February 22, 2009

What is a Not So Fresh Feeling?

If you're anywhere from 25 and up, perhaps even younger than that, you might remember those Summer's Eve commercials with the mother and daughter walking, I think along a beach, and the daughter telling her mother that she's having a not so fresh feeling and asking what to do about it. I don't know about any of you, but my mother and I never ever ever had that not so fresh discussion. I didn't even bother to ask her when the commercials left me confused as ever because I knew it would lead to an embarrassing discussion that I just didn't want to have. And probably because it was during the time period of our classic mother-daughter clashing. But if it was what I think it was about, the thought of that conversation makes me shudder at the ooogy thought. I don't talk to my mother about that stuff, nor do I intend to anytime soon. In fact I don't even talk to my friends about that stuff. I'm a very prude and private person, and I'm ok with that. I'm sure they are too.

I'm still not exactly sure what they meant by "not so fresh feeling" because anytime I feel "not so fresh," I jump in the shower and I feel fresh and clean again all without the assistance of Summer's Eve. That leads me to another question. What's the significance of the name Summer's Eve? Is this the peak time period for women to feel not so fresh? It makes me think of the deep south before air conditioning existed. That would cause me to feel not so fresh, which leads me to believe that "not so fresh" means hot and sweaty. Ahhh... Maybe it does mean that... Once again talking it though in my head leads me to a logical conclusion...

I got most of my "feminine" information from teen magazines back then. I'd read articles or questions particularly about stuff my mom didn't teach me about, and take it as the gospel truth. I read something one time that said douching did more harm than good so I never wasted my money on them. That is what those commercials were about right??? Was I horribly wrong??? If I was, would somebody please take the time to educate me now.

February 15, 2009

Just What in the Hell is Relish?

This story didn't happen to me, it happened to my cousin and I am sharing it with you as it plays out in my head. The punch line happened, the premise around the punch line is also true as I know it. Everything else is added for your entertainment and may or may not have happened as I wrote it. Nonetheless I hope it inspires you to share some of your embarrassing or awkward tales from your youth. Feel free to email them to me at lolafrog@gmail.com. Be sure to let me know if I can post your story or not.

So in high school my cousin, we'll call him Dustin to protect his real identity, was in theater group, class, whatever. So as happens sometimes, a group will get together to socialize outside of the purpose of their group. They got together for a potluck. Justin, I mean Dustin was told to bring a relish tray. Not knowing what this meant and assuming his mom would understand, since mom's are supposed to be experts in food and social gatherings around food, he didn't bother to clarify what this meant to the teacher/director/adult in charge.

Dustin goes home and tells his mom, "I gotta take a relish tray for our theater potluck. Mom what's a relish tray?" "Well Dustin relish is usually made out of chopped up pickles and stuff and you put it on hot dogs. But why in the world did he say to bring it on a tray. Are you having hot dogs?" Dustin "I don't know, I'm a guy, I can't be bothered with those kind of details."

So my aunt gets him a jar of relish to take to his potluck and he shows up relish in hand. To which the teacher/director/adult in charge says "What's this?" Dustin replied "uh relish, that's what the label says it is. Oh was I supposed to bring it on a tray? my mom didn't give me one." "Dustin, did you not understand relish tray to mean vegetable tray?" Dustin said "well if you wanted a vegetable tray, why didn't you just say that?"

From my understanding, the teacher/director/adult in charge laughed big time over it and never let my cousin live it down. And if he/she's anything like the teachers I had in school, they are repeating this story to each class every year at least once or twice and by the time each kid graduates they will have heard the story anywhere from 4-8 times if they had them as a teacher for at least one class every year. I can't blame the teacher. That's actually a funny story and I'd tell it too.

The moral of the story is that cliche about assuming is true!!! And if you want someone to bring a vegetable tray, call it a vegetable tray, not a relish tray. This is just one of those awkward lessons that my grandmother apparently didn't share with my aunt, so which generation gets to learn the lesson as awkwardly as possible, the 3rd generation. Sucked for us. At least these lessons make for good laughs.

February 8, 2009

Your Fashion Choices Just Aren't Working for You

My mom did a good thing. When I was really young she started turning my fashion choices over to me in an effort to teach me to dress myself. It had to be done at some point in time. The problem was there were several long years where I looked like an awkward weirdo. I didn't much care for dresses and skirts at this time in my life and so looking girly didn't fall into my realm of choices, with the exception of the few clothes in my mother's closet that I would tolerate wearing. The rest of my choices came from my dad's closet, the hand-me-downs from my brother, and the school shopping trips at the beginning of the school year. For some reason I usually loathed the clothes we got on those trips. So I usually ended up looking like a combo of my family members. I guess in my case, the clothes were always better from someone else's closet.

I remember going to my mom and asking her if a particular pair of pants worked with a particular shirt I picked. She did a really good job of teaching me that if one was patterned the other ought not to be. But that doesn't mean I had good options to choose from if a particular set didn't work for me. The closest we ever got to agreeing on something acceptable to be seen in public in was probably some kind of patterned pants with my dad's high school t-shirt that had words and whatnot kinds of graphics on it. But thinking back, it must have looked ridiculously silly.

One thing that didn't help my options is that when we did go shopping, I picked out ridiculous fluorescent colored clothes. I couldn't help it, those were the colors I was drawn to as a kid. Some kind of overwhelming compulsion to look hideous I guess. I rarely picked out "outfits" when I went shopping too. I'd pick pieces that I liked, take them home, and then struggle to find something to wear them with. Funny how that works out.

The next problem I had was with the length of my jeans and various other pants. I was a tall girl. Well at some point in time I reached 5 feet 8 inches. Back then they didn't make them in short, regular, and long. At least not that I found. I think they were all made to fit girls 5'5-5'6 and shorter. Meaning that all of my pants went to the top of my ankles. Half-way down if I was really lucky. Maybe some of you had the same problem. Some girls I knew worked around this by buying jeans in the boy's/men's section where they did have different leg lengths. I didn't do this. I just hated my clothes. When I started buying some more of my own clothes, I got around this and the "mom-jean" high-waisted problem, that I hated so much, by buying a size or two bigger and hitching them down to my hips just below my belly button. This worked well for me through out high school. I still thought I looked funny, but at least my pants didn't go up to my boobs, and the legs went below the top of my ankles. I later discovered the problem with this look. My pants were so baggy (especially in the crotch) that they hid my figure and I looked like a boy.

I suppose maybe I had too much freedom in my choices at an early age. Hard to say. Maybe I was just the victim of 10-15 years filled with a bunch of fashion faux pas that just didn't work for me, so my only other alternative in my mind was to look like a boy for most of those years. Maybe in spite of my mother's best efforts, my hate of the current fashion trends at most if not all the time, doomed me to a lifetime of feeling awkward no matter what I put on, with a disdain for clothes and shopping.

Can anyone else relate to me on this one? Because I've always felt alone on this one. I would look at other girls and what they were wearing and thought they looked nice and attractive in their clothes, but I never could get there myself. I still struggle with it. Not nearly as much as before. At least I look like a girl, if only for high heels sometimes.

February 1, 2009

How to Avoid Rejection from Boys

This might seem like an odd one. It's kind of odd to write because my mother and I never really talked about boys other than when I was given official notice that I was "allowed to date." What she didn't prepare me for was the lack of dating offers that poured in. I think this goes back to elementary school though, because I distinctly remember being grossed out when I found out a couple of boys liked me in 1st or 2nd grade. I just didn't like boys then and was humiliated when a carpool of kids arrived at school one day and my friend informed me that this boy announced his love for me on the way to school. I suppose I was humiliated because she was laughing when she told me. I know my mom knew of the incident because she was my teacher. I believe she was relieved that I was horrified and hoped I would just stay that way for a long long time so she wouldn't have to discuss boys with me. I believe she did teach me something about coping even when you are horrified by something, but as far as I remember, it stopped there.

Around 3rd grade, I distinctly remember starting to like boys. But I didn't discuss this with my mom. And subsequently, she didn't teach me appropriate behavior around boys or appropriate things to say to them to "not let them on that you like them." I had no problems fishing to find out if a boy I liked liked me back. And it was obvious fishing, not round about. They usually liked my friends, but somehow this didn't stop me. What do they call that? wearing your heart on your sleeve? From a practical standpoint once I knew they weren't interested I knew where I stood and could move on right?? Well no. I didn't usually move on until someone else caught my interest.

This continued in high school and beyond. Not with everyone. In high school I just made googly eyes at them and followed them around and talked about how dreamy they were with my friends. But if I was close enough with them, I had no problems either being "obvious" or letting them know what I thought of our situation (Usually in some kind of note. This was strategic since I didn't have to face them and if it "got ignored" well at least I now knew what they thought without forcing them to "let me down easy" in person. Less humiliating for both of us this way.). Where was that "He's Just Not That Into You" book when I needed it? I always figured with enough time, I could change their minds. No such luck. Actually I was very lucky, I just didn't know it at the time. And if my mom did ever try to tell me this, at that age, I'm sure I didn't hear her. It turned out to only be a shot at my ego rather than breaking my heart. I'm one of the few people I know who didn't have their heart broken by a "significant other." So again what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

I never got the "will you be my special friend" note from anyone in elementary. I probably would have said yes to anyone. Or knowing me, I would have made up a new box that said "ooooh GROSS!!!" and sent it back with that checked. You see back then and in high school I generally had crushes on "unattainable guys." Meaning I knew they were interested in someone else or they had girlfriends or whatever. I rarely liked "available" guys from 3rd through 11th grades. So had any available boy sent me that note back then, I probably would have freaked out. The one time I did like an available guy (in high school) I made googly eyes at him for a couple of weeks and then he asked me out and I said yes. I changed my mind before he even got to my door to pick me up. Poor guy. Not his fault at all. It was completely mine. Looking back at that incident told me a lot later in life about myself. In reality I just wanted to be asked to the banquets in high school. I wasn't ready to date and I didn't want to have a boyfriend even though I thought I did. I never got asked to banquets and believe it or not, I was too chicken to ask. Probably because they might have actually said yes. hmmmm...No wonder they didn't ask me, I was probably wearing a sign on my forehead that said "NOT INTERESTED!!" "ASK AT YOUR OWN RISK" Oh well. I always had fun with my chicas!! So it wasn't that big of a bummer looking back...

This isn't flowing well today...neither did my other post...grr

Anyways back to wearing my heart on my sleeve, I stuck myself out there when I met my husband too. The only difference was I didn't go overboard, I just made an effort to talk to him and let him do the rest. I changed the sign on my forehead to "Available and Interested" from "Back off Bozo." Before I met him I had resigned myself to being happy with my life if I ended up single the rest of my life. The only thing I was lacking at that point was a dog. Good news, he came with a dog!!! Jackpot!!!

Am I the only girl who was this awkwardly forward? I say awkward because I didn't get it right until I met my husband. Let's just say I feel sorry for guys and have much respect for what they go through.

I guess in a way, it turned out ok that my mom didn't discuss wooing a boy with me, because I turned out ok. But what if I hadn't? hmmmm what do you tell your sons and daughters about dating and what do you let them learn on their own?

If I ever have a son, I will just teach him that no matter how much you aren't interested in dating a girl, and you feel the need to "get her off your back," be honest and tell her you're not interested in dating her, but you are interested in being her friend. Otherwise there's no harm in her liking you unrequitedly. To any daughters, I think I would say it's ok to like guys that aren't interested in anything more than friendship (as long as he's not doing the "friends with benefits" with her) because then her mind and interest is occupied with the "unavailable", and she is learning how to be friends with and interact with the opposite sex without the sex coming into the picture.

But I'm no expert. What do you experts think??