So Long, Little Sister

Today my little sister left for college. University of Michigan, more than a few minutes away. I watched her yesterday, packing her bags, staring blankly at nothing, saying goodbye to friends. I scratched my head. How could it be that my little sister is moving away from home? How is that she is suddenly grown-up? On her way to college? Beginning her life as an independent? How is that she has grown into an amazing, talented woman and where was I all the while?

When I left home Rachel was only eleven years old. She was a little girl, awkward and bumbling. I didn't relate to her of course, my brother and I were closer in age and Rachel was always the baby. Little Roo. David and I had our places in the household. I was the crazy one, the "artist" while David was more practical. He was the "smart one," the "math whiz" and Rachel was, well, Rachel.

It wasn't until a few years back that she picked up the flute and everything changed. There are some people who are meant to do certain things. Rachel came alive when she began playing flute and it wasn't long that her playing became more than extra-curricular. It was her. The music. The music. The music. Her face changed, her body language, she grew tall and slender and beautiful and all the while, she played. Hours a day and on weekends. When she wasn't playing the flute she was studying, attending concerts, surrounding herself with the same joy that lit her from within.



It was an amazing thing to see, especially for me, who could relate. Same passion for words that she had for music. Same lust for Debussy and Mozart and Rachmaninoff that I had for Miller, Sartre and Anais Nin. In all my life I have never met anyone so passionate about her craft as my sister. For her there is nothing more important than music and it shows when she plays.

Thus far her music has taken her to Russia, to Sweden, Finland, Italy (St. Paul's Cathedral) and New York, San Francisco and beyond. She was first flute with the San Diego Youth Orchestra and today she arrived at the University of Michigan, one of the finest music schools in the world, all on her own. She will major in Flute performance (Surprise! Ha!) and I am so proud of her.

As a farewell, my sister played a private concert for over 100 people last week. Family, friends, students of hers (she taught flute lessons her senior year of HS). A pianist accompanied her and she played for an hour. It was exquisite. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Curls swept off her face. Long green dress, she was like a reed and the music seemed to be coming from everywhere, from her eyes and the way she moved, from her fingers and twisted neck.

I forgot for a moment she was my sister. I was in awe.



It's going to be very strange going home and not having her there. It's going to be different, like when my brother left. Seeing him only on holidays and a rare visit in the summertime. It's a wild day when one's family has scattered all over the country. World, even. And that's just for me, her sister. I cannot imagine what my parents must feel, my mother who's life for the past twenty-five years has been her kids. It's going to okay, mom.

It's kind of going to suck not to be able to raid her closet for her Citizen jeans or that Marc Jacobs sweater with the orange striped neck. It's going to be hard to walk past her empty bedroom.

For her, these years, I know, will be the very best for her. She is finally in her element, with people she can relate to. People who will love and appreciate her just as he is and I cannot wait to be witness to it all. (from afar, perhaps but there's always myspace, youtube? aim?)



I cannot wait to see her excel in college. I cannot wait to fly to Michigan for her concerts, to point at Rachel with pride. See that girl right there? First flute chair? That's MY little sister. And she isn't little anymore. She's big. She's a woman, grown up, following her bliss. Nah, LEADING is more like it. Leading her dreams and her whole life, feet planted firmly in the orchestra pit, stunning views of her sun-kissed horizon.



I love you, Rachel. Good luck to you, Roo-Poo. Happy trails!

GGC

W is for Wonder...



...And Wow.

GGC

On Unplanned Pregnancy, For a Friend

Today a friend of mine found out she was pregnant and her fear and confusion shook me to the core because two years ago, I was in the same place. Slightly different circumstances. Same emotional response. (Hysteria would be an understatement.) Falling fast, the feeling of overwhelming confusion and shock. The fear of responsibility. Fear of time. Fear of change.

At first I thought about terminating my pregnancy. My boyfriend and I barely new each other and the time was all wrong. We were broke. We were careless. We were new. I cried for two days straight. I pretended like nothing was going on in my body. That it was a dream. I tried to smoke. Tried to drink. Tried to lie.

One afternoon at work I wrote myself a letter and it was vengeful and frustrated and full of rage. I wrote of the hate for my body, my anger at the situation, my regret and sadness over having to turn my body into a war zone. How could I have been so careless? It was as if I was being strangled by my fate. I hyperventilated.

I realized after reading through the pages of my moleskin that I could not bear to have an abortion. I couldn't do it. Always thought I could but no. I was far too concerned with metaphor, what it spiritually meant to empty my womb. I knew if I terminated the pregnancy I would feel empty. Sucked of life. Sucked of love. Sucked of stories. Sucked of my own.

I hated that I couldn't go through with it but that was the truth. I wasn't as strong as I thought I was. Or perhaps I was stronger...?


My friend will have her baby. She is about to be married and was planning to get pregnant in the near-ish future. In that way our stories differ but regardless of the circumstances, the surrealism of an unplanned pregnancy is just the same. I saw it in her eyes this morning. I felt it in her arms when she hugged me.

I shook with her.

When I found out I was pregnant I didn't have a friend to give me advice and would have liked one. I think it would have helped for someone who had been there to be there for me.

And so I wrote this letter for my friend and for anyone who might need one in the same situation:

Dear Babe,

I would congratulate you but I know you don't know how to say thank you right now and that's okay. It's okay to be afraid. It's okay to mourn your single life, your freedom, your yesterday. It's okay to look in the mirror and find yourself unrecognizable. It's okay to feel as if you are sleep-walking, sick to your stomach, speechless. There is nothing wrong with long silences and blank thoughts. There is nothing wrong with being afraid.

Forget morning sickness and weight-gain and childbirth, the hardest part is right now. Today. Trying to understand the largeness of the situation, deciding that the truth is actual, trusting the double lines, saying aloud, "I'm pregnant." There is nothing more difficult than unknowingly crossing the line, becoming two people overnight, touching your body and coming to terms with the fact that inside, a face is forming and with it, a new world- a giant door that leads to everywhere, a wild jungle and OH MY GOD. Yes, everything is different, now.

When I first found out I was pregnant I couldn't say so aloud for several days. I choked on my words and swallowed air in their place. It wasn't until I had written the words down on paper 100 times that I could finally repeat them aloud. "I. AM. PREGNANT." Me, pregnant. I am going to have a baby. There is something alive in my body and one day it will have a name. Holy Shit! How is it possible?

Give yourself time. You do not need to tell anyone if you don't want to. You don't need to be excited yet. You don't need to plan your future. You only need to plan for the moment. For today. Get yourself through today and tomorrow will be easier and then, next week, next week you will feel differently. I promise. The first few days are the hardest. The most confusing. Like in a dream.

It takes time to feel comfortable with a new friend, to get along with a roommate, to trust a stranger and so with the child growing inside of you, it is much the same. The key to any healthy relationship is time. Time and faith and honesty. Be honest with yourself and do not be afraid to be afraid.

Pregnancy was the most amazing physical experience of my life. I cannot imagine never experiencing those forty weeks of creation, the changes and the swelling of self. I cannot imagine my body without it's stretched tattoos and belly flab. I cannot imagine my life without Archer.


I looked into your eyes today and I so remembered the feeling. I remembered the fear, the lack of control, the loss of power. I remembered what I was wearing when I found out, (red tee and jeans) the way my hair looked, auburn roots coming through my black dye-job. Roots that have since outgrown completely. I remember the six pregnancy tests in a row and me unbelieving. I remember shaking my head for a half an hour, huddled under the sink and how my bedroom looked, messy on the other side of the room. I remember the damn dog next door and how he wouldn't stop barking and how for once, I was grateful. The silence was too much to bear. I remember feeling like my life was over. The end.

And I looked into your eyes, at your hair and thought, "you too will remember this moment. You will remember what you were wearing, faded work-out pants and sneakers. The banana clip in your hair. You will remember the smell of my car when I picked you up. You will remember the way the world suddenly looked different. A shade off. A new tint. You will remember it like yesterday. Like the turning-point in your life."

And then I came home, and I looked into Archer's eyes and all I could feel was gratitude and love and joy and I thought of you because one day, 32 weeks(?) from now you will feel it too. You will look into the eyes of something that was a part of you, is a part of you. A gift. A surprise. A beginning. And once again you will be speechless. And then I can congratulate you again and in a whole new way, you won't know what to say.

Most definitely your life has changed directions and the compass is all out of wack. Most definitely I know that you will find your way.

Always,

GGC

Walk? Well, Why Don't You Take a Walk Off a Pier

Archer isn't walking yet and after the whole, waiting until 13 months to crawl, I could seriously care less.


As far as I'm concerned he's taking his sweet time and having fun banging his knees on the concrete and cruising on all fours. Right? Let him crawl until he feels like walking. Life is long. There will be plenty of time for running amok on two feet.

Unfortunately as of late, it seems that I am the only person who thinks so. Everywhere we go people feel the need to play "mommy" and parent my child. Everywhere we crawl people decide we shouldn't be crawling. We should be "walking." We also should be reading paperbacks and speaking latin and doing whatever it is their child is doing so well. Croquet for instance. Interpretive dance?


"15 months and still no walking?"

"Yup."

"Wow. My kid walked at 8-months (infant walks by, waves, pulls Tolstoy for Youngsters out of back pocket of Osh Gosh B'goshes.)

"That's great for your child. I'm really happy for him."

"Here, lemme try..."

And no joke, random strangers literally pick Archer up off his knees and try to teach him to walk. Classy.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"You need to teach him like this (shows me what I "should be" doing.) Come on Archer! One foot in front of the other. YOU CAN DO IT!"

"Actually. I don't want to teach him. I would prefer if he didn't walk. Easier for me. I hope he crawls until he's twenty-five."

"Is that a joke? Ha. Wait, you're not serious."



Since when is it okay to teach random children how to walk because lately (at the Aquarium, in the store, at the park, in my neighborhood) randoms haunt Archer in ghost-like clusters and pounce upon him, lifting him to his feet, holding his fingers and calling him like a dog?

Does anyone know of a public place where a baby can crawl in peace? I'm serious. When will people keep their hands to themselves? WHY DO YOU CARE IF MY KID ISN'T WALKING?

What? You have a problem with hands and knees? I'll walk you in the face, dudes. No joke.

GGC

The Mirror

Today Archer found to his delight,
That he could multiply overnight...





And of course, his mother (yes that's me)
Snapped endless photos, look and see!*

GGC


*If you're interested and/or a family member who comes to this site to see Archer and not to read my rants and raves and stories about going to the gynecologist. Heh.

Married Life, Part Deux

Me: Sooooo, they weighed me at the doctor, yesterday.

Hal: Oh, nice. What's the damage?

Me: Guess!*

Hal: Hmmmmm. (without the slightest bit of irony) 178 pounds?

Me: blink. blink. blink, blink. blink.

Hal: More or less?

Me: BLINK. BLINK. BLINK, BLINK BLINKINKINKINKINK.

Hal: What?

Me: Double Blink. Head-shake. Eye-roll. Triple Blink.

Hal: (Backing away slowly) Did I say something wrong?

Me: Hal, hon... I have lost OVER FIFTY pounds since Archer was born. CAN'T YOU TELL!? LOOK at me. (begins to strip.)

Hal: Well, I don't know! I don't know how it works for women. You're TALL!... I DON'T KNOW!

Me: I'm not THAT tall.

Hal: You're like, tall and muscular!

Me: I'M AT THE GYM EVERY DAY, DUDE!

Hal: I know and it shows. It REALLY shows. I can tell. I...

Me: Don't talk to me right now.

Hal: Wait! No, lemme guess again! Please?

Me: Fine. What.

Hal: 98 pounds? Like Nicole Richie but skinnier?

Me: ... And that's my time!


GGC

*Okay so I know it was my fault for asking but I seriously thought (and maybe I was unknowingly drunk) that he would maybe humor me with I dunno, something in the 120's? 130's even? That would have been nice. I mean...?

Oy Vey- A Pap Shmear!

"Pap Smear" is my least favorite word. Words. Whatever. Pap Shmear makes me feel better. It sounds very Bagel-shopesque. It's fun to say, try it: Pap Shmear. Smear? ECKACKBLEH! I can't even write the word let alone say it.

I always feel a little sad afterward. A little invaded. A wee bit self conscious. And used. I also feel used. I walk a little slower, talk a little lower about the things you cannot show her... (Wait. Am I singing Counting Crows? Somebody please shoot me in the foot. I can't go on!)

Anyway, I always feel a little funny. It didn't make it any easier for me when the nurse sat me down and asked me about my sexual history. She went on to ask the usual questions, similar if not the same as the questions asked before HIV testing. I used to go in for every few months at Out of the Closet, a chain of thrift-stores with HIV testing in the dressing rooms. How convenient! Learn about sexual health while you try on vintage coats!

I answered, like usual, before the nurse very seriously inquired about my symptoms.

"Symptoms?"

"Aren't you here because you think you have chlamydia?"

"GOD No! Jesus H! I'm here for my annual woman-health check-up. I SWEAR! I SWEAR!" Her eyes went wide. "Not that there's anything wrong with the clap," I smiled awkwardly.

"We must have mixed you up with someone else. Sorry."

The nurse handed me a paper gown, and left me to die.

And so I lied there on my back, sad, cold and a very uncomfortable and I waited. I waited to be invaded with cold snapping-objects. I waited to be felt up. I waited for Cervical clamping and I shook.

The doctor knocked, entered the room, said Hello...

...That's when everything went dark. I closed my eyes and went to my happy place. I put my fingers in my ears and went, "la, la, la." I curled my toes in the stirrups and thought of ponies and rainbows. And then bagels. Beautiful bagels. Everything bagels. Shmears for fears! Fruit shmears and lox shmears and light shmears for summer! Then I opened my eyes, forgetting for a moment where I was.

I'm afraid to say that I might never be able to eat a bagel again.

GGC

Fifteen Months

Dear Swimmy Little Mr. Fish-Stream,


Today you are fifteen months old which seems very old to me for some reason. No longer a baby, you are a toddler. (A toddler who refuses to toddle.)

You've morphed from slightly and mostly shy to slightly rebellious and mostly violent but I love you nonetheless. I love you with two black eyes, a fat lip and poop in my left nostril.

It's kind of unfair how cute you are. It's unfair to me and everyone else who succumbs to your charms. Every day when I come to pick you up at th Y's daycare you are surrounded by little girls, and you with your red blankie like Linus, sucking your pacifier and watching the children with thoughtful eyes.


You have the most realized sense of humor and every morning when I'm getting dressed you lock me in my closet, laugh and scurry off to hide behind the bathroom door. You put your pacifier in my mouth and enjoy feeding me pirates booty and mini sandwiches. You're laugh sounds like everything wonderful in the world and even on the gloomiest days when I'm sad and exhausted and frustrated, your laugh makes everything go away. All the muck and the bleh and the nightmares. Like rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens but a zillion times more amazing.


I want to make a recording of your sounds and attempts at words and noises and songs and give them away to all the sad and angry people in the world so they might listen and become happy and less cynical.

Tonight before bed you played the piano. You stand and reach for the keys and bang away and make little sounds and little songs with little fingers. You play the guitar too. Your Dad or your Uncle Dave puts his fingers on the strings so that you can strum chords and sometimes you will sit for an hour straight, playing.


Today we spent the day at the Long Beach Aquarium with some new friends and you crawled through the legs of strangers and watched your fellow fishy-friends. You didn't care for them much, however, preferring above all, the giant ants, who crawled around in circles.

Today you are fifteen months and it feels like three lifetimes since you were born. You're almost a man, now. A little man with big possibilities. One day you will do great things like walk and talk. One day you might go down the stairs the right way instead of leaning and falling on your face. One day you might even call me, Mama. but for now? I'm enjoying you in every way.


Take your time, Pirate of the Snails. I adore you, snot-nosed and grumpalicious and perfect. Come now, my darling. Let us share a peach and be merry!

Love,

Mommy

GGC

Apart from Archer



Saturday night was the first night I have ever spent without Archer. Before Saturday I didn't think the invisible umbilical chord could stretch the 120 miles between us but it did and to be honest? It wasn't as difficult as I thought.

In fifteen months we have only left Archer for a few hours at a time. To see a movie. To run errands. To take a much-needed breather. Saturday was going to be different. I would drive him down to my parent's house, put him down to bed and leave before he woke. I would kiss his forehead and spend two full days without him by my side. Would I feel naked? I thought as much. Would I feel lost and a little bit sad? Probably.

I imagined I would be pining. Missing him and calling in every hour. Dying to know what he was eating for lunch, wanting to hear his little laugh over the phone. Checking my phone every few minutes to see if there was a problem, a question only I could answer. A voice mail?

Then I got on the train. I got on the train with my bag full of magazines and my IPOD and I put my phone away. I spent the two hour ride gazing out the window, humming to my IPOD, reading magazines. I put my feet up and pretended I wasn't in California or even America, remembering the Euro-rail and what it felt to be independent, completely alone. I watched cars blur and people scamper along the coast. I watched the waves and wrote in my diary, not about Archer but about ideas.

I forgot about motherhood and marriage and all of the many responsibilities and I enjoyed my time. I didn't even know I could do that and it felt good.


I arrived in L.A., got dressed up and went to a wedding. I took my time doing my hair and makeup and wore the highest heels I could find. I danced all night on the little wooden floor in Malibu. I didn't even bring my phone. I must have forgotten it. Forgotten everything. Forgot for a second I had a very different life. I had a drink. I had five drinks or six. Seven? I left my purse at the table and smoked a cigarette on the beach. Two cigarettes. Three?

I was Rebecca. I was separate from Archer. For the first time as a mother. I stayed out late. I came home and didn't whisper outside Archer's door. I made noise. I sang. I snored all night. I slept in.

The next day, on the way home I called. "How's he doing?" "He's fine." And so was I. Fine without him. A bit of a relief, actually. A bit of a shock. And guilt washed over me. Guilt for not missing him like I thought I would. Guilt for forgetting my cell phone and for dancing all night at the wedding and getting drunk and smoking a few cigarettes on the beach. Guilt for enjoying myself separate of my child. Guilt for insisting we take our time on the way home. "Let's get brunch at Lulus." "Let's take the bus to the train station!" "Let's stop in San Juan Capistrano for apps!" Guilt for loving my time without him, my alone time- freedom.


My guilt grew heavy as the train arrived in Oceanside and I got into my father's car. "Why didn't you bring Archer?" "He's at home with your mom."

When we arrived and I flung open the doors to see my little boy. I called his name, waved my hands and ran to him. Archer!!!

Then he looked up at me, smiled and crawled away. Toward the toys. "Whatever, Mama."

That's when I realized that it was stupid to feel guilty for enjoying my time away from him. It was foolish for me to think I should have pined and missed him and fretted over his well-being. I watched Archer as he went to his toys, babbling away, happily independent. Independent.

Maybe the umbilical chord can reach hundreds of miles. Thousands? But also and perhaps more importantly, maybe distance enables us to explore ourselves independent of one another, of our children... Maybe it's okay to take some time apart. Maybe it's okay to take some real time for me. On a train. Thoughts that don't involve Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Maybe once in a while, it's good to leave motherhood behind for a night on the town. Maybe it's more important than I thought.

GGC

Back in Black (minus the Black)

I'm back with a shiny new Macbook. PHEW, that day and a half without a computer was HELL.

I'm also guest blogging at Hot Momma Drama for the next week while Hot Momma gives the ol' heave ho, push-baby-push out of her va-goo-goo (childbirth).

Come check me out while I try to figure out how to use photobucket and try not to make fun of Britney Spears every chance I get.

GGC

Dead Computer. Will Resume Blogging ASAP

... Um, hello? Ibook? Broken? Dead as a door-nail? (What is it to be a dead door-nail, BTW?) I will resume blogging as soon as I have a machine.

Now, please mourn with me:

RIP IBook. I'll miss your temperamental nature and constant attitude. You were a total bitch but I loved you nonetheless. You had issues, yes, but you also had spunk and I wrote many a word on your face. Thank you for that. Goodbye, friend and fare thee well...

GGC (Girl Gone Computer-less)

GGC's Top Five Weekend Rec's:


1. Project Runway- I'm pretty sure many of you are watching PR, so let's please talk about my girl-crush, Alison getting the axe last week and the bitch of my nightmares causing me to do horrific things to the TV because I hate her guts. She is the single worst human being ever. I hate everything about her. I hate her designs. I hate her smirk and the fact she sleeps in her clothes and wears fucking jodhpers and Swarovski crystal necklines on her St. John Knits. I hate her plain-jane-blah boring dresses and her arrogance and I will end her. Can you tell that I'm convulsing with hate.

Agree? Disagree? WTF is she DOING on the show? And WHY did they give my lady the boot? WHY!!!?? Let's talk, people.

2. Library Thing- I just added this to my GGC sidebar (see below) and am newly obsessed. It's like a bookshelf on your blog. Try it and then we can be book friends. (Please don't make fun of my obsession with Henry Miller.)

3.Tom Ford for Estee Lauder Body Oil Spray - A gift from Uncle Frank. Smells like summer and heaven combined on a platter. LOVE.

4. Joes Jeans- Dare I say the new, improved Mom jean? I've been loving Joes for a while. I especially love "the lover" cut. Waaaaaay cuter than Lees, right? Soft. Comfy. Amazing fit. Chase your kids around in style, please. Fashion should be on every Mom's to-do list, even when you're SAHMing it. Totes, yo.

5. Babylegs- Some babies are still crawling at fifteen months, *COUGH* and need as much help as they can get. I just found out about these and had to have them. How adorable are the little bones!? Way cute and now Archer can drag himself up and down the block any ol' time. Skinned knees no more! Wooooohooo!!!

Happy weekending!

Sunday night update: It seems Blogger is being a bit testy and somehow deleted all comments. Also deleted was my library thing buddy. I'm looking into this now. Thanks, The Momagement.

GGC

(Another) Two-Sided Poo-Poo Haiku for YOU!

Thank goodness I have an endless well of inspiration for such articulately crafted eastern-rooted poetry. No really, THANK GOD!


My Poop Has Texture, from Archer's P.O.V:

I grab my poopy
And when Mommy screams real loud
I smack her quiet


He's Right. It Really Is Quite Textured, in a mother's words:

Ever been poop slapped?
It isn't so glamorous
(Talk about war-paint.)


Anyone else out there have any poop-war-stories as of late? Please do share in the comments. I'm thinking it would make for a great book, no?


GGC

An/The Angelic Moment...

Yes, Archer. Despite your best effort, my love for you still exceeds the googolplexistist infinity.



You are kicking my ass every day and yes, I will keep coming back for more (because that's what mamas do...) But, BUT, BUT... I'm warning you, dude. I will NEVER be your bitch. Step up off me please, babydoll. I'm passing you the peace-pipe (Don't worry. It's made out of legos) and asking, er BEGGING to be your friend again.

Please and thank you,

GGC

Thanks for the photo, Todd

The Breast Years of my Life




Inspired by the beautiful and brilliant HBM and her post, Ashlee Simpson and Me

Once upon a time I was in high school. It was summertime. Lazy days on the beach. Bonfire parties. Making out on the bluffs. Rocking out to The Cardigans in my Cabriolet convertible with cow-seat covers. I was sixteen. That summer I went from a B cup to an E cup in four months.

The doctor said it was hormonal. I had an imbalance. It happened. I was put on the pill and sent to a shrink and I wrote a lot of bad poetry. That was the down-side. The up-side was that overnight I became some sort of amazonian freak. I had always wanted boobs when I was flat-chested and here they were. It was like in BIG when the kid wakes up Tom Hanks, checking out his new, larger penis, like, whoa! This thing's awesome!

That was how I felt. These things are awesome. I spent the summer buying custom made bikinis and getting felt-up. The boys I had been crushing on for years were crushing on me. They wanted to take me to dinner and stuff. Radical.

That summer all I had to do to get a frozen lemonade was show up at the snack bar in my bikini top. No questions asked. I learned very quickly that having large breasts could get me stuff. At sixteen, this was pretty exciting.

At our high school we had something called "The Whore List" and every year, on the first day of school the senior girls would post it in the bathrooms, in the quad, all over campus. I had been on it every year, not because I was a whore but because me and my friends were popular and that's the way it works. Everyone hates the "popular" girls. (I'm no rocket-scientist but wouldn't that make us unpopular?)

My Junior year I was number one, which meant it was the senior girl's mission to make my year hell. I was egged, toilet-papered, hit in the face with beer bottles, pushed on my way to class and the butt of every nasty locker-room rumor. My garage was permanently stained with chocolate syrup, driveway with chalk. There were condoms in the trees and plenty of explicit writing on the walls.

It wasn't funny. It was embarrassing and upsetting and not how I wanted to spend my year. Instant-reputation known by all. Hi, guys. How you doing. I dated older boys because they didn't know anything about whore lists and wanted nothing to do with high school. I kept my head held high as I walked past the older girls and their dirty looks. I pretended I didn't care. I wore clothes that covered me up. Turtle necks and oversized boyfriend's t-shirts. When you have really big breasts, you can't help looking a little, um, slutty. It's hard to tame the cleavage, even in a large shirt.

I got used to the names and the pencil drops and the laughing off rumors. I had "slept with the whole school" before I even lost my virginity. I could hardly keep up with myself, the fiction of it all.

I tried not to let it bother me. The looks in the locker room, the eye-rolls, evil stares from women, freaky dudes trying to cop a feel. The guys at work. On the street. The beach. I laughed it off, gave the ol "you wish" look and kept on, hunching my back and crossing my arms in front of my chest.

If sex was power then how come I felt stripped of it? I went through the next two years hating my body. Hating my boobs. Hiding them even from boyfriends, hands cupped, bra on, lights off. Always off.


It wasn't until homecoming when the entire visitor side of the football field starting chanting "Nice Tits, Queenie" that I decided to do something about it. It was mortifying enough having to wave in my tiara and cape and ride around in a Ford Mustang. (A new one. The old ones are cool.) I left the game in tears. Angry. Out of control. I had thought about surgery before but this time I was going to do it.

"You probably won't be able to breastfeed."
"I don't care."
"You might lose all sensation."
"Don't care. Just get them off of me."

I waited until I was eighteen. I had the surgery. It was the most painful six weeks of my life.

When I got pregnant I prayed for a son. I wanted a boy so desperately. I was so afraid of giving birth to myself. I was afraid of the looks she would get if she inherited my breasts. I was scared I might wake up one day to chocolate syrup smeared across the driveway. I was afraid she would use her body to get what she wanted and find in actuality that she wasn't in control. I was afraid that at eighteen I would have to hold her hand in the operating room, dress her stitches, understand.

I do not regret having the surgery. I do not regret the fact that I had to go in two years later and have it redone (they grew back!) I do not regret the fact I was only able to breastfeed my son for six weeks and had to supplement with formula.

The grass is always greener, of course. Pretty girls want to be taken seriously and smart girls want to be pretty. Small-chested girls wear push-up bras and the big-breasted wish you would look away.

Once upon a time all of this mattered. Now, I hardly even think about it. Why? Because I had the surgery and because now I don't have to.

I do not judge women for wanting to change their bodies and for going to great lengths to do so. At the end of the day, we all want to be comfortable in our skin. We want to be beautiful. After the surgery I ran faster. Men looked me in the eyes instead of at my chest, women too. I was more self-confident and most importantly, happier. I wore shirts with buttons. I took off my bra and looked at myself naked in the mirror, hands at my sides. I was no longer consumed with what I could not hide, but instead with what I wanted to reveal.

The times cannot be censored. It is what's on the inside that counts but it isn't so simple. Not today and perhaps not ever. Sometimes, blinded by the exterior we cannot look within. And for me I had no choice but to change it.

I have had plastic surgery. I have had a part of my body, my womanhood removed, taken away. I paid a doctor to make me feel more beautiful and in many ways it set me free.


GGC

The Terrible Twos, Nine Months Early

Archer is currently...

-Punching me in the face.

-Throwing every item of food I offer.

-Screaming for an hour at bedtime.

-Waking up 3 or 4 times in the middle of the night, after a good year of twelve-hour nights. Yeah. Those were the days.

-Smacking my friend's 6 month-old in the face, laughing and doing it again (laughing harder when I screamed in horror.)

-Kicking me every time I change his diaper, get him dressed, lie down with him.

-Saying "No" and shaking his head to any toy offered.



-Reaching to be held every five minutes.

-Head-butting me when I do hold him.

-Pulling my hair and biting me when I ask for a kiss.

-Ripping off diapers in his crib and then ripping them apart.

-Trying to do everything I tell him not to do, including trying to play with the stove, play in the dog's water, eat bark and trying to crawl into the middle of the street.

-Arching his back and having a tantrum everytime I put him in the stroller.

-Screaming bloody murder for no reason at all and then bashing his head into the floor.

-Throwing books, ripping them and eating them.

-Laughing when I say, "No!"

-What happened to my angelic little darling?

Seriously.

WTF?

I am very sad.

GGC

Married Life


Husband: You look a little like Woody Allen right now.

Me: Oh.

Husband: What? It's just the way you're sitting with your ponytail and your glasses. You look a little bit like him, that's all. Not in like a bad way.

Me: Hm. Gotcha. Well, then!...

Husband: What? You do! Don't believe me? One sec (goes to get camera, takes photo of me, laughs at my Woody Allenness, passes camera over to me.) See? You look like Woody Allen.

Did I look like Woody Allen in the picture? Maybe, but the point is, before marriage NO ONE would ever say so to my face. Now? I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to take "You look like Woody Allen" as a compliment.

It's just that once upon a time compliments sounded a little bit different, that's all. Now it's, "you look like an 70-year-old Jewish man who married his daughter."

Say it with me, ladies, "OY TO THE EFFING VEY."

GGC

GGC's Top Five Weekend Recommendations Vol. 2

1. QuinceaƱera: Produced by a friend. Sundance darling. In theatres now. Go see it.

2. Soytzel Pretzel Sticks: Low Carb, High protein. Tre Delish. Trader Joe's. (Ack! Sorry, I don't shop anywhere else.)

3. Naissance on Melrose (NOM): For all of my pregnant bitches, NOM was my one-stop shop for all of my maternity clothes and I secretly browse their merch monthly to covet the cute. Check the Lola Dress. Perfection.

4. The Archer omelet: (2) Eggs, (1) handful of spinach, (1) piece of Swiss cheese. Mix in pan and viola! The perfect breakfast for baby. (Top with plain yogurt to cool for little mouths.)

5. Herbal fucking tea. (Today I invented the pomegranatea Latte. It's not bad if you have no choice.)

Happy Weekending!

GGC

Hold My Liquor? I Can't Even Hold My Effing Caffeine.

It was just made clear to me that I must retire my UCLA Festival of Books coffee cup. My favorite cup. My lucky, "writer" cup that I have been drinking buttloads of coffee out of since forever. It seems coffee is the culprit for my past week of migraines, dizzy spells and hallucinations. WTF? Can this be happening to me? My one remaining addiction. My sole drug. Gone. GONE!

No more coffee in the morning, afternoon and evening. No more soy lattes from Starbucks. No more iced coffee on a hot day. It's herbal tea for me. Herbal effing tea. I think I'm going to cry.

For some reason, I come from a long line of women who hit their mid-twenties and became hypersensitive to caffeine. It happened to my mother and her mother before her and after the other day's brush with death while driving. (I was convinced I was going in reverse at a stoplight and pressed the gas as not to hit the car behind me and almost rear-ended Kanye West. (Sorry, Kanye. P.S. Nice reems.)

At first I thought it was a brain tumor and that I was dying. I would have been okay with that, but this? This is a catastrophe of monumental proportions.

I NEED MY COFFEE. OH GAWD!

It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't work until 1am five nights a week, but four hours of sleep and nothing to pick me up? It's kind of like a little slice of hell.

Parenting without coffee is like sex without a penis. Sure there are substitutions but at the end of the day/night/afternoon it's just not the same.

I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm a perma-exhausted Mommykins with serious pinchers (because I'm crabby) and two more hours of work tonight and THERE IS NO CAFFEINE IN MY BODY and tomorrow? NO CAFFEINE THEN, EITHER!

What has happened to me? Stop the madness. It was one thing to pass out after one drink, but a cup of coffee making me mental? It has to be all downhill from here.

I must have done something really bad to deserve this. I should have never stole that Watermelon Bonne Bell chapstick from the drugstore in 7th grade. Karma is a bitch.

I hate you, Celestial Seasonings. You stupid tea-bag.


Whatever. Shut up. Don't even talk to me right now.

GGC

The Archer's Quest

Twas the afternoon the squares appeared, black magic in the dragon's lair...



"This," he thought, "will be an evening of sheer adventure! Quick, Magellan! Throw me my trusty sword!"



"Fine then! No sword! I shall quest without one! Move it, sorceress or I shall signal the serpents!" And his eyes went scarlet red.



The signs were everywhere but his gut told him to disobey them. The force was strong within him. His inner Unicorn whinnied.



...And so he went on...



Stopping only to ask the wizard across the street for directions. Unfortunatley the wizard was busy so the archer would have to wait. He adjusted his cod-piece.



Three hours later and still the wizard was not available for comment. The archer was angry though strong. He summoned the shadows to lead him on his way.



...And he went... Brave and strong, he went.


...Pausing only to headbang to the Siren's guitar solo. Power metal was his weakness, it was true. So true.


And yet, he was headstrong. He kept on, fighting the urge to grow his hair down to his ankles and attend Comic-con 2007.



He followed the stairs into the northern wing of Dagger's Dungeon. Slowly. Slow--ly.



Unfortunatley no one was answering the doorbell and so the archer turned his back on the princess and her doom. Sadly...



... And very slowly. Carefully, moving down the stairs with wounded soul.



But the quest must go on! And so it did. Into the fleeting daylight...



"Where doth the banshee dwell?" The archer wondered, bewildered. Desperate. He was close, he could feel it. He could smell the eye of newt.



But just as suddenly as the banshee appeared, he was gone. Like the speed of light... And away. Far away.



It was getting late. The sun was beginning to turn it's way from mother earth and the Archer was weary from a day so traversed.



And so...The last light of day caressed his weary face and he flagged for his da-gon and disappeared in a whirlwind of trapper-keeper graphics.



Fare thee well.


GGC