Don’t stink.  If you don’t understand, then you’re one of the people who stink – get deodorant.
  5. A few weeks ago I was working out with a friend of mine and we were setting up the military press rack when some guy comes over.  “I had my water there, I’m about to use the machine”.  FIne.  We strip our weight, and step back.  Homeboy went and took his sweet ass time – about five minutes between each set.  He wandered around between sets, talked to his friends, all the stuff you do at a gym.  He didn’t let us work in with him and KNEW we were waiting….and then didn’t strip his weights when he was done.  Don’t do that.
  6. Put. Yo Shit.  Away.  Sure, I have OCD and my weights are all racked in order.  And I fix them.  But you don’t have to do that.  Just don’t leave them on the floor.
  7. Wipe. Yo Shit. Down.  There’s nothing more repulsive than walking up to a bench and seeing a big, wet, ring of sweat.  You’re disgusting.
  8. Unless you want to know what a 25lb plate to the back of the head feels like, sweetheart, don’t eyeball me.  That should actually be rule #1.  Oh!  And if you’re one of them shredded boys, take off your shirt when you do pull ups. Thats rule #1A.

mawwwwwwage

Recently I went to a friend’s wedding.  During the ceremony, and the reception there after, you could literally see the happiness shooting off this fella and his bride. If I had that hippy-dippy ability to read people’s aura’s, theirs would be a blazing hot pink surrounded by rainbows. It was great to see, and it made me reflect on the past few weddings I’d been to.

 

But the Background should be pink

But the Background should be pink

 

A friend of mine got married a little over a year ago.  And we had been friends for a really long time.  I’m talking, upwards of a decade.  In that situation, you really want nothing more than to be thrilled and excited your friend was getting married.  He found the person he wanted to share the rest of his life with, hooray!

(This sort of ties into my previous post, about my inability to sugarcoat things, and if I should even say anything…the quandry…blah blah blah )

A while before my friend walked down the aisle, I met his then-girlfriend-soon-to-be-fiancee.  I didn’t know her very well, but she seemed very sweet…funny, entertaining, in love – and she seemed to take good care of my friend – which is awesome.  We hung out a few times after that, and I truly enjoyed her company.

I clearly remember where everything changed.

::cue ominous music::

One evening, we gathered as a group to one of my favorite local restaurants that was doing this great event called a “Beer and Bourbon” night, where they close down the restaurant, create a special 5 course meal paired with craft beers and Bourbons.  Its so awesome.  So, SO awesome.  We were all having fun, hanging out, and my friend’s girlfriend peers over her beer and goes “JoJo.  I broke him”.  Confused, and assuming there’s a joke somewhere, I got “Well how come?  I didn’t know he was broken!”

“he’s going to marry me!”

::confusion is starting to settle in::

“…okay…that’s great!”

My friend now interjects, and tells me this little story about how his girlfriend updated her Facebook status to “engaged”, spinning a little web of deceit.  He only found out after some of his friends started to text and congratulate him, looking to portray this is a funny joke.  A gag.  Now, I am not the girl who thinks its cool to drag your man down the aisle.  It is not a good look.  Not for me, not for you – not for anyone (and I can pull off orange taffeta).  I truly believe if you are going to marry someone, they have to want to marry you.  Enough to ask.  Of their own volition.  And if they don’t, or you have to trick them into it…you’re simply setting yourself up for failure.

As the evening goes on, she continues to tell me how there is a time frame in when they will be engaged, and then married, and then have children.  If the time frame gets delayed, she has a plan to move it along…by “forgetting” to take her birth control pills.

Hard Stop Number Two.

Yeah, that’s me.  Speechless.

At the end of the day, the only thing you can do is tell your friend the truth.  Which I did.  Afterwards, I continued to hear some horrible things she was doing, and saying about people I care a lot about – people I had been friends with for a very, very long time.  I could clearly see the kind of person she was underneath the exterior she was using to blind my friend.  He couldn’t – and it put a strain on our friendship.  It got to a point where he said to me (after one particularly ridiculous incident at their wedding – mind you, I’m trying to keep this story as vague as possible.  My friends know who I’m talking about, and so will he, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings with all the repulsive details about this woman) that he didn’t think I treated his wife with the respect she deserved.

I disagree, I think I treated her with more respect than she deserved.  If it were my choice, I would never have associated with her again, after I read a text she sent to a mutual friend saying she wanted to punch my friend out – for reasons that are so insignificant and immature – or told me she wanted to trap my friend into marriage by getting knocked up.  And we haven’t spoken, really, since his wedding – which makes me a little sad.

And this, friends, is one of the casualties of not being able to censor what you think of people.

Ain’t No Sugar Coats Here

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me for my opinion.  She prefaced it with “I am asking you this because I know you are going to tell me the truth, even if I don’t want to hear it”.  And she’s right.  While I never set out to hurt anyone’s feelings (friends and family), I’m not the girl you turn to if you want someone to “yes” you, or agree with you.

We all have those friends, or those people in our lives – and we need them.  Sometimes I just need someone to say “yes, Jo, eat that entire pint of Ben and Jerrys Nutella Core Ice Cream.  You had a salad for lunch and walked the dog today so it totally burned off those calories” not “eesh…thats like 1700 calories, you know its bikini season, right?”.  But when we come down to the important things – career, advice, family, financial, marriage – if you’re doing something stupid and you don’t want to hear it, just don’t involve me in your plans.  I’ll even listen to you after it blows up, and try to help you…I’ll never say “I told you so” but deep down inside I’m thinking “I wish you just listened to me in the first place”.

I’m not unreasonable.  I know that people don’t always follow logic.  I know that you are buying a new car for $60,000 and a $500 a month car payment that eats gas and costs an arm and a leg in insurance because you really, really want it…even though you’re on a tuna fish and ramen noodle budget…I just cannot physically tell you its a good idea.  My tongue will literally turn around, crawl down my throat and choke me before I tell you its okay to wear creamsicle taffeta overlay on a corset to work.

Not OK

Not OK

 

This can become a problem, though.  One that’s been detrimental to my friendships and relationships.  It has been, on more than one occasion.  Enough of a problem that I’ve considered biting my tongue sometimes and just not saying what I felt.

Considered…but won’t.  If I become that girl who censors herself because she might be afraid her friends won’t see it for what it is – straight concern for the people I love – then my friends won’t be able to put their faith in what I’m saying to them, all the time, is honest.

I still won’t break your horns for eating ice cream though.  IF you bring me a spoon and share.

The Focus Is On ME!

A few months ago, I was selected to be in a focus group.  Yea, you heard me right – focus group.  About the LIRR. Specifically, their bathrooms.

Yahtzee.  As we’ve discussed in the past, the Long Island Railroad – while vastly impressive in the number of people it hauls to and from the great City of New York, leaves a lot to be desired.

Some of the issues with the LIRR are not railroad problems – they’re people problems.  I could talk for days…and days…and days…about some of the freaks I’ve encountered during my 10 years (and counting) commuting from different areas of the Island into the City.  I’d type them all out, but I’m already terrified I’m going to get carpal tunnel, I know that will 100% push me over the edge.

I digress.  Focus, on the focus group.  Now, I’ve never participated in a focus group before – at least not a real one.  Telling everyone my opinion regardless of them wanting it can sometimes be considered “rude” or “annoying” (HELPFUL).  These people want to hear what I have to say, and they’re going to PAY me for it.  Effn.  Awesome.

There was one caveat.  We had to actually use the rest room in Penn Station and on the train before going to the group.

If anyone has ridden any train, or been in Penn Station, you know these are two places you do NOT want to go.  Especially not as a woman.  During rush hour.  Does it count if I sneak into Penn at 4am and go then?

My first stop was the restroom at Penn.  Now, I’m a bit of a germ freak, and I have a phobia of public bathrooms.  I hate them.  I hate the floors being sticky, I hate other people hearing me pee, I hate the thought of all the heineys that aren’t mine this toilet bowl has seen, I hate the idea I may or may not have toilet paper in the stall when I’m ready to go.  I mean – there’s a lot more that I can’t stand about public bathrooms, so this is the just the tip of the iceberg.

In any event, I’m not expecting much from this restroom (boy did they deliver!), but I am keeping in mind the fact that the restroom services so many people a day…it truly does have a very hefty job to accomplish.  With an open mind, I wait on the oddly long line for the ladies room (slightly before rush hour… I can only make so much progress in a week, guys).  As I approach the front of the line, I notice an entire wing of the ladies room not being used.  And a bathroom attendant leaning against the wall looking at her phone.  Word, I’ll go back here.

If you think public bathrooms are terrifying, public bathrooms with little light are even more terrifying.  Or better, I guess, because you can’t really see whats going on…so I rush in and out, careful not to touch anything…spraying hand sanitizer in front of me on the way out to block me from any airbornes…and walk directly into a homeless woman (I assume) washing her feet in the sink.

I’m out.  Sorry.

The one on the train…well.  I guess I’ll save that for another day.

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