Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hairy Situation

For historical purposes, I do have to document here that
Clayton asked Esten
"Dude, why are you tucking your shirt in like a nerd?"
And I intervened,
 "Your brother can tuck his shirt in any way he wants and nerds are awesome."
Sigh. It's going to be a long year.

This is the part where most moms who have that uber-maternal mommy-mom gene get all sappy and a little sad (as does my husband), but this is the part where I go:


Or something like that.  I'm paraphrasing.

So I'm glad they're back in school, and really, so are they.  And for reasons more bizarre than I can explain, like Esten's excited that he's in third grade and will get to take a special State standardized test this year that he didn't get to take last year.

For real.  When I asked what he was looking forward to, THAT is the first thing that popped into his head.  Proud moment for me, but not at ALL what I was expecting.

Because of the school's looping model, Clayton will have the same teacher he had last year, but Esten will have a new teacher.  He and I both had a bit of anxiety about it, but for different reasons.  As the summer drew to an end we each held our breath to find out, and I asked him whether he had a preference.

"What does 'preference' mean?"

"It means if you had a choice, would you choose one over the other?"

"Well, I certainly wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings [he's my sensitive kid for sure] but I know Mrs. X and she knows me, but I'm sure that Mrs. Y is just as good of a teacher."

"So you don't really care which one's class you're in?"

"Well YEAH I care.  I want to be in whichever class ALEX is in, DUH."

Yeah, obviously, I should have known.  These kids really could care less who their teacher is, they just want to make sure that their besties are going to have a desk in that classroom with them.

So when the robocall came in that said the class lists were posted we schlepped to the school's front window and slowly scanned down the list....Mrs. X's class....Esten....and...Alex!  That was good enough for him.  A couple extra kids were icing on the cake.  He was elated.

At the ice cream social last night, our opportunity to meet the teachers and drop off supplies (and get a treat courtesy of the PTA) we got to meet Mrs. X face to face.  She had a BEAMING smile and off the bat said, "I was SO THRILLED to get to have Esten in my class this year.  Every time I see your boys in the halls, they are so cute, and he is such a good kid!  I LOVE when their hair gets a little long and out of control, it just shows so much of their personality, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that!"

OK.  This lady.  Looks kind of like the Tooth Fairy.  And I say that in the nicest way, because I actually KNOW the Tooth Fairy, and people who know me know what that means.  Except that she has the same face as the Tooth Fairy that I already know, but she also has this very LONG (down to her butt long) CURLY hair.  So she's someone who would notice other people's hair, and who probably would tie that into their personality.  And immediately I'm thinking, my kids almost never comb their hair before school, look like welfare ragamuffins on the MAJORITY of days that are not picture day.  I think this may be an indicator that this chick may have a sense of humor about life and that we may get along just fine.

I'm thinking this might apply to a couple of my friend's kiddos who are sporting mohawks this morning too. Best to get your personality out there for the world to see. I am a kid who rocks the hawk. Deal with it. Or, I am a kid whose mom is too tired to cut my hair (also meet my brother who is in a similar situation). Please give us money.

Now I can breathe....because THIS is what I need.  I need my kids to have teachers who are at least not uptight.  That's all.  Because shit happens.  Not OFTEN.  I just need them to be their 2nd mom.  I have a sense of structure when I need to and a sense of humor when I need to, and I just want the same thing from them.  We say goodbye and on my way out the classroom door I remind her over my shoulder that any and all disciplinary problems should be directed to their FATHER, whose cell phone number is listed on Esten's information sheet she just asked me to update.  Then we both giggle.

So today everything and everyone is back in place and we can all get on with our lives again.

Now, how long before that little one can start Kindergarten???

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fat Girls Wear Sweatpants Too

I don't know if anyone else has paid much attention to this, but seems like lately some media chatter has surfaced about clothiers getting picky about who wears their clothes.

Abercrombie & Fitch was in hot water earlier this year and I don't even have the energy to link to the articles or interviews.  They make me throw up in my mouth.  Essentially the head honcho stands behind their brand's desire to only have skinny, attractive, "certain looking", people wearing their clothes.  They've been under fire for years over hiring practices, and to be honest, I've NEVER SHOPPED their brand.  I accidentally bought a pair of stirrup pants (!) of theirs about 18 years ago at Goodwill.

I think the only good PR move they've made was offering to pay that Jersey Shore hooligan to STOP wearing their clothes.

I don't want to seem like I'm singling them out.  I have never been much of a label junkie, refusing to advertise for free, which is in stark contrast with my other half, who prefers to dress like a 17 year old boy.  The two of us in a store together rarely happens, is painful when it does, and contains conversations typically heard between mothers and their teenage sons, i.e. "you're NOT getting that, isn't that a GANG thing??  It smells like marijuana in here.  Let's GO."

More recently a high end workout/yoga/athletic line that I can't pronounce got blasted too, for not carrying "plus size" clothing (size 12 is rare in stores and gets pushed in piles to the back).  Their defense: bigger clothes take more fabric to make and thus cut into their profit margin.

Uh. No.  This is a company who is charging an ABSURD amount of money for YOGA PANTS.  Although, to be fair, they may be very good quality yoga pants, and I may be jealous and I'd like a pair but I think that $90 is a lot for a pair of sweatpants.  I kvetched for MONTHS before spending $80 on a pair of jeans which did turn out to be the best pants investment ever.

But here's the real reason I think companies, and not just THIS company aren't offering extended sizes: their designers don't possess the talent.  MOST designers have been trained to dress a mannequin and models that do not represent the average sizing of women.  When they attempt to translate their designs to the bigger sizes, something gets lost.  The original designs are not suited for bigger sizes and they end up looking bad and fitting horribly.  These designers don't know how to dress anything with a curve.  So they just DON'T.  It's easier.

I think instead of demanding that these companies produce or cater to large sizes, women should seek out and support those designers and companies who bother to make quality designs that flatter and support them.

And before anyone gets sassy with me and says I'm not fat enough to have a dog in this fight (because I've heard that before), I've struggled plenty just not having things fit right.  I have a weird shape.  I know that I'm not the only person who doesn't really find shopping to be fun, but rather daunting and depressing, a hunting trip that turns out to be a waste of time almost every time.  And yet my poor closet yearns for some new additions.

What I really need is some Stacey London and that $5,000 Visa where you KNOW they're having someone do all the alterations on those clothes before their reveal.  But what I don't need is that creepy two weeks worth of spy-footage that comes before it.  Nothankyou.

I just think that gals of all shapes and sizes ought to have options available that don't make them feel bad about themselves, that don't tell them "you have to be at least THIS skinny to wear our yoga pants" or "you have to be at least THIS pretty to wear our shirt from the catalog where our models wear no shirts at all".

I'm just sorry that the people we're buying our clothes from are treating us like a shitty boyfriend who tells us we're fat and ugly and nobody's going to love us, and we keep going back for more because we just want so badly for them to like us and to fit in with the popular kids.....