Reckless controversy

Okay, you asked for it.

Here’s what I think about some things, both petty and not.

I was raised to dress very modestly.  At some point, modesty veered into shame when I began to hate my body.  But that’s not why I disapprove of strapless tops and dresses for women.

I disapprove because they are almost always extremely unflattering.  You know who looks cute in a strapless dress?  Taylor Swift because she is lithe and tall and has a small bosom.

The rest of us?  No.  Please.  Just, no.  It’s just not cute.  I even disapprove of strapless wedding gowns.  I just think that most women look better in sleeves.  No more smooshed boobs.  Please.

Seriously.  Look around and you’ll have to agree with me.


You’ve probably heard the news about Yahoo hiring Marissa Mayer as its new CEO.  The only reason this news is newsworthy is because Ms. Mayer is pregnant.  I guess that’s big news because everyone is wondering how she will manage to tackle her new job at Yahoo while being a new mom.

I’m sure she will hire excellent help since she has the resources to do so.  I heard someone (on a daytime talk-show) say that she will have be able to take the baby to work with her. That’s what I want to discuss.

I work from home.  I’ve worked from home for almost five years now, starting when my youngest child was four years old.  And I’m here to tell you that a mom who thinks she can work full-time while simultaneously taking care of a newborn  is nuts.  Well, maybe that’s too harsh. Actually, no.  It’s the truth.

Taking care of a newborn baby is a full-time job. Taking care of a baby is a full-time job.  Taking care of a toddler is a full-time job.  You can’t just tuck a baby under your desk and pull it out like a doll when you have a minute here or there.

I assert that if you are working full-time and taking care of babies full-time at the same time, either you aren’t a good employee or you aren’t a good mom.  I would never have been able to do this job when my kids were younger than four.  It was a challenge to balance work and childcare even when my kids ranged from four to fourteen.

Maybe I’m the only one willing to admit that I could not simultaneously care for a newborn baby and work full-time.  Maybe my babies were just particularly needy.  But I think babies should be held and talked to and babied.  How can you do that while devoting yourself to a demanding job?

I have no doubt that Marissa Mayer can be an excellent mother and an excellent CEO.  But she’ll need to hire help.  And then she’ll need to clear a shelf to store all the Mommy Guilt she’ll experience when she realizes that she can’t be in two places at once.


Tattoos.  Listen.  I have seen lovely tattoos.  And I have friends and family with tattoos.  And I love those people.

But I don’t understand the point of tattoos, especially the ones that look like doodles written on a high school Pee-Chee.  Stars and hearts and calligraphy, oh my.   Don’t even get me started on the faded green color or the smeary lines or the ones done on the back of the neck.  You can’t even see the back-of-the-neck tattoo.  Why get it at all?

Here are the people who  are allowed (in my kingdom) to get tattoos:  Marines and rock stars.

And I know that most of you have tattoos because everyone has one these days, so I don’t mean YOU.  I’m sure your tattoo is lovely and meaningful and all that.  But don’t get me started on tattoos written in other languages.  If you don’t speak Chinese, why would you get a saying inked in Chinese on your arm?  (Are Chinese people getting American slogans inked on their forearms in English?)  I just do not get the tattoo craze.


Okay, there you go.   Enough recklessness for tonight.

Please feel free to speak up and share your thoughts.

(I have already unwittingly ignited controversy on my Facebook page where I not only complained about making school lunches for my 14-year old, but I admitted that I make school lunches for my able-bodied 14-year old.  How dare I do something for my son when he could do it himself!  Hey listen.  No one ever made me a school lunch after fifth grade.  I quit eating lunch at school after that.  ((Sometimes I’d have an apple out of the apple-vending machine.  They cost a dime.))  I shouldn’t complain, I guess, because I am never going to insist he make his own school lunch.  I’m the mom.  I make the lunch.  But I hate controversy so I didn’t say a word in my Facebook comments.)

14 thoughts on “Reckless controversy

  1. Here here! Until our recent move I taught at a school where I earned pennies and benefits and also taught from my kitchen table where I earned actual money.

    Here’s how long I lasted working from home when it was just me and my ONE perfectly self-sufficient, potty trained, can get her own snacks, couch potato child: 4 hours. That’s 1 hour of lesson planning, 3 hours of lesson giving…it was a nightmare and I probably should’ve returned the money for those lessons. Not only do babies need to be babied, they have an uncanny need to be babied about 10 times as much just as soon as they sense you have something important to do besides baby them.

    After that, my classes and their preparation took place at the kitchen table with the door closed. My kid and the babysitter had free reign of the rest of the house. The babysitter (a super duper doting wanna be’ granny) never let me live down the guilt of “that poor, beautiful child forced to sit alone in the living room with no attention while her mother taught English classes–it’s an image I can’t even think about without crying.”

    All of my expat pals who still work at their American jobs from their foreign homes have someone come in to watch their kids. I think I could pull it off if I had no other choice…there are far greater hardships in this world than juggling kid raising and telecommuting for sure…but, yeah, something’s gonna’ give along the way.


  2. Smooshed breasts…and just the sight of all the fat and flab hanging over the tops of those tops and dresses. Since we’re such an obese nation, few and far between are the lovely lithe ones like Taylor Swift. I don’t even wear sleeveless. I don’t think that looks good unless someone has beautifully toned upper arms. And with the passage of time, I don’t.

    Tattoos…taboo, if you ask me. I don’t like them, never have and never will. You know, at 58 years old I have enough scars on my arms and legs from mishaps as a younger person that have stretched out and sagged as my skin has lost its elasticity. I have wondered for a long time now when all these tattooed people get to be 60 or so how well those will hold up with time. And if you want to get rid of them then? Well, your skin also thins out a lot as you age. I would think it would be rather painful.

    I did comment on your Facebook post about lunches and I still haven’t figured out if T.S.J. was agreeing with me or chastising me. Thru years of blogging and now posting on Facebook myself, it amazes me how just the most mundane things can cause the most controversy. Sheeeeeeeeesh.


  3. I’ll jump in on the lunch controversy… I make my kids’ lunches (and it drives me crazy to do it – you should see my happy dance on those rare occasions that they all decide to opt for school lunch on the same day!). However, my kids are capable of making their own lunches if asked. Just the other day my (12 year old) son decided he wanted to go on a picnic in the yard. I watched as he prepared his lunch almost exactly the way I do – used all the right containers and reusable wraps and everything and even made it a balanced lunch with veggies and fruit. So all that to say just because they don’t doesn’t mean they can’t.


  4. LOVE THIS POST!! Thank you. Now I can tell you which arguments I like best and why I agree with them. 🙂

    As a devout Mormon, I believe that our bodies are (or should be) a temple for God’s Spirit. Thus, our bodies are sacred and should be treated with utmost respect. Part of respecting out bodies means not making ourselves objects for men’s lusts. Modesty is a big, big deal for Mormons. I believe that the Lord has a standard of modesty that includes covering our boobs and not wearing short shorts.

    That being said, very few people (as you mentioned) look good in immodest fashions and few women can “pull them off” without also offering themselves as an object. I don’t care how cute, thin, etc the women, the look of bum cheeks hanging out of shorts is every bit as bad as the squished boobs and pushed out fat of sleeveless dresses.

    I totally agree that everyone I know looks much better in sleeves.

    The our-body-is-temple principle, naturally, extends itself to being anti tattoos. We often equate this (for our children) to painting graffiti on an actual temple. What a horrible way to deface so beautiful a building!

    I also agree that, on most people, tattoos look ridiculous. I once had a coworker, with a giant dragon on her torso. Can I tell you what that dragon looked like when she was pregnant? And even worse, after the pregnancy? It was one stretched out saggy dragon.

    I wish Ms. Meyer the best. And amen to everything you’ve said on that topic.

    I usually make my kids’ lunches, too. I know they CAN do it themselves, but I usually think of it as doing them a favor not taking away something they can do. My kids have a lot of responsibility both at home (chores and piano) and at school (in school work and homework). Plus, I know where I hide the “good treats” so they don’t disappear so fast.

    This was so fun!


  5. Oh, the recklessness! I knew there was a reason I kept coming back here. Strapless dresses look like towels. Why would anybody want to look like they just got out of the shower? Like they haven’t even taken the time to get ready? I don’t get it. And don’t even get me started on how you can’t even find anything for teenage girls that isn’t strapless. Most of my daughters’ church dresses are strapless. Which means we have to buy a sweater for every dress purchase. Which makes everything twice as expensive.

    Your other points are pretty good too but I have to get over being offended before I can comment.

    Just kidding.


  6. I’m not a huge fan of the strapless thing either and I am really struggling to keep my 13 year old dressed modestly, she doesn’t seem to understand that anyone can bare skin but that it’s a mature choice not to follow the crowd and to be modest. Maybe when she’s 14?

    I was barely able to take care of myself when I had a newborn not to mention trying to work (and I was so fortunate, my oldest started sleeping through the night when she was a month old) so I just did what I could and everything else was pot luck. When my youngest was in Kindergarten and my oldest in 3rd grade I went back to work at their school and I have so much respect for women who work full time, I am just not cut out for it but I am fortunate again to have the choice and I’m choosing to be at home for now.

    When I turned 40 I thought maybe I wanted a tattoo but I couldn’t decide what I wanted. . .I considered having my confirmation verse put somewhere (Be faithful until death and I will give you a crown of life) but I couldn’t figure out where to put it that wouldn’t show or wouldn’t be in a spot that sags and bags so here I am 3 years later still without a tattoo. I think what’s appealing about it is that it’s not something anyone would ever expect from seemingly straight-laced little old me. . .eh maybe I’ve just matured?

    For what it’s worth, I hate packing lunches so I make the kids do it (it was something I had to do for myself with parental help in the early years once I was in school all day–my mom worked full time so we had more responsibilities than the average kid back then). My 13 year old, handles the task with ease but she’s suddenly become a lot more self sufficient, my 10 year old has to be reminded every step of the way (and we have to go through the whole balanced thing every day as well, she just doesn’t seem to get that goldfish crackers and applesauce do not make a healthy lunch–easy, yes. . healthy, no!) and frankly most days it would just be easier to do it myself but I keep hoping that one of these days she’ll get it.


  7. i say AMEN to them all. the strapless dress thing…they are always pulling them up..drives me nuts.
    I hate tatoo…wait till they get old and fat and they sag and fade.
    i would add one other item…sagging pants…good grief it looks stupid!
    so there ha ha !!!


  8. Today I watched two babies, a three year old, a four year old, and a six year old. I also watched my husband, who fed them sweets all day long. Did I mentioned it rained all day? The husband had planned to take the oldest three to the beach for the afternoon. That didn’t happen.
    Do I seem off topic? More like off my rocker.
    At this moment EVERYTHING seems stupid and I’m so tired I don’t even care.
    Oh, the reason I chimed in? Just ONE baby makes it impossible to even find the time to go to the bathroom.


  9. Vivian dropped a good point – sagging pants! Seems you just about covered the issues for women – what they ought not wear/work while raising children/doing things they hate doing – like making lunches.

    So, next, can we hear you rant and rave about what young males wear these days? Not only the baggy, below-the-butt pants, but what’s with these shorts that have pockets all down the leg? They don’t even look good when they are new and folded. Wash them once, and the pocket flaps stick out, and they are a mess. I’m just glad I don’t have to deal with them, but when I’m out and about, I hate seeing them.

    It’s fun, once in a while, to be upset and voice it, right? Thanks for sharing.


  10. I thought about getting a tattoo with my kids names once…I decided to get a necklace instead….their names are also permanently written on my heart. I don’t need to write them on my body. 🙂


  11. Can I add in the whole male dress category, why are young men these days wearing black socks with shorts? Don’t they know that’s what men from my grandfather’s generation did? It was goofy then and it’s really goofy now. I also don’t get the whole Justin Beiber comb over thing. . . another old man thing. Thankfully my 13 year old daughter thinks most 13 year old boys are pretty ridiculous so I think I’m safe for now.


  12. Tatoos:
    You don’t see a Ferrari with bumbper stickers all over them, do you?
    I told my kids if they ever get a tattoo i will personally remove it with sand paper. They are still young and believe me…..
    baggy pants on young men and young men who mumble and slur their speech like they had a stroke. Just listen to some of the athletes after a professional game. We need captions.


  13. I think I’ve said this before… We have the same values. I’m in agreement with you on these subjects.
    SO many people have tattoos & I’ll never see what all the hype is about. One of the cute little gals where I work has a huge tree trunk all up & down her back in dark ink… When she bends & stretches in the dining room, I’ve seen it peek out & it looks like she has a hairy back (not attractive at all!!). I too believe that our body is a Temple & not meant to be defaced… Piercings & tattoos may be popular, but they’ll never get my vote.

    & I hope I didn’t spark anything when I commented on your school lunch post on facebook 😉


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