Wednesday Advice Smackdown
January 25, 2006
To anyone who witnessed my late-night freak-out in yesterday's comments section: Noah does not have the chicken pox. He has a little cold (goddangdingdamndaycare) and a poorly-timed, yet ultimately unrelated rash. He is also teething, and this angers him greatly, so he screamed for SIX HOURS last night, well past my bedtime, so I got a little bleary-eyed and paranoid and turned a couple little red bumps on his elbow into OH MY GOD, A POX IS ON THEE.
And me, since as I've mentioned before, I never had the chicken pox and learned when I was pregnant that the vaccine I got seven years ago has worn off completely. And I can't get re-vaccinated until I completely quit with this delusional breastfeeding thing I do. So...stay away from kids! Kids with rashes!
Anyway, I was wrong and insane, just like I asked you to pray for. Not that there should have been much of a doubt about my insanity.
I can't get up! But I can poop the minute you zip this thing up, so there.
Aw. I'm fairly mean.
ANYWAY. LET'S DO A SMACKDOWN. FEATURED THIS WEEK, QUESTIONS I RECEIVED BACK IN JULY.
What are the odds that any of these people are still reading? I would say none-to-nonexistent.
Dear Oh Wise Amalah,
We're closing in on 2 years of infertility and am transferring, well, not all, but a lot, of my baby-longing towards the idea of getting a dog. But my husband is being very annoying and pointing out that no one's home 11 hours a day and I? Am La. Zy. I promise to walk the poor thing, three times a day and more on weekends, Dad, I swear! But the truth is, I probably won't, and he knows it.
But....I want something to snuggle. Cats aren't possible, he's allergic. I think you went through something similar when you got Ceiba. How did you finally win him over? Is there any hope for me, or should I give up and start treating my stuffed dog like it is real? And then be ostracized as the Crazy Lady in the Neighborhood dragging my stuffed dog around on a least?
Jason caved and agreed to get a dog because he was sick of all the weeping. Yes.
Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but yes, Ceiba is our Obligatory Infertility Dog, adopted right when we were feeling especially beaten down and hopeless. We'd just failed spectacularly with Clomid four straight months in a row and were learning that a unfortunate side effect of this relatively mild fertility drug is that it MAKES AMY LOSE HER DAMN MIND. Like split from reality, even Tom Cruise is tossing starter packs of Zoloft at her and backing slowly out of the room brand crazy.
And I weepily told Jason that I wanted a dog. Max is great and cuddly and all, but...too low maintenance to be a real substitute baby, if that makes any sense. Plus a dog would be something new and shiny and would get me outside on long walks where I might actually talk with people and maybe realize that I would not automatically die if I left the house sometimes.
And Jason said that yes, we should get a dog. And a dog, we did get, and lo, she is SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS.
We love her to death, don't get me wrong. She's our baby girl and we try to do right by her. But it's tough, since we don't have a fenced yard and have to walk her and she's gotten very poorly socialized in the wake of her broken leg confinement, and as a result she HAAAATES strangers and needs to be retrained. (Although I won't lie, I find her aggressive grandstanding hilarious, because it's such an IMPOTENT FURY. Like a pissed-off ferret.)
But Ceiba saved my life last fall, and that's not an exaggeration. She brought Jason and I closer together and calmed me down and is just SO CONFUSED about who Noah is and why I don't let her lick his puke. And who knows, maybe focusing my energies on her had something to do with the mysterious and against-all-odds "natural" ovulation that allowed me to conceive Noah without the aid of Clomid or an IUI (our next step in the baby quest).
But...you both need to want a dog. They are a huge responsibility and a lot of work. Just like...a baby! How about that.
So I guess I don't really have any actual advice. Which is why this question sat in my Inbox for months while I scratched my head and tried to think of a way to say that yes, dogs are really great but also huge pains so be really really sure you want one and will still want one once you have the baby but dogs ARE great practice for babies but they don't magically walk themselves and need less attention once there's an infant in the house.
Huh. I guess I just said what I thought. Although maybe I'll add that you could also consider getting a bunny or one of those weird hairless cats instead, you know, for the litter-box benefit.
(Ceiba used a litter box for a few weeks. It did...not really work out too well.)
Rat Dog On Linoleum, circa October 2004
I have 12-year-old boy hair and I'm a girl. Of nearly 25. Stupid hair cuttery. I wanted a pixie cut; the lady gave me the same haircut I see on preteen boys everywhere. Including the fade up the side. Now, this was a few weeks ago, and it's now starting to grow, but now it looks all WEIRD and SHAGGY. I want it to grow, and be longlonglong, because I'm tired of looking like the lead singer from Weezer, but I don't know what to do with it in the interim stage. So...hmm? Any ideas?
Well. Considering poor
Heather wrote this question back in, again, JULY, I'm guessing her hair is well on
its way out of Bad-pixie-cutville and hopefully looking more
respectable. But I will answer this question anyway, for the annals of
1) Pixie cuts? Are very difficult to pull off. And about 75% of the women who request them should...not.
2) THEREFORE: A pixie cut at the Hair Cuttery? Not to pile on with what you already know, but please stand still while I throw bottles of Pantene at you for a minute.
3) ERGO: The only solutions to a bad haircut are:
a) Get a better haircut.
b) Buy hats.
I've gotten bad haircuts. I've gotten bad haircuts topped with bad at-home dye jobs followed by another bad haircut to cut as much of the bad at-home dye job off as possible. This is why I own Coach crusher hats and an adorable little beret. And maybe a straw cowboy hat that SHUT UP, I look totally cute in it.
A pixie cut is hard to correct immediately after because...well, there's just not much left to work with. So while you wait, you can mess around with funky styling products like fibers and pomades and try to find a workable look, or you can wear a hat.
But regardless, you get yourself a good stylist. GOOD. Non-discount-chain good. And you start seeing him or her every six to eight weeks to shape and trim your hair. Yes, it will be a long time before you have longlonglong hair again, but super-short hair left to just GROW, like unattended weeds?
Forget Weezer. Think Dudley Moore. GAH.
The boy, his hair came out of the womb looking this good.
I need some advice about my working wardrobe. I'm starting a business where I will be going into people's homes to provide computer support. What would be appropriate to wear so that I look: professional, but not matronly; friendly, but not like I'm there to clean the garage; knowledgeable, but not [too] geek-like?
To add to my dilemma, I'm a woman who is 5'11", so I don't want to emphasize my already intimidating height. (My target market is senior citizens, who tend to be short. Why is that, btw? Why don't you ever see a really tall old lady?) I really am quite nice and harmless, but at this height, it can be hard to project that "I'm not going to hurt you" image. Also, since I may have to actually crawl around on the floor to reach all those computer wires, I obviously have to wear pants.
I've thought that khaki pants with a nice-ish polo shirt or something would be acceptable (although boring), but then I saw that horrible Merry Maids commercial featuring the two khaki-clad maids merrily dancing around with their vacuum cleaners and whooping it up, and I vowed to never let khaki near my body again. (Maybe I'm being too extreme?)
I generally can manage to clothe myself adequately, if not super-stylishly, for most occasions, but this has got me a bit stumped. I'd like to be at least a WEE bit stylish!
Thanks for any advice, except the kind like my mother offers, which would involve polyester.
While yes, it's really not the best look, a polo shirt and khakis have sort of become the uniform of professionals of the non-suit-wearing variety who still don't want to wear jeans. It's acceptable for casual Friday and trade show booth staffers and IT workers who spend a lot of time crawling around on the floor to make sure your Internet connection is even PLUGGED THE FUCK IN, YOU MORON, CHECK THAT NEXT TIME YOU PAGE ME.
Most old people would think you are extremely lovely and non-scary if you show up wearing neatly pressed khakis and a tucked-in polo shirt. Most young people would just think you're wearing a work uniform, particularly if you get your company's logo stiched on your shirt. (Which is a great way to beg absolution for wearing something you otherwise wouldn't. "See the logo? It's for work! Not a conscientious fashion choice here!")
It's also a very low-maintenance look, what with the no dry cleaning and the easy ironing.
Although I hear you. Boring. And those Merry Maids scare me with their zest for vacuuming and blindingly white sneakers.
But...I generally don't get too worked up about my own work wardrobe. I have to wear suits. And hose. And heels. And blah, whatever. I buy perfectly acceptable suits and maybe dress them up with a cute top and I try to keep my shoes sort-of fashionable, but I am not killing myself to make a bold statement at an office where I am bound to a dress code that bugs me, because why do I have to wear a suit? We have no clients! We publish things! We have websites! No one cares about my appropriate hosiery!
So here's what I would wear, if I were you: yes, some type of easy-iron, non-dry-clean-only khakis. I mean, jeans are just not professional, black pants will be a lint-and-other-people's-pet-hair NIGHTMARE, skirts are out, so...yup, khakis are it. But I'd try to find a flattering lower-waist cut with NO FRONT PLEATS, MY LORD and a boot-cut leg. Try the Gap, which makes pants just for the tall girls, and curvy girls, and short girls, and even the pregnant girls, THANK GOD.
(Whoa, really doling out the little-known shopping secrets here, aren't I?)
High-waisted chinos with pleats and tapered legs are NOT your friend. They are not anyone's friend. They should die and go to hell. Or JC Penneys.
As for a top, I'd wear a slim-fit polo. You know, the girlie style that you don't really need to tuck in. Like Lacoste, or Ralph Lauren. (And places like American Eagle and Gap will have cheaper versions, of course.) It's preppy and neat without being the total IT geek cliche style polo.
Also nice: a button-front collared shirt, especially with the three-quarter-length sleeves.
Oh, and no white sneakers. You buy cute leather flats. They should match your nice leather belt. And you're done. Basic, a little boring but absolutely not scary to any little old people, who will at least be a good regular reminder to take your calcium every day, tall pretty girl.
Also recommended: houndstooth with owl socks.
Dear Wise and Compassionate Queen Amalah,
I have a little issue at work, and I thought you, in your infinite wisdom and knowyness might have some valuable advice for me. See, I have this corker, who is generally nice, and trained me very well when I joined the team and all, and everything seemed good and happy. As time went on and I learned more and took on more responsibility, she...stopped working. Then, I did mostly everything. Eventually, my lovely supervisor (I mean that, she's great) had a talk with the slacker, and instead of things changing, she became petulant, whiny, and given to making excuses for anything and everything while giving everyone puppydog eyes and acting kind of beaten down. Very "poor me" with passive-aggressive baloney mixed in.
So, management has been dealing with the situation, and either she will take care of business, or eventually she'll be gone. That's fine. In the meantime, she's suddenly started to try to bribe me, I think, mostly with food and Starbucks. I like food and Starbucks, don't get me wrong, but she's making me really uncomfortable - I don't want these things from her. We have to all be friendly, as my team consists of only four people, and we all depend on each other, so I really can't just come out and tell her to cut it out. She won't take no for an answer; in fact she rebuffs it with a declaration that we are "friends."
She is 25 years my senior, acts like a child, and I have never, ever, indicated that we were more than congenial coworkers. She's ridiculously sensitive, so telling her that splitting her lunch with me gives me the heebies will result in major fallout. Thank you for any advice, even though I don't think I've adequately expressed the weirdness of this coworker and her food gifts.
(I bet you good cash money that this woman's ass has been canned since Pea sent me this question, but since I am determined to get to every question possible and not get distracted by new shiny ones coming in [the question queue is closed, by the way], I will answer this question anyway, and Pea is free to tell me that I am completely useless in the comments section.)
Obviously there's a lot more going on than just unwanted food and coffees here: this woman is useless, she's dragging your team down and it's obvious that she's trying to get an "in" with you because friends don't fire friends, or because she wants someone to wallow in the whole put-upon-ness pity routine she's got going on. "See what a nice person I am? Can you believe how they treat me? Tell me you can't believe how they treat me, because I am nice."
It's sad. You know it's sad. You've correctly called a bribe a spade here, or something.
The whole "she's a big baby and I want nothing to do with her" business is one issue, because you can't force management to get off the pot and fire her already, and with a four-person team there's not much room to just hit the big old IGNORE button in the meantime. It sucks, but...it's work, and I think every office has someone like this -- someone who makes you want to punch yourself in the damn face -- and this is why God created the half-price happy hour special.
Which leaves us with trying to solve the whole "No thanks, I'm not really thinkin' Arby's" business.
I'm trying to envision the exchange here -- does she go out and buy lunch that you didn't order, or is she cutting her tuna fish sandwich in half and forcing it on you? Is she saying, "Hey, I'm off to Starbucks, can I bring you something?" Or just showing up, white chocolate mocha in hand?
If she's just showing up with Starbucks, it's annoying, but there's not much you can do, other than say you aren't drinking caffeine or only take skim milk or whatever. But that would probably only work for one day, and she'd pull the puppy-dog eyes because SHE IS YOUR FRIEND, YOU SHOULD TELL HER THESE THINGS.
It's like when Krispy Kremes show up at my office. I don't really want donuts, I really don't need donuts, but...I eat the donuts. But I don't bring in donuts to reciprocate. Because...well, I didn't ask for the donuts, and honestly, the last thing this office needs is more donuts. So take the coffee, assert that she really shouldn't have done it, but thank you, and be done with it. Don't feel guilty about not bringing her coffee ever, because...you didn't ask for the coffee, and it will just further fuel Ms.CrazyPants' belief that you are friends.
As for the sharing of the lunch? Or buying you lunch? I can see why that skeeves you out. A cup of coffee is a friendly gesture, but lunch? Thanks, I've got my own. And that's just what you've got to say. Bring your lunch from home every day, even if it kills you.
When she offers food, pull out your little brown bag and say NO THANK YOU. If she insists and puts food on your desk, tell her that seriously, you packed a generous lunch and you just aren't going to eat that, and hand it back. If she refuses, just leave it on your desk and then put it back on her desk at the first possible occasion, with another firm, "Thank you, but I'm full, and this will just go to waste."
If she's going out and buying you a sandwich that you didn't ask for, try to beat her to the punch and go buy your own lunch -- and only YOUR lunch.
And of course, you can try countering the passive-aggressiveness with your own: you're on a diet, you've developed a food allergy, you've become irrationally particular about food, blah blah blah, but...
In the end, it comes down to saying no. You have to frame it nicely because it's work, but...no.
I don't want your stupid food! Your stupid food is stupid and I stick my tongue out at your stupid food!
The Advice Smackdown question queue is CLOSED. New questions are no longer being accepted, as I still didn't answer the remaining July questions, and then there's August, and September, and months after that, and I really suck, so here, have another baby picture to distract you from the suckage.
What? We're very proud of his tongue-sticking-out skills. We are looking into getting him a scholarship in smartassery.
The kid is a tongue-sticking-out genius!! It took my kids six months to figure that one out.
PS - Glad it's not chicken pox!
Posted by: emma | January 25, 2006 at 05:50 PM
Loving the advice column. Wow. you are talented. You can answer all kinds of questions.
And so happy your little man doesn't have chicken pox. :-)
Posted by: Lisa B | January 25, 2006 at 05:59 PM
Damn! So close to being first! I am a first time delurker, thank you! Just wanted to tell you that I love your writing and look forward to new comments. Keep them coming! Love the tounge, my daughter was the same way!!!
Posted by: Julie | January 25, 2006 at 05:59 PM
I read "you" every single day, but rarely comment or give assvice. I just wanted to tell you how incredible it is to "see" Noah grow and acquire new abilities. Not to mention that he gets more adorable with every single post. Brings back sweet memories of my own son at that age. Like now, we like to duct-tape the mouth shut so that the tongue is rendered useless. Teenagers.
Thanks for being part of my daily distraction. :)
Posted by: Rocky | January 25, 2006 at 06:00 PM
Whoa, such chattiness for the last couple of day, and with such good results!
I'm so happy to see the WedSmackdown again, ditto about the notification thingy - yay!
Just wanted to let you know that not only have I de-lurked once before, but I have now stumbled upon your site TWICE whilst searching for haircutting advice on Google. Just in case you were interested, I got tired of hairdressers and small talk and not getting the cut I wanted and fixing it at home, and have taken the plunge and CUT IT MYSELF! OK, my boyfriend cut it straight across the back, but I added angles in the front and layers. All by myself. It's not comething I would recommend to just anyone, but I am extremely practical and it bothers me to have people doing things for me that I can't do myself. Oh, and it looks DAMNED FINE, not a hack job. But you know what? even if you cut it yourself, it's possible to have it turn out a tiny bit shorter than you planned (due to my boyfriend, really, but I didn't tell him that).
Anyway, this comment bears witness that I, like you, have been extremely chatty/typy the last couple of days. So cheers to you, Amalah, for your kickass advice and advice on things all girls think lots about but their friends get tired of hearing about.
And so happy that it's not the POX! Crazy to think kids don't have to go through it anymore.
Posted by: Pauline | January 25, 2006 at 06:02 PM
very happy that no one has the chicken pox...and i'm not the only one in the world who freaks! out! from time to time. love the smackdown, gald it's here to stay.
Posted by: michelle | January 25, 2006 at 06:04 PM
i totally understand the crazy woman at work... i always seem to attract that caring, sharing person who is all, MY job is YOUR job! and uh, here's some peanuts as a thank you. i'd be pretty weirded out if she handed me half her sandwich, though... ick.
Posted by: Ali G | January 25, 2006 at 06:04 PM
OMG, isn't it great that I wrote that I have a "corker" instead of a "coworker"?
Thank you so much for answering my question when I sort of forgot to actually put a question in there. :/
That person has not been fired, still buys food and tried to cut it up and make me a plate and shows up with random beverages. I have done some of what you say, though I am going to try to work it a little better, now that I have some back up on how weird and wrong she is.
She's also still incredibly useless.
Posted by: pea | January 25, 2006 at 06:09 PM
Your dog, oh my god, your dog...the barking and the ferociousness. Terrifies me. But then she gets trapped in the closet or decides to be nice and sit politely. But glad you find it amusing. thanks.
Posted by: Heather B. | January 25, 2006 at 06:56 PM
OMG, I didn't know until I read this that my dear little Beetoe is an Obligatory Infertility Dog. Poor thing. Should I actually be fortunate enough to have this baby in July, she's going to be in for a shock. :(
LOVE the pics, by the way. Of course. ;)
Posted by: callistawolf | January 25, 2006 at 07:34 PM
I've always looked forward to Wednesday, the most magical day of the week, since I found your blog and the goodness contained therein. But I had to tell you how much more enjoyable it is now that there are pictures of Noah throughout the smackdown. I smile every time I see him and my little boy (4 tomorrow!) always says "Oh, what a cute baby" when he sees him in his cutest voice which makes me smile even more.
Posted by: cheryl b. | January 25, 2006 at 07:50 PM
Haha, Pea! I was trying to figure out if I had missed out on some new lingo and actually LOOKED UP "corker"... I am so going to call slacker workmates corkers in the future.
Posted by: Angela | January 25, 2006 at 07:58 PM
I was in NY this week on business watching the people walk their dogs and I thought to myself 'Self? I could not possibly live in NYC. First, there is the issue of hat-hair. One must have a hat to walk outside in winter and I simply do not have the type of hair that can survive a hat.' So that's one reason. But the other reason is the dog walking reason. These people have to WALK their DOGS - multiple times a day. I love my dog, but my commitment ends at the back door. "Get out there, Cricket, and do your business. Bark when you need me to let you back in. I hope a coyote doesn't snatch you away from our loving arms. Kiss kiss."
But this post did remind me that Cricket needs a haircut. We get her a PIXIE. Her eyes express the indignity of it all, but we just put her out in the yard when she looks at us like that.
Posted by: JustLinda | January 25, 2006 at 08:01 PM
Yay for new entries! I was happy to see the notify e-mail today. Thank you.
And yay for 5'11" women (me, too, Pam), and I also totally thought Pea was using a new term that I just hadn't been hip enough to learn yet. "Corker" just might take... it sort of seems appropriate for some asinine coworkers.
That is all.
Posted by: scoutsadie | January 25, 2006 at 08:28 PM
Oh, and also, I thought your suggestion about what to say to such a corker was very diplomatic and on-the-mark, Amy. I don't think I would have come up with that on my own (the i'm-full-it-will-go-to-waste line) but it seems like a good way to handle it.
That is really all.
Posted by: scoutsadie | January 25, 2006 at 08:30 PM
To the reader who asked about getting an obligatory infertility dog, dogs are fantastic but you absolutely must be prepared to commit to them - the food/training/vet bills/walks/grooming etc. Research your breeds to make sure you choose the right one, maybe adopt a shelter dog. BTW I have 2 dogs, 2 birds, 2 turtles, 6 cats, so umm yeah, welcome to the obligatory infertility zoo!
Posted by: K77 | January 25, 2006 at 08:49 PM
Every time I think Noah can't get cuter, you post a new picture AND. HE. DOES! He is so talented with the tonguestickyoutthing. I can't wait until he finds his voice and starts the screeching. THE. NON. STOP. SCREECHING. (I think they call it babbling in the parenting what the heck to they know books). Then you too will know the TRUE joy of parenthood.
Posted by: Missie | January 25, 2006 at 09:32 PM
It's what the heck DO they know, not TO they know..but what do I know?
Posted by: Missie | January 25, 2006 at 09:33 PM
HOW on earth could I forget to mention how Noah kills me in the ovaries every day? He is beyond precious!
Posted by: pea | January 25, 2006 at 09:36 PM
Very, very, VERY glad Noah does not have chicken pox, or it's equally scary cousin, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (the little angel caught these and gave it to me, even though adults are not supposed to catch it. I catch everything). No, for you snickering back there, not HOOF AND MOUTH,it's HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH. And it looks like chicken pox, only it's on, well, you get it.
Do not be too scared, though. I know it's easy for me to say from 21-month-year-old land, but the little angel has been in daycare since 12 weeks, and I swear she's had almost everything. It's a relief to know these children are hardy. HARDY. Especially with viral, rashy things. Very much less scary than coughing, lung-y things.
Okay, I'll stop now.
Posted by: Dorothy | January 25, 2006 at 10:02 PM
*has a few people that the term 'corker' would apply to*
Excellent advice as always, Ms Amalah. I'm glad to see that the Advice Smackdown has appeared for another round - as even though I am totally NOT.FASHION.LITERATE and have the Hair that ate Kansas, I am also poor poor poor and unemployed so I sit in my house and read the advice and giggle.
And OMG. Noah. Uterus has just exploded in envy. *sighs*
Posted by: Kirsten | January 25, 2006 at 10:10 PM
I want some owl socks!
Posted by: Bozoette Mary | January 25, 2006 at 10:16 PM
To those of you adopting the new lingo...;-)
Funny as 'corker' is as the new term for slacker work people, I just have to point out that it also has another long-standing slang meaning which COULD lead to confusion if you converse with non-American English-speakers (Ireland, Britain, Aussieland etc).
"Wow, she's a CORKER isn't she?", roughly means "Wow, she's a remarkable person/person of amazing abilities".
So yeah, generally a pretty postive thing to say about a person.
Posted by: Abbagirl | January 25, 2006 at 10:20 PM
For some reason, I am irrationally frightened that I am Pea's co-worker. Not that I've ever given someone half my sandwich or MADE THEM A PLATE (oh my god), but I am definitely kind of a slacker at work. And once I DID randomly bring my office-mate a cup of coffee from Starbucks. But it was the morning after her dog died and I was trying to be nice. That was nice, right? (She didn't show up, so I had to give it to the intern. Oh god, the intern probably thinks I'm creepy like Pea's co-worker now, just randomly giving him beverages.)
Posted by: Nothing But Bonfires | January 25, 2006 at 10:33 PM
"Corker" in australia describes something amazing, amusing or great. So maybe it's not a good idea to call my co-workers "corkers" because they'll think they're great...and then become like Pea's strange food bringing co-worker because they think they're my friend and will therefore slack off even more and then I will have to ask for advice from Amy about how to handle them, and the cycle will never end.
I too want owl socks, and houndstooth pants to match my owl socks.
Posted by: missmundane | January 25, 2006 at 11:09 PM
I am commenting to express my disgust that your comment numbers have been well over 100 the last few days, and yet here it's only at, what, 20? And surely you work even harder on Smackdown days than non-Smackdown days (otherwise known as M, T, T, and F). Anyway, it's just not right that your numbers aren't adequately reflecting effort/readership. So I will try to show up and especially leave lovely comments on Wednesdays, since I de-lurked in order to Save the Smackdown a few weeks back. Thanks for it and all, and accept my token comment for the little it is worth, oh Q of E.
Posted by: HolyMama! | January 25, 2006 at 11:19 PM
Great smackdown, but I have more important biz. Where did you get the owl socks from? My daughter adores owls; we drag our asses to the National Aviary every weekend, so that she can see the owls. She has a onesie with a fox embroidery, but it actually looks like an owl, and she insists on wearing it every day. Anyway, you get my point. Please share the source of the goodies.
Posted by: lolismum | January 25, 2006 at 11:22 PM
there's gymboree owl attire on ebay for way cheap, and new, too. (no, i'm not selling any of it, i'm just actually so bored that i looked for you. how sad is that? But i know what it is to search for certain clothes for a picky kid. For 2 years my son wore anything with whales.)
Posted by: HolyMama! | January 25, 2006 at 11:53 PM
I can't believe I actually care enough about this, but I was actually thinking about the corker thing...
Seeing that it actually means you are "wonderful/amazing" in Australia/Britain, it would actually be quite perfect for use in the officeplace as your slacker workmate would think they were receiving a glowing compliment rather than being called a fantastically irritating slackjob right to their face. Or... at least... that's how I could justify it to myself...
Posted by: Angela | January 26, 2006 at 12:15 AM
Thank you HolyMama! Anybody else with baby clothes with owls on them, please point me to the source.
Posted by: lolismum | January 26, 2006 at 12:17 AM
I love Smackdown days! As a grad student with no baby in the future for many a year, I found your site while searching for advice on a Coach bag to buy for job interviews. I love the pictures of Noah and your writing on pregnancy and motherhood are really moving, but it's really only on Smackdown days that I feel I can relate. And for the infertility dog people--I second the comment above about making sure you really want it. A dog that you're going to get tired of and never want to walk or take the time to train properly will be a very unhappy dog. It's a commitment for the dog's life no less than your own time. Shelters are full of pets that people thought were cute initially and then realized didn't fit into their lives. And on a different note, I totally thought corker was a new word too.
Posted by: Jayna | January 26, 2006 at 12:40 AM
It's so funny that you mention it because I was a National Merit Scholar in Smartassery. Just ask my mother. It's quite prestigious.
Posted by: superfantastic | January 26, 2006 at 01:19 AM
I'm having a weird dejavu reading the whole string of Clomid failures followed by a dog-in-lieu-of-baby-to-love-care-and-cuddle followed by a natural ovulation followed by a pregnancy followed by a beautiful strapping baby boy delivered by c-section followed by trials with breastfeeding and daycare colds and such... I know this story! I got a greyhound, though, and then another, and having dogs was very therapeutic and taught me much about love, patience, and compassion. But I'm lame and gave up the dogs shortly after the baby was born, because I was paranoid that they might hurt the baby and they needed alot of attention and time which I just didn't have. Anyway, great smackdown.
Posted by: SueeeuS | January 26, 2006 at 01:42 AM
Dogs. I am not a dog person. Your dog scares me in that weird beady eye way.
We therefore are about to get two. Naturally.
One is going to be Oscar's 'pet therapy' dog. I know this will fail miserably as the dog will start it's life, as most dogs do, as a puppy. A licky, jumpy, excitable puppy. This will scare the bejesus out of Oscar. Funny, but intensley irritating after oh, two minutes.
The second one is the family dog. ie, Felix's. Because even though he is two years younger he must have everything Oscar has and bigger. What can I say, I have therapy - it's great! This way I'm just priming Felix for similar fun.
I didn't read the rest because it was so long (what's with the profusion post style of late?) and I'm not that into WAS but was one of the silent ones who didn't say anything hoping everyone else would say "abandon it! Give us more posts about expressing breast milk, maternal guilt, dinner incidents and general baby cuteness." but lo, they didn't.
You know, Jasper is 14 weeks (I think. It could be 15 but when you have to cross back a year to work it out who the hell knows) and my hair - falling out in fistfuls. I figure thinning hair just goes with leaking breasts and spreading gut just nicely. Not.
Posted by: the kim half of glamorouse | January 26, 2006 at 05:25 AM
The reason for there apparently being so few tall old people?
1. The current "batch" of old people grew up in wartime, depression, infectious diseases etc - all leading to things such as lowgrade malnutrition etc that can stunt growth - few women would have ever reached 5'11
2. Most old people will have at least minor osteoporosis (DRINK MILK PEOPLE!! PLEASE!!), which causes the spine to collapse slightly - leading to "shrinking" as you age
(as you can see, i already have MY degree in smartassery)
Posted by: dk | January 26, 2006 at 07:40 AM
So glad he does not have chicken pox, especially since you have not had them!
The tongue-sticking-out pictures are absolutely adorable.
Posted by: Jessie | January 26, 2006 at 08:44 AM
I so love love love this page. Noah makes my baby spots hurt with jealousy.
"Corker" is totally funny. There is a corker in my office that does something similar to me:
She'll bring me cookies, cakes, hoagies, whatever there is available that is really fatty. I will politley deny the goods, as I bring my (healthy) lunch from home almost every day. She then talks about my eating disorder to everyone in the office. She'll do this about twice a month. It's pretty awesome.
Also, I have been a victim of the cheap chain shitty haircut. Looked like I backed into a fan. So trust me, hats are the way to go. No amount of crying and screaming "why why why me?!?" will make your hair grow faster.
Just felt like sharing.
Posted by: Nicole | January 26, 2006 at 08:57 AM
My grandmother visited my family a year ago from Arizona with a special present just for me: pleated pants with tapered legs that were only ninety-nine cents from J Crew. The hell? How is it this style of pant even still exists?
Posted by: Frema | January 26, 2006 at 09:00 AM
I'm glad Noah doesn't have chicken pox. "Daycare germs" suck. The nurse at the pediatrician's office knows me well from my many frantic calls about an unusual red spot...which ususually ends up being a pimple or something non-life threatening. They probably have me labeled as the nuerotic one over there (did you know that they label charts like this?? My husband has a purple tab on his chart which means he is a difficult patient.)
I love the second pic of Noah---he looks like he is drowning in that jacket, but politely smiling for mommy. ;)
Posted by: LotionBarBunny | January 26, 2006 at 09:04 AM
I ,too, have an "infertility" dog. We got her from the shelter when she was 5 years old and *ding* got pregnant a month later. Poor doggie- I love her to bits and pieces, but I have even less time and absolutely NO patience for her now that my son is here. I won't get rid of her- I feel that, unless the animal is dangerous, pet ownership is for life- but I probably wouldn't get her again if I had it to do over. But, who knows? Then maybe I wouldn't have gotten pregnant, and that would be an unthinkable tragedy for me. I'm just sorry to my poor doggie who doesn't understand why her "mommy" has a new creature in her lap...
Posted by: heels | January 26, 2006 at 09:39 AM
One time? In high school? We had secret buddies on the field hockey team? We, like, brought each other snacks and encouragement posters and stuff? And my secret buddy?
BROUGHT ME A BOLOGNA AND CHEESE SANDWICH ON SOGGY WHITE BREAD AND THAT IS GROSS.
Clearly I prefer foodstuffs that are prepackaged and SANITARY.
I have just given myself a spectacular case of the willies reliving this experience. And if I were Pea I would not have made it this far and probably would have quit six months ago. Kudos to you, Pea!
Posted by: Emily | January 26, 2006 at 09:40 AM
lolismum: the owlie socks are from Baby Gap, but they were a gift. And we got them awhile ago -- I think I was still pregnant. So I doubt they're still available.
However, I must go on the record and say that Baby Gap ALWAYS has the MOST adorable socks IN THE WORLD. For Christmas? My sister got us socks with seals on them, and the seal wass wearing a little pom-pom hate and a scarf, and there was a matching bib, and I may have eaten them with some leftover gravy from Christmas dinner.
And I secondthirdfourth the mixed sentiments about the Infertility Dogs. Sometimes we wonder if getting Ceiba was a mistake because it's so tough to make sure she's getting enough love and we get SO impatient with her now...but...like Heels says, who knows what would have happened if we didn't get her? Would I have stayed depressed? Would I have ever gotten pregnant without the wonderful therapeutic qualities of a cuddly puppy?
Not worth asking. Besides, she's part of our family now and we committed to her for life. She's just the crazy relative who is really funny but occasionally pees on the carpet.
Posted by: Amalah | January 26, 2006 at 09:57 AM
Hee! I'm the heather of the bad hair. It's much better now. And I did get a stylist, and I did learn my lesson about the Hair Cuttery. Damn them.
and my stylist now? Killer, awesome, and giving me haircuts that are conducive to growing out short hair.
Posted by: Heather O'Douls | January 26, 2006 at 10:34 AM
Pea's question hits home here. My boss is always bringing in food/drink stuffs that I don't want and won't eat/drink. He deposits them on my desk and waits for the GD Thank you....instead he received a No Thank You or nothing. After more than a YEAR (more like 2) he is finally taking the hint that the unconsumed food/drinks in the garbage are the ones he brought in to bribe me into thinking he is a totally cool guy. He is not. If he wasn't my boss I would be VERY tempted to just belt out "I don't want your damn food! quit friggin' bringing it".
Hope Pea's situation improves...
And also - the Noah - OMG he is so delicious!
Posted by: cursingmama | January 26, 2006 at 10:58 AM
also, I'm heinously jealous of the Noah and his perfect, perfect hair.
Posted by: Heather O'Douls | January 26, 2006 at 11:03 AM
We just got a dog and although we do walk him everyday, OH THE ENERGY HE SAPS FROM US! If anything it has convinced me that I can't handle children for many years. They really need someone (or something) around all the time to not get lonely. We now have to get a cat to keep him company! But I am told that when he gets older we will look back at puppy pictures and forget how annoying he was, and stupidly get another puppy. We'll see.
Posted by: crappy poet | January 26, 2006 at 11:51 AM
So glad that there is not a pox on your house! Does Gymboree make owl socks for adults, b/c I may need to invest -- esp. if the big ones have those safety non-skid soles. Although it will keep me from doing my Risky Business imitation on my hardwood floors.
Posted by: J | January 26, 2006 at 12:04 PM
I'm so jealous you have a corker. Being the cheap ass I am I would love to have a corker. FREE STARBUCKS PEOPLE!!. Of course I would suggest that "perhaps the bread would be tastier if it were homemade. Muffins would be nice tommorrow, and would it kill you to get a fucking shot of vanilla in my latte, now go sit in the corner until its time to prepare my lunch" Oh yes so so jealous.
Posted by: Lisa J | January 26, 2006 at 12:51 PM
Totally resisting the obligatory disgusting "tongue" as a verb jokes because after all, he is your BABY. The skills on that boy, though! Makin' his mama proud for sure.
LOVE the dog comments. I just posted today about how I still want a dog. Why I think a baby and 3 cats aren't enough, I'll never figure it out, but I still WANT A DOG, DAMMIT.
Posted by: Cagey | January 26, 2006 at 01:13 PM
I had the person Pea was talking about at my last job. Only it was my supervisor when I started. I got trained and he started having all kinds of domestic and emotional problems that kept him out of the office. And as we were sorta friends and close in age, I was often called to help clean up the glass his lover smashed into the carpet at 4 a.m. and oh-by-the-way-can-you-go-by-yourself-to-the-print-shop-at-7 a.m.-tomorrow-please. Ugh.
The moral to the story is that these people self-destruct. I worked for the blind/deaf/dumb/dipshit gang, and they realized that idiot was worthless and I had learned his entire job while he was out sick. I just made it a GRAND point to detail how much I had covered for his slackage and how much I'd learned and how very much I wanted his job. And sure, it took months of tap-dancing, but I got that job.
What happened to him was that his poor-pity-me act only worked on me, not on them, and he convinced himself he was so miserable with the nobody-loves-me-everybody-hates-me environment that he quit in a huff. And I got promoted. Whee.
Posted by: dawn | January 26, 2006 at 01:21 PM
Noah's a shoe-in (sock-in?) for a "a scholarship in smartassery". It runs in the family, I think. ;)
Thanks for posting about pixie cuts - in my insane early mornings, I've been considering one for myself. Now I will absolutely not not not.
Posted by: mswas | January 26, 2006 at 02:33 PM
Does it have to be an infertility dog? I mean can you get the same experience with another kind of animal - I don't think our cats could handle a dog, but I'm craving something cute cuddly and little and needy until we get this fertility thing figured out. Maybe a ferret, or a bunny?
Posted by: TB | January 26, 2006 at 02:48 PM
Heh, I was wondering if you'd ever get to my question. Thanks for the advice! I had basically decided the same - that our situation was just not a good fit for dog parenthood, and it's a bit of a moot point now that I've managed to get myself pregnant finally. Thank you to everyone who commented too. At least I don't feel isolated in having yearned for an infertility dog.
Posted by: Jamila | January 26, 2006 at 03:09 PM
Congratulations Jamila!!!! I am so happy for you.
Dogs are fun but they do not tolerate owlie socks.
Posted by: Amalah | January 26, 2006 at 03:22 PM
I bet my cat would wear owlie socks, if I tied him down first.
Posted by: Heather O'Douls | January 26, 2006 at 03:34 PM
I am also 5'11" I would recommend JCrew's pants. A little more spendy than Gap, but totally cute & still a little preppy. xoxo
Posted by: nicole | January 26, 2006 at 04:43 PM
I have a fellow co-worker who has food issues also. The opposite of Pea's corker, he sometimes thinks MY food is HIS... and I never once offered to share it with him. Seriously, he's helped himself to my lunch when I'm eating it and takes my snacks in the fridge. And when I come back from Starbucks with only one drink (for myself) he'll say: "Oh, I SEE! Didn't bring me anything?" Granted, he doesn't do this all the time... but it's enough to be completely out of line.
Posted by: Dillygirl | January 26, 2006 at 06:22 PM
Stunning, isn't it? How very little fabric it takes to make a munchkin look marvelous?
I am in the same sweatshirt from November through March. But my kid? Oh my god, my kid! She is a veritable sonata in grade school designer bliss ...
Everything funnels out of my husband and me and goes into her. This is the stuff of life.
Posted by: Erin O'Brien | January 26, 2006 at 08:34 PM
I love your site! I just found it today, and I am enamoured. Love the corker-man, can I have one too? Only I'm a SAHM and he/she would have to make housecalls.
Posted by: Jennifer | January 26, 2006 at 09:13 PM
Yeah J just started sticking his tounge out. Oh but flicking us off? He's been doing that for ages now.
Glad to hear you've been spared by the Pox Gods...for now. Hope he's feeling better. We're on our 4th cold out of 6.5 months, it sucks.
Posted by: Mama C-ta | January 26, 2006 at 10:57 PM
Oh Good Grief.....I cannot believe that I am delurking to post. I must be beside myself. Really. Okay, here comes the obligatory *insert high pitched whiny voice* I've SO never done this before and I just LOVE your site.....etc etc. So anyway *ahem* great site, smashing kid (my little 'corker' (and yes, I am an Aussie and use it strictly as Aussie lingo) is 3 months old).
Obviously I really need to get a more challenging job right? I mean, I am off now to read the damn archives for christsake.
Posted by: Natalie | January 26, 2006 at 11:08 PM
Now, I don't have the patience to read through all 60 comments you have here, so i'm sure other people have already written what I'm about to write. But I'll say it anyways:
1) The Gap is NOT made for tall girls. Curvy, yes. Tall, only if you're a size 16. The smaller the waist-size, the shorter the pants. Of course, she didn't mention what size pants she wears, but I can't imagine that ANY size will have the length for a 5"11 woman's legs. Try American Eagle, or Hollister if the ambiance doesn't make you vomit after the first 10 seconds.
2) I got an awful mullet last year (and I'm talking Waynes World mullet) that only fully grew out with my last haircut. My hair now comes to my chin, and I'm never ever cutting it again. I'm just saying.
Posted by: Tali | January 26, 2006 at 11:52 PM
Huh. That's the first complaint I've heard against the Gap re: tall sizes. My sister-in-law is about 5'10 and DEFINITELY not a size 16, and she swears by the Gap pants.
From my experience, all Gap pants, regardless of size, come in three options: ankle (petite), regular (me) and tall (um...tall). And I've seen everything down to a size 0 (which MY GOD, WHO WEARS THAT) available in the "tall" length, which indeed, seems pretty damn long to this 5'6" girl here.
(What? There was once a pair of "tall" jeans on sale for $19.99 so I thought maybe I classified as tall. I do not, judging by the six inches or so of extra fabric around my ankles. I'm actually closer to fitting the "ankle" length than the tall length.)
Every size might now be available in the store, but online it seems like every length/size combination you can think of is always available.
Of course, I could be totally wrong, because I am squarely in the "regular" length camp and have no idea what I'm talking about.
Posted by: Amalah | January 27, 2006 at 12:40 AM
I am so with Pam on the never-letting-khaki-touch-my-body. Other people can wear it and look fine. Me? I feel entirely, totally, utterly blah. Add a polo and I feel dull beyond belief.
Posted by: ann | January 27, 2006 at 01:26 AM
EEK! I felt like the Girl With Boy Hair was me! I too, had my hair cut short once, by a very excellent (and expensive) stylist, and it was good. I did not pay for this stylist, my dad did. Then, I went back to college and needed a haircut, but I was poor, and so I went to The Hair Cuttery (YES! I KNOW! NEVER AGAIN!!!!), with many, many photographs and illustrations of what I wanted my hair to look like (cute, pixieish). And she STILL fucked it up! I came out of there looking not so much like a man, as a HARDCORE MACHO LESBIAN. All my coworkers and customers and bosses and people who I saw walking down the street were instantly convinced that I was a lesbian. The cute part? I had a boyfriend at the time. He wanted to murder the hairstylist until typical male-thinking kicked in and he starting thinking that maybe I could pick up chicks and he could watch us make out. *eye roll* SO, I totally agree with the advice you gave. Pomades became my FRIEND. Also, cutsey-girly barrettes, bows, headbands, silky scarves, anything that made me look GIRLY, and not like a hardcore macho lesbian. It took me AGES to grow my hair out, but my advice to anyone with a bad, short haircut: brush your hair. A LOT. Brushing your hair stimulates the folicles and makes it grow faster. There were some awkward times where my hair treaded into mullet-territory, but again, barettes, scarves, bows. LESSON: if you want a normal haircut, like a trim in a semi-straight line, you can get away with going to a chain like Hair Cuttery. However, if you wanted anything more complicated than a straight line (godforbid layering, razor cuts, or the aforementioned pixie cut), you MUST spring for the extra cash and go to a REAL stylist.
Posted by: Diana | January 27, 2006 at 08:50 AM
De-lurking for the silliest reason: Gap online has introduced special lines for Talls and Petites for ladies over 5'11 or under 5'3 with a full range of sizes. Personally, I have found that their long lengths fit my sorta tall, definitely not curvy, somewhat boyish shape great but sometimes you have to try many pairs in a bunch of sizes to find ones that fit b/c they vary so much. I can be anywhere from a 2 to a 6. And I LOVE their "wash and wear" policy where you can take a pair of jeans home, wear them, even wash them and if they don't work out you can take them back within 7 days (great if something shrinks or has more stretch than you thought).
Also, as someone expecting her first (a boy!)in March, I like all aspects of your blog. I first found it linking from other "Mommy blogs" but I enjoy the non-Mommy stuff and good advice (have a foundation brush and many Bed Head products) as much as the scrumptious baby pics!
Posted by: Michelle J | January 27, 2006 at 09:09 AM
Wheee!!! Thanks for answering my question, Amy! And for all the commenters who recommend the Gap. I've rarely been able to buy clothes successfully online, and I thought the Gap was for young skinny gals. But I shall renew my efforts, because my choice of pants typically get me the "Where's the flood, Noah?" snark from onlookers (no offense to any cute owl-sock-wearing Noahs who may be monitoring this blog...)
Just a comment about getting a puppy: we got a puppy about 3 months ago. It's just like having a baby, only the "baby" is really really stupid, has razor wire for teeth and poops all over the house. At least my daughter never pooped under the desk in the back room where no one discovered it for a couple of days until we were wondering if someone had died in our back room. ::sigh::
Also, there is a school of parenting thought that advocates purposely exposing kids to infectious diseases like chicken pox or the mumps. I'll take the vaccine over two weeks of rashes, thank you.
Posted by: Pam | January 27, 2006 at 09:46 AM
I'm coming to defend GAP, depsite the fact I am mad at them for selling out my favorite pair of jeans online before I could buy them.
As one of the girls that have been forced to shop in the few styles that come in tall (generally of the khaki, black and denim limited varieties), GAP was a blessing. I'm 5'11" with ridiculously long legs (not just for my height, but in general, as my inseam is actually requiring something longer than their usual tall), so having the option of the "extra-tall" online is great.
And my wee sister? She's one of those impossibly adorable girls who wears a 2 tall. Whatever.
Oh, and Amalah? I've been reading for many, many months, and am still hooked. Noah makes my ovaries twinge, and I was staunchly against kids for a LONG time. (Not in the I hate kids kind of way, but in the 'I recognize I'm selfish and want to travel and whatnot' kind of way.)
Posted by: The Muse | January 27, 2006 at 10:26 AM
I am strangely compelled to tell you that The Boy has the exact same Owlie socks as Noah.
I will stop now.
Posted by: reluctant housewife | January 27, 2006 at 11:14 AM