pyjamasandtea

April 19, 2011

I Feel Good About My Feet

Filed under: Books,Daily life,Uncategorized — pyjamasandtea @ 11:29 am
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I am attending a really special event tonight… the launch of “I Feel Great About My Hands” edited by my bff Shari Graydon.  Her book is a collection of essays about the unexpected joys of aging and features contributions from amazing women, many of whom I know and love. Shari’s criteria for her invited writers is that they had to be over 50.  While I am still a ways away from that milestone, it got me thinking about aging and aging bodies.  Shari’s title is a riff off of Nora Ephron’s series of columns, published in a book called “I Feel Bad About My Neck”.  Shari has GREAT hands (they are featured on the cover of the anthology!).  I had to think long and hard about what part of my own anatomy I could say I feel “great” about, and settled on something I feel good about:  my feet.

I don’t actually feel “great” about my feet.  They are, however, unoffensive, as feet go.  Small, no bunions or yellowed toenails, a little tuft on hair on the big toes that sometimes throws me off and a baby toenail that is almost too small to paint, but on the whole just fine.  I really don’t know that there is a part of my anatomy that I feel GREAT about.

Despite the fact that I see myself in the mirror every single day, I have no strong sense of what I look like to other people.  I am stereotypically horrified at most pictures of myself and often wonder if THAT is what people see:  this blotchy-faced, big-nosed, slightly overweight, limp-haired woman.  Is that “me”?  I am a dismal failure at make-up (or at least at feeling like I am making a positive difference in applying it!) and I usually put my hair in hot rollers, despite the fact that again, I have no sense that my hair actually looks better curled.  I get dressed up without really knowing what looks good on me.  It is all a bit mysterious, and exacerbated by the aging process.  I still think I look 15 and I’m surprised when I don’t get carded in the liquor store!  It isn’t that I thought I was more beautiful at 15– in fact, looking back, I was too heavily coiffed and made up in my teens, it is just that I haven’t internalized the effects the aging process has had on me.  (Well, other than the ravages of sleep deprivation that my children visit on my face on a regular basis.  I KNOW that makes me look older!  But then, my children seem determined to age me before my time.)

So I feel good about my feet and a bit bemused by most of the rest.  I hate my hair, my upper arms, my cellulite, my nose, my ever-widening derriere, my floppy belly.  Fortunately, pyjamas cover all manner of bodily sins.

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April 8, 2011

Things I Can’t Do

Filed under: Daily life,Lists — pyjamasandtea @ 9:44 am
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There are lots and lots of extraordinary things I can’t do.  I can’t perform brain surgery (for example), or speak a dozen languages, or do math.  But these things are truly exceptional and I don’t particularly fault myself for those inabilities.  There are however, a whole bunch of very ordinary things that I can’t do, and I think it high time to embark on a little self-improvement or continuing education project to improve this sorry state.

For instance, you ask?

1.  Laundry.  I really don’t think I do laundry very well at all.  My usual routine is to throw towels and sheets in and put it on “hot” and do everything else on “cold” and then throw everything in the dryer.  I hang some things, like delicate sweaters or things I imagine might shrink in unattractive or revealing ways, but I have no real understanding of my washer/dryer combo.  The washing machine has a setting called “permapress”.  What is that?  Is that a type of fabric or a way of washing or does the machine really iron while its working?  It has settings called “quick” and another labeled “touch up”.  What is the difference?  What is a “touch up” wash?  And how about the “stain removal” setting?  I just pour on the ‘Shout’ in a futile attempt to get at the butter stains that ruin my clothes… but can my machine really seek and destroy a stain through a setting?

2.  French braid hair.  My ex’s new love recently put my daughter’s hair into french braids.  I LOVED it.  I tried to replicate it a few days later but was a complete failure.  My soon-to-be-five-year-old said in quite the dejected tone:  “I guess you are good at ponytails.  Or sort of anyway.”  An arrow to my heart. I think the fact that I never went to overnight summer camp permanently impacted my french-braiding skills.

3. Make-up.  I don’t usually wear make-up, but once in a while I like to gussy it up and so I pull out my ten year old eyeshadow and mascara.  I really have no idea though, whether I am improving my appearance when I bother.  Does make up actually work?  And if so, how do I know where the light goes, the dark goes, the concealer and blush and highlights.  I really have no sense of whether I’m making any difference at all, and I always feel a little self-conscious when I try.

4.  Royal icing on cookies.  I bake all the time, and I bake cookies all the time.  This deficiency really burns me, for I am the type of person who should EXCEL at royal icing.  If there is an “icing type” it should be me.  Yet every time I try royal icing I make a right royal mess of it.  It is never the right consistency and always hardens in the wrong places and remains soft in others.  I am angry at royal icing.  It is defiant.

5.  Organizing my digital photographs.  I take hundreds of photos, and I use a Mac as my main computer system.  Macs are MADE for photos– Mac exists (so they say) to enable me to manage my media and share it with others.  Yet my photo library is a morass of unorganized images.  I have scanned in old photos, and they are now mixed with the new.  A search for the year 2010 pulls out photos of when I was a baby.  I can’t seem to create albums and my system stubbornly refuses to allow me to “share” photos.  I had it all down on my PC and it just irks me that I have worsened my state of photo organization and not bettered it through Mac.

This is but a mere hint of the many ordinary things I cannot do.  I think I should start with french braids though, because I can’t let the ex’s new love occupy that space.  Anyone (with long hair) want to come sleep over and let me practice all night?

March 3, 2011

On Snoring.

Filed under: Daily life — pyjamasandtea @ 10:22 pm
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As I lay downstairs on the couch, listening to my love honk away upstairs in our nice comfy bed, I wonder what it is about snorers?  What is wrong with you?  It is a phenomenon, surely, much like hoarding (I just watched a horrific CSI episode about a hoarder.  Shudder.).

Okay.  Maybe snoring isn’t “quite” like hoarding.  But how is it that a snorer can so blithely sleep in the midst of all that noise?  I am one floor down and I fear I might have to descend yet further into the depths of this house to escape it.  How is it that you don’t wake yourselves up?  How can you dream in the cacophony?  How can you breathe with such obstruction?  How can you sleep so peacefully knowing that your partner will have to escape the onslaught?

HOW CAN YOU STAND YOUR SOUND?

I’m just wondering, ’tis all.  Yawn.

Snore.

Huffle.

Wuffle.

Snort.

BLOODY TRAIN ROLLING THROUGH MY BED EVERY 5 SECONDS.

February 23, 2011

The “Ick” Factor

Filed under: Daily life — pyjamasandtea @ 12:38 pm
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I love to have my house cleaned by professionals.  I love pedicures.  Both of these things make me feel pampered and good about myself.  Yet, I must admit, I am uncomfortable with the idea of someone else cleaning up my mess.  I am also uncomfortable with making someone touch my feet.  I think it is because I can’t see myself being able to do either job.  The “ick” factor is just too high for me.

I usually leave my house when my cleaner is there.  I feel compelled to explain to her as I leave that I am “really busy today” and I always apologize that the house is “messier than I would like it to be”.  She can’t possibly believe or care about either fumbled excuse.  I have never had the nerve to ask her whether she enjoys her job.  Perhaps there is real satisfaction in making things clean?  I love clean.  I hate making things clean.  It is a conundrum.

I never offer excuses to my pedicurist.  All the women in the shop I go to are Vietnamese and I am terrified to start a conversation with one of them because I find it hard to understand their English.  Nothing bumps up my pedicure-guilt like having to fillabuster my end of a conversation that I don’t understand.

At the moment, my house is in dire need of that clean and my toes are fire engine red.  I’m managing the angst.

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