Google Something Clever 2.0: February 2014

Feb 28, 2014

Which Internet Quiz Should You Take?

You know that thing, where you're eating a pint of ice cream straight out of the carton while watching Sex in the City, and you say, "God, I am such a Carrie," and you look around for someone to agree with you? Only there's nobody to agree with you, because you live alone, except for your cat, Ginger Rogers, who thinks you're more of a Charlotte? Don't you hate that?

Girl, you know there's an app for that! Actually, a website. Well, one website that's exclusively for that, I think, and then another that does other things, but that, too. I'm getting ahead of myself, here.

Feb 21, 2014

I'm Afraid of Bad Playdates

For the last month, I've been assembling an exhaustive stack of documents. I'm talking a straining-the-paperclip stack. Not for my taxes (already done, and the refund shopping spree was epic, thank you). Next week, I'm registering my son for kindergarten.

Feb 18, 2014

The First Time My Son Swore

I’ll never forget the first time my son swore. It was Labor Day weekend, 2011. He was two and a half. We were in a motel room, unpacking our luggage and looking forward to celebrating the wedding of our good friends. He was toddling around, looking in drawers and suitcases. Then he asked me, “Where’s my god damn it hat?”

And would you believe I didn’t laugh?

I had him repeat himself a couple of times, just to be sure. It turns out he was looking for his Red Sox baseball cap, and why he referred to it as a “god damn it hat,” I’ll never know, but I knew I had to curb that shit… I mean, stuff.

Now, regular readers (and readers of the previous sentence) will know that I have no problem with swearing. There’s a time and a place for swearing. For comedic effect? You’re damn right. To convey strong emotion? Fuck, yeah! To complain when your son-of-a-bitching team is losing? Oh, maybe that’s where he got that…

As for places: in your own home is fine. Bars are acceptable. In your car, with the windows rolled up, is practically required. They don’t call us Massholes for nothing. But I won’t swear in front of children, the elderly, or strangers. It’s just not done, my dear. And I have no problem calling out people who swear in front of my child. Just ask those dirtbags who were loitering in the Petco parking lot last week. Never has a “Sorry, ma’am” been more hard-won, or more rightfully deserved.

As adorable as my son’s misuse of a swear was, I couldn’t allow it. Two is just too young to grasp all the nuances of appropriate swearing. So I sat him down and told him, “Honey, ‘damn’ is a grown-up word. Grown-up people have grown-up problems, and sometimes we need grown-up words to complain about them. You are two. Nothing in your life is so bad that it merits the use of a grown-up word. When you’re thirteen, you may use grown-up words.”

Yes, I told him he can swear when he’s thirteen. And you know what? I might even let him swear sooner. Growing up, I knew kids who swore as young as nine or ten (although I personally never uttered a swear until the ripe old age of twelve—it was “shit,” if you’re curious). Kids will swear. It’s unavoidable. But by giving him an actual, tangible date, I’ve taken the taboo out of it. Swearing isn’t something he’s not allowed to do, it’s something he’s not allowed to do yet, like drink coffee or drive a car.

He’s now five years old, and he’s never knowingly sworn since that day (I’m not counting “What does ‘bitch’ mean?” because it was my own damn fault for thinking I could watch that show in front of him).

I don’t claim to be a perfect parent, so I don’t often dole out advice, but I’ve got to say, I think I really fuckin’ nailed that one.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room

Feb 14, 2014

Why I Care When a Gay Celebrity Comes Out

Let me clear up a couple of points right off the bat.

  1. I am straight. I do not claim to speak for gay people, or straight people, for that matter. Or bi, or trans, or any group. Just me.
  2. If you are a homophobic troll who has come here to post awful things in the comments, please know that I will get an alert on my phone the moment you do, and I will delete it. Don't waste your time.
Now, then.

Feb 11, 2014

I Hate Valentine's Day (and no, I'm not single)

Valentine’s Day is coming! Are you excited? I’m not. I haven’t been excited for Valentine’s Day since I was nine, back when the holiday was all about giving crummy little cartoon cards to everyone in your class (even the weirdo, because you had to) and eating those candy hearts with awkward come-ons printed on them.

First of all, the whole romance thing is lost on me. If you love someone, you should be acting like it all year long. Don’t treat me like crap for 364 days and then write me a sonnet in February, dude. Besides, isn’t that what anniversaries are for? How many times a year must we celebrate our love? I mean, um, I totally celebrate it daily, already.

Cards are the worst. There’s nothing more awkward than staring at a photo of a sunset for 30 seconds, pretending that you’re reading some flowery words that ostensibly represent how your beloved feels towards you, even though it was actually written by a complete stranger down at the Hallmark factory.

Fancy dinner? Count me out. Expensive food is gross, and bras and high heels hurt. In fact, I don’t like going to any restaurant on Valentine’s Day. You have to make a reservation, they’re always overcrowded and running late, and half of them jack up the prices and force you to order off of a “special” fixed menu with only two or three choices. I just want a pizza, damn you! Stop it with your bacon-wrapped scallops and twin lobsters already!

I don’t want flowers. Cutting and arranging them is too much work, especially once you consider the fact that they’ll only last for three days, and I’ll be spending about five hours each day screaming at the cats to stop trying to eat them because they might be poisonous. And what are you doing on the counter, anyway? Bad cat!

Jewelry is a huge waste of money, and I’m too much of a clumsy oaf to take care of it. My husband once bought me a lovely diamond necklace when we were dating. After the third time we had to replace the delicate chain (because I remove my shirts with all the grace of the Incredible Hulk), he conceded that maybe I’m just not meant to have nice things. If he absolutely insists on buying me something shiny for Valentine’s Day, I do have my eye on a new set of kitchen knives.

And finally, the boxes of chocolates… Are totally awesome and I would like ten of them, please. But I want chocolate every day. No need to wait until the fourteenth. Honey, are you reading this?

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room