Mother. Worker. Juror.

A couple weeks ago I got a jury summons in the mail.  Halleluah!, I thought.  I’d been waiting  years for this.  This being my tired mom fantasy of sitting all day in a room full of strangers where there is no expectation for me to talk or be social or explain or nurture or cultivate or encourage or teach or any of those other things moms do on a regular basis. 

In my juror fantasy, I am tucked away, high in a civic building, where it is just me and my iPad with my current book about the history of Mormonism and my Vanity Fair magazines that never get read in a timely manner. I am anonymous.  No one needs me to wipe their nose or fix their lunch or bathe them or read inane dinosaur factoids.  No one knows I grieve my daughter.  I am simply Juror X on Panel Y.  In the fantasy, my panel does not get called and while I am a bit disappointed about that, I revel in the space and lack of connectiveness.  I stroll through the blooming park on the way back to my car, cruising home along the lakefront, after all potential jurors were dismissed early for lack of cases. 

Yeah, I did say fantasy.  As it turns out, I am a model juror, which means I am valued for my impartiality and ability to discern relevant details from attorneys pitching their side of the story.  My panel got called straight away and sure enough, today I won the jury lottery.  Can’t tell you what jury lottery, as I get to return tomorrow.  It appears my mom fantasy of anonymity and disconnectiveness will have to wait. 

What’s your mom fantasy?  Keep it clean, folks.

Fair Weather Feminist

“Shame on you,” is what I hear Gloria Steinem saying to me as she tsks tsks away.  I am a feminist, loud and proud.  I speak up, I have an opinion, and I’m not afraid to use it. I credit my older sister/hero with exposing me to feminist ideals as a young girl.  She went away to college when I was just seven and I grew up admiring her ideals, and disdaining her hairy legs.  For criminy’s sake, I named my blog after an early feminist icon.  My feminist street cred is intact.  

All of my lofty feminist ideals, though, go by the wayside when I sit myself down in front of a computer.  There I immediately revert to wife.  1958 style wife.  Barefoot and pregnant standing in the kitchen wearing an apron wife.  It’s embarassing.  I’ve taken to referring to Mr. Mary Tyler Mom as husband/technical consultant.  In some instances it shifts to technical consultant/ husband. 

I don’t exactly understand it myself.  It is willful, I will grant you that.  And it does not make me proud.  This revelation came today when a fancy pants new computer was delivered to my cube .  My eyes widened with the ridiculously cool monitor and then my heart raced with the reality of Office 2010.  And that unspoken expectation that I know how to operate it.  You see Mr. Mary Tyler Mom does not work in the same office as I.  That is a problem. 

Here are some basic tech things I simply refuse to learn:

  • how to send and/or receive texts
  • how to transfer photos from digital camera to computer
  • how to insert photos into this here blog
  • excel spreadsheets
  • maintaining calendar on computer
  • online bill payment
  • computer passwords in general – – seriously, programmer jerks, how many passwords is one person expected to remember?
  • sending photos taken with my ancient flip phone

And I could go on and on.  It is important to be self sufficient in this world of ours and I fully embrace that until technology is on the table.  Then I fluster easily and bat my eyelashes.  And I’ve convinved myself that this is okay.  Mr. Mary Tyler Husband will take care of me, right?  I mean, what’s a 1958 wife to do?

That said, does anyone out there know how to transfer documents from the H drive onto my desktop?  (Batting eyelashes now . . .)

Potty Training for Mommy

Let me apologize in advance for the blatant use of TMI to create this post.  After last night’s meet-up with fellow mommy bloggers, I knew these words had to be written, that I had an obligation to mothers everywhere, and to share I must.  Forgive me my incontinence. 

A couple few weeks ago we were invited to a birthday party for a newly minted six year old super hero.  This kid rules, as does his mom.  It was held at a gymnastics center in rural Wisconsin and featured seven of the most amazing homemade cakes I have ever eaten:  Ho Ho Cake, Oreo Cake, Snickers Cake.  I am not joking – – it was snacktacular, as only can be done in rural Wisconsin. 

The party had a superhero theme as the birthday boy, a cancer survivor (take that, bastard cancer), is as close to a superhero most of us will ever meet.  Kids were provided with capes and masks upon entering and a cadre of game middle aged men dressed as heroes and villains ran around this gymnastic center for a couple of hours while a zillion kids ran after them.  It was the best.  Poor Mary Tyler Son was freaked out by the villains, though, so Mr. Mary Tyler Mom and I kind of kept to ourselves to give the poor kid some space.

That’s when I saw it:  the twin built in trampolines.  Who knew these things even existed.  Not I.  I strolled over, trying to wait patiently for the kids to have their turn and finally got my chance.  I jumped on it – – literally and figuratively.  I jumped and I learned.  Trampolines are fun.  Capital “F” Fun.  Seriously fun.  I jumped and I jumped and I jumped.  I giggled and jumped some more.  And then I jumped again.

And then it hit me.  I felt a little damp.  Down there.  Yes, that down there.  So what did I do?  I jumped again.  Jumping on a built-in trampoline is freaking Fun.  I jumped and giggled and finally moved so the pushy two year old girl could take a turn.  She didn’t even jump, she just kind of walked around on it.  But while I waited for her to finish I wondered aloud to Mr. Mary Tyler Mom why I was the only adult jumping.  His response?  “Because they’re moms.  They leak.” 

What’s this?  Why does he know this and I don’t know this?  Yes, it was in fact leaking that had been happening down there.  I tried to ignore it.  In the end, despite the joy and freedom and weightlessness the trampoline provided, I thought it best to find a bathroom.  Thank goodness for dark rinse skinny jeans.  I had wet myself.  Right down to my knees.  That little old pad I had on was no match for the gallon of pee that must have escaped my over-taxed pelvic muscles.  Worthless freaking muscles, those are.

Why don’t they teach us about incontinence?  Why don’t we talk about this, moms?  “Hi, my name is Mary Tyler Mom and I leak.”  “Hi, Mary Tyler Mom.”  I mean the first step is admitting there is a problem, right.  My problem is that I leak on trampolines.  I did the best I could, removed the offending pad, cleansed if you will, and made the best of it.  Apparently rural Wisconsin does amazing cakes, but they don’t do sanitary pads.  Couldn’t find one anywhere.  Anywhere.  Seriously, we left the party and had to drive to the Target about 20 minutes away. 

So now you know that I leak.  At least on trampolines.  But you know what?  I would so do it again.  Trampolines rule.  Next time, at the seventh birthday party, Imma come prepared with industrial strength pads.  Imma jump on that trampoline again.  And again.  And again.  Ladies, we gotta jump on those trampolines, cause life is too damn short.  Are you with me?

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