Monday, January 28, 2008

The Pitfalls of Being a Mom with a Facebook

I have just been in Facebook. And there are new photos of my son at a friend's wedding this weekend. A photo of him with a cigarette. And I am hoping that it was just a party thing and that he has not started/continued smoking. With his family history, he should never have smoked a single cigarette. (Both grandfathers died of lung cancer or heart disease.) So, I'm bummed.

It's not like I have that many hard and fast rules for my children. Only one hole in each ear. No other piercings allowed. No tattoos. Ever. And they are not allowed to join any Catholic cults like Regnam Christi or Opus Dei (only a possible concern with the youngest and the oldest who tend to be very holy.) I always thought the no smoking thing was a no-brainer. But I guess I should have made it clear.

Email will be going out tomorrow to the girls.


• Facebooking: I just got a Facebook page at the urging of my teenage daughter. Considering that most of the teenagers I know would rather die than grant their parents Friend status to their Facebook pages, it did feel a bit funny to sign up. But she is thrilled and so are her sister, brother, and sister-in-law. And over the past week, as word has gotten out to their friends, I find I am getting about 1 new friend request a day from my children’s buddies. They all seem thrilled that Momma B is on Facebook. And it is nice to be able to see the photos they post and to leave the occasional message.

• Targeting Target: I am currently boycotting Target stores. Ostensibly it’s over their return policy, but what really has me upset is a total lack of common sense when it comes to the merchandise I want to return. The dispute is over a set of Target’s Home brand king-sized sheets (Please note that the sheets in question are the Target store brand. Not Wamsutta or another name brand.) My 85-year old mother gave them to us as a Christmas present in early December. Unfortunately, I don’t have a king-sized bed. I have a queen-sized bed. So, when I opened the present and saw they were a) the wrong size and b) the Target Home brand, I decided not to point out the error to my mom, who has some short-term memory issues that she is sensitive about. Based on my past experiences with exchanging Target store brand items, I figured I’d have no problem exchanging the set in question for the correct size.

Well silly me. I really should have asked Mom or my sister, who lives nearby, for the receipt. It’s been several years since I’ve had to exchange anything at Target and since then, the customer service department has been given a new return policy that they are evidently instructed to follow or else. And the policy is that if you don’t have a receipt, a gift receipt, or the credit card number that was used to purchase the item in question, then you are out of luck, especially if the item in question cost more than $20. You see they want to ensure that the item was purchased in the last 90 days. So, even though my king-sized sheet set is a Target store brand and even though this sheet set is currently offered for sale by Target, and even though the king-sized set costs exactly the same amount of money as the queen-sized set ($49.99), they will not let me exchange my sheets for the right size. And as far as I’ve been able to find out, no one, and I mean no one, within Target’s organization has the authority to use their common sense and say, “this is ridiculous, let the woman have the size sheets she needs.” And I did need the sheets.

I currently have a new set of queen-sized sheets. I bought them at Linens ‘n Things this weekend. And I still have the $50 king-sized sheets I can’t use. My mom, when she couldn’t find the receipt, offered to give me the money to buy the size I needed, but I’m not going to take it from her. Why should she have to shell out extra money just because of a lack of common sense on the part of Target’s management? Chances are I could check with my sister Julia and have her make the exchange for me as she probably bought them online for Mom. But Julia has her hands full these days between remodeling a building for a new store she is opening and dealing with Mom’s health issues. So, I guess I’m stuck with the sheets. Let me know if you hear of anyone who is in need of a set of white damask stripe king-sized sheets.

• Room Mothering:  At the beginning of the school year, the Upper School dean of students asked (begged) me to agree to be a room mother for my daughter’s 11th grade class. She had been unsuccessful so far in roping any of the other moms and she assured me that I was just her ‘yes’ mom. In other words, If I said yes, she would be able to assure the other moms that she actually had someone else to do it with them. So, I said yes, thinking how hard could this be? Well, it’s not hard, but it is annoying. And I’m having to do a bit more than I originally thought. Basically, this is coming at a bad time for me work-wise. But this too will pass.

Monday, January 21, 2008

This and That

Not sure how this is happening, but I'm actually updating. I have a day off from work and I should be doing stuff around the house (what is the record on waiting to take down the Christmas tree?), but I haven't posted since August and I'm long overdue.

Okay, lessee. Yes, my son's wedding went off beautifully. I did have a bit of trouble sleeping the night before the wedding, but it wasn't because I had over indulged at the rehearsal dinner or was freaking out because of doubts over what my son was about to commit to. No, I was having panic attacks over whether I was going to fit into my mother of the groom dress in the morning.

So, here's the deal. The wedding was in Seattle. We got there on Tuesday night and the wedding was Saturday morning. And this was basically a bit of a vacation for us. So, instead of exercising control, I basically ate whatever I wanted and didn't think a thing about it until I woke up sometime Friday night and the thought hit me: "What if I can't get the zipper up on the dress???"

Total freakout time. Because the dress in question, was this lovely fitted sundress in a bright coral pink that zips up the side. And in my experience, dresses that zip up the side are nightmare if you have put on that extra pound or two. What had I been thinking??? (Oh wait, I wasn't thinking, I was eating!!! Everything!!!) Now the dress did have a jacket, but let's face it, there was going to be something funky going on with the neckline if I couldn't get the damn thing to zip.

I somehow managed to make it to morning (thank you whoever invented xanax) and the first thing I did was get the dress out (did I mention that I didn't have a back-up plan/outfit?) I put it on the conventional way with the zipper on the side and got the zipper to the waistband. No go.
This was not good. Then I looked at the dress and decided it was time to get creative. I must give kudos here to whoever designed this dress for Talbots. The spaghetti straps on the dress are adjustable, ie. they have little buttonholes stiched into the back which allow you to adjust them. So, I unbuttoned the straps, swiveled the dress around so the zipper was in the front, sucked in my new, bigger gut (courtesy of the restaurants in Seattle and no common sense on my part) and got the dress zipped. I then swiveled the dress back around. Success!! I was able to get the dress on! I wasn't going to miss my son's wedding or have to go in my blue jeans.

So, here's a hint for you. If your child is getting married and you are going somewhere fabulous for the wedding and want to combine the wedding with a bit of a vacation, either don't go early and stay after the wedding, or, if you have to go up several days before the wedding, just go ahead and buy a bigger size.

The second thing I didn't expect was to cry as much as I did. And yes, I cried. I couldn't help myself. I just teared up at everything. At one point, I'm standing there with tears in my eyes and all the groomsmen are having fits trying not to laugh because Rachel's spouting more water than the batismal font/fountain in the church. Sheesh. It was embarrassing.

Seriously, though, it was a wonderful day (I must tell you about the ring bearers running around before the wedding, totally dressed except for their pants, which their normally uber-organized mother had left back at the hotel. The priest lost it when he saw them. Totally. Just started laughing and couldn't stop.) and I adore my new daughter-in-law.

More later. Really. I promise.