Monthly Archives: June 2013

Throwback Thursday: Get In Shape, Girl!

For my 7th or 8th birthday (I can’t remember which), I received the “Get In Shape, Girl!” kit.  It came with a leotard, tights, leg-warmers, a headband, free-weights, an instructional poster and a dance ribbon.  Here’s a shot of me sporting the entire ensemble:GetinShape

For nostalgia’s sake, you can click HERE for the video.

My memory is fuzzy now, but I think I may have actually requested this as a gift.  From the picture, you can tell I wasn’t out-of-shape (in fact, I rocked the Presidential Physical Fitness Test at school every year – flexed arm hang was my b*#ch.)  The fact that this was even a “toy” says a lot about women and society, but I wasn’t thinking about that at 8. Honestly, I’m not sure what I was thinking.  Maybe I was drawn to it because aerobics was something grown-up women did and it made me feel grown up.  Perhaps I was just drawn to the leotard, which I wore when I pretended to be a member of the 1984 US Olympics Gymnastics Team.

Whatever my reasoning, this was the first in a long line of exercise purchases that have included machines, weights, bands, videos, books, and outfits.  Like most of those things, I’m pretty sure I only used my “Get In Shape, Girl!” kit a handful of times before abandoning it to my closet shelf.




Grandparent Swap

Jim and I spent the past weekend here:Wallervillebloga

Nice, huh?

My family has been coming here since long before I was born.  It’s private and quiet, and at night you can see more stars than you’ve ever seen in your life outside of a telescope.

For various reasons, when we go we don’t bring the kids to stay with us the whole weekend.  Instead, we leave them with my parents who bring them up for the day on Saturday.  We get to sleep a little later, play with our children during the day, and send them home.  It’s almost like we’re….um…let me think….grandparents!

While they were there, we had fun spending time with them:Wallervilleblogb

When they weren’t, we could relax:Wallervilleblogc

This weekend, Jim took full advantage of the situation by telling 6yo she could have a treat whenever she asked.

“Sure, have another cookie!”

About 20 minutes before they all went home for the night, she was hopped up on M & Ms and cookies and was running in circles for the heck of it.  As they were getting ready to leave, my mother commented, “Boy, she’s really sugared up!”

Heh, heh, heh.

Throwback Thursday: Barbie Serial Killer

Barbie Dolls.  I had them.  Lots of them.

I also had the Barbie car, the Barbie patio set, The Barbie piano, the Barbie horse…..

My father built me a beautiful doll house for my Barbies, which my mother painted, wall-papered, and furnished.  It was lovely and I spent hours playing with them.  (I don’t actually want my daughter to play with Barbies, but I’ll cover that in another post.)

There were three things that I loved to do with my Barbies:

Stage them in various scenes from my favorite Broadway musicals.  This was difficult because I only had two Ken Dolls.  Sometimes G.I. Joe had to stand in as Curly in Oklahoma.  When re-enacting Into the Woods, Brunette Ken played the Baker, Cinderella’s Prince, and the Wolf, while Blonde Ken covered the parts of Jack, Rapunzel’s Prince, and the Narrator.  I think, for Les Miserables, I may have also had to “borrow” some Transformers from my brother for a rousing Mattel rendition of “One Day More.”

Me, with the "Ladies who Lunch"

Me, with the “Ladies who Lunch”

Murder them.  Ok, so maybe playing happy housewife did not appeal to me.  Having Barbie stand in the kitchen or take a nap in the upstairs bedroom of her dream house was boring.  Instead, one of my Barbies would pretend to befriend my favorite Barbie (a redhead whose name was actually Midge) then betray her in some way.  Perhaps she would steal Midge’s jewels or kiss Brunette Ken when Midge wasn’t watching.  Midge would respond by first beating the crap out of Barbie, then finishing her off by stabbing her, running her over with her car, or shoving her off a cliff (i.e. my bed).  Sometimes I even smeared them with lipstick so they’d look all bloody.  Midge killed so many blonde Barbies that I’m sure she qualified as a serial killer.  I blame this on my father, who didn’t see it necessary to censor any of his television watching that he did in our playroom (because that’s where the recliner was).

Launch Them.  My brother and I are not particularly close, but if there’s any memory we can bond over it’s this one.  After knocking off too many Blond Barbies, Midge got her comeuppance when, one fateful day, my dog chewed off her foot.  She was no longer attractive to me as the femme fatale, so instead my brother and I took some yarn from our mother’s craft drawer, tied it around her neck, swung her in a big circle off our second-story deck and let her fly.  Because he was younger, it was his job to retrieve her from whatever field she landed in.  We learned that she would fly farther when she was naked and that, if you whipped the yarn too violently, her head would pop off and it would take you several minutes to figure out where it landed.

Good times.

If I ever decide to see a therapist, perhaps I should mention my Barbie playing habits. It may reveal a lot about me.  On second thought….

On the Brink

This is me.Louvre

It is July 2001 and I am 22.  I have recently graduated from college, ready to join the “real” world.  But first, I think I’ll stop and soak my feet in the fountains of the Louvre.  Sure, why not?   Just look at how relaxed I am.

(Also, try not to notice how my arms are bent really weird so they look like they’re inverted…..Did you look?  Ha! Now you can’t un-see it.  Weird, right?  I’ve tried to avoid bending them like that since my senior year of high school when I was sitting on the heater in my AP English class and Chris Rash told me I had freaky, weird-bending arms and it grossed him out.  This, from a guy who would snort a string up his nose, cough one end out of his mouth, and pretend to floss his brain – and who also had a last name that was something you got from Poison Ivy or unprotected sex. Anyway, I must’ve forgotten about my freaky arms for this picture.)

I don’t even really know the girl in this picture anymore, and she certainly doesn’t know me.  I don’t remember what I was thinking in the quiet of this captured moment, but I’m sure it wasn’t about mortgages, diapers, grading, or any of the things that occupy my mind today.  She’s almost unrecognizable.

I don’t have that many pictures of myself that I like, but this is one of my favorites.  Artistically, it’s not really that good of a photo and I look like any other 20-something American female tourist in Paris, but I smile whenever I come across it in my photo album.  That afternoon, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, I was a blank slate.  Unemployed, unmarried, and unencumbered by adult life.   Even more, I like to think that the girl in the picture – the one who spent the summer of 2001 traipsing around Europe instead of job searching – would be really happy to meet me.  She would be pleased with how we turned out.

I’m sure we all have things we would like to say to our younger selves.  Personally, I would simply tell the girl in the picture, “Everything is going to be wonderful.  Don’t worry about it.  Enjoy this moment.”Parisb-horz