Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Now that we are hip deep in the electronic age pretty much every house has "That drawer". You know the one. The one where old (and current) chargers go to die. If you have a few cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras in your house you have a bunch of these cords in a tangle somewhere. Add to the mess that the teens in your house upgrade their phones every few years so you have the old ones in there too. Add a husband who has just moved from a Blackberry to an iPhone and now you have even more.

This drawer makes you crazy. Every time you go to look for your own phone charger (for the oldest phone in the house--somehow you always have the oldest phone in the house) you paw through the mess and think, "Can't someone come up with a better way to store these?"

You might even try a charging station but this will not work at all. Why? Because even if you make a nice little spot to charge things your children will still insist on charging their phones all over the house. So you will give up and go back to the drawer.

One day, you will have had enough and in a rare moment when all the kids are home at once, you pull out the mess of cords and hold each one up saying, "How about this? Does this belong to any of you?" and they will clutch their own chargers to their breasts and say , "No. It's not mine," and you, who have just set aside your own phone and camera chargers and your husband's new phone charger, will with great confidence and a feeling of accomplishment, toss the old stuff in the garbage. You have a tiny twinge of guilt because you are pretty sure you are supposed to recycle old chargers but really, sometimes you just say "screw it" and throw things away willy-nilly and irresponsibly (the latest earth infraction you have been committing without even knowing it is batteries--who knew you were supposed to 'dispose of them responsibly'? and how would one do that?) But I digress...

Now you have a clean and orderly drawer and you actually know what device belongs to each and every cord in the house and you are proud and feel clean and good and righteous.


Until that morning when you are all rushing around to get out the door and your husband who is not usually part of this mix but is today because he has to fly to Nashville to make a presentation, says to the room at large, "Has anyone seen my laptop charger?"

You look up from putting your flip-flops on in preparation of driving the second shift of kids to school and gauge the crowd. Should you confess at once or play dumb and pray the teens who are stuffing their backpacks and slipping into their hoodies do not give you up. After a moment you see they are not taking the bait. They are good children and would not shout out "Mom threw a bunch of those away." No. They know this will result in a scene and a scene could make them late for school. So they stay loyally mum for mum, so to speak.

Out of sheer desperation you go upstairs and rummage through some silly bag of parts you once bought called an "iGo" and you try to plug nibs into your husband's laptop and though you find one that fits you cannot find the other end that should plug into the wall. Still, you try to sell this device to your husband. "Here is something that fits! Perhaps you could get the rest of this at the airport!" But by now he is in no mood and as he approaches a melt-down you make your escape shouting, "Gotta take the kids to school!"

As you drive the kids to school, leaving him to search through the house for his charger that you are fairly certain you threw away, you come up with a dozen reasons why this is not your fault. It's not like you went into his laptop bag and took the charger and threw it away. No. He must have left it out for weeks for it to have ended up in "the drawer." This is what he gets for being so careless. As you drive back from school you hope desperately that the cab will have come and taken this problem, I mean , your husband to the airport.

But alas, the cab is just arriving when you pull in the driveway and you steel yourself to go in and confess and try to help the man you love, the man who supports you all, find his stupid laptop charger because really, without it he cannot make a presentation to new clients in Nashville, and he will not get paid, and you will all starve and it will be your fault because you just had to clean "the drawer."

However, much to your surprise, when you go in the house your husband is smiling. He found his charger and in fact is rather sheepish about it because he found it under a pile of crap on his own dresser and you are too relieved to give him a hard time about it. And you don't have to because he laughs and says, "My god, I'm as bad as the kids when they wait until about 10 minutes before the band concert to realize they don't have black pants that fit and their band polo is in the laundry," and you resist the temptation to say, "Yes, exactly," because you know this could have turned out very badly for you like the unfortunate knife-drawer purge of 2008 which still comes up from time to time.

And as you kiss him goodbye and send him on his way, you wonder what the moral of this story is--is it that you should not throw away old electronic stuff? is it that no matter what happens at home it is mom's fault? or could it just be that the other people in your house need to keep track of their shit a little better?

Nah, now that's just crazy talk.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Ever since it was announced that Prince William will be marrying this spring, those of us of a certain age cannot help but reminisce about when our Princess Di got married. We can't help it, it was such a wonderful, beautiful fairy-tale wedding. And we can't help but compare that wedding to this wedding. Here are some of my observations:

That Princess: I loved Diana. She was so sweet, so charming, so my age. She worked for a living even though she came from some distant royally connected family. She was shy and kept her chin down. She had short, sassy hair.

This Princess: I don't know why and it is not fair to say this, but I don't love Kate. I think it's because she is (like most girls in the media these days) just a little too slick. She would never be caught wearing a see-through floral skirt with the sun behind her. Her teeth are perfect. Her makeup is too. She is a party girl and I just cannot imagine our Princess Di throwing back tequila shots (well, not in her twenties...she did that later). Kate was working, sort of, for her family's business --a party supply company--which is just not as noble as taking care of little children. And, (now this is just catty), she has no upper lip. She has predictable hair.

That Prince: Charles was a douche. Even then we were pretty sure he did not really love Diana. He married her because his mum told him it was time to marry someone and Di happened to be the virgin standing in front of him when the music stopped in the game of musical-chairs-date-a-prince game. In his defence he was never parented very well. But still, he should have manned up and told his mum he'd get married when he fell in love.

This Prince: I like the boy. He is darling and was so brave when his mum died. He was loved by his mom and that goes a long way toward making a man who can love properly. He does stuff that shows he understands the gravity of his inherited role and also the importance of appearing a little less ostentatious--for example his choice to maintain a home without servants. It's cute. Not the smartest thing but cute.

The virgin thing then: Doctors had to examine Princess Diana to verify that she was a virgin before she could marry Charles (who was notoriously not a virgin). WTF? No one knew why really--I mean it wasn't a hundred years ago, just 30, and everyone was having a lot of sex. But for some reason, poor Diana was expected not to have and was subjected to this humiliation. It was implied that it was just a rule and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

The virgin thing now: Apparently it is no longer a requirement which means someone could have done something about this requirement 30 years ago. This is irritating --not because I think Kate should be a virgin but for the implied fact that someone (the Queen?) could have dropped this qualification back in 1981 and saved us all a lot of trouble (not to mention Diana's life). Old Chuck could have married the icky love of his life and Diana would have been free to marry a commoner and live a nice long life with a man who actually loved her. Now that would have been a fairy-tale ending.

The ride to the church then: Was that not the best part of the whole damn day? Watching our bee-yoo-tiful princess in the glass-covered horse-drawn carriage as she rode to Westminster Abbey? I loved that part.

The ride to the church now: Kate is taking a car. Not sure why. According to the Huffington Post, William wanted to save money but the Queen pointed out that the whole Royal Guard will be on hand that day anyway so there's no savings. Then someone said maybe security but no, the bride and groom will be going in an open horse and carriage after the wedding. So who knows. All I know is that I agree with Grace who said, "Not going in the glass-covered coach!!! That's the whole reason you marry a prince!" Exactly.

And finally:

The marriage then: Well, unfortunately it was a sham. A farce and a myth. We kind of knew that going into it (as did Diana) but we really, really hoped for the best(as did Diana). But it was not to be.

The marriage now: It looks like the real deal. Kate and Will are good friends and have known each other for years. No one pushed them into this. It would be lovely if we could get a royal who could stay happily married. It's been a while since that's happened. So I wish those two crazy kids all the luck in the world.

And I know our Princess will be smiling down on their special day, wishing the same thing for her little boy.