This is a link-up with Stasha’s Monday Listicles over at one of my fave blogs, The Good Life. This week’s topic: Yin Yang, a mother’s perspective.
Yin Yang represents two energies which cause everything to happen – “yin” is black and “yang” is white: opposites that can’t exist without each other.
Well. Here are some of my Yin Yang conundrums.
Yin: I love American Idol —–> Yang: We don’t watch TV.
I love American Idol (and any low-bottom, late-night trash reality TV or anything to do with murder and abduction, frankly) but I saw the impact TV was beginning to have on my kids so this past June, I murdered our TV.
It wasn’t easy. (I had to go through three nights of Nancy Grace withdrawals.)
When I called Comcast and asked them to disconnect me from the Mothership it was a request that happens so rarely they didn’t seem to understand.
Me: “I’d like to disconnect my cable please.”
Comcast Guy: “Excuse me?”
Me: “I’d like to disconnect my cable.”
Comcast Guy: “Is there a problem with your service?”
Comcast Guy: <Incredulous, prolonged silence.>
Comcast Guy: “Well – I mean – can you tell me why you want to disconnect?”
Me: “I’m pretty sure you don’t want to get me started.”
Comcast Guy: “I need to put something in the report.”
Me: “Write that I have a 9 year old daughter and iCarly had a 14-year-old girl making out on a couch with a 17-year-old boy. Write that I’m creeped-out by the way billion dollar companies with names like KidPower are sitting around a conference table right now trying to figure out ways to market to the new demographic they call “Closet Children” – 7 to 9-year-old girls who want to shop at Limited Too and ‘look grown up’ but who secretly play with dolls when they come home…because they don’t want anyone to know they’re actually children.”
Comcast Guy: “i-what?”
Me: “iCarly. Write that my 6-year-old asked if we could go for a swim at 1-800-Beaches, and told me “We need to buy some OxyClean from the television.”
Comcast Guy: “.”
Me: “Look, I don’t have to tell you why I want to disconnect from The Mothership. Just disconnect me, Darth.”
Comcast Guy: “I don’t think I am authorized to do anything about this. I’m going to transfer you to our CUSTOMER LOYALTY DEPARTMENT.” (Ha!)
I thought he was going to say “May the force be with you,” because in his mind I was traveling to the Dark Side – the place where they have no ads for Cocoa Puffs and Nintendo game stations.
Maybe it was all the hoopla over my first Lands’ End Post, or the sequel to it - maybe it’s that my daughters are old enough now to use a remote and to be influenced by Hanna Montana and advertisers, but I’ve been looking at the world differently – with a critical Yin Yang eye, a mother-of-a-tweenaged-daughter-eye, and I do not like what I see.
Yin: We are a boob-centric society —–> Yang: But breast feeding is “controversial.”
We are a boob-centric society. You’ve got places like Hooter’s that are basically named after well, hooters, becoming normalized to the point that families now go there to eat. You’ve got T & A all over the place, on magazine covers, on Reality TV shows like Real Housewives where it’s normal for women to have silicon breast implants – basically everywhere you look there are boobs.
Breast feeding in public is still controversial. WTF?!
Yin: America is a democracy that values human rights —-> Yang: But in America women are still getting kicked off buses for breast feeding their babies.
Last year this mom was kicked off a plane for breast feeding her baby. In June, this mom was kicked off a bus by a female bus driver for breast feeding. I’m disappointed that stories like these still regularly appear in the news.
So you go to the women’s department at the mall and buy something called a Hooter’s Hider, ironically. Or you buy something equally ridiculous, a My Brest Friend:
Then you come out of the women’s department at the mall having purchased a port-a-tent to hide your breasts (God forbid someone should get a look-see at your nipple)…and you walk right by a Victoria’s Secret store. It’s got life-sized posters of well, boobs hanging out all over the place where your daughters can see them:
It just doesn’t seem fair.
Yin: If you are a discreet mom breast feeding in a restaurant —–> Yang: You might be asked to hide in the bathroom.
If you should breast feed in a restaurant, like I did at P.F. Chang’s Bistro in Rockville, Maryland with my newborn – the manager came over to me (I was under a blanket, it was huge and I was very discreet – but that’s beside the point). He said, “We thank you in advance for your discretion, and if you would like to use the restroom to nurse I can show you where it is.”
I was so mortified, to be singled out like that.
There was a woman at the table beside us who was wearing a trashy, low-cut decollatage, you know? Why didn’t they escort her to hide herself in the bathroom stall so the other diners didn’t have to look at her?
This same thing happened to me twice in Maryland, so after that I went underground – I’d nurse in my car, the restroom, or at home. That’s pretty sad.
Yin: We can go into Safeway at any hour of the day and buy our children all the food we can possibly feed them —–> Yang: At the check out they see tabloids that teach them to judge themselves according to how skinny they are.
At every checkout, at eye-level where my daughters can see them, are tabloids and magazine covers teaching girls that they are worth about as much as the ground beef in the meat section, because the world is going to judge them by their weight, too. Photos like this:
Dear Manager of Safeway,
Do you think you could move the magazines from your check-out stands where kids can see them back into the magazine aisle so they don’t have to think about shit like eating disorders, how fat they are, and plastic surgery? Just a thought.
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