Gwyneth Paltrow can kiss my sweet Chicago a$$.

Gwyneth Paltrow is not a friend to the working mother.  And yes, I know, she is a working mother herself, as she reminds us all the time, but still, she is no friend to the working mother.  We have a long history together, Gwynnie and I, that you can read about here: 

http://marytylermom.tumblr.com/post/3116163258/oh-gwyneth-my-gwyneth

Today I’m cranky and feel like barking at someone.  This week I had my fourth miscarriage, so forgive me my need to bark.  Grrrrr.  Gwynneth seems like a good target.  Put your seatbelt on, darlings, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . . .

Gwynnie has her own working mom’s blog called GOOP.  It’s all things Gwyneth all the time.  That means it’s white and privileged and completely unaware.  IMHO.  She writes about lifestyle – – that elusive thing that JCrew and Banana Republic markets to the masses.  For Gwyneth, who breathes a more rarified air than I, it’s that elusive thing that can be purchased in stores I don’t have enough money to allude to, let alone shop in. 

Recently she wrote about visiting her “bf” in Chicago. (It is my belief that adult women should not refer to their “bf.”  Ever.)  It was a whirlwind trip that afforded her just enough time to recommend four hotels, five “shops,” or what most of us refer to as stores, and twelve restaurants.  Schwa, over on Ashland, is described as, “so punk rock that they don’t even answer the phone.”  And yet, somehow, our Gwynnie managed a reservation.  God bless her.  And also, the joint is so punk rock it serves a nine course tasting menu.  Um.  Yeah.  I don’t think that’s so punk rock.  A punk rock nine course tasting menu would be a case of Old Style missing three cans that were thrown at the band. 

Gwynnie also deems Q at 1160 N. Dearborn, “By far the best bbq in Chicago.”  Shut the front door.  This bitch doesn’t have a clue.  The best barbecue (and yes, Imma take the time to type that word) in Chicago is not to be found in freaking River North.  One teensy tiny critique she did make was that it was “meat heavy.”  Are you freaking kidding me, Gwyneth?  Who in their right mind sits down for barbecue and refers to it as “meat heavy.”  Hell to the no.

And then there are her few brief words about Barney’s Chicago.  God forbid you confuse it with Barney’s New York.  In this piece meant to highlight Chicago, dear Ms. Paltrow demonstrates her achievement in putting down those who on the surface she is celebrating.  Truly, she is gifted in the art of the backhanded compliment.  She writes about Barney’s selection, “A huge plus, because Chicago tends to be more conservative [sic:  pedestrian, bland, parochial, provincial], is that you can actually find runway pieces, as they tend to disappear lightning fast in New York.”  Bitch. 

Moving on, folks.  Theres a bunch more GOOP, or as I like to say, CRAP, about “gastropub fare” and “authentically modern” decor, kitchens as “laboratories” and Italian winter outerwear.  Blah, blah, blah. 

Go home, Gwyneth.  Go home to your rock star husband and your kids with odd names.  Go home to New York or London or LA or the Hamptons.  Go home, dear, we don’t want you here.  Here in Chicago, we’ll eat our barbecue on the south side and furnish our homes at Ikea and be happy.  Bitch.

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 . . .)