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.

 

forgiveness for all…except for Monica Lewinsky


Yes, I’ll admit it. I will be reading Monica Lewinsky’s essay in Vanity Fair. What can I say? I’m curious. The Clintons have had their say, to some extent, in the past. Practically every pundit over the last two decades has too. Why not hear what the other woman has to say?

photography by Mark Seliger – Vanity Fair

That’s when the chorus of who cares is heard along with the collective sighs and eye rolls.

Sure some question the timing of it all given the anticipation of Hillary throwing her hat into the 2016 Presidential ring. I mean what better way to distract us all from things like the timing of Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy or whether or not a grandmother is fit for office or Benghazi or the entire history of 1990s ranging back to Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Foster and a host of other hoary names than to have Monica speak? Is it a Clinton conspiracy or perhaps the Republicans have their hand in this…I know, no one cares.

So why then should Monica be allowed to speak?

No one really cares anymore.

Well, except people like Rand Paul and Mika Brezinzski and Lynne Cheney and every other pundit and media outlet and Beyonce and late night comedians…See?! No one cares what the other woman has to say.

In the course of my adult life, I have known a few couples affected by marital infidelities. Of course there was shock, anger, sadness, some tears and many other emotions in our circle of friends. Eventually, forgiveness was given after apologies and proper penance from the cheating husbands. It helped, of course, that their wives also forgave and the marriages somehow survived the infidelities. But what of the other women? They were the other women! Branded with the “A” on their chests they were shunned and ignored and soon no longer a part of the circle. Collectively, no one cared what might have caused them to commit such indiscretions. No one cared of their pain or shame. Forgiveness? For the other women?

Are you kidding?!

I don’t know.

I honestly don’t.

I do know that I will be reading her essay because just like it take two to commit adultery, there is more than one story after the end of the affair. Whose to say which of the stories deserves to be heard and which ones do not? Who decides that the women in the affair doesn’t deserve the opportunity to share her truth as much as the adulterous man? This time, at least, I will try to listen.

Perhaps I am becoming less judgmental in my middle age. Bear with me…it’s a process.

no Self, you are lame!


#tutusrock is trending today and here’s why:

From Glam Runner’s Facebook page-

Excited to see our tutus in SELF Magazine … but shocked to see that running tutus are classified as lame. Especially considering the fact that this picture is from last year’s LA Marathon when Glam Runner founders Tara and Monika ran together as superheroes … because Monika was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and was running a marathon in the middle of a year of chemo.

Never mind that Self is a few years behind the trend, this BS meter is what’s really lame.

Because runners do run through the city wearing tutus…

and in Central Park.

They even put on a tutu to run their very first half marathon on their 48th birthday. Yeah they do!

Tutus are even spotted running in the mud.

Yes, Self, you are correct. Sparkly, frou-frou skirts don’t make us run faster. We already knew that. But they often make running fun. They empower us. They make us smile. They make other people smile.

 

photo from Glam Runner

The real story behind this photo is not that tutus are a “lame” fad. Despite what SELF Magazine published, it is not that “people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster.”

The real story behind this photo is that Tara and Monika, pictured here, are board members for Girls on the Run San Diego. They founded Glam Runner, a business that sells running tutus, to raise funds for the council. They are dedicated to helping grow the program in their community. The real story behind this photo is that the awesome duo were running the LA Marathon while Monika was receiving chemotherapy treatments for brain cancer.

One of our core values is to stand up for yourself and others, so we are standing up for Tara and Monika, as well as every other runner who has finished a race feeling awesome in a tutu.

Unfortunately, when Self reached out to Monika Allen for permission to use her photo in the April 2014 issue, they didn’t bother to get the story behind the photo, why they were wearing tutus dressed as Wonder Woman and Super Woman. I wonder if they even noticed that it says “Die, Tumor, Die” on Tara’s race bib. But the story wouldn’t have fit well in their mocking and declaration that running while wearing a tutu is lame. Of course that fits in perfectly with Self Magazine’s mission to help us love our healthier, happier, more confident selves; right along with their photoshopped covers.

The thing is, Self, the running community is tight knit, accepting, encouraging and we stick up for one another. Whenever one is down, another one is there to pick them up. Girls compete against each other, women and men empower each other. Rather than poke fun at women (and men) wearing tutus and running through Central Park, perhaps Self should be celebrating the fact that they out there being active, striving for goals that helps them become their all around best. Perhaps when Self contacted Monika through GlamRunner, they should have taken the time to look through their site a little more closely and see who and what they are all about. Then maybe Luci Danziger, Editor In Chief of Self, would have never had to apologize in the first place; because she would have known what Monika has been through. Yes, it indeed was an error, a stupid mistake and it never should have been run in the first place.

That, Self, is what is lame this month!

maybe it’s just me but…


Iowa dad, Alan Andersen, like many other parents, including myself, picks up his kid from school every day. Such a good parent! Still it can be tedious waiting and waiting for your kid to come to the car. I know because my darling son takes the time to say good bye to all of his teachers (past and present) and the cafeteria ladies and the yard duty workers and the crossing guards at dismissal time every day. I try not to complain too much after all because that was something I wished for him a couple years ago when I was fighting for the school district to not move him to yet another school campus. It can also be stressful because as any parent knows the school pickup/dropoff queue can be insanity on any given day. A parent can get rather stabby while trying to wait and navigate this mess that is the school pickup/dropoff. So I usually try to find things to do to keep myself entertained while lined up with all the other parents. There’s always a good book, or emails or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. For Alan Andersen it seems that this is what he does.

For nearly six minutes he video recorded his daughters’ classmates slipping and falling on a patch of ice next to his car. Does he offer assistance? No, of course not because, um, it’s funny? Maybe. Perhaps. But six minutes?! He is recording this and laughing hysterically, mocking these kids with his daughter joining in. “We’re kind of bad people.” , they seem to agree with one another as they continue to laugh hysterically for nearly six minutes. Thankfully, it seems that no one got hurt. I would hope that if someone did he would have put the phone down and got out to offer help.

Hopefully.

Meanwhile the video has gone viral with everyone agreeing that it is hysterically funny watching kids slipping and falling on ice.

Well, except for me.

I agree with the dad that yeah, he is kind of bad people laughing at children slipping and falling on ice right in front of him.

But that’s just me.

play it again: Dear Mrs. Hall


Mrs. Hall certainly struck a nerve in September. Some loved her and some, well, some could not believe that which she wrote to the young girls out there taunting and tempting her poor, dear, sweet, innocent, adolescent boys. As the mother of daughters and a son and the wife of a darling husband who time and again calls bullshit on the idea that a guy just can’t help himself I had to say something…as did, oh my goodness, pretty much every other blogger out there.

Originally published September 4, 2013

You wrote and shared a blog post to inform and educate teenaged girls everywhere on how they should behave online if they want to be friends with your boys.

Um…

And then you shared it again.

Well, Mrs. Hall I get how you sit down with your boys and, as a family, check out that which appears on their Facebook feeds, Twitter stream, Instagram and anywhere else in their social media world. Good for you! I creep on my kids’ social media sites too. Sure you might balk at me referring to it as creeping but let me assure you that kids do call it creeping when their parents check their social media feeds. You don’t have to be defensive about it. You’re just being a good parent paying attention to what is going on in your kids’ world. Good for you! Good job! You’re still creeping…so am I.

Like you, I sometimes see things posted by their friends that could be considered inappropriate or perhaps something they wouldn’t want a coach or teacher or college admissions clerk or employer to see; something you hope to never see on your own children’s feeds.

Right?

They way I see it is these are those teachable moments for my kids and me. Kind of like you do.

Except I see it as a teachable moment for my OWN child of how THEY should behave online…not how they’re friends should behave…or whether or not that person is good enough to be their friend. Like it or not, it’s not our job as parents of adolescents to dictate who they can or can not be friends with…unless you want them to hang out forever with exactly who you don’t want to hang out with. We certainly can and should keep tabs on the people they choose to hang out with online and offline but our kids are thisclose to being adults who can choose friends without our consent. As hard as it is, we need to respect this reality just a little bit.

Mrs. Hall I don’t blame you for being shocked by some of the more provocative pictures you might see on your boys’ social media sites from their friends. Really I don’t. But honestly, you really think a selfie of a female classmate or youth group member is going to lead your precious boys astray down that horrid path of thinking about…

S-E-X

???

because teenaged boys with raging hormones and body parts that sometimes seem to have a life of their own is not happening in your house full of teenaged boys unless they are PROVOKED by a GIRL!

Of course it is the girl’s fault you say because she is posed that way in her jammies and, and she’s not wearing a bra! It’s stirring things up in your boys that they just can’t control…not at all!

Bullshit, Mrs. Hall!

Yes, I call bullshit. Sorry if that offends you. But it is bullshit. My darling husband says it is every time someone plays the men just can not control those urges and thoughts card. Of course they can because those are somebody’s daughters. Enough with the slut shaming and blaming. Boys can be taught to have some self control and some respect. They need to be. They should be.

Mrs. Hall you missed the teachable moment…the right teachable moments.

First of all here is one of those moments where you teach those boys of yours how to treat a young lady…any young lady regardless of how she might be dressed or not dressed. These girls, as you yourself noted, are so much more than their tits and asses with a unique and colorful world-view that you enjoy. Like you yourself said, these girls are interesting and smart people. Teach your boys that. Teach them to look beyond the physical of the person…the person who just so happens to be female with female body parts just like your female body parts. Teach them this. Those are the men who are good, moral and upstanding…and who make great husbands..and fathers of daughters and sons.

Second of all teach your boys that provocative selfies probably aren’t the best thing to make public…probably not the best thing to share privately…probably not the best thing to take at all. Yes it seems that sexy, pouty selfies in the bedroom or the bathroom or anywhere practically are the thing with some teenaged girls but let me assure you that TEENAGED BOYS DO IT TOO! Remember I have creeped on my teenaged GIRLS social media sites. I too have seen things that I can’t ever unsee of nice, good teenaged boys from good homes just like yours! Selfies of them shirtless, in their shorts, in their boxer briefs, with just a towel barely wrapped around their body below their waists….

BOYS DO IT TOO!!!

How dare these boys pose in such ways and post them where my sweet daughters can see them and cause them to think thoughts…thoughts that they have no control over…

Oh for goodness sake, Mrs. Hall. Here is where we must teach our own children how to behave and think and have some self-control.

Mrs. Hall, teenaged girls and teenaged boys are going to do a lot of stupid things all in the name of growing up and discovering who they are as an adult…an adult like it or not who is very much a sexual being. Yes, it is our job as parents to guide them with what is appropriate and what is not appropriate and how to make good choices for themselves and anyone they might be attracted to. Then we are to trust them. We also need to trust ourselves…trust ourselves as parents who have done our very best to raise up our kids to be the best possible men and women that they can be for themselves and their future partners.

I know it’s hard but we have to…unless you really want to be helicoptering over…

EW!

Along with trusting them and ourselves we need to be forgiving because they are going to make some mistakes and even some bad choices… like everyone else…like myself and like you (you did point out that you have made some doozies of mistakes). We need to be willing to offer second chances…and third chances…and fourth…and fifth…and sixth…and seventh and eighth chances. We don’t have to offer ninth chances…unless that one of my kids makes that mistake again for the ninth time then I will have to wrestle with that line I have drawn.

Believe me, Mrs. Hall, if you have done your very best to raise up those sons and daughter right they will be okay. They will be men and women we can be proud of. They will be the man or woman their in-laws will adore. I have three adult children now to reassure me of this truth everyday that my darling husband and I continue to nurture their younger sister and brother.

Thank you for your time, Mrs. Hall.

You take care now.

Mrs. Scarborough