Get Updates Each Time I Post a New Blog. It’s That Simple.






A password will be e-mailed to you.

Archive for January, 2013

Flashback Friday! (Bad Mood)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:53 AM
Friday, January 18, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to explore an area of life that I’m sure we all experience from time to time: Going about your life while someone you love/someone you live with/someone you work with is in a Bad Mood.

You know how everything just seems a little grayer? I know I’m sensitive, but I can’t be the only one that this gets to. So, in a proactive effort to SHARE WITH OTHERS during this frustrating time, instead of wallowing in self-pity, flaming out in fury, withdrawing into total denial, or some explosive cocktail of all three, I’ve decided to make a list for all of you to peruse and use as you wish:

WHEN SOMEONE YOU ARE CLOSE TO AND/OR YOU SEE EVERYDAY IS IN A HORRIBLE MOOD AND WON’T SNAP OUT OF IT…. HERE ARE YOUR OPTIONS:

1. Fight with them. (This makes their mood worse, the kids upset, and doesn’t solve anything, but still, it’s really satisfying in the moment.)

2. Ignore them. (This is tricky: it really only works if you ignore them and successfully continue about your day feeling carefree and happy. If you “ignore them” but then go about your day distracted, upset, and obsessing over the fact that that person is in a bad mood and why don’t they just get over it, then you really aren’t ‘ignoring them’, are you?)

3. Try to talk to them. (Ouch! Just kidding – good God, don’t do that – they don’t feel like talking, can’ you tell?! Leave them alone!)

4. Ask a friend to reach out to them. (This may work but the question you need to ask yourself is, do you really want to get a 3rd party involved here?)

5. Journal about it. (This is a very good idea, in that it helps you connect with your thoughts and your soul, it helps to vent your emotions, and it helps to understand just what you are feeling.

a. Just beware of these potential pitfalls: 1.) Your laziness, since journaling is really annoying to have to sit down and do, after all, it’s not YOUR bad mood, you know? – and 2.) It’s not always convenient to journal, especially if you are busy at work, with kids, or driving. Then again, that’s what traffic lights are for, aren’t they?)

6. Pray about it. This one’s loaded, I know, especially for those of you who: A.) don’t believe in God, and/or B.) believe that IF there is a God, S/He is for sure too “busy with wars and starving children” or too “hands off” to really give a shit about your issues with someone else’s bad mood. But to you who feel this way, I counter: I know you are, but what am I?

a. Wait – no – that’s what I meant to say to this person who is driving me nuts with his pissy mood. To you, dear reader, I wanted to say: Just try it. Meditate. Scan a holy text (the Zohar is the best I know of). Go to spiritual services or talk out loud to a higher power. Sure, nothing good may come of it except a mild self-consciousness. OR, it could work, your prayers could be answered, and then you could finally just move on with your life already.

Because Bad Moods really just f*** up a person’s day, you know?

c/xo

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

PS This blog is dedicated to the love of my life who was in a terrible mood all last week but who is also the reason this blog got published tonight – I told him I didn’t have time to record ‘my new blog’ (didn’t tell him the subject) and he told me to get out of bed & just upload it anyway, without the recording – not to use that as an excuse & to lose momentum… good advice from a good man…)

 

Cute no matter what mood.

Awkward!

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:13 AM
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I have a question. How do YOU deal with the parking garage guys who take the tickets on your way out?

Because I? Do not have any workable solutions.

Solution one: ignore. Meaning, I barely glance at them as they smile and say, “Thank you, have a nice day” or “How are you doing today?” and I roll my window up as quickly as it will climb the second the ticket is out of my hand.

But this seems unnecessarily rude. It’s not THEIR fault they have this job – I mean, SOMEONE has to have this job and it can’t be a trained MONKEY!

Can it?

I feel like I would prefer to give my ticket to a trained monkey.

Or to a woman!

I’ve never felt odd or awkward giving my ticket to a women. Women are easy – they just take my ticket without saying anything at all – the Zero Pressure Technique – or, they smile and are really friendly, and I’m friendly back, because after all, what’s up, girlfriend? Cool blue nails, even though they’re fake – somehow they look fine on you!

Or something like that.

Whereas the men… I don’t know. I get mild stalker-y vibes from them.

Solution two: be friendly back to them. But this makes me feel fake and icky, because, I mean, who are these guys? What exactly do they want  from me!? I don’t want to make eye contact, smile, and ask how they are doing too. I just want to get the hell out of there so I can pick up my kids from school on time.

Am I being paranoid?

I just don’t know what they expect from me, with their friendly banter and glance at me, as if the last thing I should want to do would be to roll up my window fast, turn my radio back on, and pedal it-to the metal-it out of there.

But that is how I feel.

Why can’t they just take the ticket, nod, and not seek out eye contact and a smile?

When my father was in town, we went to a few different restaurants and a play together, and I can’t recall which parking venue it happened in, but there was one place where, as we left the ticket guy in our wake, my dad remarked, “Well he wasn’t very nice.”

Huh? You want the guy to be nice?

New rule: Parking attendant men? You guys are encouraged and even required to make small talk and eye contact with the men who drive out of your lots. But when the women drive out? Take their ticket in silence and look out for who’s driving up to your window next.

Parking attendant women? Keep on keepin on, g-friends. I want to see stars and stripes on those babies next time your fingers take the card from mine!

Never said life was fair.

c/xo,

 

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I wanted to also draw a lady with long stars-and-stripes fingernails. But I can really only crank out one masterpiece at a time, people. So you'll just have to imagine her. Because she's perfect.

 

Comments Off

FOUR MORE YEARS! (of diapers)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:03 AM
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My littlest daughter did not potty train as quickly as I expected. My other two kids potty trained on the later side of normal – one a couple months before his 4th birthday, the other when she turned 3 – but my 3rd kid has already way surpassed the other two in “grownup-ed-ness” (duh, because she’s the 3rd), so I was pretty sure she’d nail the potty training thing early on.

Turns out?

Not so much.

It was more like – “Yes, Mom and Dad, I know I’m extremely tall and self-possessed and athletic and coordinated and smart and well-spoken and I can scribble a mean princess drawing… but nonetheless, you will have to continue to change my poopy and pee pee diapers for as long as I very well want you to.”

At first, her teachers were also confused, and tried to put the blame on my lack of “training” her since she was clearly such a “big girl” in all other ways. But I’m a big believer in keeping the diapers on until the kid really can make it happen in a permanent and significant way, vs. living for six months on my hands and knees mopping up ‘accidents.’

Finally, her teachers took matters into their own hands, and at last… it happened! Esther was using the toilet.

It is possible we made too big of a deal of this transition.

“Guess WHAT?! Esther’s wearing UNDERWEAR!” I screeched to any family member and close friend who would listen, as if my repeating of the triumph loudly and proudly would somehow reduce the number of accidents in her (and therefore my) near future.

So this resulted, of course, in Esther telling ANYONE she met about her new accomplishment. Including, for example, the bell man who took our bags from our car over at a resort in Palm Springs:

Esther: “Hi, what’s your name?” (our Esther is very social)

Bell Man: “Hi there! I’m Michael! And what’s your name, pretty lady?”

Esther: “I’m Esther. I wear underwear!”

Cut to: Michael’s face – paralyzed with fear and confusion over what Pandora’s Box his well-meaning question has now opened.

Anyway, the GOOD news is that for the first time in EIGHT AND A HALF YEARS… I don’t have ONE CHILD IN DIAPERS! So much fun & freedom! Lighter suitcases, worry-free trips & outings, no more leakage stains and smelly bottoms!

Next one’s due in May.

Sigh….

x/co,

 

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

She's like, "Ha ha! I may be out of diapers but YOU are about to have another FOUR YEARS of them! Sucker!!"

Comments Off

Serves me Right

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:07 AM
Monday, January 14, 2013

It all felt very right, very – “communicative.” In the car last week, when my 6 year old daughter asked me a really thoughtful question, “Are all girls born with a teeny tiny baby in their tummy?” I was excited at the prospect of helping her to understand – just a little – about the biological beginnings of a baby.

She already understood that only women get pregnant, and so by extension, it made sense that she would imagine all girls would hold the teeniest, microscopic baby in their tummies until they were finally old enough and ready enough to be Mommies and really ‘grow the babies.’

I told her she was very close in her guess – that when girls go through the process called ‘puberty’ – when a girl’s body goes through many changes and becomes a woman’s body – one of those changes is that she gets ‘eggs’ in a special part of her body called the ‘womb,’ – eggs that are basically “half a baby” only super teeny tiny. (No, I didn’t elaborate, nor did I explain anything about the ‘1 egg per month/period’ thing. Let’s let the child live in a blood-free fantasy world just a bit longer, shan’t we?)

At the same time, I added, boys’ bodies go through puberty and when THEIR bodies change from boys to men, they get these things called ‘sperm’ which also have all the ingredients for half a baby. In this way, when the Mommy and Daddy are finally ready to ‘make a baby,’ the baby is made from the ½ baby in the dad and the ½ baby in the mom, and becomes a ‘whole baby seed’ that grows inside the mom.

The few questions that followed were lively and logical, and didn’t lead us down any paths I couldn’t answer for her 6 year old capacity to understand. (She didn’t wonder too deeply when I contradicted her claim that “that’s why babies can ONLY come when a Mom and Dad get MARRIED” – I did tell her it can happen other ways but that, bottom line, there has to be the ½ from the boy & the ½ from the girl to get the whole things started.

I was faintly glowing all evening from having such a successful ‘mother-daughter’ talk – and then forgot mostly about it until the next evening, when Rachel announced knowingly to her older brother: “Did you know you are pregnant with half a baby? It’s true! Ima told me!”

Sigh…

I think I should have just changed the subject back when I had the chance.

c/xo,

 

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

And the moral of the story is: Never try to have "that talk" with your child. Ever.

Flashback Friday! (Shangri La, Part Deux)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:12 AM
Friday, January 11, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Shangri La Part 2 – the BLOG

GDS, or Georgetown Day School, as we students proudly pronounced (despite the fact that the high school campus was never actually in Georgetown and the newer campus is a good 20 minutes away), was heaven for a girl like me. Fifty percent Jewish, sixty percent (I’m guessing here) smart kids, and 100% cool street cred, thanks to (among other things), the following:

  1. 1. Our smoking lounge (never mind that it got abolished once we moved campuses my sophomore year)
  2. 2. We called our teachers by their first names
  3. 3. GDS was the first private school in Washington, DC, to desegregate
  4. 4. Back in the 70’s, students didn’t used to have to wear shoes
  5. 5. At GDS, kids can dress however they want and still have a voice
  6. 6. Really amazing alumni came from our school, including the people I most admire, like writers, actors and musicians.
  7. 7. One of my English teachers performed on weekends with his Reggae band, Black Sheep.
  8. 8. Half the student body had its own band.
  9. 9. Armand’s Chicago Deep Dish pizza was served hot during lunchtime, every day.
  10. 10. Our mascot was the grasshopper. ‘Nuff said?

Once in a while, the school would hold “town meetings” where any kid could have a voice. I remember speaking once in a town meeting about how disturbing it was to me that I was always getting whistled at and harassed on the streets by boys and men. Can you imagine if I had stood up at Lafayette and tried to have a conversation about that? I would have gotten my ass kicked.

Still… Shangri La is really just a myth, and so is “The Perfect School.” No school is perfect, and no child’s experience of school is perfect. When I first arrived at GDS in 5th grade, and gravitated towards another girl who was friendly to me and wanted to hang out, I was warned by one of ‘the cool girls’ to stay far far away from that girl, as she was a NERD and nobody liked her. Being the follower wanker that I was at that point (or to be more kind to myself, being the kid who was burned-by-being-overly-teased from my last school), I listened to the cool girl.

I became part of her clique, and for a little over a year, we were inseparable. There were four of us altogether, and we used to roam around, arms locked, terrorizing the ‘nerds’ who wanted to be our friends, alternately praising and putting down each other, and generally behaving like little junior high school terrors.

Then it happened: one day in the 6th grade I arrived to school and none of the other three girls in my clique would talk to me. They would barely look at me. I had to plead with one of them, who finally caved enough to admit that they had all had a sleepover that weekend (without me??!!) and had collectively decided to drop me as their friend. Boom. That was it: they were done with me.

I was devastated, of course. Getting teased and having my skirt pulled up was one thing; getting dumped by my best (and only) friends was quite another. It took me months of pulling myself together, joining forces with another outcast, and retaliating the best way I knew how (I do remember getting at least one good trip and/or a shove in there somewhere), before I was able to stumble back upon the road to self-confidence…

Cruel pre-teen girls…not even Shangri La could shake them.

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

They've added onto the building since I went there. The kids are probably nicer too.

Comments Off

Not Quite Done with that Subject

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 8:36 AM
Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I was going to title this blog “I Could Never Be Chinese” but then I thought, why pick on the Chinese? I could never be almost any other nationality other than a large white woman or a large black woman (fyi for those who haven’t met me, I’m the former), with these giant feet of mine.

MY GIANT FEET, HELLO?! DID’T YOU READ YESTERDAY’S BLOG?

Ahem.

Big feet-ed ladies  have feelings too.

Feelings, for example, of rage and jealousy, over how many cool shoes they make in Europe that go up to size – oh whoop dee do! – 42. And by the way, for Europeans? Size 42 is ENORMOUS. Like for elephants.

European shoe retailers never used to believe I was bigger than a 42. They’d be all, in their French accents or whatever, “Size 10? Yes, we have zat. ‘Ere.”

And they’d hand me a 42, and like that idiot fish in the sock-dangling sea, again I allow that dreamy daze to cloud my brain with hope as I snap up the shoes, thinking,

No way! Usually size 42 shoes never fit me but THIS guy says ‘size 10’ IS size 42, and that THESE amazing on-sale, one-of-a-kind, better-than-Manolos shoes are going to fit me like Cinderella’s slipper! – so he MUST be right! Right…??!!!

And then, as my big toe crushes into the end of the shoe and my heel develops an insta-blister, reality slams down on my dreams and crushes them.

Okay… yes… true… This size 42 does fit me like Cinderella’s glass slipper.

ONLY I’M NOT M-F-ING CINDERELLA! More like her step sister. At least in the foot department.

Sigh.

At least it’s better now, stateside, where most American retailers finally figured out there are more than 10 giants living in the United States with feet sizes larger than 8.5, and most stores here stock about two pairs of their cool styles in size 10, which still means they are always sold out by the time I get to the store, but at least I can be happy for some big-feet-ed GrownupGirl out there who can strut her Jimmy Choo stuff in style.

Back when I was a teenager hoping to wear something other than my ‘cool-but-made-my-feet-look-bigger-than-Magic-Johnsons’-Doc Martins’, it was basically impossible to find anything remotely feminine and cool/European that fit.

So at minimum, the pickins have gotten a bit less slim.

Maybe by the time I’m a grandma there will be a perfect storm of more larger shoes made generally around the world for the new crop of not-starving savvy teenager consumers, and my feet will have shrunk to a 9.5 or something tiny like that, and then ALL the cool styles in ANY country will carry my size.

A girl can always dream.

c/xo,

 

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot, bee-ach? Specifically, my size 10 shoes on Cindarella's dainty glass slipper feet? What? Prince Charming called to cancel your date last minute? Whatever could have prompted it!?

Size One Zillion

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 8:55 AM
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The title of this blog, by the way, is my shoe size. More or less.

I thought about titling the blog “If the Shoe Fits” and then adding an asterisk, where, down below, the thoughtful reader would find some kind of witty footnote remark, like ‘then I obviously didn’t buy it in Europe” or “then it’s probably some ugly boat I’m trying to pass off as footwear.”

Bottom line here? My feet are… not what you would call small and dainty.

Unless you are Andre the Giant! He might think my feet were small and dainty.

But to most others – including my husband, whose feet are basically the same length as mine, just wider – my feet are more of the “large and in charge” variety.

For a man, that’s the kind of cool status ‘tell’ – like big hands – that makes the babes excited and other guys jealous and makes the guy who HAS the big feet or big hands super easy-going and confident, because, hey, let’s face it, whatever other shit life and chaos this guy has going on, at least he’s got a big penis.

Not so much, for the ladies.

For the ladies, it’s like “big feet, big – uh – okay, that’s gross.”

Or, put more delicately, “big feet, big – um – socks?”

Only that would be a lie, because I can tell you that nobody cool (like Puma or Polo) makes decent women’s socks that fit big women’s feet. Trust me. I fall for it EVERY time.

I see a set of women’s socks hanging there in the store, like a dazzled fish spotting a shiny lure in a murky sea.

I read the label: it says it fits sizes 6.5-11!!! It will fit me!! I’m only a size 10!!!! (10.5 if I was pregnant within a year or so of sock-shopping, but let’s not even go there.) Yay!!! Cool socks!

Cool socks, indeed. Cool socks that, after one or two washings, I have no choice but to slip quietly into my 8 year old son’s drawer so at least SOMEONE in the house can enjoy them comfortably, or – if they have pink or girly stuff on them – donate to charity.

I think I could probably have my own Goodwill sock line. BatSheva. Socks for GrownupGirls with giant feet. Has a certain ring to it, no?

No.

No, it doesn’t.

Sigh…

c/xo,

 

Sheva (BatSheva “Goodwill Sock Hunting” Vaknin)

A (nearly) true-to-life portrait of me, on the very first day I was born.

Procrastination-shun-shun-shun-shun-shun

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:50 AM
Monday, January 7, 2013

You know that thing? That thing, where, it’s Thursday night, the last real weeknight of the kids’ (and your) “winter break” and you kind of pushed it so after your husband made this amazing dinner, you know it’s your turn to do the dishes and you’re totally down with that but once you put the kids to bed you realize you’re the last person awake in the house (including your husband) and even though it’s only 8:45 it feels kind of like midnight and the last thing you feel like doing is the dishes and you consider leaving them all for the once-a-week housekeeper who will come tomorrow but you know that’s a total cop-out move and so you know sooner or later you’ll have to bite the bullet and just do the m-f-ing dishes and you’re just about to get going when you decide instead to sit for a minute at your computer?

No?

Oh.

Sometimes I think I’ve got a whole lot of nothing going on in my head. I’ll lie down at night – earlier than usual these days, thanks to the exhaustion of pregnancy + busy days and especially thanks to my nudge-y husband (when did he get so nudge-y!?) who now goes to sleep at, like, 8pm, most nights because he’s waking up at something like, 2am to start his day… (yes I may be exaggerating just a tad)… but anyway -

Where was I?

Oh yeah. The stupid thoughts in my head.

Wednesday night, I lay wide awake in bed, thinking about dumb, stupid things (i.e. – wondering what Facebook ‘friends’ who I never ever ever see and never ever ever were friends with in real life but who sort of maybe knew who I was at one point so they accepted my friend request, must think of me – in a judge-y way, of course – about how they probably think my name BatSheva is so weird and different, and how my life is so weird and different– and then I think how even stupider it is that I am wasting even 10 seconds caring about any of this, and obviously none of these Facebook ‘friends’ probably waste even 10 seconds thinking about me)…

And then I fall asleep, only to wake up at 4:23am to 3 year old Esther, who is crying from a nightmare. And as I take her to our bed I realize I was having a massive nightmare myself, about live sharks swimming in the water beneath my feet as I walked from room to room of a hotel I was staying at for some event where I didn’t know anybody.

The dream didn’t seem scary as much as it seemed unnecessarily stressful. Sort of like Facebook.

Lately, my thoughts have been overrun with fluff and nonsense. A product of my 2 weeks vacation from blogging?

I know, I know.

Quit thinking, start scrubbing. Dishes await.

c/xo,

 

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I know there is a lot going on here. Seriously, I'm down with copyright protection & all, but let's face it: we'd ALL be better off if the internet would just let me "BORROW" some cool images for my blogs! I promise I'll give them back!

The Grown Up Girl is proudly powered by WordPress

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).