Sunday, January 24, 2010

This conversation brought to you by the idiots at ABC

Last week, ABC dunked me and LittleG face first into a conversation I was hoping not to have for awhile. Some genius at ABC decided it would be ok to run a promo for the Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice crossover where McSteamy drops trou and ends up with Addison on top of him on the floor in her office. All of this at 7:30 pm. And so it went like this.....

LittleG: Mom, is that sex?
Me: Yes, LittleG, that is sex.
LittleG: Mom, do you and Dad have sex?
Me: Yes, LittleG, all married people have sex.

This would have been a whole lot easier on both of us if MrG had not been in the room about to either burst an artery or hyperventilate. Thankfully, we only skimmed the surface of the subject. We still have all those fun things to cover, like how sex works, and how sometimes unmarried people have sex, or people married to other people have sex. I think I'll go burst an artery now.

C'mon ABC, she's 6, and I'm having this conversation with my Kindergartener?? I hate to sound like a fuddy duddy old mom, but for the love of all that's holy, can we keep the naked guys off t.v. at that hour of the night?

Prudishly yours,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The old switcheroo

Some substitutions are easy ones to make, and they work beautifully.

Are you out of buttermilk and need some for a recipe? Substitute plain white milk with a bit of lemon juice or white vinegar. Sour cream and plain yogurt are interchangeable just about all the time. Rum works as well in eggnog as bourbon does. Shower gel makes a nice replacement for bubble bath if you can squirt it in the tub when your kid isn't looking.
Plain water in a squirt bottle works exceedingly well when you are out of Monster Spray.

All of these are good. Some, I've found, are not. My dad suggested one time that instead of baby wipes, I use the Clorox wipes in his bathroom to clean up LittleG. God bless his soul, he meant it.

Here are some other examples, from my real life, in the past two months. I have been either really distracted, or I am a total loser. You really can't make this stuff up, folks.

  1. Do not squirt Shout onto your counter top in place of 409. It definitely does NOT Shout the stains out, and it does make one big greasy mess.
  2. Just because your carton of Eggnog looks just like your carton of Heavy Cream, you cannot make mashed potatoes with Eggnog. Well, you can, but they are truly awful.
  3. You should not attempt to wash your hair with conditioner. The bottles look the same. The result? Not the same.
  4. You cannot substitute a brown shoe for a black shoe, even if they shoe styles are exactly the same. Someone at Starbucks will notice, and that's just embarrassing.
  5. It's a bad idea to buy a big tub of Eucerin creme to use on all your dry scaly places when your big tub of hair goo looks just like it. Turns out hair goo is no better on scaly places than Eucerin is in your hair. Yes, I've done that switcheroo both ways, with equally catastrophic results. Sometimes a girl just gets busy and doesn't pay attention.
  6. Don't wash your face using the moisturizer in the EXACT same packaging as your cleanser. Write your own joke here.
  7. Part 2, don't put your facial cleanser on your face in place of your moisturizer, then get halfway through your makeup routine before you diagnose why things just don't feel "right." Laugh out loud at your own joke here.
  8. Don't use baby powder in place of carpet freshener. You will be cleaning a fine mist of baby powder off of your baseboards and flat surfaces for as long as you live in your home. Don't judge me people, I had a musty room and a linen closet full of powder I was NEVER going to need for my now school age child.
  9. A plain old tissue works well for cleaning up a smudge on reading glasses. A Puffs Tissue with Lotion, not so much.
  10. Skittles may look like M&Ms, but they are clearly not candy coated chocolates. Therefore, you should not make cookies with them.
  11. You can add a splash of boxed mashed potato flakes to thicken up mashed potatoes with too much liquid. You should not add Bisquick instead.
  12. Hair Spray and Air Spray sound alike. But boy do they have a different effect on your hair. I'm just saying.
And one more I don't have experience with, but I find it hysterical to consider. Don't ever take your little blue Ambien pill in place of your little blue Viagra pill, or vice versa. Seems like no good could come from either switch.

Ever forward friends, until we meet again!
Lady Steele

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I've struggled for a long time with this post - it is a sensitive topic, but it's been on my mind for a long time now. I hope I do it justice.

First, a little background. I am White. Lily White. Pasty White. I have blue eyes and freckles. Oh So White. My maternal grandmother traced our genealogy, and I'm pretty sure we are Scotch/Irish all the way back to Adam and Eve. MrG is Mexican Hispanic. His mother was born in Mexico, and his father was born in Texas to Mexican immigrants. Legal, I will add, not that it's any of your damn business.

LittleG is a perfect mix of me and her dad. She has beautiful brown eyes and long flowing dark hair like his side of the family. She gets her freckles and her temper from mine. She is quite possibly the most amazing White Caucasian Mexican Hispanic ever born. She also just recently found out she's part Mexican, and the news did not go over well.

We had never addressed the issue of her heritage with her, because for us, it's not an issue. My parents did not teach me to see skin color. Race was never discussed in our home when I was growing up, and clearly it wasn't an issue for MrG's family either, since they took me in to their very family with nary a bump in the road. And thank heavens for that.

And therein lies the problem. Skin color doesn't matter to us, so I guess we just assumed it wouldn't matter to her. Oopsie.

The face that little adorable Juanita makes in the clip above? EXACTLY the one we got when LittleG found out SHE is part Mexican. She is also part Lily White, but that doesn't seem to bother her much.

The only time skin color or race has mattered to me personally is when I've been asked to categorize the race of my daughter. I don't know how to answer that question. She is as White/Caucasian as she is Hispanic/Latino. And yet, there's no box for "Both" when it comes time to assign a race to your child. You're forced to pick one, thereby arbitrarily assigning her to a demographic category that will follow her for the rest of her life.

We saw this last winter when the headlines screamed "Black Man Elected President." Really? The guy is every bit as White as he is African American, but nobody was saying anything about "Half Black Half White Guy" getting elected to anything. I guess Mrs. Obama was forced to choose a box for her kid 48 years ago, and she selected African American over White/Caucasian.

Please don't misunderstand - I TOTALLY get it that we as a nation celebrate the fact that an African American was elected, even if he is part white. African Americans were, for far too long in our country, held as second class citizens, and Barak Obama's rise to the most powerful office in the land has historical significance that we are probably only beginning to understand.

But I don't celebrate his election because he's black. I celebrate because he was the right guy for the job. I voted for him, and in spite of current popular opinion, I would do it again. His skin color didn't have a damn thing to do with why I voted for him. And it shouldn't have mattered to anyone else as far as I'm concerned.

And there's the rub. We just can't look at him as a man. We have to see him as a black man. But as I said, he is as white as he is black. So WTF?

Minority groups have for decades asked for equal treatment - fighting for it, losing their lives in some cases. The civil unrest brought about by folks like Rosa Parks and nine brave students from Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas certainly shook things up back in the 1950s. Cesar Chavez and his band of farm workers took a stand in the 1960s and forever changed the face of migrant farming in our country.

And yet these same groups fight now for recognition and celebration of their races that would never be tolerated for Whites/Caucasians. We have Black Heritage Month, Asian Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanics have their own scholarship programs, 100% race based. We have
Essence Magazine, "the black woman's guide to what's hot now."

History months and scholarships, and magazines, oh my!

But what's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander, at least where skin color is concerned.

Can you imagine what would happen if my white brothers and sisters suddenly created their own White History Month? What about their own White Scholarship program? I can hear the motto now, "money for college, but only for the white kids!" And what about
Lily White Mag, what every white skinned beyotch needs to know?

The outrage that would follow our celebration of our skin color to the exclusion of others is almost unimaginable. And yet, it's ok for minorities to celebrate their heritage and race, and we are not supposed to complain? Again - WTF?

As our racial groups become more blurred, I think the question of race becomes even harder to answer, and perhaps less important. What happens, for example, if LittleG ends up married to a man who is the son of a Pakistani man and a Korean woman? What little racial box will her kid fit in? Furthermore, why the hell should we care?

I think the answer is that we should just all go blissfully, stupidly colorblind. You want to celebrate your skin color? Do it, whether you're black or brown or white or red. But don't deny me the opportunity to do the same. You want to marry someone who is a different color than you are? Do it. I did, and it worked out pretty damn well.

Until we do go coast-to-coast colorblind, we'll still be forced to fill in our little race box when it comes time to apply for a job (for demographic purposes only, of course!!), get a drivers license, or fill out a a census. We'll still be able to read our racially biased magazines (or not, for us white folks). We'll still check a box on a birth certificate to indicate the racial make up of our child, even if it's only half right.

I think it's just a crying damn shame that my little Mexican kid might have opportunities available to her, or denied to her, that my little white kid might not have. It's too bad colorblind couldn't get here a generation ago.