Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Vacation

Tomorrow is my last day of school; Wednesday begins summer vacation. For the next eight weeks I will go to bed when I’m tired and will wake when I’m rested. I will eat when I’m hungry and have enough time to chew my food before swallowing. I can even go out to lunch! Like a grown up! I’ll go to the bathroom when my bladder is full and not when the bell rings.

I won’t wake up in the middle of the night on Sunday nights and wonder if I have all my photocopies made for the day and if my lesson plans are all set, then spend the remainder of the night tossing and turning. I won’t have to scramble to write lesson plans if I’m sick; I’ll just stay in bed until I feel better. I won’t walk around with the cartoon bubble above my head where comments like Jackass exist and I won’t be disrespected by teenagers and their parents. And I probably won’t have a migraine all summer. Unless we have major thunderstorms. But even then.

I will certainly more than once have to defend my summer vacation to non-teaching professionals who think we teachers have “the life” and can’t see beyond summer vacation. They won’t be bothered to understand the 20 minute lunches and sphincter challenges or how many things we have to pass up during the school year because we can't get that time off. They don’t care about the sleepless nights and lesson plans and migraine headaches. They won’t concede that their kids are a handful and after 10 months of spending more time with them than they do, we need a break. As do their demanding and ungrateful kids. (Well, most of them, anyway.)

At the end of August I will be refreshed, and broke, and I’ll start again—hopeful enough to think the next school year will be different and next June I won’t feel so beat up, realistic enough to refill my migraine medication.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Let's face it. We all have our comfort zone apparel, especially when it comes to undergarments. I am a fan of the camisole, especially under sweaters, and I'm usually loyal to only one brand and style of bra at a time. I find a favorite and buy it in white, black, tan--perhaps in multiples. When it's time for new bras, I'm willing to try something new, to spend that unsettling time in the Macy’s dressing room--with blinding lights and multiple mirrors and my purse propped up against the door--to find a new one that works.

I'm not willing, however, to get used to thongs. Despite the rave reviews of some of my friends who say they're actually really comfortable (yeah, right), I have but two words.

Ass floss.

Weren't wedgies the number one form of playground torture, the original form of bullying? Come on, now! How can that be comfortable?

Maybe you need to start young, or younger than I was when I made my attempt. I hate to make this analogy, but my guess is that anyone who tries a beer for the first time at 30 is going to find it bitter and will probably not make the effort to acquire the taste. If on the other hand, you started young (but legal, of course), it probably tastes pretty good. Similarly, if for decades you enjoy not having anything wedged between your butt cheeks, then it's pretty unlikely you'll want to get used to the sensation. Your constant desire to remove the offending fabric will make you realize that thongs just aren't for you.

If they are?... Well, then, I am uncharacteristically speechless. Floss on.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Newest Beef

Okay, maybe it’s not new a new beef, but another entry on my list of The Abomination of the English Language. The slow and insidious dumbing-down just got an energy boost.

First there were the chocoholic and the shopaholic, who for some unknown reason (or at least nonsensical reason) decided to borrow a part of the word alcohol. The –ic suffix wasn’t enough, apparently, so they grabbed part of the root word. I guess it was easier than being a chocolate addict or a compulsive shopper to be a blankholic. Even though it makes no sense. But is found in the dictionary.

Now, with a slow economy, fewer people are taking vacation apparently, which—while defined as a fixed holiday period or break from work—clearly comes from the word vacate. No, I guess people are staycating and daycating because staycations and daycations are all the rage. While we’re at it, we may as well start arranging playcations for our kids next.


But I suppose if no one is feeling badly for people like I, this too shall pass.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Retail Therapy

This time of year is particularly stressful at school. The end is in sight (10 days and counting), yet it doesn’t seem possible to get done everything I need to between now and then. Somehow I have to do about two months’ worth of work in two weeks. Or so it seems. So when my department meeting ended yesterday much earlier than it typically does, I decided it was time for a little retail therapy.

I don’t love to shop as much as some people might suspect. (I also can’t afford to shop as often as I’d like.) Although on-line shopping has a two-fer quality, a double shot of shopping pleasure—the initial purchase followed by the delivery of the item— sometimes it’s not the cookbook I crave, or the personalized note cards that pick me up. Every once in a while what I need is to go through every piece of clothing on the clearance racks at Lord & Taylor to make me right. I’m a woman on a mission. I won’t throw elbows at my fellow full-figured fashionistas, but I will make multiple trips to the dressing room if that’s what it takes in my quest for the fashion trifecta: fit, function, and price.

My summer wardrobe is my weakest collection, given that I don’t work in the summer and spend most of my time by the pool (while stylish, my pool coordinates don’t count as professional or dress clothes). But this summer I have a few special occasions and dinners out—Deanna (who inspired me, by the way, to learn the difference between wool crepe and wool gabardine and to whom I therefore owe my sense of style in large part) visits at the end of the month, I visit Tam in Seattle at the end of July—for which I felt justified in buying something new. Of course neither of the malls closest to me have L&T as an anchor store, or a Talbots, so I made the pilgrimage yesterday to the Westfarms Mall.


Huge sale. Helpful sales associate. I got a pair of nice Jones New York cropped pants—slightly wider leg and a bit of a sheen that gives them a dressier look—and a very sharp, black and white cardigan (versatile) as an outfit, (and which will be great with my patent leather peep toe slingbacks), a linen tunic to go with a pair of still unworn pants at home, and a sweater for next winter (how could I not?—it was 20 dollars! Merino wool!) all for less than the original retail price of the pants and cardigan.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


When I was in my twenties a friend instituted the 10 o'clock rule. Translated loosely, it meant don't you dare f***in' call me before 10 on the weekend. I think in our thirties it was modified to the 9 o' clock rule, after all who can sleep that late anymore (except maybe my sister Liz)? I'm not sure the rule exists in any form these days. Maybe simply because that's not what we do anymore: wake up first thing and need to talk to a friend. And if you do hear from one early, chances are she probably really needs to talk and rules are out the window anyway.

Over the past couple of years I have imposed an 8 o'clock rule on myself that has nothing to do with phone calls. As I have come to value eight hours of sleep, which makes me a better person but also makes for an early bedtime during the week--given that I have to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 and begin work at 7, sometimes driving to school in the dark--I have also come to appreciate that on weekends those eight hours needn't occur between 9pm and 5am. Although I am rarely up until midnight on the weekend, I insist that I stay in bed until 8, even if for the last hour my eyes are open and I'm appreciating my sheets. Clearly this is decadent (and the envy of all women with young children) when, say, I went to bed at 10 the night before, and it means I'm getting 10 hours of sleep! Hey, someone throw me some bon bons!

This morning I woke up at 6:27. As I did yesterday. By 7:22 I was done appreciating my sheets. For that hour I lay there with the sun coming through my skylight, I thought about my day and what I need to get done before my cousin Donna gets here for a relaxing day by the pool. And it occurred to me that I was rested, so it was okay to get up and make guacamole and cucumber salad, stock the fridge with water and make ice, unload the dishwasher and run the vacuum. I'll get more rest by the pool later today.

Another rule bites the dust.
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