Diary of a SubUrban Housewife

November 27, 2004


Filed under: Webishness — Beth @ 1:14 pm

I’ve been doing this online journal/blogging thing for a long time. I started my first journal in 1999, when there weren’t all that many people doing this.

Over the years I’ve had many opportunities to meet fellow journalers/bloggers. I’m happy to report that each time has been a delight. (I won’t bother to post links to those meetings but if you’re so inclined to scour the archives of my old journal you’ll find them. Many of those people have either stopped journalizing or have moved, or changed names, or something else.)

I’ve recounted each of my exploits, except one case of really bad manners where I fail to talk about meeting the lovely Carol, but Chuck does that here. It was all that and more and I actually got to sit next to Carol and chat with her and I think I’m the only one at the table that got to do that. (She does have lovely manners.)

The Evaporation‘s are a far too infrequent constant in our lives, but separately and together, Steve, Viv, and Amy are people well worth knowing.

Last night presented yet another opportunity when my real life collided with my online life, when Chuck, Zoe, and I met El Steve, and the lovely GraceDavis and her entourage, for dinner.

We bloggers/journalers sat at one end of the table and at the other end were Grace’s totally cute and sweet hubby George, stepkid Jenn, biokid Molly (who prefers Mollie) and Zoe (who informed me last night at dinner that she now spells her name with two dots over the e). I was able to participate in conversations at both ends because I sat in the middle.

It was a wonderful evening. I adore GraceDavis and wish she lived closer to me. I would like to spend more time with her. She is as sassy and funny in flesh and blood as she is over at her site. And her actual voice sounded just like what I expected it would. Her girls are beautiful and poised. And as I said before, her hub is totally cute and charming.

Grace took pictures, so did El Steve. I promise I’m much cuter in person than I will be if either of them posts those photos. Grace can attest to that.

As a blogger you only know as much of me as I let you. And I know that is true of everyone else out there who keeps an online journal or blog. Reality is often improved (or overdramatized) by about 30% (to quote El Steve, a little out of context, but it applies here) because it makes for a better story.

So you don’t really know what you’re gonna get when you meet someone and they’re no longer just words on a screen, but an actual, three dimensional, flesh and bones person; and there’s interaction, live and in person, instead of well thought-out and oft rewritten in posts and comments.

It still boggles my mind that through these pages and the thousands of others like this, that bonds are created, friendships are forged, and lives are intertwined. People from around the world and around the corner can meet in a way we never could have imagined 10 years ago.

Something to be very thankful for.

November 26, 2004

If I Weren’t So Full of Turkey I Could Actually Post An Entry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Beth @ 12:27 am

but, alas I am, so instead you get this:

You Are a Life Blogger!

Your blog is the story of your life – a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible.
What kind of blogger are you?

November 21, 2004

Being Supportive

Filed under: Zoe — Beth @ 8:49 pm

When I was a little girl I begged my mother to get me a training bra. All the other girls were wearing them. I wanted one too. I’m still not quite sure what we were all in training for, but a training bra was a must have.

I remember finally getting one. It was a 32AA. It was white, with adjustable straps, and had absolutely flat cups. That’s OK because I was absolutely flat as well. I was so proud of it. I wore it the minute we got home from the store under my absolutely positively spanky bright yellow jumpsuit. (OK, it was somewhere around 1968, cut me some slack here.)

The thing is, I was absolutely flat, as I mentioned, so there was nothing to actually hold the bra in place. So, whenever I lifted my arms over my head, the bra rode up and ended up somewhere under my armpits.

Thank goodness that spanky yellow jumpsuit zipped up the front, because I was then able to unzip the jumpsuit and pull the bra back down to where it was supposed to be. Down to cover my wanna-be breasts.

Then came the 70′s and while I finally developed enough to actually hold a bra in place, we were all about burning our bras. So off went the bra. And now my mother wanted me to put one on because she was certain my perky little plums would start sagging.

Fast forward to the 80′s and Madonna when underwear became outwear and I was all about black lacy things that were minimally supportive, but that was OK because there still wasn’t all that much to support.

Now we’re well into the new millennium, I’m 45 years old, and nursed a baby for a year. Let’s just say that support is no longer optional, lest I care to give myself a black eye.

But, yes, now I’m 45 and I have an 8 year old daughter. An 8 year old daughter whose new best friend is 10 and let’s just say, slightly more developed than my daughter is. This in no way suggests that the new best friend has any use for a bra either, but like me at 10, I’m sure she talked her mother into getting her one.

Zoe returned from a sleep over at her friend’s house on Saturday morning. And as well all know the term sleep over is a gross misnomer as no sleep actually happens, so she tucked in for a little nap Saturday afternoon. I went to check on her and adjust the covers and noticed something that looked alarmingly bra-like on my daughter. On my baby who was so tired she needed to take a nap in my bed and had fallen asleep watching Mickey Mouse.

She rolled over and I saw it. My baby was wearing a training bra. My baby who makes an ironing board look full-figured was wearing the same sort of contraption I had worn nearly 30 years ago. I asked her where it came from and she told me that her friend had given it to her.

Part of me wanted to laugh. Another part of me was sad because I didn’t take her to get her first bra. And yet another part of me wanted to ask her if her bra rides up when she lifts her arms like mine did.

November 19, 2004

Guess I’m Just a Three Ring Circus

Filed under: Uncategorized — Beth @ 12:45 pm

You Are From Saturn

You’re steady, organized, and determined to achieve your dreams.
You tend to play it conservative, going by the rules (at least the practical ones).
You’ll likely reach the top. And when you do, you’ll be honorable and responsible.
Focus on happiness. Don’t let your goals distract you from fun!
Don’t be too set in your ways, and you’ll be more of a success than you ever dreamed of.
What Planet Are You From?

Courtesy of Carol.

November 15, 2004

Happy Birthday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Beth @ 9:43 pm


to me.

November 9, 2004


Filed under: Zoe — Beth @ 12:05 am

You know, there’s a very good reason they call them crushes. Inevitably, your heart is crushed.

On one hand, crushes are great. There’s a really cute guy/girl at the office/school/Starbucks that you see every day. You have a crush. You go out of your way to look your absolute cutest every single day on the off chance that he/she will notice you and maybe even talk to you.

When you’re a grownup and you have a crush you understand all the dynamics. You’ve been down this road once or twice and chances are you’re not going to be totally devastated/embarrassed/horrified/humiliated/demoralized when things don’t turn out quite like they did in your little fantasy.

When you’re eight and you have a crush it’s a whole other thing. And when you’re the parent of the eight year old with said crush and you see the writing on the wall….probably before the wall is even built….you want to do everything in your power to protect your baby from the impending heartache.

But can you really do that? It’s a natural instinct to want to protect your child from anything and everything. But is that the right thing to do? Did anyone do that for you? Chances are the answer is no, and look, you’ve managed to grow up into a (somewhat) functional adult. But still, as a parent, the urge is there.

So yeah, Zoe has a crush. A big crush. On the aforementioned Mr. XXX.

This weekend she got him a card. And a huge chocolate bar. She spent a lot of time working on the illustrations inside the card, and she signed it: Love ?.

She provided some clues as to her identity and wrote a message, the gist of which was: if you know who this is please don’t tell your friends, and if you do please don’t laugh at me.

Chuck saw the card before she sealed the envelope and had a little father/daughter chat with her. He broached the subject of possible heartache with her. Intrepid little bugger that she is she said that she would be just fine.

Chuck told me all about it and I cried. I cried about her message. I cried because she’s so willing to just put herself out there, as raw and pure and humanly possible. And I cried because partly I’m jealous that she can be so “out there” with her feelings and partly because I don’t want to see her get her feeling hurt.

I want to surround my baby in bubble wrap and keep her safe. Keep her heart pure. Keep her open and kind and loving. But I can’t do that.

And I’m crushed.

November 8, 2004

Writes of Passage

Filed under: Zoe — Beth @ 8:41 pm

When you’re a young girl and you have a crush on a boy one of the many silly things that you do is write your name with his last name. If you look in the notebook of nearly any tween- or teenage girl, you’ll find a page like this (usually in script but I’ll let you imagine that):

For the sake of my example:
Girl: Sally Smith
Boy: Fred Plumeria

Sally Plumeria
Mrs. Sally Plumeria
Mrs. Sally Smith Plumeria
Sally and Fred Plumeria
Mrs. S. Plumeria
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Plumeria

All i’s are dotted with little hearts. You’ll find Sally & Fred 4 ever in a little heart in the margin of virutally any given page of her notebook. Or you’ll find doodles of Fred’s name circled in hearts.

I know every woman reading this is nodding her head knowingly.

(Sorry ladies, I’ve shared one of the great secrets of the sisterhood.)

Tonight I was in with Zoe as she was getting ready for bed. She left her room on some errand of major importance and I was just sitting there minding my own business. I glanced at the inside of the boxtop from her Converse All Stars. (The box was open and it was just out there, I wasn’t snooping, not that I’m above snooping).

Inside the top of the box was Mrs. XXX.

When Zoe returned to her room I asked her what the last name is of the boy she has a crush on. She told me it was XXX. I said, oh, hi Mrs. XXX. She blushed and asked me where I saw it. I told her. She was clearly embarassed.

Then I told her we all do it/did it.

She seemed relieved. I smiled and felt all warm and fuzzy.


Mrs. Chuck Atkins
Beth Atkins
Mrs. B. Atkins
Mrs. Beth Atkins

Send Some Love

Filed under: Donate!,My Old Man — Beth @ 12:14 am

There are only a few days left for you lucky readers to sponsor the old man in the Love Ride. (He writes about it here, so I don’t have to here. )

I’ll remind you though that I could be riding in the Love Ride myself, as the holder of my very own spanky M1 certification, but alas, I do not have a bike (and no, I’m not bitter.)

Anyway, click on the link above where I say sponsor, or click on this groovy picture that I stole from my husband and figured out how to work as a link all by my little self.

It’s for a really good cause. Really. Really.


November 7, 2004

If You Don’t Ask Them, They Will Come Anyway

Filed under: Family Stuff — Beth @ 7:56 pm

The holidays are always a bit of a thing here. The season kicks off for us at the beginning of October. Between October 6 and New Years, there are five birthdays, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, and New Years.

So, needless to say, there’s lots of angst and planning.

We used to swap off Thanksgiving. One year at my mother in law’s. One year at my dad’s. One year here. But that sucked for a lot of reasons.

Let’s start with Thanksiving at my mother in law’s:
1. Her condo is the size of a matchbook, and with immediate family alone there are twelve. (That’s if no one extra like a girlfriend is invited.) Five of the twelve are under the age of 9. Four of those five have not been disciplined in their entire lives.
2. When you go to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving, even if you take a little something home, there are not enough good leftovers.
3. We end up eating at least two hours after we were supposed to.

Then we go to Thankgiving at my dad’s:
1. He’s a profoundly bad cook and everything comes to the table either cold, burned, underdone, or my favorite combination: burned, cold, and underdone.
2. See #2 above for no post-turkey day leftovers (which in this case is a blessing, cuz you couldn’t stand to eat that bad meal two days in a row).
3. He doesn’t start cooking Thanksgiving dinner until everyone has arrived so we end up eating five hours after we were supposed to.

So after a particularly dreadful Thanksgiving at my dad’s house a couple of years ago, Chuck and I agreed that, effective immediately, we were not ever going to anyone else’s house for Thanksgiving. Whoever would like to join us at our home is more than welcome to. We’re having turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, etc. But we’re having it at home and we’re planning to enjoy our leftovers for days to come.

Last year was our first “we’re not going anywhere” year. It worked out just fine. His family was invited, but as usual, they declined. My dad showed up, as did one of my sisters. The sister made a scene. But we were home. We ate turkey sandwiches for days to come and we were happy as could be.

So this year we’re having Thanksgiving at home again. The sister who made a scene at last year’s dinner has other plans, which is just fine. My other sister, who is now on medication and is actually quite lovely to be around while completely medicated, is coming. I suppose my dad will be here. And that was going to be that.

Well, we were discussing the whole Thanksgiving thing at dinner tonight and Chuck mentioned that in fact his family is coming. And let me say that this is perfectly fine. But let me also say that they weren’t actually invited. I mean they’re welcome and all, but no actual invitation was issued as far as either of us know.

This prompted the a discussion about issuing invitations. I mean, if you want someone to come you invite them, right? If you don’t want someone to come, you don’t invite them. Seems pretty cut and dried. But his family wasn’t invited (OK, yet, they weren’t invited yet, but yes, they’re more than welcome to come), and they’re coming anyway.

So life lesson here: just because you haven’t invited someone, it doesn’t mean they’re not coming.

November 5, 2004

A Love Story

Filed under: Fabulous Stuff — Beth @ 3:35 pm

I will seek and find you.
I shall take you to bed and have my way with you.
I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan.
I will make you beg for mercy, beg for me to stop.
I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I’m finished with you.
And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days.

All my love,
The Flu