Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mom, Killer of All Dreams

I've always considered myself a supportive mom. Wherever my children find joy, I'll support their choices, no matter what. Like when my little one declared she wanted to grow up to be a dogwalker, I said "Great! Let's practice," and handed her our dog's leash. She gave up on that dream when she found out that picking up poo was involved. Sorry, kid. I don't enjoy it either.

Up to now, this strategy has been conflict-free. My eldest loves fencing and wants to be a scientist (for now, of course. I realize this may change.) Okay. So we schlep to fencing lessons, sign up for classes at the Natural History Museum, and escort her out to marine bio camp. Great. Knock yourself out.

My little one likes tennis and wants to be famous. Tennis is easy enough. Kind of a pain in the ass in Manhattan, but doable. Famous? Oh sure, how cute, right? No. She wants to be famous RIGHT NOW. She's caught on to the fact that kids can be models and actors. A child we know has a small part this summer in her second movie, this time alongside a very dreamy movie star. So little one wants me to send some photos off to a talent agency and set her on the road to stardom. 

I explained that it was a tough business. IF she even got started, she'd be trying out for jobs just based on looks and often she wouldn't get them. I know (well!) how much rejection sucks. I'm a grown woman and sometimes I die a little after reading "...not for us. Good luck." I can't imagine being a child and someone telling me I wasn't pretty enough, or tall enough, or thin enough. The feminist in me is screaming--positively bursting to get out!--but I toned her down. 

At least with writing, I can pretend that my manuscript was good, it just wasn't right for their list. No one's implying that I'm ugly, or too chubby, or have stumpy legs, or whatever. And even if everyone hated my writing, I could always put an effort into improving. Not so with modeling.

I'm not maligning other people's choices for their children. Not every child in that business leads the life of Toddlers & Tiaras. I do think most stage moms probably have what's best for their child in mind. But, just...I can't. Not yet.

So I said no. When she's older, fine. And I'm happy to sign her up for drama lessons or whatever she likes. If she still wants to act when she's grown, I'll be sitting in the front row.

I did the right thing. Right? Yes? I hope so. Or am I foisting my issues on my kid? 

What would you do?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bring it, Bill.

You know those idiots you see on the news, checking out the dangerous waves just before a hurricane comes? Yeah, that's me. Hurricane Bill is (way) offshore today and he's kicking up some huge swells. 

We went out to Flying Point this morning and there was NO beach left. The wooden steps to the sand went directly down into churning water--plus one of the lifeguard stands was in danger of floating away. 

So what do we do? Drive to the Montauk Point lighthouse to check out some EVEN BIGGER and MORE DANGEROUS waves. Of course, also like an idiot, I didn't bring my camera. The photo above is captured from another site. It was sunny today, so just picture some crashing waves.

There must have been, I don't know, a hundred surfers out there in the 12 ft waves and they were amazing to see. Although being a mommy has ruined me for watching risky activities. I was stressed the entire time "Watch it! Oh! He's going to run into that guy! Be careful! Hey, be safe out there!" ("OMG, mom, shhh!") And no, I wasn't about to let my daughter out there with her board. These were grown men and women. We watched from the cliffs. 


Friday, August 14, 2009

While I'm out...

...enjoy some vintage ads with stereotypical women.
Always fun!
For the love of God, watch out! A woman is at the wheel!

I think I know where I'd tell this guy to stick his coffee.

This commercial makes me want to kill myself. I don't think Jello is going to solve her problems. She needs something a little stronger.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mad Storytellin' Skillz

I hear a lot of debate among the writerly inclined about the literary merit of certain popular authors. Just head over to Absolute Write and post about how much you love Dan Brown or Stephanie Meyer if you want to see some serious ire. 

Now, I'm not defending either author. Conspiracy theories don't do it for me, and neither does hot vampire loving (I don't mean to offend, dear fans of Lestat, Edward, and Bill. Whatever gets you going is fine by me.) But I have read at least a bit of both TDC, and while I doubt they will win any prestigious awards for prose, the authors have one thing in common: they can tell a hell of an interesting story. 

Nor am I some kind of lowest common denominator-loving philistine. I love exquisite prose. I love when I read an insightful passage that makes me read it three times over, just to experience it again. I love when writing makes me go "Oooooo!" and I look at something in a different way. 

But I also love a good page-turner. Or a book that keeps me up giggling late at night. It's doubtful Comparative Lit majors are going to study the intricacies of Bridget Jones' Diary for generations to come, but I'm happy I experienced her charm--how could you NOT love Bridget and her granny panties? (Well, some might not. That book, like any, can be filed under Not My Thing.) 

All the anger just makes me shake my head. I read an article recently about how some foodie bloggers hated Julie & Julia because it wasn't true to food and pure or somesuch. Let me tell you how much that will come into my enjoyment of the movie: not one little bit. I similarly doubt that most readers care that Meyers used too many adjectives, or used SHOW over TELL too much, or whatever. She's got herself some mad storytelling skillz. I'd like some of that!

Anyway, that's just my opinion. What's yours?