Weave together straw and white hairs, apparently

Noodle and I get in the car to go to swim class. I comb my hair with my hands, and Noodle asks, “Mama, do you give your white hairs to the birdies for their nests?”

Me: “What?”

Noodle: “You know, like the song we sing at school! Do you pull out your white hairs and give them to the birdies so they can build their nests? My friend’s mom does it–my friend told everyone at school!”

Me (making a mental note to text said friend’s mother and mock her mercilessly): “Well, Noodle, that would be a very nice thing to do, but I don’t have any white hairs, RIGHT?!”

Noodle (after a long pause): “Um, REALLY?”

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A public service announcement

I have bad eyes. Really bad eyes. Drop my glasses on the floor and I need someone to help me find them eyes.

So when I started having headaches and squinting to watch the TV from across the room, I knew it was time to go see the eye doctor. My prescription had changed and it was time for new glasses. Couldn’t I just get new lenses and throw them into my old frames? No, I could not do that because my frames were So Old that they might explode and everyone on earth would die. Or something like that.

I looked at the glasses at the optometrist’s office. There were no prices. I tried to tell myself that was because they were so super cheap that they didn’t even need to list the prices. Sadly, that was not the case. The cheapest of those motherfuckers was $250. JUST FOR THE FRAMES. When the lady calculated in the coke bottle lenses I would need and the special ones to make them not coke bottley and the anti-reflective coating, I was looking at $500 AT LEAST. I told the lady I would come back with my husband and I ran away.

I texted my cousin Sofie (who lives in our basement) and asked her the name of the glasses she was just telling me about. Warby Parker, she said. Her sister Pip had bought some and they were trying to get our grandmother to buy them too.

What the hell, I thought, and I went to the website. The frames were $95. Sweet action! And not only were the frames $95, but they offer a plan that allows you to choose five frames online and have them sent to you to try on, order, and ship back, all with free shipping! I checked out this option, but as I am Incredibly Indecisive, I couldn’t narrow it down to just five. Sofie and I were going to have to go to the store on Newbury St.

The place was a mob scene, but not so busy that I couldn’t try on the glasses. I narrowed it down to about five pairs, had Sof take pictures of me, and sent them to Bucket, who very rudely ignored me. So I narrowed it down to two and made Sofie choose. It was between a pair that was exactly like the ones I have now in a different color, and ones that were slightly bigger (though not so big that they looked like my father’s glasses from the 70’s–for real, America!?).

1000x480I waited in line for about 10 minutes to have an optometrist check my prescription, and another five to order the glasses from an adorable little hipster with big round glasses. She asked if I wanted the polycarbonate lenses because they would be an extra $30. Yes, I said, thinking that only $30 for polycarbonate lenses was a great deal.

So then she looked at me and asked for $125. I looked back at her and told her I needed lenses too. Yes, she said, that’s including the lenses. I stared at her, thinking, no, lenses cost at least $200. Really? I asked. Yes. REALLY? Yes. (At this point, she’s thinking it’s not only my eyes that need help.) I handed over my credit card and looked at Sofie, dumbstruck. Adorable hipster told me they would be mailed to me in 7-10 days, and we were on our way.

The whole way home, I kept looking at Sofie and yelling, “$125!” And she kept saying, “Yes, I KNOW. That’s why I told you to go there.” And we went home and I said to Bucket, “Guess how much my glasses were?” And he said, “$300.” And I said, “NO! $125!” And he stared at me, just as confused and disoriented as I was when I heard the price.

And I haven’t even gotten to the best part. For every pair of glasses, Warby Parker makes a donation to VisionSpring, a nonprofit that trains people in low income countries to sell glasses at very low prices so that jobs are created and people can see. Everybody wins! They have provided people with A MILLION pairs of glasses so far. If you don’t believe me, look here.

$125 for a new set of glasses. $125!!! If I was going to have any more kids, I would name the next one Warby Parker.*

I might not have to get Lasik after all.

*(And they do sunglasses!)

I have no affiliation with Warby Parker, but man do I wish I did.

36

A few weeks ago, I turned 36 (oh Gawd, it’s so painful to write). For whatever reason, 36 seemed far, FAR older than 35. As a kid, I thought 36 was practically dead. By the time I was 36, I was going to have three kids, two dogs, be married to some dude with a job that paid him a lot of money, and be a writer living in Maine, Paris or Ireland. As we know, that’s not how it ended up. Instead, I have two kids, one dog, a husband with a job that pays him something, and I live in Massachusetts, where I am a blogger who does not get paid, and I run a nonprofit that also pays nothing.

You can’t win them all.

What I realized on my birthday is that I wouldn’t change a thing (well, maybe the money and the Paris or Ireland part). And while I have a rad family, I also have some kickass friends. Kick Ass.

The day after my birthday, I had knee surgery. Not anything spectacular, just a little arthroscopic job to clean out my decrepit 36-year-old knee. And dude, did my friends represent. My friend Romie came over on my birthday with flowers, chicken soup, presents for the kids, birthday cake, and a gift for me. My friend Lisa brought me a chicken pot pie, a bottle of wine, and nursed me back to health for a week. My cousin Sarah came over after work one day when I was wrecked from the Vicodin and built a fort with my kids so I could take a nap. I had local friends checking in all the time, offering help, and faraway friends sending me all kinds of encouragement (and abuse, which I sometimes prefer) online.

It was also not lost on me how lucky I am that I live in a country (and a city) where I can barely walk in August, I can get a doctor’s appointment with one of the best surgeons in the country and have him fix it a month later for a $200 deductible. And that even without the childhood dream husband’s money, I can swing a $200 deductible. I can stay at home for a week and not worry about losing my job. My husband could go back to his job, safe in the knowledge that people were going to take care of me while he was working.

I would never have dreamt it, but having surgery was pretty frigging awesome. Not only is my knee better, but the experience reminded me how lucky I am to live in a country where I have access to medicine and don’t have to spend the rest of my days limping, unable to kneel or pick up my kids. And perhaps more importantly, to have so many people who love me. And man, do you suckers love me!

It must also be said that two days before my birthday, I was at dinner with Bucket, and the waitress only carded me, even though Bucket looks 14. I won’t lie: I liked that a little bit too.

I think 36 is going to be a good year. Thanks, people.

Nearly total recall

So the other night, Bucket and I were watching TV when a trailer for Total Recall came on. Seriously? I asked him. That movie came out two seconds ago. Why are they already making another one?

Bucket stared at me for a second and then said, Uh, that movie came out about 20 years ago.

Shuuuuut uppppp, I said. Don’t be ridiculous.

He whips out his phone and Googles it. Total Recall came out in 1990, he says, snickering. It came out TWENTY-TWO years ago.

I stand there, stunned at the fact that it has been 22 years since Total Recall was released, and horrified by the fact that people born in 1990 can drink legally.

A few minutes later we are discussing my next high school reunion, which will be in two years. Bucket watches me realize that I was 14 when that godforsaken movie came out, and then almost falls off the couch cackling at the fact that Total Recall was released eight years closer to my birth than the present moment.

This has got to stop happening, people. When did I get so old? And if I hear one more song from my youth on the oldies channel, I am going to commit seppuku.

What’s a record?

Today, we were in the car (for an hour) driving to and from Blowe’s, returning the last products we will ever buy from there. About halfway into the journey, I was singing a song on the radio. Peeta asked me, “How do you know EVERY song on the radio?”

I told him it was because I’m old and I’ve had time to learn lots of songs.

He yelled, “You’re not old! You’re only 35!”

At that moment, I decided he is my favorite child.

But then, I ruined the moment by explaining that I knew the Steve Miller song on the radio because I had the record in junior high.

And there it was: “What’s a RECORD?”

So I had to explain to him that a record was a giant flat circle that plays music, like the ones we have at my family’s house at the lake. We had records when I was a little girl. And then we had tapes. And then we had CDs. And now we have iPods.

He nodded absently, looking at me like I was speaking Chinese.

And I realized that Peeta was wrong. The music I listened to on a record as a girl was three incarnations ago. My kids will never know what a record, a tape, a VHS, or a floppy disk are. The music I listened to as a kid is now on the OLDIES STATION, the greatest indignity of all.

Is it too late to pretend I stopped the conversation when he said I wasn’t old? I say no.