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12:47 p.m. - 2012-05-16
A Work In Progress

Is it too late to talk about Mother's Day? Nah.

Not only did Wolf and Mick come across with the goodies (canvases and huge tubes of acrylic paint) I did get my breakfast. A fantastic fried egg sandwich. Wolf makes dynamite eggs. I had to rearrange the sandwich because he'd served it with the toast butter-side out but after that I took a big chomp and made foodgasm noises so Wolf who was standing there all anxious to hear my verdict would know how good the sandwich was. I do much the same kind of waiting on tenterhooks when I serve something new to Mick and understood Wolf's need for a rave reaction.

The folks came to dinner and it went swell. I'm getting concerned because the last few times I've seen her MIL has been a little out at the elbows- hair mussy with big roots showing, odd choices of clothing, she wasn't even wearing her usual turd brown lipstick. Natural progression of a woman freed from job-related grooming standards or sign of depression? Not sure yet.

She and I did have a bonding moment over Mick making the crazy eyes. See, when my guy gets passionate about a subject he opens his eyes really wide and you can see white all the way around his irises. Makes him look insane. Mick was getting all hot and ranty about one of his favorite conspiracy theories and nobody was going along with his paranoia. As always I was challenging his nutzoid pronouncements and neatly deflating his arguments with cool logic, and MIL was giggling along with me over Mick's stuttering frustration. He finally backed down and MIL and I shared a smile. Felt good. Not because we'd pricked Mick's nutball balloon, but that she and I were on the same wavelength. It's been a long time.

Though not much later I was hard-pressed to put into practice my vow to be kind to those who have a differing opinion from my own about things I hold dear. MIL brought up the recent death of Thomas Kinkade- Painter of Light and she was mourning over how little mention there'd been of his death in the news and how sad she was that such a huge talent was dead at such a young age.

Thomas Kinkade? Jeezus pleezus. Schlockmeister extraordinaire? QVC darling? This was MIL's idea of a great artist? Mick and I exchanged an amused horrified glance, then I composed my face and turned back to MIL. "It is sad, isn't it? He was very young."

This is a prime example of how I am trying very hard to put my money where my mouth is. I can be such a huge honking hypocrite! Forget for a minute my opinion about Kinkade and his body of work. Not only am I trying to be more respectful of others, but I truly have ZERO business being sniffy and a big ball of snoot about anyone else's taste in putrid kitsch. Why?...Because I get teary-eyed every damn time I hear that dopey Taylor Swift song 'Love Story'. Right? Does it get more sappy and mawkish? I might as well get a fairy tattoo and start a ceramic unicorn collection.

So. I made nice and spoke to MIL with honest respect and didn't snerk at her or the late Thomas Kinkade. Fair's fair.

Now onto other business.

I can't tell you what a wise and wonderful Mom Moment it was to explain to my son what a real 'douchebag' was and what it was for. He'd been slinging the term around quite a bit and I'd heard enough "What a douche" and "He's such a douchebag" type comments from him and thought it might be a good idea if he knew what the source of his fave epithet was.

"Wolf, do you know what a douchebag is?"

"Well duh! It's a guy who does lame stuff and is stupid and an asshole."

"Right. That's what it's come to mean, but there are things which are actual douchebags. A douchebag is something like a hot water bottle, only it has a hose and a nozzle. For over a century women were told they had to fill these bags with water and vinegar or some other caustic combo of liquids and use them to flush out their vaginas after having sex or their periods because now they were 'dirty'. In fact it became quite the cottage industry to make women paranoid about how unclean their genitals were as a matter of course and for many, many years were encouraged to use this vile thing on a daily basis. Not only is douching unnecessary, it causes infections and chronic unbalance in a woman's natural ph, a condition that is painful and just plain mean. The uterus and vagina are self-cleaning and regulate themselves just fine, but women were taught otherwise. A douchebag is a pretty good symbol and metaphor for everything that's wrong with the way men view women. It's like being half-starved all her life, being made to feel like shit about post-pregnancy stretchmarks, being told the only way to be a worthy woman is wearing binding shoes and underwear, and the whole host of other painful and horrible rules set in place by men to keep women feeling bad about their bodies and themselves, and thus too busy with self-loathing to be a threat to male privilege. A douchebag, kiddo, is a tool of oppression."

Wolf reeled back a little from the barrage, and I sat quietly while he worked it out. He thought for a bit then smiled. "So a douchebag is a guy who does lame stuff and is a stupid asshole!"

I grinned, nodded and gave him a high five. Thatta boy.

Working on improvement on several fronts, ~LA

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