Friday, July 24, 2020

Wekeela 2020: They Did It



As you can see I've all but ceased writing. You know why. I don't need to go into it here, right now. I also don't want to taint this entry. But today, I thought was worthy of writing. Today I'm supposed to be in Maine.

Why am I supposed to be in Maine? It's Camp Wekeela Visiting Day! Well, it was supposed to be. If this wasn't Pandemic Summer 2020. However, there is still good news. E, IS, in fact, AT Camp Wekeela. It's just that there is only five weeks of camp versus the normal seven weeks, and to keep their bubble of safety, no one could come in or out. No parents or grandparents, sisters or brothers, aunts, uncles, or cousins this year, could get up at the ass-crack of dawn, to drive to the sprawling Wekeela campus, in the middle-of-nowhere Maine, to wait for like an hour, in a line of cars, to proceed down a winding path through the throngs of kids and staff yelling and screaming as the families come on down like The Price Is Right. #BestShortRideEver

Now, to the average reader, that might not sound that endearing or exciting. All I can say is that I'm glad I got to do it last year as our first year as Camp Wekeela parents. It is SO. MUCH. FUN. Seeing those kids waving, cheering, crying...That moment is priceless.
Obviously from last year

This entry isn't even for me, B or E. It's not a sales pitch. It's a love letter to Lori & Ephram, Jonathan, Gretchen, Rory, and all the countless staff that I don't know their names, who made this summer happen. It's even to the governor of Maine who allowed sleepaway camps to decide whether to open or not. Because that wasn't the case in every state.

But back to Lori & Ephram. They are the owners/directors of Wekeela and the backbone of this amazing camp community. The people who had to take on the responsibility of hundreds of lives this summer. They are the people who had to ultimately decide if this was going to be too much responsibility for them in the face of this unknown virus pretty killing hundreds of thousands of people.

I'm lucky enough to have been in constant contact with them throughout the winter and I know how difficult this all was- to go back and forth about what to do, what they were going to be allowed to do, how scary it was, but one thing never wavered. They felt that the kids NEEDED camp. After being cooped up at home for months, quarantined with just parents, out of school, away from friends and normal lives, they wanted the kids to be able to return to whatever semblance of normalcy they could. If Wekeela could provide that in some way, they were on board and ready to go. I can picture myself on the phone with Lori in April, pacing, discussing this, and her adamantly saying- "These kids NEED camp" with a resoluteness that I knew if there was a way, they were doing it.

And I can say, now that we are in week three, all in the clear, with everyone at camp having been tested numerous times, and all testing negative: They. Did. It. They did it. For everyone who didn't believe it could happen, said all camps should be closed, that there would be an outbreak- they did it.

I can say with 100% certainty, there has never been a more moving, more awesome video sent from camp, than this:



I could, and have, watched that video like twenty-five times. And I only cried like, the first, five.

People ask if we miss him. That's a hard one to answer. And not in a jokey, "oh, we're having so much fun without him!" way, we say- "We don't even want him to come home". And we mean it. Because, why? Come home to what? The shitshow of people arguing still what to do about school? For him to eventually hear by the time he gets home that they decided to make school all virtual? For him to have to mask back up after he's been living his best life, maskless, in Maine, at camp, with friends, doing kid stuff? No thanks. I wish they could keep him up there indefinitely. This is the safest he could possibly be. Camp was able to create a totally safe bubble. Why the hell would I want him to come home? So I could worry every time he leaves the house, every time he comes in contact with someone?

I don't know what this school year is going to bring. I don't know if we're going to be sitting here next July in the same shitshow boat. What I do know is that Lori & Ephram and their staff should be kicking back and patting themselves on the back for a job very well done. And while I said this wasn't a sales pitch, I have to think that parents looking for a sleepaway camp or even parents who weren't looking for one before, would look at what they did and think about Wekeela for next summer. Because Lori & Ephram actually figured out how to get kids to Maine, even from the "hot spots" around the country, safely, and keep the whole community safe. That was no easy feat. It took a lot of work, faith in them, faith in the parents to tell the truth about their kids health prior to travel to camp, and then trust in everyone to do what they needed to do to ensure a healthy environment for all.

As a parent, I couldn't be more thankful to have been able to send E this summer. To me, this was probably the most important summer to be able to send him. We live in NJ. That means he spent the majority of the months leading to camp indoors, basement dwelling, just by nature of our weather here. I could not have him in the basement for one more day. He's eleven. He probably won't fully appreciate this gift until later in life when he looks back on this crazy time. But he will, look back, and think about how lucky he was to have been allowed a precious five weeks of normalcy in the middle of Pandemic Year 2020.

Thank you Caflun family. You are all my heroes. Without your dedication to making camp happen, this summer would have sucked. You are the reason these kids will have a bright spot in this dumpster fire of a year. I also heard E has a lead in the play, Spelling Bee, that you're doing this summer. I think I told you that E was Aladdin in his school play that never came to fruition this school year (they were a month a way from final performance when school closed), so this is another nice moment for him. (Psst...I hope it's being recorded, thanks in advance). This entry is a virtual hug to you and the D-K house is forever grateful. I'm sad to have not seen you in Maine, but hopeful for next summer. B was just happy not to have had to take that drive, but disappointed not to see you all.


Below: E back in his happy place, singing The Judge by 21 Pilots at Camp Wekeela campfire. Nothing he looks forward to more all year than campfire. That's how he judges songs, by the way- "this sounds like it would be a good campfire song..." 


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Time Time Time

Time is a weird thing. B says that E and I thrive in chaos. It's kind of true. I remember when I was single, living in my apartment in Hackensack, working from home. I could easily live the life of a vampire. Going to bed later and later, blurring the lines of night and morning. Getting up sometime around The View. Finding it very easy to take to the bed with a bowl of Kraft Mac & Cheese, the Lifetime channel and some Newport Lights for hours on end.

Later on, after getting married, changing careers, owning a business, having a kid, my mom passing away, and life just being thrown at me like playing Asteroids, chaos ensuing around every corner, I found myself getting more done before most people get up for the day. It's been that way for so long that I didn't think I knew how be any other way.

It's not like life just stopped one day. This whole Coronavirus thing crept up like a weird boogyman vapor. I do watch the news. I just don't watch the national news. I stopped that not long after the 2016 election. Don't worry, this actually isn't going to be one of my political rants. I'm just saying, I'm not like the rest of you fighting over CNN/MSNBC vs FOX. I don't watch any of them. I watch my beloved Bill Ritter on the six and eleven o'clock ABC Eyewitness (NY) news. Local with some rest of the world thrown in. And, as my friends know, I mostly just listen, to have my other friend Bill, in the background like we're hanging out. I know what's going on, but I'm no longer a news junkie like I had been in the past. I know "enough".

I heard of Coronavirus but I wasn't paying that much attention. I HAVE SHIT TO DO. I was monumentally busy. I work daily in my store. I have my side business. I am E's Uber driver. I didn't think the virus was a joke, but hell if I thought a virus was going to take over the world. That's what movies and network dramas use for plot lines. What General Hospital uses to kill off a major character during Sweeps Week!

Coincidentally, I hadn't had to go to the city for auditions for E in awhile, yet the first two weeks of March I had to be in NYC for three auditions in Times Square at Nickelodeon for E. THREE TIMES. F me, right? Funny enough (not funny), it seems I'd never taken E to Times Square, in the hundreds of times we'd been to NYC and he was walking around there like a freaking tourist, wanting to look at and touch everything. I practically had to put him on a leash. It was March 9th when I even wrote on Facebook- "I'm in Times Square with a bazillion people, none of which are giving any f*cks about the Coronavirus!" because I thought people were overreacting.

Boy was I wrong. We also weren't getting accurate information, of course. I still never thought school would close. I definitely didn't think my business would be closed as non-essential. I didn't think my husband would have to put himself and by extension, me and E, in danger on the daily, doing grocery shopping and delivery for people who can't or don't want to their their homes to do it themselves.

I tried to look at the bright side at first. I'm not a depressive or negative person. I thought, okay, I'll do stuff. I'll organize. I'll do projects I've been putting off....

Instead, I feel like I'm back to being in that apartment in Hackensack, where I also felt stuck with my feet in quicksand or cement, with a pit in my stomach, wondering what would become of me. Except now I have a husband, a house, a kid, a car lease, a mortgage, a business, and a million other responsibilities. I just can't seem to get much completed. I start things and don't finish. I think about starting things and don't. I'm lucky if I get anything actually accomplished.

I realize that part of it is being in mourning for all E is losing out on. People love to compare tragedy and think they're either making you feel better by saying they, or someone, has it worse. Or trying to snap you out of it by trying to get you to see that other people have it "worse". But we have to be allowed to grieve and mourn our own losses.

I have one kid. I get one chance to live these milestones. He gets one chance. We are ALLOWED TO BE SAD. He's in fifth grade. He's not an academic. Sure, he gets good grades, but he doesn't LIKE academics. He doesn't get excited about learning. He's there for any scraps of fun he can find in it. Socializing. Extra curriculars. This is his last year at his little warm hug of an elementary school before middle school. The fifth graders are the big cheeses, finally getting their special activities. He waited all this time and now all that fun stuff is circling the drain.

He was to be the lead, Aladdin, in the school play. We just got the email yesterday that the play is officially cancelled. I knew deep down that it would be, but there was still a little SHRED of hope. Yesterday, the shred was finally set on fire, ashes buried. That one stung, hard. He had worked so hard. He'd been saying, "hey, I still have to practice my lines..." We'd been putting it off, knowing this day would come, but now it's real and it hurts. We're allowed to mourn that. Just because he's not a senior losing prom or graduation doesn't make it any less shitty for him. We're only up to fifth grade disappointments. That's not his our our fault. It's just what "is".

Of course my heart breaks for everyone losing out. Laura Benanti, the broadway and tv actress, did a beautiful and amazing thing, having kids across the world perform everything they won't get to perform on Twitter for her because of this nightmare. She said to tag her and hashtag #sunshinesongs. I had E do it with one of his Aladdin songs back in his first few days of school being closed because I just knew where this was all going.

One day, like two weeks ago, on the treadmill, I just had a breakdown of sorts. I was watching something on tv- I don't even remember what now, but I just completely lost my mind. I just started sobbing uncontrollably for the unfairness of it all. This was even before people were dying here. Before Bergen County and NYC were the epicenter of death. Before I actually knew people that passed away.

Yes, there are people I knew who have died of this disease. Not people I was close to, but people I knew. And my heart also breaks for their families and friends. I had a crazy scene over here where I tried to be just the vessel as to which to connect the right people as to how someone sick with it would be able to get the right hard-to-get medication. I thought it worked, only to find out that it didn't or didn't get there in time- I don't know- and the person passed away. At first I was thinking, what if I had heard sooner, what if, what if....But there are too many unknowns and it's all just too much to bear.

Again though- we all have to be able to mourn the big and small of this horrible, awful situation. The loss of school, the loss of human interaction, the loss of human life, the loss of milestones, the loss of celebrations, the loss of mourning new lives and proper burials & memorials. The loss of proms, graduations, plays, recitals, competitions, sports, once-in-a-lifetime events. There are things that all mean something to someone and no one's thing means more or less than someone else's.

Remember that line from Ally McBeal that always sticks with me...When Georgia says to Ally- "Why are your problems always so much more important than everyone else's?" and Ally pauses, cocks her head, thinks for a second, and says, "Because they're mine".

I, personally, have found that I have to take this thing day by day. I find that I get really irritated and pissed when I'm talking to people or reading from people that this is going to last for a very long time, blah blah, months, it's going to on for....making it sound practically like a life sentence. Doom and gloom for an undetermined way-too-long amount of time. I CAN'T LIVE THAT WAY. I'm not saying they're wrong. I'm not saying they're right. I'm saying- I. CAN'T. LIVE. LIKE. THAT.

It's like dessert. I eat dinner as a means to dessert. I need to know there's dessert coming. If there's no cake, life isn't worth living. Well, what good is it knowing the projection if this thing sucks giant donkey balls? No, I don't need to live in a Fantasy. However, I don't feel that the average person actually knows much of anything. I'm don't trust that our government knows much of anything. So I definitely don't trust that Joe Schmo down the street knows what's up. I need hope. I need positivity. So stop telling me life as we know it is over. Or you're going to be over- to me. Just don't say anything then, if that's what you think. Keep your negativity to yourself.

I'm going to believe things are going to get better, sooner, rather than later, and I'm going to take it one day at a time. You want to be in my boat or the EverythingIsShitWeAreAllGoingToDie boat? You pick.

PS- I'm using this picture of cake for a few reasons- one, I mentioned dessert. Two, I really miss Caked Up Cafe during this quarantine. Three, maybe I'll try to make a layer cake during this, but I doubt it. Because I can't seem to get anything done.



Friday, March 13, 2020

Can You Spare a Square?


via GIPHY

Things are rapidly changing hour by hour it seems. One minute, I'm all CoronaThis and now we're at no toilet paper to be found and not being able to spare a square. Today I'm all CoronaWhatTheFuck.

I get it. It's a big deal. I get that no one wants to hear that it will only affect those who are already in vulnerable health because most people are probably close to someone or many people who are already in vulnerable health. Hearing that doesn't lessen any panic because even if means YOU personally won't die, it still means that a loved one can. Awesome.

I admit, I wasn't freaking out prior. I wasn't freaking out about catching it. I wasn't freaking out about giving it. I'm still not. B, E, and me- none of us have any reason to think we've been exposed. *knock on wood* We live and work in a small town. We don't go to any house of worship. E goes to a small elementary school with only around fifty kids in his grade. Let's say there's maybe 250-275 kids in his whole school. Now school is closed indefinitely. He's barely been at swim, it's been over a week now, and there he's been immersed in chlorine. His other extracurricular activities are singular like guitar and piano lessons. I hadn't even been at work myself because I had a sinus infection which has come and gone. So I wasn't even really in contact with the general public much.

However, as the idea of school closures started being discussed, and more breaking news was coming in....I started feeling more and more of a tightness in my chest. I'd be fine. Then I'd go on Facebook and scroll through my feed to people's fears. I'd see questions asking what to do about attending this gathering or that one. I'd hop on one of my message boards to see questions about what if this, what if that. I started feeling like a rubber band stretched and stretched. I'd get off the internet, breathe, and try to do, think about other things...

I got on the treadmill yesterday morning around nine-fifteen. I turned on the TV, as I normally do, and it was the perfect storm. I turned it onto Kelly & Ryan or something and immediately there was a Breaking News alert. Then I picked up my phone and saw a friend's post with a photo from the local supermarket. I couldn't tell what I was looking at. I wasn't sure if it was a joke, or serious. Then I realized it was line like it was a Depression Era bread line. I started hyperventilating. I then somehow ended up in the live stream our school HSA (like the PTA) meeting. I don't know what happened, I could barely hear what they were saying because the treadmill was loud, but I caught something about how "the spring social is our big fundraiser and fingers crossed...." and I just lost it. I was hysterically crying and hyperventilating and I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown.

It was a Seinfeld moment for me. "What is this salty discharge??" I'm not a crier! Unless it's for the American Idol kids or homeless people or stories like that. But I'm not typically a worrier. I'm not a depressive person. I usually try to see the positive and I'm a hustler. I always had to kind of fly by the seat of my pants. My life has never really been "comfortable" or "easy" so I've always sort of felt like I've had to be "on my toes". Scrappy. So to just crumble like a cheap suit was humbling and surprising to say the least. I just couldn't stop sobbing. I guess it just needed to come out.

I wasn't sobbing out of fear of getting sick. I was sobbing for the uncertainty. The fear of the unknown. Of society shutting down. Of the lack of leadership in this country. I posted on Facebook recently- "WHERE ARE THE PARENTS??" Meaning, it feels like when you're a kid and you think your parents know everything, only to get to that point where you realize your parents are just people who know the same nothing you know. I knew our current leader in the White House is a clown, but it's like- shit just got real. Fast. Not only did it get real where people are dying of this whole weird virus, but what are we going to do about money? How long is this going to last? Is this the apocalypse?

I was sobbing because we own a small business and that's how we live. That's how we pay our bills. What if people can't shop or the domino effect of their lay-off causes them not to want to spend money? Unknown. It's not like we can get unemployment. Just like anyone with a small business. Then they keep interviewing small business owners in quarantined areas saying how awful this is for them. They need people to be able to come in.

Someone I know was like- "well, you're supposed to have savings" when asking what to do about a tenant asking to be late on rental they have. Even if people have savings, no one knows when this is supposed to end. How long are you supposed to be able to sustain yourselves? Unknown. Too much up in the air. I don't know anyone prepared for "Pandemic Savings".

I was sobbing for the unfairness of it all for our kids. The goals they've worked so hard for that had to be cancelled like bar/bat mitzvah readings and celebrations. E is the lead in his school play of Aladdin and we have no idea what the fate of the play is going to be. All the dance, gymnastics, and cheer recitals and competitions that are cancelled or just up in the air. The sports seasons cut short or on hold that could determine futures in college or careers. We push our kids to work so hard so they can get to their goals. We drive them to their practices, run lines, go to meets, expend time/money/gas/energy and now their goals are just cut for now. It's HARD. Sure, are these first world problems compared to death? Yeah. But they're still hardcore huge disappointments we're allowed to grieve and our feelings of sadness are valid.

I was sobbing because I have some kind of OCD or whatever where routines keep me sane. My routines don't bother anyone, or impede my life. Well, maybe they bother my friends Alex and Mike because it causes them to eat dinner at AARP time on Saturday evenings, but they're used to it by now. But the thought of all my routines being messed up just threw me into a tailspin of panic that I couldn't deal with it in that moment.

I'd stopped into an unfamiliar grocery store the night before because I just happened to pass by. I didn't know the layout and I had to leave because I couldn't find anything. It stressed me out more than not having the items, so I just left with a few things. In my crazed mental state yesterday morning, I just knew I HAD to get to MY Shop Rite. RIGHT THEN. So I hopped off the treadmill and called B, who was insisting on coming home. I guess he could tell by the insanity in my voice that was not the way this was going down, when I said, "DO NOT COME HOME". I jumped in my car and drove to Shop Rite in Paramus, where I know the layout like the back of my hand.

I got all my staples. I did not get toilet paper. As an aside, besides the toilet paper craze being ridiculous, I do not need toilet paper. We get the cheap kind of Scott toilet paper on Amazon Subscribe & Save because that's what he likes. He says it never stuffs a bowl. I'm not arguing over TP. We got like thirty-two rolls then. B starts using it and tells me it's defective. That it's only one ply and it shouldn't be. That it feels too thin and you can't wipe your butt properly with that.

Well. I don't investigate One-ply TP-gate. Anyone that knows me, knows, you wind me up, doesn't take much, I call Amazon and just start yelling. I have Diamond in me. That's just what we do. Ask E about my road rage. I'm screaming, asking the customer service guy if he's ever wiped his ass with one ply of TP. Yadda yadda, another thirty two rolls show up. We were in the middle of our basement renovation after our flood. Where was I supposed to put all this TP?? I started shoving it in the built-ins down there, behind the bar, wherever. Then, of course, I promptly forgot about it. Until a few weeks ago when I opened the built-ins to try to put something else in there. So I can spare a few squares. 

 So I got my basics. I didn't hoard. I didn't even buy any cleaning supplies. I wouldn't know what to do with them anyway. I got milk. Stuff to bake if I felt so inclined. Stuff to make like twenty-four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And most important- Two packages, which is four loaves, of The Cheesecake Factory brown bread. Because, what else do you need? I felt like I could breathe after that. Not so much because of the items I'd bought, but because I also needed that time away from the TV and the internet. I realized that's what's giving me the anxiety. The overload of the media. The overload from my own well meaning friends.

I understand we need to take it serious. This entry is more a stream of consciousness than anything else. I have no words of wisdom to impart. Information comes in to us in bits and pieces, all day long. No one seems to know what to do. I don't.

Some are saying to stay home away from everyone. Some are saying just don't go into larger crowds. I just think we have to use our common sense and try not shut down society as best we can. I'm not a doctor or a health professional. All I can do is try to keep my little group of three clean and healthy, not infect anyone else, and watch our mental health. I'll keep telling people to stop hoarding toilet paper because we don't have a shortage. We aren't going to shit ourselves into oblivion. I'm trying to keep of some kind of balance of normal life and following whatever it is we're told to do by whomever seems like the best authority. While still trying to keep a sense of humor. No one thinks this is funny. This is all some scary unprecedented shit with no leadership to keep us calm. So don't fault those of us who use humor to deflect from fear as foolish or uncaring. We're just trying to cope the best we can.

Hopefully E will be able to use this time to really become a rockstar. He'll have more than enough time to practice.


Monday, March 9, 2020

CoronaTHIS



You know what the Coronavirus is for? People with time on their hands. You know who it's not for? People who are f'ing busy. That's really the long and short of it.

You know what else I realized? I realized that if you watch TV or hang in online groups, everything seems much more dire than if you're just out living life. I watch a LOT of TV and hang in A LOT of online groups. I feel like I am seeing A LOT of hysteria right now. But only there. And on the airwaves in general.

Most people know I'm a HUGE Stern fan. Like, obsessively listen, even listening to the same episodes over, just having it on, even if I've heard it already, because their voices are comforting to me. Howard has been talking about the virus non-stop. He can't help himself. I can't imagine being that paranoid. I hear it on there, then I go about my business and forget about it.

Yesterday, Sunday, I was ALL OVER THE PLACE. I was in Rockland County, NY first. I went to Caked Up Cafe, to get myself my weekly cupcakes. If a measles outbreak wasn't going to keep me away, neither is a little Covid-19. For those who don't know, Rockland was the scene of a huge measles outbreak like a year or so ago. I think even specifically the town, New City, that Caked Up is in, was one of the outbreak towns. No matter. I'm getting my cake.

Then I went from Rockland to Waldwick NJ, where I went to Rite Aid, then Giant Farmer's Market. Nothing seemed amiss in either of those places. Bustling, as usual, for a Saturday. From Waldwick to Shop Rite in Wyckoff, which was a typical shitshow for a weekend supermarket run. Back to Glen Rock to the gas station, a bagel store, and CVS. All busy, busy, as usual, all while people were out and about, doing their thing.

Not to mention that Friday, morning, at like nine-thirty, on my way to a doctor's appointment, NOT for Coronavirus, I stopped at Michael's, the big box craft store, for a gift card. It's on the way to my doctor's office, on the same side of nightmare of a highway. I didn't want to have to turn around, then turn around again like Big Ben, Parliament (National Lampoon's European Vacation) and I thought I'd be in and out. NOPE.

People were there in droves, all jaunty, not trying to hoard hand sanitizer. They were loading up on faux bunnies, topiaries, wreathes, and whatever hideous spring and Easter decor they could get their hands on. There was no Corona-mania in site. I can't even say they were trying to amass crafts, for stuff to do, in case of quarantine. In front of me, I had a lady with a cart full of faux wreaths, bunnies, and topiaries. The next lady had some cork boards. And another one had some plain t-shirts with her faux flowers. Why do I know so much about what was in their carts? BECAUSE I WAS BEHIND THEM ALL AND I HAD TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE! No one had any sense of urgency. They were all just moseying around, without a Corona-care in the world.

That's why I'm totally convinced that without the TV and internet, people don't give a flying fig what is going on. We'd probably all be better off if we didn't hear or read anything and just washed our damned hands.

Every time I open Facebook and scroll, in every group I'm in, We Live In Bergen County, Bergen County Moms, etc etc etc, there's a new post about what is being hoarded, people asking what they should hoard, price gouging, how many cases, where the cases are, and so on. All that does is add fuel to the fire.

It's gorgeous out today in NJ. And I suspect in NYC as well. E has a meeting in NYC this afternoon. What I'm hoping, is that all this Corona is going to lighten the traffic load for me today. That will be my bonus today. We've been skipping the dirty water dog and/or the cart pretzel for awhile now and opting for baked goods instead. We'll take in the sunshine, breathe in some air, hoping for some that's more fresh than Covid-19 filled and take our chances. And wash our hands when we get home.

No one is saying to lick the subway pole. Or make out with sick people. Just use common sense. I know that is in REALLY short supply these days, and is asking a lot, but please. PLEASE. For the good of the world at large...try. 

Enjoy the day people, enjoy the day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What are YOU doing?



*Forgive any spelling errors. I don't know what happened but they seemed to have removed spellcheck or something*

I have The Talk on in the background at work. They're talking about the Quaden Bayles, little boy from Australia with Dwarfism who had been being bullied. His mom videotaped him saying he wanted to die. The video had gone viral recently. Marie Osmond mentioned a friend who lost her child to suicide recently, who found all these notes stuffed under her kid's bed that had words like- "kill yourself", "die loser", etc.

Then they talked about bullying and how it needs to stop.

All these news outlets have talked about this one bullied kid that went viral and how celebrities have come out in support of him and people donated all this money to him. That's great. But that's ONE kid. Do you know how many more kids are being bullied on a daily basis? I'm happy this kid is now has hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to Disney in a GoFundMe account but what is being taught in every household in America to stop this kind of behavior??

A lot of the bullying happens online. Okay- how do we remedy that one? Well, at least in elementary to or through middle school, we don't NEED TO GIVE KIDS SMARTPHONES. There are so many other options to be able to get in touch with or GPS your kids if need be.

E doesn't have any smartphone, which I've discussed in Facebook groups and message boards ad nauseum, because I don't think kids- tweens, teens, etc need smart phones. My personal feeling. Nothing good is coming of it, because parents are just handing them over like loaded guns, with no supervision. They're just letting them have social media accounts before they know how to handle them. We just gave E an iPod Touch so he can use Garage Band. That thing is locked down to where he could barely look up Sesame Street and the whole thing shuts down after an hour. At first, the security was so strong, I locked myself out of it.

B and I have a music Instagram account for E, for professional purposes. He only sees it if we show it to him or ask him to write something for it that WE post. He never even looks at it unless there's a comment we choose to show him. B listened to all these podcasts that said if E is going to try out for shows like America's Got Talent (which he did), they say he needs to have all these social media accounts in place first. But that doesn't mean we have to let him on them! He doesn't rule us- we rule him! That's the beauty of parenting! WE rule!

Parents aren't checking. They're not. Unless you know you're going to be checking, just don't go there. You know how many parents I know who told me when they were giving their kid a smartphone that they were TOTALLY GOING TO BE CHECKING, putting parental controls on, blah blah blah....yet, when it came time, did a WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING? Yep. Most of 'em. Because you get complacent. They're like, eh, my kid isn't really going to do anything. UNTIL THEY DO.

So, okay, *I* don't believe they NEED it but you do and you're the parent. Fine. If you're going to insist they need it you just want to give them a smart phone, make sure you're reading all their texts, looking at all their stuff. No, they don't get privacy. There is no such thing. It's YOURS. You pay for it, it's YOURS. Say it with me.... It's YOUR responsibility to be checking. It's up to you to have the conversations. Check in once a day, once a week, once a month- whatever it is- and talk about their behavior online. I guarantee if you're REALLY checking, you may not see things that are shocking or awful from/by your own kid, but bet your behind you see it from or by one of their friends!

A lot of the time, these are the same people who just handed their kid a smartphone with no restrictions are the ones who have side eyed me for years for letting/making E watch the news and know what's going in the world. Or let him listen to Howard Stern. Or hear me say a curse word. Or think it's weird and hysterical that he and I watch General Hospital. Well, guess what? General Hospital over the years has been the springboard to some awesomely deep conversation. Especially in terms of how to treat people.

With or without General Hospital though, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE. I don't know what in the actual hell is being talked about in a lot of homes, but I really don't think common courtesy is a typical topic. I've seen the stuff adults I grew up with have written, publicly, on social media, like using old school homophobic slurs, not even used to describe an actual homosexual person, or act, but using it the way one would've used it in the 80's - just as a derogatory term. As in- "X, that f'ing ******". So if people my age are still throwing out that terminology as a "nasty insult" to someone, I can only imagine that they're not stopping to have conversations with their kids about how to treat their peers with kindness and respect. I could be wrong I guess, but I feel like that assumption is correct. By the way, my heart almost stopped when I saw that the other day. THE OTHER DAY. WHO USES THAT F WORD TO DESCRIBE SOMEONE IN 2020?!

Plus, I see it with kids in general. Just incidents of kids not being good friends. One telling another they're not going to be invited to their birthday party- when they're old enough to know that's a hurtful thing to say. Or leaving a friend somewhere to see if there's someone "better" to play with. Even early boy/girl drama of finding out a friend likes a boy and trying to be that boy's girlfriend on purpose. No, of course you can't control who likes whom, and all this is just a right of passage, but JEEZ LOUISE, is anyone's mom talking to their girl about being a girl's girl?? Even Rita talked to me about that stuff. Or told me stories where I inferred who was the a-hole in the situations she told me about. It's never too early to talk about that! Even E learned about that on on GH between with the Lulu/Dante/Brook Lyn triangle.

Are parents claiming they're too busy to have these conversations? Do they think their kids are too young to talk about what it means to be a good person? A good friend? It ISN'T true that all we need to know we learned in Kindergarten. Because now, in Kindergarten, they're too busy being stuffed with academics. So we have to do our JOBS as PARENTS and teach our OWN children how to act like human beings and treat people nicely.

I'm not just talking the talk either. I'm not saying I'm the most awesome parent in all of the land, better than anyone else. I'm not going to give you a list of all my F-ups. I mean, I'm a Leo, so of course, I don't really believe I F up all that often. But seriously, it's not a competition. I'm not saying I should get the big piece of chicken. What I can totally say is that I *am* having these conversations. I think many people are forgetting to have these conversations. Or they're focusing on other priorities- academics, sports, classes, activities. They're "too busy".

When E leaves the house, we used to say, "Yelp Reviews". What that means is that every time he leaves he's representing our family and we want good reviews coming back to us. Behave. Be kind. Be helpful. Be respectful. Be NICE. Not difficult concepts. And we get those reviews. Moms that I don't know, finding me on Facebook, to tell me E played with their preschooler or Kindergarten kid on the playground, making their day. We tell him every time so he knows he's doing the right thing and that behavior is positively reinforced. So nature or nurture, he's a NICE person. 

E's not perfect. Obviously no one is perfect. No kid is perfect. But, I know for a fact that he's a nice person. We've talked about what it means to be a nice person. How to show sympathy and how to have empathy. How to look for kids who might be sad or lonely. To notice if someone might not have anyone to sit with or play with. To take the initiative to introduce himself to people who are new or shy.

And if we got a report, or more than one, that he was a dick, he'd be in major trouble. I wouldn't be saying- "Not my kid!" He's been told that too. He's also been told that while we always want him to do well in school, be a reader, get good grades, I'll always care more that I find out or hear that teachers, parents, and peers think he's a good person. I told him this yesterday on the way to swim practice.

None of this is brain surgery. I'm watching Dr. Phil right now. This episode is about a fourteen year old who bullies his parents - physically, verbally, and mentally because he's addicted to video games. He's decided to stop showering and going to school because he's on the couch all day on screens. He's fourteen. How did he get to that point? Well, clearly, no one was having any conversations on how to act prior to this intervention. Clearly, they have other things going on as well. Dad calls mom a fat bitch sometimes when he's angry. This is an extreme case or it wouldn't be on TV. But the simple fact is that there probably weren't a lot of conversations going on with this kid about the appropriate way to speak to anyone prior to ending up on Dr. Phil.

By the way, E loves some Dr Phil. Another way to springboard some great conversations. He was watching the above mentioned episode with me.

We NEED to be having conversations with our kids. Not JUST about grades. Not JUST about sports. Not JUST about sex. Not JUST about drugs. But JUST about being nice, good, kind people. How to check to see if a friend seems sad. Not to be a social climber- meaning, not to ditch one friend for someone who seems cooler. Not to leave your friend somewhere- a party, a sports event, a dance, etc to meet up with other people or because they want to stay and you don't. That they need to work it out together, and one of them is going to be annoyed, but they don't leave each other. You come together, you leave together. Pay attention when your friend talks. Look each other in the eye. Don't let anyone talk crap about your friends to you. Stand up for people who seem to need it- who can't stand up for themselves. If you hear someone being a dick, say something. So on and so forth.

THEY DON'T JUST KNOW THIS STUFF WITHOUT BEING TAUGHT OR TOLD.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Unknowing who you know

I used to want to know everyone. Ever since I was a kid, I felt like I was meant for more than small town living, only knowing the people in my immediate surroundings. Don't get me wrong, I never wanted to move to the big city, fifteen miles away, that was close enough. It wasn't specifically about suburban surroundings that made me yearn for more, I just think I always inherently KNEW that life is about who you know. 

Maybe because I wasn't a scholar and I didn't really know while I was growing up what I wanted to do as a career. I was never that kid on a specific track toward any one profession. I always worked though, as a teen, always outside of my town. Why? To meet people. My friends and I already hung out in the mall a few towns away all the time, so why not monetize that? I worked in the mall. Probably, if I have to be honest, to meet boys, not just any old people. Whoever I was trying to know then, I think I just knew, even subconsciously, that the more people you meet, the more chance you have for something good or exciting to happen.

I was told I had to go to college, which was fine, because I didn't even really know what that meant, aside from what I'd seen in movies. I was happy to be going though, realizing I'd just meet more people.

I just liked meeting people. There's an unknown when you strike up a conversation in a store, on the beach, on line at the bank. I met some guy today at Starbucks. I have a whole foam/no foam issue, which deserves it's own entry, but while I was dealing with that, a guy struck up a conversation. I probably seem approachable because I'm approached more often then not. Now that I'm 45, with grays on dry shampooed hair, an endless supply of bootcut leggings and no make-up on, I don't think it's my supermodel looks. I just seem amenable to chatting. And I AM. Effortlessly.

When I found social media- Friendster, MySpace, to Facebook, it was like a goldmine of people. I could go back down memory lane, I could friend the people I met on line at the bank, and I could realize I do like people I didn't think I liked. Well, some of them. Then there's the other end of the spectrum. People I had been so happy to reconnect with, that I have awesome memories with as a child, that have so disappointed me with who they turned out to be as adults. 

I'm pretty sure I'm ready to unknow a lot of the people I already know.

I don't think I'd ever be able to go as far as to say that I'm closed like a border wall and not wanting to know new people. That's just not who I am. But I definitely have to be more careful as to who I associate with.

Does that sound dramatic? I don't think so. I'm basing this thought process on being a parent. My kid just turned eleven. He's an old eleven in the way that he's very socially aware and conscious. Whether by nature or nurture, he's a very kind, compassionate, deep person with a strong sense of how people should be treated. He knows the value and definition of being a good friend and tries his hardest to be a person that people want in their lives.

Because being a good person, a friend to all, and an understand soul is so important to us, I can't give people passes who spread ignorance and hate. I can't make excuses for people because of a shared personal history. On old memories. Really, hindsight is 20/20 and when I think back, I can remember certain events that were foreshadowing to these currently held beliefs, I just didn't know it at the time.

It's not about thinking "differently". I have close friends that think somewhat differently on different topics. It's about venom and vitriol. Taking that difference in thinking and actively working against groups of people that deserve peace and love like anyone else. It's when thinking differently turns into trying to pass laws that hurt other people. It's when thinking differently means refusal to any proper research from any credible sources and just regurgitating what's been put out there by other ignorant people.

Yes, in theory, you should be able to have discussions and thoughtful debate with those with differing opinions. There are just some topics I don't feel I would feel like a hypocrite giving people a pass for behavior that is the opposite of what I teach my son is loving, accepting and on the right side of history.
 




Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Who You Are

This is a blatant ask of you kind readers. So if you don't want to be asked, please look away. I'm not asking for money or anything like that.

But let me tell you- it's HARD....

To get Instagram followers! For E. I want them to be authentic- I mean, we could pay for followers. But we don't want to do that. And I'm old and don't even know how one goes about doing that. I want people who really want to hear/see/ what E is doing with his music. Or, you just want to do me a favor, which is authentic too.

Below is his recent performance of a new song, "Who You Are".

He needs followers on Instagram so if you could help him out, we'd appreciate it!
https://www.instagram.com/ethankulemusic/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ethankulemusic/

This is his YouTube channel that you can also subscribe to:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn1gA88oAFD3la974eWYspQ


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Satisfaction

I was going to call this entry- "You can't always get what you want..." then I thought, You CAN always get what you want..." I ended up going with "Satisfaction" because that's REALLY what it's about.

I'm writing this going into what's pretty much the last shopping week before the holidays. Both Christmas and Hanukkah are coinciding this year, with Hanukkah coming in first at December 22. You're running around, buying gifts, or clicking a button, buying gifts.

But are you LISTENING? Are you getting those you're buying gifts for what they want or what they asked for?

I'm in a bunch of Facebook groups and on message boards and I see this as a common complaint. They can't seem to get what they want from certain people in their lives OR they're the one insisting on getting something for a loved one that person doesn't particularly want. The BUYER just wants to see the person open it. I keep seeing "No gift cards. They HAVE to have something to open, I need to see them open something". I also see receivers complaining their mother, their mother-in-law, their great uncle, refuse to get them gift cards or give money to whatever practical item they need because THEY NEED TO SEE SOMETHING OPENED. 

I sort of get it with a kid. Don't get me started on the gluttony of the season vs the reason for the season because I don't subscribe to or participate in any of this tomfoolery. E figured out before last Christmas that Santa wasn't real so that was that. It's over. The jig is up. He'll get a few things for Hanukkah but we don't do this whole excessive gifting for any holiday. We buy things as we want to throughout the year and I don't need to see anything opened on a particular day. But most people don't do things this way and it's fine. This isn't an entry about how you should work your holidays or how gifting shouldn't be the reason for the season and all that.

As an aside, we just resurrected our little hoarder's "rocky rocky chair" - a Dutailier glider we had in his room from when he was born until a couple of years ago. We unveiled it to him, in it's new home in the  newly renovated basement recently, and he got fully "mountain of gifts" verklempt over it. Merry Christmakkuh! 

Back to regular people's holidays where a resurrected rocking chair isn't going to do it, my unsolicited holiday advice- GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. I've said before that I grew up celebrating Christmas because my parents wanted to celebrate it. When Rita was alive, she still gave me a Christmas gift as an adult, and it was my favorite gift ever. She would hand me a bag with a mess of gift cards in it. AND I WAS THRILLED. I LOVE to shop. If I'd gotten cash, I'd feel like I had to spend it practically- on bills. With gift cards, it would be like having money I could spend on me, for frivolous wants any time I felt like it. It was just as exciting to her to see my "open" my bag of gift cards as it would be to see me open and have to pretend to like some ugly gold leaf earrings my almost-mother in-law once bought me. Along with some Freesia bath beads.

No one knows how to shop for me better than ME. And my mom knew and respected that. Besides, with her wearing an acid washed denim fanny pack and my old Wigwams, we definitely had different aesthetic taste.

Of course people don't always tell you what they want. Also, I'm sure it does take the fun out of it when someone just tells you one thing they want. Then you're stuck with that one thing and there's absolutely no surprise there. Or you're spouses and you do gifts by list, just getting everything on a list. They probably should've just bought the stuff themselves. However, if someone just wants gift cards, stop trying to make Fetch happen and get them the gift cards. It may not be the worlds most exciting thing to see someone open gift cards, but they'll SO appreciate the gift. Isn't that what you want? The whole point of giving someone a gift is that they'll ENJOY it.

If your grown child is saving for a dishwasher, it may not be fun, but they'll be so appreciative that they can just get their damn dishwasher. It's not a gift to give them something they then have to do extra to enjoy- like giving brand new parents tickets to a show they don't particularly want to see, on a night they really don't have time for and have to get a sitter. So unless you're also arranging for them to having the time off from work and you're babysitting, just give them the cash they want! Or give them the babysitting and a gift card to the movies to go on their time schedule.

Someone who loves and gets me buys me a gift certificate to the nail salon I like for every gifting holiday. And I LOVE IT. Because I always need to get my nails done. It costs $50 every time and I don't always have an extra $50 for something frivolous like that. I LOVE having the gift certificate knowing that if I just want to get my nails done, I don't have to rationalize paying for that to myself. Or, if I want to get a super luxurious pedicure that I'd never pay for myself, I CAN. My face is just as happy opening that as I would be opening an actual tangible THING.

Your loved ones just want to know you put thought in and buying them what they want vs what you want to give them or what you want to see opened, IS putting the thought in. Even if what you're buying seems boring or stupid. The same way that you think a mound of stuff is going to light up their world, because YOU want to see the excitement you think that pile will bring. Meanwhile, there will most likely be one or two things they LOVE and the rest will just be overwhelming.

Merry Everything and Happy shopping!


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Year End Update

I think this has been the slowest writing year yet since I started this blog. It's not even for all the reasons I've stated before, but I'll tell ya, it's old age. Not old-old, but I swear, when I'm in the shower, I think of things I want to write about when I get to work. Then I get to work and totally forget what I wanted to write. So, you missed some really good thoughts, but they just flew right out of my head.

Today I decided to write because I've had a doozy of a past few months, I've gotten some new gadgets, we've had some life experiences, and I'm sure some people also think that I've been a little missing in action.

School started in September and it's been a whirlwind. I feel like it just started and we're closing in on winter vacation. Or Staycation as we like to call  it. Yesterday I was at work and a client asked if something could be ready for Christmas. B said probably not because that's only like two weeks away. TWO WEEKS?? I don't really care because holidays aren't stressful or any more action packed than any other time for us, but I just wasn't thinking, "two weeks". We never even decorated our house with any holiday cheer, which we usually do. Glad E didn't notice because it's less for B to do- the putting up and taking down of it all. Maybe it also feels faster because Thanksgiving was late this year, thus giving us less time for the whole Christmas-frenzy.

I don't know if I wrote about it but in June, our water heater broke and left us with inches of water in the basement. We had full carpet down there. It took forever for the insurance to go through because right after that happened to us, there was a hurricane or some other extreme weather down the shore and the insurance company was swamped. Sometime around the end of September, the insurance went through and we were able to have work on the basement started. The guy doing the work is amazing at his job, but he's one guy. Also, it's not like I had somewhere to put stuff, so he had to work around it, putting down a floor. One guy having to move all that stuff around adds time. You also don't realize how much stuff you had or have until you have a floor and/or have to clear out a whole room. It became the dumping ground for all E's toys, games, game pieces, BALLS, more balls, Lincoln Logs, you name it.

So it's December, and I can say the main part of the basement, where people would hang out, is now fully usable and almost finished. It's just bits of decor that need to be completed. The bathroom down there has a new tile floor, which is SPECTACULAR, and now he's working on the actual scene of the crime- the laundry room.

Speaking of the bathroom floor, I finally got to do me. When we moved in, we didn't do anything except add our own furniture and art. It was already almost newly painted. It was NOT my style at all. It was fine. Just not my kind of colors. We weren't painting over new paint, so I learned just to decorate around it and make it work. Starting from scratch in the basement though, I got to do it the way *I* wanted to do it. And I like iridescent.

If you want tile, there are a million tile places to choose from. If you want something out of the ordinary, non-neutral, FUN, and kind of funky, it's A LOT harder to find what you're looking for. Luckily this is a small bathroom and after much Googling, I found MY tile. I found Mosaic Tile Supplies somehow and of course the first one I wanted, there wasn't enough tile. It would be a whole thing where they could make something similar but not quite. I have never purchased tile before and hadn't seen this in person. I was wary of having something custom done when I'd never seen it. I chose Broadway Blue instead. Even the names of the tile were right up my alley. Below is before and after.


We decided to do a backsplash in our kitchen too because we don't have one. It's a very small area so the one I originally wanted for the bathroom floor is going to be the backsplash because they had just enough sheets of tile for that. But that's a project for down the road. I have the tile because I ordered it together, but let's just get the basement done.

So we've had to move stuff out, change what we had, fix this and that, etc. I've been pretty much consumed with this whole thing because now that it's getting done my way, I've had a lot of decisions to make. Both B and I are quick decision makers, but it's the research of finding what I want that's been the challenge. It's always a needle in a haystack kind of thing, especially when you have a tight budget!

We didn't change the sink vanity because it wasn't in the budget, but for eighty dollars, I was able to buy that Homecom space-saver cabinet tower and put it together myself. It only took like two hours and only one shelf is upside down!


During all this renovation, E was waiting to hear if he won the Westfield's Got Talent contest (he didn't), and gearing up to try out for America's Got Talent. Extra guitar and singing lessons, swim practice in a very inconvenient location with no one this swim season to carpool with, and acting classes in NYC with Actors Technique NY, he and I were both running around in complete chaos. Thanksgiving came, fulfilling our yearly dinner tradition of family friends in our town, with E coming down with pneumonia, then promptly giving it to me. Womp Womp.

I also want to give a heads up about some cool stuff we got for this renovation. We haven't done ANYTHING to our house, as far as decor, since we moved in fourteen years ago. It was funny, one of E's friends came over and was wowed by our new Alexa enabled voice controlled Smart TV. Yeah kid, when you still have tube TV sets and finally get a new one, it has all the bells and whistles for super cheap now. It's amazing how you can time warp from 2000 to 2019 in one Amazon click for under two hundred bucks.

We got an Insignia Fire TV or something. I have a Toshiba Fire TV I got on Prime Day for like ninety-nine dollars upstairs. I like them because who doesn't love a Smart TV? I had a Roku plug in thing for awhile on the TV in the basement, but it was a pain. It's just more convenient to have it IN the TV. However, I will tell you the one really annoying thing. The only thing, but it irks the living crap out of me. If B or E was watching something on Amazon or Netflix in the sun room, when I turn one of those Amazon Fire TVs on somewhere else, it doesn't go to live TV. It is on the Home screen ready to go back to watching something on Amazon Prime. I have to use the actual TV branded remote to switch back to HDMI 1. It just takes extra time when I would prefer the live TV just to turn on. There is no way to do that, at least not on the Toshiba. I haven't really investigated the Insignia, but it's probably the same deal.

I'll tell you this too- it's probably better to stick with the lower priced TVs versus springing for a certain "brand name" TV. We have a Samsung smart TV in the bedroom that is a few years old. I turned it on the other night and everything - people, inanimate objects, etc- were ALL OUTLINED IN GREEN. I don't know what happened, and it's fixed now, but I'm sure from the little sleuthing I did online, that means it's on it's way out. They don't make stuff like they used to! Evidenced by the still working ginormous HEAVY tube TV we just ditched.

We also made our thermostat Smart this past weekend. Well, WE didn't make it Smart. It came that way. I got an Ecobee4 Alexa enabled/controlled Smart thermostat with a separate sensor on Prime Day. It sat in a box since July, along with The Ring that isn't installed yet. B watched some YouTube videos and felt he could put it in himself. Until, of course, he was done installing and it didn't work. Then it became all about how I push him into doing things way above his ability. However, another of course, he managed to get it to work. It's super cool. If I want to have it play music in the dining room where it's on the wall, I can have guests serenaded through dinner. Because guests would be the only reason we'd be eating in the dining room. We don't really have guests, ever, but now that the basement will be completed AND you can be serenaded through a meal, maybe we will!

The best part of this thing is that when I'm having hot flashes and I've taken the AC down to like sixty-four degrees, and I've inevitably left the house without turning it back up, I can change the temp right from my phone. Awesome for forgetful people like me.



I also got a cool light that can play music through Bluetooth and and changes colors. Because I want to live my life in rainbow, even when I'm peeing. And you can find it HERE if you want one of your very own.

So, that's what's been going on, where I've been, what I've been doing, and obviously what I've been buying and putting together. E has had a decent amount of auditions, so in between having and spreading pneumonia, we've been on the go to this or that audition in NYC. He just had something yesterday, then on the way home I got an email that I had to record him before bed for something else. It's always something! We even managed to squeeze in going to a Camp Wekeela ice cream social/reunion.

Next entry or maybe one after, I'll show you the whole basement.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I Want A Peloton

I've totally been coveting a Peloton. I don't even know if I'd like it but everyone I know who has one seems to love it. Howard Stern has one and his admittedly ginormous (body weight) male staff have them too. Stern was talking about Peloton almost daily for awhile, even having one set up in his hotel when he recently went to Los Angeles to promote his book, Howard Stern Comes Again.

I just saw all the controversy about the new Peloton holiday commercial today and I can't believe all the outrage and overreaction. The commercial shows a "rail thin woman" (as called by news outlets and haters on Twitter) receiving one for Christmas from her husband. People went bananas. They said the commercial is sexist. It's anti-woman. Women interviewed on the street said they wouldn't be happy if their husband bought them a piece of exercise equipment. I think I saw something about the commercial being bad for women's body image.

Commercial here:


THIS IS CRAZY. Nowhere in the ad did anyone say anything about losing weight. I know people who run or lift weights just because it's a stress release. My husband, B, just started exercising again after like ten years of not doing it, because he just turned fifty and wants to be HEALTHY. I don't think he even has any weight to lose. If he loses any pounds, that will be a byproduct, but he isn't working out for that purpose.

I'm not skinny. I'm curvy. I hate exercise. Yet, I hate walk/jog on my treadmill just about six to seven days a week for around sixty to ninety minutes every time. I literally hate every minute. I fantasize about some form of exercise that would "change me" as the girl in the commercial said the Peloton did. I WANT TO LIKE EXERCISE.

The only sexist thing about the commercial is that I have to assume that they had the man give it to the woman because it's expensive. And men tend to have different mirrors than women, as the late, great Richard Jeni once said. No matter what he really looks like, he tends to think he looks much BETTER, whereas women are much harder on themselves.

If a guy is getting his wife a Peloton, chances are she ASKED for it. Or showed her longing as they passed by it in the mall. Our big mall has a Peloton store. I've walked by and looked at it longingly. But the bike is around twenty-two hundred dollars! I know I can't afford it. So if someone were to purchase one for me- my husband, Santa, whomever, I'd gladly take it.

I think people need to REEL IT IN. This isn't any old exercise bike. This is a pretty big investment. It's not the kind of thing you put together and it ends up used to hang clothes on. You buy the bike but you're also buying like a gym membership. There's a monthly fee for the classes or whatever. Don't quote me, but I'm pretty sure, unless you purchase the bike secondhand, you have to buy the membership. So again, this isn't my mom's stationary bike that collected dust in our basement.

Not to mention, SOME PEOPLE LIKE EXERCISE! Some of those people happen to be women, and some of them happen to be wives. People know if their husband is a dick, buying them a piece of exercise equipment to make some kind of dick statement on their weight. If B was somehow able to afford a Peloton, I would certainly not think he was being a dick.

People who are bothered are projecting their own issues on to this ad. Period. People just took it as the husband thinking his wife needs to lose weight. That wasn't even implied. It's not like she was fat when she started and by the years end it showed her as skinny from all her Peloton-ing. I saw a kid in that commercial. Maybe he thought she needed a stress release that wasn't "mommy wine culture". If it was a wine commercial and he'd bought her a case of wine, people would probably think that was funny.

We don't have to be offended by everything. Exercise isn't just about losing weight either. It's annoying that people immediately jumped to the notion that someone giving the gift of movement is doing so to send a message about weight. Exercise is also just about general health. Considering we have an obesity problem in this country, I don't think that giving a gift that someone will actually use to get healthier is automatically a bad thing.

This is a hate bandwagon. People seem to be easily brainwashed these days to jump on a hate train and be outraged about anything. It's like just wanting to fight for fight's sake. To have an issue just because. It's stupid. Personally, I'd rather see a wife get a Peloton in a commercial than a car. It's more realistic to me for someone to get a 3k Peloton versus a brand new Lexus. If you have a husband that gifting a Peloton from is a dick move, then just YOUR husband is a dick. Maybe you should kick him to the curb and keep the Peloton.