Monday, April 20, 2015

Hometown Hero

I know I often complain of living in such a small town and more often than not, I am daydreaming of moving to somewhere a bit more urban.  Today is not one of those days.  Today I am very proud of my small town.  Today we will say goodbye to one of our own.  Today our town will lay a hero to rest.

We live in a sleepy little town in the central part of the state.  It is an old mill town built along the Blackstone River.  It is full of hardworking people who really do care about one another.  In the 6 years or so that we have lived here I have seen and experienced first hand the community come together in hard times.  Within hours of  house fires emails are flying around coordinating donations for the displaced families, when the school override failed parents came together to raise funds to keep some of the activities from being cut and during the awful winter this year neighbors helped neighbors dig out from the snow.  When I had  complications after Emily was born and was in and out of the hospital people came out of the woodwork to help me...watching the girls for me, making dinners for us and even just standing next to my car in the morning so I didn't have to drag the baby out at school drop off.   Many of them I barely knew at the I consider them friends. The term "salt of the earth" really fits for our town.

So when a 22 year old soldier from our town was killed in Afghanistan,  his death rocked our little town to it's core.  Bad things like that happen to other people, other places...not here.  Now, don't get me wrong, our town is not perfect, we have our issues too (break-ins, drug problems and our fair share of crazy), but the death of such a young, promising member of our community has hit hard.

Once again our town has pulled together to support his family.  Almost every house has an American flag proudly displayed, which were handed out by local veterans who stood in the town square for days making sure all who wanted one got one.  The firefighters worked tirelessly putting up flags and yellow ribbons all along the funeral procession route.  The little bridal shop in "downtown" has flags in their window, the cafe has messages of thanks on their sandwich do several other businesses.  I have seen street sweepers coming through to clear away all the winter sand, volunteers decorating the traffic islands in red, white and blue and making sure our town looks its best for the soldier's family.  It is just a small way for us as a town to show his family our appreciation.  It gives me goose bumps every time I drive through town.

One thing that strikes me the most is that no one I have talked to in town knows this soldier or his family.  It doesn't matter.  When one of our own is hurting, we are all hurting.  Through all of this I have not heard any of the typical rhetoric, "we need to get the hell out of there"..."bomb them all"...because, again, it doesn't matter right now.  No matter what side of the aisle you sit on, a 22 year old died.  Showing his family our gratitude and respect is all that matters right now.

Later this morning I will be taking my girls out on this raw and rainy morning to stand and watch the funeral procession.  I want them to understand what a true hero is.  I think too often people look to sports stars and entertainers as role models.  I always hear the term "class act" thrown around when an athlete tosses a ball to a kid in the stands.  To me that is not a hero.  I am sure it is pretty easy to sign a contract awarding you millions of dollars to throw a football.  It takes unbelievable courage and bravery to sign your name on a military contract.  Many young men and women are literally signing their life away when they sign on that dotted line.  To me, a hero is an ordinary person who, when faced with an extraordinary circumstance rises to the challenge; soldiers, firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses and teachers.  My girls like to listen to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, that is ok...I think they have  good, positive messages for girls in their music.  However, when it comes to role models I will teach them about Malala Yousafza the young girl shot by the Taliban because she refused to back down in her idea that girls should receive an education, Mother Teresa for her dedication to helping the poor...the likes of them.

As I sit and type this post the girls are putting the finishing touches on the signs they plan to hold as the hearse and family ride by.  It is because of the sacrifices of this young man and so many men and women that have gone before him that I am able write about and post my opinions, that my girls are able to receive an education that has given them the ability to read and write their signs, and, that we have the freedom to walk down the end of our street to see his procession go by.  For that we are eternally grateful.  Rest easy Corporal John Dawson.  Thank you for your service.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Till Death Do Us Part?....What about a bad haircut?

 In this year of our Lord two thousand and fifteen, I can formally announce it has happened.  I know many of you thought this day had already come, but you can all rest assured it is now official....the world's worst hair cut ever has been given.  I am the lucky recipient.  In thinking of how I would describe this abomination to you I can honestly say words failed me.  I am having an incredibly difficult time finding the words to describe what has happened on top of my head.  I will try my best, but, in all fairness to my faithful readers, the words I type will in no way, shape or form truly convey the horror that is now my new style.

I have no one to blame but myself.  I haven't had my hair cut in a few is a shorter hairstyle so realistically I should be in the salon every 5 weeks.  It was really shaggy and out of control.  I have been putting off making an appointment because I really haven't been in the mood to be out and about in society lately.  Plus, I can't justify spending $70 for a 10 minute hair cut when I have 3 kids.  The money can be put to better use.  So even though I know I am going to come out disappointed I strayed from the regular salon and opted for a more economical cut. 

I explain what I want to the stylist.  Stick to the same shape of the cut I have, just cut about 1/2 an inch off.  So she gets to work; washes, cuts and blow dries it.  It didn't look any different from when I walked fact, it somehow looked even longer and scragglier.  I voiced my concerns in a very nice way...she wet it again and got to work.  I was only half paying attention because Sara decided to get her hair done also, so as I was getting cut I was chatting with Sara's stylist. Big Mistake!!  When I finally looked in the mirror I was horrified.  Somehow she managed to defy all laws of physics and cut the top short and leave the back and sides longer, yet there was a circle of longer hair that was standing at attention right in the center of my head.  Kind of like a 3 tiered cake.  I know you are thinking, oh, like a mullet?  I wish it were a mullet...then there would be at least a name for it.  A traditional mullet is short on the top AND sides while longer in the back.  This is short on the top and longer on the SIDES and back.  I know it is hard to picture so let's see if I can paint a more descriptive picture for you;  so imagine an old man--bald on top with long scraggly hair around his whole head....kind of like Friar Tuck.  Then take that same man and put a really short toupee on top making sure it is kind of off center and askew.  Yeah, that is a good start.  Oh, then add a cowlick right in the front.  In 42 years I have never had a cowlick there but magically one appeared after this chick's handy work. 

I wish that were the end of the worst hair cut ever, but no my is even better.  On the left hand side of my head she left about 30 hairs untouched.  I have a tuft of hair sticking out a good two inches longer than the rest.  Hmmm...what to do?  What to do?  I have a couple of fantastic options; 1.  I could leave it and just have it blowing in the wind and make people try and figure out if that were a special request on my part, 2.  I could braid it into a rat tail and bring the late 80's back, or 3. I could curl it into a pretty little tendril and place baby's breath throughout.  I decided to take scissors to it and cut that sh*t off.

So there I was sitting in the salon with what is unequivocally the worst hair cut ever when a dad walks in with his two young impressionable daughters.  I know they were looking at me, though trying to not look too closely for fear of their corneas burning off, wondering if I am the "before" or "after" version of myself.  Poor things...they had such pretty hair when they walked in...

When you see me out and about no need to tell me it really isn't "that bad".  I have spent most of last night and early this morning painstakingly cutting each individual hair to try and get it to at least blend  and not look like some futuristic, shelf looking, cheap toupee.  I keep telling myself it is only hair it will grow back.  For the next few weeks I will be going heavy on the eye make-up trying to distract the world and have them focus on my baby blues instead of the bird's nest atop my noggin.

So I am giving Chuck a free pass.  If he wants to divorce me I will not contest him.  It is not because I do not love him, quite the opposite I do very much.  In our vows I remember saying things to the effect of; for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health...I do not, however remember any caveat about in good hair and in bad.  This is about as bad as it gets.

Now, who knows?  Maybe she is fantastic at what she does and was just pissed off at me for questioning her stylistic abilities after her first go around with my hair.  Maybe this is just hair dresser karma.  Maybe I should have just left well enough alone.  Or maybe she flat out sucks.  I will never know for sure.  What I do know for sure is that you all can rest easy the next time you sit in your stylist's will get a decent hair cut.  The worst cut ever has come and gone, and I have taken one for the whole human race.  You are welcome!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

#TBT #tiredhairymess #thankyou #whatthef*ckisahashtaganyway?

So I am not one to fall victim to trends or fads on Facebook. You will never see any #TBT pictures on my timeline.  I have never and will never "hash tag" anything....Oh, when did the pound sign become a hash tag?  And when for the love of God did the number sign change to a pound sign? I don’t pass along any of the electronic chain letters I get.  I don’t forward things to five friends.  I  won’t tell you how we met so you can assign me a number or whatever the heck people get assigned.    I also never get into the whole month of gratitude.  It always cracks me up seeing this poignant posts on people’s walls during November…I want to comment, “umm…I know you in real life…you are not that deep…you really are saying you are grateful for cozy socks, hot cider and a good book?...wasn’t it just last week you were complaining about the smell on the T, the jackass from the parent drop-off lane and the dumbass at Dunkin Donuts that can’t get your order right?”  Anyway, back to my post…I decided it was high time I share with all of you some of the things I am thankful for.
  • Thank you Pop Tarts.  Just as I was feeling bad about eating two of your chocolate crap cakes for breakfast I saw right on the box you are cholesterol free.  So my breakfast was kind of healthy after all.
  • Thank you Emily for waking me up at 5:03 a.m. EVERY.  DAY.  If you did not reach over and pull my eyelid open and stare at me while asking for “Peppa” I might forget to wake up and miss out on my day. 
  • Thank you again to Emily for somehow finding your way into my bed each night.  It's not like I really want a good night's sleep anyway.
  • Thank you to all of my children for staying up past 8 p.m.  If you went to bed on time I would actually get a chance to watch my crush, the one and only Anderson Cooper...thank you for taking away my 60 minutes of happiness.
  • While we are talking about the lovely Anderson Cooper, thank you to the world for being so effed up I can’t watch the Coop while my children are awake.
  • Thank you Anna for collecting and storing in Ziplock bags the cat whiskers, cat nail trimmings and rogue cat hair wisps you find around the house.  I may be the mother to a budding serial killer but at least the house is free of cat hair.
  • Thank you to the TV channel TLC and your show My 600 lb. life.  If it weren’t for you I may have put down the bag of Doritoes after a few chips, but, thanks to your programming I ate the whole bag and felt validated in my decision to “go all in”…bring on the scooter!
  • Thank you to first grade Common Core Math for solidifying my 7 year old’s burgeoning sense that her mother really doesn’t know everything.
  • Thank you peri menopuase for effing up my body.  I really was hoping at some point to relive my teenage acne…oh, and I always had dreams of running away with the circus…thanks to you I am single-handedly keeping Clearasil in business and I am well on my way to being able to fill in for the bearded lady should she need to take a leave.  You are just awesome!

Thank you to anyone who made it through my cranky post.  #youarewaybetterthanme