my plus 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5


Do you remember your first?

Seriously, get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about politics. Do you remember your first political experience? How about the first time you voted? And the best personal political experience in your lifetime ever? This weekend I had the opportunity to hear some pretty amazing, smart women, women who when they speak politicians listen, share some of their first and best experiences as we gathered together to talk politics…naturally…and women…and women in politics…and healthcare and politics…and elections…and the upcoming midterm elections…and why a dear friend sitting next to me needs to someday soon put herself out there to run.

I remember my first political experience. I was 13 years old. Mommy Dearest dragged me to a political protest against then Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter because of his non-stance on abortion at that point in his campaign; which was kind of awkward and strange all around since Mom was a life-long Democrat and a self-proclaimed feminist because it was the 70s and because she scarcely could talk to me about periods at that time much less the mechanics of where babies came from. Yet there I was, standing next to her holding a sign declaring that God was at war against abortion. I was thirteen years old. My picture appeared on the front page of the Pittsburgh Press holding that damn sign as Mr. Carter walked by smiling and waving. Mom was standing next to me smiling and waving too. Oh gawd, I was mortified!!! I was thirteen.

My best political experience was the 1988 General Elections. I was in college working towards my nursing degree and taking care of prereqs like Political Science. Since we were just four months away from the General Election, our professor deigned to focus on taking us through the California ballot for that year studying each and every candidate and initiative on the ballot that year so that each of us would be able to go to the polls truly informed and voting as such. I aced the course and yes, I entered the voting booth for the very first time as a truly informed, confident voter. I brought my +1 too before it was even cool to bring a +1. Of course we wore our matchy-matchy acid wash jeans and big 80’s hair because 80’s.

I am so sorry Hollie! Truly.

But I will never apologize for taking you and Zoë and Abby and Jodie and Daniel to the polls.

Then again, perhaps my best political experience were the days Hollie, Zoë, Abby and Jodie all voted for the first time. When our government mucks up things that affect these ladies I love to remind them that my kids care and my kids vote. Yeah, my greatest political accomplishment is my kids vote…my kids think and my kids vote. Okay, fine. Four out of five of my kids vote…for now. Then again, 2020 will come soon enough.

Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to meet and talk to, laugh with and share with some extraordinary women who are committed to encouraging and training women to be leaders in their communities. Breaking bread with some of them we discussed healthcare and politics and what I believe to be a poorly written, tugging at your aching-breaking heart proposition that will appear on the California November ballot.

The biggest takeaways from political suite talks I engaged in this weekend? Politics is indeed personal because politics affects us all… we women…our access to healthcare…our children…our community. We can indeed be part of the change and we can make a difference with our words and our actions. We must. Anything we say or do, no matter how big or how small.we might imagine it to be can and will and does make a difference. Discussing what I learned this weekend with my +1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 I know I am because 4 of them vote.

In 100 days is our U.S. General Election. Regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself arguing, it’s imperative you are part of the process — along with your +1. In fact, your +1 may vote entirely opposite from you but what matters is you are both at the polls on election day.

 

and after the show


Nothing shows more birthday love than some “Man-Cake” maple chocolate bacon cupcakes from Christina’s Cupcakes.

Am I right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah…just hurry up with the “Happy Birthday” song so I can enjoy my chocolately, maplely, bacon man-cake goodness.

All kidding aside, my darling husband did enjoy his day of moving furniture for his first-born, magic compliments of Alex Ramon, tri-tip dinner with his noisy family circus gathered round followed with some delicious cupcakes and ice cream because it is also National Ice Cream Day

coincidence?

I think not.

 

invisible in a bikini


Summer is most definitely here and the time is right to bare a little skin at the beach, at the pool, at the water park, at the lake and even on the Dirty Delta because it’s hot, we want to get wet and because it’s fun.

It is fun.

Well, for the body confident, the tan, the fit, the young.

If you listen to women’s and girls’ conversations about swimsuits it would seem that it isn’t fun at all. At one point in all of our lives we have had that moment of anxiety and self-loathing as we regarded ourselves in a harshly lit dressing room dressed in the bikini that looked perfect on the rack. “What happened?“, we wonder, as we regard every real and imagined imperfection, dimple, roll, sag, stretch mark perfectly highlighted in the most non-flattering light possible as we stand before the most unforgiving (and likely angled) mirror.

And while most of us fretted, stressed, starved, covered up and berated ourselves for not having the confidence to rock that perfect two piece swimsuit there are women all over the interwebs and in the news right now who are wearing that bikini and writing about it or posting pictures of it: a fat woman, another plus sized woman, an insulin pump dependent diabetic beauty queen, a woman living with Crohn’s Disease and a colostomy.

Oh, and a 52 year old woman wore a bikini poolside every day last week while staying in Las Vegas with two of her daughters and her grand daughters.

No one noticed. No one cared. No, not because I am over 50 and everyone knows that women of a certain age are indeed invisible once they are women of a certain age. No one noticed because everyone was too busy having fun enjoying that perfect pool, with their perfect, over-priced, poolside refreshments on a perfect sunshine-y day. I doubt anyone could see my birth date stamped on my ass indicating that I should not be wearing that bikini…including some of the men I caught briefly glancing at my ass as I walked by. Even if they could, I doubt anyone really cared. Nor did they care that my exposed, rounded belly once carried four of my five babies…at least no one asked. And although they might have noticed the blinding paleness of my SPF 50 coated body, no one stopped me demanding that I cover up right now. No one really cared and neither did I.

I wore a bikini every day while in Vegas last week because I wanted to…because I can…because I have limited time on this Earth to feel the sun on my skin (protected by sunscreen of course)…because the weather and that gorgeous pool pretty much said so.

when I find myself in times of trouble


Sometimes life is just not much fun which I explain to my young adult children is why it sucks to be a grownup. I told them when they were younger too but they never listened then as children anxious to be grown up never do.

Today was one of those days where life pressed down a little too hard…a migraine…the eye twitchy thing…worrying about work (or lack of) and finances and a broke-ass car that we can’t afford to replace but replace we must and my kids (as their mom I always do worry every damn day because I’m their mom, dammit!)…dealing with my brother’s texts full of lectures and fears about Mommy Dearest’s colonoscopy because routine is never a reality for them which only served to amp up the eye twitchy thing into hyper-drive…and a scary-assed, WTF-is-happening-around-us, near miss driving from Stockton with my son in the car this afternoon. Quite frankly I just wanted to curl up into a ball and weep and wait for sleep or relief from any of what was pressing down upon me too hard to come.

And then the neighbors came over.

This kind of helps.

Actually it helps a lot.